Throughout the year, we test and track the best beauty products out there, from those that become viral trends to expert- and editor-recommended picks to the must-haves that our readers can’t live without. As the year comes to a close, we’re taking a look at the latter and rounding up skin care, makeup, hair care and other products that Underscored readers couldn’t get enough of in 2022.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect everyday moisturizer or a fool-proof way to get a perfect blowout at home, these reader favorites are sure to upgrade your beauty routine. And with the end of the holiday season in sight, they would also make a great gift for any beauty lover. (Procrastination-prone shoppers should check out more last-minute gift ideas, as well as our favorite gifts for women, gifts for men and additional finds from Amazon.)
These K-beauty sheet masks come in a 12-pack, with each tailored to a specific skin benefit. Whether you need a moisture boost with avocado or a bit of firming with pomegranate, there’s something for all skin types and needs.
Oral care isn’t just about hygiene, it’s a part of your beauty routine, too. And Crest 3D Whitestrips remain among the most popular at-home teeth whitening systems. The easy-to-use strips use hydrogen peroxide to brighten teeth and remove surface stains, and the brand says you’ll see a difference in three days of use. This pack also comes with four bonus treatments of the 1-Hour Express Whitestrips, which are great for making your pearly whites, well, whiter, in a pinch.
One of the best under-eye creams, this targeted treatment contains caffeine, vitamins C and B3 and optic brighteners to wake up the under-eye area and reduce the appears of dark circles.
This two-step kit includes two treatments that will keep your lips hydrated, full and glossy. The overnight mint-infused mask moisturizes the lips, then the ginger essence in the daytime gloss gives them a tingly sensation as it plumps the lips.
At this point, this cooling ice roller is a cult classic — it’s an editor favorite and never fails to get rave reviews for its ability to de-puff the face, soothe the skin and even ease the pain of headaches, hangovers and sore muscles.
With over 31,000 5-star ratings, this oil-absorbing face roller is clearly a viral favorite. Like a reusable blotting paper, the real volcanic stone soaks up excess oil so you can stay shine-free where you want to be. The handy tool can even be used over makeup and is the perfect size to take on the go.
CeraVe is an oft-recommended brand for its effective, gentle formulas that are developed with dermatologists and safe for sensitive skin. This basic moisturizer is perfect for those looking to streamline their routine as it benefits the face and body. In the colder months, you may even want to use it as the moisturizing step in a slugging regimen to get the most out of its ceramide-rich formula.
Treating acne can be full of ups and down, but thankfully pimple patches are an easy and effective way to spot-treat blemishes. The hydrocolloid stickers absorb the excess fluid, bacteria and gunk within zits, minimizing their appearance and protecting them from additional irritation.
A drugstore favorite lip balm, this dermatologist-recommended lip butter delivers an emollient-rich layer that shields the lips from dryness. It’s made from plant oils and extracts, such as sunflower seed and calendula, that soften the lips while giving them a nice shine, too.
Great for those treating keratosis pilaris or targeting body breakouts, this salicylic acid body wash will gently exfoliate for smoother skin. The top-rated product has over 18,000 5-star ratings with many reviewers sharing that they experienced fewer bumps after just one use.
The key to an effortless ‘do? Claw clips. These ones feature a no-slip grip so they’re great for all hair types and they come in a variety of colors.
Supergoop! makes excellent sunscreens, including this utterly sheer option. The oil-free formula never feels greasy and even gives a velvety finish to the skin.
If you’re looking to brighten the under-eye area, this cream contains vitamin C. The powerhouse ingredient not only improves the appearance of dark circles, but helps with minimizing fine lines and wrinkles, too.
Snail mucin is a popular K-beauty ingredient that made viral waves, particularly with this serum-like product. Lightweight and fast-absorbing, the essence hydrates and plumps the skin and our editorial coordinator Jillian Tracy said her skin “starts to feel nourished the minute this sinks into my pores.”
Available in 11 flavors, with a mix of tinted and non-tinted shades, Glossier’s fan-favorite lip balm is the perfect companion for no-makeup makeup lovers. The balm is made with castor oil, beeswax and lanolin for smooth hydration whenever you need it.
An eye cream is an essential step in a skin care routine, as the thinner skin of the eye area is often first to show signs of aging. Containing caffeine and hyaluronic acid, this is one of the best budget-friendly options for targeting dark circles.
This viral product also has dermatologists’ stamp of approval. The effective treatment features physical and chemical exfoliants with 10% alpha hydroxy acids to slough away dead skin cells that can contribute to the telltale red bumps of keratosis pilaris.
Did you know that hands are one of the first areas of the body to show signs of aging? Just as you would protect your face and neck from damaging UV rays, use a hand cream with SPF, too. This expert-approved pick also has sea buckthorn fruit to lighten dark spots and argan and meadowfoam seed oils to keep hands moisturized.
Great for those who work with their hands, this budget-friendly hand cream will restore their moisture without feeling greasy.
This mascara’s ability to give a false lash effect has earned it over 200,000 5-star ratings on Amazon. It lengthens and adds volume with a few swipes, and reviewers have cited its easy removal as a benefit, too.
Wet Brush makes some of the best hair brushes out there, including this round styling brush that gives you more control with less pulling and snagging.
This derm-recommended mineral sunscreen checks all of the boxes: it’s super gentle, safe for all skin types and hydrating.
Keeping your beauty products organized isn’t a chore when you have a cute makeup bag. This travel-friendly sack fits in a surprising amount of products, plus it comes with a matching small zip pouch and a transparent pocket handy for storing smaller items.