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Finding the perfect skincare routine is all the rage – so which are the best skincare brands to invest in?
Skincare has been around for centuries – like, since the 1700s, by some estimates – but in the past few years, thanks to the rise of Korean beauty and elaborate skin routines, it’s really taken off.
In fact, this year alone has seen searches for “skincare” skyrocket since the spread of the dreaded C-word, so there’s really never been a better time to get around the hype, if you haven’t yet. That said, whether you’re a newbie or a skincare afficionado who’s been following all the top beauty influencers for years, it can be damn near impossible to keep up with what products to buy and which brands to buy them from.
So, we found the best skincare brands you can shop from luxury retailer Net-A-Porter, plus the cult buys from each brand that your skin will thank you for – with prices ranging from affordable to high-end.
Well, glow on then – get shopping!
Founded by two LA-based influencers, this brand has proved its worth since its launch in 2018. The products are pretty reasonably priced, and according to reviews, they live up to all expectations. As an added bonus, all products are formulated with clean, vegan ingredients.
Top pick: Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask, $77
Not only will this antioxidant-rich face mask replenish your hydration levels, it’ll also minimise imperfections and give you that Insta-worthy dewy glow. It’s packed with brightening Vitamin C, exfoliating Chestnut Extract, and Niacinamide to reduce fine lines and hyperpigmentation.
According to a reviewer, it’s “amazing! Brings back the moisture and takes years off! Buy it for yourself or anyone who needs a little pampering in your life”.
Shop Summer Fridays here
This award-winning skincare line from dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross promises salon-quality treatments from the comfort of your own home. His range combines scientific research with gentle and natural ingredients to help your skin glow.
Top pick: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Universal Daily Peel, $154.49
We wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve heard of this iconic product before – because just about any beauty influencer worth their salt has sung the praises of the Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel. The two-step process exfoliates your skin with Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids, and fights uneven tone, fine lines and enlarged pores with the Anti-Aging Neutraliser. It’s designed to be used daily for normal and combination skin types.
A reviewer said, “Soooo so so so good, this will transform your skin and transform your life!!! I can’t afford to use these every day but after using them once a week for a few weeks, my skin was brighter, clearer, and totally fresh!”
Shop Dr. Dennis Gross here
This Aussie-born brand is internationally renowned for its holistic approach to health and skincare that infuses aromatic botanicals into its formulations. You might know them for their hand soaps or hand creams, but their skincare range is also one to get around.
Top pick: Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream, $55
Keep your face healthily hydrated with this daily moisturiser suitable for day and night use. The rich formula is infused with a blend of nut and plant extracts, including claming Chamomile Bud and restorative Rosemary Leaf to soothe dryness, plus Sandalwood for a warm, delicious fragrance.
A reviewer said “I love using this product and have now been using it for 10 months. It’s easy to apply and absorbs well into my skin. It works well under make up and keeps my skin hydrated during the day. I have even had a few compliments about my skin since I switched to this product, which never usually happens”.
Shop Aesop here
If you’re looking for a high-quality cruelty-free skincare brand that actually works, Sunday Riley is the one for you. They use active ingredients at calculated concentrations to ensure the best results possible, and have serums, oils, and masks to suit a wide range of skin concerns from ageing and dryness to acne.
Top pick: Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, $75.26
This is the face oil that anyone with oily or acne-prone skin needs in their life. It’s a dry oil that smooths skin without leaving it greasy, and the 1.5 per cent Salicylic Acid, combined with Tea Tree Oil and Black Cumin Seed Oil help to clear congested pores. Hexylresorcinol and Licorice Root naturally brighten hyperpigmentation, and Milk Thistle and Cucumber Seed Oil hydrate and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. Try out the 15mL size for $75.26, or opt for the larger 35mL bottle here for $128.74.
According to a reviewer, “I break out with mostly hormonal acne. With the pandemic, maskne is ALSO a problem. The texture of my skin has smoothed out and my acne is definitely managed. If you’re on the fence, try it! It’s great for maskne, I put it on after washing my face when I get home”.
Shop Sunday Riley here
With 100 per cent natural, fresh and non-toxic ingredients, Tata Harper’s skincare products are all handcrafted in a lab in Vermont and specifically designed to improve skin vitality and radiance.
Top pick: Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask, $88.91
This all-natural, cruelty-free Resurfacing Mask features deep-cleansing Pomegranate Enzymes, pore-reducing Pink Clay and brightening Willow Bark Extract – all of which work together to revitalise your face to leave it detoxified and glowing. It’s suitable for dry, normal, oily or combination skin (but steer clear if you’ve got rosacea).
A reviewer said “I purchased this as someone who doesn’t use masks. I loved it. It made my face glow and smelled wonderful. Will be buying again”.
Shop Tata Harper here
With products ranging in price from $11 to $2,329, Angela Caglia is a brand with RANGE. Created by experienced aesthetician and “Hollywood Glow Girl” Angela Caglia, the brand combines natural and organic ingredients with recent technological breakthroughs to create luxurious serums, oils and new age beauty tools.
Top pick: Angela Caglia Rose Quartz Gua Sha Lifting Tool, $75.26
Gua Sha tools and face rollers have rapidly risen in popularity in the past few years, and this one is perfect to kick off (or grow) your collection. Carved from Rose Quartz, a stone which can channel love, joy, warmth and emotional healing, this tool can relieve muscle tension, boost circulation, and promote lymphatic drainage. It’s the perfect gift for someone who deserves to take a little time out of their day for a soothing self-care ritual that provides salon levels of relaxation.
A reviewer said, “Truly underestimated how wonderful this tool turned out to be and so happy I purchased it. It’s a part of my daily wellness routine now. I use it several times a day. Best skincare purchase I’ve made in a long time!”
Shop Angela Caglia here
Taking inspiration from the family’s 2000-year-old thermal spring in Budapest, Omorovicza’s cult favourite range of rejuvenating beauty products are crafted alongside the Nobel-prize winning Hungarian Laboratory of Dermatology to harness the healing properties of the mineral-rich water.
Top pick: Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist, $85.97
$86 might seem like a lot to pay for a face mist, but this is a super lavish one to invest in. Blended with Orange Blossom, Rose and Sage waters to tone and purify, with the brand’s Healing Concentrate to deliver anti-ageing minerals, the Queen of Hungary will have you feeling like a queen yourself.
A reviewer called it “my favorite mist. I love everything about it, especially the atomizer, and how it sprays even light spritzes on to my skin. My skin feels refreshed and soft after using, and it’s the only mist I’ve had that I’ve used consistently, which says something. I always keep it on me. Highly recommend”.
Shop Omorovicza here
Eve Lom’s award-winning skincare brand is a renowned fave in the eyes of many an influencer and beauty expert, and for good reason. They believe that a radiant complexion begins with cleansing and exfoliation, and that formulas should be gentle yet effective.
Top pick: Eve Lom Cleanser, $106.95
The Cleanser is the brand’s best-seller, and it blends four aromatic plant oils specifically for their decongesting and soothing properties for the best clean of your life that will leave you feeling fresh but not stripped. Plus, it comes with a muslin cloth which helps to improve circulation, open pores, gently exfoliate and tone – and you can even use it to remove waterproof makeup.
According to a reviewer, “I am now on my third tub of this cleanser and I couldn’t live without it, it makes your skin so soft and is the only cleanser I have used that actually gives your face a full cleanse it’s smell is also relaxing and soothing which is perfect right before bed”.
Shop Eve Lom here
From the same parent company that brought you The Ordinary, NIOD (Non-Invasive Options in Dermal Science) is skincare for people who know skincare. They’re not about fancy packaging, scents or textures, but rather take a no-frills approach to dermatology, using the most effective ingredients that give you real results.
Top pick: NIOD Fractionated Eye Contour Concentrate, $90.12
If you’re sic of having tired eyes no matter how much sleep you get, this eye concentrate is your holy grail. It’s formulated with 28 anti-ageing actives, peptides and antioxidants including Hyaluronic Acid to reduce dark circles, refresh tired and puffy skin, and improve the look of deep and fine lines.
According to a reviewer, “I rarely write customer reviews…. but I have tried multiple expensive brands and their products for the eye contour and this one is by far the best one I have tried. I am mid 30s and I DID have my first signs of aging around the eyes. This product used AM and PM was able to reverse them in about a month”.
Shop NIOD here
REN’s toxin-free range of skincare is targeted to all skin types, with each product formulated with 100 per cent pure plant and mineral-derived extracts and ethically sourced oils that aim to nourish and soothe the skin.
Top pick: REN Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral Mattifying Face Sunscreen SPF30
If SPF isn’t a part of your daily skincare routine yet, it should be – and REN’s Clean Screen is a worthy candidate. It’s reef-friendly, free from oxybenzone and silicone, suitable for all skin types and contains Zinc Oxide to prevent signs of ageing and pigmentation, Yellow Passion Fruit Seed Extract to protect from pollution, and Rice Starch to soothe irritation and control shine.
According to a reviewer, “This sunscreen will be a go to product. I decided to separate my daily moisturiser and sunscreen instead of trying to find an all in one product. This product has an easy texture to layer and leave no white cast. Will be a mainstay in my cabinet”.
Shop REN Clean Skincare here
“World-class skincare yields maximum results with a minimum number of products” is the main idea behind former surgeon and researcher Dr. Barbara Sturm’s luxury line of skincare products. It’ll set you back quite a hefty sum, but fans claim that her thorough medical understanding of cells and anti-ageing is too good to pass up.
Top pick: Dr. Barbara Sturm Night Serum, $543.70
Packed with Cotton Thistle Extract to support skin barrier regeneration, Hyaluronic Acid to replenish moisture, Poria Cocos and Beta-Glucan work together to calm irritation and reduce redness, and Purslane defends against damage caused by pollution and diet – this is a potent serum that’s gentle enough to work for all skin types.
According to a reviewer, “I wash my face at night with Dr. Barbara Sturm’s foaming face-wash, dry, and then apply this serum. Truthfully, within the past week that I have used it I’ve seen a difference. On the most sensitive skin this does wonders. It makes you face feel replenished in the morning, full of moisture. I love it and highly recommend!”
Shop Dr. Barbara Sturm here
What should my daily beauty regime be?
Depending on your skin type – oily, dry, combination or normal – your regime will vary. But the basic essentials we’d recommend for that year-round glow would be a cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, moisturiser, and SPF. Those with oily or acne-prone skin types can benefit from a chemical peel or exfoliant, while those on the drier side can add a non-greasy oil .
What order should you do your skincare?
Start your skincare routine with a blank canvas by cleansing. Use your fave cleanser to remove makeup, excess sebum, dirt and any other bits left (if you really want to go all out, you can double cleanse – first with a cleansing oil or balm, then with a foaming cleanser). Around one to three times a week, you can follow your cleanser with an exfoliant – whether it’s chemical or physical.
Next up, balance your skin’s pH levels with a toner, then apply any essences you may have, followed by serums or emulsions.
After that, you can use a sheet mask a few times a week – but if not, head straight through to your eye cream, followed by your moisturiser to seal things in. If it;’s night time or you’re looking for a little extra hydration, you can top it all off with a thicker night cream, sleeping mask or oil. In the mornings, you should end your routine with a sunscreen.
Does Net a Porter ship to Australia?
Yes, Net-A-Porter ships to Australia. They offer $10 express shipping, which means your order will show up on your doorstep just two to five working days after it’s accepted.
Want more beauty tips? Read our review of the Foreo UFO Smart Mask that’s like an at-home facial, and the NIOD mud mask that works wonders on pores.