SHAPE of Beauty Awards 2010: Creams and Cleansers
Clean & Clear Advantage 3-in-1 Foaming Acne Wash
($6; at drugstores)
"Acne washes tend to feel and smell medicinal, but this one was luxurious," said a tester. Its key ingredient is salicylic acid, "a gentle exfoliator that clears zits by speeding cell turnover," explains SHAPE advisory board member and dermatologist Darrell S. Rigel, M.D.
Kinerase PhotoFacials Daily Exfoliating Cleanser
"After a few days of using it, my face felt much smoother," raved one tester of this gentle wash. Improvements in skin texture come from a mix of antioxidant-rich superfruits—including kiwi, pineapple, and pomegranate—in combination with jojoba and silica beads.
Olay Regenerist UV Defense Regenerating Lotion SPF 50
($30; at drugstores)
This lightweight lotion not only delivers a potent dose of broad-spectrum sun protection, it also treats normal to oily skin with a revitalizing mix of ingredients, such as firming amino-peptides and green tea to fight line-inducing free radicals. "My skin drank it up instantly, and it left my face looking radiant, but not greasy," said one tester.
Kiehl's Acaí Damage-Correcting Moisturizer
Antioxidants help skin repair itself, and this contains açaí berry to do just that. But the benefits don't stop there; it also has hydrating shea butter. "I love that it doesn't contain any parabens, since these can be irritating to sensitive skin," said SHAPE advisory board member and dermatologist, Ruth Tedaldi, M.D.
Neutrogena Ageless Restoratives Anti-Oxidant Booster Serum
($20; at drugstores)
"It's like a booster shot for my skin!" exclaimed one tester. The hydrating serum is packed with free-radical fighting antioxidants - including feverfew and vitamin E - plus soy, "which can help brighten skin tone and even out texture," says Rigel.
Origins Brighter By Nature Skin Tone Correcting Serum
Some of the chemicals commonly used to banish brown spots can be too harsh for sensitive skin. This gentle, citrus-scented serum relies instead on plant-derived vitamin C. "After a few weeks of daily use, my complexion looked fresher and more even," said one tester.
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Gentle Scrub
"This exfoliator is one of my favorite products," said Tedaldi. "It has two percent salicylic acid to zap zits without over-drying skin." That pimple fighter is balanced by soothing aloe and chamomile to calm acne-related redness.
Origins Brighter By Nature High Potency Brightening Peel
The natural fruit acids in this twice-weekly treatment help skin safely shed dulling dead cells. And calming Japanese basil leaf extract ensures skin won't look irritated afterward. "My skin glowed for days," said one tester.
Neutrogena Retinol NX Concentrated Retinol Eye Cream
Testers were looking for a hydrating, fast-absorbing eye cream that would also smooth crows feet. And thanks to its ultra-light yet creamy texture, and some powerful ingredients, this one delivered. "Retinol and vitamin C lessen the look of wrinkles over time, while hyaluronic acid adds instant plumpness," said Rigel.
Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Active Triple Treatment Eye Cream
Testers adored this product both for what it doesn't have - irritating fragrances and parabens - and what it does: potent anti-agers that produce mega results. The hydrating, "but not at all oily," formula uses natural mineral electrolytes, seaweed extracts, and plant extracts to reduce the look of fine lines, reduce puffiness, and send dark circles packing.
Olay Regenerist Anti-Aging Eye Roller
($23; at drugstores)
"I was skeptical of anything that claims to 'de-puff,'" admitted a tester. "But after a few days, I did look less sleep-deprived." The three rollers massage away swelling, and "deliver a potent dose of anti-agers like pentapeptides, which build collagen," says SHAPE advisory board member and dermatologist, Jeanine Downie, M.D.
Chanel Sublimage Essential Regenerating Fluid
Sometimes, anti-aging creams are too thick for all but the driest skin, or too heavy to wear under makeup. But this greaseless lotion is neither. The wrinkle-fighting secret lies in an antioxidant-rich extract from a plant native to Madagascar. "It helped to smooth the deepest lines on my forehead," said a staffer.
Best SPF Moisturizer: Dr. Gerald Imber Youth Corridor Soothe & Defend Moisturizer with SPF 30
The celebrated author of The Youth Corridor, Dr. Imber is sought after by celebs. So it's no wonder that his product line is such a hit. This moisturizer is jam-packed with nourishing vitamins C and E, plus it provides SPF. "It's the perfect multi-tasker," says one tester.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Trifix Acne Clearing Lotion
Treating acne is just one of Dr. Gross' specialties - so it makes sense that this product is so effective. It relies on natural ingredients - like willow bark extract and sulfur - to clear up skin fast. "Plus, it didn't make my face red or flaky," said a tester.
Best Serum: Murad Active Radiance Serum
Known as the healthy skin doctor, Dr. Murad's serum transforms skin with potent doses of C and alpha hydroxy acids to encourage cell turnover. "My face looked radiant after just two weeks of using it," said a SHAPE editor. "Plus, it absorbs so quickly you don't even know it's on your skin!"
Philosophy Be Somebody Super Clean, Super Soothing Shampoo, Bath & Shower Gel
If you're looking to eliminate a few steps from your locker room routine, this three-in-one product, with antioxidants and rich moisturizers, is here to help. "It left both my skin and hair feeling smooth and soft," said a tester. "And I loved the subtle citrus-y scent."
Dove Go Fresh Nutrium Moisture Revive Body Wash
($4; at drugstores)
This luxurious body wash drenches your skin in moisture. "It produced lots of rich lather, rinsed clean, and I didn't even need a body lotion afterward," said a tester. And the pomegranate and lemon verbena fragrance it left behind post-shower was universally described as "yummy!"
Aveeno Positively Nourishing 24-Hour Ultra-Hydrating Whipped Soufflé Body Moisturizer
($9; at drugstores)
This rich, "but not greasy," moisturizer was a hit with testers. The ultra-hydrating effects are courtesy of shea and cocoa butters, which are whipped into a light, airy texture. Plus, it contains oatmeal, which "calms any irritation and really locks in moisture," says Downie.
Victoria's Secret Island Escape Nourishing Body Cream
You know how a favorite scent can instantly call up a happy memory? Well you'll be remembering that fabulous tropical getaway every time you apply this rich body lotion, which smells subtly of coconut, sugarcane, and ocean breezes. "I get a little whiff of vacation when I smooth it on in the morning," said one tester.
Burt's Bees Naturally Ageless Skin Smoothing Hand Cream with Pomegranate & Shea Butter
This is destined to become a desk drawer staple since it's "instantly smoothing and doesn't leave behind a greasy residue," says Bemis. She praised the formula that includes shea butter and "a milk-based alpha hydroxy acid to help even out age spots."
Nivea Good-Bye Cellulite Fast Acting Serum
Testers were pleasantly surprised to find that this "fast-acting" serum lived up to its name. "After a few days my legs looked less dimply and firmer," says one. That's because the L-carnitine and lotus leaf extract work together to tighten skin and make lumps look less obvious.
Bliss Fat Girl Scrub
No scrub will wash away your cellulite, but this one leaves skin "smoother and tighter." Red algae reduces water retention, Himalayan salt exfoliates, and peppermint extract makes it feel cool and refreshing in the shower.