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The Background: Obagi Medical is highly-sought after for its dedicated ranges that target both problematic complexions and core skin concerns. What’s more, everything is scientifically-backed – so much so, nothing is launched until it’s been rigorously tested and approved. No wonder it continues to win a host of awards globally. Even better, the concise and curated line-up of products are all easy to understand and use.
Why It’s Recommended: Obagi offer medical-grade skincare, designed to eliminate the need for invasive and expensive clinic treatments – with that in mind, it’s easy to see why dermatologists love the brand. Alongside the traditional products – think cleansers, toners and moisturisers – you’ll also find liquid exfoliators and powerhouse serums that deliver visible results in weeks. They also have several targeted ranges, notably The Obagi Nu-Derm which dermatologists often recommend for anyone suffering with age spots, rough skin or hyperpigmentation. Look out for the Obagi360 range, too, suitable for those with younger skin wanting to tackle dullness, uneven texture and enlarged pores, but without causing inflammation or sensitives.
The Background: After Medik8 founder Elliot Isaacs created an anti-redness product for his family, this brand was born. Having built a lab in the back of his dad’s pharmacy, he embarked on an education in physiology, pharmacology and biochemistry to create a concise line of products that, to this day, continues to gain traction with customers and professionals, alike. The brand also champions sustainability and less waste, with savvier packaging and well-thought-out ingredients.
Why It’s Recommended: Experts and consultant dermatologists like Dr Justine Kluk swear by Medik8. With formulas you can trust, their launches are designed to give you healthier-looking skin by harnessing some of the most current and buzzworthy ingredients. Customers love the anti-ageing products, too, which yield results at speed. Look out for their Press & Glow tonic – a must-have for dull, lacklustre skin – and their low-grade retinols if you’re keen to try one for the first time.
The Background: A French pharmacy classic, La Roche-Posay has long been lauded one of the best brands for high-quality skincare, without the hefty price tag. Previously sold exclusively in French pharmacies, their formulas have been created with sensitive skin types in mind, so you can expect lightweight textures that never suffocate or feel too occlusive. As the years have gone on, the brand has added an array of targeted, trusted treatments for specific skin concerns to its range – think acne, anti-ageing and sun protection, too.
Why It’s Often Recommended: Few brands target and treat quite like La Roche-Posay. Loved for their fuss-free formulas and gentle approach, they create products that can be tolerated by even the most sensitive of skin. If you ever see a dermatologist, they’re likely to recommend Effaclar H – a go-to for adding moisture without the greasiness, it’s brilliant for those prone to spots or breakouts. Likewise, their Cicaplast Baume B5 Cream tackles a bit of everything – be it sensitivities, dryness or conditions like eczema. With formulations that are simple, yet well-devised, it’s easy to see why the brand has stood the test of time.
The Background: A brand which uses some of the biggest and most popular ingredients available today, including glycolic acid, Exuviance was developed by skincare experts. Brimming with powerful antioxidants and active ingredients, the products are still gentle enough for all skin types to get involved. You’ll find options to target wrinkles, sun damage and issues like rosacea, but predominantly, it’s a brilliant brand to try if your key concerns are preventing the early signs of ageing.
Why It’s Often Recommended: Founded by dermatologists Dr. Van Scott and Yu, the brand is widely recognised as one of the best for results. While nothing will get rid of wrinkles or dark spots overnight, their products do help diffuse the appearance of both, and suit a range of specific needs – from sun damaged skin, to oily-prone, those with acne and dryness. Some of the key heroes include their Blend Skin Caring Foundation which is non-comodegenic – great for those concerned about clogging up their pores. Experts also rate their glow-giving serums, too, which are full of active ingredients – think vitamins A, C, E and AHAs – for swift results.
The Background: CeraVe arrived in the UK just over two years ago and has quickly proved popular with both consumers and industry experts. Developed with dermatologists, it's the no-frills, results-driven skincare brand with accessible price points and it’s suitable for most skin types. No surprise then, that during lockdown searches for the brand soared, with many seeking a more pared-back routine that still delivered quick results.
Why It’s Often Recommended: CeraVe prides itself of maintaining the barrier function of the skin. Experts say this is key, because a healthy barrier is paramount to a good complexion. That’s why they use ingredients like ceramides (which are lipids) to prevent dehydration and dryness, while each product is designed to target your individual concerns. The most recommended buy tends to be the Foaming Facial Cleanser which hydrates, removes make-up and calms inflammation. The other is the Salicylic Acid Smoothing Cream, which tackles under the skin bumps, uneven tone and ingrown hairs, while maintaining hydration levels, too. A must-try if you’re on a budget.
The Background: Bioderma launched in the 1970s with one primary goal: to harness the ingredients and molecules that are naturally found in the skin. The result? Products which are tolerated by all, and backed by thorough scientific research, so you can be safe in the knowledge you’re getting the very best. Only available to the UK since 2015, the brand is already a global bestseller, with one of its cult micellar waters selling every six seconds. You’d be hard-pushed to find a dermatologist that doesn’t recommend at least one of their products, with many dubbing it the best brand for ‘stressed, over-worked complexions.’
Why It’s Recommended: Gentle, effective and soothing, Bioderma is a dream for sensitive (or dry) skin types, although it must be said just about anyone can benefit from using their products. Designed to calm, it’s a brilliant brand if you’re looking to hit ‘reset’ or you want to simplify a complex regime. What’s more, each product is developed by dermatologists, as well as being free from irritants like parabens, phthalates and formaldehydes, so it’s great if you’re prone to breakouts or inflammation. The iconic micellar offers a thorough cleanse in one swipe, but their body washes are just as popular, as are their moisturisers if you want a hit of hydration that won’t clog up pores.
The Background: You may not have heard of this one before, but it’s a brand well worth having on your radar. Launched in 2016 and developed by a group of skincare-savvy scientists and physicians, think of this as medical-grade skincare. Offering potent ingredients and high strength formulas, it’s stocked across a number of global clinics, with the slick formulations offering a solution to issues like acne, sensitivity and inflammation, too.
Why It’s Often Recommended: Committed to results-driven skincare, AlumierMD allows customers to try out high-grade formulas at home. You can only buy their products exclusively through certified skincare professionals, which is often why the brand is so well-regarded, but you’ll gain a personalised skincare regime and advice for your individual needs. With everything available to be delivered to your door, dermatologist favourites include the Acne Balancing Serum, Enzymatic Peel, and their Retinol Resurfacing Serum 1.0. Plus, they’ve excluded more than 1,300 substances banned by the EU for cleaner formulations.
Where To Find It: AlumierMd.co.uk
The Background: SkinCeuticals is a brand that’s stood the test of time. Launched by scientist, teacher, dermatologist and chemist Dr. Pinnel, the entire line-up of products were designed to help people achieve healthier-looking skin, while reversing the most common signs of ageing, too. They’re also one of the first brands to have used vitamin C in skincare and to laud its impressive results. Since starting in 1994, the brand has gone on to become a household name, with heaps of scientific research behind them, you can guarantee their breakthrough buys will deliver the very best – and most potent – ingredients for speedy results. From cleansers and cult serums to moisturisers and eye creams, there’s something for everyone to try, no matter your skin sensitivity.
Why It's Recommended: SkinCeuticals is one of those brands that just works. It falls into the ‘cosmeceutical’ category, which put simply, means they use medical-grade ingredients that are clinically-proven to treat a roster of skincare issues. It’s because of this that experts consistently recommend it to their clients – in fact, you’d be hard-pushed to find a dermatologist that doesn’t use at least one of their products in their own regime. Look out for their best-selling C E Ferulic which helps skin to become firmer, smoother and more uniform in texture with regular use. Another must-try is their brand new Silymarin CF – an antioxidant serum that targets blemishes and oily skin with gentle exfoliation. Whichever you choose, you’re guaranteed to see results within weeks.