The 2016 “I Recommend” Beauty Awards: Skincare Winners


Cult classics, perennial favourites, new innovations—this is your best in beauty

What products do Canada’s beauty experts recommend the most? Every year, we ask you, our readers—the savvy pros who see, sample and swatch tons of options on the job.

Here are this year’s winners in our skincare category, and why our voters said they’re sure to impress:

Photography and styling (throughout): Erik Putz

Photography and styling (throughout): Erik Putz


1. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, $16–$20.
Invented by a pharmacist for maximum mildness, this face/body wash has no soap or fragrance. “Super gentle and skin never feels stripped.”

2. Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser, $34.
Made with coconut extract and cottonseed, this mousse-like formula nixes grime while soothing the face. “Gives such a rich lather and leaves skin silky-soft.”

3. Bioderma Sensibio H2O, $7–$27.
A cult classic in French pharmacies, this micellar solution removes makeup like magic; just soak a cotton pad and swipe. “Best no-rinse cleansing water. Can’t believe what it takes off.”

4. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream, $20.
This cool gel has racked up accolades (including a WWD Product of the Year win) since its launch a few years ago. “One of the few mass products with a high concentration of hyaluronic acid.”

5. Biotherm Aquasource, $50.
Mannose, a sugar derived from tree pulp, is the hero hydrator in this lightweight gel. “Fresh, absorbs quickly and great for under makeup.”

6. Vichy Aqualia Thermal, $39.
This soothing cream combines hyaluronic acid, red algae extract and a patented molecule that hydrates by stimulating water movement between skin cells. “Love this texture. Excellent moisturizing power.”


1. Marcelle Hydra-C Daily Radiance Scrub, $13.
This popular scrub (recently reformulated with eco-friendly microbeads) is made with jojoba. “The small, round beads don’t scratch the skin, and the vitamin C helps brighten.”

2. Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, $37.
Made with energizing orange extract, this sweeps away impurities and dull skin cells. “The smell and texture alone are exactly what a prestige product should be.”

3. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+], $25.
The salicylic acid helps clear blemishes, vitamin B3 soothes inflammation, and a patented ceramide protects against acne scarring. “Moisturizes while getting at the root of the acne.”

4. Garnier SkinActive Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller, $20.
With caffeine and mint extracts to stimulate microcirculation as it massages the eye area, this roller ball helps deflate swollenness. “Keep it in the refrigerator. Puffiness doesn’t stand a chance.”

5. Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate, $85.
Loaded with plant extracts like organic harungana, this cream helps reduce wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles. “Loved by customers. Perfect for all ages.”

6. Avène Soothing Eye Contour Cream, $24.
The thermal spring water in this lightweight cream helps reduce tightness and redness. “The best at treating eye eczema. This will cure any irritation.”


1. La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense, $34.
This daily gel serum features a polyphenol-rich plant extract that decreases the size of dilated capillaries. “Instantly reduces redness and helps prevent flare-ups.”

2. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 50, $34.
Made with mineral UV filters only, this sunscreen dries down to a matte finish. “No greasy texture and no white cast. The tint gives a nice glow.”

3. RoC Enydrial Repairing Lip Care, $7.
An emollient complex and soothing chamomile extract ease chapping. “Repairs like no other balm! Works well under drying lipsticks.”

4. No. 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum, $35.
This serum reduces signs of aging with a new form of Matrixyl (the anti-wrinkle peptide) and an antioxidant complex. “It’s highly acclaimed and available at a great price point.”

5. Clarins Double Serum, $88.
This dual-chambered serum packs a whopping 20 plant extracts to boost cellular renewal. “Gold in a bottle! This works on five signs of aging and gives skin that Jennifer Lopez glow.”

6. Vichy LiftActiv Supreme, $50.
Caffeine and light-reflecting ingredients improve the look of skin instantly, while a plant sugar helps give long-term results. “Texture is to die for. Lifts, illuminates and reduces the appearance of fine lines.”