Grooming Awards 2023: Face Products
Aug 12, 2023
The AskMen editorial team thoroughly researches & reviews the best gear, services and staples for life. AskMen may get paid if you click a link in this article and buy a product or service.
AskMen’s long-running Grooming Awards are back with the best product, treatment, and device recommendations for making sure you look and feel your absolute best in 2023. Whether you’re looking for a top-tier hair trimmer, a serum to make your skin glow, or a cologne to entrance your next date, we’ve got you covered.
That’s because AskMen writer and grooming expert Joey Skladany combed through thousands of products released in the past year and handpicked the ones that stood out as must-haves. And each and every Grooming Award winner is recommended and tested not just by beauty industry insiders and professional dermatologists, but also, and most importantly, consumers like you.
Humans are social creatures, and it’s hard to overstate the importance of the face when it comes to interactions with others — we judge people based on how their faces look, whether we register it or not. So it only makes sense to invest in your face a little, whether that’s via cleansing products, scrubs, serums or creams.
Without further ado, these are AskMen’s top picks for the best face care products in 2023:
Wipe off sweat, dirt, and environmental grime with this vegan-certified cleanser that features jojoba beads and natural fruit enzymes that exfoliate while moisturizing. Its wild violet, pine, and cedarwood fragrance blend will also have you sniffing yourself excessively throughout the day, so it’s best to use before bed when you don’t plan on going out in public.
$40 at Jackfir.com
This Greek yogurt-based face wash is chock-full of pre and probiotics that leave skin feeling pure, smooth, and, most importantly, clean. Use it to tone complexion and reduce redness while also locking in much-needed hydration in areas that feel like they belong to a reptile.
$25.99 at Walmart.com
Enjoy the benefits of clean, pH-balanced skin without stripping it of necessary moisture with Pili Ani’s much-hyped gentle facial cleanser. Boasting elemi oil (typically used to treat muscle pain and tiredness), the powerful ingredient also helps to minimize breakouts by keeping the surface free of bacteria-causing acne.
$32 at PiliAni.com
Charcoal minimizes oil and shine with BlackWolf’s beloved face wash, which has garnered thousands of five-star reviews across the web. And while it keeps those over-producing pores in check, it never deprives the face of too much hydration so you can bank on smooth, bright, acne-free skin every time.
$25 at BlackWolfNation.com
Crafted with a sulfate-free formula with hydration-boosting marine peptides and nourishing chamomile essential oils, this calming cleanser is perfect for any face in need of a little extra care and attention. It’s also an ideal wash after a facial, peel, or anything that may have caused minor, yet oh-so-necessary trauma to the skin.
$35 at DrLoretta.com
Brand new to the market, this cleansing cream oozes luxury with a gold leaf and alkaline hot spring water base that purifies, restores radiance, and leaves the dermis feeling plump and supple. It also does an excellent job of removing makeup, in case you’re the type to never leave the house without concealer or powder.
$130 at AlbionGarden.com
If you’re looking to buff away dead skin for a clearer and smoother complexion, opt for this gray sea salt and bamboo charcoal scrub from Kosette. It’s also gentle enough to use as a daily cleanser, which is ideal for those who seem to shed their skin more often than a snake.
$24 at KosetteSALT.com
Uneven skin tone sufferers will rejoice after using these exfoliating toner wipes that tout PHAs and caffeine to unclog pores and soothe the surface without irritation. They’re also easy to use with a few quick swipes and zero water necessary.
$25 at CardonSkin.com
The only thing you’ll love more than a gin and tonic is Clinique’s exfoliating tonic that de-flakes, minimizes oil build-up, and even preps the face for shaving. Over time, it also reduces the appearance of acne scars and blemishes, making it the multi-purpose product that demands a spot in your medicine cabinet.
$26 at Sephora.com
Sagging skin, fine lines, and wrinkles? We don’t see them, at least after using Horace’s face-firming gel for a few weeks. It is so effective at feeding hydration into the skin that you don’t even need a moisturizer to lock your products in as a final step.
$27 at Horace.com
We love a serum that does it all and SkinCeuticals’ Retexturing Activator works overtime to both exfoliate the skin and replenish it with moisture. Its patented technology also aims to optimize the skin’s amino acid supply while reinforcing the strength of the external barrier, making it a morning routine must-have like a cup of coffee or brushing your teeth.
$90 at SkinCeuticals.com
There are 20-plus soothing botanicals in this bottle that restore youthful elasticity and overall balance. Broad spectrum CBD also helps to minimize swelling, redness, and any type of pain in the face (including psoriasis), so you should allow your skin to practically bathe in the stuff for best results.
$89.99 at ElementApothec.com
Muri Lelu is the first clean luxury skincare brand utilizing full flower ingredients and we can’t get enough. From calming indica oil to rejuvenating sativa serum, the line’s weed-based products emulate the plant’s effects when ingested, but on your face.
Find out more at MuriLelu.com
This trio of ubiquinone, Matrixyl 3000, and pure hyaluronic acid is the ultimate weapon against wrinkles and visible signs of aging. It also targets dullness, leaving your face bright, vibrant, and ready to conquer the day’s face-forward activities like leading a presentation or going on a first date.
$18.89 at Amazon.com
Intercept, indeed, with Ourself’s daily dark spot brightening serum that visibly reduces and prevents the look of uneven pigmentation. The company’s Brightening Intide™ Intelligent Peptide technology not only works (and is scientifically proven), but the product’s gun-metal, refillable packaging makes a stunning addition to any bathroom countertop.
$260 at Ourself.com
Jaxon Lane’s Super Serum lives up to its name with a powerful blend of niacinamide, tranexamic acid, vitamins C and E, peptides, bakuchiol, galactomyces ferment, hyaluronic acid, squalane, centella, green tea, ginger, and ginseng that supercharges the skin, leaving it smooth, healthy, and ready to take on the elements of pollution and whatever the world throws your way.
$46 at JaxonLane.com
We can’t get enough of this hyaluronic acid serum that immediately plumps the skin by deeply penetrating its surface for long-lasting efficacy. Even after applying before bed, we awoke to smooth, hydrated skin that, frankly, didn’t need a spot of moisturizer for the entire morning.
$129 at PerriconeMD.com
Elemis went under the sea to forage for padina pavonica, a brown algae known to support hydration, for its appropriately titled Marine Mask. Use it twice a week for a face-lifting effect that will save you many trips to the dermatologist or even plastic surgeon.
$145 at Elemis.com
If your face is a blank canvas, paint it only with this vitamin C enzyme polish from Osea Malibu that removes build-up while brightening the entire surface. Its rice powder also acts as a natural exfoliator so you can turn over dead skin cells and make room for a more radiant glow.
$72 at OseaMalibu.com
Vintner’s Daughter’s Active Botanical Serum is an AskMen 2022 Grooming Award winner, so it only made sense for us to go hog-wild over their latest treatment essence that balances adaptogens while infusing skin-healthy enzymes into the face’s surface. It’s also made from 100% natural ingredients, so you can feel good about it being quickly absorbed after cleansing.
$225 at VintnersDaughter.com
This overnight mask with maqui, acai, prickly pear, and goji berry is powerful, antioxidant-heavy, and full of brightening vitamin C so that you can wake up feeling and looking like you absolutely got your beauty sleep.
$52 at YouthToThePeople.com
You are what you drink, at least while using Skin Proud’s kombucha overnight mask that softens the skin and practically eliminates any and all signs of irritation. It’s also fragrance-free and dermatologically tested, so you can kiss pesky breakouts goodbye.
$16.09 at Walmart.com
Turn the clock back a few years with Invity’s Youth-Activating Facial Sheet Mask. Containing nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and plant actives, these sheets will activate your skin’s natural cellular defense and energy system while hydrating it with ingredients like prickly pear and tamarind seed gum.
$55 at MyInvity.com
Say goodnight to a face that shows the signs of a long and tiring day. Geologie’s Repairing Night Cream transforms skin with a retinol base that’s available in three different strength levels. You also only need two to three pumps for maximum effectiveness, so a little goes a long way.
$23 at Geologie.com
If you suffer from blotchy skin or rosacea, Lumin’s solution is to utilize the good ol’ fashioned color wheel to correct and cancel redness with an opposing, pore-reducing green formula. Apply it underneath the rest of your skincare products and cover with a light foundation or tinted moisturizer for picture-perfect, almost airbrushed-looking skin.
$19 at LuminSkin.com
Satin is precisely the word we’d like to associate with our undereye area and Orvos delivers with a gel cream that cools on contact with a golden application tip. Coffee seed extract helps to de-puff immediately with its natural caffeine content, but you’ll also see dark circles and fine lines fade away over time, making it the ever-so-cliched miracle product.
$110 at OrvosSkinScience.com
Shopping on Clearstem’s website is dangerous because you’ll quickly find a shopping cart full of practically everything the company has to offer. And it’s because products like the Clearity Serum and Vitamin Scrub actually work by targeting pre-existing cystic acne and preventing future breakouts, all with holistic ingredients combined to regulate hormonal oil production.
Find out more at ClearstemSkincare.com
Sometimes prescription treatments are the only cure for bouts of long-term acne. But a trip to the dermatologist can be expensive and a headache, so Curology has designed a program that addresses practically any individual need. Of course, they sell many pimple-fighting bestsellers without requiring a doctor, but half the fun is answering questions about your skin and having the brand concoct a customized blend of topicals to treat your condition.
Find out more at Curology.com
Good ol’ benzoyl peroxide can shrink an unwelcome zit in no time, but Proactiv elevates a standard, over-the-counter cream by offering a blemish relief alternative that won’t strip the skin of its natural moisture. Use this to spot-treat inflamed areas as soon as you feel the soreness of a cyst and it will stop it in its tracks.
$18.70 at Proactiv.com
You’ve likely seen these patches promoted all over social media by beauty influencers, but they’re no gimmick. They flatten pimples and pull out gunk and grime overnight, resulting in clearer skin that will now be protected from the urge to squeeze and pick.
$12.99 at HeroCosmetics.us
Conditioner for the skin makes entirely too much sense. In the fight against dryness, this option from Albion Garden features superfood extracts and witch hazel to not only nourish the skin, but also make it feel silky-smooth.
$35 at AlbionGarden.com
Sometimes we overdo it, whether by choice or by exposing our faces to the elements of pollution, cold weather, or sun. This Recovery Treatment Oil will forgive you for putting your skin through the ringer by hydrating, firming, and balancing it with high-quality ingredients like evening primrose, grapeseed, and avocado oils.
$82 at MalinAndGoetz.com
Lightweight and boasting a 20 SPF, this critically-acclaimed moisturizer from beloved men’s skincare brand, Jack Black, will undoubtedly become a part of your daily routine. It’s not greasy, it smells wonderful, and it accommodates any skin type without causing breakouts or dryness.
$30 at GetJackBlack.com
Oprah-backed Dr. Barbara Sturm is deserving of all the fanfare, especially with this face cream for men that is fast-absorbing and ideal for freshly-shaved, irritated skin. Be sure to also invest in the German aesthetic doc’s cleanser to prep the face and it rid of any lingering bacteria.
$225 at DrSturm.com
A boost in collagen is what any sullen, dry-skinned face desperately needs and Skinworx has developed a nourish and repair cream that kicks any cracks, flakes, and crepes to the curb. The only negative is that you’ll have to prepare for an onslaught of compliments from people asking why your skin looks so good.
$138 at MySkinworx.com
Forehead grease puddles, begone. Kiehl’s oil-free gel cream moisturizes skin while reducing shine, yielding a matted finish that will have you deleting Facetune and skipping over the Instagram Paris filter. It also cools on contact, so it’s ideal for any face in need of some reinvigoration.
$67 at Kiehls.com
A blend of over 30 Ayurvedic ingredients and antioxidants, Ranavat’s Restoring Moonseed Treatment feels less like a nighttime necessity and more like a trip to the spa. The solid balm formula transforms into a decadent oil, once applied, and only requires two days a week of use for maximum efficacy.
$125 at Ranavat.com
Water- and perspiration-resistant, non-greasy, and with a sheer finish, there is a lot to love about ZO Skin’s daily 50 SPF sunscreen that will not only protect, but also bring much-welcomed moisture to drier skin. Apply it upon waking and kiss those harmful UVA and UVB rays goodbye.
$70 at ZOSkinHealth.com
Coconut oil seems to be the cure for practically any health condition, so it’s no surprise that the miracle ingredient works effectively as part of a dental floss. Woven with over 500 fibers and flavored for your pleasure, this oral instrument will actually make you want to floss so that you don’t have to lie to your dentist at your six-month exam.
$10 at Cocofloss.com
This is the toothbrush to buy in bulk so that you always have a spare one on hand. Its cleaning bristles and polishing cups work in tandem to reduce bacteria, remove plaque, and, most importantly, eliminate stains so you can flash those pearly whites with confidence.
$15.97 for 6 at Amazon.com
Oral-B’s popular electric toothbrush isn’t just for cleaning teeth, it’s a lesson in dental hygiene. A pressure sensor stops the device if you brush too hard and the in-handle timer pulses every 30 seconds so you know when to switch areas of the mouth. It also has a built-in countdown to ensure that you’re brushing for the dentist-recommended two minutes and not rushing to bed with food stuck behind your molars.
$46.99 at Amazon.com
We polled a handful of dentists and, unsurprisingly, the number one part of the mouth that patients tend to ignore is the gums. So this year we’re on a mission to treat them specifically and it starts with Paradontax’s Clean Mint Toothpaste. While this fluoride-filled formula will never take the place of actual flossing, it can help to reduce plaque and, as a result, alleviate the presence of bleeding or inflamed gums.
$8.29 at Amazon.com
Fluoride-free with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, Tom’s of Maine has made a true commitment to plant-based ingredients with a surprisingly tasty tube that stands up to most major brands in cost and quality.
$9.98 at Amazon.com
Nothing will compare to a Crest White Strip, but for those who suffer from extreme tooth sensitivity, Lumineux offers the next best thing. These whiten teeth effectively and efficiently without feeling like you’ve dipped your canines into a painful combo of battery acid and the coldest water you can find.
$40 at LumineuxHealth.com
Coffee drinkers, listen up. Here’s something to smile about. iSmile’s LED Light Activated Teeth Whitening Kit can take literal years of yellow stains off your chompers with an easy-to-use device, gel, and mouth tray that yields results after only one treatment.
$49.99 at ShopiSmile.com
Bid adieu to bad breath with Smart Mouth’s O.G. mouthwash. The dual-action bottle features a double spout that activates two liquids: a bacteria eliminator and zinc ion preventer to have you feeling confident and minty-fresh, both day and night.
$10.33 at Walmart.com
We know what you’re probably thinking: a brand that specializes in hair makes a great lip balm? The answer is a resounding yes. This ultra-premium blend of vitamin E, peppermint, and eucalyptus oil helps to seal in moisture but with a matte finish. Trust us when we say it will always be in your back pocket.
$21.99 for 2 at Manscaped.com
Boy brows are all the rage among women and, lucky for you, you’re likely already rocking them. But sometimes those scraggly, thick hairs need to be controlled, and that’s where Glossier’s Boy Brow Gel comes into play. It’s a creamy and brushable pomade that keeps brows in place without causing them to flake or look too overdone.
$24 at Sephora.com
Juvederm’s latest filler, Volux, has men in mind by specializing in chin and jawline enhancement. It is much stronger than its family of other injectables, melding into the natural contours and anatomy of the face to achieve a more classic masculine look. Read all about it here.
Find out more at Juvederm.com
Science-forward skincare really gets us excited. Founded by leading NYC dermatologist, Dr. Sherwin Parikh and beauty industry veteran Sandra Statz, A.P. CHEM utilizes a proprietary blend called “Alt-Pharma,” which aims to incorporate unusual ingredients like polyglutamic acid and neuropeptides into its skincare. Results are science-backed and must fall in line with the company’s primary objective to hit pause on the external factors that impact quality of skin.
Find out more at APCHEMBeauty.com
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