Whether your skincare regimen is best described as maximalist or minimalist, budget-friend or luxury, there are a select few skincare brands that are universally beloved for the cult-worthy range of beauty products. From little known French pharmacy finds to top-rated department store buys and Korean beauty wonders. And let’s not forget the natural brands which are currently surging in popularity. Whether you’re hoping to achieve Meghan Markle’s glowing complexion or get the lowdown on Miranda Kerr’s organic skincare secrets. Here, we countdown the most notable skincare brands from around the globe (in no particular order because let’s face it, choosing only ten was hard enough).
Calling all luxury lovers: Japenese skincare brand Tatcha is adored by Meghan Marke and Kim Kardashian. According to beauty folklore, Kim and Meghan reach for the Rice Polish Classic Foaming Enzyme Powder on a daily basis. The brand’s best-sellers also include the Water Cream and One Step Cleaning Camelia Oil.
Founded by Victoria Tsai, the beauty guru’s own experience with “hardcore dermatitis” inspired a trip to the East to find a more whole-life, diet and ingredient-focused take on skincare. Long search short, she met a modern-day geisha in Kyoto who showed her the Miyakofuzoku kewaiden – a traditional beauty playbook that geisha have used for centuries.
“The best word to describe how I felt when I met the geisha is kensho—it’s a Japanese word that refers to a flash of inspiration. It feels like you can almost see your future with utter clarity,” she told The Memo.
“It opened my eyes to a completely different way to think about beauty, inside and out.”
Relatively new to the scene, all natural brand Drunk Elephant is quickly achieving “cult” status for their synthetic-free, toxin-free skincare range which actually delivers on what’s written on the bottle.
Their Lala Retro Whipped Cream was recently voted best moisturise in Australia and boasts six antioxidant-rich African oils designed to increase your skin’s elasticity and moisture. Plus, it’s packed with fermented green tea to combat agieng and inflammation.
One enthusiastic reviewer wrote, “the texture of this cream is quite thick and exactly how the name states “whipped” consistency.
“It’s extremely nourishing and the ingredients list is extremely luxurious and what appealed to me the most when purchasing this product. Drunk Elephant uses marula oil in all their products which is fantastic as it is such an amazing oil for all skin and absorbs so well and works wonders for my skin.”
Named after the city in which this French pharmacy brand was founded, La Roche Posay has been recognized by the scientific community for its skin care properties thanks to its high content in Selenium, a rare and powerful natural antioxidant. Formulated with the miraculous thermal water native to the region; this dermatologically-approved range is designed for sensitive skin types.
If you’ve ever found yourself browsing through the aisles of Sephora overseas (hands up!), you’ve more than likely come across cult skincare brand Fresh. One of the first skincare brands to start talking about—and using—natural ingredients, Fresh is the brainchild of Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg, who founded the range in 1991.
The one product that everyone needs to try? The Soy Cleanser which sells one unit every minute, the cult product that was the brand’s first foray into skincare. It uses the amino acid-rich ingredient to gently cleanse the skin and remove make-up, leaving your complexion soft and nourished.
Sunday Riley challenges the myth that naturally derived products are less effective than their more chemical-y counterparts. With millennial product names like Luna, Juno, UFO—it’s no wonder the brand is a staple on the bathroom shelves of fashion-girls everywhere.
Beauty conglomerate Deciem, best known for its affordable skin care line The Ordinary, had been in turmoil after former-CEO Brandon Truaxe announced via a now-deleted Instagram post that the stores would be temporarily shut down and accused the company of criminal activity. After many ups and downs, The Ordinary is officially back!
Chances are you’ve heard of Glossier, founded by New York cool-girl Emily Weiss, 33, the line of skincare and make-up products not only sets trends but also it manages to set itself apart.
If 16-step contouring tutorials are the problem, then Glossier’s clean packaging and user-friendly millennial pink products are the cure. It’s basically, no make-up, make-up. In the last year, Glossier has expanded beyond its hero products (Brow Bow and Milky Jelly cleanser) to include perfume, eyeshadow and most recently mascara. Beyoncé, Saoirse Ronan and Chrissy Tegen have all worn the brand’s products on the red carpet.
SkinCeuticals is the brainchild of anti-ageing skincare scientist Dr. Sheldon Pinnell. Pinnell’s research paved the way for continued development and delivery of innovative skincare products that improve the overall health and appearance of the skin. The first SkinCeuticals products were the classic Serum 10 and Serum 15, which established the company as a rising presence in the beauty industry. Over the years, SkinCeuticals added vitamins, antioxidants, and sun protection to its products to broaden the range.
Estée Lauder, the founder of the company that bears her name, was a visionary and a role model. Lauder built her brand on this one simple and inspiring belief: “discover what makes you beautiful.” Today the brand’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex is one of the top-selling anti-geing products around the world.
Founded in Switzerland, this luxury beauty brand is responsible for creating the most covetable and high-dollar products, which cost anywhere from $400 to $1,600 a jar. So what makes the products so good? Part of it has to do with the La Prairie origin story. In 1931, a glandular transplant specialist named Dr. Paul Niehans started researching cell therapy. He believed that the root to all successful skincare could only be found at the cellular level. From a stunning chalet hidden away in the Swiss mountains, Dr. Niehans developed what is now known as the exclusive cellular complex, found in all of La Prairie’s products. The complex is produced in three separate laboratories so that the complete recipe remains a secret; no single La Prairie chemist knows the full formula.