Welcome to the 2023 SELF Healthy Beauty Awards! We are thrilled to present you with the best skin, hair, makeup, and body-care products of the year. As editors, this is one of the most fun projects we get to work on: We test thousands of items—an admittedly fabulous part of the job—and then scrupulously review them, all in the name of helping you figure out what’s worth it. We dish over Slack, discussing what we loved and what we didn’t, sharing our nutty misadventures along the way. We take selfies, videos, and photos of the stacks of boxes crowding our homes—to the dismay of many significant others and begrudging roommates. It’s a hectic, complicated, and at times overwhelming process—but we do it so that we can leave you with only the best recommendations.
And we don’t just aim to tell you what you should buy; we want to help you figure out how to use all this stuff, and learn what’s best for you. Taking care of your body is an extremely personal endeavor, and just because someone on TikTok has a 12-step routine doesn’t mean you should. After all, each person has their own goals and preferences. So here’s what we’re trying to accomplish instead: We’ll tell you what works and why, and let you fill your shopping cart from there.
Now, let’s get into the nitty gritty of our 2023 Awards: You’ll see all the usual suspects, including face moisturizers; cleansers; serums, masks, and spot treatments; body care; shampoos and conditioners; hair care products; makeup; and items to help you take care of your nails, hands, and feet. This year, we’ve added a new category, too: the best high-tech devices for skin and hair. Like last year, you’ll notice our Healthy Beauty badges, denoting what’s vegan, pregnancy safe, or Black-owned for shopping at a glance.
To start the process, we opened up submissions, and received more than 3,100 from more than 1,800 brands. Editors went through each one, and determined what was worthy of moving forward to the testing round. From there, we called in 1,200 of those products and put 47 testers—a combination of SELF editors, skin care enthusiasts, dermatologists, influencers, and everyday people who span a wide range of skin and hair types, ages, and even professions—to work. Testers had two months to make their way through dozens of products, and submitted written reviews for each one.
Then, SELF editors dove into the reviews, and combed through tester insights along with ingredient lists. Using criteria we developed alongside dermatologists Shari Marchbein, MD; Fatima Fahs, MD, FAAD; Joyce Park, MD; and dentist Julie Cho, DMD, we determined whether each product had the necessary active ingredients to accomplish its claims. Ultimately, we picked 201 winners. They’re all items we proudly stand behind, and are thrilled to recommend to you.
Below, you can take a look at our Healthy Beauty guide, a breakdown of what products and ingredients you should be looking for based on your skin and hair type. Not sure of yours? No problem—we’ve also included pointers on how to recognize which applies best to you based on your needs. We know that reading the fine print usually isn’t the fun part of shopping for a new product—plus, sleek, aesthetically pleasing labels can be convincing—so we’re happy to do the gumshoe part of it all on your behalf.