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The Very Best Skincare Advice We Were Given In 2021

·5 min read

From mandatory mask-wearing and facing the polluted office commute again to finally enjoying a proper summer with friends and family, 2021 is bound to have taken a toll on your skin.

You might have had to contend with maskne, heatwave-related sun damage or stress-induced spots to pinpoint a handful of gripes. Through it all, the industry's best skincare experts have been on hand to impart their stellar advice.

Over the past year we've spoken to some of the biggest names in beauty for their take on all things healthy and happy skin, including London's best facialist Jasmina Vico, renowned aesthetician Dija Ayodele and sought-after dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto — and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Ahead, we round up the very best skincare advice we were given in 2021 and how it can serve you well into next year.

Refinery29's selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us.

Makeup artist <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/bobbi-brown-jones-road-makeup-interview" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Bobbi Brown" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Bobbi Brown</a> shared a pretty genius chapped lips hack earlier this year. "If my lips are dry, I put eye cream on them," she said. "Lip balm is more of a protectant and eye cream will absorb better." <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/how-to-heal-dry-chapped-lips" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:TikTokers" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">TikTokers</a> are also obsessed, priming damp lips with eye cream before slathering on balm. If you think about it, eye cream is formulated for the most delicate skin so why shouldn't it work on lips, too? We love <a href="https://jonesroadbeauty.com/products/eye-cream" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jones Road Eye Cream, £31" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jones Road Eye Cream, £31</a>, and <a href="https://www.lookfantastic.com/kiehl-s-creamy-eye-treatment-with-avocado-various-sizes/12916107.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, £26.50" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, £26.50</a>, for max hydration.
Makeup artist Bobbi Brown shared a pretty genius chapped lips hack earlier this year. "If my lips are dry, I put eye cream on them," she said. "Lip balm is more of a protectant and eye cream will absorb better." TikTokers are also obsessed, priming damp lips with eye cream before slathering on balm. If you think about it, eye cream is formulated for the most delicate skin so why shouldn't it work on lips, too? We love Jones Road Eye Cream, £31, and Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, £26.50, for max hydration.
<a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/jodie-comer-beauty-interview" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jodie Comer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jodie Comer</a>'s facialist <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/jasmina-vico-facialist-skincare-advice" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jasmina Vico" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jasmina Vico</a> uses one transformative ingredient in her own skincare routine (and recommends it to most clients). <br><br>Enter: <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/egf-skin-benefits-botox-alternative" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:stem cells" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">stem cells</a>. <br><br>"I like to use skincare products which contain stem cells and <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/egf-skin-benefits-botox-alternative" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:growth factors" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">growth factors</a> in the evening," Jasmina told R29 this year. "Stem cells simply rejuvenate your skin," which makes them a great addition to any pro-ageing skincare routine if you're keen to boost your skin's bounce and radiance. "They can be plant-based or animal-based and you can even grow your own in a lab, though that will cost you thousands," she added. <br><br>The pro mentioned that she is a fan of skincare brand <a href="https://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/brands/bioeffect.list" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Bioeffect" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Bioeffect</a>. From serums to moisturisers, the brand uses stem cells derived from barley. We rate the <a href="https://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/bioeffect-hydrating-cream-30ml/12855132.html?variant_id=31923" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Bioeffect Hydrating Cream, £60" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Bioeffect Hydrating Cream, £60</a>, and <a href="https://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/bioeffect-egf-day-serum-30ml/11630911.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:EGF Day Serum, £115" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">EGF Day Serum, £115</a>.
Jodie Comer's facialist Jasmina Vico uses one transformative ingredient in her own skincare routine (and recommends it to most clients).

Enter: stem cells.

"I like to use skincare products which contain stem cells and growth factors in the evening," Jasmina told R29 this year. "Stem cells simply rejuvenate your skin," which makes them a great addition to any pro-ageing skincare routine if you're keen to boost your skin's bounce and radiance. "They can be plant-based or animal-based and you can even grow your own in a lab, though that will cost you thousands," she added.

The pro mentioned that she is a fan of skincare brand Bioeffect. From serums to moisturisers, the brand uses stem cells derived from barley. We rate the Bioeffect Hydrating Cream, £60, and EGF Day Serum, £115.
From <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/glycolic-acid-peel" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:glycolic" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">glycolic</a> to <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/salicylic-acid" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:salicylic" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">salicylic</a>, exfoliating acids are still big news in skincare. But overusing active ingredients like these could damage your barrier, which may result in sore, red, flaky and dry skin. When this happens, it's important to scale things back. Skin expert <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/best-skincare-tips-dermatologist" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Dr Anita Sturnham" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Dr Anita Sturnham</a> suggested following an exfoliating product with your trusty nighttime <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/best-multitasking-moisturiser" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:moisturiser" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">moisturiser</a>, which will replenish your skin. You might want to look out for products which contain repairing ingredients like <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/ceramides-skincare-eczema-dermatitis" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:ceramides" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">ceramides</a>. <br><br>R29 rates <a href="https://www.boots.com/dr-jart-ceramidin-cream-50ml-10292003" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream, £30" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream, £30</a>, or <a href="https://www.lookfantastic.com/cerave-pm-facial-moisturising-lotion-with-ceramides-for-normal-to-dry-skin-52ml/11798688.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:CeraVe's Facial Moisturising Lotion, £13" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">CeraVe's Facial Moisturising Lotion, £13</a>, as both are kind to sensitive skin.
From glycolic to salicylic, exfoliating acids are still big news in skincare. But overusing active ingredients like these could damage your barrier, which may result in sore, red, flaky and dry skin. When this happens, it's important to scale things back. Skin expert Dr Anita Sturnham suggested following an exfoliating product with your trusty nighttime moisturiser, which will replenish your skin. You might want to look out for products which contain repairing ingredients like ceramides.

R29 rates Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream, £30, or CeraVe's Facial Moisturising Lotion, £13, as both are kind to sensitive skin.
Christine Chang, cofounder of Glow Recipe, recently made a strong case for applying skincare products to a damp face to maximise the benefits — and the hack has gone TikTok viral, too. Otherwise known as <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/glowing-skin-tips-korean-beauty-experts#slide-5" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:moisture sandwiching" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">moisture sandwiching</a>, layering serums and moisturisers onto damp, clean skin will help keep moisture under lock and key. "Applying skincare to completely dry skin will not give you the benefits you need," said Christine, who suggested ditching your towel.
Christine Chang, cofounder of Glow Recipe, recently made a strong case for applying skincare products to a damp face to maximise the benefits — and the hack has gone TikTok viral, too. Otherwise known as moisture sandwiching, layering serums and moisturisers onto damp, clean skin will help keep moisture under lock and key. "Applying skincare to completely dry skin will not give you the benefits you need," said Christine, who suggested ditching your towel.
If you have oily skin, you might spend a lot of time and money on trying to combat it. But according to consultant dermatologist <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/oily-skin-care-mistakes-solutions" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Dr Emma Craythorne" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Dr Emma Craythorne</a>, oily skin should be appreciated as those natural oils provide lots of great protection. <br><br>"Our sebum is amazing for our skin," she said earlier in the year. "Firstly, it has its own natural <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/ferulic-acid-skincare" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:antioxidants" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">antioxidants</a> in it," she mentioned, referring to vitamin E. This deflects environmental stressors, such as <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2018/03/192554/anti-pollution-skincare" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:pollution" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">pollution</a>. Teamed with SPF, vitamin E can act as an extra shield against the sun. Dr Craythorne also says that oil is a great natural moisturiser. "Oil coats our skin and provides a great barrier," said Dr Craythorne. "It's just so good for our skin."
If you have oily skin, you might spend a lot of time and money on trying to combat it. But according to consultant dermatologist Dr Emma Craythorne, oily skin should be appreciated as those natural oils provide lots of great protection.

"Our sebum is amazing for our skin," she said earlier in the year. "Firstly, it has its own natural antioxidants in it," she mentioned, referring to vitamin E. This deflects environmental stressors, such as pollution. Teamed with SPF, vitamin E can act as an extra shield against the sun. Dr Craythorne also says that oil is a great natural moisturiser. "Oil coats our skin and provides a great barrier," said Dr Craythorne. "It's just so good for our skin."
It seems everyone is extolling the virtues of <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/lasers-for-antiageing-wrinkles-pigmentation" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:laser treatments" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">laser treatments</a> lately, including facialists <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/jasmina-vico-facialist-skincare-advice" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jasmina Vico" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jasmina Vico</a> and <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/botox-alternatives-skincare-advice" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Lisa Harris" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Lisa Harris</a>. Not long ago, Refinery29's features editor Vicky Spratt booked in for an appointment with <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/lasers-for-antiageing-wrinkles-pigmentation" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Skin Laundry" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Skin Laundry</a>.<br><br>"After just one session which lasted for just 15 minutes, my skin was visibly brighter, my <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/do-pores-get-bigger-with-age" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:pores" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">pores</a> smaller and fine lines reduced," Vicky wrote. "The best bit is that there was absolutely no downtime at all. When I left the clinic, I felt like I finally had the no-makeup skin that everyone aspires to these days." Gripes like sun damage may take a while longer to treat, as Vicky mentioned in her article, but regular treatments could be beneficial. <br><br>If you're interested in laser or any other skin treatments, be sure to visit a trained doctor or nurse.
It seems everyone is extolling the virtues of laser treatments lately, including facialists Jasmina Vico and Lisa Harris. Not long ago, Refinery29's features editor Vicky Spratt booked in for an appointment with Skin Laundry.

"After just one session which lasted for just 15 minutes, my skin was visibly brighter, my pores smaller and fine lines reduced," Vicky wrote. "The best bit is that there was absolutely no downtime at all. When I left the clinic, I felt like I finally had the no-makeup skin that everyone aspires to these days." Gripes like sun damage may take a while longer to treat, as Vicky mentioned in her article, but regular treatments could be beneficial.

If you're interested in laser or any other skin treatments, be sure to visit a trained doctor or nurse.
Facial massage devices are everywhere at the minute. <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/jade-roller-crystals" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jade rollers" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jade rollers</a> and <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/best-gua-sha-stone-tools" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:gua sha" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">gua sha</a> tools are very popular and sonic devices have boomed as we've become increasingly interested in DIY skincare. Refinery29's beauty columnist <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/best-skincare-facial-tools-devices" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Daniela Morosini" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Daniela Morosini</a> tried a handful of facial massage tools and one in particular came out on top: the <a href="https://www.lookfantastic.com/nuface-trinity-facial-toning-device/11395159.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:NuFace Microcurrent Trinity Toning Device, £329." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">NuFace Microcurrent Trinity Toning Device, £329.</a> Daniela wrote: "My cheekbones look more sculpted, my skin feels nicely toned and, because you can use it every day, you keep the benefits rolling on in. I've noticed enough of a difference in my skin a) to commit to using it for good and b) to make the price tag worth it."<br><br>Daniela isn't the only pro to rate NuFace. In a recent <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/skincare-trends-2022#slide-7" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Instagram live video" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Instagram live video</a>, consultant dermatologist <a href="https://dranjalimahto.co.uk/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Dr Anjali Mahto" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Dr Anjali Mahto</a> said she liked the <a href="https://www.lookfantastic.com/nuface-mini-facial-toning-device/11395160.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device, £175" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device, £175</a>. "It has created a temporary lift," she told viewers. "If you're looking for a home device that you find relaxing to do and that's going to give you a temporary lift, I have been surprisingly pleased."
Facial massage devices are everywhere at the minute. Jade rollers and gua sha tools are very popular and sonic devices have boomed as we've become increasingly interested in DIY skincare. Refinery29's beauty columnist Daniela Morosini tried a handful of facial massage tools and one in particular came out on top: the NuFace Microcurrent Trinity Toning Device, £329. Daniela wrote: "My cheekbones look more sculpted, my skin feels nicely toned and, because you can use it every day, you keep the benefits rolling on in. I've noticed enough of a difference in my skin a) to commit to using it for good and b) to make the price tag worth it."

Daniela isn't the only pro to rate NuFace. In a recent Instagram live video, consultant dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto said she liked the NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device, £175. "It has created a temporary lift," she told viewers. "If you're looking for a home device that you find relaxing to do and that's going to give you a temporary lift, I have been surprisingly pleased."

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

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