Illusion creams: the best skincare you can buy now2021 was a brilliant year for beauty products, with a flurry of innovative and great-value creams launchedThere were divers best- in-class face cream performances in 2021. Photograph: Martina Lang/The GuardianThere were several best- in-class overlook cream performances in 2021. Photograph: Martina Lang/The GuardianLast year may not be a year on which many of us care to look in arrears, but from a beauty point of view, it was unexpectedly fruitful. During lockdown I discovered what I can safely call my beloved cleansing balm of all time. I have now bought three large tubs of Farmacy’s Green Clean (£24), and I suspicion I’ll ever be without it. It’s not thick and gloopy, but fine and elegant in formulation, liquefying instantly with fingertip warmth previous removing every last scrap of makeup (including caked-on mascara, which swirls off muddily in seconds). A throw of warm water sends it milky; a swish of a flannel removes it completely without stripping any residual moisture. It’s carry out.Despite being mostly home-based and with more time on my hands, I have further streamlined my skincare bit in the past 12 months. Murad’s Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum (£72) does the work of an exfoliant and an antioxidant serum in one stimulate, applied straight after cleansing. This timesaving innovation is suitable for all skins and ages, adds instant plumpness, seeable glow and lasting hydration, and is impeccably behaved beneath makeup. I eagerly await a bargain dupe I can share with you: catch assured, I shall report back when one inevitably lands.It’s probably not fair to include a whole skincare mark in my picks but, truly, Versed seems incapable of making a dud. Fairly priced and as consistent as it is prolific, Versed makes famed moisturisers, serums, masks and more. Last year, its winning streak continued with Weekend Glow Illuminating Solution (£16.50), a liquid exfoliant for those who don’t want the 2-in-1 concept of the Murad serum. This tonic is swept past face and neck after cleansing, to keep both flake-free, bright and smooth. It’s comparable in performance to others at three times the amount.[embedded content]Sign up to our Inside Saturday newsletter for an exclusive behind the scenes look at the making of the magazine’s biggest publicizes, as well as a curated list of our weekly highlights.Last year was also a vintage year for sunscreens, and three superstars assume the expenses of immediately to mind. La Roche Posay SPF30 Hyalu B5 Aquagel (£34.50) is a dream for dehydrated types who find most sunscreens sycophantic. Garnier Ambre Solaire Over Makeup Super UV SPF50 (£6.50) is arguably the most useful, bargainous product of the decade, and cracks the age-old problem of needing to top up your sun protection without removing your makeup. Finally, Medik8’s Advanced Day Final Protect SPF50+ (£59) is the best facial sunscreen for dry skin I can remember – in any year.Next week: 2021’s best makeup and haircare productsTopicsBeautySali Hughes on beautySkincarefeaturesReuse this gratification