Welcome to the 2022 SELF Healthy Beauty Awards! As always, we’re so glad you’re here—and this year especially. For so many of us, beauty and skin-care rituals serve as creative outlets, means of self-expression, and ways to give our bodies the care and attention they deserve. Particularly when the world feels so out of our control, treating yourself to something like an at-home face mask, a new blow-dry brush, or a toothpaste you’ll actually be excited to use can feel like a small way to reign it all in.
For this year’s awards we continued to name winners in all of the categories you know and love: makeup, skin care, body care, hair care, and oral care, which is making its return for the second year in a row. As we did in 2021, we also put together a roundup of all drugstore products you can buy for $20 or less. And we’re proud to share a new badge system in which we denote which items are pregnancy-safe, vegan, or from Black-owned businesses to help you shop our products at a glance.
The 2022 Healthy Beauty Award winners are a mix: some are tried-and-true brands you can find at your local store and others are up-and-comers you may have never heard of. One of our favorite parts of putting these awards together is honoring the classics while introducing you to the new companies and founders we think deserve to be household names. Similarly, supporting and promoting products from companies owned by people of color is one small way we hope to use our platform to advance the cause of racial justice and equality. For the third year in a row, we implemented a diversity audit to ensure that we actively recruited submissions from BIPOC-owned brands and that BIPOC-owned brands were proportionally represented at every step in the winner selection process. We’re looking forward to continuing to take these measures in years to come.
Now, onto the winners! This year we received a record number of submissions from brands and considered over 3,000 products. We used the criteria listed below, which we created in conjunction with a board of dermatologists and dentists, to determine which products should move onto the testing phase of our process. From there, 1,500 products were distributed to a group of 55 judges, who tried and rated every single item based on a number of factors—including packaging, price point, user experience, and, of course, whether the product really, truly worked. Finally, our Healthy Beauty Awards team meticulously combed through each review, crowning 182 winners that were ranked highly by our judges, represented a range of price points, treated a variety of concerns, included effective ingredients according to our dermatologist and dentist board, and came from a healthy mix of brands both big and small.
Below, you’ll find a general summary of the information we used to guide how we determined what makes a product effective. For example, if something claimed to treat oily or acne-prone skin, we checked to make sure it included ingredients that wouldn’t exacerbate oil production or exfoliate the skin. Though we hope the advice will be useful to most of our readers, we know that not every ingredient or suggestion will work for every person. If you’re struggling to figure out what makes your skin and hair happy, consider seeing a dermatologist who can provide individualized advice. And if you’re experiencing teeth, gum, or tongue symptoms like pain or unusual discoloration, check in with your dentist.