The most innovative skincare brands worthy of a spot on your top shelf

L Block

Words: Leila Petersen | Images: Supplied

With a plethora of new brands and products with hi-tech-ingredient bona fides launching daily, it can be tough to decide which are worth a try. When it comes to purchasing products, everyone has different things they look for - price, ingredients and ethos- however recommendations for brand reputation is a good place to start.

Derma brands (high-performance skincare often created in collaboration with dermatologists) in particular are renowned for producing some of the most hardworking and potent science-led skincare. The benefits of derma brands like Bioderma, Avène, Uriage and Eucerin have been widely extolled: The ingredient lists tend to be short and transparent , the products non irritating and the packaging often understatedly handsome.

The good news is that these dermatologist-approved skincare brands can now be purchased comfortably from your couch. Not quite sure which to add to cart? Scroll down and find out exactly why these simple, yet effective derma brands should be on your radar and the hero products that have made them a global success.

Avene Block

About the brand:

Named after the region of France in which it was founded, Eau Thermale Avène is a true pharmacy brand. At the core, and present in all Eau Thermale Avène products, is the brand's mineral-rich spring water. With a unique biological and mineral heritage, Avène Thermal Spring Water is renowned for its soothing, softening and anti-irritating properties.

Why we love it:

Dedicated to soothing sensitive skin and improving quality of life for all skin types, the remarkable rejuvenating properties of the spring water have been healing and restoring skin through Avène products for more than 200 years.


All ingredients found in Eau Thermale Avène products are carefully selected and formulated under rigorous pharmaceutical standards, with clinically proven tolerance and efficacy.

Best for:

Made with sensitive skin in mind, Eau Thermale Avène product helps calm and soothe (along with delivering results), without ever triggering irritation. Also aimed at treating atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema and burns.

Eau Thermale Avéne Spring Water R239

For many of us, our skin needs an extra kick of hydration come winter. This skin-quenching face mist not only gives your skin the hydrating boost it needs but is able to calm and soften dry and sensitive skin; no wonder one is sold every second worldwide.

Eau Thermale Avéne Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream R219

Eau Thermale Avéne Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream is a heavy-duty moisturiser that’s able to address all your winter skin woes, such as dryness and itchiness from Eczema. Super gentle (can be used on kids and infants) it also contains a host of powerful ingredients including copper, zinc and glycerin which all contribute to restoring and maintaining a healthy skin barrier.

Eau Thermale Avéne A-Oxitave Antioxidant Defense Serum R439

Not just your average vitamin C serum, this lightweight skin treat from Avène combines vitamin E with a 15% equivalent of Vitamin C which is able to provide a stronger defense against free radicals and UV rays, all while brightening, tightening and smoothing your skin.


About the brand:

BIODERMA is one of the world's leading French skincare brands. Developed with significant input from dermatologists and renowned research centres, the brand is built on ecobiology, which focuses on preserving and strengthening the structure and health of the skin.

Why we love it:

Offering high quality, effective skin solutions, at a reasonable price, Bioderma products are able to treat skin from deep within and recharge it therapeutically.

Best for:

While all their products are generally gentle, Bioderma has created ranges specifically for various skin concerns. From sensitive to dry, dehydrated to atopic flare-ups, you are guaranteed to find a skincare solution that targets your problem.

Bioderma Sensibio H20 R250

A cult-favourite among makeup artists, Bioderma's famous micellar water cleanser is the product that put this brand on the global beauty map. Both thorough and gentle, this cleanser is able to remove even the most stubborn makeup without stripping the skin.

Bioderma Photoderm MAX Crème Teintée SPF50 + R280

Wearing sunscreen all-year round is non-negotiable but for those who struggle with this skincare step in winter, applying this tinted SPF is the perfect solution. Apart from delivering an effortless golden glow it also nourishes and protects the skin while helping to even out the skin's complexion.

Bioderma Hydrabio Creme R366

Hydration is the key to healthy, glowing, plump skin. This richly hydrating cream mimics the structure of your skin, replenishing it with water that has been lost, as well as vitamins, appleseed extract, and patented Aquagenium.

Uraige brand

About the brand:

At the heart of this family-owned brand - headed by a dermatologist - is a unique thermal water. Found high up in the beautiful surroundings of the French Alps, all the power of Uriage Thermal Water is concentrated in a line of dermo-​cosmetic products which work to nourish, protect and restore the skin's balance.

Why we love it:

This high-tech skincare is designed to preserve skin’s health. Each product in the Uriage range has been scientifically formulated for face and body and harnesses the benefits from the properties of Uriage Thermal Water, which is combined with active ingredients renowned for their efficacy and tolerance.

Best for:

All skin types and designed to treat a range of conditions including acne, pigmentation and hyper-sensitivity, Uriage products are approved and prescribed by dermatologists.

Uriage Eau Thermale Water Hydration Hand Cream R135

Like an invisible and protective glove on the hands, this cream is a true shield against climatic aggression and brings a softness and comfort to dry hands thanks to the nourishing power of Shea butter.

Uriage Eau Thermale Unctuous Body Balm R360

Bathed in Uriage Eau Thermale, this luxurious and rich body cream delivers the intense nourishment your thirsty-skin craves (especially in winter) for 24 hours.

Uriage Eau Thermale Roseliane Anti-Redness Mask

Indulge in some self-care while soothing an irritated complexion with this comforting face mask. Utilising ginseng and red algae extracts, it reduces the appearance of blood vessels on the skin's surface and counteracts the giveaway signs of rosacea.

Eucerin brand

About the brand:

Since launching over 100 years ago, Eucerin has driven innovation in skincare science. Endorsed by Dermatologists and Pharmacists, this German brand is now one of the world's most trusted dermo-cosmetic brands, recommended for maintaining healthy and beautiful skin.

Why we love it:

Eucerin is strong in every major skincare category; pigmentation, anti-ageing, acne and dry skin conditions like hypersensitivity, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis; their science-based formulas are staples on many shelves of people struggling with emotional and debilitating problematic skin conditions across the globe.

Best for:

Eucerin carries ranges that tackle: Dry, cracked skin ( Aquaphor and Urea), Eczema (AtoControl), blemish-prone skin (DermoPurifyer), hyperpigmented skin (Anti-Pigment) and ageing skin (Hyaluron Filler and Q10).

Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler + Elasticity 3D Serum R620

If you’re looking for a powerful anti-ageing product, try this super serum. Combining three key ingredients - thiamidol to reduce age spots, hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin and smooth wrinkles, and arctiin to boost collagen, it’s the perfect solution to help the skin regain its youthful look.

Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Moisture Booster R256

Infused with a highly concentrated mix of Hyaluronic acid and Glycerin, this ultra-light and refreshing gel delivers immediate hydration and increases skin moisture levels for up to 24 hours.

Eucerin Even Brighter Night Cream R370

Make the most of your beauty sleep by applying this glow-giving night cream. Infused with potent ingredients such as B-Resorcinol and Glycyrrhetinic acid, it not only reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation but also assists in the skin’s ability to repair itself

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