Shopping Guide

We Reveal the 10 Most Searched Items on Dermstore in 2020

By Holly Rhue · December 16, 2020

At the end of each year, we release our list of the most-searched brands, products and ingredients on our site. It’s one of our most anticipated stories of the year—but like almost everything else in 2020, this year’s list looks a little different. Based on our analysis of our 2020 search data, it comes as no surprise that we’re all looking for ways to lean a little deeper into our self-care rituals.

In light of everything that 2020 has thrown our way, searches reveal that we’re all ramping up our skin and hair care routines—and paring down our work-from-home makeup. We’re looking for ingredients that target the ways stress might present itself on our skin (like in the form of acne and fine lines) and products that can replicate the in-salon experience. In light of this shift, there are certainly a few key winners in the brand, ingredient and product categories. We detail them all ahead and we look forward to the trends that begin to bud in the new year (in fact, we welcome 2021 with open arms).

  • 1. Most Searched Skin Care Brand: SkinCeuticals

    No surprises here—dermatology-grade skin care brand SkinCeuticals has earned the top spot on our list for the fourth year in a row. The brand’s founder, Dr. Sheldon R. Pinnell, is both a dermatologist and chemist, which makes him dually qualified to develop and formulate these performance-focused products. Like you’d expect from a brand with a robust medical background, you won’t find any gimmicks or kitschy packaging within the SkinCeuticals brand. Instead, you’ll find powerful products with maxed-out ingredient concentrations to target common skin concerns (like acne and aging), packaged in little glass vials and jars that make you feel like you’re working with lab samples.


    Try: SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore

  • 2. Most Searched Makeup Brand: ILIA

    With the majority of us who can work from home still doing so, most people have pared things down when it comes to their makeup routines (myself included). Enter: clean makeup brand ILIA. This brand is all about simplistic packaging and intuitive makeup products—most of which you can apply and blend out with your hands. From the lip-and-cheek color sticks to liquid eyeshadows, everything is meant to be dabbed on and blended out in a flash for that second-skin feeling. Low-maintenance, high-performance and completely clean.


    Try: ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint

  • 3. Most Searched Hair Care Brand: Oribe

    Oribe is one of those artisanal (but attainable) hair care brands that gets the job done for celebrity stylists and novices alike. The brand’s illustriously packaged Dry Texturizing Spray is the most popular product within the Oribe rolodex, but the brand was also at the forefront of the scalp-as-skin movement. Before a time when you could find a scalp scrub alongside your favorite shampoo at the drugstore, Oribe’s Serene Scalp collection was de-stigmatizing scalp care with its delightful millennial pink packaging—at a time when most scalp-care products would be found plainly packaged in the medical aisle, rather than the beauty aisle.


    Try: Oribe Serene Scalp Thickening Treatment Spray

  • 4. Most Searched Sunscreen Brand: EltaMD

    While we’ve spent significantly more time indoors than in years past, that’s no excuse to ditch your sunscreen—so it comes as no surprise that EltaMD has made the list again. EltaMD is an education-forward brand that formulates mostly SPF products, plus a gentle cleanser and an AM moisturizer to layer underneath your sunscreen. The brand knows that wearing sunscreen every single day (whether you’re indoors or outdoors) is crucial to protecting against skin cancer and premature signs of aging. That’s why EltaMD has formulated an SPF to suit every preference—from clear, lightweight chemical sunscreens to thicker, more acne-friendly zincs.


    Try: EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

  • 5. Most Searched Device Brand: NuFACE

    We’re all looking for ways to cope in the current climate and you’re not alone if you’ve kicked your self-care ritual into high gear as a way to wind down at the end of the day. I personally have introduced this microcurrent brand into my routine and based on our analysis of Dermstore searches, so have many of you. NuFACE was founded by estheticians Tera Peterson and Carol Cole, who—after seeing the transformative results of the microcurrent facials they were giving to clients in-office—wanted to create an arsenal of tools for people to conduct their own microcurrent facials at home. They certainly succeeded when they started NuFACE, a line of microcurrent facial-toning devices and conductive skin care products that work in as little as three minutes.


    Try: NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Kit

  • 6. Most Searched Natural Brand: Eminence Organic Skin Care

    Eminence Organic Skin Care is 100 percent natural and 100 percent organic. The brand is well-known for its tediously sourced ingredients—herbs and fruits are handpicked, minerals come from pure spring water and every last drop of every last product is free of harsh chemicals. Those looking to give their skin a healthy dose of natural vitamins, minerals and probiotics will find a refined rhythm with this brand.


    Try: Eminence Organic Skin Care Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Acid Serum

  • 7. Most Searched New Brand: Olaplex

    If you’ve received any color or chemical services on your hair, chances are you’ve heard your hairstylist ask if you’d like to try Olaplex. The brand offers a line of professional-quality formulations for both salon and personal use, and are famously named with a scale of numbers from 0–7 (with No.1 and No. 2 being for professional-use only), named in sequential order of how they should be used. The before-and-after photos speak for themselves; if you search #Olaplex on Instagram, you’ll be met with an endless grid of transformative photos. And in a year that’s challenged us to try to replicate some of our favorite professional services at home, we could certainly use foolproof products like the Olaplex line.


    Try: Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector

  • 8. Most Searched Product Type: Vitamin C Serum

    Whether your ingredient du jour is l-ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate, vitamin C has a place in any skin care routine. Ideal for mature, acne-prone and hyperpigmented skin, giving skin a dose of vitamin C has a host of benefits (especially for those of us who might be seeing the effects of a stressful year coming through on their skin). For starters, vitamin C is a brightening agent, breathing life into dull, tired skin and targeting hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C also delivers powerful antioxidants to the skin, which protect against free radicals and pollution.


    Try: SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic

  • 9. Most Searched Skin Concern: Acne

    Between elevated stress levels and wearing protective face coverings, please know that you’re not alone in your search for an acne remedy. Dermatologists agree that “maskne” isn’t just folklore—both the friction from your protective face mask and the moisture and heat that get trapped underneath are a recipe for breakouts to occur around the chin, mouth and jawline. That, and the stress that comes with living through a pandemic is certainly enough to trigger hormonal breakouts.


    Try: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel

  • 10. Most Searched Ingredient: Retinol

    Second only to sunscreen, Retinol is one of the most important ingredients to include in an anti-aging skin care routine. And since the ingredient boasts acne-fighting properties as well, it’s particularly ideal for those in their mid-20s and 30s who might still be experiencing acne, but also want to ward off fine lines and wrinkles. There’s no question why people searched for “retinol” in record volumes this year; after everything we’ve been through in 2020, people are seeing stress-induced breakouts and fine lines crop up. There’s no shame in having either (both are part of the natural life cycle of your skin), but there’s also no shame in wanting to address these things if they’re a concern for you—and if that’s the case, retinol is definitely the way to go.


    Try: Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum

Holly Rhue

Holly Rhue

Holly is a writer and editor based in New York City where she has covered beauty, wellness and travel for three years. Outside of Dermstore, you can find her work on the digital arms of ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Byrdie, Marie Claire, Forbes, Women's Healt... Read More >