9 reliable and 'unsexy' skincare staples we swear by for effective results

Sometimes it's the products *without* all the bells and whistles that are the most efficacious

A selection of our team's 'Unsexy skincare' favourites from likes of CeraVe, La Roche-Posay and Aveeno/ in a peach, purple and white watercolour paint-style template
(Image credit: CeraVe, La Roche-Posay and Aveeno)

Even though the skincare market seems to expand almost daily with new and glamorously formulated lotions and potions emerging, it's often the most uncomplicated or 'unsexy' skincare products we return to...

Whether it's one of the best hyaluronic acid serums, best niacinamide serums or a creamy cleanser that never fails to leave your skin feeling supple and refreshed, we likely all have that one product (or four) that, while it might not necessarily make it onto our aesthetic dresser display, will never be retired. That said, these simple staples can often get overlooked when more luxe-looking products come around - and don't get the accolade they deserve.

So, if you're looking to simplify your routine or go back to vetted and reliable basics, these are the nine so-called, 'unsexy' heroes our woman&home beauty team swears by - for consistent results...

What is 'unsexy' skincare?

First things first, what does 'unsexy skincare' mean and what products are classed as such? The term has become a very popular one in 2024, with many rejecting more premium and over-complicated formulas for reliable classics - that are proven to work and often, universally loved.

As for what products are deemed as 'unsexy,' this is up for interpretation. We think of it as affordable, timeless (like pharmacy-style favourites) and more simplistic items, that may not scream luxury but more than make up for the fact with their skin-loving formulas. Like that lip balm at the bottom of your handbag, for instance, that no matter how many other lipsticks, oils and glosses make their way into the mix of beauty debris down there, is always the one you root around for. Or the moisturiser you use whenever dry skin comes a-calling.

Maybe their packaging doesn't rival that of your makeup faves per se, nor do they boast premium and fantastical-sounding ingredients or scents but they get the job done, every time.

The 9 unsexy skincare products our team will never swap out

As mentioned, we all likely have one staple that immediately springs to mind but our team have nine other recommendations for your consideration, ranging from moisturisers to lip balms - that are sexy to us, price and efficiency-wise.

Naomi Jamieson
Digital Beauty Writer

Naomi is a Digital Beauty Writer from woman&home, where she covers everything from skincare to fragrance but specialises, particularly, in makeup and nail trends. Through her work, Naomi gets to share her trend expertise and share her own shopping recommendations and product reviews. Previously, she worked as a Lifestyle News Writer for My Imperfect Life magazine, where she used her savvy for TikTok to bring readers the latest beauty buzzwords, fashion movements and must-have products. 

Before that, Naomi split her time between both GoodTo and My Imperfect Life, whilst training for her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ, for which she earned a Distinction. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but leapt into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing. Now, when she isn’t reporting on the best perfumes and latest beauty releases, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping...