High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens is the cover girl for the May 2009 issue of SELF Magazine. Not to ignore Van, but we fast-forwarded to the 10th annual list of Healthy Beauty Awards as selected by SELF readers.
Back in 1999... Bill Clinton was president, Britney Spears released her first hit, "...Baby One More Time," and SELF kicked off its first Healthy Beauty Awards, using only 100 testers to select 63 standouts.
In 2009... SELF tracked down each of the 1,443 beautifiers that debuted during the past year, then shipped them off to 1,370 readers. That dedicated team scored each product on scent, texture, ease of use, packaging and, most important, effectiveness.
C.O. Bigelow Vitamin Boost Cream Cleanser, $10
Readers raved about this wash, which is packed with nourishing vitamins A, C and E. "I usually have to put on moisturizer right after cleansing, but the rinse left my skin moist and glowing," one user praised.
Chanel Précision Lotion Douceur Gentle Hydrating Toner, $45
This dirt dissolver, which counts on protective wax from tulip trees to stave off damaging pollutants, won over testers: "My skin felt cleaner and immediately looked clearer."
Huiles & Baumes Face Soft Exfoliating, $42
Rice powder gives this nonscratchy slougher the "ideal amount of grit" to wipe out dead skin cells. "It polished even the roughest zones, and it smells like fresh rose petals," one reviewer marveled.
Best All-Around Moisturizer
La Mer The Hydrating Infusion, $95
"The mist penetrated quickly and softened my dry skin without irritating oilier areas," one recruit said. The gellike formula uses algae and sea minerals to reveal more radiance.
Best Eye Cream
Roc Multi-Correxion Eye Treatment, $25
Retinol helps rev collagen, while vitamin C brightens dark circles. "After a few days, I could use less concealer and my eyes looked less tired," a user said.
Best Antiaging Eye Cream
Murad Intensive Wrinkle Reducer for Eyes, $90
With repairing peptides and plumping hyaluronic acid, it "reduced fine lines and wrinkles significantly in only a couple of days."
Best Depuffing Eye Cream
Bioré Enliven Cooling Eye Gel, $10
Testers gave high marks to this "espresso shot for eyes," which relies on sugar beets to deflate bags. "It's like a 10-minute eye lift," one cheered
Kinerase HydraBoost Intensive Treatment, $75"It left my skin bright and soft," one reader said of this hyaluronic acid gel, which you apply pre-moisturizer. "A tiny drop is all you need."
Best Night Cream
Elizabeth Arden Intervene Stress Recovery Night Cream, $50
Red clover extract helps firm skin in this "light, super potent moisturizer." A convert said, "I woke up, and my face felt like satin."
Best Antiaging Treatment
Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift Pro Deep Wrinkle Roller, $17
Testers loved the "easy to use" applicator, which delivers a "silky" blend that fights wrinkles with sugar from beech trees. "Lines faded in two weeks."
Ahava Intensive Hydration Mask, $28
"My winter skin was so dry it hurt, but this mask calmed it instantly," one tester said of this leave-on, which restores moisture with calcium and potassium. "Where can I get more?!"
Best Pore Minimizer
DDF Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer, $85
This gel, loaded with a vitamin and peptide complex to increase cell turnover, impressed recruits by smoothing and softening skin. "It made my face look and feel younger and more refreshed."
Best At-Home Peel
Lierac Paris Comfort Peel, $52
Fans gave this exfoliant an A-plus for evening out skin tone. "My pores looked smaller, and I had zero irritation," one said of the treatment, which employs glycolic and salicylic acids to exfoliate. Another pro: "It wipes out wrinkles."
Best Acne Treatment
Kate Somerville Anti Bac Clearing Lotion, $39
Pimple erasers can be harsh, but this "nondrying" benzoyl peroxide–driven healer contains soothing sesame seed extract to ban inflammation. "Zits on my hairline were gone in three days," one user said.
Best Makeup Remover
Clean & Clear Makeup Dissolving Facial Cleansing Wipes, $6
"They thoroughly removed dirt and mascara in one 20-second step—without making my sensitive skin act up," one voter noted. "You get 25 per pack, so you can't beat the price!"
Pamper your skin below the neck with these winners that help create an allover glow.
Best Bar Soap
Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Beauty Bar, $3
Testers loved this "easy to lather" soap for its buffing brown sugar and karite butter "that softened skin and left a fresh scent."
Best Body Wash
Burt's Bees Fabulously Fresh Peppermint & Rosemary Body Wash, $8
"It made my skin feel cool and clean," one voter said of this 99.24 percent natural sudser.
Best Exfoliating Body Wash
Suave Naturals Apricot Exfoliating Body Wash, $3
Ground coconut sloughs skin while cleansing, so "it saves time," one grateful multitasker said.
Best Bath Product
Avène Trixéra Selectiose Emollient Cleansing Bath, $24
Chock-full of ceramides and coconut oil, this milk reigned supreme for its hydrating capabilities: "Three capfuls gave my tight skin the moisture surge it needed."
Best Bath Oil
Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Night Health Bedtime Bath Oil, $29
Voters admired this relaxing blend of lavender, mandarin orange and chamomile oils. "I added a couple of drops to my tub and emerged about 10 minutes later totally calm, conditioned and ready to sleep!"
Best Body Scrub
St. Ives Mineral Therapy In-Shower Exfoliating Body Polish, $7
Powered by fine sugar crystals, this scrub found a sweet spot with testers. "It's tough enough to target flakiness but still mild enough to use on delicate areas like my chest and hands."
Best Body Lotion
Johnson's Body Care 24 Hour Lotion, $4
Full of shea butter and sheen-infusing mica, "it penetrated quickly and left skin soft all day," one tester said.
Best Exfoliating Body Lotion
Eucerin Plus Smoothing Essentials, $12
Readers adored the alpha hydroxy cream's super sloughing, saying, "it polished skin in a way no other product has." Also: "My skin felt renewed within a few days."
Best Aromatherapy Treatment
The Body Shop Total Energy Pulse Point Balm, $16
The "uplifting" scent of ginger and bergamot plus skin-softening almond oil in the dab-on impressed readers. "I've worn it every day," one said.
Dove Clinical Protection Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Solid, $8
The aluminum zirconium formula was popular among athletes for its "unstoppable defense" against odor and wetness. "No matter how hard I worked, I stayed dry."
Best Foot Lotion
Sally Hansen Salon Hydrating Foot Crème, $8
This aloe-rich lotion's light scent and greaseless feel wowed voters. "My feet were softer in a day."
Best Foot Scrub
Avon Foot Works Thermal Exfoliating Scrub, $8
"It smoothed my calluses immediately," one tester said of the scrub, which heats up when wet.
Best Foot Treatment
Earth Therapeutics Intensive Heel Repair, $8
Mint in this balm "made my tired, achy toes tingle," a devotee said.
Best Hand Lotion
Sephora by OPI Restorative Hand Moisturizer, $10
This salve creamed the competition with four softening butters (almond, avocado, coconut and shea). "No more rough patches," a user said.
Brighten up beach days with smart shields and faux bronzers for great skin.
Best Face Sunscreen
Aveeno Continuous Protection Active Sunblock Lotion SPF 50, $11
You don't have to be Little Miss No Sunshine. This shield relies on the Fort Knox–level blocker avobenzone. "I live in Arizona, and this nongreasy lotion was the best I've ever used," a voter said.
Best Body Sunscreen
Clarins Bright Plus Brightening Body Veil SPF 20, $40
This "rich yet non-oily" defender depends on vitamin C and chamomile to help erase existing spots, and its avobenzone prevents new marks from forming. "My freckles faded," one enthusiast found. "And the touch of shimmer made my skin look luminous."
Best Face Self-Tanner
Jergens Natural Glow Healthy Complexion Daily Moisturizer, $9
Readers admired how this SPF 20 cream guards skin with oxybenzone while delivering a subtle shade that flatters even snow-white skin. "It tanned gently without streaking or looking too orange, and the sunscreen is a fantastic bonus."
Best Body Self-Tanner
Lancaster Self-Tanning Fast Dry Bronze Water Spray, $27
The pineapple extract in this quick-developing tint acts as an exfoliant to smooth dry skin, guaranteeing an even application. And "the pump dispenser helps the product go on easily," one tan fan rejoiced. "My skin had a nice glow in fewer than four hours."
Enhance your already lovely looks with these prettifiers that are sure to play up gorgeous eyes, lips and cheeks.
Prescriptives Flawless Face Primer, $28
Testers loved the lightweight feel of this premakeup base, which uses vitamin C to fade spots over time and silicone to improve your tone immediately. "It controlled T-zone oiliness, kept my makeup on longer than usual and made my skin tone more even—all pluses!"
Best Tinted Moisturizer
Smashbox Cosmetics Sheer Focus Tinted Moisturizer, $30
Teeming with skin-protecting peptides and free radical–repelling antioxidants, this antiager got two thumbs-up. "I rarely find a base that provides enough color without feeling like a mask. This one does both." Tester tip: "Pat it on with a sponge to increase coverage."
Best All-Around Foundation
Lorac Natural Performance Foundation, $35
"It hid my flaws, felt ultra-silky and kept my skin hydrated," one user reported. The unscented foundation also scored high points for its twist-up pump—"no messiness and no lid to lose."
Best Foundation With SPF
Lancôme Paris Ageless Minérale SPF 21, $40
Fans fell for this makeup, which calms skin with aloe and vitamin E while concealing imperfections. "The powder was fine, not chalky," one reader said. "It took only a few swipes for a flattering shimmer that gave my skin radiance and hid wrinkles."
Best Antiaging Foundation
CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless Foundation, $14
Users' compliments resembled ads as they went on and on about this cream-to-liquid's "beautiful, smooth finish" and "flawless coverage." Collagen-enhancing niacinamides (from Olay's Regenerist serum) "moisturized skin and evened texture, too."
Best Mattifying Foundation
Rimmel London Stay Matte Clarifying Matte Foundation, $7
Accolades poured in for this blendable base, which controls oil with salicylic acid but doesn't clog pores and makes skin look "perfect." "The powdery finish kept my T-zone from getting shiny morning to night."
Best Loose Powder
DiorSkin Nude Fresh Glow Powder SPF 10, $45
This light-as-air mineral powder contains sericin, a silk-derived ingredient that regulates hydration. "Its cooling effect felt glorious on my dry skin," one tester said. "It filled in every pore instantly yet was still incredibly breathable."
Best Mattifying Powder
Jane Iredale Brush-Me Matte, $46
Made with rice starch, this chemical-free shine stopper "goes on creamy and light but doesn't cake at all," one voter said. The compact packaging (the brush is self-contained) "is great for tossing in your bag for quick, on-the-go touch-ups."
Almay Smart Shade Concealer, $9
Readers cheered for the makeup's ability to become the color of their skin tone after applying it (rather than having to mix six shades to customize an ideal color). "The creamy lotion was dry to the touch, and it did not get flaky or goopy."
Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer, $48
With "tiny flecks of shimmer," this sheer powder in a sleek compact won over several followers, who touted its "natural, smooth bronzing results that aren't intense or streaky." No Oompa-Loompa stripes here!
Best Powder Blush
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Blush, $22
Testers appreciated that the hue packed a punch. "I used only a little, and the color was just right on skin. It gives you a healthy flush and has a believable amount of illuminators that look sexy, not seventh grade."
Best Cream Blush
Estée Lauder Signature Satin Creme Blush, $26
"The texture is like cashmere for your cheeks, and the pigments were rich and long-lasting but not too bright," one voter gushed. More? "It's simple to remove if you accidentally apply too much of it!"
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil, $16
Liners can feel stiff, but readers were impressed by the "chalk-free, no-smudge" option that counts on hydrating jojoba oil and vitamin E to condition lips. "The consistency was fabulous: smooth enough to almost feel like a balm, yet thick enough to keep my lipstick from disappearing on me."
Best Lip Stain
CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain, $7
Eating an apple or smooching your sweetie is no match for this tint. The water-based color in a felt-tip pen saturates lips for all-day coverage. "I want it in several shades," one satisfied tester said.
Shiseido The Makeup Perfect Rouge Lipstick, $25
With an "intensely creamy" color, the formula uses dimethicone to soften lips. "It went on so smoothly," a tester said.
Best Lip Gloss
JK Jemma Kidd Lip ID Colour Adapt Gloss, $20
Designed to develop gradually and create the ideal shade for your skin tone, this gloss won over skeptics. "I'm a lipstick girl, but it converted me."
Best Lip Balm
Nivea A Kiss of Moisture Hydrating Lip Care SPF 4, $3
Devotees liked that this shea butter–infused stick "hydrates lips, giving them shine."
Best Pencil Eyeliner
Benefit Bad Gal Liner Waterproof Pencil, $20
Reviewers touted the liner's jet-black shade and that "you can put it on thick or thin." One added: "I could cry through The Notebook without raccoon eyes!"
Best Liquid Eyeliner
MAC Penultimate Eye Liner, $17
Precise application earned points. "It has the same thin edge I like from pencils but in a liquid form that doesn't fade," one tester said.
Best Powder Eyeshadow
Neutrogena Nourishing Eye Quad, $10
This hybrid is half cream base, half color and full-on beautiful, readers swooned. It houses two shades with "goofproof instructions" so you know what to swipe where.
Best Cream Eyeshadow
CK Calvin Klein Beauty Tempting Glimmer Crème Eyeshadow, $18
This cream "covers lids evenly" and has color "that doesn't crease and remains vivid all day." Tester tip: "Sweep it on with a brush for a high-drama effect."
Best Brow Shaper
Revlon ColorStay Brow Enhancer, $9
Fans were hooked on this defining pen for its two ends (one tinted wax, one highlighter). "The thick formula hangs on."
Sonia Kashuk Smokey Eye Palette, $20
Scoring a glam-bam eye couldn't be easier with this kit's how-to cards. "I enjoyed the combo of sheer and opaque colors."
Best Thickening Mascara
Stila Convertible Mascara, $22
Voters applauded this "smudgeproof" mascara's two brushes for "fattening every lash."
Best Volumizing Mascara
Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara, $14
Surrender your eyelash curler: This wand "stretches lashes into a striking bend," one user said.
Best Eco-Friendly Mascara
Physicians Formula Organic Wear Mascara, $10
This paraben-free mascara "lifts lashes without clumping," one reviewer reported.
Best Lengthening Mascara
Maybelline New York Lash Stiletto Mascara, $9
"Two coats made my lashes appear longer than usual but not outrageously fake," one tester said.
Best Nail Polish
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Color, $5
Voters dubbed this lacquer the quickest drying. "I could text again after two minutes."
Curly? Straight? Fine? Every type and texture will find strand solutions here.
Best All-Around Shampoo
Herbal Essences Hydralicious Featherweight Shampoo, $3
Clear some real estate in your shower: "This shampoo rocks!" one tester declared. "It smells awesome, and my hair felt cleaner and silkier." Added another, "It's a quality rinse that I can afford during these lean times."
Best Smoothing Shampoo
Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Smooth Vitality Shampoo, $4
With blends of avocado and bamboo, this sudser garnered high praise for taming unruly hair. "It calmed down my crazy style without needing an extra rinse. I've already bought another bottle!" one gushed.
Best Volumizing Shampoo
Kérastase Bain Densitive GL Shampoo, $39
Flat-stranded voters adored the mineral-rich wash for "hydrating while adding body—a hard balance to achieve—without leaving my roots greasy."
Best Color-Treated Shampoo
Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Blonde Shampoo, $34
Readers were excited about how healthy their hair looked (spectacular and wonderful were words they used) after applying this sulfate-free cleanser. "It gave me lasting bounce. My day-after-washing was just as pretty."
Best Hydrating Shampoo
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Shampoo, $11
This shampoo's proteins quenched the thirsty styles of several recruits. One said, "It left hair feeling supple, even after I blow-dried it."
Best Antidandruff Shampoo
Biolage Scalpthérapie Anti Dandruff Shampoo, $14
Farewell, flakes! This rinse uses mallow to mop up oil and pyrithione zinc to treat dandruff. "I have an itchy scalp, and I haven't scratched my head once since using it."
Best All-Around Conditioner
Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Instant Melting Conditioner, $4
Frizz-prone fans were pleased by this hydrator's smoothing abilities, which come via avocado oil. "It was a breeze to work through my hair, it smelled great—like apple juice—and it left my style without snarls," one said. "I noticed a big difference in how well my hair behaved."
Best Smoothing Conditioner
Ojon Tunu Elastik Hair Smoothing Conditioner, $27
Laced with essential fatty acids, this quencher "leaves hair not only soft but bouncy and easy to comb, too," a tester said. More props: "My style was so free of flyaways that it looked as if I had used a flatiron."
Best Volumizing Conditioner
Esencía by Samy Volumizing Conditioner, $8
This fortifier drew kudos for elevating droopy roots to beauty-contestant-like heights (in a goodway!), thanks to lifting wheat proteins. "It made my hair look thicker and unknotted," one reader said. "The citrus smell got me going in the A.M."
Best Hydrating Conditioner
Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Conditioner, $24
Users wanted to lather, rinse and repeat (and repeat) with this jojoba oil–laced blend, which nourished dehydrated styles. "It really filled my hair with moisture, and that sensation didn't stray all day. The longer I used it, the softer my hair became."
Best Antidandruff Conditioner
Head & Shoulders Ocean Lift Conditioner, $5
With fleck-zapping pyrithione zinc, this "lightweight" deflaker fends off scalp dryness and infuses strands with volume. "I noticed less dandruff right away, and it wasn't a drag on my baby-fine style."
Best Leave-In Conditioner
Nexxus Dualiste Color Protection + Intense Hydration Leave-In Spray, $12
Vitamin E, coconut oil and honey extract add an after-shower moisture surge "that sinks right in," one reader said. "It's all you need because it's thick enough for winter-dry hair but lightweight enough to battle frizz during summer months."
Redken Color Extend Sun After-Sun Mask, $15
The treatment has UV protection to shield against damage and ceramides to repair zones that have already been scorched. "My hair feels healthier, and it helped my color last longer," a tester cheered.
John Frieda Root Awakening Detangling Spray, $7
Want to knock out kinks? Readers said they "didn't hit any snags while combing out long hair" with this vitamin-enriched leave-in mist.
Clairol Natural Instincts Champagne Indulgence Collection, $9
This kit, with a no-ammonia dye, soothing aloe and vitamins C and E, earned props for leaving hair "beautiful and healthy-feeling." Another user raved, "It's like a spa treatment for hair—it covers grays and deep-conditions."
Best Shine Serum
Nioxin Smoothing Reflectives Glossing Color Shield, $20
The "incredibly lightweight" product supplies "salon-caliber gleam" and features cuticle-repairing ingredients such as silk amino acids. One happy tester said, "Since I started using it, my hair looks tremendously healthy."
Best Shine Spray
Victoria's Secret So Sexy Brilliant Shine Mist, $13
The extra fine spray has a "light but effective" silicone formula that "made my dull, highlighted hair bouncy and luminous—even the split ends. Six coworkers mentioned how fab my style looked!"
David Babaii for WildAid Volcanic Ash Sculpting Clay, $10
Mold your strands into place with this paraben-free, "nonsticky" product, which one reviewer described as "a silky cream that, to my amazement, kept curls controlled for two days without a hint of frizz or stiffness!" It contains real volcanic ash (which volumizes) and mango (to add sheen).
Best Straightening Product
Living Proof Straight Making No Frizz Styling Cream, $24
Invented by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, this tamer has molecules that repel moisture. "My curls were totally smooth!" one reader enthused.
Best Heat Protectant
Dove Heat Defense Therapy Mist, $4
Like armor for your hair, this spray uses silicone to prevent heat damage. "It didn't pancake strands or feel stiff or heavy. Plus, my look had no static all day—something it never does!" one tester bragged.
Best Frizz Fighter
Wen Cucumber Aloe Styling Creme, $24
"This lotion acts as a styling cream, leave-in and sheen serum in one!" one excited user said. "I had accepted frizz as part of having long hair, but now I know that it doesn't have to be that way." Panthenol and aloe vera help this "clump-free" cream keep flyaways under control.
Tresemmé 24 Hour Body Foaming Mousse, $5
With a blend of humidity-resistant polymers, the volumizer "kept my hair from falling flat, whether I wore it straight or curly," one said. Adds another, "It gave me soft hold even when I did an updo." Also nice: "Its easy-to-work-with texture didn't leave my strands tacky."
Aussie Opposites Attract Spray Gel, $3
A good gel controls without making hair crunchy, and this one delivers. "It kept my flyaways at bay but wasn't gunky," one voter found. Another complimented: "I love how the spray bottle works—you don't have to get your hands icky."
Logics Color DNA Aerial Liquid Volume, $22
Ready for liftoff? With ceramide and soy protein, the height-enhancing serum "has a weightless, nonrunny texture that held bounce in my style from morning to night, while still being brushable and free of goopiness."
L'Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray, $14
This cult favorite was once available only in Europe. Since its arrival across the pond, readers have discovered that the setter's "ultrafine mist adds body and all-day grip (even in the rain), and it doesn't build up after two days of use." More applause: "It has a strong hold that still feels light."
Freebies Galore: Selfwants to thank the smart readers of the magazine and online community by rounding up 440 prizes: books, bikinis, a bicycle...tons of fantastic stuff! Enter now!
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