A Month-by-Month Breakdown of the Best-Selling Beauty Products of 2020

In a year that tested our patience, emotions, resilience, and bank balances, our choices in beauty and skincare products seemed to reflect our collective mood: We needed to be looked after. A month-by-month breakdown of the best-selling beauty products of 2020 revealed some interesting shopping trends. Somewhat unsurprisingly, hand sanitiser and luxury hand soap topped our lists in 2020. 

But as self-care became less of a social-media buzzword and more of a daily necessity in 2020, there was a noticeable rise in skincare, haircare, and bath and body purchases overall. A report by McKinsey saw that, while the pandemic did affect how we shop (mostly online), we did invest in our pamper products. It stated that "Zalando, Europe’s largest fashion and lifestyle e-commerce marketplace, reported a boom in pampering and self-care beauty categories." 



At Who What Wear, we kept track of the products our readers liked, and shopped, the most. From the looks of this year's purchases, customers valued high-functioning ingredients and practicality when it came to skincare. Overall, The Ordinary reigned supreme. The brand, which is known for its affordable yet extremely proactive skincare products, was one of the most purchased throughout 2020. Also, in a year where DIY haircuts were commonplace, readers invested in some hair repair products. Below, you'll find a month-by-month breakdown of the 15 beauty products you really bought this year. 

January–March 2020

If clearer skin was your motive this year, then this The Ordinary product may already be on rotation. The high-acting ingredient niacinamide is suggested for anyone who regularly suffers from breakouts and impurities. 

A quick swipe of Becca's Under Eye Brightening Corrector and yesterday's sins disappear. 

Dry skin is inevitable in winter, so it's no surprise Eucerin's balm topped the list. Containing no colourants, fragrances, or preservatives, it's great for those with sensitive skin.

Olaplex has grown to be a favourite haircare brand amongst… well everyone. The hair protector does what it says on the bottle and protects and repairs damaged and fragile hair. 

April–June 2020

For skincare lovers, "Buffet" is a firm favourite. The all-in-one anti-ageing treatment is a feast full of hydrating and skin-boosting ingredients (hyaluronic acid, peptides, and amino acids). 

Who knew that caffeine could prevent dark circles as well as cause them? The Ordinary's Caffeine Solution works to reduce puffiness and dark circles.

Who What Wear readers swear by The Ordinary's Vitamin C Suspension to help reduce the signs of ageing.

The Ordinary's Lactic Acid is a powerful exfoliant, so stay clear if you have sensitive skin. With spa facials out of the question early in the year, many opted to try an at-home alternative. 

Plant-Derived Squalane Oil was another ingredient we grew familiar with this year. It's one of my personal favourites, as it offers a lot of hydration (very oily!) and improves the surface texture of skin.

July–September 2020

After a quick blast to your roots and some vigourous fluffing, Ouai's Super Dry Shampoo revitalises flat locks and gives your hairstyle another day's wear.

Though few got to go away on holiday this year, summer skincare was still a priority for WWW readers. The Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask gave stressed-out skin a much-needed radiance boost. 

As far as we're concerned, toothpaste is an underrated beauty product, and Marvis's Whiteing Toothpaste has made oral hygiene luxurious.

October–December 2020

Nothing says 2020 more than a hand-cleansing gel. Although, this one contains glitter and, therefore, creates a much more enjoyable experience.

Those with scarring and pigmentation issues swear by The Ordinary's Rose Hip Seed Oil. Filled with collagen-boosting properties, it's also great for anti-ageing.

Since handwashing tripled by approx 300% in 2020, it was worth using the good stuff. As hand sanitisers go, Aesop's Geranium Leaf Hand Wash isn't as drying as some on the market. The alcohol-based gel contains purifying and hydrating properties suited to frequent use. 

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