As much fun as it is to scroll through Instagram or TikTok, nothing can replace that warm, fuzzy feeling of curling up with a great book. And if you can learn something about skincare in the process? Even better!
That’s why I created this guide. These skincare books do more than just look pretty on your bookshelf or coffee table—they’re actually full of useful tips, advice and recommendations to inspire changes in your daily routine.
Whether you’re new to caring for your skin, need help with a particular skin issue, or just want to learn more about ingredients, there’s something for everyone here. So keep scrolling to discover the best skincare books to add to your reading list or home library.
The Best Skincare Books of 2023
Best for Beginners
Let’s Face It by Rio Viera-Newton
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the skincare products out there—let alone how to use them—Let’s Face It can help. You might know Rio Viera-Newton from the Google Doc of her skincare routine that went viral back in 2017, or from the beauty editor job it led to at The Strategist. Just like her columns, this book cuts through the confusion with easy-to-understand advice and recommendations. She covers everything from common ingredients to creating the right routine for your skin type. There are also tips on applying and layering products and how to tell if a product isn’t working.
Skincare: The New Edit by Caroline Hirons
Outspoken skinfluencer Caroline Hirons has been dishing up advice on her blog since 2010. Now it’s all compiled in Skincare: The New Edit, written in her inimitable no-nonsense style. She shares her advice on creating a skincare routine, treating various skin conditions, and building your “kit” of essential products. Not surprisingly, there is a fair share of myth-busting (from her take on clean beauty to which products can “get in the sea”).
Glow from Within by Joanna Vargas
Now you don’t need to be one of Joanna Vargas’ famous clients to get access to her skincare secrets, thanks to Glow from Within. The celebrity aesthetician—whose approach is a cross between natural and high-tech—shares her advice on all aspects of skincare and self-care, including her favourite ingredients, lifestyle tips, and thoughts on cosmetic procedures.
Best for Skincare Science
Skincare Decoded by Victoria Fu and Gloria Lu
For years, cosmetic chemists Victoria Fu and Gloria Lu have been decoding ingredients lists on the Instagram account Chemist Confessions. Now, their knowledge is distilled into book form with Skincare Decoded. It’s divided into three parts: Section One is their take on skincare fundamentals, Section Two is an in-depth guide to superstar ingredients (from vitamin C to retinoids), and Section Three is about building a routine. Just like on Instagram, they also give guidance on how to read product labels and decipher marketing jargon.
The Scandinavian Skincare Bible by Johanna Gillbro
The Scandinavian Skincare Bible isn’t for any particular ethnicity—rather, it’s a guidebook to the “Scandi skin” approach. Johanna Gillbro is a skin scientist who argues that our routines need to be simplified. She explains which products are necessary and which ones you can skip, as well as which ingredients work and which ones could actually harm your skin. There’s also extensive information on the microbiome (her research specialty) and how to support it for healthy skin. No wonder this book was a bestseller in her native Sweden.
The Skincare Bible by Dr. Anjali Mahto
The Skincare Bible is the next best thing to an appointment with Dr. Anjali Mahto, a cosmetic dermatologist who specializes in treating acne, scarring, rosacea, and signs of aging. In this book, she walks us through the most common skin complaints and presents research-backed suggestions on how to deal with them. There’s information on everything from large pores to hyperpigmentation, plus what to realistically expect from topical products and in-office procedures. She also tackles questions about sun protection, vitamin D, hormones, and anti-aging treatments.