Confused about face moisturizers? Anyone who has ever looked for a moisturizer knows that a trip to the drugstore can get complicated.
Whether you are looking for a product for oily, dry, sensitive or combination skin, use our recommendations to find a product that is right for your skin type. We explain everything you need to know about various facial products, ingredients and more!
Choosing a moisturizer used to be easier, with only a few brands like Olay, Nivea and Clinique. But today there are literally thousands of products designed to treat a variety of skin concerns, including anti aging creams and products to address uneven skin tone. In this overview, we take a look at some of the best moisturizers, including tinted moisturizers.
So, what type of moisturizer is right for me?
What we can say is this: No moisturizer suits every woman perfectly. This means that you will need to evaluate various products to find a moisturizer that is best suited for your unique situation.
We’ve gone through all the data available on hundreds of creams and comported them. There’s certainly no shortage of brands today: Aveeno, Cerave, Cetaphil, Clarins, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Garnier, Jergens, Neutrogena, Kiehl’s, L’Oreal, Lubriderm, Nars, Olay, Origins, Shiseido, and many more. But which brands come out on top?
So, what is the best facial moisturizer?
Here are the top 3 moisturizers:
- Advanced Dermatology Complete Age Defense
- La Prairie Cellular Radiance Night Cream
- ReVive Skincare Intensité Crème Lustre Day Firming Moisture Cream
To help you pick a moisturizer that is right for you, we have broken down the best moisturizers by skin problem.
Best Moisturizer for Dry Skin
Does your skin feel rough and tight? If you suffer from dry skin, you may be looking to address this before anything else. However, not all dry skin is the same because it can have different causes.
What to look out for:
- Humectants lock in water. They are an essential ingredient in skin care products. A good moisturizer will include glycerin, propylene glycol or hyaluronic acid.
- Emollients are used to soothe and soften the skin. They work by hydrating the upper layers of the skin. Examples of emollients include oils, lipids, and esters. A good moisturizer will use natural emollients such ceramides, squalene, or apricot kernel oil.
For mild to moderate dryness, our top 3 product recommendation above should be sufficient. However, if you suffer from severe dryness, look for a drugstore moisturizer specifically for dry skin, like Cetaphil.
It’s important to note that a thicker formula isn’t always better. Product viscosity does not necessarily affect hydration and creams are often made thicker for the sole purpose of giving the user a more luxurious experience.
What about petrolatum based products? Because such products have a tendency to sit on top of the skin and clog pores, we don’t recommend items with petrolatum. Also, try to avoid products with occlusives and mineral oils. They clog the pores too.
Certain ingredients used in skin care products can also dry the skin out. This is a good reason to avoid ingredients like surfactants, including Sodium Lauryl Sulfate found in cleansers.
You don’t need to wash your face as frequently, ideally once per day in the evening. Don’t use hot water as this could dry out your skin.
Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin
Should you use a moisturizer if you have dry skin? Well, it depends. If you have no other skin concerns, you could avoid a moisturizer altogether. Instead, consider using a serum treatment. Take a look at Advanced Dermatology’s Super Youth Serum, for example.
However, if your skin feels overly oily, you may need a product with mattifying agents, to reduce the appearance of oiliness.
For most people with oily skin, we recommend using a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer. Preferably a water-based moisturizer. Take a look at our top recommendation above!
If you suffer from breakouts, use a product that contains mild salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, as these are great at clearing out pores and killing acne-causing bacteria.
If you are looking for a product for acne prone skin, you may want to try Normaderm Anti-Acne Hydrating Lotion. It is oil-free and is specifically designed to treat acne.
Best Tinted Moisturizer
Forget heavy foundations, use a tinted moisturizer instead. It feels a lot lighter on the skin, and it keeps the skin hydrated. Our favorite: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue. It provides coverage and hydration. It comes in ten colors so it’s easy to match to your skin tone, and because it doesn’t feel heavy, you can wear it daily.
Other recommended products include Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint, Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Tinted Moisturizer, and Estee Lauder DayWear Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Sheer Tint. They are all good products.
If you’re looking for a product you can purchase from the drugstore, we like Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. At $16.50, it’s definitely one of the best value tinted moisturizers.
Best Anti Aging Moisturizer
Let’s talk about the importance of using a good moisturizer when it comes to aging skin. You are probably concerned about fine lines, wrinkles, and maybe the loss of firmness and elasticity. You may also have concerns like uneven skin tone – usually caused by prolonged sun exposure.
If you’re looking for a product for aging skin, we recommend advanced clinical skin care products with higher concentrations of anti aging ingredients…Ideally, a product that can address all the visible signs of aging.
Best Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin
First, determine how sensitive your skin is. If it reacts to most products with redness or irritation, it’s likely you have very sensitive skin. In such situations, we highly recommend a consultation with a dermatologist, especially if your skin feels itchy and taut.
For sensitive skin, it’s important to avoid irritating ingredients including fragrance, mineral oil and artificial colors. If you have been diagnosed with sensitive skin, we recommend a simple drugstore moisturizer, like Cetaphil For Dry, Sensitive Skin Moisturizing Cream.
Drugstore Face Moisturizer
Drugstore brands are typically less expensive. Popular drugstore brands include Cerave, Cetaphil, Aveeno, Neutrogena, and Garnier. A reliable product is the Aveeno Moisturizer. However, we recommend taking a look at our top recommendations above.
Best Natural Face Moisturizer
Natural products are becoming increasingly popular. There are many good reasons to choose organic products. The most obvious: many toxins found in cosmetic products are absorbed by the skin into the bloodstream. Natural products are also better for the environment.
The downside with natural products is that they often aren’t capable of achieving dramatic results unless they are combined with other ingredients. Also, many of the botanicals found in organic products can cause irritation or allergic reaction.
Use a natural facial moisturizer when you have no skin concerns and looking for basic hydration. If you are looking for a natural product, you may want to try Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Moisturizer.
If you are like most of us and have various skin concerns, take look at Advanced Dermatology. It is free from harmful ingredients, such as parabens, synthetic colors, or fragrance.
One last thing: The most effective way to fight aging is to wear SPF whenever you go into the sun. This is the number one cause of aging skin.
Our top recommendation is Advanced Dermatology Complete Age Defense. Runner up: ReVive and La Prairie