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Daily moisturizing is essential for healthy skin, but some may regard it only as a beauty habit. Nonetheless, those of us who understand the importance of hydrated skin know that our skin is the greatest organ in our bodies and requires regular care to stay young, blemish-free, and healthy. As such, hydrating your skin is so vital, and it’s just as important to know the best face moisturizer you should use for your particular skin type.
Clearly, not all moisturizers are created equal. To understand what is the best moisturizer for you, you should know this: Your face moisturizer should, at the very least, hydrate your skin. In doing so, it improves the texture and general appearance of your skin by making it look more plump and smooth and by supporting skin barrier function. Supporting the skin barrier also keeps the skin healthy and more resilient — making it less susceptible to damage or infection.
How to Choose the Best Face Moisturizer for You
With so many available options out there and so many claims and opinions about the best moisturizer, it can be difficult to finally take your pick and get to moisturizing. So how do you choose? What is the best face moisturizer in 2022? Should you go for trusted brands or look for the best drugstore moisturizer? Could you trust that all your hydration needs will be met by the best daily moisturizers?
While moisturizing may sound simple enough, looking for a new moisturizer is anything but. Not only are there so many various types of lotions and creams on the market, but everyone’s skin is different, making it even more difficult to find the proper match. Factors like skin type, budget, and top skin concerns all play a role, adding further stress to an already challenging decision.
Be that as it may, there’s no need to worry. We’ve broken down the considerations in your quest for the best face moisturizer for you.
Best Moisturizer for Dry Skin
If you have dull or dry skin, a daily lightweight moisturizer with moisturizing elements like niacinamide or hyaluronic acid can be extremely beneficial. This also should be your consideration for finding the best face moisturizer for dry sensitive skin.
Meanwhile, if you have extremely dry skin, peeling, eczema, or if you live in a cold region, your best moisturizer for dry skin would be a thicker formula suited for your specific skin conditions.
Here are our top picks for the best moisturizer for dry skin:
1. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
Among the best moisturizer for dry skin, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream contains squalane to help strengthen skin barrier and glycerin to retain moisture. This fragrance-free cream is designed to endure cold, dry conditions. Its thick consistency hydrates very dry skin. The cream absorbs quickly into the skin and has a lightweight feel.
According to reviews, hydration lasts a good 24 hours and improves the texture of the skin. But because it’s on the thicker side, some people claim it can leave stains on their pillow.
2. CeraVe Ultra Light Moisturizing Lotion
As one of the best moisturizers for dry skin, CeraVe Ultra Light Moisturizing Lotion contains hyaluronic acid and three essential ceramides to hydrate and help restore the skin’s barrier. This lightweight oil-free face moisturizer provides a matte finish. It won’t clog pores and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth, as well as protected from the sun with its SPF30.
3. NIVEA Soft Moisturizing Creme
The NIVEA Soft Moisturizing Creme contains glycerin to bind moisture to the skin and vitamin E and jojoba oil to hydrate the skin. It quickly penetrates into the skin and moisturizes without being greasy. It quickly penetrates into the skin and moisturizes without being greasy. Also one of the best drugstore moisturizers, it can be used for the face, hands, and body.
On the downside, some reviewers complain about a sticky residue. If you are also particular about skincare ingredients, it is worth noting that this product contains myristyl myristate, a comedogenic substance that could lead to breakouts.
Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin
When your face is already overproducing natural oils, reaching for a moisturizer may seem counterintuitive. However, this may be exactly what your oily skin needs.
Although an overabundance of sebum can cause oily skin and acne, it does not imply that the skin is well-hydrated. Furthermore, the act of removing these oils accelerates moisture loss. In addition, cold temperatures, hot baths, and harsh astringents can all compromise the skin’s integrity, resulting in rapid moisture loss and dryness.
Many moisturizers are designed specifically for oily skin. Often labelled as an oil-free moisturizer, these products are light and fast-absorbing, and they will not leave your skin feeling greasy or shiny.
This Cetaphil moisturizing lotion is recommended by skincare experts because it provides an additional broad range of UVA/UVB protection. This is extra helpful for oily skin types because UV light can stimulate the activity of sebaceous glands and lead to increased oil production.
Using “micro-pearl technology,” which absorbs surface oil, decreases shine, and gives a matte appearance, this Cetaphil face moisturizer is widely available and another one of the best drugstore moisturizers out there.
The BeautyStat Universal Pro-Bio Moisture Boost Cream contains hyaluronic acid, bifida extract (a probiotic that helps heal, soothe, and protect the skin) and ganoderma (a mushroom extract that helps with signs of aging). It’s regarded as one of the best face moisturizers that are fragrance-free, and safe for all skin types.
6. Clinique Moisture Surge
This Clinique moisturizer comes in a refreshing oil-free gel-cream. It boasts of deep hydration that lasts 100 hours, and locks in moisture for an endlessly plump, dewy glow.
This face moisturizer contains Aloe Bioferment + HA Complex that penetrates deep into skin’s surface, plus its own Auto-Replenishing Technology that helps skin create its own internal water source to continually rehydrate itself, then locks in moisture. So it’s no wonder why it’s considered one of the best moisturizers of 2022.
Similarly, when you have acne, using a moisturizer may feel like you’re just adding to the problem. However, keep in mind that no matter what your skin type, you’ll need a moisturizer in your skincare routine.
Essentially, NOT moisturizing could make your skin oilier — when the skin’s surface becomes dry, the skin compensates by creating even more oil. It is therefore critical that you use the right moisturizer for your skin to balance the skin’s natural oil production.
Furthermore, if you use acne treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or other similar ingredients, your skin may already be dry and inflamed.
With ingredients such as squalane, probiotics, red seaweed, and ginger extract, the Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer can improve hydration and calm red, irritated skin. Research shows that probiotics, which are “good” bacteria that live on our skin and in our bodies, can help with a variety of skin problems, including acne.
This EWG-verified, vegan, and cruelty-free face moisturizer has even received a lot of positive feedback because aside from its efficacy, it’s available in a travel size and at a reasonable price, so you can try it out before investing in the full size.
8. Herbivore Aquarius Pore Purifying BHA Cream
One thing that strikes immediately about the Herbivore Aquarius Pore Purifying BHA Cream is its distinctive blue color. Thanks to a few key ingredients, this non-comedogenic, vegan solution is specifically intended to relieve pore congestion and excess oil.
The blue tansy oil is helpful in soothing inflamed skin. Meanwhile, willow bark BHA is described by Herbivore as “nature’s alternative to synthetic salicylic acid,” which may help with acne.
Although the cream appears substantial in the jar, users report that it applies smoothly and feels light on the skin. It also contains no artificial additives, such as colours, perfumes, or preservatives. The jar is also 100 per cent recyclable as an added bonus.
Non-comedogenic and free of fragrances and oil, the formula includes glycerin, which helps to calm skin that has become extremely sensitive as a result of acne or other treatments. Plus, this soothing lotion provides broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection, making it ideal for daytime use. Oh and one more thing: the value for money is unbeatable.
If you have sensitive skin, you may have an even more difficult time selecting the best face moisturizer for you because it appears that practically every formulation can cause problems with your already delicate face.
What’s the most important thing to remember when dealing with sensitive skin? Less really is more. Because moisture is essential for healthy skin, selecting the appropriate moisturizer is critical because it may be one of the only skincare products your skin can accept.
The Simple Kind to Skin Replenishing Moisturizer is a budget formula among the best drugstore moisturizers. Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, it’s also gentle, nourishing, and pH-balanced (helps your skin retain moisture by keeping it at the right acidity level). It keeps sensitive skin clear of breakouts and doesn’t sting on contact, according to reviewers.
11. Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore
If you’re going to splurge in search of the best face moisturizer, we certainly recommend Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore. Moisture-boosting components including vitamin E and glycerin, as well as natural lipids that rebuild the skin barrier, make up the formula of this face moisturizer.
It moisturizes and calms sensitive skin and is especially good for older and sensitive skin types that are prone to dryness. Best of all, it’s dermatologist-approved.
12. La Roche-Posay Double Repair Moisturizer
The Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer is formulated with dermatologist-recommended ingredients such as ceramide-3, niacinamide, and glycerin. With its own La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water, this face moisturizer boasts of a double action: it helps repair skin’s natural protective barrier after 1-hour and provide up to 48-hour hydration.
It’s regarded as one of the best moisturizers because of its lightweight cream texture that easily absorbs into the skin to provide immediate comfort.
One of the best gifts we can give our skin on a daily basis is the benefit of sunscreen. With the sun’s UV rays causing up to 90% of photoaging indications like brown spots and wrinkles, SPF helps protect our skin from this UV damage. This can also potentially cause more serious conditions like skin cancer.
A two-in-one moisturizer with SPF simplifies skincare and make sun protection a no-brainer. It’s a combination that totally makes sense — because we should apply our moisturizer and SPF everywhere we apply our moisturizer.
13. bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30
The bareMinerals Tinted Moisturizer is well-loved for its airbrushed-like finish. It also doesn’t hurt that it is a sunscreen, face moisturizer, and foundation in one. As the number one bestselling facial tinted moisturizer on Amazon, the product also has the endorsement of The Skin Cancer Foundation, which has called it an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen.
According to online reviews of its users, the coverage lasts all day and is buildable depending on your needs.
Considered as one of the best face moisturizers because of its SPF factor, the EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen not only offers UVA and UVB protection, but includes a high concentration of niacinamide. It helps keep skin bright while increasing collagen and providing anti-inflammatory benefits. One concern though, is that this face moisturizer contains octinoxate, which isn’t considered an ocean-safe ingredient.
15. Paula’s Choice Smoothing Primer Serum SPF 30
With antioxidants and natural ingredients (such as green tea, coffee seed, and chamomile) designed to reduce redness and wrinkles, the Paula’s Choice Smoothing Primer Serum is the perfect choice for those in search of a solid primer under their makeup for a smoother overall finish.
This unique formula’s silky serum texture softly blurs fine lines and large pores for a younger-looking, smoother complexion. It may be on the pricey side, but as one of the best moisturizers out there, it’s definitely worth it.
Best Moisturizer for Combination Skin
Because combination skin has both oily and dry spots on separate parts of your face, several products that combat oiliness and acne (which often occurs on your T-zone) might aggravate preexisting dry patches.
On the other hand, anything too rich will feel heavy on oilier skin and may make it worse. This implies that anyone seeking a solution to hydrate combination skin must select one that strikes the right balance.
Non-comedogenic and alcohol-free, the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel instantly quenches dry skin and keeps it looking smooth, supple, and hydrated which makes it one of the best daily moisturizers. Their award-winning and best-selling water-gel formula absorbs quickly and instantly deliver intense hydration. It contains Hyaluronic Acid, a hydrator found naturally in the skin, which attracts moisture and locks it in, leaving the skin more supple and smooth.
This face moisturizer is also oil-free, so you can wear it alone or under your makeup as a smooth, velvety primer.
17. Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Face Milk SPF 40+
With main active ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which may help to minimize irritation, support wound healing, seal in moisture and protect the skin against the effects of UV rays, this Aveeno Face Moisturizer is one of our best face moisturizers for 2022.
According to online reviews, this face moisturizer does not irritate the skin and does not give dark skin tones a grey or white cast. If you’re looking more into this brand, you may also want to check out one of our other picks (we’ve got a review too for this, by the way: the Positively Radiant Aveeno Face Moisturizer.
18. COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream
Also best for sensitive skin (which could benefit from the healing properties of aloe), the aloe-heavy formulation of COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream offers not only anti-aging properties but also the highest possible UVA protection rating (PA++++). This face moisturizer and sunblock can be worn all year long as it feels light during hot/humid summer and moisturizing in the dry season.
According to reviews, this moisturizer is non-irritating and non-greasy.
Best Tinted Moisturizer
A cross between a lightweight foundation and a cream, a tinted moisturizer does exactly what it says: it hydrates the skin while also leaving the pigment behind for light to medium coverage over flaws.
As you might assume, there are a plethora of tinted moisturizers to select from, ranging from matte to dewy finishes and even solutions for combination or acne-prone skin. Many also offer SPF, which also doesn’t hurt.
The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer made it to the list of best face moisturizers primarily because of the benefits its formula offers. Tamarind seed extract provides antioxidant protection, and vitamins C and E protect against environmental stresses. Meanwhile, macadamia and kukui oils promote good skin function. This face moisturizer also offers broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays.
In addition, they’ve got an amazing selection of 20 shades that can flatter medium, olive, and tan skin tones
20. NARS Tinted Moisturizer
Also on our Best Moisturizer list isNARS Tinted Moisturizer. It brightens and hydrates the skin while also providing broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection for a flawless finish, thanks to skin-loving ingredients like vitamin C and mineral-rich saltwater. The palette in this collection also offers a hue for everyone, so no wonder it’s also considered the best daily moisturizer by a lot of people.
The Hyaluronic Tinted Moisturizer from Colorpop is a hydrating, oil-free tinted moisturizer with lightweight coverage that evens skin tone and leaves your skin looking fresh and healthy. Hyaluronic acid is paired with coconut water to support skin hydration and skin softness without adding oil. With considerations for your skin’s tone and undertone, you can be sure to find the right shade for you.
Best Night Moisturizer
A day cream mixes a lightweight moisturizer with SPF to protect your skin from the sun, but a night cream is typically heavier and is intended to restore and brighten your skin while you sleep.
Many night creams also contain anti-aging chemicals like retinol and retinoids, which aid in cell turnover and are best used at night because they can induce sun sensitivity.
22. Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Night Cream
Lancome’s Renergie Lift Multi-Action Night Cream is formulated with glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and shea butter to produce radiant skin. It’s the best daily moisturizer for you if you don’t mind this luxurious cream’s pricey cost. Nonetheless, the product has received positive feedback, demonstrating the brand’s strong and devoted customer base.
Customers say this product lasts a long time and doesn’t have a strong scent. Some reviewers with sensitive skin, on the other hand, claim that it causes breakouts. A budget-friendly option, it’s one of the best face moisturizers that can be easily found online or in stores.
Included in its formula are Reishi and Chaga mushrooms, turmeric extract, shea butter, and ceramides. The cream is also environmentally friendly, as it is packaged entirely in glass and aluminum.
While the majority of web reviews for this cream are excellent, some reviewers complain that the aroma is quite strong, comparing it to “flowers beyond their prime.” If you’re sensitive to scents, this may not be the best moisturizer for you.
Best Korean Moisturizer
If there’s one thing the beauty industry can’t get enough of, it’s Korean skincare, particularly Korean sunscreen and Korean moisturizers.
What draws most people to Korean skincare is the fact that the serums, cleansers, and moisturizers are packed with ingredients that are naturally moisturizing, plumping, and skin barrier-repairing. If your T-zone is frequently oily, use water-based gels or creams, whereas drier skin will benefit from any of the nourishing and vitamin-packed creams popular in Korean skincare.
Here’s our shortlist of the best Korean moisturizers:
25. LANEIGE Water Bank Moisture Cream
A deep hydration cream with Green Mineral Water (mineral-rich vegetable extracts) to strengthen the skin barrier, the LANEIGE Water Bank Moisture Cream is another one of our best daily moisturizers. Its unique formulation helps the skin stay healthy and strong for 24 hours.
26. innisfree Intensive Hydrating Cream with Green Tea Seed
Green tea has a plethora of health advantages, so it’s no surprise that it’s a key ingredient in Korean skincare. Jeju green tea extract and seed ensure that any dryness is addressed while also sealing in the nutrients. As one of the best face moisturizers on our list, the innisfree Intensive Hydrating Cream is basically a daily moisturizer infused with a blend of Jeju green tea and green tea seed oil to leave skin feeling quenched with intense hydration.
27. be the skin Botanical Nutrition Power Cream
Dry skin requires as much moisture as possible — not just any thick solution that slips off in the middle of the night. Your face moisturizer needs to be able to seal in all the beneficial pore-loving hydration, such as the be the skin, like the Botanical Power Cream from be the skin.
With ingredients like jojoba seed oil, licorice root extract, and squalene, this face moisturizer can moisturize and balance skin, fight off bacteria, repair skin, and fight free radical damage.
Best Face Moisturizer for Men
One of the reasons many guys skip the crucial moisturizing step is that they don’t like how they feel after using the products.
When it comes to skincare for men, they tend to avoid products that leave their skin feeling greasy, oily, or filmy, which makes picking a moisturizer difficult. Fortunately, moisturizers come in a variety of forms so guys can choose from creams, serums or gels.
Nonetheless, it all boils down to the same considerations: the type of moisturizer you choose should be determined by your skin type (gels are ideal for oilier skin, while thicker creams are ideal for dry skin).
Although, some might say that the most essential factor in selecting a moisturizer is finding one that you enjoy using on a daily basis. We totally agree — it won’t do your face any good if your face moisturizer just sits in your medical cabinet.
A lightweight hyaluronic acid-based moisturizer like The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% may be all guys need for proper skin hydration. This formulation combines low-, medium- and high-molecular-weight HA for multi-depth hydration. With no-nonsense, it’s one of the best moisturizers as this system is supported with the addition of Vitamin B5 which also enhances surface hydration. It can be worn by itself, but can also be used underneath another moisturizer or sunscreen for extra hydration.
30. Versed Dew Point Moisturizing Gel Cream
The Versed Dew Point Moisturizing Gel Cream is another lightweight face moisturizer with a jelly-like moisturizing gel cream. It absorbs quickly and dissolves into your skin, leaving it feeling rejuvenated but never oily. Natural antioxidants present in green tea soothe the skin, combat harmful free radicals, and calm inflammation, while sodium hyaluronate (like hyaluronic acid, it helps draw in and maintain moisture in the skin) and aloe leaf juice moisturize. It’s also one of the best daily moisturizers because it won’t clog your pores.
Here are two more brands that we think also deserves a spot on our list of best face moisturizer in 2022:
31. Superhydrate Elf Moisturizer
With a fast-absorbing formula, smooth, non-greasy hydration and powerful ingredients like squalene, niacinamide and Centella Asiatica (which protects, soothes, and moisturizes), the Elf Superhydrate Moisturizer is definitely worth considering too.
32. Clean and Clear Moisturizer
The Essentials Dual Action Moisturizer from Clean and Clear moisturizes dry skin while helping prevent breakouts. Specially formulated for acne-prone skin, this face moisturizer is made with salicylic acid to treat and help prevent acne while providing the moisture your skin needs during the day. Oil-free, dye-free and paraben-free, this moisturizer keeps acne in check and skin looking healthy.
Find the Best Face Moisturizer for You
By carefully reading the labels and understanding the ingredients of your face moisturizer, you can then confidently take your pick among the plethora of brands out there.
If you can’t find the best drugstore moisturizer or an online product that works for you, talk to your dermatologist. You can work together to determine which topical solutions will work as your best daily moisturizer. Remember that the best face moisturizer will best support your skin’s function and offer the moisture your skin requires to stay healthy.
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