Best Face Moisturizers to Keep Your Skin Smooth and Soft.

The Best Face Moisturizers to Keep Your Skin Crazy Soft and Smooth

Moisturizers are the base of a good skincare routine, yet they often they get overlooked for the latest Insta-hyped ampoule/serum/essence promising a smooth! glowy! ageless! complexion! But considering hydration is actually the key to healthy, radiant skin, the humble moisturizer is one of the best products to keep in your medicine cabinet and toiletry kit.

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A Quick Rundown on Moisturizing Ingredients 

The question when it comes to moisturizers is how to find the right one for your skin. When shopping for one, you want to look for three main types of ingredients: occlusives, which lock in water (shea butter, beeswax); humectants, which attract H2O and help hydrate (glycerin, hyaluronic acid); and emollients, which smooth and even out skin (fatty acids, ceramides). 

While many of the best face moisturizers contain all three, all complexions are different and may not benefit from the same formula as another. To help you find the right one, we’ve found the best face moisturizers based on skin types and issues. Read on for the healthiest, most hydrated skin of your life.


Best Face Moisturizer Overall

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream for Normal to Dry Skin.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

It might surprise you that our pick for best overall moisturizer is an under-$15 drugstore find, but this no-nonsense, dermatologist-backed face and body cream is everything a hydrator should be. It’s super gentle but also extremely moisturizing, contains proven ingredients such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid, and works for a wide range of skin types—dry, sensitive, mature, eczema-prone, you name it.

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Best Drugstore Face Moisturizer

Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion with Hyaluronic Acid, 3.0 Fluid Ounce.

Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion With Hyaluronic Acid 

Another budget-friendly gem, this lightweight lotion is chock-full of one of our favorite skin-care ingredients: hyaluronic acid. Though the word “acid” may sound intense, HA is actually deeply nourishing and hydrating. It helps your skin hold onto moisture (it can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water) for a dewy complexion.

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Best Status Face Moisturizer

Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream LA MER.

La Mer Crème De La Mer Moisturizing Cream

There’s a reason you see so many products being touted as “La Mer dupes.” Celebrities and beauty bloggers alike swear by the legendary white pot’s ability to completely transform dry, dull, stressed-out skin. At $180 an ounce, it ain't cheap, but most say La Mer’s signature “Miracle Broth” (a mix of fermented sea kelp, vitamins, oils, and minerals) is worth every penny. Still not convinced? Consult the more than 1,500 reviews on Nordstrom from very happy Creme De La Mer shoppers.

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Best Face Moisturizer for Men

Brickell Men's Daily Essential Face Moisturizer for Men.

Brickell Daily Essential Face Moisturizer 

While everyone is different, men’s skin tends to be thicker and oilier, which means dudes need something that’s ultra-hydrating but also incredibly lightweight. This one from Brickell Men’s Products fits the bill: Aloe vera, jojoba oil, and hyaluronic acid hydrate and lock in moisture without feeling heavy, while green tea protects skin and improves signs of aging. Reviewers rave about how great it feels on their skin and how quickly it absorbs.

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Best Natural Face Moisturizer

DRUNK ELEPHANT Lala Retro™ Whipped Moisturizer with Ceramides.

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

This rich, award-winning cream from clean skincare line Drunk Elephant uses glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and a blend of African oils to deeply moisturize without weighing skin down. Like all Drunk Elephant products, it’s not only really, really effective but also free of potentially irritating ingredients such as alcohols, silicones, SLS, fragrances, dyes, and essential oils.

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Best Face Moisturizer with SPF

La Roche-Posay Double Repair Face Moisturizer UV SPF 30.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer UV Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Yes, you need to wear SPF every day. Every. Single. Day. The easiest way to do this is to combine sunscreen and moisturizer into one step, but many SPF moisturizers can skew heavy, chalky, or irritating. Not this UV-blocking face cream from sensitive skin expert La Roche-Posay. The broad-spectrum SPF 30 sinks in easily and doesn't leave an ashy cast in its wake.

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Best Face Moisturizer for Oily Skin and/or Acne-Prone Skin

Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Pink Juice Oil-Free Moisturizer

If you struggle with oily, acne-prone skin, the last thing you want is a heavy cream clogging up your pores. You need something weightless, water-based, and non-comedogenic to keep those babies free and clear. Reviewers swear this oil-free, jelly-like moisturizer, loaded with hyaluronic acid, produces glowy, baby-soft skin with nary a breakout in sight. Much like its popular predecessor, the Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, the K-beauty hydrator has already sold out multiple times.

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Best Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin

Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream.

Weleda Skin Food 

Though sometimes referred to as a “natural La Mer” and a "La Mer dupe," Weleda’s OG moisturizer has a cult following of its own. A favorite of makeup artists and celebs (including Rihanna), the thick, white goop has nearly 1,500 five-star reviews on Amazon, with one tube selling every 23 seconds in the UK. Beeswax, glycerin, calendula, and chamomile work together to leave even the most parched skin looking smooth and dewy. 

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Best Face Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin

Avène Skin Recovery Cream.

Avène Skin Recovery Cream

When you have sensitive skin, you need a moisturizer that’s gentle and nonirritating—but you also want it to, you know, work. French skincare line Avène's well-loved Skin Recovery Cream combines glycerin (a humectant) with its trademark thermal spring water to relieve freaked-out skin.

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Best Face Moisturizer for Seriously Dry and/or Sensitive Skin

FIRST AID BEAUTY Ultra Repair® Cream Intense Hydration.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

This Sephora best-seller (nearly 5,000 five-star reviews, plus 150,000 "hearts"!) works miracles on rough, flaky skin. Colloidal oatmeal calms irritation from eczema and other frustrating skin conditions; shea butter heals, seals in moisture, and promotes collagen production; and a proprietary blend of antioxidants protect from future damage. Gentle enough to be used on babies and kids, the thick, whipped cream provides instant relief.

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Best Face Moisturizer for Redness

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair ™ Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30.

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30

Though technically a treatment, this minty-green cream also functions as a color-correcting primer and SPF moisturizer. It’s packed with soothing, hydrating ingredients, but the key one here is cica—a chlorophyll-rich herb renowned for its healing abilities (tigers actually roll around in it to treat their wounds!). Many reviewers and beauty editors say it’s the only thing that’s helped them go foundation-free. 

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Best Face Moisturizer for Wrinkles or Aging Skin

Olay  Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Face Moisturizer

Whether you’re concerned about crow’s feet or forehead lines, you can’t do much better than this best-selling drugstore cream from Olay. It packs the anti-aging triple threat: hydrating hyaluronic acid, restorative niacinamide, and collagen-boosting peptides to give you smoother, bouncier, more youthful-looking skin. 

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Best Face Moisturizer with Retinol

RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Anti-Aging Night Face Cream.

RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Anti-Aging Retinol Night Cream

“Use retinol” is right up there with “apply sunscreen” when it comes to derms’ best advice. And it’s no wonder: The much-studied ingredient diminishes fine lines and wrinkles, clears up acne, stimulates collagen, and makes skin glow. RoC has a reputation for making inexpensive, retinol-infused products that actually work, and experts have been recommending its gold-tube night cream for years. 

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Best Face Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream.

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream

OK, a lot of products on this list contain hyaluronic acid. After all, it’s a surefire ingredient for smooth, plump, radiant skin. What sets Peter Thomas Roth’s insanely hydrating cream apart is that it contains a whopping 30% concentration of HA to keep your face hydrated for up to 72 hours. Not only that, it uses three different molecule sizes to help the hyaluronic acid penetrate different parts of the skin. The feather-light face moisturizer is a game-changer for pretty much every skin type.

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Best Tinted Face Moisturizer

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 30.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 30

With so many new beauty products coming out all the time, it can be difficult for even really, really good ones to hold onto their fan-favorite status. Laura Mercier’s iconic tinted moisturizer (one of our favorite tinted sunscreens, with an incredible shade range) has stood the test of time and is still a holy-grail product for A-listers and makeup artists. The brand recently changed up the formula, but the general consensus is it’s just as good as, if not better than, the old stuff.

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Best Gel Face Moisturizer

Neutrogena  Hydro Boost Gel-Cream.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream 

If you stopped using Neutrogena back in seventh grade, it’s time to start back up again. The brand’s HA-packed gel-cream has over 1,500 five-star reviews on Amazon and consistently tops best-of lists, plus it won Allure’s Readers’ Choice Award two years running. If that doesn’t convince you, it’s also super lightweight, mega hydrating, oil- and alcohol-free, non-comedogenic, and suitable for pretty much every skin type. 

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Best Night Cream Face Moisturizer

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream.

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream

No, your regular moisturizer won’t cut it at night. Your skin loses water when you sleep, so it’s best to slather on something a little heavier and more protective, like this antioxidant-packed night cream from Fresh. You’ll be waking up to bright, dewy skin in no time.

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