I’ve tried so many moisturizers it’s almost funny. I hate getting all excited about some new apparently-miraculous-moisturizing-miracle and then getting disappointed when my face either 1) doesn’t change 2) gets red 3) breaks out.
The list of “unhappy” effects of buying a moisturizer that doesn’t live up to its promises is infuriating! I don’t want this dreadful fate to be something you have to deal with.
As a beauty-product addict, I totally get that it’s hard not to want to buy a moisturizer when you’re lured in by beautiful packaging, rave-reviews and a cult-following, promising that this “beauty favorite” needs to be a staple in your skin routine. Some “cult favorites” live up to the hype, I suppose, but others are just a disappointment.
I’m here to give you my actual opinions based on a lot of trial and error. I also know people who have tried everything (I mean from La Prairie all the way down to Coconut Oil and random drugstore buys found in a flurry of excitement wandering around cvs.
So with that said, I’m going to give you my top 3 moisturizer choices, depending on your skin type.
The 3rd Best Moisturizer for Dry Skin: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
You don’t have to shell out tons of money to hydrate your skin thanks to this moisturizer, specifically designed by dermatologists for skin prone to dryness.
This is an excellent, basic moisturizer you can’t go wrong with. It contains hyaluronic and ceramides, which will moisturize and protect the barrier of your skin.
The bottom line: If you have dry skin, this affordable and classic moisturizer is a staple that should be in your life.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, $9.99
The 2nd Best Moisturizer for Dry Skin: Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Night Infusion Cream
This moisturizer is ideal for dry, dehydrated skin. It’s going to soothe, comfort, hydrate and “plump up” your skin.
It’s designed to work while you sleep. Why? Well, while you sleep, your skin repairs itself. That’s why this moisturizer is ideal for night time, so you wake up with brighter, more hydrated and refreshed skin.
It contains Resveratrol, which is going to make your skin firmer as well as fight against or prevent wrinkles. In addition, it contains grape seed oil and organic Shea butter. Shea butter is a notoriously excellent moisturizer. Plus, it contains ceramides that are going to work to repair your skin as you sleep. As if that isn’t enough, this moisturizer contains a blend of deliciously fresh plants (Chamomile Flowers, Poppy, Lavender Water, Sage, Fresh Mint, Orange Leaves) which not only smell amazing but will calm and soothe your skin. This moisturizer is a gem! It even works on sensitive skin and will not cause redness or irritation.
The bottom line: If you have dry skin and want a fresh-smelling, delicious moisturizer where a little goes a long way (since it’s rich and hydrating without being heavy and over the top) and have the money to afford it this one is for you.
The #1 Best Moisturizer for Dry Skin: Aveda Botanical Kinetics™ Hydrating Soft Crème
This contains Salicornia herbacea, which is a seashore plant that’s going to hydrate your skin. How? Well, it has been proven to “stimulate the skin cells’ natural water channels, aquaporins, to help the skin readily absorb moisture”, according to Aveda.
Plus, this moisturizer contains certified organic cupuaçu butter, which is going to provide 24-hours of lasting hydration. This moisturizer also happens to smell good, because of the hint of organic essential oils it contains, including: rose, geranium, olibanum, sandalwood, neroli and other pure flower and plant essences.
The bottom line: If you have dry skin that is not very prone to breakouts and love plant-infused products, this one is ideal for you.
The 3rd Best Moisturizer for Combination Skin: Bliss Triple Oxygen ex-‘glow’-sion
This vitabead-infused moisture cream contains oxygen and micro-algae for an instant burst of youthful radiance.
The premise behind this moisturizing cream is that it’s taken the expertise behind their spa’s triple oxygen facial and poured it into this jar, which is intended to give “spa” worthy results in your own home.
You can actually feel little beads when you apply the moisturizer and they almost “soak into” your skin. While I am not necessarily sure that it delivers spa-level results, what I can say is that it feels extremely refreshing on the skin rather than heavy.
It doesn’t clog pores, doesn’t leave a shiny residue and is an all around solid moisturizer for those with combination skin.
It isn’t necessarily going to hydrate too much but if you have combination skin you don’t necessarily need an ultra-dense moisturizer, making this one ideal for your situation.
The bottom line: If you want a solid, fresh moisturizer that’s going to make you feel refreshed and are a fan of little beads blending into your skin, this one is for you.
Bliss Triple Oxygen ex-‘glow’-sion, $48 on Amazon
The 2nd Best Moisturizer for Combination Skin: Ole Henriksen, Truth Revealed Super Creme SPF 15
Eminem used to go to Ole Henriksen for facials, which is actually how I first got acquainted with the brand. Over the years, I’ve consistently heard it mentioned as one of the best skin care lines around.
This moisturizer in particular is ideal for combination skin because it isn’t going to be too heavy but will give you enough hydration while improving the texture of your skin.
Not only does this enhance your skin’s texture, but also promises to deliver anti-aging results.
This contains micro algae, which is supposed to boost the production of collagen in your skin. This moisturizer also contains Tripeptide-5, which stimulates “collagen synthesis” in order to lessen wrinkles.
It contains Omega 3 Happiness Concentrate, which is going to lead to more glowy, radiant skin. There are no parabens or sulfates either.
Another extra benefit to this moisturizer is that it contains uv sunscreen, which is part of any healthy skin regimen. Wearing sunscreen every day is necessary to avoid hyper pigmentation and premature aging of the skin.
The bottom line: If you have combination skin and want a moisturizer that’ll make your skin glow, this one is for you.
The #1 Best Moisturizer for Combination Skin: Arcona Magic Dry Ice
Arcona, Arcona, Arcona… what can I say about this brand? Everything about magic dry ice is perfect.
It’s kind of a funny name, but I love everything about this moisturizer. It’s lightweight and just feels fresh, delightful and “right” on your skin.
It’s hard to describe the brilliance of this moisturizer. It is going to moisturize without clogging pores or breaking you out. It’s great for all ages and skin types, really, but I would say it’s ideal for combination skin in particular.
It could also work for oily skin and acne prone skin. Plus, it’s known to shield you against environmental damage while fighting against free radicals.
In addition, white cranberry is going to ensure that your skin is as glowy as it can be.
The bottom line: if you have combination skin, normal skin, sort of dry skin or even somewhat sensitive skin this is an amazing moisturizer I highly recommend across the board. I love it.
Arcona Magic Dry Ice, $30.28
The 3rd Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin: Mario De Badescu, Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 17
This is a basic moisturizer that isn’t going to clog pores or increase any oil production on your face. It’s lightweight but functional.
There is a common misconception that if you have oily skin it’s a sin to wear any type of moisturizer.
Well, this isn’t the case. In fact, sometimes those with oily prone skin tend to go overboard and strip their skin of its essential oils, which in turn ends up producing more oil to combat this. This moisturizer is great because it’s going to give you just enough moisturizer to combat this overproduction of oil effect.
And it has sunscreen, which is an added benefit since wearing sunscreen daily prevents sun damage and hyper pigmentation.
The bottom line: If you’re oily and in need of a basic, functional moisturizer with added spf, this one is for you.
The 2nd Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin: Cellumination Cream
Look for the word “gel” when you’re dealing with oily skin.
This is an intense moisturizing gel that is not only going to hydrate your skin but will also leave it feeling fresh and nice, even clean, rather than weighed down by extra shine and grease.
There is nothing worse than feeling like you have a cake of grease sabotaging your face.
This moisturizer has a few other benefits in addition to providing excellent hydration for skin prone to oily-ness.
The premise behind this is something called “Cellumination,” which is essentially the “conditioning of cells to boost transmission of light within the surface so your skin looks more luminous and even-toned,” according to sk-ii.
So this is sure to improve the overall appearance of your skin and give you a radiant glow.
The bottom line: If you have the money to spend and want a high end brand known to be miraculous for your skin and are prone to oily skin, this one is ideal for you.
The #1 Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin: Natura Bisse Stabilizing Gel Cream
This is ideal for oily skin that’s in need of mattifying, because it’s armed with a specific formula to balance out oily skin and wade off harmful bacteria that result in acne and clogged pores.
This prevents acne from forming while hydrating your skin for 24 hours. The antioxidants, designed to give your skin a healthy glow, are an added bonus.
I remember walking into one of my favorite beauty stores and asked, “What’s the best brand???”I was directed to this one, which the person helping me swore by. I’ve loved this brand ever since and have nothing bad to say about it.
The bottom line: If you’re dealing with oily skin, are nervous about breakouts and are willing to make an investment in your skin, this one is for you.
The 3rd Best Moisturizer for Acne Prone/Sensitive Skin: Eucerin Original Healing Soothing Repair
This is great for sensitive skin, particularly if you have dry, sensitive skin.
This is a very simple, soothing moisturizer that isn’t going to break the bank and is designed to protect your skin. It is free of any kind of fragrances and dyes that are known to irritate sensitive skin.
This is a healing moisturizer that is going to go along well with any kind of acne regimen, since the type of products normally used for acne (such as Retin A or any kind of topic antibiotic) are going to strip your skin of its natural oils.
You can’t go wrong with a simple, trusted moisturizer like this one.
It even works well if you are prone to eczema or psoriasis (which is becoming increasingly common, Kim Kardashian even admitted to having it).
The bottom line: If you have dry skin that is prone to acne, this is a basic moisturizer that will suit you well.
The 2nd Best Moisturizer for Acne Prone/Sensitive Skin: dcl Facial Hydrating Cream
I first discovered this moisturizer as a bonus gift: a full-sized product along with an order because I’m such a product fiend that I apparently bought enough to warrant it.
Anyway. The point is: I could not believe how perfect this moisturizer was. Seriously. When I first put it on, I instantly knew this was literally ideal for acne prone, sensitive skin.
This is not going to break you out, feel weird and greasy or any of those dreadful feelings that come along with having a horrible moisturizer when you have acne prone, sensitive skin.
This is a must-have if you want something basic, simple and clean. It says that it is for dry skin and mature skin, which is definitely not what my skin is.
And it worked beautifully for me. This is what is so great about it. It’s versatile and is going to bind moisture to your skin.
Another bonus is that this brand is created by dermatologists. Although to be honest, this means nothing. There are a bunch of products given out by dermatologists that strip your skin unnecessarily. This one, however, does not.
If you have oily skin, I would recommend only using this at night as a way to moisturize your skin while you sleep, but not in the day.
The reason is if used in the day, this could make your skin greasy, so I would recommend using it at night. If you have dry skin, however, you will be fine using it day or night.
The bottom line: If you want something hydrating, simple, clean and effective this one is for you.
dcl Facial Hydrating Cream, $27.60
The #1 Best Moisturizer for Acne Prone/Sensitive Skin: Epicuren Aloe Vera Calming Gel
This is literally the holy grail for acne prone, sensitive skin in my opinion.
I’m not going to name names, but one of the pickiest people I know who has dealt with acne and needs to make sure their skin does not break out swears by this.
You will also find Epicuren is a facialist and aesthetician favorite. I’ve seen it in multiple high-end beauty spas.
First of all, Aloe Vera is known as a soothing ingredient. This is a special kind of Aloe Vera. Why? Well, because something called “cinoil irritants” are literally filtered from the natural whole leaf juice, which leaves you with the crème de la crème of Aloe Vera, so to speak.
The only downside is you might have to reapply this gel often throughout the day. It’s so soothing, though, and so worth it. Oh, and did I mention that it promotes cellular calming?
The bottom line: if you have skin prone to breakouts and needs soothing but do not want something extra greasy or oily, this is ideal for you.
Epicuren Aloe Vera Calming Gel, $14.53
The 3rd Best Moisturizer for Aging Skin: Radical Skincare Extreme Repair Moisture
This is a dense, heavy moisturizer designed for anti-aging. While it’s probably not as appropriate for oily skin prone to breakouts, it is most certainly beneficial for skin that needs a dense, intense moisturizing cream.
According to Lionel de Benetti, scientific expert and advisor for Radical Skincare, “It’s not about simply accumulating active ingredients but about carefully choosing elements which work together in synergy and, at the same time, strengthen the effect of the individual ingredients.”
This is made up of two peptides called tripeptide and hexapeptide and it contains ten plant extracts in addition to six bioactive molecules.
What’s the purpose of all this? Well, let me to tell you: first, to stand up against the most dry, windy, cold conditions.
If you’re in an extreme climate or have extremely dehydrated skin, this is ideal for you.
Second, the peptides produce an anti-aging effect by increasing vital collagen and elastin fibers. This is an intense moisturizer for extremely dehydrated, aging skin, and ideal for people who are in intense, extreme climates.
One thing I have to warn you about, though: it does not smell that great. It isn’t that it smells bad, but what I think is that it is so jam-packed with ingredients designed to truly defend your skin against extreme climates you can kind of just tell by the smell.
The bottom line: If you have the money to spare and are looking for an extremely intense moisturizer that’ll defend your skin against extreme climates, this is good for you.
The 2nd Best Moisturizer for Aging Skin: Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream Moisturizer
So if you have aging, mature skin you will love this best selling, affordable moisturizer.
It is known to hydrate, life, firm and plump aging, mature skin.
How? It contains an important ingredient called Hyaluronic Acid, in addition to Amino-Peptides and Vitamin B3.
This is going to somewhat improve wrinkles (obviously not as much as something like Botox, because there is no moisturizer on the planet that can actually make wrinkles vanish).
But it is definitely going to show you an improvement in how your skin feels and looks.
The bottom line: You really should get this moisturizer because it is both affordable and legitimately amazing for aging, mature skin.
The #1 Best Moisturizer for Aging Skin: La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream
So I often think of La Prairie as this ultra-cult-favorite moisturizer that cannot possibly live up to the hype, right?
Well… My grandmother swears by this brand. And this woman literally only buys the very best of everything and is ocd with anything she puts on her face. It’s actually kind of scary in a good way.
I don’t really need to explain why this moisturizer is the ultimate in anti-aging but I will just for good measure.
This has caviar extract, which is going to nourish your skin and make your skin tone look better.
In addition, La Prairie’s Cellular Complex has a rejuvenating effect on your skin. Especially as you get older, it’s important to really take care of your skin.
If you can afford keeping up with having to purchase this moisturizer, I’d highly recommend it.
If it’s out of your budget, though, there are other solid options that you can’t go wrong with as well.
The bottom line: If you have the money to spare, why not go for this? It really is amazing. I don’t know how else to describe it.
There you go! Here are my recommendations based on your specific skin type. I’m always trying out new products, though, and will be sure to update this list and/or create more in the future when I come across something valuable.