Here are the Top 9 Best Face Moisturizers, According to Experts

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With so many options available, sometimes it’s challenging to pick the optimal face moisturizer – especially if you’re unsure of where to begin.

Read on if you’d like to learn how to find the right face moisturizer for you, with recommendations curated from the top lists to help you choose.

How do you find the best face moisturizer?

When choosing the brand that’s right for you, Toronto dermatologist Dr. Kucy Pon says, “There’s no such thing as the ‘best’ moisturizer for everyone, and picking the right one depends on your skin type, preference for consistency, and what you are comfortable spending.” 

Most of us have one of four skin types: normal, dry, oily, and combination, meaning your face is oily in places and dry in others. So, if you’re someone with oily skin, you should look for lotions made with lighter, nongreasy ingredients. If you have dry skin, using a cream that’s more hydrating will be beneficial. You also want to be sure to read the ingredients list to check for any known allergens and spot test anything new on a small, indiscreet patch of skin.

The benefit of treating dry skin – or any skin type, for that matter – with moisturizer is that it helps keep moisture inside your skin, making it soft and more elastic. That, in turn, reduces the chance of skin problems, and according to the British Journal of Dermatology, it can reduce the rate of facial wrinkling and help manage eczema, too.

What are the best moisturizers?

Best face moisturizer for normal skin type

Water Rose 24H Moisture Cream - Garnier SkinActive
garnierusa.com

Garnier SkinActive Water Rose 24H Moisture Cream

Overview

This moisturizing cream is lightweight and absorbs almost instantly into your skin. The formula – composed of rose water and hyaluronic acid – delivers lasting hydration and smells like natural rose water. It leaves no clogged pores or residues behind.

Reviews

This lovely moisturizer boasts a perfect rating of five out of five stars.

Where to find it

You can find a list of retailers on Garnier’s website.

Price

$14.99

Best for

Normal-to-dry skin

Other notable features

This product is vegan and contains no parabens, phthalates, oils, or dyes.

Best face moisturizer for dry skin

Hydro Boost Face Gel Cream with Hyaluronic Acid | NEUTROGENA®
neutrogena.com

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream

Overview

More of a gel than a cream, Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost delivers hydration through its liquid-like formula for up to 48 hours. It absorbs quickly, feels fresh, and is non-comedogenic, which means no clogged pores. If your skin is especially dry, this gel will bring relief and lock in moisture.

Reviews

Many happy customers rated this moisturizer five out of five stars on Neutrogena’s website.

Where to find it

Grab it directly from Neutrogena’s website.

Price

$23.99

Best for

Dry skin

Other notable features

Neutrogena concocted this one without fragrances, dyes, or oils.

Best face moisturizer for oily skin

Ghost Democracy Clean Lightweight Daily Face Moisturizer – HelloAva
shop.helloava.co

Ghost Democracy Clean Lightweight Daily Face Moisturizer

Overview

Ghost Democracy’s formula works for all skin types, but it’s lightweight and made without oils, making it perfect for oily skin. It absorbs quickly, so you need not worry about residue build-up. It truly delivers all-day hydration without any fuss.

Reviews

Ghost Democracy’s moisturizer is a hit, with a rating of five out of five stars

Where to find it

You can find this wonderful moisturizer on Ghost Democracy’s website.

Price 

$28

Best for

All skin types, oily skin

Other notable features

Ghost Democracy made this without drying alcohols, essential oils, mineral oils, sulfates, silicones, phthalates, parabens, synthetic dyes, added fragrance, propylene glycol, formaldehyde, and a series of other ingredients that are considered by experts to be concernable in cosmetics.

Best face moisturizer for combination skin

Kiehl's Since 1851 Ultra Facial Cream – bluemercury
bluemercury.com

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream with Squalane

Overview

This facial cream, formulated with squalane, glacial glycoprotein, and glycerin, delivers deep hydration and helps strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier. It works with anyone’s skin type, even those with sensitivities, which means it will be no problem for combination skin. The ultra-lightweight formula is fast-absorbing and offers 24-hour hydration.

Reviews

This product holds many positive reviews, with a rating of five out of five stars that you can see here.

Where to find it

Check it out on Kiehl’s website.

Price

$32

Best for 

All skin types 

Other notable features

Kiehl’s makes this product without parabens, fragrances, miner oils, dyes, or triethanolamine.

Best face moisturizer for sensitive skin

Moisturizing Cream | Moisturizers | CeraVe
cerave.com

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

Overview

CeraVe combines hyaluronic acid and three essential ceramides to help hydrate your skin. This product is usable on the face and body and helps improve the look and feel of extra-dry skin, with ingredients that will avoid irritating sensitivities. Your skin absorbs it quickly so that you can get on with your routine, and it’s non-comedogenic, too.

Reviews

This moisturizer is the recipient of thousands of great reviews, the majority of which are five out of five stars.

Where to find it

You can find it on CeraVe’s website.

Price

$18.99

Best for 

Dry and sensitive skin

Other notable features

This product uses patented “M.V.E. Technology” developed by CeraVe to release moisturizing ingredients for 24 hours continually.

Best face moisturizer for men

Kiehl's Since 1851 Facial Fuel Daily Energizing Moisture Treatment for Men  | Ulta Beauty
ulta.com

Kiehl’s Facial Fuel

Overview

When it comes to moisturizers specifically for men, the differences are more than fragrance, packaging, and naming. You’ll notice differences in the ingredients list, too. Remember, a man’s skin is slightly different from a woman’s, namely in its thickness and how it ages, among other factors. But, in all honesty, anyone can use whatever product he, she, or they would like. It’s all about finding products that suit your skin’s unique needs. 

This men’s facial cream by Kiehl’s is perfect for applying right after shaving or washing your face to help moisturize and protect your skin from irritation. It absorbs quickly and leaves your skin feeling fresh and nongreasy.

Reviews

See for yourself why it holds a rating of nearly five out of five stars here.


Where to find it

You can grab it directly from Kiehl’s website.

Price

$35

Best for 

Men’s skin

Other notable features

Kiehl’s makes this one without parabens and sulfates.

Best natural face moisturizer

Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer | Farmacy Beauty
farmacybeauty.com

Farmacy Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer 

Overview

This gel-cream moisturizer is lightweight and loaded with honey, hyaluronic acid, and golden cupuaçu butter beads to hydrate and nourish your skin. The honey in this moisturizer comes straight from U.S. farms and the butter beads from the Amazon. All that makes it more than a moisturizer. It’s an experience.

Reviews

This honey moisturizer gets a lot of love, with five out of five stars.

Where to find it

Take a look at the product listing on Farmacy’s website.

Price

$45

Best for

All skin types

Other notable features

Farmacy makes this without parabens, synthetic fragrances, mineral oils, formaldehyde, or phthalates.

Best face moisturizer with sunscreen

E.L.F. Holy Hydration! Face Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen

Overview

If you’re looking for a moisturizer that also contains sunscreen, this face cream may be the one for you. It combines hyaluronic acid, squalane, and a list of the key ingredients to deliver a formal that hydrates your skin, brightens and evens your tone, and absorbs quickly to avoid a greasy look. It’s suited for both day and nighttime use and works with all skin types.

Reviews

This unscented face cream holds a perfect rating of five out of five stars

Where to find it

You can find this multipurpose face cream here at GoPuff.

Price

$11.99

Best for 

All skin types

Other notable features

E.L.F. makes this cream without sulfates, parabens, or phthalates.

Honorable mention

Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion with Hyaluronic Acid | Cetaphil US
cetaphil.com

Cetaphil Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion

Overview

Cetaphil’s moisturizer for the face and body contains hyaluronic acid and instantly provides intense hydration to your skin. It’s quick to absorb and locks in moisture for up to 24 hours. It’s best for combination skin and is non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic, making it suitable for sensitive skin.

Reviews

This lotion boasts an impressive rating of five out of five stars.

Where to find it

You can read more or find a retailer on Cetaphil’s website. Your local pharmacy may also carry it.

Price 

$12.49

Best for 

Combination skin

Other notable features

Cetaphil specializes in creating gentle and effective skincare for everyone. You may be able to find a product suitable for each step in your skincare regime – even if you have extra-sensitive skin. 

How often should you moisturize your face?

Ideally, you should moisturize your face at least once a day and twice daily if your skin is dry. The optimal time is right after your shower, shave, or exfoliate, but you can do it anytime. If you wear sunscreen, put your moisturizer on first. If you use a serum, it goes on after you wash your face but before you apply your moisturizer.

How much moisturizer should you use?

Check the label on your specific product to see what they recommend. If it’s vague, which a lot of the time it is, a nickel- or quarter-size amount will do the trick when moisturizing your face and neck. Gently work it in until your skin absorbs it entirely. If you’re uncertain, start with a smaller amount, as it’s easy to go back for more than it is to put the unused portion back in the bottle.

Stay hydrated

Like anything else, the word “best” is subjective when choosing face cream or moisturizer. Ultimately, you want to select the optimal product for you based on your own unique needs and preferences.

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