You only get one face, so you better take care of it. And the best thing anyone can do for their skin is to get a good skincare routine going, and that includes plenty of moisturizing. (It’s also good to use sunscreen and drink plenty of water.)
Applying a moisturizer in the morning and right before bed, preferably right after a shower so the moisture is trapped in, will help reduce wrinkles, repair blemishes and skin damage and prevent both oily and dry skin. Plus, it gives your skin a nice glow.
But what is the best moisturizer for you? You might need something to help with issues like rosacea or eczema, or maybe you just like to avoid the products that won’t make your skin oily. Skin care is a booming industry at the moment, so you have plenty of options. To help you make up your mind, we asked dermatologists for their expert moisturizer recommendations.
Here are the best moisturizers according to dermatologists. They're all available on Amazon — that's where we got the prices below, which are subject to change — though most are also sold at drugstores and major retailers. (Shop around: Amazon doesn't always have the cheapest prices.)
Best Face Moisturizer
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream: $16.08
Every face is different, and some faces are more sensitive and prone to irritation than others. If you're looking to play it as gently as possible, Dr. Zain Husain, a New Jersey-based board-certified dermatologist and fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic surgeon, says CeraVe is the way to go. It's great "for all skin types, especially for dry and or sensitive skin. The cream contains ingredients that would not irritate the skin and keeps it staying hydrated all day," he says. "I love that it contains ceramides, which help the epidermal barrier and locks in hydration."
As Dr. Susan Bard, founder of the Brooklyn-based Vive Dermatology, explains, not all acid is scary, and some is in fact very good for your skin. That's why she recommends Neutrogena Hydro Boost. "It contains hyaluronic acid which is very light but can draw and hold a thousand times its weight in water," she says. "This makes it a powerful moisturizer without a heavy or greasy consistency, so it's unlikely to clog pores."
Best Drugstore Moisturizer: Value Choice
Eucerin Advanced Repair Cream: $12.19
Dr. Jeffrey Fromowitz MD, FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist practicing in Boca Raton, Florida. He recommends Eucerin AdvancedRepair "because it balances hypoallergenic ingredients and combines with ceramides for intense skin hydration," he says. "It is one of my favorite moisturizers, both for value and efficacy."
Best Moisturizer for Face and Body
La Roche Posay Lipikar Balm AP+: $19.99
It's the classic dilemma: you want to keep your face moisturized, but you don't want it to get too wet. If you can relate, Dr. Husain recommends La Roche Posay Lipikar. "It can be used on both the face and body without leaving the skin feeling greasy," he says. "This product contains prebiotic thermal water that is clinically proven to keep the skin barrier intact to prevent the skin from drying out."
Best Anti-Aging Cream
When it comes to anti-aging creams, Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Yale-New Haven Hospital, is big on Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore. And yes, she says it's worth the extra money. "It's my go to for moisturizer, especially in the winter. It is rich in essential lipids, ceramides which nourish and plump, instantly improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Antioxidantes, including Vitamin E, support natural cell repair and defend against free radical damage, which is known to accelerate aging," she says. "If you like a dewy complexion, this is good for day and night."
Best Moisturizer for Eczema and Sensitive Skin
Jamie Kim is a Los Angeles-based board-certified Dermatology Physician Assistant, and the founder of the My Itchy Child blog, which she started to spread awareness about childhood eczema. If you have a little one that is feeling itchy, Kim recommends Vanicream, which she says is "great for people with sensitive skin, such as eczema, including children, because it is free of many skin irritants such a paraben, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, and formaldehyde." As a bonus, she says the cream is "non-greasy and easily applied on the skin."
Aveeno is one of the most well-known skin care brands, and Dr. Bard is a big fan of their Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm. "It’s glycerin-based, so it's thick but not sticky and imparts intensive moisturization," she says. "It also contains ceramides to help repair the skin barrier."
Best Moisturizer for Acne and Rosacea
If you've been seeing red lately, then Dr. Sapna Palep has just the cream for you. The founder of Spring Street Dermatology, Dr. Palep has three New York-based practices, and she recommends the EltaMD Barrier Renewal Complex. "It’s really great for acne or rosacea-prone skin, because it minimizes redness and promotes cell turnover," she says. But even if that's not an issue you're suffering from, anyone could appreciate this moisturizer, she says. "It's amazing at replenishing moisture and maintaining a healthy skin barrier, and reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, tone, texture, and pore size."
Best Moisturizer to Use With Makeup
A good moisturizer is probably the most important thing to put on your face. But it's likely not the only thing you'll put on your face, especially if you like makeup. If you're the type to layer it on, Dr. Mraz Robinson recommends Care Skincare's Water Cream, which "is a lightweight gel that instantly absorbs, so it's perfect for layering under makeup and sunscreen. I love this one for day time," she says. "The formula has three weights of Hyaluronic Acid, which are humectants, drawing moisture into the skin. Aloe soothes irritation and redness, and caffeine helps reduce puffiness and lift the skin."
She adds that this cream is "also great for anyone looking for a clean beauty formulation, the product, and entire line, is fragrance-free, alcohol-free, mineral oil-free, paraben-free, phthalates free, and cruelty-free."