The best face moisturizers share a common trait—they hydrate without feeling too heavy or greasy. A top-notch moisturizer effortlessly absorbs into the skin, leaving it plump and nourished. Look for formulations with a blend of antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and other skin-loving ingredients for a radiant complexion. To make navigating the land of skincare easier, we have found the next products you need to try on this list below.
A woman’s skin health is essential for her overall confidence. And, as the weather changes, so does skin texture. A recent study shows nearly half of women feel the least confident about their skin in the winter (49%), citing issues with dull skin (30%) and uneven skin tone (21%) during the colder months. Having the right moisturizer can guarantee glowing skin even through the cold, drying weather.
To that point, a recent survey reports that one in nine women has gone through 10 or more failed skin care products in the past, and the average woman is currently holding onto four of them in their home. It’s understandable, given the countless lotions, creams, oils, and gels on the market. Choosing the best face moisturizer can be overwhelming. And stress can lead to wrinkles – not good! The survey of women 35 and older also looked at their skin care journeys and found that nearly three-quarters say their confidence is impacted by the way their skin looks (72%).
Key Ingredients for the Best Face Moisturizers
Finding the perfect face moisturizer can feel like searching for a unicorn – mythical and elusive. But fear not, skincare sleuths! This guide cracks the code, revealing the key ingredients that transform your moisturizer from good to great. Buckle up and prepare to dive deep into the science of beautiful skin!
- Hyaluronic Acid: Nature’s Hydrating Hero. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is the reigning champion of hydration. This humectant magnet attracts and retains up to 1,000 times its weight in water, plumping up your skin like a microscopic sponge. Think of it as a built-in reservoir, keeping your complexion dewy and fresh throughout the day.
- Ceramides: Building a Brick Wall of Defense. Ceramides are the mortar in your skin’s moisture barrier, preventing precious hydration from evaporating. Think of them as tiny bricks, forming a protective wall against environmental aggressors like pollution and dry weather. When ceramides are depleted, your skin becomes vulnerable to irritation and dryness. Look for moisturizers that replenish and strengthen your natural ceramide levels.
- Antioxidants: Battling the Blight of Free Radicals. Free radicals are like tiny vandals, roaming your skin and causing oxidative stress that leads to fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness. Enter antioxidants, the knights in shining armor! These superhero ingredients, like vitamin C and E, neutralize free radicals before they can wreak havoc, keeping your skin looking youthful and radiant.
- Sunscreens: The Ultimate Shield. Yes, sunscreen deserves a place of honor in your moisturizer! Sun damage is the main culprit behind premature aging, so choose a moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher. Mineral sunscreens, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, sit on the surface of your skin, reflecting harmful UV rays. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays and convert them into heat, which is then released from your skin. Both types offer effective protection, so choose the one that feels best for you.
➡️How Our “Best Of The Best” Lists Are Created
StudyFinds’ “Best of the Best” articles are put together with the idea of taking the work out of common consumer research. Ever find yourself searching for a product or service on Google and reading multiple reviews to find items listed across many of them? Our Best of the Best lists are created with that process in mind, with each item ranked by how frequently it appears on expert reviews or lists. With Best of the Best, you are getting consensus picks — making them truly the best of the best!
By incorporating these key ingredients and tailoring your search, you’ll unlock the door to a glowing, healthy complexion. So, grab your magnifying glass, unleash your inner skincare scientist, and find the moisturizer that makes your skin sing! To help you decide, StudyFinds visited 10 leading beauty and health websites to find the best face moisturizers. Our list is ranked based on the most-recommended products across those sites. If we missed the product you love most, let us know in the comments!
The List: Best Face Moisturizers, According to Expert Reviews
Founded in 2016, this U.S.-based science-driven skincare line is distributed through dermatologists and aesthetic surgeons. It’s a heavy hitter, for those who take their skincare seriously. Diminished fine lines and wrinkles factor in when judging how skin looks. This is where some aestheticians said Trio can help due to its use of omega three and six to deeply nourish your skin.
“Not feeling heavy,” came up time and time again in reviews for this treatment. Dr. Annie Chiu, a board-certified cosmetic and general dermatologist and founder of The Derm Institute in California told NBC News this moisturizer “provides deep moisture without the heaviness.”
Trio has won several awards, too.
- 2019 ALLURE Best of Beauty
- 2020 Swedish Beauty Award
- 2020 DERMASCOPE Aesthetician’s Choice Award
This moisturizer isn’t as widely available as many other brands. Not exactly pocket-friendly either. So, if you’re looking for something a little easier on the budget, this may not be the pick for you.
If a product uses “magic” in its name, it better live up to the hype. And judging from reviews, this supercharged hydrating cream does. So, what ingredients comprise the cream named one of the best face moisturizers by Women’s Health Magazine for 2022? Dr. Hadley King, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist, tells InStyle that this magic moisturizer is packaged with outstanding ingredients: glycerin, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, shea butter.
Tilbury calls her ingredients the “magic eight”: Vitamins C and E, which work to brighten skin; bionymph peptide to plump; hyaluronic acid for hydrating purposes; camellia oil to lock in moisture; rose-hip oil for added hydration and de-puffing; shea butter to nourish and soften; aloe vera for smoothing; and frangipani flower extract, which has moisturizing benefits and gives the cream its delicate, calming fragrance.
The New York Post says it’s well-worth the high price tag. It feels as decadent as its price is high. While it’s a splurge, experts still recommend it for all skin types, especially those with sensitive skin.
Protecting skin from UV rays isn’t just a step in your skincare routine for the summer. Protection from the sun is important all year, not just before hitting the beach. With its rich texture, this moisturizer takes care of that with its broad-spectrum SPF 30.
Dr. Marisa Garshick told SELF.com, “This is a great option for daily use as it is easy to apply and combines SPF with moisturizing ingredients and ceramides to help restore the skin’s natural protective barrier. It also contains niacinamide which can be calming and good for those with sensitive skin.”
And it isn’t greasy either, according to many reviews. The dermatologist-tested formula promises to rehydrate skin for up to 48 hours without the use of irritating ingredients like fragrance, oils, or other common allergens. Instead, it’s made with hydrating ingredients like glycerin, niacinamide, and prebiotic thermal water.
The application process feels nourishing — cooling almost — and layers well with other products in your skincare routine, according to this review from CNN. You can typically find this moisturizer at Target or Amazon, and because it’s so thick, a dime-sized squeeze goes a long way.
When it comes to drugstore moisturizers, Olay is one of the original brands. But when it comes to this gel moisturizer, think less mid-century cold cream, more current beauty climate change. Described as “light and hydrating,” this gel won a 2022 Best of Beauty Award from Allure magazine. Hundreds of reviewers praise this moisturizer for its effectiveness, especially when comparing it with other products at more than triple the price. It’s fragrance-free, too.
The gel uses Amino Peptides and is part of the The Olay Regenerist line, which got a shoutout from dermatologist Macrene Alexiades when she stopped by TODAY. “The most advanced or fanciest way to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is through peptides, which boost the skin,” says Alexiades.
Review after review touts this cream’s hydrating effect. People all over social media are saying not only do they see a difference, but they also feel it. Rather than sitting on dry areas of the skin, fans of the rich, moisturizing cream say it penetrates the skin.
Founded by Victoria Tsai (a Harvard Business School graduate) on the concepts and practices of 200-year-old beauty rituals of geisha in Japan, it’s also lightweight and packed with antioxidants.
After speaking to dermatologists, aestheticians and estheticians about the ingredients to look for in a facial moisturizer and the ingredients to avoid, NBC News recommends this cream for people with dry skin.
Makeup artist to the Hollywood elite, Mario Dedivanovic told BAZAAR.com, “‘I love to apply the cream all over the face and along with the neck,’ he says. ‘If I am giving my client a dewy finish then I will pair both the cream and the mist together regardless of skin type.'”
If you want a cheaper alternative that preforms similarly to Tatcha, check out our list of dupes here!
Remember, the best moisturizer is the one that suits your unique skin type and concerns.
- For Dry Skin: Seek rich, emollient formulas with ingredients like shea butter or jojoba oil.
- For Oily Skin: Opt for lightweight, oil-free options with mattifying ingredients like niacinamide or clay.
- For Sensitive Skin: Choose fragrance-free, hypoallergenic formulas with calming ingredients like aloe vera or chamomile.
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.