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The 10 Best Drugstore Moisturizers of 2019

Drugstore Moisturizer: The Best of 2019

It’s becoming common knowledge now that moisturizing is a critical part of a healthy skincare routine, helping to rejuvenate skin and even help keep acne at bay. Moisturizers are in, and there is no better way to hop on board this train to glow town than to try out some of the best drugstore moisturizers and see what product type works for you and what your skin’s needs are.

Even though our favorite Youtube beauty guru might swear by their choice moisturizer, skin textures and conditions vary, even across the span of a single person’s life. The best moisturizer for you right now may not still be perfect in a number of years, so it’s important to learn the moisturizer market and know all of what is being offered, so you can make educated decisions in response to your body.

Read on for the top points to consider among moisturizer choices and find out which is the best drugstore moisturizer for you.

Premium pick

1. EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen

9.75 / 10

As a teen concerned with skin health, not looking like a human lobster, and protecting myself from cancer, before a day out in the sun, I often smeared any ol’ grocery store sunscreen head to toe. This included my face, which would break out with unrelenting acne a day or so later. Acne being the more immediate cause of my pain, I decided to ditch using any sunscreen on my face at all, until years later when my dermatologist recommended that I try this EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen, which I fell in love with for quite some time.

This moisturizing sunscreen was the first I had heard of to be “non-comedogenic,” meaning that it doesn’t clog pores and cause acne—my nightmare of summer’s past. The formula is incredibly cool and creamy but light to the touch, and it leaves skin feeling very soft with zero shine.

If you’re looking for an everyday moisturizer that is going to keep your skin protected, healthy, and young-looking for longer, this really is a perfect one-stop shop. It’s formulated to be gentle, even on sensitive skin, allowing for multiple reapplications throughout the day—like any traditional body sunscreen.

Unfortunately, as I’ve gotten older, this product is no longer hydrating enough for my skin; for those of us with dry to very dry skin (especially seasonally), this may not be enough of a moisturizing product. However, for the majority of people with normal to oily skin, this facial sunscreen is a perfect fit and worth adding to a great daily skin care routine.

Key Features
  • Made for acne-prone, rosacea, hyperpigmentation sensitive skin types
  • Recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation
  • Formula made with hyaluronic acid and lactic acid for hydrated, healthy skin
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 1.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.44 ounces
  • Vitamin Types: B3
Pros
  • SPF 46 zinc oxide formula with UVA & UVB protection
  • Non-comedogenic, sensitivity-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free, oil-free
  • No residue left on face after applying
Cons
  • Must reapply every 2 hours for full benefits
  • Does not blend into darker skin tones easily
  • Pump can become jammed and is difficult to remove
Editors choice

2. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

9.25 / 10

Despite the fact that we don’t always know what they mean, beauty brands often push new “wonder ingredients” that are meant to be the best at solving some problem or another. We’ve seen avocado oil, coconut oil, argan oil, and a host of other substances become popular additions to hair care products. For facial creams and body moisturizers, similar trends arise, and the masses, looking to preserve youth and beauty, often flock to try whichever ingredient it is that everyone is talking about. Hyaluronic acid is one such trending ingredient in both the hair care and moisturizing product spheres, though not for bad reason.

Our bodies actually produce hyaluronic acid naturally, to help with moisture in areas like our eyes. This organic acid is capable of retaining massive amounts of water, so beauty-science recreated it and added it to a number of products, including moisturizers like this Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. The intention is to help give an extra “oomph” to skin’s hydrating capabilities, and Hydro Boost certainly does that, delivering excellent hydration.

This unique, water gel face moisturizer is fast-absorbing. It also plumps skin and leaves a surface area soft and oil-free, ready to apply a full face of makeup right on top. Although this moisturization lasts all day, this product does not have any SPF in it whatsoever, so factoring in another product for sun protection would be necessary. With most cream moisturizers, adding a dab of sunscreen is an easy fix, but you may need to play around a little bit with application due to this product’s gel texture.

Key Features
  • Gel formula can be worn under makeup
  • Hydrating formula made with hyaluronic acid
  • Absorbs quickly but moisturizes all day
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 2.9 x 4.1 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.76 ounces
  • Vitamin Types: None listed
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Non-comedogenic, oil-free, dye-free, fragrance-free
  • Made for all skin types, including mature
  • Heavy, moisturizing product, but no greasy residue
Cons
  • No SPF included
  • Not created for sensitive skin
  • May not be hydrating enough for certain skin types

For our own protection and functionality, the skin that covers most of our bodies is typically a bit thicker than our facial skin. The way that these respective areas react to products and the needs that they have can be different; for example, generally speaking, it is not a good idea to use a body lotion on the face, while using a face lotion on the body would not be very economical or efficient. Face lotions will probably not be hydrating enough for skin beyond the face and neck, and thicker body lotions that work wonders for shoulders, knees, elbows, and feet can cause reactions from stinging to acne breakouts when applied to the face. As a result, it becomes a good idea to find a product that suits each area.

For those of us with particularly dry skin, body lotion is a necessity year-round. Excessive hand washing, taking hot showers, working a job that requires your hands or body to be submerged in water often, environmental factors, and genetics can all contribute to skin dryness, which in turn affects our moisturizer selections. This Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion made with Aveeno’s signature, natural, colloidal oatmeal is a soft, nourishing product that delivers hydration without leaving greasy hands behind.

Maintaining year-round, moisturized skin helps prevent painful skin peeling, cracking, and splitting. Healthy skin also requires moisture and natural oils for harmony, so restoring the moisture that we strip away each day when we shower or become exposed to the elements is also key in avoiding body acne.

This rich formula is fragrance-free, and very mild; some of us with a stronger sense of smell may have opinions about the natural, oatmeal lotion smell—an unavoidable and particularly unnoticeable scent, unless you happen to have a powerful sniffer! That said, this lotion gets the job done for many skin types and feels great on the skin, to boot.

Key Features
  • Formula made with soothing oats & rich emollients
  • Creates healthier-looking skin in a single day – clinically proven
  • Quick-absorbing lotion moisturizes for 24 hours
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 3.9 x 2.1 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.3 lbs
  • Vitamin Types: None listed
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Fragrance-free, non-greasy, non-comedogenic
  • Oat formula helps to also prevent dry skin
  • No greasy residue left behind
Cons
  • May not be hydrating enough for certain skin types
  • Lotion pump can become jammed
  • Odd smell to those with a strong sense of smell

Hopefully, somewhere down the road, finding the perfect skin care products and routine will be less of a guessing game for most of us, but for now, there is an undeniable level of trial and error involved, which makes it a bles-sing that we have options within the same product category.

This Facial Moisturizing Lotion from CeraVe is a moisturizing formula meant for morning use, both to hydrate skin and provide some sun protection. It’s microfine zinc oxide smooths into skin with little effort, leaving no white traces or films common to traditional sunblock. It absorbs quickly and leaves skin soft, allowing for unblemished makeup application on top.

While this product is similar to the EltaMD UV Clear Facial sunscreen in some ways, it is very different in a number of others; sensitive skin types may have more trouble with this CeraVe product, but it may be more hydrating for those who need it and do not have an interaction. Having sensitive skin never guarantees any product is safe or unsafe before you try it, so be sure to test on small areas first, when trying something new. You can always return it if it’s not the one for you.

If you live a more active lifestyle, it is also important to note that this CeraVe AM lotion does not provide a water-resistant sunscreen, so activities like swimming (and even intense sweating) can render the SPF useless. Still, it’s always about finding the balance that works best for your skin, and this lightweight, hydrating facial moisturizer is the holy grail for many! That's why we think it's one of the best drugtore moisturizers around.

Key Features
  • Formulated with hyaluronic acid & 3 essential ceramides to hydrate and protect
  • Patented MVE technology controls release of moisturizing ceramides
  • Recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 5 x 6 inches
  • Product Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Vitamin Types: None listed
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Non-comedogenic, oil-free, fragrance-free
  • SPF 30, zinc oxide
  • A little goes a long way
Cons
  • Sunscreen only to prevent sunburn, not aging or cancer
  • Only for normal to dry skin types
  • Not formulated for sensitive skin

As I’ve said elsewhere, there is a real privilege to having options, and when it comes to what we put both in and on our bodies, that is no less true. Neutrogena has capitalized on the value of a broader market by making more than one noteworthy retinol night cream. This second product, the Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream is similar to the Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream in a number of ways, but as the latter’s name suggests, the Regenerating Cream is aimed at fast-paced wrinkle repair results, while this product is a long-time anti-wrinkle night moisturizer with clinically proven benefits over a number of weeks.

By week one, skin is softer, smoother, and clearer, in a significant way. By week four, results stay about the same—but by week eight, Neutrogena advertises that this product will also begin to show noticeable improvement in reducing the prominence of age spots (I was unable to test that feature as I thankfully don’t have any yet). This moisturizer is packed with a bunch of vitamins and was formulated in every way to increase hydration while minimizing the lines and creases that naturally form in our facial skin over time.

Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle cream is recommended for nightly use, unless irritation occurs, which is always possible when dealing with an active ingredient. Even if you do not have sensitive skin, it can be good to start slow, or test a small area before applying liberally. It may be necessary to build up a tolerance to a product like this, and you do not want to be surprised by a dry, burned face in the morning!

Key Features
  • Anti-wrinkle moisturizer with retinol
  • Formulated with Pro-Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E
  • Softens and smooths for younger looking skin
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 1.5 x 6.2 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.44 ounces
  • Vitamin Types: A, B5, E
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Hypoallergenic, oil-free, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free
  • Non-greasy, lightweight, and fast-absorbing
  • Alcohol-free
Cons
  • May take time for skin to adjust to active ingredient
  • Not formulated for sensitive skin types
  • May cause peeling and dryness with too much use

Moisturizing the face is not just a daytime activity. For many dry skin sufferers, especially, beauty sleep is more than just a state of mind. Although all skin types need some moisturizing power, formulas are certainly not one-size fits-all, and even optimal application strategies might vary among consumers of the same product.

This Renewing Night Cream from CeraVe is formulated for the face, and it is an incredibly thick formula, meant only for night-time use. Skin can be moisturized equally by oils, creams, and lotions, but as a rule, the thicker the moisturizer, the more it is made for dry, itchy skin. For those who deal with the painful stinging and burning of tight, dry skin after a good night’s sleep, this product is heaven in a tub. If you tend to consider yourself as having normal to oilier skin, you may want to invest in a lighter nighttime product, as this may find you waking up feeling greasy, particularly during more humid months.

A little bit of this formula goes a very long way, so it is important to start with a small amount, work it in thoroughly, and apply more as needed. Side bonus: using less product per application means that each purchase lasts longer, and this moisturizer really shakes out to be a good deal. Its key ingredients work as you sleep to minimize signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, and it saves the skin from painful dryness. It's worthy night cream contender! And we think it's one of the best drugstore moisturizers money can buy.

Key Features
  • Hydrating formula made with hyaluronic acid
  • Patented MVE technology controls release of moisturizing ceramides
  • Biomimetic peptides refresh skin as you sleep
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 2.6 x 2.2 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.76 ounces
Pros
  • Fragrance-free, non-greasy, non-comedogenic
  • Ideal for normal to oily skin
  • Combats tired-looking skin
Cons
  • Not formulated for sensitive skin
  • Very thick formula is harder to spread
  • Probably too heavy for most year-round

In our beauty culture, wrinkles matter. Some people are very at peace with their laugh lines and sun creases, but millions of others panic at the mere thought of a single discernable wrinkle. Botox is a costly and more invasive option to “cure” wrinkles after they’ve appeared, but an alternative is to use a retinol-infused moisturizer like Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream, to reduce the look of these wrinkles and increase the look of youth.

This luxurious, moisturizing cream is formulated for use on the neck and face and uses multiple ingredients to tackle wrinkles and make skin look fresh, healthy, and young. So long as you have normal skin that is not prone to sensitivity, this moisturizer is another (like the Olay Regenerist) that works wonders for many.

As with most all products that contain an active ingredient, it may take a couple of weeks for the full results to remain consistent; Neutrogena advertises that skin will look younger in a single week, but the full effects of the product may take longer to equalize, from person to person. Remember to start slow and work your way up when working with a new product, regardless of skin type. For those that find their sweet spot with this moisturizer, more youthful looking skin is a priceless reward for picking up a drugstore moisturizer!

Key Features
  • Anti-wrinkle moisturizer with retinol and glucose complex
  • Hydrating formula made with hyaluronic acid
  • Face and neck cream with results in one week
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 2.6 x 5.3 inches
  • Product Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Vitamin Types: A
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Available scented and fragrance-free
  • Does not leave a greasy residue
Cons
  • Only for normal skin type
  • May cause peeling with too much use
  • Not formulated for sensitive skin types

A common theme for beauty products—particularly those for the skin—is to promote youth and a healthy glow. Today more than ever, in a world that revolves around comparison and includes daily doses of impossibly perfect celebrities at every turn, it’s hard not to think about appearance. Healthy, glowing skin is truly one of the larger contributing factors to looking younger, which is why so many people seek it at any cost. The good news, you can probably greatly improve the look and feel of your skin simply by getting one of the best drugstore moisturizers and using it daily.

Put your money to good use and moisturize with a great collagen-infused moisturizer like this St. Ives Facial Moisturizer for dry skin. Though it is a thicker formula and includes oil extracts, it does not clog pores, and it is paraben-free, which is arguably best for long-term health. Since it is one of those formulas created for dry skin types, this thick consistency moisturizing cream should be used sparingly and will last a long time.

St. Ives recommends using this on your face and neck, both in the morning and at night to help promote healthy, glowing, youthful skin that is well-moisturized. For someone like me with dry but not excessively dry skin, once a day may be enough. As with other non-SPF moisturizers, this should be used in combination with UVA & UVB protection. Many times, a dot of facial sunscreen can be mixed in with any facial moisturizer to cash in on the effects of both, maximizing your skin’s health and protection.

Key Features
  • 100% natural formula made with safflower seed oil
  • Collagen & Elastin infused moisturizer
  • Facial moisturizer that creates a youthful glow with daily use
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 3.9 x 4.3 x 2.8 inches
  • Product Weight: 12 ounces
  • Vitamin Types: None listed
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Paraben-free, non-comedogenic
  • Made for dry skin types
  • A little goes a long way
Cons
  • Collagen effects not noticeable
  • Not formulated for sensitive skin types
  • Not fragrance-free

While a lot of beauty products seem to be appealing to different niche (albeit large niche) needs, sometimes it is just as important for companies to remember that not every consumer requires a niche product at all, and it seems like Olay decided to capitalize on that fact when they created their Regenerist Face Moisturizer with collagen peptides. They also call this product a “micro-sculpting cream” and focus heavily on its properties that are meant to take care of the things we all fear: wrinkles, saggy skin, and dull, dry skin.

If you find yourself looking for a great moisturizer, but you don’t necessarily need any special features (like SPF or a sensitive-skin or non-comedogenic formula), this Regenerist cream formula is packed full of anti-aging and moisturizing ingredients, advertised to work ten layers deep into the dermis, hydrating and plumping. It can be used in the morning and at night, and it is formulated to diminish wrinkles significantly, which is nothing to scoff at.

Despite the very rich texture of this cream, it doesn’t feel oily or greasy on the skin after applying, and it comes in either a scented or a fragrance-free formula, to suit preferences. Of course, as always, not every product is for everyone, but this is an excellent all-around hydrating, restoring, and preventative face moisturizer for those of any skin type with tolerant skin. Remember that environmental factors can influence how much moisture your skin needs, but a moisturizer like this can often work year-round for many skin types.

Key Features
  • 1-day visible results with hydrated, stronger skin built over time
  • Bouncier skin and lesser wrinkles with Amino-Peptide Complex II
  • Hydrating formula made with hyaluronic acid
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.7 x 5.4 inches
  • Product Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Vitamin Types: B3
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Available scented and fragrance-free
  • For normal, oily, dry, and combination skin types
  • Luxurious, creamy formula
Cons
  • Can’t notice anti-aging effects
  • Not formulated for sensitive skin
  • Can cause acne for some

It’s perfectly normal to want a little extra out of your moisturizer, and that is why we've selected this one as one of the best drugstore moisturizers. Almost all of the hydrating lotions, creams, oils, and serums on the market these days offer at least one secondary benefit to their product. In the case of this lovely Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Face Moisturizer, the bonuses are two-fold, with broad spectrum SPF and a number of ingredients set to target an issue that plagues many of us: uneven skin tone and texture.

For some, the rosy tint brought on by a walk through a cold atmosphere is about the longest instance of skin discoloration they will experience. For many others of us, blotchy patches, dark spots, and dull hues can really detract from our positive mood and putting on a full-face of makeup to create a brighter look can be super time-consuming (or not our style). This moisturizer works over time to even and brighten skin tones to a healthy, glowing state all over, letting you feel confident, even in your fresh face. It feels so much nicer to be able to skip all the concealing steps and walk outside with radiant skin, so if you have similar concerns with discoloration or dullness, definitely try this out.

Aveeno also formulated this product for sensitive skin types, so it is available to many more people as a potential option. Truthfully, the SPF 15 is a bit weak, and probably shouldn’t be trusted to protect from much sun damage. Long-term users of this face moisturizer should likely also still use additional sun protection on the face.

Key Features
  • Includes natural soy extract to ease skin discoloration
  • Formulated to combat uneven skin tone and texture, making skin glow
  • Can be worn under makeup
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 1.3 x 5.7 inches
  • Product Weight: 6.1 ounces
  • Vitamin Types: None listed
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • SPF 15 with UVA & UVB protection
  • Hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, oil-free
  • Made for sensitive skin types
Cons
  • Very thick formula; harder to spread
  • Not a lot of SPF protection
  • Pump malfunctions from time to time

No matter the age, the skin is the place we tend to look first to make an assessment of another person’s health and youthfulness. Bright, glowing, bouncy, and wrinkle-free skin makes us look younger, lighter, and happier—or perhaps we really just feel happier and more confident when we have skin we can be proud of on any day, in any outfit.

Great skin doesn’t need to mean invasive procedures or expensive repeat appointments. It really blooms from finding and using a great skincare routine that works for you. Currently, the health and beauty industries continue to explode, which leads to a marketplace with more product options than ever. This is actually super awesome for the majority of us, as we now have access to a range of quality products even at the drugstore down the street.

A lot of emphasis is placed on finding the right face and body wash to help combat skin issues but cleaning the face alone can actually lead to even more acne issues and breakouts than you started with—even if you’re just using bar soap. Whenever we expose our skin to the elements of weather and environment, use a wash, or overclean with treatments, the natural oils that help create balance in our skin are disrupted and often stripped away, leaving dryer skin with a “squeaky clean” feeling.

Putting moisture back into the skin is just as important as washing away impurities and debris from the day. No matter your skin type, moisturizer is an essential part of a good skincare routine that will get and keep your skin looking clear and healthy.

Depending on needs and skin type, some people choose only to moisturize as a part of their morning routine, while others include a night cream, as well. Skin tends to need a thicker, more moisturizing formula for the majority of the body, with a thinner, lighter moisturizer working better for the face and neck areas, where skin is thinner and more acne-prone.

Moisturizers also tend to provide additional skin services, such as evening skin tone and texture, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles, soothing redness and irritation, or protecting from damaging sun rays. All of these options create a huge pool of products to choose from, so it is definitely worth reading about the best drugstore moisturizers (and maybe even trying a few) to narrow down which of the products out there is going to deliver the value and healthy, rejuvenated skin that you are looking for!

Resources— WebMD, Cosmopolitan

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