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The 10 Best Moisturizers of 2019

The Best Moisturizer Buyers Guide 2019 - Product Reviews by ReviewThis

Moisturizers are products that blur the line between makeup and skincare. Moisturizing is an essential step before applying makeup and after removing any makeup during your evening skincare routine. No skincare or makeup routine is complete without one of the best moisturizers.

A common misconception about moisturizers is that they’re only for people with dry skin. But the idea that those with oily or combination skin shouldn’t apply moisturizer is a total myth. Having oily skin doesn’t mean you have moisturized skin. Seeing an overproduction of oils on the face could mean that your skin is actually dry, but your body is compensating for the dryness by producing a lot more oil.

Having the best moisturizer for your skin type means your skin will feel supple and nourished but not greasy or oily by the end of the day. There are a lot of different kinds of moisturizers out there that combat dryness as well as a variety of other skin issues. While the variety is great, it can be tough to find the best moisturizer for you. Here’s our guide on the best moisturizers to help you find yours today.

Why make moisturization and sun protection two different steps when you can combine the two in one product? Many moisturizers out there also contain SPF for your convenience, so it might be tough to find the best moisturizer with sunscreen for your skin type. If you have acne or sensitive skin that is prone to rosacea and discoloration, then the EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 might be for you. This moisturizer with sunscreen has broad-spectrum protection which means your skin will be safe from both UVA and UVB rays. EltaMD’s UV Clear sunscreen is also fast-absorbing and lightweight, which makes it great for applying underneath makeup. It’s a dermatologist-recommended product because it can calm sensitive skin and doesn’t clog pores. The finish is non-greasy and velvet matte, so you can wear this under foundation or just on its own. Those with oily, acne-prone, and combination skin types will benefit the most from this moisturizer. It works well on dry skin, but it might not be the most hydrating moisturizer available on the market. It leaves a thin enough layer so that it stays invisible under makeup, but it doesn’t layer well with itself if you reapply later on in the day. Most did not experience any white-cast with this sunscreen but if you have a deeper skin tone, make sure to really massage the product into the skin and blend it out. Though the sun protection of this product is great, it’s not water-resistant so don’t wear this to the beach or swimming pool.

Key Features
  • Zinc oxide sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF
  • For sensitive skin
  • Mineral-based
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 1.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.44 ounces
  • Vitamin Types: Zinc oxide and octinoxate
  • Organic: No
  • Brand: EltaMD
Pros
  • Non-greasy formula
  • Formulated for sensitive skin prone to acne, discoloration, and rosacea
  • Fragrance-free
Cons
  • Not the most moisturizing
  • Can leave a white cast on deeper skin tones
  • Not water-resistant

Foundations and concealers can be very drying on the skin, especially if they’re mattifying. Adding a thick cream moisturizer underneath makeup can make your skin feel heavy and make your foundation break apart. Enter the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Gel Face Moisturizer. This gel-type moisturizer is easily absorbed into the skin, making your skin feel light and supple without the greasy finish. You can definitely wear this under makeup as it’s very lightweight and leaves little to no residue on the face. This product contains purified hyaluronic acid, which can absorb up to one thousand times its weight in water. That means that this is great for those with dry skin and who live in humid climates, as hyaluronic acid helps absorbs moisture from the environment into your skin. While it is hydrating, it might not provide enough moisture for those living in cold and dry climates or for the winter season. Being a gel-type of moisturizer, this product can also work for those with oily or acne-prone skin. The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Gel Moisturizer will hydrate without making your skin feel oily or greasy. But it works best for those with dry or normal skin types. Though advertised as fragrance-free, this product does contain fragrance so it might not be suitable for those with sensitive skin. It also doesn’t have any SPF, so make sure to still apply sunscreen over this product and before applying any makeup. Because of this product’s lightweight feel and matte finish, adding another layer of SPF won’t be that big of a problem.

Key Features
  • Gel type
  • Lightweight
  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 2.9 x 4.1 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.76 ounces
  • Vitamin Types: Hyaluronic acid
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Absorbs easily
  • Can be worn under makeup
  • Good for both oily and dry skin types
Cons
  • No SPF
  • Contains fragrance, might not be suitable for sensitive skin
  • Not moisturizing enough for winter/cold season

Garnier is another brand that gives you quality skincare products at affordable prices. Their SkinActive Moisture Rescue Face Moisturizer is for normal to combination skin types. It contains vitamin E and a Fruit Water Antioxidant complex so that your skin feels fresher, more hydrated, and smoother. It’s a gel-cream type of moisturizer which is why it’s better for those with normal to combination skin types. If your skin is on the dry side, this moisturizer will not be the most hydrating for you. And it’s especially not formulated for those with sensitive skin because of its strong fragrance which some customers described as overwhelming. But if you prefer products with some fragrance in them, then this could work for you. The Garnier Skin Active Moisture Rescue guarantees 24-hour moisture, but it doesn’t have any SPF. Luckily, it’s ultra-light gel texture makes it easy to apply as a first layer in your makeup routine. It works well underneath foundation and sunscreen, and can even make sunscreen apply better because of its gel formula. It also feels very refreshing on the face, so if you have some parts on your skin that need soothing, this will feel wonderful. This moisturizer is great for those with younger skin, as it won’t do anything to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. But it will keep your skin hydrated without being greasy or heavy. It can be worn on its own or underneath makeup. If you’re looking for a dupe that compares to high-end gel moisturizers, this could be the best moisturizer for you.

Key Features
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Contains vitamin E
  • Oil-free formula with 24-hour moisture
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 2.4 x 4 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.7 oz
  • Vitamin Types: Vitamin E
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Easily absorbed by the skin
  • Non-greasy
  • Can be worn under makeup
Cons
  • Has a strong fragrance
  • Not the most moisturizing
  • Not for sensitive skin

Not everyone has the time or money to try out all the moisturizers in the world. Finding one of the best moisturizers that won’t break the bank isn’t impossible thanks to the St. Ives Renewing Facial Moisturizer formulated with collagen and elastin. While the words collagen and elastin are plastered onto the container, take note that they come in last in the product’s list of ingredients. Ingredients are listed according to the amount, so higher amounts of a certain ingredient are listed first. It’s unsure just how much collagen and elastin are in this moisturizer, but it’s definitely not a majority ingredient. That being said, it’s still a very good moisturizer that gets the job done for a pretty good price. This moisturizer contains safflower seed oil, which is known to help moisturize and smooth dry skin. But this product works better for combination to normal skin types rather than dry and sensitive. One of the great things about this product is that you get enough of it to spread all over your body as a lotion. It’s lightweight but keeps the skin smooth and hydrated. Make sure to use a small amount and work it into the skin before applying more, as too much can leave your face feeling heavy and as if there is a layer of film on it. You can use it for both day and night, but since it doesn’t come with any SPF you’ll have to add another layer of sunscreen in the daytime. It works fine underneath makeup but it’s better as a night cream.

Key Features
  • Contains safflower seed oil, collagen, and elastin
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-comedogenic
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 3.9 x 4.3 x 2.8 inches
  • Product Weight: 10 oz
  • Vitamin Types: Safflower seed oil, collagen, elastin
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Good for combination skin
  • Not greasy
  • Easily absorbed into the skin
Cons
  • Not for sensitive skin
  • No SPF
  • Doesn’t have the best smell

French drugstore brand La Roche-Posay aims to make products that are suitable for sensitive skin and recommended by dermatologists around the world. They carefully select ingredients that are soothing and not irritating to the skin and often use their prebiotic thermal spring water in many of their products. If you have sensitive skin and are looking for a day-time moisturizer that not only protects and hydrates your skin but repairs it as well, then the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer is here for you. This moisturizer contains La Roche-Posay prebiotic thermal spring water, ceramide-3, and niacinamide. These ingredients all help soothe and repair the skin while hydrating it. Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3, so make sure not to use this product with any Vitamin C serum or cream, as they will cancel each other out. The La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer also contains broad-spectrum SPF 30 so you can be safe from the harsh sun with no hint of a white cast. The unique thing about this product is that it does more than just hydrate the skin-- it repairs it. Ceramides are molecules naturally found in the skin that aid in repairing the skin’s protective barrier. This product is suitable for most skin types but works best for dry and sensitive skin that is prone to redness. While the product improves your skin’s texture and feels nice on the face, too much can make the moisturizer pill. It may be hard to apply makeup over this also because it doesn’t absorb that quickly into the skin.

Key Features
  • Skin barrier recovery technology
  • Oil-free
  • Broad-spectrum SPF
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 3.2 x 5.7 inches
  • Product Weight: 2.5 fl. oz
  • Vitamin Types: Ceramide-3 and Niacinamide
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • For most skin types, including sensitive
  • Fragrance-free
  • Very hydrating
  • Improves skin texture
Cons
  • Pills, not for layering underneath makeup
  • Doesn’t absorb quickly into the skin
  • Not for oily skin types

Retinol is a popular ingredient because of its anti-aging properties. Many want to start fighting against signs of aging as early as possible, but that isn’t always best. Because of retinol’s side effects, sometimes using this ingredient is better on already aging skin. Enter the Baebody Retinol Moisturizer Cream for Face and Eye. This moisturizer is great for those with combination to oily aging skin. It contains a lot of nourishing ingredients like jojoba oil, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E to bring back a youthful feel to older skin. However, It’s not the most hydrating for those with very dry skin. The retinol, though advertised as containing 2.5% is just enough for daily use that your skin will feel smooth and plump but not overly dry. The unique pump bottle will make sure that the product stays fresh even as you use it, and also helps keep everything hygienic. This product is free of any phthalates and parabens so your skin won’t be irritated by any harsh chemicals. As with any moisturizer with retinol, always use this with sunscreen if you’re applying it in the daytime. But most customers who purchased this product said it works better as a night cream so that the skin can really get the benefits of the retinol. If you are using this in the daytime, it’s still lightweight enough that it can be layered underneath makeup. Make sure to apply a small amount evenly across the face and neck and let it sit in before applying foundation.

Key Features
  • Contains shea butter
  • Contains Retinol for anti-aging properties
  • No phthalates or parabens
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 2.4 x 2.4 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.7 fl. oz
  • Vitamin Types: retinol, jojoba oil, vitamin E, shea butter, hyaluronic acid
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Can be used on eye area
  • Reduces wrinkles and fine lines
  • Can apply makeup over it
Cons
  • Not for acne-prone skin
  • Not for very oily skin
  • Less retinol in the product than advertised

Retinol is an ingredient that’s used for anti-aging and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps make acne scars and blemishes look less visible. However, using products with retinol in them can cause the skin to flake or feel tight and dry. If you’re looking for a retinol cream that also moisturizes with natural and cruelty-free ingredients, then check out LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream Moisturizer. This moisturizer is great for people who have dry skin, milia, and acne scars. Just apply a small amount of the cream onto your whole face to feel smoother skin that is hydrated and fresh. This cream can be applied both in the morning and at night, but if your skin is particularly sensitive to retinoids then just apply a small amount on alternate nights. Allow your skin to get used to the retinol until you can apply this twice a day to experience the maximum benefits of retinol. Always make sure to apply sunscreen with this product because retinol makes your skin very sensitive to sunlight. This product is amazing for older skin as it also helps even out the skin tone and reduces signs of aging even on the neck. This cream may feel heavy when you start applying it, but it is easily absorbed into the skin and the finish is very lightweight. You can definitely apply makeup over this cream, but many eventually skipped out on foundation because of how nice their skin became after using this product. This retinol cream doesn’t contain any artificial fragrances but customers have noticed a strange smell that goes away after application.

Key Features
  • Plant-based and natural ingredients
  • No artificial fragrance
  • Can be used for both morning and night
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 1.8 x 3.5 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.76 ounces
  • Vitamin Types: Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E
  • Organic: Yes
Pros
  • Lightweight and easily absorbed into the skin
  • Works great on blemishes, acne scars, and wrinkles
  • Not tested on animals
Cons
  • Contains phenoxyethanol
  • Doesn’t have the best smell
  • Can cause breakouts in some skin types

Sunscreen is an important step for any skincare and makeup routine if you want to protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun. But why settle for just blocking the UVA and UVB rays? With the CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30, you get the benefits of using sunscreen while repairing your skin. This lotion contains the 3 essential ceramides 1, 3, and 6-II that help your skin restore and maintain its protective barrier. These ceramides, when coupled with hyaluronic acid, ensure 24-hour hydration to keep your skin feeling moisturized and supple. This is a daily moisturizer that doesn’t feel greasy at all but is best worn by itself and not underneath makeup. Also, make sure to apply a small, pea-sized amount and really work it into the skin so as to prevent a white cast from showing. While this is great as a daily moisturizer with sunscreen, it’s not water- or sweat-resistant. Make sure not to get this product in your eyes! It also provides hydration throughout the day but for very dry skin, this may not be enough moisture. The hydrating ingredients in this moisturizer make the skin feel soft, but it can feel dry after a couple of hours. You can reapply the product (it’s recommended to do so every 2 hours) but that works only if you’re wearing this product by itself. It’s a sunscreen that’s suitable for most skin types, but it works best for combination skin or those with slightly sensitive skin. If your skin is very oily, this sunscreen can feel a bit heavy and make you look too shiny. While it is fragrance-free, this moisturizer smells very much like sunscreen.

Key Features
  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Non-irritating formula
  • 24-hour hydration technology
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 5 x 6 inches
  • Product Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Vitamin Types: Ceramides 1, 3, and 6-II; Hyaluronic Acid; Zinc Oxide
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Contains 3 essential ceramides
  • Good for a variety of skin types
  • Provides effective protection with broad-spectrum SPF 30
Cons
  • Leaves a white cast if you apply too much, hard to blend in
  • Not that moisturizing
  • Doesn’t layer well underneath makeup

Olay is an institution when it comes to skincare products. They’re known for giving you affordable products that work just as well as high-end brands. So when looking for a moisturizer that gives you good value for money, try out the Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream Face Moisturizer. This product contains Amino-Peptide Complex II to help boost the skin’s production of collagen. Collagen helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making the skin look more youthful and smooth. Add in ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and carob extracts, and you have the perfect combination for supple and hydrated skin. The Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream Face Moisturizer comes in a fragrance-free version, but this product is not generally suited for those with highly sensitive skin. This could be the morning and night moisturizer for you if you have dry or combination skin and are not prone to acne. It also doesn’t contain any sunscreen, so be sure to apply one after moisturizing the skin with this. As it is a cream, it can feel heavy and thick on the skin. Apply a small amount on the face and neck and massage into the skin in upward motions for the firming and sculpting properties to really take effect. Because this cream is a bit thick, it’s not the best for layering underneath makeup. But it could work under foundation if you’re applying just a thin layer of the cream on dry areas of the face and neck. The finish is soft and refreshing but not matte.

Key Features
  • Contains Amino-Peptide Complex II for skin-plumping
  • Micro-sculpting technology for firmer skin
  • For all skin types
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.7 x 5.4 inches
  • Product Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Vitamin Types: Hyaluronic acid, Amino-peptides, Niacinamide
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Helps skin feel smooth and firm
  • Good for combination skin types
  • Can even out skin tone
Cons
  • Not for sensitive skin
  • Can feel a bit thick and heavy on the skin
  • No sunscreen

Aveeno is a brand that uses a lot of natural ingredients in their skincare products. Many dermatologists recommend the Aveeno brand for patients with sensitive skin, as their products are often soothing and hypoallergenic. If you’re looking for a moisturizer that has a little bit of everything, check out the Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Face Moisturizer with SPF 15. The SPF is not that high compared to other moisturizers with sunscreen out there, but it does the trick. Because it only has SPF 15, it won’t leave any white cast on the skin. This moisturizer aims to even out the skin tone by reducing skin dullness. It contains Total Soy Complex, an extract that helps to naturally bring out your skin’s radiance and improve the appearance of dark spots. It will give you a very natural-looking glow from within because of its light-diffusing properties. This won’t be noticeable after one or two uses, but over time you may see your skin looking brighter and more radiant. This moisturizer is easily absorbed into the skin and doesn’t leave you feeling greasy at all. It works great underneath makeup and gives you just the right amount of sun protection for a day out or in the office. Make sure to apply a small amount all over the face and up to your neck for moisture and protection that keeps your skin feeling soft. Too much product can also leave your skin feeling thick and heavy. If you have very dry and sensitive skin, this might not be the most moisturizing for you. It also has a fragrance, which can cause a negative reaction in many people with sensitive skin.

Key Features
  • Oil-free
  • Improves appearances of dark spots
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 15
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 1.3 x 5.7 inches
  • Product Weight: 6.1 ounces
  • Vitamin Types: Soy extract
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Absorbs into the skin quickly
  • Gives skin natural glow and radiance
  • Non-greasy finish
Cons
  • Contains fragrance
  • Moderate moisturization
  • Can feel a bit heavy

Moisturizing is an important step for both your skincare and makeup routine. But it wasn’t always popular, especially for those with younger or oily skin. For one, it meant adding another step to your routine which takes up more time. It also meant adding another layer of product onto the face, making the skin feel greasy or heavy by the end of the day. But moisturizers today are better than ever before. Whether you’ve got dry, oily, combination, or normal skin, there’s a moisturizer for you. How would you know if you’ve got the best moisturizer for your skin type? Here’s a brief breakdown of the different kinds of moisturizers out there and what the ingredients they contain do.

Gel-type moisturizers are recommended for those with oily or combination skin types. This is because your skin gets the hydration it needs without making your face oily or greasy. Those with dry skin can also use gel-type moisturizers if they prefer a lighter feel on the face, but they might not be as moisturizing. Those with dry skin might have to reapply gel-type moisturizers throughout the day to avoid flaking and tightness.

A popular ingredient in moisturizers for dry skin is hyaluronic acid. The word “acid” can be scary to skincare beginners with dry skin, but don’t worry. Hyaluronic acid is a water-binding molecule and it’s actually produced by the human body. It’s not going to burn your skin or break it down, rather it will aid your skin in retaining moisture and help it feel smoother, plumper, and more hydrated. Though hyaluronic acid is produced by our bodies, production of it gets less and less as we age. That’s why you can find hyaluronic acid in many anti-aging moisturizers. But it’s never too early to start adding it to your skincare regimen, especially if you have dry skin.

Retinol is another ingredient found in anti-aging products, and it’s commonly placed in moisturizers as well. Retinol is a retinoid, a class of vitamin A derivatives. There are different strengths of retinoids to treat various skin problems like dark spots and acne. The weakest retinoid is retinyl palmitate, which is suitable for sensitive and dry skin. The next strength level is retinol, which is suitable for most skin types. Stronger retinoids are retinaldehyde and adapalene, which is used to treat acne.

The strongest retinoids (tretinoin and tazarotene) require a dermatologist’s prescription and you won’t find them in most moisturizers on the market. The stronger the retinoid, the more irritating it can be on the skin. In general, retinol and other vitamin A-derived compounds help the skin produce more collagen, prevent wrinkles, brighten the skin, and reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. They’re perfect for anti-aging moisturizers and creams for these benefits. Retinoids can make the skin more photosensitive or vulnerable to the sun. When using any product with retinol, make sure to always apply sunscreen and never combine it with another harsh product like an acne treatment (i.e. salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxides) or a face peel.

Many moisturizers have SPF mixed in them to make your daily skincare or makeup routine more convenient. A moisturizer that contains broad-spectrum SPF will protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays, or long-wave light, are present even when it’s cloudy. These rays also go penetrate glass windows, so even if you’re inside an office or a car, you’re still being hit by UVA rays. Some sunscreens, despite having a high SPF, don’t protect you against UVA rays. Relying solely on a moisturizer that doesn’t have broad-spectrum SPF is not enough sun protection, and you’ll need to apply a real sunscreen that has it on top of your moisturizer.

Moisturizers are key skincare products for skin that looks and feels good in the long run. Some beauty experts advise the use of moisturizers as soon as possible, recommending them to people as young as 13 years old. With the best moisturizers out there, you can easily switch between heavy and light formulas depending on the season or for traveling to different climates. Having different ingredients for daytime moisturizing and night moisturizers is also possible. Once you find the best moisturizer for you, you’ll always keep a tub of this trusty product on your dresser.

Resources— Dermalogica, Marie Claire, Paula's Choice, WebMD

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