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Best Face Moisturizers in 2021

Does your skin need hydration? Brightening? Smoothing? Whatever it is, there’s a moisturizer right for your skin type that can do the job. 

 

Finding the right face moisturizer for your skin doesn’t have to be complicated. We tested moisturizers in search of the best so you don’t have to! Regardless of if you have a 10-step skincare routine or barely wash your face, you should be using a daily moisturizer — yes, even if you have oily or acne-prone skin.

Exposure to pollution, dry/cold weather, sun, and wind can all wreak havoc on your skin. Lack of sleep, poor diet, and booze can make things worse. Using a face moisturizer (regardless of your age) is important to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. A facial moisturizer will help you retain more youthful skin, decreasing the rate at which those dreaded wrinkles and pesky fine lines appear. 

But what about your skin type? Finding the right face moisturizer can be difficult, especially if you have problematic or oily skin. And of course, there are all those extra ingredients to consider, like SPF, peptides, collagen or vitamins, making the search for the right face cream seem overwhelming.

Before shopping, make sure to understand what kind of skin you have: oily, dry, or a combination of both. Then, figure out if you want a day cream (with SPF), a night cream, or one that you can apply at any time. Finally, think about your skin concerns beyond hydration: are you more worried about fine lines, or dull, tired skin? Do you have acne or enlarged pores? Our list features facial moisturizers that not only hydrate but also help with additional skin issues, too.

If you’re unsure what facial moisturizer to select, we’ve got it all figured out for you! Read on for our list of the best face moisturizers on the market. 

The best face moisturizers you can buy

Best overall facial cream: Cetaphil Face Moisturizer, Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Face Lotion with Hyaluronic Acid, 3 Fl Oz

Best anti-aging moisturizer: L’Oreal Paris Skincare Collagen Face Moisturizer, Day and Night Cream, Anti-Aging Face, Neck and Chest Cream to smooth skin and reduce wrinkles, 1.7 oz

Best day cream: CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 | Oil-Free Face Moisturizer with Sunscreen | Non-Comedogenic | 3 Ounce  

Best face moisturizer for oily skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Water Gel Daily Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin, Oil-Free, Non-Comedogenic Face Lotion, 1.7 fl. Oz 

Best face moisturizer for mature skin: Olay Regenerist MicroSculpting Cream Face Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, Vitamin B3+, 1.7 Oz + Whip Face Moisturizer Travel/Trial Size Gift Set 

Best face moisturizer for brightening: Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Facial Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen & Total Soy Complex for Even Tone & Texture, Hypoallergenic, Oil-Free & Non-Comedogenic, 4 fl. Oz 

Best organic face moisturizer: Organic Face Moisturizer, Unscented Natural Face Cream for Every Skin Type, Mostly Aloe, Jojoba, Green Tea, Shea Butter, Sweet Almond, 1.7 Ounces 

Best face moisturizer for extra dry skin: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer, Oil-Free Face Cream with Niacinamide 

Best face moisturizer for sensitive skin: Neutrogena Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer, Sensitive Skin, 4 Fl Ounce 

Best night cream: CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion | Night Cream with Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide | Ultra-Lightweight, Oil-Free Moisturizer for Face | 3 Ounce 

The best overall face moisturizer: Cetaphil Face Moisturizer, Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Face Lotion with Hyaluronic Acid, 3 Fl Oz

best-overall-facial-cream
Amazon

Price: $12.18

Cetaphil is a trusted, dermatologist-recommended brand. And this affordable face moisturizer packs in some serious hydration without breaking the bank. The Cetaphil Daily Face Moisturizer is lightweight, non-greasy, and absorbs quickly, which is great for those on the go. Plus, if you have oily skin, this lotion won’t clog your pores. With an active ingredient of hyaluronic acid, this face moisturizer claims to lock in moisture for 24 hours. Hyaluronic acid is one of the best ingredients to look for in a face moisturizer as it retains up to 1000 times its weight in water. 

 

Another reason it made our top overall pick is that it’s gentle and appropriate for sensitive skin. Although you can apply it both day or night, you may want to add sunscreen on top if you use it during the day.

Best anti-aging moisturizer: L’Oreal Paris Skincare Collagen Face Moisturizer, Day and Night Cream, Anti-Aging Face, Neck and Chest Cream to smooth skin and reduce wrinkles, 1.7 oz

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Amazon

Price: $8.98

This L’Oreal Paris face moisturizer contains collagen, an ingredient that gives skin a youthful glow. Collagen reduces wrinkles and improves skin elasticity by increasing blood flow to the skin. It can also help smooth your skin, which is why we recommend it for anyone looking for both hydration and wrinkle prevention in a facial moisturizer.

You can use this moisturizer during the day and night, as it absorbs quickly without leaving a slimy or sticky film on your skin. Best results come from combining this cream with a L’Oreal serum, eye cream, and cleanser, but even if you just use this hydrating cream with consistency, you’ll notice results: softer, plumper, and hydrated skin.

Best day cream: CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 | Oil-Free Face Moisturizer with Sunscreen | Non-Comedogenic | 3 Ounce  

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Amazon

Price: $13.49

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing lotion is our top pick for a day cream. The face moisturizer comes with a zinc oxide sunscreen (SPF 30) to create a hydrating barrier against UVA and UVB sun rays. It comes recommended for daily use by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Just make sure to apply the cream 15 minutes before sun exposure for the best results.

The unscented lotion is ideal for sensitive skin, with ingredients like hyaluronic acid to hold in moisture and niacinamide, which calms irritated skin. The product also contains ceramides, which help restore and retain moisture and block out impurities. Plus, it absorbs quickly, meaning it’s easy to apply under makeup.

Best face moisturizer for oily skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Water Gel Daily Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin, Oil-Free, Non-Comedogenic Face Lotion, 1.7 fl. Oz 

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Amazon

Price: $14.99

This hydro-packed moisturizer has a lightweight, gel texture ideal for oily or acne-prone skin. It can also be especially hydrating and cooling in the summertime when applying a gel is preferred to a heavy, sticky cream. It absorbs quickly and easily, making it an excellent option to apply under makeup, too.

With an active ingredient of purified hyaluronic acid, Neutrogena Hydro Boost immediately gives skin a fast-acting hydration boost (as its name suggests) and packs in the moisture for up to 48 hours. Another perk? Men seem to love this face moisturizer just as much as women!

Best face moisturizer for mature skin: Olay Regenerist MicroSculpting Cream Face Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, Vitamin B3+, 1.7 Oz + Whip Face Moisturizer Travel/Trial Size Gift Set 

best-face-moisturizer-for-mature-skin
Amazon

Price: $46.99

Although the Olay Regenerist MicroSculpting Face Moisturizer is one of the higher-priced creams on this list, it’s still under $50 — and may just moisturize better than creams with double or triple the price tag. Apt for both morning and nighttime use, the cream has active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, amino peptides, and Vitamin B3, which hydrate, smooth, and firm skin.

The cream visibility reduces the appearance of wrinkles and brightens skin after just a few weeks of use, which is why it’s perfect for mature skin.

Best face moisturizer for brightening: Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Facial Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen & Total Soy Complex for Even Tone & Texture, Hypoallergenic, Oil-Free & Non-Comedogenic, 4 fl. Oz 

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Amazon

Price: $13.97

If you’re looking for a day cream to lighten sun spots and brighten dull skin, the Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF is for you. The oil-free moisturizer helps your skin glow by using its Total Soy Complex, perfect for evening out skin tone, smoothing skin texture, and lightening skin imperfections.

The oxybenzone-free SPF 15 will protect against damaging sun rays and prevent sun spots from forming. And, the formula is hypoallergenic and non-greasy, perfect to put under makeup at the start of the day, though it does take about a minute to absorb fully.

Best organic face moisturizer: Organic Face Moisturizer, Unscented Natural Face Cream for Every Skin Type, Mostly Aloe, Jojoba, Green Tea, Shea Butter, Sweet Almond, 1.7 Ounces

best-organic-face-moisturizer
Amazon

Price: $15.99

Treat your skin to a mini-organic facial every time you use this soft, hydrating cream. Its matte texture will leave your skin feeling smooth sans lasting residue. The Awake Human moisturizer uses ingredients like shea butter, jojoba, green tea, aloe, and sweet almond for deep hydration.

If you’re concerned about what you’re putting on your face, you can relax knowing that there are no harsh chemicals in this formula. In fact, the ingredients mentioned above make up 92% of the cream. Even better? This vegan moisturizer is cruelty-free and has never been tested on animals.

 

Best face moisturizer for extra dry skin: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer, Oil-Free Face Cream with Niacinamide 

Price: $19.99

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Amazon

Even though this formula is extra hydrating and repairing, the oil-free moisturizer won’t clog pores. You can use it both morning and night. If your skin is suffering during a long winter (or just because), the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer has ingredients like ceramide-3, glycerin, niacinamide (a type of Vitamin B3), and La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water for extreme hydration that continues for up to 48 hours after application. 

That La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water sounds French and fancy — and it is! It has soothing, antioxidant properties that penetrate deep into your skin for that extra boost of hydration.

Best face moisturizer for sensitive skin: Neutrogena Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer, Sensitive Skin, 4 Fl Ounce 

Price: $9.50

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Amazon

If your skin is red, irritated, or simply sensitive, the Neutrogena Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin is made for you. The formula is as gentle as it gets —  hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, oil-free, and alcohol-free. 

The lightweight formula is apt for those summer months or for anyone with acne-prone or oily skin, as it won’t clog pores. The cream is versatile, as you can use it in the morning, at night, or anytime you need that extra dose of moisture.

Best night cream: CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion | Night Cream with Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide | Ultra-Lightweight, Oil-Free Moisturizer for Face | 3 Ounce 

Price: $14.96

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Amazon

Our top pick for a night cream, the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion should be the last step in your evening facial care routine, ensuring your skin will be smooth, calm, and hydrated when you wake up the next morning. The cream has powerful ingredients such as niacinamide, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid which hydrate and restore your skin as you sleep at night using a continued release formula developed by dermatologists.

Many night moisturizers are heavy, but this formula is light and oil-free, apt for any skin type, even oily or acne-prone.

Which face moisturizer is best for your Life & Style?

One thing is clear: no matter your age or your skin type, you should be hydrating your skin with a face moisturizer daily. And finding the best moisturizer isn’t always easy. But regardless of your skin type, this list should have one that works for you.

Once you analyze and determine your skin type, it should be easier to figure out which moisturizer might be the best fit for you. You can also narrow things down based on your budget. Familiarize yourself with terms commonly used to describe moisturizers like oil-free and non-comedogenic. Know the hydrating active ingredients you should recognize, like hyaluronic acid, collagen, and niacinamide.

And if your selected moisturizer doesn’t work as well as you’d hoped — don’t give up. Everyone’s skin is different. There’s likely another hydrating cream on this list that may just be right for you — and when it comes to the best face moisturizer, trial and error is often the best way to find that perfect facial hydration and softness.