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For many wanting to put their best face forward, moisturizer is an essential step. Whether slathered on before breakfast, or applied prior to beauty sleep, face moisturizer keeps skin hydrated and healthy. And most dermatologists will likely tell you hydration is the key to good skincare. That said, which face moisturizers are the best?
Moisturizers are perhaps the most prescribed products in dermatology practice and also the most intriguing one, according to the National Library of Medicine. Millions of Americans seem aware of the benefits and are using moisturizers. According to data calculated by Statista based on the United Nations data and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS), 228.23 million Americans used moisturizers/creams/lotions in 2020. That figure is projected to increase to 234.68 million in 2024.
To that point, a recent survey reports that one in nine women have 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%).
So which moisturizers are worth buying? To help you decide, StudyFinds visited 10 leading beauty and health websites to find the consensus best face moisturizers. Our list is ranked based on the most-recommended products across those sites.
*A decent rule of thumb: Skin care should never hurt. When you’re evaluating what products to incorporate into your routine, listen to your skin and look for signs of stress or inflammation.
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.
“This is absolutely amazing for those who want all the hydration without any of the shine. It contains omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids that support the skin’s barrier and deeply hydrates, diminishing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s perfect in the summer when you do not want your moisturizer to feel thick and heavy,” according to celebrity aesthetician Morgan Rackley.
“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.
This moisturizer isn’t as widely available as many other brands. Not exactly pocket-friendly either; 1.7 ounces costs $145.
If a product uses “magic” in its name, it better live up to the hype. And judging from reviews, this supercharged, hydrating cream does. One Sephora shopper says, “It glides on and soaks in like a dream. The scent is light but somehow very comforting. It leaves my skin feeling very smooth and soft, looks subtle and dewy.”
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. “A good moisturizer contains humectants to hydrate, emollients to support the skin barrier, and occlusives to lock in the moisture — and this product contains all three: glycerin, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, shea butter. The hyaluronic acid not only locks in moisture but acts as an anti-aging agent.”
Hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient mentioned in several products on StudyFinds “Best Face Washes for 2023″ list.
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 has featured this magic moisturizer, stating it’s well-worth the $100 price tag.
“It’s infused with hyaluronic acid to help boost the livelihood of your skin and feels so decadent. A $100 purchase is undoubtedly a splurge, but the rich texture is just divine for all skin types — especially sensitive.”
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.
Recommended by dermatologists, this cruelty-free brand was also featured in StudyFinds ‘Best Face Washes for 2023′ list.
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.
“My dermatologist loves that I love this,” one Ulta shopper said. “I have dry/combination sensitive skin and can be prone to breakouts around my time of the month, but this is lightweight, has great SPF without feeling or smelling like sunscreen.”
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 for just under $20 at Target or Amazon, which might be more than some people want to pay. But 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 moisturizer has no fragrance and it’s a light almost watery consistency. It soaks into the skin almost immediately and it gives that tacky feeling once it’s dry, which is when I’ll apply my makeup. It’s not heavy or irritating to my sensitive skin,” said one Amazon shopper.
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,” Alexiades said.
Cost is $25 to $38 depending on where you buy.
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.
“After applying the cream to my face, it felt cool and nourishing but not heavy. I was amazed by the texture’s richness and luxury,” Karla Ayala shared on byrdie.com.
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, recommended 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.”
* Before you add a skin care product to your routine, be sure to speak to your dermatologist or doctor first.
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.
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