Like any product, facial moisturizers are constantly updated to offer newer and better products. This list examines some of the best facial moisturizers of 2018. This list should allow you to choose the best facial moisturizer for you from a variety of products.
How We Chose Our Ratings
All of the best facial moisturizer candidates are graded using a five-star system. Because all of these products are considered among the best, a low rating does not mean one of these facial moisturizers is bad. It merely means that it doesn't have as much versatility or use as other candidates for the best facial moisturizer available.
The rating for these moisturizers are based on the quality of the product, the opinions, and comments of ourselves and other reviewers, and the reception and feedback provided by users. Each rating is based on a combination of testimonies and experience during testing.
Under most circumstances, only a single product will be reviewed from any facial moisture line or company. If two products are deemed different enough, they may both receive inclusion, but we strive to offer a variety of products and options in our rating system.
Each product should be especially good at dealing with dry skin, oily skin, or a combination of the two. Some products may be better for certain types of skin, and these differences should be noted in their reviews.
- Top 6 Best Facial Moisturizers -
These are several products in contention for the title of best facial moisturizer in the market. All of these facial moisturizers are high-quality products, so your preferences may vary from ours. The intention is to present you with several options to choose from so that you can choose the facial moisturizer that is right for you.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost
Neutrogena Hydro Boost is a unique facial moisturizer marketed as a gel-cream. As a gel, it takes far less Hydro Boost to cover your entire face than normal facial moisturizers.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost is an everyday facial moisturizer and can be applied during the day or night. According to several testers, you have to apply it less often than other moisturizers, and the feeling of moisture on your skin is long-lived.
It is an over the counter facial moisturizer and can be found in common stores from Target to a local drugstore. Though it isn't a luxury facial moisturizer, Neutrogena Hydro Boost performs far better than your average facial moisturizer.
Hydro Boost doesn’t contain any chemicals that are known to cause blackheads. There are fewer ingredients in Hydro Boost, which limits the chance that you’ll have an allergic reaction.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost receives a five-star rating. Although every facial moisturizer on this list has a unique quality to it, Hydro Boost is this list's top pick for a best facial moisturizer. Its availability, effectiveness, and the fact that it is significantly safer than other facial moisturizers make it a recommended product for any beauty product connoisseur.
CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion
While CeraVe’s Moisturizing AM lotion is good, feedback from other testers led us to choose the CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF-30 instead.
CeraVe's lotions are unique because they both moisturize your skin and provide protection from direct sunlight. One negative trade-off is that the chemicals used to give it an SPF rating can cause blackheads. The chance that it can irritate your skin may also arise since there are more ingredients than usual.
No other facial moisturizer on this list fulfills the tasks of protecting your skin and moisturizing it. Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF-30 is designed to be thin and light so that you can still apply makeup or other beauty products without smearing them together.
Because it is part sunscreen, you’ll notice that it can leave white streaks and has a distinct smell to it. This is one of the best facial moisturizers to apply in the morning or before going outside. It isn’t a good product to use for a night time mask though.
CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF-30 receives a three-star rating. It is the perfect definition of a product that fulfills a niche role but excels in that particular area. If you dislike moisturizers with a distinctive smell or want a product you can apply at night, this may not appeal to you as much.
RoC Retinol Correction Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer
RoC Retinol Correction Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer is our pick for a facial moisturizer with retinol in it. These vitamin-rich moisturizers market themselves as products capable of healing your skin, removing sun spots, and more.
While this product claims to have anti-aging properties, you should take a skeptical look at any moisturizer that claims to have health benefits. At its core though, it functions as a very good facial moisturizer, and it makes it on to this list on those merits alone.
RoC Retinol Correction Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer also acts as an SPF-30 sunblock. This product does a lot and has many ingredients to make it all possible.
The long list of ingredients means that several products known to create blackheads are in this moisturizer. The active ingredients included for their anti-aging and skin healing properties are also affected by sunlight. As such, this facial moisturizer is one you should put on at night rather than the daytime.
RoC Retinol Correction Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer receives a two-star rating. It is a candidate for the best facial moisturizer to apply at night. Its numerous ingredients and exaggerated health benefits come with some drawbacks though that make it less useful outside of its intended role. An SPF rating is rather pointless if you shouldn't use it during the day.
Cetaphil's Daily Hydrating Lotion
Cetaphil produces affordable facial moisturizers. Their Daily Hydrating Lotion isn’t a luxury moisturizer, but rather the kind you can apply each morning without worrying that you’ll run out because price becomes an issue.
What elevates Cetaphil’s Daily Hydrating Lotion is its focus on dry skin. Facial moisturizers can fulfill a variety of roles, and this one focuses in on dry and scaly skin specifically. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid are included to help your skin retain moisture even when it is damaged or unhealthy.
Shampoos and conditioners form a dichotomy where the shampoo removes oils and dirt but dries out your body. Conditioner products restore moisture to your body, to help undo any damage caused by the shampoos. Cetaphil's Daily Hydrating Lotion is a conditioning product and is best used after you use a facial cleanser or other shampoo-like products.
Cetaphil's Daily Hydrating Lotion receives a three and a half star rating. The lotion has many hydrating agents and fulfills the role of moisturizer well. It is designed to be useful even if your skin is already dry or cracked. It is also effective on sensitive skin. As a hydrating lotion, it is best used to deal with dryness, however, and it lacks some versatility as a moisturizer product.
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There's a common misconception about moisturizers. The role of a moisturizer is to stop moisture from escaping your skin and to improve your skin's water retention. For that reason, moisturizers don't actually need to be watery or thin. Moisturizers with high water content can dry up rapidly under sunlight, or may become clammy in high humidity.
The Ordinary is a thick cream facial moisturizer. It can feel a bit heavy on your skin compared to other moisturizers, but the thick cream means it is excellent for dry or humid climates where other moisturizers would struggle. This is a heavy duty facial moisturizer capable of working effectively while allowing you to use makeup or other products as well.
The Ordinary does have two ingredients to note: cetyl alcohol and sodium chloride. These ingredients can cause acne problems in some rare instances. Cetyl alcohol is an emollient though, and both ingredients fulfill useful facial moisturizing roles that make them worth the inclusion. If your skin is prone to pore-clogging however, it’s something to keep in mind.
The Ordinary also doesn’t streak or cause discoloration on people with poor complexions, or any darker skin colors. Because The Ordinary is designed for people who live in hot climates, it makes sense that they’d consider how it interacts with tanned or dark skin. So if you’re worried about white streaks, or oily looking moisturizer spots, this product will help you avoid both.
The Ordinary receives a four-star rating. It effectively fills the role of a facial moisturizer even in extreme conditions. It can address several issues other facial moisturizers face, such as itchiness, streaking, and the threat of drying out under sunlight. It also fills a niche role for those who need a moisturizer in humid climates, giving it a broad number of uses.
Clinique Moisture Surge Intense
Clinique's Moisture Surge Intense is a facial moisturizer that is designed for oily skin. Many facial cleansers deal with either dry or oily skin, and this product from Clinique does both to some degree. Its emphasis seems to be on eliminating and minimizing the oils on your skin, however, to reduce acne and other skin issues.
Your skin naturally produces oils to protect it, and in some cases, even moisturize it. Some people have skin that produces an excess of oil though, which can quickly clog pores and cause acne. Any facial moisturizer used to reduce the oil in your skin should be used carefully because removing too much oil can damage your skin instead of healing it.
That said, Clinique's Moisture Surge Intense is a great facial moisturizer. If you have clear skin in need of moisturizing, you may want to hesitate before choosing Surge Intense. If it is the right product for you, however, it is excellent at limiting the oils present on your skin and keeping your skin in shape.
Clinique's Moisture Surge Intense receives a three-star rating. This may be the best facial moisturizer for those who deal with oil on their skin. That does limit the number of people who will find it useful somewhat, though. It also isn't as effective in this role as skin cleansers, so for Clinique's product to be right for you, a few factors have to line up.
When you are looking for the best facial moisturizer to fit your situation, you should first consider what you want your moisturizer to do. If you want a facial moisturizer that only fulfills that role, you will likely want a product like Neutrogena Hydro Boost.
If you want to achieve the maximum bang for your buck, however, you may want your facial moisturizer to have other uses. The most common difference is between morning and nighttime facial moisturizers.
Morning facial moisturizers are meant to be applied early and are absorbed as you go about your day. You are likely to be in sunlight and sweat during this time, so they can't be a runny product. Night time moisturizers should feel more comfortable on your skin so that you can rest after applying them, so a thick moisturizer is probably not the best choice.
A good example of a daytime moisturizer is The Ordinary, which is long-lasting and usually won't leave streaks. You don't want a moisturizer that leaves marks if you have to attend a meeting or be in public after all.
RoC Retinol Correction Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer is the type of moisturizer you want for a nighttime mask. It feels lighter and has a higher moisture content. This means you're less likely to feel irritated or uncomfortable when laying down, so you may prefer this product instead.
If you already suffer from dry skin or frequently use skin cleansers and other products that irritate your skin, you may want a facial moisturizer that is specifically tailored to provide greater hydration. If you have acne or dry skin issues, consider Cetaphil's Daily Hydrating Lotion. If you don't frequently suffer dry skin, however, you may want to choose one of the previous options.