The Best All
Jul 31, 2023
We hope you love our recommendations! Some may have been sent as samples, but all were independently selected by our editors. Just FYI, BuzzFeed collects a share of sales and/or other compensation from the links on this page.
This is HuffPost's definitive list of lotions and creams for every skin type, concern and budget.
Over the course of our exhaustive beauty reporting, an overwhelming selection of lotions and creams have been suggested and trialed, and now — despite how over-saturated the moisturizer market may seem — we narrowed down a list of the most tried and true expert-approved options.
Through hours upon hours of collective research, interviews with dermatologists and makeup artists and putting products to the test for ourselves, we’re proud to present the upcoming selection of facial moisturizers that cover every budget, skin type and skin concern.
Dr. Y. Claire Chang, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology, previously shared with HuffPost some of her favorite creams and this ceramide treatment cream by SkinMedica was among them. Although it was initially formulated to heal post-procedural skin, either from laser or chemical peels, it can also do wonders for extremely dry or compromised skin. It's been formulated with a unique collagen-promoting peptide blend aimed at targeted fine lines and, of course, ceramides, which are the essential building blocks of a healthy and hydrated skin barrier.
Promising review: "I have dry skin and this is an excellent source of moisture. I use it under my makeup and it works great. Not oily at all, my makeup looks great all day. Recommend for mature skin." —Charlotte
Get it from Dermstore for $72.
The Inkey List's bakuchiol cream was previously suggested by Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, a Miami-based board-certified dermatologist, as a moisturizer for those curious about this natural retinol alternative. According to her, it performs well and for under $15, it can be a good way to see if you tolerate this ingredient that can promote cellular turnover. The lightweight cream is formulated with 1% bakuchiol to target the appearance of fine lines and loss of elasticity, as well as hydrating squalane and nourishing sacha inchi oil, a plant-derived oil rich in omega-3.
Promising review: "This is a game changer. I have a sensitive dry skin and this product worked wonders on my skin without drying it out and reducing my fine lines comparatively. I would repurchase it." —Nitzs
Get it from Inkey or Sephora for $12.99.
Oily skin types or those prone to acne might benefit from a using gel moisturizer over rich cream formulations, and this water gel moisturizer by Neutrogena came at the previous recommendation of board-certified Miami dermatologist Dr. Annie Gonzalez. According to her, this is "a lightweight gel that gives a nice, cooling sensation when applied. It’s free of what people don’t want, such as dyes and fragrance.”
The noncomedogenic and oil-free formula contains purified hyaluronic acid, a beloved humectant that draws moisture into the skin to keep it hydrated.
Promising review: "After doing tons of research on the best moisturizers, I kept coming across Neutrogena's Hydro Boost gel-cream. It's only $15 — which is significantly cheaper than other skincare products I've used — so I figured it would be worth a try. SPOILER: It's a godsend. I actually use it twice a day: once at night after washing my face, and in the morning before applying my makeup. No lie, the results are immediate. My matte foundation goes on smoother than ever, and there are ZERO skin flakes!!!" —Kayla Suazo
Get it from Amazon for $16.48.
Our pick: HuffPost Shopping writer and skincare obsessive Lourdes Avila Uribe has written about Dieux's Instant Angel moisturizer many times. According to her, it's the one product she keeps coming back to because it's perfectly suited for her finicky and acne-prone skin.
"It’s nourishing, soothing, and, miraculously, doesn’t clog my pores. The best part? The longer I use it, the better my skin gets," Uribe said, citing the thoughtfully curated collection of ingredients that aim to protect the skin barrier and promote healthy skin. "A gentle blend of phytosterols, free fatty acids, meadowestolide, ceramides, glycerin, squalane and more do all the heavy lifting so you don’t have to." —Lourdes Avila Uribe, HuffPost Writer
Promising review: "I've been using Instant Angel since its release and will never be without (thanks subscription). I have very dry skin that is quite acne prone and this is the only lotion that keeps me very hydrated and does not break me out." —Laura O.
Get it from Dieux for $45.
This lipid peptide cream by Skinfix was dermatologist-recommended not once, but twice as an optimal solution for anyone with troubled, dry and sensitive skin. It contains a patented triple-lipid complex that restores ceramides in the skin along with the fatty acid levels to support a healthy skin barrier. You can also find a plumping blend of peptides and ultra-hydrating glycerin. I've also used this myself and I really enjoy it during the winter when treating my eczema-inflamed skin.
Promising review: "I love this brand. Perfect for sensitive skin like mine. The cleanser is also great and it takes off all your makeup even my waterproof mascara sometimes. I love that it never irritates my skin so I will definitely keep using. This was gifted by barrier in return for my honest review." —AnaVel19
Get it from Sephora for $54.
This rapid wrinkle repair cream by Neutrogena was another recommendation from Chang. It uses an accelerated retinol complex to promote cellular turnover — a process that can lead to greater collagen production, better skin texture and a reduced appearance of fine lines. It also contains a hydrating dose of hyaluronic acid and can be suitable in treating crepey skin.
Note that if you're new to retinols, they do have the potential to cause mild flaking and irritation in the first couple weeks of use. They can also cause skin to be more sensitive to the sun, so it's important to wear sunscreen.
Promising review: "I’m 38 and the fine lines on my forehead had become noticeable so I thought I’d try and do something about them. I also have slight crow’s feet and frown lines. It’s only been about a month of using this 1–2 times a day (taking the occasional break if my skin gets a little irritated) and it’s subtle but I can see a difference! I weare sunscreen then makeup on top during the day and night cream on over it at night. My husband said he can see the difference too. He’s also used this on his chest acne a couple of times with quick results." —Josh & Sandra
Get it from Amazon for $25.81.
Candace Marino, a Los Angeles-based medical aesthetician, previously touted the benefits of this nourishing and plumping moisturizer by Kora Organics, especially for people who experience dull skin and hyperpigmentation.
"Turmeric is a potent antioxidant that can visibly brighten, calm and protect the skin while the marine micro-algae provides a powerful source of proteins to the skin," Marino said.
Promising review: "My skin is on the dry side and this moisturizer is everything! I love the consistency of it, it feels hydrating and it melts into my skin without the oily residue." —Truexiong
Get it from Sephora or Kora Organics for $62.
This multi-purpose French pharmacy staple has earned itself quite a reputation here at HuffPost. The Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré was brought to our attention by Los Angeles-based makeup artist Susan Zeytuntsyan, who favors this emollient moisturizer for not just hydrating the skin, but for offering the perfect base for foundation and makeup. As it turns out, the timeless formula, which includes calming aloe vera, protective beeswax, nourishing soy proteins and skin-softening shea butter, has been a longtime secret weapon among makeup artists.
Promising reviews: “I’m 43 and live in Colorado, and I’m not kidding when I say I have tried 20+ moisturizers in the past few years trying to find something that works in the winter for my super fair, super sensitive skin. I tend to break out easily with certain ingredients and fragrances, also often deal with flaking/redness. It has been so hard to find something that is moisturizing ENOUGH that doesn’t break out or irritate my skin, but still actually works. I’ve tried so many lines, but this cream is amazing. Moisturizing enough to use as a night cream but not so greasy that you can’t wear it during the day under makeup, and super soothing for redness and irritation.” —KaritaG
Get it from Amazon for $16.
According to Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, a board-certified cosmetic and medical dermatologist in San Diego, the intense moisturizing capabilities of the Ultra Repair Cream from First Aid Beauty are "a must-have for winter! It's a rich cream formulated with colloidal oatmeal which relieves irritation, and shea butter, which protects and maintains our skin barrier. Allantoin also helps calm and soothe the skin. I recommend applying this to damp clean skin for the ultimate hydration."
Promising review: "I’ve had patches of eczema on my collarbone and neck on and off for a year, and tried everything I could think of. I also recently started to get spots of eczema on my hands with the increase in wearing latex gloves. This cream annihilated both issues in less than a week. It’s super moisturizing, combats redness, itchiness and dryness. I even use it as a facial moisturizer at night to help with my rosacea. You have to be consistent with it, and it worked best when I applied it twice a day." —Lauren
Get it from Amazon for $28.90+ (available in four scents).
Our pick: Sephora's prebiotic moisturizer is a recurring product in my routine. It’s creamy, fragrance-free, and my skin drinks it in like a tall glass of water. The naturally derived prebiotics in this cream work to help deeply hydrate the skin while marula oil strengthens the skin barrier, effectively boosting its ability to fight the elements. Aside from making my skin feel ultra comfy, I love that it doesn’t sit heavy on my face like some other moisturizers intended for dry, sensitive skin.
Promising review: "Love this moisturizer!! Had a trial size and loved it so much I had to get the full size. It’s so hydrating and not heavy on the skin especially in this summer heat." —Nashayy
Get it from Sephora for $18.
“This is a moisturizing cream with a modicum of heft that has glycerin and panthenol to hold on to moisture, macadamia seed oil to lightly coat and oat extract to soothe the skin,” Massachusetts-based dermatologist Dr. Papri Sarkar previously told HuffPost.
I can also report this comforting formula does wonders for my highly sensitive and eczema-prone skin.
Promising review: "The scent is light and refreshing. I use the moisturizing bomb in the morning. At night I apply aqua bomb all over my face and neck then the Belif moisturizing eye bomb under my eyes as well as on top of my eyelids. I finish off with the aqua bomb night mask on top. In the morning I rinse it all off and it leaves my skin feeling so soft. I then use this Belif moisturizing bomb on my face in the morning and apply my makeup on top. I’ve been using this skincare routine for one month now I’ve noticed less lines on my forehead and softer skin. I have an average skin type and had slightly dry skin patches by my chin and cheek which are gone now. I highly recommend this brand's products." —Erin
Get it from Amazon for $22+ (available in three sizes).
Our pick: This highly concentrated overnight treatment uses bioactive marine ingredients that promote skin renewal and can soften and strengthen skin. The brand claims that a patent-pending capsule technology is to thank for an effective delivery of active ingredients and a visible difference in the look and feel of the skin.
Promising review: "I have sensitive, fair, combination skin. I get acne and dullness in my cheeks with dryness around my mouth and eyes. This product has been a game changer for my dull, congested cheeks and occasional breakouts. My skin is now smoother, less break outs and more even toned. I use it 1–2 times a week sometimes more often on the tough spots." —Lindsay B.
Get it from U Beauty for $198.
If it's an SPF-based moisturizer you're after, New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Brendan Camp previously suggested this sunscreen lotion by Supergoop for anyone who dislikes the feeling of heavy sunscreen on their skin. This is extremely lightweight, has a silky smooth finish and contains antioxidant-rich ingredients like vitamins E and B5 to help reduce the visible effects of free radicals.
Promising review: "I live in the south, have sensitive facial skin, and need to wear sunscreen daily as I am outdoors a lot. This is a wonderful facial and upper chest sun screen, it’s light, moisturizers and I don’t need to apply regular suntan lotion to my face and upper chest." —PK
Get it from Amazon for $44.
This intensive and restorative day cream by Clarins is New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick's pick for anyone with deeply dehydrated and menopausal skin. She said it incorporates organic harungana, which works similar to retinol while also being gentle on the skin.
"It also contains the anti-pollution complex to protect the skin from changes related to pollution and blue light," she said.
Promising review: "I love Clarins products. This crème is one of my favorites. I use it daily. I use both day and night. I cannot live without it." —me2inhouston
Get it from Sephora for $134.
Lindsay Kastuk, a New York-based makeup artist, previously told us that Augustinus Bader's renowned moisturizer — simply called "The Cream" — is "a makeup artist's holy grail luxury moisturizer." This replenishing emollient formula helps support cellular renewal and improves moisture retention and skin barrier function. We, too, have sworn by The Cream's complexion-boosting capabilities and brand’s patented Trigger Factor Complex, which encompasses over 40 ingredients as the result of decades of research and clinical study.
Promising review: "I've been using the product for 6 months now and have to admit this is probably the best moisturizer I have tried. I was 'blessed' with somewhat sensitive combination skin that's prone to breakouts, however after using the products my skin texture got better with minimal acne flares." —Cryptoyu
Get it from Sephora or Dermstore for $180.
Garshick previously suggested Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream, which she said "works to boost moisture and improves radiance of the skin, offering both immediate and long-term improvements." It's a luxe formulation of hyaluronic acid, peptides, vitamins C and E and more, and according to Garshick it can plump skin and potentially reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Promising review: "I love this product so much. I am 24 and have normal to dry skin. I had cystic acne when I was in high school and my skin is SO sensitive. I researched this product extensively. I got the 30ml and it lasted 3 months so me. The scent is strong but nice. It wears great under make up and feels pillowy soft. 10/10 would recommend." —Kacex
Get it from Sephora or Charlotte Tilbury for $65+ (available in four sizes).
CeraVe's moisturizing night lotion was recommended by New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Nava Greenfield. She said that it was "basic and affordable and provides the necessary hydration one would need for daily use."
Like all products from the CeraVe line, this evening treatment is formulated with their iconic blend of three essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.
Promising review: " I have worked in dermatology and plastic surgery for 10+ years this is one of my go to products that I use EVERY night! It is part of my daily skincare regimen. No scent, light and moisturizing (i have sensitve skin) and I never have issues with break outs." —Wren
Get it from Amazon for $13.99.
Our pick: I've been a longtime fan of The Ordinary's simplistic, straightforward and accessible approach to skincare, and this moisturizer was one of the products that first sold me on the brand. I love the way it soaks deeply into my parched skin and contains a total of 11 tried-and-true hydrating ingredients like lipid-loving fatty acids, glycerin, barrier-restoring ceramides and hyaluronic acid. If you want a facial cream that will play nice with all of your actives, will actually do a really solid job at hydrating your skin and won't cost an arm and a leg, then you can just stop scrolling now.
Promising review: "I have combo/dry skin and occasionally struggle with eczema on my eyes. I bought this as I ran out of my usual moisturizer while traveling… to say I’m obsessed is truly an understatement. This will be my new moisturizer. No doubt. It’s medium thick consistency fully hydrated my face and did not burn my skin even though I’m having an eczema flare up. For the price, you must try it for yourself." —MakeupMel14
Get it from Sephora or Ulta for $6.50+ (available in two sizes).
A few months ago, we chatted with TikTok star and cosmetic chemist Javon Ford to find out what skincare products he thought were worth purchasing. He said that he enjoys this pore-minimizing and nutrient-rich water cream by Tatcha for its unique texture that's achieved by using an inverted silicone emulsion. Ford explained that most moisturizers are oil dispersed in water, whereas this one is water dispersed in silicone, giving a light moisture boost with a silky feel and blurring effect thanks to the silicone elastomers in the formula.
Promising review: "I LOVE this face cream! It is so light and gentle on my sensitive skin and I have already seen an improvement after using it for just a couple of days. It goes on really light so be careful not to use too much. It’s nongreasy and feels amazing!" —Dawn A.
Get it from Amazon for $23+ (available in two sizes and three packs).
Our pick: This dewy and lightweight moisturizer is from Glow Recipe, a Korean skincare brand that really knows how to harness the power of fruit. The Plum Plump hyaluronic acid cream made it on our list because of its non-greasy formulation that contains brightening plum extract, polyglutamic acid and multi-weight hyaluronic acid for optimum ingredient penetration. The delightful texture is a whipped gel consistency that is suitable even for oily and acne-prone skin types.
Promising review: "I suffer from really dry skin areas but have a oily t-zone. I’ve tried many moisturizers but this moisturizer has done wonders for my skin! I also have really sensitive skin and this cream has worked so well for me and not triggering any skin breakouts, leaving me with glowing skin! Will definitely buy again!" —Kristen P.
Get it from Glow Recipe for $21 (available in two sizes).
Products by the iconic French pharmacy brand La Roche-Posay often come highly recommended to us by dermatologists, as was the case with this Cicaplast cream, a favorite of Dr. Lauren Penzi, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York. This therapeutic and multi-purpose cream instantly addresses visible signs of skin irritation caused by dryness, and contains glycerin, shea butter and vitamin B5.
Promising review: "I rarely write reviews but I felt compelled to for this product. I have been battling a two-month long Perioral Dermatitis flare-up and was scrambling to find something that would help and not cause the PD to react and get worse. If you have PD, you know how just about anything can cause your skin to get even angrier — even things you think will help. This product has been a god-send. Overnight my redness disappeared and the bumps started to get smaller. I use this product in conjunction with Amperna’s sensitive duo to combat the PD and have seen SIGNIFICANT change. Highly highly recommend—this has helped most with calming the redness. I leave it on thick when I apply at night and really work it into my skin when I apply during the day." —Victoria P.
Get it from Amazon for $15.99.
Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.