The 12 Best Face Moisturizers of 2022 for Every Skin Type

The La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer is our top pick for its nourishing ingredients that are suitable for all skin types.

In This Article

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Best Face Moisturizers

Ulta

A good face moisturizer is an essential part of any skincare routine. But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to figure out which is the best for your skin type and concerns.

To find the best face moisturizers, we researched dozens of formulas and narrowed down the list based on type, ingredients, skin concerns, and more. For expert advice, we tapped Amanda Doyle, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist at Russak Dermatology Clinic, who explained exactly what to look for when shopping for a face moisturizer. She also provided tips on how to incorporate it into your existing routine.

“You want to make sure you’re using a solid base of cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen, and then advance the routine once your skin barrier is intact,” says Dr. Doyle. “There are some moisturizers with acids or retinols that can be incorporated, but only after the skin is healthy and able to tolerate these types of ingredients.”

The La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer is our top pick because it’s suitable for all skin types. Its nourishing formula contains hydrating ingredients like ceramides, niacinamide, and glycerin.

Here are the best face moisturizers.

Best Overall Face Moisturizer

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

4.6
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

Amazon

Who it’s for: People with all skin types who want a hydrating facial moisturizer.

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer skincare products made with all-natural ingredients.

La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer is our best overall pick because it’s great for all skin types. This moisturizer’s star ingredient is ceramides, which hydrate your skin and help maintain a healthy barrier that prevents moisture loss. Its formula also contains niacinamide, which is a type of vitamin B that has plenty of benefits. This ingredient is known for its soothing properties that help build up the skin cells’ protective barriers so that they are less impacted by pollutants and toxins. 

Finally, the glycerin draws moisture from the environment to help minimize your skin’s water loss. All of these ingredients work together to maintain a more protected and hydrated skin barrier for up to 48 hours, according to the brand. This moisturizer is fragrance- and paraben-free, so it’s a great option for those with sensitive or irritated skin. The texture is also incredibly creamy without feeling too heavy, which would make it a great base to wear under makeup. 

Price at time of publish: $21

Product Details: 

  • Type: Lightweight cream
  • Key Ingredients: Ceramides, niacinamide, and glycerin
  • Size: 2.5 ounces

Best Drugstore Face Moisturizer

Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream

Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Body Cream

Amazon

Who it’s for: People with sensitive or irritated skin who want a budget-friendly cream.

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer lightweight moisturizers.

In addition to being fairly affordable, this moisturizer is both gentle and effective. It contains rosemary, chamomile, and pansy extract, all of which have unique skin benefits. Rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties that can help lessen the appearance of redness and swelling, while antioxidant-packed chamomile and pansy extracts help protect the skin from oxidative and environmental stressors. These ingredients can also help to improve the texture of the skin, which is especially great for anyone dealing with acne scarring. 

This face cream goes on quite thick, so you may prefer to use it at night only depending on how dry your skin is. It can be used all over your body, too—especially on rough, dry patches on your elbows, hands, and feet. For this reason, people looking for a lightweight face moisturizer that wears well under makeup should probably look elsewhere.

Price at time of publish: $19

Product Details: 

  • Type: Cream
  • Key Ingredients: Chamomile, calendula, and beeswax
  • Size: 1 and 2.5 ounces

Best Splurge Face Moisturizer

Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream

Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream

Biossance

Who it’s for: People who are willing to spend more on a rich cream for dry skin. 

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t want to dip their fingers into a jar.

Known for its use of plant-derived squalane, Biossance has made quite a name for itself—and it’s due in large part to this cream. Squalene is a fatty molecule naturally found in the skin that works to maintain barrier support and moisture. Unfortunately, the skin produces less of it as we age, which is why it’s a great ingredient in skincare products. The squalane in this formula is derived from sugarcane, which is a plant-based alternative to other forms that are typically derived from sharks. 

The cream is super thick and luxurious, and it manages to maintain that texture without feeling too heavy or greasy. It also spreads on incredibly easily—a little goes a long way—which is great for covering your face and neck. Like all skincare products that come in jars, just make sure your hands are clean before dipping your fingers in to avoid contamination. 

Price at time of publish: $60

Product Details: 

  • Type: Cream
  • Key Ingredients: Squalane, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides
  • Size: 1.7 ounces

Best Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration

4.9
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration

Amazon

Who it’s for: People experiencing irritation or redness caused by dry skin.

Who it isn’t for: People who have oily, acne-prone skin might prefer something more lightweight.

If you have very dry skin, then you know it often comes with irritation, redness, and flaking. First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration is one of the most soothing moisturizers on the market, and it can be used anywhere on your face or body that has dry skin. One of the most noticeable things about this cream, especially for first-time users, is how far a little bit of product can go. It also absorbs incredibly quickly, so you don’t have to wait long before getting ready for the day. 

This face moisturizer’s formula contains colloidal oatmeal to help relieve itchiness and allantoin to soothe irritation, redness, and swelling. Finally, the shea butter will moisturize and nourish the skin with vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Overall, this intense moisturizer will leave very dry skin feeling smooth and hydrated.

Price at time of publish: $38

Product Details: 

  • Type: Cream
  • Key Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and allantoin
  • Size: 2, 6, and 8 ounces

Best Face Moisturizer for Oily Skin

Shani Darden Skin Care Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer

4.6
Shani Darden Skin Care Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer

Sephora

Who it’s for: People who want a lightweight face moisturizer that won’t make their skin feel more oily.

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a face moisturizer that contains SPF.

This non-greasy formula from Shani Darden is ideal for people with oily skin. The oil-free moisturizer won’t clog your pores, but it will leave your skin feeling nourished and plump after use. It contains hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that helps the skin retain more moisture without adding any oiliness. It also contains hydrolyzed collagen, which is great for aging skin as it promotes elasticity while adding moisture.

The red algae extract in this face moisturizer is also great for your skin’s health. For one, it has protein in it, which also helps with elasticity and promotes a healthy skin barrier. Red algae extract also contains antioxidants and vitamins, both of which promote general skin health. This moisturizer is a great choice for lathering on at night or in the morning under your makeup so that you’re set up for the day.

Price at time of publish: $48

Product Details: 

  • Type: Lightweight Cream
  • Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed collagen, and red algae extract
  • Size: 2.5 ounces

Best Face Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin

Tula Breakout Star Acne Moisturizer

Tula Breakout Star Acne Moisturizer

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who need a face moisturizer that won’t make their acne worse.

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t want to use salicylic acid on their face.

This face moisturizer from Tula was designed specifically with acne-prone skin in mind. Its formula contains 2 percent salicylic acid, which helps treat and prevent breakouts. This ingredient dissolves all of the dirt and debris that clog pores (and cause pimples!), and it allows the skin to shed the top layer of skin cells. This makes this moisturizer an especially great product for getting rid of blackheads and whiteheads while hydrating your skin. 

It also contains azelaic acid, which minimizes bacteria that could be left behind on your skin—thus, preventing new breakouts from forming. To soothe the skin, the moisturizer contains probiotics and aloe vera. Both of these ingredients can reduce inflammation and redness, which will allow any pimples or breakout-prone areas to clear up much faster. 

Price at time of publish: $52

Product Details: 

  • Type: Lotion
  • Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid, azelaic acid, probiotics, and aloe vera
  • Size: 1.7 ounces

Best Face Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin

Kiehl's Centella Sensitive Cica Cream

Kiehl's Centella Sensitive Cica Cream

Kiehl's

Who it’s for: People who want a gentle moisturizer that’s safe for easily irritated skin.

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer lightweight lotions.

If your skin is easily irritated, then we recommend Kiehl's Centella Sensitive Cica-Cream. This moisturizer—which is free of fragrance, parabens, and alcohol—is designed to repair damaged skin, so you don’t have to worry about it wreaking havoc on yours. The star of this formula is madecassoside, a soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredient derived from the centella asiatica plant. (We also like that the brand works with local farms in Madagascar to sustainably source its centella asiatica extract.)

It also contains vitamin B5, shea butter, and more ingredients to keep your skin healthy and hydrated. This moisturizer has a thick, creamy texture that’s meant to absorb quickly and easily, so you don’t have to aggressively rub it in to reap the benefits. 

Price at time of publish: $44

Product Details: 

  • Type: Cream
  • Key Ingredients: Madecassoside and vitamin B5
  • Size: 1.7 ounces

Best Face Moisturizer for Dark Skin

Eadem Cloud Cushion Airy Brightening Moisturizer

Eadem Cloud Cushion Plush Moisturizer

Sephora

Who it’s for: People who want a moisturizer that’s designed to help with discoloration on darker skin tones. 

Who it isn’t for: People with oily skin who would prefer something super lightweight.

Eadem’s Cloud Cushion Airy Brightening Moisturizer—the second product in the brand’s lineup—was created by women of color, for women of color. It works wonders on dark spots, discoloration, and more, thanks to its impressive ingredients list. The three types of plant-derived ceramides provide the skin with an intense level of moisture, while niacinamide and peptides help with acne and skin texture. Its formula also contains snow mushroom and squalane for lightweight hydration that leaves your skin feeling baby-soft.

As the name implies, this moisturizer looks and feels incredibly plush and cloud-like. This allows it to spread beautifully onto the skin, so a little goes a long way. While it is a thicker moisturizer, it could still be worn under makeup for people with super dry skin as it leaves behind a smooth texture. And even though it’s designed for darker skin tones, anyone can use this moisturizer.

Price at time of publish: $59

Product Details: 

  • Type: Cream
  • Key Ingredients: Peptides, niacinamide, squalane, snow mushroom, and ceramides
  • Size: 1.69 ounces

Best Face Moisturizer With SPF

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

3
CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a multitasking product that moisturizes their skin and protects it from the sun.

Who it isn’t for: People who want to use the same moisturizer day and night.

This drugstore moisturizer from CeraVe has an SPF of 30 for UVA/UVB protection, but it doesn’t feel too thick or leave a white cast like sunscreens typically do. This makes it a great choice for daily use since you don’t have to worry about applying a secondary product for sun protection. 

Like other CeraVe products, this moisturizer contains ceramides that seal in moisture and protect the skin barrier. The formula also contains niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 that has anti-inflammatory properties and will help your skin protect itself from environmental harm. Its texture is substantial enough that you feel like your skin is protected from the sun, but still lightweight enough that you can wear it under makeup (or on its own). But if you’re looking for a moisturizer that can be used day and night, you might want to choose a product without SPF.

Price at time of publish: $16

Product Details: 

  • Type: Lotion
  • Key Ingredients: Ceramides, niacinamide, and zinc oxide
  • Size: 3 ounces

Best Natural Face Moisturizer

Cocokind Texture Smoothing Cream

Cocokind Texture Smoothing Cream

Ulta

Who it’s for: People who prefer skincare products that prioritize natural ingredients.

Who it isn’t for: People who experience breakouts would be better off with a moisturizer designed for acne-prone skin.

Just because the Cocokind Texture Smoothing Cream consists of natural ingredients doesn’t mean that it’s any less impactful at moisturizing the skin. This is our best natural pick because it has a 2 rating from EWG Skin Deep—a database that scores products for their ingredients based on strict standards. 

This moisturizer’s formula relies on celery superseed complex (aka flaxseed and celery extracts) to improve skin texture and firmness, while Tsubaki seed oil is there to reduce the appearance of fine lines and repair your skin’s barrier. It also contains squalane, which is a lightweight way to add moisture without making the formula feel too heavy. Even though this pick is designed to improve skin texture, people with acne-prone skin should probably still opt for a moisturizer that targets and prevents breakouts.

Price at time of publish: $22

Product Details: 

  • Type: Lightweight cream
  • Key Ingredients: Celery superseded complex, squalane, and Tsubaki seed oil 
  • Size: 1.7 ounces

Best Gel Face Moisturizer

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream with Hyaluronic Acid for Extra-Dry Skin

4.7
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a moisturizer with a lightweight and bouncy gel texture.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a face moisturizer with a matte finish. 

Gel moisturizers are great because their texture kind of feels like a drink of water for your skin—and the best one on the market is Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Gel-Cream. There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Hydro Boost before, as this line from Neutrogena is commonly found in drugstores and online. It’s beloved for its lightweight and bouncy consistency that’s still hydrating enough for very dry skin.

This pick contains hyaluronic acid that helps build up the skin’s elasticity, making it great for people who want to target fine lines and wrinkles. The gel moisturizer also contains humectants, which help retain moisture in the skin. Its formula is free of oil and fragrance, and it can be used any time of day when your skin feels parched. 

Price at time of publish: $20

Product Details: 

  • Type: Gel cream
  • Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid and glycerin
  • Size: 1.7 ounces

Best Brightening Face Moisturizer

FaceGym Liftwear Vitamin C + Bioferment Gel-Cream Moisturizer

FaceGym Liftwear Vitamin C + Bioferment Gel-Cream Moisturizer

Sephora

Who it’s for: People with discoloration and dark spots on their faces. 

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer thicker, heavier creams. 

FaceGym’s Liftwear Vitamin C + Bioferment Gel-Cream Moisturizer is a great option for people who are concerned about dark spots, whether from acne scarring or sun damage. Thanks to brightening ingredients like niacinamide and vitamin C, this moisturizer is also ideal for anyone hoping to reduce the appearance of discoloration due to age spots. 

It’s a gel-based formula, so it’s lightweight but leaves skin feeling smooth and supple. It also contains Sh-Polypeptide-123, a peptide that improves the skin’s elasticity so that it is stronger and less susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles. Overall, this moisturizer stands out for its ability to even out skin tone and improve skin texture. 

Price at time of publish: $55

Product Details: 

  • Type: Gel cream
  • Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and Sh-Polypeptide-123
  • Size: 1.7 ounces

Final Verdict

Our pick for the best overall face moisturizer is La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer. This lightweight cream contains ceramides to protect your skin’s barrier, glycerin to draw in moisture from the air, and niacinamide to soothe and hydrate your skin.

If you have extremely dry skin and often experience redness or irritation because of it, then we recommend First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration. Its formula contains colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and allantoin to nourish rough, dry patches on your face and body.

How to Shop for Face Moisturizers

Type

Face moisturizers come in a variety of different types. Lotions are generally thinner in consistency, while creams are much thicker and often more hydrating. Gel moisturizers, on the other hand, feel lightweight and often have a temporary cooling sensation on the skin. There are also moisturizers with SPF that eliminate the need to wear a separate sunscreen when used properly.

Ingredients 

As with all skincare products, it’s worth checking out the ingredients list before buying a face moisturizer. In general, Dr. Doyle recommends looking for “oil-free, non-comedogenic facial moisturizers with ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and other items like lipids.” She says that these ingredients “can help maintain the skin barrier, support its regenerative properties, and keep it hydrated so it is soft, smooth, and clear.” 

Skin Concerns

If you have any specific skin concerns—like oiliness, dryness, wrinkles, or sensitivity—we recommend looking for a moisturizer that’s designed with those needs in mind. For example, Dr. Doyle says people with oily skin may want to avoid excess oils and opt for lighter moisturizers, while people with sensitive skin should look for formulas that are fragrance- and acid-free. 

Questions You Might Ask

Which step in your routine should you apply face moisturizer? 

In the morning, Dr. Doyle recommends applying moisturizer after your vitamin C serum. “In the evening after cleansing, I recommend a moisturizer and then follow with the rest of the regimen, which in most [cases] involves a retinol or retinoid,” she says.

How often should you apply moisturizer during the day? 

As with all things, consistency is key to keeping your skin hydrated. Dr. Doyle recommends applying moisturizer twice a day, once in the morning and once again at night. If your skin is extra dry, she says you can go ahead and apply moisturizer in the afternoon, too.

Should people with oily skin use face moisturizer? 

Contrary to popular belief, people with oily skin can use moisturizers without making their skin appear greasier. Dr. Doyle recommends looking for non-comedogenic formulas, which means they won’t clog pores. “People with oily skin may do better with a lighter form of moisturizer like a lotion instead of a cream or ointment-based moisturizer,” she says. “In some instances, all they need is a serum.” 

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Brittany Loggins, a freelance writer who specializes in beauty and lifestyle content. To find the best face moisturizers, she thoroughly researched the various types on the market, considering factors such as type, ingredients, and more. For expert insight, she spoke to Amanda Doyle, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist at Russak Dermatology Clinic.

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