People have many options for facial skin moisturizers. Many are made to benefit certain skin types and conditions. Some ingredients can cause skin irritation, so choosing the right product is important.

This article explores top face moisturizers and discusses other concerns. 

A quick look at the best face moisturizers 

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Was this helpful?

Best face moisturizers

These are some of the best face moisturizers available online: 

Best for dry skin: Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream

tatcha the dewy skin cream
  • List price: from around $20
  • Size: 0.34 ounces (oz) and 1.7 oz
  • Key ingredients: green tea

Tatcha’s face cream contains green tea, rice, and algae that help hydrate the skin and provide anti-aging properties. It also has hyaluronic acid to keep the skin soft and retain moisture. 

It also helps plump the skin, so it may suit people with skin dryness

Pros

  • works on dry skin
  • has anti-aging characteristics
  • smooths and softens the skin

Cons

  • may feel greasy
  • contains fragrance, according to reviews, so may not suit sensitive skin
  • may cause irritation
Was this helpful?

Best fragrance-free: Olay Regenerist

olay regenerist
  • List price: around $27
  • Size: 1.7 oz
  • Key ingredients: niacinamide and hyaluronic acid

The Olay Regenerist cream contains niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. These ingredients help moisturize the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. 

It is free of:

  • fragrance
  • parabens
  • phthalates
  • synthetic dyes

Pros

  • without fragrance, so may suit people with sensitive skin
  • softens the skin
  • suitable for uneven skin

Cons

  • has caused dermatitis breakouts in some customers
  • may cause pores to look greasy
Was this helpful?

Best for eczema: La Mer Creme de la Mer

la mer moisturizing cream
  • List price: around $285
  • Size: 2 oz
  • Key ingredients: citric acid, eucalyptus, zinc, and panthenol

This moisturizing cream contains citric acid, eucalyptus, and zinc, among other ingredients. 

A 2022 study suggests that products containing eucalyptus may improve the skin’s hydration and barrier function. Eucalyptus may also recover sweat function in people with eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, as they may have a reduced sweating ability. 

La Mer’s cream is unscented and free of parabens and phthalates. It may suit people with eczema and dry skin.

Pros

  • gentle on the skin
  • suitable when temperatures are low
  • works for people with allergies

Cons

  • thick texture, so it takes a long time to absorb into the skin 
  • price is higher than many other products
Was this helpful?

Best for acne: Neutrogena Hydro Boost

  • List price: around $27
  • Size: 1.7 oz
  • Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid

Neutrogena’s hydrating cream contains hyaluronic acid as the main ingredient. It helps retain the skin’s moisture and gives it a more plump appearance.

The product is available in gel form. The manufacturer claims it absorbs fast into the skin. 

The gel is free of:

  • oils
  • dyes
  • fragrance

Pros

  • does not clog pores, making it suitable for people with acne
  • no greasy residue
  • without fragrance, making it a good product for sensitive skin

Cons

  • container may arrive unsealed
  • has caused a burning sensation in some customers
Was this helpful?

Best for dehydrated skin: SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore

  • List price: $150
  • Size: 1.6 fluid ounces (fl oz)
  • Key ingredients: ceramides, natural cholesterol, and lavender oil

This cream contains ceramides, natural cholesterol, fatty acids, and lavender oil. These ingredients help increase the skin’s hydration, reduce age-related dryness, and improve elasticity. 

The company recommends the product for all skin types, especially if the skin is dehydrated and has signs of aging. 

Pros

  • improves skin dehydration
  • suitable for all skin types
  • plumps up the skin

Cons

  • may clog pores
  • may cause a burning sensation
Was this helpful?

Best for sensitive skin: La Roche-Posay Dermallergo Ultra Soothing

  • List price: around $31
  • Size: 1.4 fl oz
  • Key ingredients: shea butter, thermal spring water, and neurosensine

La Roche-Posay’s moisturizer contains shea butter, thermal spring water, and neurosensine to help soothe and restore the skin’s properties. 

It has a creamy texture. It works immediately, according to the company. 

The product is suitable for people with sensitive skin. It is free of:

  • fragrance
  • drying alcohol
  • preservatives
  • parabens

Pros

  • does not dry out the skin
  • perfume-free 
  • provides immediate relief

Cons

  • may have an unpleasant smell
  • sticky texture
Was this helpful?

Best fast-absorbing: Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

  • List price: $62
  • Size: 1.69 fl oz
  • Key ingredients: ceramide, green tea, marula oil, and zinc oxide

Drunk Elephant’s cream has ceramide, glycerin, green tea, marula oil, and zinc, offering antioxidant and anti-aging properties. 

The ingredients help moisturize and rejuvenate the skin. 

The product is silicon-free and absorbs fast into the skin. 

Pros

  • lightweight 
  • fast-absorbing formula
  • not sticky

Cons

  • greasy texture, reported by reviewers
  • unpleasant smell
Was this helpful?

Best option for face and body: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

  • List price: around $19
  • Size: 19 oz
  • Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid and ceramides

The CeraVe moisturizing cream contains hyaluronic acid that offers 24-hour hydration. It has a velvety texture to keep the skin smooth and a fast-absorbing formula that does not leave a greasy residue. 

The cream is free of fragrance and parabens. It is also allergy-tested. 

Pros

  • does not clog pores, making it effective for acne-prone skin
  • suitable for whole-body use
  • all-day hydration
  • not greasy

Cons

  • may be too thick for the face, according to reviews
  • burning sensation on dry skin
Was this helpful?

Best for all skin types: Kiehl’s Ultra Cream

  • List price: from around $9
  • Size: 0.25 oz, 0.95 oz, 1 oz, and 1.7 fl oz
  • Key ingredients: glycerin and salicylic acid 

Kiehl’s recommends this face cream for all skin types. It has glycerin and salicylic acid to hydrate the skin for 24 hours. The texture is lightweight and has a fast-absorbing formula. 

The cream may also suit those with dry and sensitive skin. 

Pros

  • hydrates dry and sensitive skin
  • absorbs fast
  • lightweight

Cons

  • has caused eye irritation in some customers
  • long time to notice improvement
Was this helpful?

Best cruelty-free: Moon Juice Cosmic Cream

  • List price: around $58
  • Size: 1.7 fl oz
  • Key ingredients: citric acid, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, glycerin, and vitamin E

Moon Juice’s cosmic cream is available in lotion form. It is designed to hydrate the skin and improve elasticity and firmness. 

It may also help protect the skin’s barrier function. 

The product is cruelty-free and contains no:

  • parabens
  • petroleum
  • sulfates
  • fragrance

Pros

  • not tested on animals
  • fragrance-free
  • reduces irritation

Cons

  • despite being fragrance-free, some reviewers report an unpleasant smell
  • may feel heavy
Was this helpful?

Comparing the best face moisturizers

The table below compares the face moisturizers in this article based on price, size, what they’re most suitable for, and key ingredients:

List priceSizeBest forKey ingredients
Tatchafrom around $200.34 and 1.7 ozdry skingreen tea
Olayaround $271.7 ozreducing the appearance of fine linesniacinamide and hyaluronic acid
La Meraround $2852 ozmay help people with eczema• citric acid
• eucalyptus
• zinc
• panthenol
Neutrogenaaround $271.7 ozthose who prefer a gel texturehyaluronic acid
SkinCeuticals$1501.6 fl ozhydration and signs of aging ceramides
• natural cholesterol
• lavender oil
La Roche-Posayaround $311.4 fl ozsensitive skin• shea butter
• thermal spring water
• neurosensine
Drunk Elephant$621.69 fl ozanti-aging• ceramide
• green tea
• marula oil
• zinc oxide
CeraVearound $1919 oz• face and body
• effective for acne-prone skin
hyaluronic acid and ceramides
Kiehl’sfrom around $9• 0.25 oz
• 0.95 oz
• 1 oz
• 1.7 fl oz
all skin typesglycerin and salicylic acid
Moon Juicearound $581.7 fl oz• hydration
• firmness
• elasticity
• citric acid
• aloe barbadensis leaf juice
• glycerin
• vitamin E

How to choose a face moisturizer

These are some factors that people may consider when looking for a face moisturizer:

  • Skin type: Check the skin type the product is suitable for. 
  • Ingredients: All product pages have an ingredient list. People with sensitive skin may want to avoid creams that contain fragrance.
  • Formula: A lot of creams have a lightweight texture. This may be helpful for those using the product in the morning.
  • Other features: Some moisturizers are noncomedogenic. This means they do not clog pores, which may benefit people with acne-prone skin.

How we chose

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: MNT chooses products available for a wide range of budgets.
  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products that clearly list all ingredients.
  • Skin concerns: Where appropriate, MNT selects products that target a specific skin concern, such as dryness, oiliness, or aging.
  • Safety: MNT chooses products that contain ingredients safe for topical use.
  • Reputable: MNT selects products from businesses that adhere to industry best practices.
Was this helpful?

Considerations

The following are other considerations a person may wish to keep in mind:

Allergies

People with allergies may have to avoid using creams that contain ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction. 

People who do not know whether they have an allergy can test the product at home with a patch test.

To do a patch test, the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) suggests applying the product to a small area of skin, such as the inner elbow, for up to 10 days.

If the person develops itching, swelling, and redness, these may indicate a reaction. The person may have to stop using the product.

Ingredient safety

Some ingredients are not safe for everyone. 

For example, retinol is a form of vitamin A that can effectively treat acne. It can cause side effects when people use high doses for a long time, such as:

  • scaling 
  • itching 
  • dryness 
  • redness 

Dermatologists may not recommend products containing retinol for people who are pregnant. Researchers behind a 2019 study explain that vitamin A during the first 60 days of pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage and congenital disorders.

Skin concerns

Sun exposure can cause an increased risk of skin cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The risk also applies to people who use UV tanning beds and sunlamps, as UV damages the skin cells. 

The AAD recommends using water-resistant 30 SPF sunscreen and reapplying it every 2 hours when a person is outdoors. 

It may also be a good idea to seek shade and wear sun-protective clothing, such as sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and long sleeves and pants.

When to see a medical professional

A person may consider consulting a dermatologist if they suddenly develop concerning symptoms or their skin becomes too dry. A person may also seek advice if they are interested in using a new product and have previously developed an allergic reaction. 

A dermatologist or other healthcare professional can determine the cause of the reaction and provide a treatment plan.

Frequently asked questions about face moisturizers

The following are commonly asked questions about face moisturizers. 

What is the most recommended face moisturizer?

Many face moisturizers have a high positive rating on Amazon.

However, CeraVe’s product in particular is suitable for the face and body, and it does not contain parabens or fragrance. It may also be effective on sensitive and acne-prone skin.

What is the best hydrating moisturizer?

This depends on what a person is looking for. They may consider its ingredients and texture and their skin type, and whether they have any skin conditions. 

Which is best, according to a dermatologist?

Dermatologists may recommend a moisturizer based on the individual’s skin care concerns and skin type. The AAD highlights the importance of sunscreen. It protects the skin from harmful UV rays and skin damage.

How do I choose a good face moisturizer?

When choosing a new face moisturizer, people can read the ingredients label and check that no ingredients may cause a reaction. 

They may also check whether the product targets the skin care problem they want to address. 

Summary

A lot of companies stock face moisturizers that people can buy from online retailers. These products target different skin problems, such as dehydration and dryness. Some are also fragrance-free, which may be a good purchase for people with sensitive skin. 

Allergies may occur, so a person can test the product for a few days before using it.