Every moisturizer is formulated to address a specific skin concern. To choose the best drugstore moisturizer tailored to your needs, you need to understand your skin type, pigmentation, and the climate in which you live.
We know all these processes can be time-consuming and frustrating. For that reason, we have reviewed some of the best drugstore moisturizers you can find on the market. All you have to do now is to choose one that suits your needs.
Explore Our Top Picks For The Best Drugstore Moisturizers
If you’re looking for a great looking skin without a shine, Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion, 3: Hydrate/Protect combats oily skin without making it worse. It might be slightly expensive but does the job perfectly.
Let’s say your dry skin is not a sign of a medical condition. Maybe the skin-care routine you’ve been following all year round isn’t working anymore. Then a change in your skin-care routine is what you need. We recommend Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream because it contains considerable ingredients that fight dry skin.
Winter is coming, and you’re busy searching for a trick to win the fight against cracking and flaking skin. Not anymore. Try Aveeno Skin Relief Gentle Scent Lotion for Extra Dry Skin, Nourishing Coconut, and you won’t be disappointed.
We can’t stress why leaving acne untreated for a long time is putting your skin at risk. If you’re not yet decided on your next medication, take a preventive measure and introduce EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 moisturizer in your skincare regimen.
You regularly breakout or your skin is just itchy, but you can’t point the finger of blame at anything in particular. You need to try moisturizers for sensitive skin. We recommend Burt’s Bees Daily Face Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin because it offers a plethora of treats to your skin.
Unlocking the mystery of combination skin seems difficult. But it doesn’t have to be if you use the right moisturizer. Try Moisturizing Cream by LAVO. We believe it can incredibly transform your skin.
Best Drugstore Moisturizer For Oily Skin
Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion, 3: Hydrate/Protect
The Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion, 3: Hydrate/Protect is a favorite among those with oily skin type.
Designed to sap excess oil from your skin without causing dryness, flakiness, or irritation, this moisturizer can as well hydrate, minimize pore sizes and refine skin texture without causing blemishes.
If you’ve never been successful in finding a moisturizer that effectively performs in all the three things, you won’t regret choosing Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion, 3: Hydrate/Protect.
The queen of meadow extract present in this product does a great job at tightening pores and sapping away excess sebum. On the other hand, retinol and soy flour are also included to keep your skin firm and to look younger.
What we also like about this product is its ability to maintain skin’s glow, even after sucking the oil without leaving it greasy. This is a bonus because many people with oily skins skip moisturizing thinking that their skin surfaces will become incredibly oily or breakout.
Despite all the benefits you can enjoy using this product, it won’t protect you from UV light. You’ll, therefore, need to find a separate sunscreen if you’ll be spending most of your time outdoors. Also, if you have sensitive skin, then there’s no guarantee that it won’t react with this moisturizer or you might as well develop frequent breakouts after introducing it to your skin regimen.
Valuable ingredients that tighten your skin and give it a youthful look
Leaves a healthy glow even after sucking excess oil.
Balances skin’s zone
Doesn’t protect from UV light
Can cause breakout especially if you have sensitive skin.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer for Oily Skin to Mattify Skin and Refine Pores
Nothing is humiliating than applying a moisturizer that leaves your oily skin excessively oily and slithery.
This shine-reducing moisturizer is specially designed to target excess oil and refine and mattify pores. At least, it helps make your skin look more matte while still giving it enough moisture to look luminous.
This is vital because even if reducing excess oil from your skin is the ultimate result you desire, you also don’t want to rip your skin of its natural oils as this will leave your skin extremely dry, scaly and dull.
The inclusion of Sebulyse Technology and absorbing powders is an added advantage: apart from absorbing excess oils, this product can provide micro-exfoliation effect which helps tighten enlarged pores hence refining skin texture.
If you think you don’t need this product because of the small size, wait until you start using it. All you need is a pea-sized amount for your entire face. So, it can last much longer than other substitutes with huge packaging.
Nonetheless, there’s a chance you can still use it all up within a few weeks especially if you’re battling acne. But if it’s only oily skin, you can be sure it will last as much as you want it to.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll have to buy a facial sunscreen because it’s SPF-free.
Exfoliates the skin
Refines and minimizes pores
Makes skin look more matte
Easy to apply and spread on the skin
No UV protection
Best Drugstore Moisturizer For Dry Skin
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream, Extra-Dry Skin
This moisturizer has three essential ingredients: olive extract, purified hyaluronic acid, and Neutrogena Hydro boost collection.
Since olive extract incorporated in this moisturizer is a complex combination of f fatty acids, it mimics your skin’s natural moisture shield. Moreover, the olive extract is rich in quality moisturizing nutrients.
If you have dry skin, the thin layer of oil that traps moisture is always absent. With nutrients from this product, your skin will be provided with the moisture it needs while protecting and strengthening your skin’s moisture defenses against unnecessary moisture loss.
One of the commonly recommended ingredients for dry skin is purified hyaluronic acid. It provides a favorable environment for dry skin cells to hold up water 1000 times their weight, therefore, improving skin texture and appearance. Because the cells can hold water in excess, they increase moisture, provide elasticity and suppleness.
The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Collection include ingredients that replenish your dermal cells, reinforcing your skin’s moisture barrier. This results in an incredibly hydrated, glossy and supple skin.
Unlike its counterpart Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, this moisturizer is liked by many people because it’s fragrance-free. It’s also non-comedogenic and dye-free
Protects against moisture loss
Provide skin elasticity and flexibility
Replenishes dry skin cells
Fragrance-free, dye-free and non-comedogenic.
People complained that dry skin keeps coming back even after using for quite some time.
Pond’s Dry Skin Cream
If you have a dry skin and always under the sun, then this moisturizer is the right fit for you.
This rich hydrating facial moisturizer made it to this list because of two reasons: its creamy texture gets absorbed easily into the skin and protects against moisture loss. It’s also able to attract moisture from the environment and draw some from the deep dermal cells – and replenishes them as well – to hydrate the surface.
This is important because most dry skin moisturizers are only able to draw moisture from dermal cells but never replenishes them.
Aside from protecting the skin against moisture loss, this product, when applied before makeup, creates a soft foundation that gives your skin a silky and stellar look.
A good number of people with dry skin who used this moisturizer expressed their satisfaction especially after experiencing visibly hydrated and smooth skin all day long.
Protects against moisture loss
Keeps the skin soft, smooth and glowing.
Can draw moisture from dermal cells and replenishes them as well
Not recommended for sensitive or acne skin
Best Drugstore Winter Face Moisturizer
Aveeno Skin Relief Gentle Scent Lotion For Extra Dry Skin, Nourishing Coconut
If you are worried about the uncomfortable dryness of your skin during winter, the Aveeno Skin Relief Gentle Scent Lotion for Extra Dry Skin, Nourishing Coconut is your savior.
Formulated with active naturals triple oat complex, this lightly scented lotion nourishes extremely tight and dry skin leaving it smooth, refined and bright. In fact, active naturals triple oat complex has been clinically proven to soothe sensitive skin and reduces moisture loss by boosting skin’s moisture protective layer.
This moisturizer is thick enough and gets absorbed quickly leaving a pleasant cooling sensation on your skin.
If you’re the kind that doesn’t prefer contemporary moisturizers, then this should be your taste because Aveeno has been in the industry since 1945 – their methods of transforming and nurturing the skin have been convincing.
One thing we didn’t like about this moisturizer is that the scent is awful which might lead to allergies particularly if you have sensitive skin.
Keeps the skin moisturized all day long
Brings a rosy glow
The fragrance might cause allergies.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
This moisturizer is chock-full of ingredients including olive extract and purified hyaluronic acid. Also, it’s known for the Neutrogena Hydro boost collection.
Olive extract that is used in this product is a complex combination of f fatty acids which mimic your skin’s natural moisture shield. The olive extract is rich in quality moisturizing nutrients. These nutrients inject your skin with the hydration it needs, protects against unwarranted moisture loss and strengthens your skin’s moisture defenses.
Purified hyaluronic acid is one of the commonly recommended ingredients for dry skin. It improves skin texture and appearance by providing a favorable environment for dry skin cells which will then be able to hold up water 1000 times their weight in water. Because the cells can hold water in excess, they increase moisture, provide elasticity and flexibility.
The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Collection is a scientific hydration technology that’s used by the manufacturer to replenish dry skin and reinforce your skin’s moisture barrier resulting in an incredibly hydrated, glossy and supple skin.
The only problem with this moisturizer is that it has a strong scent therefore not suitable for sensitive skin – can lead to breakouts. However, it’s also non-comedogenic and dye-free.
Protects against moisture loss
Provide skin elasticity and flexibility
Replenishes dry skin cells
The fragrance is too strong – not good for sensitive skins – can trigger breakouts.
Best Drugstore Moisturizer For Acne-Prone Skin
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
This is an incredibly lightweight, fragrance-free moisturizer that’s good match for acne or rosacea sufferers.
We picked this moisturizer particularly to help outdoor enthusiasts who’re always breaking out or those with red, irritated or sensitive skin.
Featuring SPF, this product protects against a broad spectrum of UVA/UVB rays and helps maintain a clean, clear, smooth skin when enjoying your adventure.
While it’s not guaranteed that no visible white cast will remain on your skin, even if it does, only a faint white cast is usually visible.
The important part is how EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 immediately soaks into the skin to keep it smooth, silk and hydrated – it does that exceptionally, and many people expressed their satisfaction.
Ingredients incorporated in this moisturizer are niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and lactic acid. All these are skin-repairing and antioxidant that give your skin an impressive finish.
Perfect for all skin types, EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 has both tinted and untinted formulations.
Treats acne, breakouts and rosacea
Protect against UVA/UVB rays
Doesn’t leave too much white cast
Impressive and radiant finish that’s not greasy
Expensive compared to other moisturizers that treat acne
Blemishes or redness do not disappear.
Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Sensitive Skin
From the name, you might be wondering if it can really help get rid of acne. Well, give it a try, and you won’t be disappointed.
This incredibly cheap moisturizer will be a great buy for people on a tight budget.
Also, if you are tired of purchasing products that leave your face pomaded and rumpled, we recommend the Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Sensitive Skin.
Since it’s clinically tested, this moisturizer is suitable for people with sensitive skin that break out frequently. This is important because if you have a combination of sensitive, oily and acne-prone skin, you’ll have one product that addresses all the concerns.
While other people complained about the moisture being thin and inconsistent (because of its water-based formula), this non-comedogenic moisturizer vanishes into the skin fast leaving it soft, supple and relaxed. No alcohol is involved, so you don’t have to worry about your skin ever drying.
Can be used with other topical acne medications
Effectively moisturizes the skin without leaving it greasy
Prevents premature signs of aging.
Protects against UV rays
Thin and inconsistent moisture
Best Drugstore Moisturizer For Sensitive Skin
Burt’s Bees Daily Face Moisturizer For Sensitive Skin
If your skin is prone to almost everything you slather on it – dryness, allergies, sensitivity, irritation, breakouts, and acne are some of the common issues you have to deal with– you need to consider Burt’s Bees Daily Face Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin.
This is our number one pick of the best moisturizer for sensitive for various reasons:
First, it’s a scientifically tested moisturizer that helps hydrate sensitively dry skin without causing redness or irritation.
It’s also formulated with natural ingredients including shea butter and aloe which not only gives your skin a smooth, nourished and relaxed look, but helps reduce allergic reactions. A softening cotton extract which minimizes irritation is also part of the key innards.
If your skin is sensitive to synthetic fragrance or artificial colors, then you’ve got yourself a friend. Burt’s Bees Daily Face Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic hence helping your skin feel and look its best.
This product blends well with makeup to give your skin a refreshed and hydrated look.
Hydrates skin without causing redness or irritation
Formulated using natural ingredient that help keep the skin smooth, relaxed and hydrated
Fragrance-free and hypoallergenic – no allergies or sensitivity
Gets absorbed easily
Can be the cause of breakout in hot weather
Natural scent doesn’t go well with everybody
Natural Organic Moisturizer For Sensitive Skin Care By ENSO Organics
If you’ve used some harsh beauty products, and you think your skin is damaged beyond repair, you need to try this moisturizer by ENSO Organics.
Packed with natural and nutrient-rich ingredients including vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants, this product can restore your skin to its true nature in just a few days.
Sensitive skin is prone to scarring and blemishes. This product’s pH is balanced at 5.5 to increase the healing process and to restore your skin’s natural pH.
For maximum results, this moisturizer gets absorbed faster into the skin.
Indeed, you can expect everything you’re looking for from this well-known moisturizer.
Other notable features include: alcohol-free to prevent dryness, non-comedogenic, no chemicals or harsh chemicals. Importantly, it comes from a renowned and reliable company.
Easily absorbed into the skin
Heals scars and blemishes faster
Restores skin’s natural Ph
Hydrates and moisturizes all day
Natural scent is awful
Best Drugstore Moisturizer For Combination Skin
Olay Complete Lotion All Day Face Moisturizer For Oily Skin With SPF
Gives your skin 48 hours of hydration and protection from UVA/UVB rays by using this lightweight moisturizer.
Designed by a renowned beauty company, this product is non-comedogenic, so, be ready for clean, clear and minimized pores.
While it moisturizes the skin for a substantial period, it’s also oil-free and non-greasy hence suitable for both combination and oily skin.
Amazingly, this moisturizer can condition the skin surface with vitamins E, B3 and c, which act as antioxidants, giving your skin a healthy and glowing look. Moreover, it formulated to help prevent premature aging.
Moisturizes without getting greasy
Protects against UVA/UVB rays
Contains harmful ingredient parabens
Scent can cause irritation or breakouts.
Moisturizing Cream By LAVO
Whether you want to unclog your pores, treat pimples, blackheads or whiteheads, this moisturizer will give you a quick fix.
Recommended for either combination or oily skin, you can still experience an incredible skin transformation if you suffer from acne or blemishes.
We like that both men and women can use the product. Additionally, it moisturizes the skin without leaving it excessively oily or lubricious.
Designed to be applied with the LAVO Clarifying Facial Cleanser, this super hydrating moisturizer isn’t harsh on the skin, fragrance-free and paraben-free
Keeps skin moisturized and non-greasy
Can be used as a makeup primer
Leaves skin excessively oily in hot conditions
Can cause breakouts
What You Need To Know Before Purchasing A Moisturizer?
Using random moisturizers that you find in your local store aisle is one sure way of inviting skin problems. To get the most out of your moisturizer, you need to purchase one that’s designed for a particular skin problem.
If you intend to use a moisturizer for the first time, here are things you must consider before making your purchase.
Your skin type plays an important part in determining the kind of moisturizer you’ll be using. The good news is that all moisturizer manufacturers offer tailor-made options for every skin type.
Skin types can be categorized as normal, dry, oily, and combination. Some skin types require a certain ingredient while others react to varying degree of moisturizer.
To get the most out of your moisturizer, you need to know where your skin falls. The best way to determine your skin type would be washing your face with a gentle cleanser and leaving it to dry. After about an hour or two, examine yourself in the mirror.
If your skin looks shiny and sticky at the same time, especially when you press it using a piece of tissue, then you have oily skin. When it’s scaly and dull, you’ll know it’s dry skin.
When you see a combination of oil and skin residue, that’s a combination type of skin. But when you don’t’ notice any oil or skin residue, you probably have normal skin.
Sensitive skin can become irritated, extremely dry, tight and itchy – it won’t be hard to notice the changes.
Underlying Skin Problem/Intended Use
Like we’ve mentioned earlier, different moisturizers are manufactured to address various skin infections.
If you want to treat acne, blackheads, or whiteheads, go for an all-over acne treatment or spot treatment to your skin care regimen. Also, look for specific ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or beta-hydroxy acid that have been proven to fight acne, recurring blackheads and help clean pores.
If you want to get rid of oily skin, choose moisturizers labeled as oil-free.
For combination type of skin, find a moisturizer that’s in between – no harsh or powerful ingredients.
Sensitive skin is a difficult one, but it’s better first to test moisturizers on your inner arm before you use it on your face. If it reacts and irritates the skin, go for other options.
The Weather/Season Where You Live
The weather of your surrounding has a significant effect on the type of moisturizer you choose to use on your face.
If the weather is cloudy and cold, your skin is likely to be dry and flaky because of less moisture in the environment. The moisturizer you choose for this type of weather must be nourishing, heavy-duty and help the skin retain more moisture.
Furthermore, a lightweight moisturizer is a good option for hot or harsh environment. During this time, a lot of water evaporates from your skin, and you’ll notice some cracks and flakes and sometimes irritating skin. This is not the time to turn on your radiators. Instead, invest in humidifiers and avoid oily moisturizers.
While most moisturizers work towards helping you achieve a soft, smooth healthy-looking skin as well as maintaining the water content, they’re not all made up of the same ingredients.
Moisturizers contain a combination of different ingredients and are tailored to address a particular skin infection.
Now that you know your skin type, it would be easier to choose a moisturizer that contains the right ingredients. Here are some of the common active ingredients that address different skin concerns.
- Beta hydroxy acids: Common and effective ingredient that treat acne and recurring blackheads.
- Alpha hydroxy acids: Another well-know and frequently used ingredient that tighten and clear pores as well as remove impurities and dead skin.
- Humectants and a combination of moisturizing and water-binding ingredients: Humectants include sorbitol, glycols, glycerin and sodium PCA – attract water to the skin. Plant oils, animal oils, sheer butter, cocoa butter and silicones are some of the combined ingredients that moisturize and reduce the rate at which water evaporates from the skin.
- Antioxidants: vitamins A, C and E, green tea are some of the known ingredients that act as antioxidants. They removes potentially damaging free radicals.
- An SPF rating of 30 or more and UVA protection: If you use moisturizers during the day in a sunny environment, SPF labelled 30 and UVA protect your skin against both UV and UVA rays. Look for ingredients like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, tinosorb and mexoryl SX.
What To Avoid When Choosing A Moisturizer
Do you always buy food from your stores without looking at the label? I guess not. Moisturizers are constitutive skin care products, but they can be just as harmful as anything we put in our bodies. So, the same way you go checking for food labels is the same way you should examine moisturizer labels.
Since the beauty industry is unregulated, there’s a good chance that your preferred moisturizer can contain chemicals. Yes, there exists a minuscule approval process and standards set by the FDA, but for the most part, it’s only for color additives and ingredients classified as over-the-counter drugs.
The aforementioned chemicals are absorbed into the body and can be irritating, carcinogenic, disrupt the endocrines or do worse damage to your skin. The list of these harmful chemicals is endless, but here’re some which you must avoid at all cost.
Colorings And Perfumes
Artificial colors are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. These chemical are hazardous to your skin and health. Artificial colors are alleged to be carcinogenic and skin irritants.
Synthetic fragrance is another chemical you should avoid. Most moisturizer manufacturers will put the name of a natural ingredient or essential oil as the source of the scent, but that’s not true. It might be another chemical concoction that can be harsh, strip your skin of essential oils or do worse damage to your skin.
Did you know that not all ingredients good for the body might not be perfect for your face? If you intend to use a moisturizer, especially on your face, skip out on body-friendly ingredients like sheer butter, mineral oil, lanolin, or waxes.
These ingredients can clog the pores and provide a suitable environment for bacteria to thrive. In the end, you’ll be battling acne or frequent blackheads – conditions you’re trying to avoid.
Too Many Acid
By now, you know that salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and alpha hydroxy acid are the world’s most used acids to treat acne and other skin infections. However, that doesn’t mean that moisturizer you select must contain a high concentration of these acids.
If you have dry or sensitive skin, avoid moisturizer with highly-concentration and powerful ingredients. They may deeply penetrate the skin and cause damage to delicate skin tissues, leading to burning or scarring. It’s advisable to choose alcohol-free moisturizers.
More importantly, stay away from moisturizers that contain urea or lactic acids. This is specifically for acne-prone skin or cracked skin. These kinds of moisturizers rip the skin of its natural oil and might cause blemishes or burns. They also aggravate existing skin irritation which can lead to more infections.
Too Much Of Steroidal Ingredients
Moisturizer manufacturers include topical steroids to help treat acne and reduce inflammation, especially for women with sensitive and itchy skin.
Ingredients contained in topical steroids are designed to mimic the naturally occurring corticosteroid hormones produced by your adrenal glands. This hormone reduces inflammation and treats bites, irritation, itching, or rash.
Since topical steroids come in various potencies, it’s recommended that you avoid ultra-high potency (Class 1) unless specified by your doctor. Use of such moisturizers must be limited to once or twice a week. If overused, the skin can grow thin and lead to other infections.
Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Moisturizer
Slathering your moisturizer once or twice a week seems like the best thing to do.
Nonetheless, if you’re not applying it right, you better not use it at all because you won’t obtain all the benefits.
Also, you might think you’re doing everything right, only to realize that you can add more tweaks to your skin care routines to achieve even better results.
Using a moisturizer the right way increases skin hydration, prevents parchedness and dullness, and creates a moisture foundation that lasts all day. Desirably, proper application of moisturizers also helps anti-aging ingredients work better.
So, what’s the best way to get the best out your moisturizer? Well, here we go…
Use two or more moisturizers: As we mentioned earlier, some body moisturizers might not work well for your face. In that case, you can try different options. A thin cream for the face is the best while a thick cream will do for your body.
Gentle application and patting of your skin: If you don’t see results, maybe it’s because of your method of application. So, instead of your everyday application technique, try spreading the moisturizer on your fingertips, patting in your skin and rubbing across your face.
For older women, however, it’s advisable to apply moisturizer in upward strokes. Plus, you can add a gentle massaging to your usual application method – it’s proven to maximize moisture absorption, boost blood circulation, and help reduce puffiness and swelling.
Above all, apply your moisturizer while the skin is still damp. This helps the skin absorb the moisturizer before it can evaporate.
Don’t neglect your neck: Many times, when applying facial moisturizers, we tend to stop at our jawline. To get the best results, use the same moisturizer on your neck. This is specifically for older women who want to reverse the effects of gravity of the skin because the neck shows signs of aging as well.
Go for double protection: While it’s a good idea to choose a moisturizer that addresses your skin type and infection, selecting one that contains sun protection factor (SPF) is a bonus. SPF also contain vitamin A which is an anti-aging ingredient thus reducing sagging and wrinkles. For more benefits, go for a tinted moisturizer that can even out your skin tone hence revealing your real complexion. Better still, you can try double moisturizers that offer more than one reward.
Just like any other skin-care product, you need to choose your moisturizer wisely.
If you know your skin type, picking a moisturizer tailored to your skin won’t be a problem. If you don’t, consult your dermatologist, who will suggest the best moisturizer for your needs.
When applying a moisturizer, your skin should feel nice and pleasant – even after use. If you feel uncomfortable or develop allergies, find another option.
We believe this roundup of the best drugstore moisturizers shed some light and hope you’re going to make the right decision when purchasing your next skincare product.
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