The 20 Best Moisturizers Guaranteed to Make Your Face Look Expensive

Laveta Brigham

So technically, there are about 13,876 different skin types. (Super precise, we know.) That said, to help streamline the thousands of products available to our shopping-hungry fingertips, the skincare industry likes to lump us all together into more overarching categories—oily, combination, dry, sensitive, and normal. Based on the skin type […]

So technically, there are about 13,876 different skin types. (Super precise, we know.) That said, to help streamline the thousands of products available to our shopping-hungry fingertips, the skincare industry likes to lump us all together into more overarching categories—oily, combination, dry, sensitive, and normal. Based on the skin type you most identify with (here’s a handy guide from one of our fave retailers, Dermstore), you can choose your skincare formulas accordingly. Of course, that all sounds peachy keen until you’re faced with 97 pages of face moisturizers while surfing your go-to online beauty retailer. (We wish that was an exaggeration, but unfortunately, ’tis not.)

Since the changing of seasons and the recent onset of spring automatically begs the temptation for product switch-ups and skincare routine overhauls, we’ve been on the hunt for all the best face moisturizers the internet has to offer so that you, dear reader, can avoid a panic attack brought on by product overstimulation. Sorted by oily, combination, normal, sensitive, and dry, we’ve researched, tried, and scoured the reviews of all of our favorite beauty retailers to ID the best face moisturizers money can buy that will gift you with the bright and healthy result you and your complexion deserve. Curious to see which hydrating formulas made our very discerning cut? Keep scrolling!


Renée Rouleau Daily Mattifying Solution ($41)

Personally, my skin veers oily—combination on a good day. I also happen to have pores that make a habit of sucking in everything and anything I put on top of them and subsequently clogging. Lovely. Celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau once recommend this lightweight sebum-controlling face moisturizer to me (like two years ago), and it’s pretty much the only formula I’ve touched since. It keeps bumps and clogged pores on crowd control and my overall complexion bright and healthy-looking. I shout about it to anyone who will listen. 

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Daily Moisturizer for Oily Skin ($32)

We love French drugstore staple brand La Roche-Posay because the quality of its products often feels about 10 times their actual dollar weight. For oily skin types, we recommend this daily face moisturizer, in particular. It keeps skin matte but still radiant thanks to salicylic acid, a rush of antioxidants, and vitamins C and E. 

Murad Oil-Control Mattifier ($42)

If fighting oiliness and blemishes is a daily war you no longer care to wage, we’re happy to introduce you to Murad’s top-notch grease-patrolling face moisturizer. You still get the essential hydration your skin craves (pro tip: never starve your skin of moisturizer no matter how oily you are!), but the brand’s unique formula helps absorb the excess stuff for up to eight hours post-application. Plus, you’ll also get a handy dose of sun protection. 

SkinCeuticals Renew Overnight Oily ($82)

Many of our favorite SkinCeuticals formulas pose potential threats to our bank accounts (we’re talking over $150 for one product), but this expert face moisturizer comes in at $82—especially once you realize how little you need to apply. Fortified with a 10% hydroxy acid complex to lift away dead skin, a botanical medley to treat blemishes and congestion, and lightweight oils that infuse the skin with moisture—not acne— this nighttime face cream keeps even the oiliest of skin happy and balanced. 


Bliss Rose Gold Rescue Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin ($20)

This ultra-light face moisturizer from Bliss kind of feels like liquid velvet. No added fragrances, no oily aftermath, and no harsh ingredients. Instead, it features super-calming healers like rose flower and colloidal gold to help sensitive skin types feel calm, cool, and collected. 

Avène Tolerance Extreme Cream ($38)

Avène is one of those lesser-known skincare brands that all the best skincare gurus in the business basically fawn over. This fragrance-free, face-healing moisturizer is a perfect example and offers even the most hypersensitive skin with irritation-free skin drench. The secret? The brand’s signature ingredient, spring water.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream ($32)

Kiehl’s is known as one of the best names in the industry for a reason. Its skin-loving formulas really work. This calming number is a fan favorite and treats sensitive skin with utmost TLC thanks to squalane and glacial glycoprotein, which, according to the brand, hydrates, protects, and discourages unwanted water loss. Oh, and did we mention that this face moisturizer promises 24-hour long nourishment? Just some food for thought.

Ren Clean Skincare Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream ($49)

Formulated with sensitive skin in mind, this clean pick from Ren is one of our newest fave formulas. It’s the brand’s top-selling moisturizer and keeps discomfort and discoloration at bay by utilizing strategic ingredients like omega fatty acids, Roman chamomile, green tea, and more.


Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer ($68)

Tip: Never bring this cult-loved face moisturizer up in conversation during a social gathering, because it generally incites product-obsessing chaos. Great for all skin types, it’s a consistent top seller and boasts a nine signal peptide complex, pygmy waterlily stem cell extract, and soybean folic acid ferment extract for improved texture, tone, and firmness.

Emma Hardie Moisture Boost Vit+C Cream ($69)

Everyone’s craving vitamin C serums these days, but why start there? This is by far one of the best under-the-radar face moisturizers on the market, and it’s specifically formulated with mega-brightening agents like vitamin C, yes, but also other MVP power players like niacinamide, red algae extract, shea butter, probiotics, peptides, antioxidants, and beautifying herbal extracts.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream ($510)

Yes, this gal is expensive, but if you’re into all things ultra luxurious and equally efficacious, it just might be worth busting your bank account. It’s made in Switzerland and infused with the brand’s holy-grail Cellular Complex, alpha hydroxy acids (for exfoliation), and other mega-watt hydrators enhanced with caviar premier for above-and-beyond suppleness and firmness.

La Mer The Concentrate ($370)

Newly designed with super-chic packaging, this investment piece is another holy-grail investment that both estheticians and makeup artists practically salivate over in order to give their celeb clientele an otherworldly glow. True to the brand, the concentrate features the cell-renewing Miracle Broth contained in all its potions. This treatment is just a little more restorative and a little more luxurious.


Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream ($68)

The newest addition to the Tatcha family of skincare covetables, this dreamy face cream is all anybody and everybody is talking about within the skincare community. It’s specifically formulated to rehydrate parched skin and uses antioxidant-packed Japanese skincare secrets in the forms of purple rice, Okinawa algae, and botanicals like ginseng, sweet marjoram, and thyme to keep even the most desert-like of complexions on bright, brilliant behavior (no flakes allowed).

Glow Recipe Watermelon Pink Juice Moisturizer ($39)

Forget green juice, and meet pink juice—for your face. The people love Glow Recipe (as an editor, I receive so many glowing DMs—no pun intended), and this top seller from the brand is a home run for those who especially struggle with dryness. Watermelon, obviously, is the formula’s hero ingredient, but it’s anchored by other juicy sips like hyaluronic acid and botanicals. The effect is further amplified if paired with the Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist ($28), the brand’s newest play.

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream ($65)

If extreme moisture relief is what you seek, look no further than this water hose of a moisturizer from Sunday Riley. Not only does it hydrate, but it also brightens and refines thanks to two forms of hyaluronic acid (the LeBron of moisture in the league of skincare), tamarind extract, papaya enzymes, and alpha-arbutin.

Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream ($13)

Makeup artists love, love, love to prep and prime celebrities’ faces with this Swiss skin elixir, and even though it’s technically labeled as a baby cream, it’s magic for the face, too. Plus, it’s one of the most affordable in the bunch. Essential fatty acids, vitamin E, organic pansy, and organic calendula flower are there to help with all your dry-skin woes.


Dr. Barbara Sturm Darker Skin Tones Face Cream ($230)

Super nourishing in formulation, this soft and soothing German-made face moisturizer was specially developed with for women of color with normal to combination skin types. The lusty ingredient roster includes fares like magnolia and Enantia Chlorantha bark to refine the appearance of pores, control sebum, and nourish with hydration. Plus, it will also boost your natural luminosity thanks to the brand’s active ingredient, Lumicol.

Farmacy Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer With Echinacea GreenEnvy ($45)

This best-of-the-best face moisturizer is actually well-suited for all skin types, but we especially recommend it for those with combination skin. Its concoction of antioxidant-rich honey, hyaluronic acid, and golden cupuaçu butter beads (try saying that five times fast!) keep it lightweight enough to stave off oil and breakouts but hydrating enough to never leave you feeling thirsty.

Youth to the People Superfood Air-Whip Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Cream ($48)

Loaded with skin-boosting superfoods in true Youth to the People fashion, this hydration-rich face moisturizer is heaven-sent for those who can veer either dry or oily. Kale, spinach, green tea, and hyaluronic are our favorite ingredient highlights.

Grown Alchemist Matte Balancing Moisturizer ($69)

If it’s a testament to how much an all-star moisturizer for combination skin this cute cream tube is, I use it regularly and also slather it on my 70-year-old mom and dad whenever I get the chance during visits home. It’s so lovely. It’s lightweight, it’s hydrating, and it’s never left me feeling clogged, parched, or with any other icky skin symptoms. Blame the pretty lineup of açai berry, borage oil, fatty acids, and sesame seed oil.

Next up: 3 Budgets, 3 Smart Skincare Routines Broken Down by Cost Per Wear

This article was originally published at am earlier date and has been updated.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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