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Experimentation is part of the process when you’re on the hunt for your ultimate holy grail moisturizer. Not only are there countless creams, lotions, and gels for the job, but you also have to consider your skin type, any concerns you may be hoping to address, and the price tag.

So, where do you begin? We rounded up 15 of the best face moisturizers for all kinds of skin types and budgets so you can zero in on what will work best for you.

Face moisturizers keep your facial skin hydrated and healthy by creating a protective barrier on your skin. Some moisturizers even help protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Most experts agree you should use a facial moisturizer that fits your skin type every day.

Skin can run the gamut from oily to dry to sensitive. We specifically looked for moisturizers formulated for every skin type and based our recommendations on the quality of the ingredients and the most glowing customer reviews.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $20
  • $$ = $20–$40
  • $$$ = $41–$60
  • $$$$ = over $60

Best budget-friendly face moisturizers

e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Face Cream

  • Price: $
  • Size: 1.76 oz.
  • Skin type: all skin types
  • Key ingredients: squalane, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, peptide complex

Made for all skin types, this affordable moisturizer is packed with powerhouse ingredients. Hyaluronic acid and squalane hydrate your skin while vitamins B3 (niacinamide) and B5 soothe, even, and brighten. Peptides help promote collagen for a youthful appearance.

Reviewers say this lightweight face cream moisturizes without feeling greasy.


  • good price point
  • suitable for all skin types
  • fragrance-free


  • may not be moisturizing enough for very dry skin

Best face moisturizer for dry skin

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre

  • Price: $
  • Size: 1 oz.
  • Skin type: all skin types
  • Key ingredients: soy proteins, aloe vera, beeswax, shea butter

Reviewers rave about the light, milky texture of this moisturizer but caution that a little can still go a long way.

Made by a French cosmetic line, it’s enriched with vitamins and antioxidants and formulated for dry skin.

Shea butter hydrates and boosts collagen to improve elasticity, while soy proteins firm and tone. Some preliminary research suggests that the isoflavones found in soy may help reduce the appearance of fine lines.


  • multitasking moisturizer
  • good for all skin types


  • contains fragrance, which may irritate sensitive skin
  • contains mineral oil

Best natural face moisturizer

Osmia Purely Simple Face Cream

  • Price: $$$
  • Size: 1.7 fl oz.
  • Skin type: sensitive or normal
  • Key ingredients: aloe vera, plant-based oils, vitamin E, glycerin

This no-nonsense face cream is made with plant-sourced ingredients like organic aloe juice and vegetable-derived glycerin for hydration. With minimal amounts of oil-based ingredients, it gently moisturizes even the most sensitive, allergy-prone skin.

However, it does contain small amounts of essential oils, which some people may find irritating.


  • gentle and hydrating
  • some ingredients are certified organic


  • contains small concentrations of essential oils, which could be irritating to some people
  • high price point

Best face moisturizer for sensitive skin

Weleda Sensitive Care Facial Cream

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 1 fl oz.
  • Skin type: sensitive or reactive skin
  • Key ingredients: almond oil, glycerin

Nourishing for sensitive skin, this fragrance-free option is made with sweet almond oil and is dermatologically tested to calm and moisturize.

It’s made without synthetic preservatives, fragrances, dyes, and mineral oil, earning it a great score on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep scale.


  • fragrance-free
  • calming and moisturizing for sensitive skin


  • contains alcohol, which could be irritating for some people

Best face moisturizers for oily skin

Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer

  • Price: $$$$
  • Size: 1.7 fl oz.
  • Skin type: oily skin
  • Key ingredients: red marine algae

Lightweight, fragrance-free, and nongreasy, this moisturizer is specifically designed for oily skin. Ingredients include red marine algae, which a 2018 research review shows may have a number of pro-aging benefits for skin.

The formula scores an admirable 2 on the EWG’s Skin Deep scale.


  • lightweight and nongreasy
  • fragrance-free


  • high price point

Best hydrating gel moisturizer

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream

  • Price: $
  • Size: 1.7 oz.
  • Skin type: oily or dry skin
  • Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, glycerin

This bestseller is a gel formula made with hyaluronic acid and glycerin that can leave skin feeling hydrated, supple, and smooth. Reviewers say the cool blue gel feels like liquid to the touch and absorbs on contact.

Gel moisturizers are particularly well suited for oily skin, but this formula can work well for dry and sensitive skin too.


  • good price point
  • hydrating for very dry or oily skin
  • lightweight texture


  • color comes from synthetic dyes
  • doesn’t contain many active ingredients

Best vegan moisturizer

Youth to the People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream

  • Price: $$$
  • Size: 2 oz.
  • Skin type: combination or oily skin
  • Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, superfoods blend, vitamins C, E, and K

Kale, spinach, and green tea pair with hyaluronic acid to give your skin a boost of vitamins, antioxidants, and some major moisture retention. This lightweight cream can be used on all skin types, though it’s particularly great for oily and combination skin. It’s also 100 percent vegan and not tested on animals.

Online reviewers not only report that it works well with oily skin, but it can also help reduce and prevent some acne breakouts.


  • vegan formula
  • lightweight and quick absorbing


  • higher price point

Best lightweight face moisturizer

Hanacure Nano Emulsion Multi-Peptide Moisturizer

  • Price: $$$
  • Size: 1.35 fl oz.
  • Skin type: all skin types
  • Key ingredients: peptides, mushroom extract, squalane

This pH-neutral moisturizer features a high concentration of peptides and mushroom extract to help improve your skin’s tone and texture. It’s been tested and approved by dermatologists and is made without parabens, sulfates, or phthalates. It also contains no colorants, fragrance, or alcohol.

More than 1,000 5-star reviews report a soft, nongreasy finish.


  • soft, nongreasy texture
  • safe for sensitive skin


  • high price point

Best face moisturizers for mature skin

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

  • Price: $
  • Size: 19 oz.
  • Skin type: dry skin
  • Key ingredients: glycerin, ceramides, hyaluronic acid

This cream has been accepted by the National Eczema Association and is made with glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid. It’s made to be gentle and is particularly well suited to the needs of mature skin.

It’s free of both fragrance and oil, and reviewers found it soothing and moisturizing on the driest, most sensitive skin. It can also be used as a hand cream too.


  • low cost
  • hypoallergenic
  • moisturizes face and body


  • slow to absorb

Best pro-aging moisturizer for wrinkles

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 1.7 oz.
  • Skin type: mature skin
  • Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, amino peptides, niacinamide

This pro-aging fan favorite is for dry, normal, or combination skin. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid, amino peptides, and niacinamide. These ingredients can offer a boost of plumping hydration and a softening effect on wrinkles and fine lines.

Hundreds of reviewers praise this moisturizer for its effectiveness, especially when comparing it with other products at more than triple the price.


  • fragrance-free
  • highly effective


  • contains fragrance, which could irritate some people

Best face moisturizer for day and night

Tula Skincare 24-7 Moisture Hydrating Day & Night Cream

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 0.5 oz.
  • Skin type: all skin types
  • Key ingredients: squalane, rice nutripeptides, probiotics, glycerin

This moisturizer pulls double duty, working as a hydrating cream for both day and night. It’s made without formaldehyde, triclosan, retinol, or gluten, and is suitable for all skin types. Probiotics, watermelon extract, and squalane work to hydrate your skin, while rice nutripeptides nourish and diminish the look of fine lines.

One reviewer shared that despite the small size of the product, even a small amount of the cream can go a long way and lasts for a while.


  • lightweight, whipped texture
  • designed as a day and night cream


  • contains fragrance, which may be irritating to some people

Best face moisturizer with SPF

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 1.7 oz.
  • Skin type: all skin types
  • Key ingredients: SPF, glacial glycoprotein, fountain plant extract

This daily moisturizer is formulated with SPF 30 sunscreen, making it ideal for daytime use. Lightweight and nongreasy, it’s designed to deliver 24-hour hydration for all skin types, so you can apply it first thing in the morning for all-day coverage.

Reviewers love the creamy texture, but some find the scent off-putting.


  • includes SPF
  • creamy texture


  • includes essential oil, which can be irritating to some people

Best face moisturizer for acne

Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer

  • Price: $$$
  • Size: 1.6 oz.
  • Skin type: oily, combination, or dry
  • Key ingredients: squalane, probiotics

This hydrating gel moisturizer has an ultra-lightweight feel, and ingredients like squalane and probiotics help soothe and support the natural skin barrier.

Gel moisturizers work particularly well on oily skin, but this Biossance product is a good choice for dry and combination skin types too.

One of the biggest praises for this product, according to reviewers, is how well it adapts to different skin types.


  • fragrance- and cruelty-free
  • weightless and hydrating


  • higher price point
  • gel texture may not be moisturizing enough for very dry skin

Best CBD face moisturizer

Lord Jones Acid Mantle Repair CBD Moisturizer

  • Price: $$$$
  • Size: 1.7 oz.
  • Skin type: dry skin
  • Key ingredients: full-spectrum CBD, squalane, ceramides

This pH-balanced moisturizer is designed to hydrate and balance dry, irritated skin. The formula includes 250 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD and sustainably sourced squalane to boost moisture in the skin. The moisturizer includes a weighted golden spoon to scoop specific amounts from the jar.

Several reviewers praise how hydrated it makes their skin feel.


  • pH balanced
  • clinically proven to improve moisture barrier function


  • contains full-spectrum CBD, which may not be for everyone
  • high price point

Best tinted face moisturizer

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 1.18 oz.
  • Skin type: all skin types
  • Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, squalane, mineral-based sunscreen

This vegan moisturizer is a 3-in-1 product that combines a moisturizer, SPF protection, and a tint for a sheer glow. It’s hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic. Plus, it’s available in 20 different shades.


  • contains SPF
  • tinted


  • dewy finish may not be for everyone

Trial and error might need to be part of your hunt for a good moisturizer, but there are a few ways to better narrow down your options.

Skin type

Moisturizers are typically formulated to meet the needs of specific skin types, so thinking about your skin type is a good place to start.

Common skin types include:

  • dry
  • oily
  • combination
  • sensitive
  • acne prone

If you’re not sure about your skin type, think about how it feels after a shower. If it starts to feel tight, dry, or flaky, you probably have dry skin. If it feels slick or looks shiny, you probably have oily skin. Combination skin looks and feels like a mix between the two.

Once you’ve identified your skin type, check out the labels on the products you’re interested in. Most moisturizers will list which skin types benefit the most from using their product.

They might also call out other potential skin benefits too. Certain formulations can treat breakouts, calm irritations, even skin tone and texture, and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.


Scan the ingredients list. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t require cosmetics to be approved before going to market. However, it does require them to list all of the ingredients so customers can make informed decisions.

It’s not always easy to decipher ingredients, so consider looking up any unfamiliar ingredients in the EWG’s Skin Deep database.

Start with clean hands and a nickel-sized amount of moisturizer. Dot the moisturizer on your forehead, cheeks, and chin. Then, rub using upward strokes.

Many people find success moisturizing twice a day, in the morning and before bed. However, depending on your skin type, you may need to apply moisturizer more or less frequently to see the desired results.

If you’re dealing with a specific skin condition that your facial moisturizer isn’t addressing, it’s a good idea to talk with a dermatologist. The same is also true if you’re finding that moisturizers irritate your skin or trigger breakouts.

A dermatologist can make recommendations about which moisturizers are designed for your skin type and can discuss any other skin concerns you may have.

How often should you moisturize your face?

Most experts recommend moisturizing your face in the morning and again at night as part of your daily skin care routine. By moisturizing twice per day and after working out or swimming, you’re ensuring that your skin’s moisture content stays largely consistent.

What should you look for in a moisturizer?

Moisturizer ingredients will vary depending on your skin type.

Dry skin types benefit from heavier, oil-based options. Oily skin types benefit from lighter, water-based moisturizers.

Mature skin types tend to do well with oil-based products. Sensitive skin types benefit from soothing ingredients, such as aloe and fragrance-free formulas.

Combination skin types often do well with lighter, water-based formulas.

Should you moisturize if you have oily skin?

Yes. Oily skin needs proper hydration, too, just like any other skin type. Look for lighter formulas with water bases. Gel moisturizers are a good option for oily skin.

Can you use face oil instead of moisturizer?

A facial oil can work as a supplement to your skin care routine, but it shouldn’t necessarily replace your moisturizer either.

For some people, oil-based moisturizers can clog their pores and potentially trigger acne breakouts. Applying facial oil over your moisturizer can be a good way to lock in the hydrating ingredients from your moisturizer, but use with caution if you have acne-prone skin.

Everyone’s skin is different, so it can take some time to find a moisturizer that works well for you. There are lots of options on the market, but you may find the most success with a moisturizer that’s designed for your skin type.

If you’re not sure where to start, try one of our top picks and see whether it’s a good match for your skin.