14 Best Moisturizers for Dewy, Healthy Skin
If you want truly gorgeous skin (and really, who doesn't?), your choice of face moisturizer can go a long way toward helping you get your glow on.
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Keeping your skin hydrated should be your number one beauty priority. Doing so doesn’t just ward off dryness—it also prevents and minimizes signs of aging and provides the perfect palette for applying makeup or creating a natural makeup look. The best face moisturizers do this and so much more, including giving you a subtle boost that makes your skin glow.
What makes them so magical? It depends on the moisturizer, of course. But here are some common ingredients to be on the lookout for: hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin, which draw water into the skin; emollients such as lipids, oils, colloidal oatmeal, and shea butter that smooth skin; and occlusives like petrolatum, lanolin, mineral oil, and silicones, which form a protective barrier around skin, holding onto moisture and protecting it from the environment. Many add other bells and whistles to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays, or to firm and lift skin.
On this list, you’ll find all types of moisturizers, from the best moisturizers with SPF to moisturizers for oily skin to anti-aging creams that doctors trust most. There is truly something for every need and budget, and if you find the right one for you, you’ll be amazed at the difference in your skin’s health and appearance.
One note: If you’re going to be in the great outdoors for any extended period of time, you’ll want a proper face sunscreen. And it’s always a good idea to further protect skin with the right sunglasses with UV protection and sun hats anytime you head out.
DefenAge 24/7 Barrier Balance Cream
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate for dewy, younger-looking skin, says Nashville-based dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon Natalie Curcio, MD. “DefenAge’s 24/7 Barrier Balance cream provides intense hydration while also repairing your skin’s natural barrier to stop it from losing moisture,” she says. “It provides what we call the DefenAge glow.” Defensins activate a dormant preserve of “fresh” cells in your body known as LGR6-positive stem cells, which naturally promote healthy, youthful skin. For best results, use it twice a day, she says. While adding to your skin-care arsenal, make sure to take a look at the best anti-aging eye creams that are worth your money.
Trio Rebalancing Moisture Treatment
Heavy, creamy face moisturizers have their merits, but not everyone wants to glob all of that thick cream on their skin—especially during the day or in the summer. To the rescue: Trio Rebalancing Moisture Treatment. “It contains key ingredients such as ceramides and fatty acids to help restore natural moisturizing factors, improve the skin’s barrier function, and promote hyaluronic acid production,” says Marnie Nussbaum, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. “It’s hydration without the heaviness.”
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
You know the drill by now: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day and then reapply it frequently to reduce your risk of skin cancer and premature aging. But it can be annoying to apply both a sunscreen and a moisturizer. That’s where this two-in-one EltaMD sunscreen comes in. It checks off all the boxes, helping you stay safe and achieve dewy skin to boot, says Tiffany Jow Libby, MD, director of dermatologic surgery at Brown Dermatology and an assistant professor of dermatology at Brown University’s Warren Alpert School of Medicine. “This fan favorite is an oil-free moisturizing SPF with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to help calm irritated skin,” she says.
Just how much of a fan favorite is it? Nearly 17,000 happy customers gave it five stars on Amazon. Verified purchaser Karen raves about its high SPF, which doesn’t leave a white cast, and its anti-aging magic: “It has amaaaazing ingredients: Niacinamide comes high in the formulation, and it’s an all-time star ingredient—antioxidant, brightens skin tone, treats hyperpigmentation, increases collagen, anti-inflammatory, etc.—plus vitamin E and hyaluronic acid. Seriously, this lotion is game changer and very affordable for how good the formula is!”
ISDIN Isdinceutics Age Contour Night Cream
It’s not just what you put on your face during day that can give you that dewy glow—your nighttime habits count, too, explains Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, president and cofounder of Modern Dermatology in Westport, Connecticut. “I like ISDIN’s new moisturizer, Age Contour Night, because it provides triple action repair that helps undo the day’s damage, reduce visible signs of aging, and calm the skin,” she says. “The nighttime cream uses melatonin to combat oxidative stress [which contributes to aging] and Helichrysum italicum extract to calm the skin and promote hydration, while strengthening the skin’s barrier function, which gives skin that healthy, dewy glow.”
Neutrogena HydroBoost Gel Cream
Pricey items aren’t necessarily best. This ultra affordable Neutrogena formulation is under $15 on Amazon, but it packs quite the punch, especially for those who have extra-dry or eczema-prone skin, says Peter A. Lio, MD, a clinical assistant professor in the department of dermatology and pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “It gives a bit of a ‘dewy’ appearance in the best way, without looking greasy,” he says. More than 20,000 Amazon also love this noncomedogenic moisturizer packed with hyaluronic acid that’s oil-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free, which makes it particularly perfect for those with sensitive skin. Using the best face moisturizer for you, by the way, is just one of the everyday habits that can make you look younger.
Simple Kind to Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturizer
What’s in a name? Everything in this case. This moisturizer is both simple and kind to skin, so it can give you a healthy glow minus any potential for irritation, says New York City–based dermatologist Hadley King, MD, who’s also a clinical instructor of dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. “It’s enriched with pro-vitamin B5, bisabolol, and allantoin to hydrate and soothe the skin,” she says. Even better? “There are no colors, dyes, or irritants, making it perfect for sensitive skin.”
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
If you’re prone to breakouts, this might be the best face moisturizer for you, says Dr. King. “It contains hyaluronic acid, which is a powerful humectant for hydrating the skin, as well as ceramides to lock in that moisture and restore and protect the skin barrier,” she explains. Despite all of that moisturizing, it’s noncomedogenic, so it won’t clog pores and contribute to acne. Another plus: “Its skin-barrier-nourishing ingredients help to protect the skin from the potentially irritating effects of anti-acne medications.”
Rodan + Fields Redefine Overnight Restorative Cream
This Rodan + Fields formulation contains niacinamide to soothe the skin, along with bakuchiol to enhance cell turnover and smooth fine lines and deep wrinkles, says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. If you’re not familiar with it, bakuchiol is a natural alternative to retinol. “This cream improves radiance and gives a dewy appearance,” says Dr. Zeichner.
Biopelle Tensage Advanced Cream Moisturizer
If you think it’s impossible to have firm and glowing skin when you’re past a certain age, think again. Tensage Advanced Cream Moisturizer from Biopelle works beautifully on mature skin, says Joel L. Cohen, MD, director of AboutSkin Dermatology and DermSurgery in Colorado. “It is highly emollient and contains growth factor benefits, along with firming agents and antioxidants, to help skin appear younger, firmer, smoother, and more hydrated,” he says. “It’s an ideal formulation to use daily for those with more advanced signs of skin aging, and it layers under sunscreen nicely.”
Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Cream
Don’t have a small fortune to spend on moisturizer? Don’t worry. Instead, check out this Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Night Cream for dry to normal skin. Dr. Libby says it helps balance out the skin barrier and keeps it well hydrated by drawing in moisture with glycerin and hyaluronic acid. “It also has vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps prevent against free radicals from environmental stressors,” she says. “It is a luxurious cream that keeps my skin hydrated overnight, and I love that it is available at all local drugstores and doesn’t break the bank.”
Alastin Skincare Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer
Looking for an award winner? This little tube miracle cream won the 2021 Aestheticians’ Choice Award for Favorite Medical-Grade Moisturizer, as well as Prevention‘s 2021 Award for Best Plumping Moisturizer. What makes it so amazing? “In addition to boosting hydration, the formulation is designed to improve skin barrier function,” says Marina Peredo, MD, founder of Skinfluence Medical in New York City and an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “You are both adding moisture to the skin and preventing the loss of that moisture into the environment.”
Collagen and elastin are the building blocks of supple skin, and our supply dwindles as we age. Alastin’s TriHex Technology clears out old, damaged elastin and collagen and encourages the production of new elastin and collagen. That promotes plumper, fuller, younger-looking skin in the long term. Dr. Peredo recommends applying this moisturizer in both the morning and night to clean skin.
Alastin HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36
If you’re looking to amplify your natural glow, look to another Alastin product for a little extra oomph. The brand’s HydraTint formula has a universal tint that complements a variety of skin types, so you can skip the heavy foundation in the summer and use this instead. Yes, our pick for the best tinted moisturizer is technically a sunscreen that’s loaded with SPF 36, but Dr. Peredo says it doubles as a great lightweight moisturizer—especially for those with oily skin. “This non-comedogenic, oil-free formula [also] has several great antioxidants that protect the skin,” she adds. Talk about a multitasker!
Senté Dermal Repair Ultra-Nourish
This moisturizer from Senté will help maintain the deep hydration and surface moisture needed for a dewy glow, says Eva Simmons-O’Brien MD, a dermatologist who practices in Towson, Maryland. “The combination of Senté Heparan Sulfate (HSA) with a lightweight lipid blend helps support instant and long-lasting moisture and hydration,” she says. “Within two weeks, the visible signs of dryness start to diminish and the skin is more plump and polished.” HSA helps calm redness and inflammation that can mar an otherwise flawless complexion.
Dr. Age Microlift Face Cream
Get a mini face-lift as you moisturize! Packed with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, amino acids, flavonoids, vitamin C, and Spherical Soft-Focus Granules, this face moisturizer repairs and regenerates skin texture, improves skin tone and appearance, balances out redness, and brightens age spots and dark circles, says London-based plastic surgeon Angelica Kavouni, MD. “You will see immediate effects, including an increase in hydration and skin luminosity,” she notes. To maintain that youthful glow, make sure you’re not making any of these makeup mistakes that age your face.
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- Natalie Curcio, MD, a dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon in Nashville, Tennessee
- Marnie Nussbaum, MD, a New York City–based dermatologist
- Tiffany Jow Libby, MD, director of dermatologic surgery at Brown Dermatology and assistant professor of dermatology at Brown University’s Warren Alpert School of Medicine
- Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, president and cofounder of Modern Dermatology
- Peter A. Lio, MD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
- Hadley King, MD, a dermatologist and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University
- Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research and dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital
- Joel L. Cohen, MD, director of AboutSkin Dermatology and DermSurgery in Colorado
- Marina Peredo, MD, founder of Skinfluence Medical and associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine
- Eva Simmons-O’Brien, MD, a dermatologist in Towson, Maryland
- Angelica Kavouni, MD, a London-based plastic surgeon