Quick question: What's your favorite moisturizer? If you're struggling to answer, then we'd hazard a guess that you've never found the right one for your skin. The truth is if you had found The One, we know you'd be shouting it from the rooftops about how wonderful it makes your skin look. A really incredible moisturizer should make your face appear fresh, hydrated and ready for foundation if you're going to apply that, too. You want the feeling of plump and smooth skin that makes you feel like Jennifer Lopez (because come on, that woman's skin is #goals).
While there are some who still think moisturizer is just for dry skin, the truth is there are plenty of different skin types that need moisturizers just as much. From the oilier skins to the acne-prone as well as the dry, we've built a definitive guide to the moisturizers that Byrdie editors love.
Best for Dry SkinBare Minerals Butter Drench Restorative Rich Cream $38Shop
Want a moisturizer that just works well? BareMinerals constantly creates incredible products that do exactly what you need. This thick cream is ideal for dryer skins thanks to its rich formula.
Best for Acne-Prone SkinLa Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ Anti-Blemish Cream $29Shop
Suitable for even the most sensitive of skin types, this cream is designed specifically to target shine while moisturizing the skin. Lipo-hydroxy acid gently exfoliates your skin while zinc PCA slows sebum production. Vitamins C and E prevent sebum oxidation-this is where your squalene (found in sebum) reacts with oxygen to produce squalene peroxide, which one study found caused acne due to its ability to seriously block pores.
Best for Anti-AgeingPerricone MD Oil-Free Hydrating Cream $59Shop
Ideal as a first defense, this oil-free formula contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to nourish skin and prevent early signs of aging.
Best for Combination SkinKiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream $30Shop
This has been formulated to improve your skin's ability to retain moisture, which in turn means it won't produce excess oil as a natural hydrator.
Best for Spot-Prone SkinNeutrogena Visibly Clear Oil-Free Moisturizer $13Shop
If you get the occasional breakout, then this super-lightweight formula could be what you're looking for. Not only does it contain salicylic acid, which helps to exfoliate skin, but also, it keeps away spots and prevents pores from becoming clogged.
Best for Pre-Makeup Prep
It makes sense that makeup queen Charlotte Tilbury would come up with a moisturizer that's ideal for wearing under makeup. A very thick cream (you really don't need much), this is great for massaging into your skin. Thanks to the magic ingredient of hyaluronic acid, the face feels perfectly prepped for foundation.
Best for Oily SkinNivea Daily Essentials Oil Free Moisturising Day Cream $9Shop
When you deny the skin oil, it often overproduces sebum to compensate. This lightweight moisturizer is oil-free but seriously hydrating, so your skin won't feel the need to start generating excess sebum. Clever.
Best for Sensitive SkinCeraVe Moisturizing Cream $13Shop
When one Byrdie editor asked a host of dermatologists for the best moisturizer for sensitive skin, the answer was unanimous. Why, exactly? As a thick cream rather than a lotion, "it helps to maintain the skin barrier without clogging pores," says Michele J. Farber, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC.
Best for Dry and Sensitive SkinPai Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream $55Shop
It's a tough ask, but someone's got to make a moisturizer for dry and sensitive skin. Fear not-Pai skincare has this answer with the combo of soothing avocado and jojoba extract and glycerin to help moisturize dry skin.
Best for Pollution and SPF ProtectionClarins Multi Active Day Lotion $55Shop
Teaming replenishing plant extracts with SPF and sodium hyaluronate-a salt derived from hyaluronic acid-this day cream works to fend off damage from pollution, free radicals, UV rays and stress.
Best for Warmer WeatherThe Body Shop Vitamin E Day Lotion SPF 30 $15Shop
Sometimes, particularly in the warmer months, you don't want to wear really thick and heavy cream. Instead, you'd prefer a lighter solution. In steps The Body Shop's Vitamin E lotion that's so thin it goes on more like a liquid. However, it still leaves your face wonderfully moisturized and protected with an SPF 30. Bonus.