When it comes to choosing a moisturizer, there’s a lot of confusion. Gels or rich creams? Hyaluronic acid or glycerin? Is fragrance-free really better? When we asked top dermatologists which moisturizers they stock in their medicine cabinets and recommend to patients, these are the ones that came out on top.
Bloomfield Hills, MI dermatologist Linda Honet, MD says her three favorite moisturizers also double as gentle multitaskers. “Each is not only an excellent moisturizer but they also have various anti-aging boosters like salmon-egg enzyme for gentle exfoliation, hyaluronic acids, antioxidants, humectants, or peptides,” she says.
Proof that effective skin care doesn’t need to be costly, New York dermatologist Orit Markowitz, MD says she’s a big fan of this drugstore staple because it’s formulated with licorice extract, making it “incredibly soothing for sensitive skin and decreasing redness.”
Another benefit? “It has the perfect balance of being thick and moisturizing, but it’s not too sticky or difficult to apply. I find it to be very similar to the most expensive luxurious creams but at an affordable price.”
“It’s soothing post-procedure or anytime skin needs extra nourishing without greasiness,” says Houston dermatologist Jennifer Segal, MD. “It feels delicious!”
“One of my favorite ingredients in a moisturizer is ceramide, a naturally occurring lipid in the skin which helps the skin retain moisture,” says Greenwich, CT, dermatologist Lynne Haven, MD. “Two great product that contain ceramides are SkinMedica’s TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream and CeraVe Moisturizing Cream.”
Montclair, NJ, dermatologist Jeanine B. Downie, MD, says this moisturizer does a great job of hydrating skin because it contains five different types of hyaluronic acid. “It will not clog pores and doesn’t cause acne. It’s great for even the most sensitive skin, as it’s not irritating.”
“I can’t get through winter—or a plane flight—without this moisturizer,” says New York dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD. “It includes glycerin and hyaluronic to hold moisture, shea butter to seal it in, and resveratrol, antioxidants and botanicals to reduce inflammation and promote skin health and anti-aging.”
“This hydrator has the highest amounts of hyaluronic acid and vitamins A, C, E available together in a cream,” says Dr. Downie, explaining it won’t clog your pores and also delivers anti-aging benefits.
“I love this for the daytime,” says Dr. Talakoub. “It goes on very light, exfoliates without irritating and smells great! They have a proprietary ingredient that micro-exfoliates the skin without irritating it.”
Dr. Segal says she uses this “mask” as a moisturizer. “It is calming and soothing. I mix it with my sunscreen during the day for a moisture boost and it gives a beautiful glow!”
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