15 Moisturizers Dermatologists Swear By for Better Skin

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15 Moisturizers Dermatologists Swear By for Better Skin featured image

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. 

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Restorsea Rejuvenating Day Cream ($150), SkinBetter Science Trio Rebalancing Moisture Treatment ($135) and Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer ($70)

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.

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Eucerin Redness Relief Night Cream ($14)

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.”

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Eau Thermale Avène Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream ($42)

“It’s soothing post-procedure or anytime skin needs extra nourishing without greasiness,” says Houston dermatologist Jennifer Segal, MD. “It feels delicious!”

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Epionce Medical Barrier Cream ($24) or Enriched Firming Mask ($38)

“I slather my face, lips and neck with either product when my skin is really dry,” says Hinsdale, IL, dermatologist Christina Steil, MD. “Both products contain the lipids your skin needs to heal, and it can be used head to toe.”

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SkinMedica TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream ($69) and CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ($16)

“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.”

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EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 ($31.50)

Prospect, KY, dermatologist Tamella Buss Cassis, MD, says her go-to pick is EltaMD’s Daily Tinted Moisturizer. It’s loaded with SPF and hyaluronic acid, and is great for all skin types—acne-prone, sensitive and even oily.

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SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator ($178)

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.”

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Caudalie Permier Cry La Crème Rich ($158)

“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.”

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SkinMedica Dermal Repair Cream ($129)

“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. 

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Restorsea PRO Rebalancing Lotion ($150)

“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.”

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Eau Thermale Avène Antirougeurs CALM Soothing Repair Mask ($35)

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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