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The Best Moisturizers for Skin Over 50, According to Experts

The Best Moisturizers for Skin Over 50, According to Experts featured image
Photo Credits: Milan Ilic Photographer / Shutterstock

Getting older can sometimes feel like a punishment: seeing wrinkles and crepey skin staring back at us in the mirror when we feel as young and energetic as ever on the inside. Aging is a luxury—it means more time doing the things we love with the people we love—but it’s OK not to love what it does to your skin. To keep skin hydrated, healthy and youthful-looking, a good moisturizer is paramount.

“The ideal moisturizer for people over 50 must consider not only how to hold on to moisture with emollients—ceramides and squalene—but also how to replenish it with humectants, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, and skin barrier–repairing adaptogenic botanicals,” says Davie, FL dermatologist Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, MD. “As we age, these natural repairing and hydrating elements are diminished in our skin and no longer restored at the same rate. Therefore, we need the assistance of various moisturizing and fortifying ingredients to strengthen skin resilience and radiance. Additionally, many individuals age 50 and older are looking for multitasking products that can also help to improve the signs of aging by restoring elastin and collagen. Some of these include peptides, niacinamide and various antioxidants.”

Boston facial plastic surgeon Jaimie DeRosa, MD adds that as we age, our skin “starts to show the wear and tear, so to speak, from environmental damage. Specifically, skin begins to lose hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin, and the production of oil also decreases, all of which result in thinner, drier skin and the development of wrinkles. External ‘environmental’ factors, including UVA sun rays, can also lead to solar elastosis—think thickened, bumpy and tough skin—and pigmentation changes or age spots.” 

Though in-office treatments remain the most effective way to visibly turn back the clock, moisturizers are essential in a daily skin-care regimen. “In your 50s, it’s important to focus on improving the dermal layer, providing proper moisture to the epidermis, and continue to encourage collagen and elastin renewal and turnover,” explains Mila Davis, aesthetician at Skin to Smile. “Although there are an endless number of moisturizers available on the market, there are important ingredients they should contain to help satisfy their effectiveness.” These are the top moisturizers for skin over 50, according to experts.

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SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 ($150)

“Moisturizers is a category that I generally advise patients to not splurge on, however if you are going to splurge, this is the product you want to be purchasing. Its patented lipid ratio of 2-percent ceramides, 4-percent cholesterol and 2-percent fatty acids intensely nourishes skin and repairs the moisture barrier.” —Riverside, RI dermatologist Tiffany Libby, MD

“Triple Lipid Restore provides 24-hour hydration, which is key for mature, 50-plus skin. Skin hydration levels greatly diminish as we age. It also contains lipids, fatty acids, cholesterols and ceramides to give dry, dehydrated or mature skin a plump, radiant glow. It helps texture and pores look more refined as well.” —Fresno, CA dermatologist Kathleen Behr, MD

“Triple Lipid Restore restores essential skin lipids, including ceramides, natural cholesterol and fatty acids, that naturally diminish in the skin as we age. This lipid loss contributes to visible signs of aging and compromises our skin’s natural protective barrier, so Triple Lipid is very restorative for older patients experiencing these changes.” —New York dermatologist Julie Russak, MD

“This moisturizer is great for maintaining the skin barrier and promoting collagen and hydration, and I like that it is rich but not heavy.” —Melville, NY dermatologist Kally Papantoniou, MD

“This moisturizer from SkinCeuticals is great for people over 50, as it replenishes the ceramide barrier!” —Delray Beach, FL dermatologist Dr. Janet Allenby

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Alastin Skincare Restorative Skin Complex ($210)

“This moisturizer contains antioxidants like niacinamide and vitamin C, as well as polypeptides and moisturizing ingredients formulated in TriHex technology to help support new collagen and elastin formation.” —New York dermatologist Elaine Kung, MD

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Caudalie Premier Cru The Rich Cream ($129)

“It contains glycerin, lipids, shea butter, grape seed and olive oil and their proprietary hyaluronic acid, which makes it highly moisturizing. This is important as skin ages and is less able to retain moisture. It also contains Caudalie’s patented resveratrol, a potent antioxidant that may promote sirtuins, which are epigenetic protein regulators of aging. It’s also vegan and contains 97-percent natural-origin ingredients, which some people consider when choosing products.” —Nanuet, NY dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD

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BIOEFFECT EGF Power Cream ($219)

“This luxe, dense cream is a nutrient-rich hydrator powered by a barley beta glucan, which is an important anti-inflammatory. It reduces oxidative stress and the appearance of lines and wrinkles, but also has this incredibly rich blend of emollients and ceramides that are deeply nourishing while supporting the skin barrier and stopping losses of firmness and skin density.” —Beverly Hills, CA dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD

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Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream with Squalane ($67)

“This best-selling cream has squalane in it, which is part of our skin’s natural sebum and becomes less productive as we get older, resulting in drier skin. It’s fantastic for people with more mature skin.” —New York dermatologist Michelle Henry, MD

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AlumierMD Ultimate Boost Serum ($95) 

“This is a lightweight serum that boosts hydration and enhances the skin’s natural hydrolipid barrier with sodium hyaluronate and niacinamide. MATRIXYL Synthe’6 strengthens the skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Perfect to use as a booster under moisturizer, both morning and night. 

I love this product for patients 50 and older because mature skin is thinner and drier, and this is a true multitasker. It’s very hydrating, and the mixture of antioxidants also provides rejuvenating benefits.” —New York dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD

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skinbetter science Trio Rebalancing Moisture Treatment ($145)

“This moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid and is designed to rehydrate mature skin. It is also very good if you have sensitive skin.” —Rochester, NY dermatologist Lesley C. Loss, MD

“This is absolutely amazing for those who want all the hydration without any of the shine. It contains omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids that support the skin’s barrier and deeply hydrates, diminishing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s perfect in the summer when you do not want your moisturizer to feel thick and heavy.” —Celebrity aesthetician Morgan Rackley

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Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer ($78)

“This moisturizer contains essential fatty acids and lipids to maintain the skin barrier and improve hydration, aat kernel extract to soothe, and the brand’s proprietary peptide complex to renew collagen and elastin.” —Dr. Waldorf

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Biossance Squalane Omega Repair Cream ($78)

“This is a rich, decadent cream full of lipids like omega fatty acids, squalane and ceramides. It feeds the face with a plumping effect!” —Dr. Shamban

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CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ($16.50)

“This is a nice budget-friendly hydrating moisturizer with ingredients including hyaluronic acid and ceramides that help to hydrate the skin and protect it from external damage by strengthening its barrier function. These ingredients help make older, drier skin look better by hydrating and plumping it up.” —Dr. DeRosa

“CeraVe Moisturizing Cream contains three important ingredients: hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerin. Ceramides and glycerin are effective in protecting the skin barrier and locking in moisture, while hyaluronic acid will promote smoother skin texture and improve the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.” —Mila Davis

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ARCONA Magic Dry Ice ($65)

“Applying extra layers of richer moisturizer won’t always remedy dry, flaky skin. Generally speaking, you want a moisturizer like this one that has ingredients that can support the skin’s lipid barrier and prevent moisture loss. Some of my favorite ingredients in a moisturizer for winter skin contain any of the following: glycerin, squalane, safflower, borage, cholesterol, ceramides, sweet almond, and shea butter.” —Chanel Jenae, aesthetician, owner and creative director of ARCONA

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Alphascience Ultra Deep ($120)

“Older, mature skin often requires more TLC than that of younger skin, so the best moisturizers for those age 50 and older are those that actually work to reverse signs of aging and also help improve hydration and skin tone. These ‘age reversing’ ingredients are those that help to stimulate the creation of new collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, while also reducing fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation/age spots.

This anti-aging cream is a heavy-hitter in that it targets skin that already shows moderate-to-severe aging changes.  Paraben-free, with botanically derived ingredients, it is great for those with normal-to-dry skin and can be used morning and night on the face, neck and décolleté. It also includes genistein, an isoflavone and rich antioxidant that helps to increase the production of collagen and decrease collagen breakdown by blocking metalloproteases MP1 and MP3.”  —Dr. DeRosa

 

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Reserveage Beauty Firming Face Cream ($60)

“Besides being an incredible moisturizer with ceramides and lactic acid to gently exfoliate, this anti-aging cream also has copper-encapsulated peptides that help improve appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and support collagen and elastin production for firmer and softer skin.” —Dr. Libby

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Olay Regenerist Retinol24 + Peptide Night Face Moisturizer ($30)

“This fragrance-free nighttime moisturizer contains both retinol and retinyl propionate for a more potent treatment. It firms, smooths, brightens and hydrates your skin.” —Dr. Adrienne O’Connell, medical director and president of Laguna Beach Aesthetics

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NeoCutis Bio Cream Riche ($178)

“This is my favorite moisturizer because of its beautiful texture, fragrance-free formulation and high percentage of growth factors. I recommend it to my patients who need a little more hydration and anti-aging at the same time.” —San Francisco dermatologist Tracy Evans, MD

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DOCTOR BABOR LIFTING RX Collagen Cream ($155) 

“This is my personal favorite! As we age our skin becomes more dehydrated, leading to lackluster skin and more visibility of fine lines and wrinkles. We also lose collagen and elastin, and frankly, we make less as well, therefore important ingredients include hyaluronic acid and squalene to boost skin’s moisture content, and marine collagen and tripeptides to fortify the skin’s surface by improving skin elasticity and firmness.” —Miami dermatologist Roberta Del Campo, MD

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Revision Skincare D.E.J Night Face Cream ($175)

“This is a great moisturizer that contains a micro-encapsulated time-released 0.25-percent retinol and also its ‘cousin’ bakuchiol, which works in a manner similar to retinol without irritation and the typical side effects of retinol, making this cream well-tolerated. Retinol is great at combating aging skin, as it works at the cellular level to help reduce inflammation, increase cellular regeneration and decrease wrinkle formation. It even works to reduce hyperpigmentation and shrink the appearance of pores, too.

Moreover, this moisturizer contains 11 antioxidants to help prevent further environmental damage while reducing photodamage and fine lines and wrinkles, and improving skin’s elasticity and moisture.” —Dr. DeRosa

 

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Emepelle Night Cream ($195)

“This is the only clinically proven moisturizer composed of innovative anti-aging properties that reverse the signs of estrogen deficiency. This leaves skin more vibrant and hydrated with improved elasticity and the reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.” —New York dermatologist Amy Lewis, MD

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iS Clinical Reparative Moisture Emulsion ($105)

“This formula contains moisturizing ingredients, antioxidants, polypeptides, retinol, and superoxide dismutase, which helps protect skin from pollution and ultraviolet damage.” —Dr. Kung

For skin over 50, we are usually trying to increase hydration and firmness, diminish fine lines and wrinkles, and induce collagen production. This is one of my absolute favorite moisturizers for this because it contains growth factors to help with firmness, improves deep and surface hydration and helps prevent further environmental damage. I also like that it’s great for all skin types, including those that are oily or have acne.” —Morgan Rackley

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Avène RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream ($74)

“This retinaldehyde-containing cream helps smooth appearance of fine lines and deep furrows and brightens skin, making it a great option for mature skin.” —Dr. Libby

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La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer ($20)

“This moisturizer contains several important ingredients including ceramides, glycerin, niacinamide, and the added benefit of SPF. Niacinamide helps maintain the lipid barrier and maintain moisture, more importantly it is compatible with all skin types.” —Mila Davis

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LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream ($21)

“This cream is unique in that it contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, green tea, shea butter, and jojoba oil to provide proper moisture and hydration while packing an anti-aging punch with one of the most potent ingredients used in fighting lines and wrinkles, retinol.” —Mila Davis

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DOCTOR BABOR LIFTING RX Instant Lift Effect Cream ($119)

“This is a truly unique product with powerful active ingredients to not only provide immediate correction, but also slow down the aging process. It features oligosaccharides for an instantly smoothing effect on lines and wrinkles, swertia chirata extract to support the rejuvenation of skin cells and strengthen the skin barrier, and edelweiss stem cells. The defenses that so efficiently protect the edelweiss plant in harsh climates are used to protect human skin and reverse the signs of aging.” —Dr. Del Campo

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