The Best All-Purpose Facial Moisturizers, According To The Experts

This is HuffPost's definitive list of lotions and creams for every skin type, concern and budget.
The Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, the Tatcha water cream, CeraVe's PM moisturizing lotion and the Cicaplast Balm B5 from LaRoche-Posay.

If you were to ask anyone here at HuffPost which product holds the greatest importance in their skin care routine, a well-performing and all-purpose face moisturizer would rank fairly high.

Over the course of our exhaustive beauty reporting, an overwhelming selection of lotions and creams have been suggested and trialed, and now — despite how over-saturated the moisturizer market may seem — we narrowed down a list of the most tried and true expert-approved options.

Through hours upon hours of collective research, interviews with dermatologists and makeup artists and putting products to the test for ourselves, we’re proud to present the upcoming selection of facial moisturizers that cover every budget, skin type and skin concern.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

A clinical ceramide treatment cream
Dr. Y. Claire Chang, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology, previously shared with HuffPost some of her favorite anti-aging creams and this ceramide treatment cream by SkinMedica was among them. Although it was initially formulated to heal post-procedural skin, either from laser or chemical peels, it can also do wonders for extremely dry or compromised skin. It's been formulated with a unique collagen-promoting peptide blend aimed at targeted fine lines and, of course, ceramides, which are the essential building blocks of a healthy and hydrated skin barrier.
An omega-filled bakuchiol moisturizer
The Inkey List's bakuchiol cream was previously suggested by Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, a Miami-based board-certified dermatologist, as a moisturizer for those curious about this natural retinol alternative. According to her, it performs well and for under $15, it can be a good way to see if you tolerate this ingredient that can promote cellular turnover. The lightweight cream is formulated with 1% bakuchiol to target the appearance of fine lines and loss of elasticity, as well as hydrating squalane and nourishing sacha inchi oil, a plant-derived oil rich in omega-3.
A cooling gel moisturizer for acne-prone skin
Oily skin types or those prone to acne might benefit from a using gel moisturizer over rich cream formulations, and this water gel moisturizer by Neutrogena came at the previous recommendation of board-certified Miami dermatologist Dr. Annie Gonzalez. According to her, this is "a lightweight gel that gives a nice, cooling sensation when applied. It’s free of what people don’t want, such as dyes and fragrance.”

The non-comedogenic and oil-free formula contains purified hyaluronic acid, a beloved humectant that draws moisture into the skin to keep it hydrated.
A rich and protective face cream
Our pick: HuffPost Shopping writer and skin care obsessive Lourdes Avila Uribe has written about Dieux's Instant Angel moisturizer many times. According to her, it's the one product she keeps coming back to because it's perfectly suited for her finicky and acne-prone skin.

"It’s nourishing, soothing, and, miraculously, doesn’t clog my pores. The best part? The longer I use it, the better my skin gets," Uribe said, citing the thoughtfully curated collection of ingredients that aim to protect the skin barrier and promote healthy skin. "A gentle blend of phytosterols, free fatty acids, meadowestolide, ceramides, glycerin, squalane and more do all the heavy lifting so you don’t have to."
A triple-lipid peptide cream
This lipid peptide cream by Skinfix was dermatologist-recommended not once, but twice as an optimal solution for anyone with troubled, dry and sensitive skin. It contains a patented triple-lipid complex that restores ceramides in the skin along with the fatty acid levels to support a healthy skin barrier. You can also find a plumping blend of peptides and ultra-hydrating glycerin. I've also used this myself and I really enjoy it during the winter when treating my eczema-inflamed skin.
A regenerating retinol cream
This rapid wrinkle repair cream by Neutrogena was another recommendation from Chang. It uses an accelerated retinol complex to promote cellular turnover — a process that can lead to greater collagen production, better skin texture and a reduced appearance of fine lines. It also contains a hydrating dose of hyaluronic acid and can be suitable in treating crepey skin.

Note that if you're new to retinols, they do have the potential to cause mild flaking and irritation in the first couple weeks of use. They can also cause skin to be more sensitive to the sun, so it's important to wear sunscreen.
A brightening botanical moisturizer
Candace Marino, a Los Angeles-based medical aesthetician, previously touted the benefits of this nourishing and plumping moisturizer by Kora Organics, especially for people who experience dull skin and hyperpigmentation.

"Turmeric is a potent antioxidant that can visibly brighten, calm and protect the skin while the marine micro-algae provides a powerful source of proteins to the skin," Marino said.
A shea-based moisturizer and makeup primer
This multi-purpose French pharmacy staple has earned itself quite a reputation here at HuffPost. The Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré was brought to our attention by Los Angeles-based makeup artist Susan Zeytuntsyan, who favors this emollient moisturizer for not just hydrating the skin, but for offering the perfect base for foundation and makeup. As it turns out, the timeless formula, which includes calming aloe vera, protective beeswax, nourishing soy proteins and skin-softening shea butter, has been a longtime secret weapon among makeup artists.
An ultra-soothing repair cream
According to Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, a board-certified cosmetic and medical dermatologist in San Diego, the intense moisturizing capabilities of the Ultra Repair Cream from First Aid Beauty are "a must have for winter! It's a rich cream formulated with colloidal oatmeal which relieves irritation, and shea butter, which protects and maintains our skin barrier. Allantoin also helps calm and soothe the skin. I recommend applying this to damp clean skin for the ultimate hydration."
A nourishing prebiotic moisturizer
Our pick: Sephora's prebiotic moisturizer is a recurringproduct in myroutine. It’s creamy, fragrance-free and my skin drinks it in like a tall glass of water. The naturally derived prebiotics in this cream work to help deeply hydrate the skin while marula oil strengthens the skin barrier, effectively boosting its ability to fight the elements. Aside from making my skin feel ultra comfy, I love that it doesn’t sit heavy on my face like some other moisturizers intended for dry, sensitive skin.
A comforting basic moisturizer
“This is a moisturizing cream with a modicum of heft that has glycerin and panthenol to hold on to moisture, macadamia seed oil to lightly coat and oat extract to soothe the skin,” Massachusetts-based dermatologist Dr. Papri Sarkar previously told HuffPost.

I can also report this comforting formula does wonders for my highly sensitive and eczema-prone skin.
U Beauty
A bioactive treatment cream
Our pick: This highly concentrated overnight treatment uses bioactive marine ingredients that promote skin renewal and can soften and strengthen skin. The brand claims that a patent-pending capsule technology is to thank for an effective delivery of active ingredients and a visible difference in the look and feel of the skin.
A lightweight SPF 30 moisturizer
If it's an SPF-based moisturizer you're after, New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Brendan Camppreviously suggested this sunscreen lotion by Supergoop for anyone who dislikes the feeling of heavy sunscreen on their skin. This is extremely lightweight, has a silky smooth finish and contains antioxidant-rich ingredients like vitamins E and B5 to help reduce the visible effects of free radicals.
A restorative day cream
This intensive and restorative day cream by Clarins is New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick's pick for anyone with deeply dehydrated and menopausal skin. She said it incorporates organic harungana, which works similar to retinol while also being gentle on the skin.

"It also contains the anti-pollution complex to protect the skin from changes related to pollution and blue light," she said.
A replenishing cellular renewal cream
Lindsay Kastuk, a New York-based makeup artist, previously told us that Augustinus Bader's renowned moisturizer — simply called "The Cream" — is "a makeup artist's holy grail luxury moisturizer." This replenishing emollient formula helps support cellular renewal and improves moisture retention and skin barrier function. We, too, have sworn by The Cream's complexion-boosting capabilities and brand’s patented Trigger Factor Complex, which encompasses over 40 ingredients as the result of decades of research and clinical study.
A luscious cream with age-defying ingredients
Garshick previously suggested Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream, which she said "works to boost moisture and improves radiance of the skin, offering both immediate and long-term improvements." It's a luxe formulation of hyaluronic acid, peptides, vitamin C and E and more, and according to Garshick it can plump skin and potentially reduce the appearance of fine lines.
A skin barrier-repairing night lotion
CeraVe's moisturizing night lotion was recommended by New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Nava Greenfield. She said that it was "basic and affordable and provides the necessary hydration one would need for daily use."

Like all products from the CeraVe line, this evening treatment is formulated with their iconic blend of three essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.
An affordable, no-fuss moisturizer
Our pick: I've been a longtime fan of The Ordinary's simplistic, straightforward and accessible approach to skin care, and this moisturizer was one of the products that first sold me on the brand. I love the way it soaks deeply into my parched skin and contains a total of 11 tried-and-true hydrating ingredients like lipid-loving fatty acids, glycerin, barrier-restoring ceramides and hyaluronic acid. If you want a facial cream that will play nice with all of your actives, will actually do a really solid job at hydrating your skin and won't cost an arm and a leg, then you can just stop scrolling now.
A pore-minimizing water cream
A few months ago, we chatted with TikTok star and cosmetic chemist Javon Ford to find out what skin care products he thought were worth purchasing. He said that he enjoys this pore-minimizing and nutrient-rich water cream by Tatcha for its unique texture that's achieved by using an inverted silicone emulsion. Ford explained that most moisturizers are oil dispersed in water, whereas this one is water dispersed in silicone, giving a light moisture boost with a silky feel and blurring effect thanks to the silicone elastomers in the formula.
A plumping whipped gel cream
Our pick: This dewy and lightweight moisturizer is from Glow Recipe, a Korean skin care brand that really knows how to harness the power of fruit. The Plum Plump hyaluronic acid cream made it on our list because of its non-greasy formulation that contains brightening plum extract, polyglutamic acid and multi-weight hyaluronic acid for optimum ingredient penetration. The delightful texture is a whipped gel consistency that is suitable even for oily and acne-prone skin types.
A protective vitamin B5 cream
Products by the iconic French pharmacy brand La Roche-Posay often come highly recommended to us by dermatologists, as was the case with this Cicaplast cream, a favorite of Dr. Lauren Penzi, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York. This therapeutic and multi-purpose cream instantly addresses visible signs of skin irritation caused by dryness, and contains glycerin, shea butter and vitamin B5.

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