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The Best Moisturizer In 2021

by Evelyn Smith

Are you the kind of person who notices and envies people for their clear flawless skin but struggles at keeping their skin healthy? Flawless skin is a much-coveted feature, but no matter how much you’d like a miracle, you simply cannot find your picture-perfect skin without some patience and some hit and trial.

The foremost thing is to understand that not everybody has or can have glassy clear skin as you may see on TV and Instagram. 

Sadly, a lot of content that we consume which is the driving force to become presentable these days has been retouched by Photoshop to look a certain way and normal people may never be able to look like that because that’s artificial. 

So set a clear and perhaps realistic skin goal, and read on for the best skincare advice you’ll find. 

What is a moisturizer?

Our skin is the body’s largest organ and requires as much care as all other parts to look healthy and beautiful. 

The different types of skin are based on the amount of sebum that skin produces which is a naturally moisturizing system of our skin.  

From time to time, skin can become dry or irritated for various reasons, and we use specific kinds of products that help restore the hydration or moisture into the skin.

Now, how to know if your skin needs hydration or moisture?

Difference between hydration and moisture

If you notice dry, itchy, or flaky skin, it may be dry. But if you usually have a different skin type but lately if your skincare routine isn’t working, or you are breaking out for no reason, then there is a possibility that your skin is dehydrated. 

So dry skin is a type, but dehydration is a condition. Another simplification is if your skin needs hydration means water is needed, conversely, if your skin needs moisture means oil is required. 

If your skin is dehydrated, it will be a short temporary period that can correct itself by using hydrating products. 

So a hydrator or hydrating product will help your skin restore water by 

drinking water to the skin using humectants. With a simple process of collecting moisture in the environment and then binding it to the skin, these humectants help the skin absorb water. 

And a moisturizer has oil that works by locking in the hydration and maintaining soft and smooth skin. The natural oil or lipid barrier that all the skin types have, begins to break down as we age, resulting in the skin losing its moisture. 

So, your skin needs moisture and hydration? 

Of course, yes!! 

Now that you know, dehydrated skin needs hydration, and oil-containing moisturizers function best by locking in the hydration, in turn, creating a skin barrier, preventing water loss from the skin surface. 

A lot of skin concerns for all skin types can be solved by improving hydration and moisturization together. Against popular belief, oil isn’t skin’s enemy, and we do not need to wipe it away or dry it with products. 

If you try to use harsh toner or cleanser that are advertised for reducing oil from your face actually ends up stripping the skin off of its natural oils and hydration. As a result, the skin can overcompensate by becoming even more oily. 

To find out what are the best moisturizers for your skin, let’s first find out your skin type. 

Know your skin type

A very commonly used test for determining your skin type is the blotting paper test. All you need is small square bits of blotting paper, parchment paper, or one-ply pieces of tissue. And follow the following steps

Step 1

Grab your cleanser and wash your face as you usually do and gently pat dry. 

Step 2

For the next two hours go about your usual business only without any skincare product on your face

Step 3

By the end of the two hours grab small pieces of blotting paper and stick it across your T zone under the eye area and chin. T zone is the central area of your face that includes your forehead, nose, and chin. 

Step 4

Carefully note if the blotting paper sticks to any part of your face or at what part of your face do the blotting paper absorb the most amount of oil, also where it falls off. 

The results and inference are as follows:

  • Blotting paper soaked in oil points to an Oily Skin
  • Blotting paper having oily bits only in the T zone means you have combination skin. 
  • If none of the blotting paper sticks refers to dry skin. 
  • Light and uniform patches of oil appear all over the face is a sign of Normal skin. 

Now that you have familiarized yourself with your skin type and the need to moisturize, we will now discuss each skin type, followed by a suggested morning and evening skincare routine along with product recommendations based on our extensive research and online user reviews, so that you don’t have to worry about choosing the right kind of product.

How to take care of Dry skin type

One of the telling signs of dry skin is uncomfortable stretchy feeling skin that can go from being flaky to being itchy as the severity of dryness increases. 

Morning skincare routine 

  • Start your morning skincare routine with a creamy texture gentle cleanser, and avoid foam or gel face washes as they tend to strip the skin of its natural oil. If your nighttime routine includes a deep cleansing process, you can just splash some warm water to let the products from the night before continuing their moisturizing. 
  • One of the first steps to treating dry skin is exfoliation. By removing the top dead skin layer with physical or chemical exfoliants,  at least once a week,  you are helping increase the absorption of moisturizers. Exfoliate only after washing your face with a cleanser. 
  • Using a toner is optional but if it is, hydrating in nature and provides you with an additional layer of moisture then use it on a cleansed face. Allow it a few moments to soak in the skin. Apply serums as the second product which are known to be perfect in treating dehydrated skin. Allow 5 minutes before you move on to the next step. 
  • Now that the toner and serum have been absorbed, we need to moisturize to lock all the hydration in. You can then wear makeup on top of this. Do not forget to finish off with sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage. 

Evening routine

  • Start with using a cleansing balm or oil-based cleanser that will help emulsify all the makeup and sunscreen. Then to take off all the traces then wash the face with a cleanser. 
  • You can do the same routine as your morning routine up to moisturizer. As the last step. you can also add a facial oil or a heavy base cream to restore the moisture.

Here are some of our moisturizer recommendations for dry skin

1. CeraVe Moisturizing cream. 

Price: $18.99
  • One of the highest-rated products for mildly dry to extremely dry skin, this moisturizer can help calm and repair dry, flaky skin. 
  • With an exceptionally rich non-greasy texture, it is absorbed quickly and provides smooth, hydrated skin for 24 hours. 
  • Formulated with three ceramides (1, 3, 6-II), all CeraVe products work efficiently in repairing and maintaining skin’s protective barrier for mildly dry to even flaky redness-prone skin. 
  • Made fragrance-free, this water-based moisturizer is suitable to be used for immediate dryness relief on your face, hands, and body. 
  • An excellent hydrating formula, that is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic makes it suitable for all skin types for hydration all around the year. 

2. Neutrogena Hydro Boost

Price: $17.99
  • This incredibly light gel formula works incredibly quickly in providing hydration and maintaining moisture for dry skin making it smooth and supple. 
  • Containing one of the best hydrating ingredients, Neutrogena hydro boost contains hyaluronic acid that locks in moisture helping dry irritated skin to calm down and quench its thirst. 
  • Suitable to be used as a moisturizer that is absorbed quickly under the makeup working perfectly for all kinds of skin types without causing acne. 
  • Users love the non-sticky all-day nourishing moisturizing properties that are safe to be used in day and nighttime routines. 

3. Aquaphor healing ointment. 

Price: $16.89
  • One of the go-to moisturizers with surprisingly phenomenal healing properties, Aquaphor is synonymous with nourishing. 
  • Designed for cracked, dry, and irritated skin helping minor wounds to heal, this moisturizer creates a protective barrier that works even with extreme weather conditions and frequent water exposure, hand soap, or sanitizer.
  • Specially designed for sensitive skin Aquaphor is a preservative and frequency that helps restore the moisture as well as the healthy appearance of the skin.
  • Suitable for dry to extremely dry skin and to be used for all body parts including face, body, or hands, this ointment will never let you reach out for another product for protecting and healing minor skin irritations and treating dry skin. 

How to care for “oily skin” types?

 Even though popular belief dictates that oily skin needs to get rid of the oil as we already mentioned above, even oily skin needs hydration and moisturization. 

Morning routine

  • Pick up a cleanser with salicylic acid to clean up all the dead skin and oils from the night before as the first step in your morning routine. Avoid cleansers that contain alcohol to avoid paradoxical oil production on your face. 
  • For the second step, you might like a toner that contains salicylic acid or lactic acid which are both mildly exfoliating in nature and help keep the pores clean. 
  • Now at the third step, use the treatment that is specific to your skin concerns. If you have acne-prone oily skin then this is where you can use a benzoyl peroxide-based product to help reduce the excess oil production. If you have oily skin but no acne then you can use an oil-free water-based moisturizer. 
  •  As the last step for a daytime routine, wearing sunscreen is a must. Look for ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium oxide that help in preventing breakouts. 

Evening routine

  • For the evening skincare routine start again with a cleanser similar to the one in your date time routine. In case you wear makeup or mineral-based sunscreen you can also use micellar water to remove dirt and makeup before washing with a cleanser. 
  • You can apply retinol as it is a great ingredient to treat acne. Educate yourself about retinoids before starting. Begin slowly with a low dosage of retinol until you understand how much you can tolerate. 
  • Moisture with water-based hydrating and nourishing nighttime repair moisturizer. 

Recommendations 

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizer and Cera Ve Moisturizing cream are products that have been reported by thousands of users with positive reviews that support the healing and repairing moisture barrier and provide 24 hours hydration. Here are a few more products that we loved and recommend for oily skin.

1. Acure Incredibly Clear Mattifying Moisturizer

Price: $16.99
  • With lilac and chlorella extracts this facial moisturizer is incredibly quick at being completely absorbed and providing intense hydration and moisture to oily skin without adding to the sticker figure. 
  • Made completely cruelty-free sulfate-free and paraben-free the formula is sourced from the highest quality ingredients keeping environmental responsibilities in mind.
  • With the beautiful light texture, this moisturizer helps in calming irritated acne-prone skin by controlling the excess production of oil and healing inflamed skin. 
  • Can be used in the morning routine followed by cleaning and using a hydrating toner for a moisturized skin minus the shiny sticky feeling.  

2. La Roche pose effaclar Mattifying moisturizer 

Price: $31.99
  • With salicylic acid as its star ingredient, the moisturizer helps improve the texture and reduces the overproduction of oil on the face
  • Designed to help the acne-prone skin to remain calm and reduce the appearance of redness, soothe inflamed acne, and refines pores. 
  • Highly recommended by dermatologists, La Roche Posay is a trusted brand that has been helping all its users achieve their dream of clear skin.
  • For the people who love to use makeup but find most moisturizers too sticky, this Moisturizer wins many accolades for being perfect to be used under makeup because of the reduced pore size and the matte effect. 

3. Era Organics Tea Tree Oil Face Cream

Price: $29.99
  • Tea tree oil is a wonderful, centuries-old ingredient that has worked for treating acne. With its unique antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties tea tree oil has been proven to be effective in reducing the appearance of acne.
  • Not only does it soothe hydrate and moisturize acne-prone skin, but this product also works magically with all kinds of skin types without aggravating any of the adverse effects. 
  • The creamy formula along with the stellar list of ingredients helps actively fighting acne and impurities while reducing redness and irritation. The moisturizer also helps to smoothen and soften skin while keeping the moisture and oil balance. 
  • All kinds of symptoms related to acne-prone skin such as blemishes, blackheads, clogged pores, even rosacea can be treated with this incredible cream. 

Skincare routine for “combination skin” type

When you notice an oily T zone along with dry cheeks you may have a combination skin type. The combination skin type may also be of combination dry type or combination only type. 

Morning routine

  • Start with a gentle face wash that does not contain any alcohol to avoid stripping off natural oils. You can try to concentrate on the T zone to clean off the excess oil.
  • You can go ahead and use a hydrating toner or an exfoliating toner according to your skin type and specific needs. 
  • Using a hyaluronic acid serum can solve the purpose of hydrating dry as well as oily skin areas.
  • Based on your skin and areas of the face you can use two moisturizers where a lightweight water-based formula is used over the oily T zone area and a thicker cream is meant for the dry area. 
  • All kinds of skin types need sun protection and finish off your skincare routine with a light sunscreen of at least SPF 30. 

Evening routine

  • If you wear makeup then for your evening routine, start by gently removing makeup with oil-based products that emulsify everything and then wash off all traces of makeup or excess oil build-up with a gentle cleanser. 
  • Chemical exfoliants are great at removing excess oil and correcting skin tone. After washing the face apply exfoliants as per instructions on the product or use a mild exfoliant that can be worn overnight.
  • You can also try to multi-mask twice a week, where you apply different masks to oily areas and another one for dry areas. 
  • To end the nighttime routine, always choose a rich moisturizer for both dry and oily areas. 

Recommendations

1. Cetaphil Face Moisturizer

Price: $14.99
  • This lightweight moisturizer is perfect for acne-prone combination skin which hydrates the dry areas of the face for 24 hours without creating any overly greasy areas. 
  • Where most of the products meant to treat acne focus on drying those areas, this moisturizer with hyaluronic acid helps provide moisture and aids the skin in holding the moisture locked inside the skin for longer. 
  • The hypoallergenic and fragrance-free formula makes this moisturizer suitable for maximum users without any adverse or irritating effects. 
  • Since the combination-oily skin can also be acne-prone or irritated, this moisturizer presents an ideal method to hydrate without causing any problems and soothing existing concerns. 

2. EltaMD PM Therapy

Price: $36.00
  • Suitable for all skin types this moisturizer is a non-comedogenic all free and lightweight formula that can be used for your morning or nighttime routine.
  • For applying, dot your entire face with pea-sized dots of the Moisturizer on a cleansed and toner face and then move on to massaging it in the skin with an upward outward circular motion. 
  • Packed with antioxidants and niacinamide, this face moisturizer works effectively in providing the restoration and repair the skin requires each day while you rest. 
  • The peptide and ceramide complex also works not only hydrating and healing skin but also reduces visible signs of aging. 

3. Belif the True Cream Aqua Bomb

Price: $38.00
  • Reported to be an extremely hydrating moisturizer, the true cream aqua bomb is popularly used by all skin types for non-sticky long-lasting moisture. 
  • When used after toner on a cleansed face, this lightweight gel-cream can visibly reduce the visibly large pores and lock in moisture for 24 hours. 
  • This product is fit for use in your morning as well as a nighttime routine while it actively neutralizes free radicals that can be damaging to your skin. 
  • For an extra tip, try mixing this Moisturizer with your loose powder or highlighter on your makeup prepped skin for a moist and dewy natural look. 

How to take care of “normal skin

As the name suggests the normal skin doesn’t have any major concerns. So it is wise to keep it simple and focus on moisturizing and protecting.

Morning Routine 

  • Always start with cleansing with a gentle cleanser as the skin collects dead skin, dirt, and oil from the night before. If you feel your skin is still pretty clean from the nighttime double cleansing then go ahead and wash off with warm water. 
  • Use a hydrating toner or one with a mild exfoliation action for removing dead skin. 
  • You can use a skin brightening or spot clearing treatment at this step and allow it to absorb. 
  • The advantage with normal skin is you can choose what exactly feels good on your skin. Use a lightweight nourishing and hydrating moisturizer.
  • Protect your skin from sun damage or hyperpigmentation regardless of the season. Reapply every two hours if you are out in the sun all day. 

Evening Routine 

  • Start by removing makeup using a cleansing balm or micellar water that can help clean even oil-based makeup. Then wash off with a cleanser to remove all the remnants of makeup, dirt, or oil. 
  • For improving skin texture, appearance and concerns, use a retinoid at nighttime only.
  • Finish off with a face oil or moisturizer that helps repair the skin overnight.

Recommendations 

1. Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue

Price: $8.49
  • Useful for all skin types, this gel-cream formula is lightweight and moisturizing in Nature while providing excellent 24-hour hydration. 
  • The gel consistency that is just so easy to apply as a quick fix for dehydrated skin is non-comedogenic which means it does not clog pores or cause acne. 
  • With a fruit water antioxidant complex and vitamin C, your skin is not only moisturized and hydrated but also brightens with regular use.
  • This is a face product that everyone is happy to use for hydration and maintaining moisture, suitable to be worn under makeup for a smooth look. 

2.Naturium Niacinamide Gel Cream

Price: $19.99
  • Since normal skin type usually does not have any major concerns apart from hydration, many products can be tried for specific concerns like removing dark spots or brightening and niacinamide is the ingredient that helps to correct those. 
  • While gently improving your skin’s texture, this moisturizer is fantastic at removing dark spots and improving skin elasticity. 
  • The incredibly hydrating and multifunctional nature of this gel-cream makes it suitable to be used at the last step of the morning, followed by sunscreen and nighttime routine for instant hydration. 
  • Niacinamide is a stable form of Vitamin B12 that is compatible with all skin types in locking hydration, repairing skin barriers, and gently removing the texture irregularities. 

3. L’Oreal Paris Skincare Hydra Genius

Price: $12.99
  • Another water-based Moisturizer that is increasingly gaining popularity as a lightweight no-nonsense product that does what it claims, i.e. hydrate skin. 
  • An endless number of users testify to the efficacy of this gel-based product that is suitable for all skin types with varying concerns looking for a safe and gentle moisturizer.
  • When this moisturizer is busy keeping the hydration locked in for 72 hours, it helps immensely in improving the appearance of tired dull-looking skin into becoming bright, plump, and dewy. 
  • With the first time use, you will notice instantly calm nourished skin and with regular continued use, you can notice a visibly luminous change in skin quality. 

Daily skincare for “mature skin

Maturing as we begin to age our skin loses its ability to produce oil, and you begin to see fine lines and wrinkles. The skincare for mature skin comprises moisturizing and anti-aging treatment. 

Morning Routine 

  • To save all the natural oils from the skin, start your day with a gentle cream cleanser that nourishes your skin rather than stripping it of its oil. 
  • Nourishing or hydrating toner is optional and can be replaced with exfoliants once a week. 
  • Use an antioxidant serum to supply the skin with necessary ingredients to smoothen the fine lines and wrinkles vial making pose a smaller and improving moisture levels.
  • Incense replenishing the lack of oil is important, mature skin also requires a moisturizer that helps lock in the moisture all day long.
  • Like all other skin types, aging skin also requires sunscreen throughout the day to protect skin from sun damage. Don’t forget the neck, it needs protection too. 

Evening Routine 

  • As already discussed, always start with removing your makeup first with an oil-based cleanser or a cleansing balm that gently removes makeup while massaging your face. 
  • To work with skincare concerns of aging skin, such as fine lines, dullness, and dryness, you must incorporate a treatment of retinoids in the nighttime routine before finishing off with a rich moisturizing cream. 
  • In case you begin to notice minor changes in skin sensitivity then switch to gentler products for cleansing, treating, and exfoliating. 

Recommendations 

1. Maryann Organics Collagen Cream

Price: $20.89
  • As the skin begins to lose its elasticity over the years, we need to switch to products that provide the skin with anti-aging ingredients, which is where this wonderful cream comes in with plenty of star-studded reviews swearing by its amazing effects. 
  • Mobile supporting cell renewal, skin radiance, and boosting elasticity this advanced collagen cream works immensely well in reducing signs of aging. 
  • While being non-greasy, this moisturizer is excellent at providing deep hydration to the aging dehydrated skin which in turn smoothens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 
  • Suitable for all skin types, this Moisturizer with its amazing anti-aging benefits uses only pure ingredients that can work well after your treatment step in your nighttime routine. 

2. LilyAna Naturals Face Moisturizer

Price: $22.99
  • Focusing on specific needs of mature skin this moisturizer gets straight to work in reducing dullness, hyperpigmentation, and dark spots while ensuring soft radiant, and smooth skin in only one step. 
  • This face cream is as nourishing as it is hydrating for aging skin that feels stretchy, dehydrated, or flaky from the very first application, making it look quenched, nourished and smooth. 
  •  Since our skin requires hydration regardless of its type or age, this super creamy textured product contains ingredients that cater to the ultimate hydration while remaining safe for all skin types. 
  • Made completely free from gluten, phthalates, SLES, SLS,  petroleum is proud to be an all-natural brand using only vegan ingredients and procedures. 

3. Mary Kay TimeWise Moisturizer

Price: $32.00
  •  A beloved product of its decade-old users, this Mary Kay moisturizer has made many users its faithful fans help their aging skin to remain moist and nourished. 
  • So many users reviewed and praised this product for delivering excellent anti-aging results consistently for them for years. Not only does it become a favorite with its users because of the anti-aging properties but the ability of the moisturizer to facilitate the renewal process of the skin.  
  • The moisturizer is made of a light texture that hydrates and moistens the skin while efficiently reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 
  • All kinds of skin types need proper care and consideration in the form of specific products. This moisturizer works well for normal to dry skin types, giving a refreshing look to the skin. 

Now that you are beginning to work on your skin, make sure you know why you need to wear sunscreen with the rest of your routine: 

The importance of “Sunscreen” 

Maintain even skin tone 

Sunscreens are meant to protect your skin from sun damage. This means your skin does not undergo discoloration or patchy skin tone changes. This means all areas of the face and body look the same tone. 

Facilitates skincare 

If you apply multiple expensive products for skin care but do not wear sunscreen during the day means you are damaging the skin repair that has occurred overnight. 

Prevents hyperpigmentation 

Sun damage can not only cause sunburns but also dark spots and aggravate their appearance. The dark spots or pigmented skin can be protected and reverse the 

Reduces risk of skin cancer 

By applying sunscreen every day you are saving your skin from one of the most common forms of cancer which are skin cancer. Even if it’s raining or cloudy, wearing sunscreen can help protect yourself from harmful rays from the sun. 

Slows aging 

Exposure to the sun can cause dehydration in the skin and loss of collagen which aggravates and worsens signs of aging. Sun damage is one of the leading causes of premature aging. When you see leathery skin that is discolored in patches or spots, that is a result of sun damage. 

The secret to a better-looking skin | healthy lifestyle

Reduce stress levels

The first step to improve skin is to keep the stress away. Stress can cause a wide array of health issues and worsen existing issues as well. Dry skin, acne, and wrinkles are caused and even aggravated with the existence of stress. Focus on getting at least 7-8 hours of continuous sleep each night. Improving nighttime routine can help you prepare and get used to getting proper sleep each night

Add fresh fruit and vegetables

Load up on fruits and vegetables containing antioxidants such as berries, grapes, pomegranate plums, tomatoes, turmeric, etc. Add healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, or fish oil supplements to your diet that act as natural in-built moisturizers for our skin. They help you feel fuller while carrying very few calories and fill you with lots of essential nutrients which helps in improving health and skin. 

Reduce sugar intake 

Avoid packaged and processed food items along with baked goods all of which have plenty of refined sugar to promote taste and replace with fresh fruit or dry fruits. Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake to support the body’s natural energy stabilizing system. Replace with water or vegetable smoothies and fresh fruit juices to feel hydrated and have more steady levels of energy throughout the day. 

Give your skin some care 

By simply washing your face at the end of the day is an immensely important and easy step to ensure clear skin. Moisturizing helps protect the natural oils in the skin that are responsible for smooth, supple, and soft skin. While cleansing and moisturizing are the initial steps to having a skincare routine, you need to protect your skin from sun damage and moisture loss by using sunscreen. 

Hydrate Yourself 

Start with drinking a lot of water and cutting down on sweetened aerated or packaged energy drinks. Every day that you hydrate yourself not only do you help improve your metabolism and digestion, but you also support your skin to look fresh and supple. The foremost thing to do is finding out all the sources of sugar in your diet and gradually reducing the intake. 

Finally, one of these days, you will realize how good skin is an excellent indicator of health, and you will notice it on people as well as yourself. Beautiful clear skin adds multitudes of confidence in yourself and your appearance. When you feel good about yourself you feel good about everything else too, which ultimately helps us feel happier. Everything starts with a self-care and essentially self-love routine where you take care of your body and then your body takes care of you. Have you started on your baby steps to better skin?

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