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Skincare · January 17, 2019

How to Find the Best Moisturizer For Your Skin Type

Moisturizing 101

"Lots of moisturizers have the same building blocks but hydrate differently," explains Dr. Belkin. They usually hydrate in three different ways:

By infusing skin with hydration.
By drawing water up from deeper layers to the surface of skin via humectants (like glycerin)thereby hydrating from within.
By creating a barrier (courtesy of ingredients like oils, waxes, ointments, or silicones).

Depending on your skin type, one method of moisturizing may be more suitable than another. Sometimes, it's a combo of two or even all three.


If you don't find acne or extreme dryness or dullness a concern, but something still feels out of sync, try to create more balance in your skins levels of oil and water. Since youre not tackling a specific issue, you can use a variety of different moisturizers, Dr. Belkin says. You don't have to be as wary of certain ingredients so long as it hydrates via one or two of the methods above.

Our Product Picks:
philosophy purity made simple moisturizer: This moisturizer might have "simple" in its name, but it contains serious ingredients like glycerin and siliconeso it not only draws water into your skin, but also prevents it from escaping making for long-lasting hydration.
Air Repair Complexion-Boosting Moisturizer: A Birchbox customer favorite, this versatile lotion contains hyaluronic acid and other humectants to draw moisture to your skin without making it feel oily. It also contains green tea extract to fight free radicals.
(MALIN+GOETZ) vitamin e face moisturizer: This pick combines antioxidant-rich vitamins E and B5 and soothing chamomile with absorbent fatty acids so it can effectively and gently balance any skin type. Its intensely nourishing but also soothing, and doesnt leave residue behind.


For those with acne or continuous breakouts, you still need to use moisturizer, says Dr. Belkin. You can get acne from skin being overly dry, so it's important to maintain a balance of hydration without congestion." Use a moisturizer that reduces excess sebum and replaces it with healthier, non-pore-clogging humectants.

Our Product Picks:
Avne Cleanance EXPERT Lotion: This moisturizer is hydrating yet lightweight. It's formulated with fatty acids from coconut oilplus silicones to create a barrierwithout irritating skin, according to Dr. Belkin (more on that later).
Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Facial Oil: Blue tansy, a plant oil with powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, makes this oil ideal for clarifying blemish-prone complexions. Squalane also retains moisture and jasmine makes skin more plump.
Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion: This oil-free formula hydrates with panthenol (a humectant) and nourishing honey extract. Allantoin and arnica calm spots where your skin is irritated, plus retinol prevents oil buildup and tightens pores.

Pro tip: Dont be afraid of moisturizers with silicones in them. Just be mindful of how many there are in a formula if you're prone to acne. "Silicones are actually derived from sand, or silica, and they don't occlude, meaning they won't clog your pores," explains Dr. Belkin. In fact, they're porous, meaning they prevent water loss but still allow air to circulate through your pores." Plus, they help other important ingredients in moisturizers absorb better.


For extradry skin, Dr. Belkin suggests a moisturizer that has a high water content (so you're actually directly hydrating your skin, he explains) and packs barrier-protecting ingredients, which prevent that hydration from evaporating.

Our Product Picks:
Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream: This best-seller continuously draws in moisture from the air throughout the day, so even extreme weather conditions wont compromise hydration.
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream: Ceramides, lipids that help form the skin's barrier, allow this cream to boost your skin's natural ability to retain moisture.
Embryolisse Lait-Crme Concentr: A little lighter than the aforementioned, this ultrasmooth aloe- and shea butter-filled moisturizer locks moisture into your parched skin. Itll not only look more hydrated, itll feel it, too.


If your skin appears a little lackluster, a moisturizer with vitamin Cthe gold standard in brighteningdoes double-duty to leave your complexion feeling more supple and looking radiant.

Our Product Picks:
Vasanti BrightenUp! New Skin Amplifying Moisturizer: The moisturizing counterpart to the brands best-selling scrub, this everyday hydrator contains brightening agents like vitamin C for a more radiant complexion.
Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream: This H2O-based gel-like cream contains two forms of hyaluronic acid and tamarind extract to give you visibly plumped skin. It exfoliates (read: brightens) with papaya enzymes and combats hyperpigmentation with alpha-arbutin and wild banana extracts.
Huxley Secret of Sahara Glow Awakening Cream: This luxe-feeling cream works to brighten thanks to a potent blend of antioxidant-rich prickly pear cactus seed from the Sahara Desert and niacinamide, which improves uneven skin tone and dullness.


Alexis Bridenbaugh