According to Derms, Dry Skin Doesn't Stand a Chance Against These Moisturizers

Here's the deal. Finding a face moisturizer that, for all intents and purposes, does exactly what it promises to do for your skin can be a challenging feat for anyone (yes, even your most trusted Who What Wear beauty editors). One thing we can count on, however, is the guidance we have from skin experts across the U.S. We're lucky enough to have them on speed dial offering steadfast solutions for all our skincare woes. Before you add another moisturizer to your virtual shopping basket without experiencing it in person or sifting through thousands of reviews, check out what two of the industry's most reputable dermatologists and one integrative aesthetics doctor have to say on the topic.

Feeling bold and ready to shop after discovering their skincare secrets? Scroll on to find 13 of the face moisturizers they swear by, ranging from products offering broad spectrum UV protection to others that dramatically minimize the appearance of pores, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation. Don't worry—you can thank us later.



What to Look for in a Moisturizer

For Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD, finding the perfect moisturizer match is all about identifying the ingredients that are most beneficial to your skin. Glycerin and hyaluronic acid, for example, draw in moisture, while ceramides lock it in. "Some moisturizers may also contain occlusive ingredients like petrolatum, which can be especially helpful for those with dry, flaky skin," says Garshick. "Other ingredients that can be helpful include emollients to help to soften and smooth the skin, like squalane and niacinamide, which helps to calm the skin and reduce redness."

But what about individuals dealing with a compromised skin barrier? Another dermatologist, Mara Weinstein Velez, MD, FAAD, recommends choosing a moisturizer that has ceramides, lipids, and peptides to encourage repair. Alternately, those with acne-prone skin should opt for oil-free moisturizers using hyaluronic acid and glycerin in their formulas. 

Rahi Sarbaziha, MD, a Beverly Hills–based board-certified integrative aesthetics doctor, also offered her take on simplifying the decision process based on the specific needs of your skin type. "First, identify if you have dry, oily, sensitive, or combination skin. It's important to note that you still need to moisturize oily skin," Sarbaziha begins. "Most moisturizers contain three categories of ingredients: humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Humectants draw water into the skin, emollients seal the skin's outer layer, and occlusives prevent moisture loss." She recommends looking for moisturizers crafted from formulas that contain hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and glycerin to provide the skin with its required hydration and protection.

Must-Have Moisturizers

Best Overall

"This multitasking moisturizing treatment uses a blend of lapachol, antioxidants, peptides, and anti-inflammatory ingredients, including aloe vera, to support the skin's natural healing process, making it a good option for those with eczema and sensitive skin. It can be used on irritated, sunburned, or post-procedure skin." — Garshick

Customer review: "I have the most sensitive, reactive skin. Everything breaks me out so I was apprehensive to try something new to lighten scarring from past breakouts but wow, I'm sure glad I did! My skin has never looked better. Not only did it not break me out, but I'm also starting to see real, positive changes in my skin. Acne scars are lighter, my skin is significantly more calm and not so reactive and the texture is smoother than ever before."

Pro: Minimizes the appearance of skin concerns

Con: None

"This moisturizer contains a combination of ceramides to help strengthen the skin barrier and niacinamide, which has soothing properties while also supporting the skin barrier and calming the skin. It helps to replenish moisture using glycerin and can be used all year. It is a great option for all skin types, as it is oil-free and won't leave the skin feeling greasy while still being suitable for those with sensitive skin." — Garshick

Customer review: "My dermatologist recommended the La Roché Posay face wash to me and I decided to try this moisturizer out as well. I love it! It is light and smooth upon application and I really love that it has SPF in it to eliminate one additional step from my morning skincare routine. When you first apply it does have a subtle sunscreen scent, but fades very quickly and there is no lingering white tint left on the skin. I will definitely continue to repurchase this product."

Pro: Offers broad spectrum UV protection

Con: Subtle fragrance that quickly fades

"This moisturizer contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid to help support the skin barrier and draw moisture in. It is lightweight so won't leave the skin feeling greasy, and as a bonus, it contains SPF." — Garshick

Customer review: "I absolutely love the CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion! It's a total game-changer for my skin routine. It soaks up super fast, so my face feels super moisturized and shielded from the sun with its SPF 30. Plus, it doesn't have any funky smells and doesn't irritate my sensitive skin. I would definitely recommend this product to anyone!"

Pro: Noncomedogenic and lightweight formula

Con: Leaves a noticeable white cast

"This is one of my go-to moisturizers because it's gentle, lightweight, and contains a powerful botanical alternative to hyaluronic acid, which leaves skin feeling nourished and hydrated. I also recommend this to my patients post–laser treatments to help calm skin." — Sarbaziha

Customer review: "This daily moisturizer is really my favorite product because it gives my skin a glow-up that I didn't think was possible. After using my daily skincare routine and putting on my cleanser, and prep serum it's good to have some great moisturizer that seals the deal and gives your skin a glowy touch."

Pro: Hydrates the skin for up to 24 hours

Con: Potential for pilling when paired with other skincare products

"More than just a moisturizer, this incorporates vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, so it works to hydrate while also improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as it plumps the skin. Incorporating antioxidants like vitamin C and E, it helps to brighten the skin and improve overall skin tone." — Garshick

Customer review: "Loving this moisturizer so much. I'm really picky when it comes to skincare products especially moisturizing products since it can make or break your whole look. This one is not oily and does not make [my makeup] cakey as some do. It smells good and not like chemicals or perfume, just a light fresh scent. I've been using this every day since I've received it complimentary from Influenster and I couldn't be happier."

Pro: Leaves skin moisturized and soft

Cons: Fragranced, not ideal for sensitive skin

"This daytime moisturizer provides the benefit of a moisturizer while also offering SPF 40 protection, making it a great option, as it leaves the skin both hydrated and protected. It contains glycerin, shea butter, and lecithin to help seal in hydration and uses zinc oxide, making it a great option for those with sensitive skin." — Garshick

Customer review: "I just recently started using this in my rotation and I can honestly say that I really like it! It had a nice texture to it and doesn't leave any kind of white cast. It blends nicely into the skin. I also love the dispenser. A couple pumps is plenty for my face and neck. I do put it on over my moisturizer, although I think it would be plenty moisturizing for my drier skin just wearing it alone."

Pro: Water and sweat-resistant

Con: Leaves a white cast on some skin tones



"[It] is a great light moisturizing lotion for day that is loaded with powerful peptides, antioxidants, and soothing ingredients like sodium hyaluronate, aloe, and niacinamide." — Garshick

Customer review: "This is the best moisturizer ever if you struggle with dry skin! I occasionally have toyed with the idea of trying a cheaper product but always, always come back to this one as it works better than any other moisturizer I have tried. It feels luxurious on the skin and a little bit goes a long way. I have recommended this product to friends and family and got them hooked on it too! My makeup goes on smoother and my skin feels better with this product."

Pro: Can be used morning and night

Con: None

"This brand-new hydrating moisturizer contains a mix of five vegan peptides and SPF 50 to help skin look and feel younger. It's a win-win! It also contains black tea ferment to provide a lipo-filling effect for smooth, plump skin. Overall, it's a great daytime moisturizer for all skin types and all ages." — Sarbaziha

Customer review: "I bought this a month ago at Ulta and it has been amazing! I am the person who hates wearing sunscreen. This to me feels and smells just like a moisturizer, so it's not bothersome at all!! I've worn it every day! I'm really happy to have found a sunscreen I will use! Although not advertised as a primer, it also helped my makeup stay on longer."

Pro: Offers a natural-looking glow

Con: Not ideal for oily skin

"[It] is ultra-rich, a great evening moisturizer that smooths, firms, and evens skin tone. Formulated with vitamin C ester for brightening and smoothing [and] amino acids and jojoba, soybean, and olive oils for intense hydration." — Garshick

Customer review: "Perricone MD never ceases to amaze me. I do love all of their products but this one is by far my favorite. The Cold Plasma serum when applied is slightly cold with a smooth velvety texture. I have noticed an improvement in fine lines and this does minimize the size of your pores, which is awesome. I have been using this night and day and I actually look forward to my skincare routine."

Pro: Deeply moisturizes the skin

Con: High price point

"Right now, I'm loving the AlumierMD HydraDew. It's lightweight but provides a solid layer of moisture with key ingredients like hyaluronic acid, shea butter, niacinamide, and peptides. It's really an all-in-one home run!" — Weinstein Velez

Customer review: "The packaging is very sleek-looking and comes with a very unique dispenser. It's easy and mess-free, and you have more control over the product use. I love how the formula is light yet rich where it gets into the immediately. The skin feels soft, smooth and fresh in the morning."

Pro: Applies smoothly and easily

Con: Feels tacky on the skin when dry

"This nourishing but lightweight lotion is great for all skin types, as it contains key ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides to support the skin barrier but still absorbs easily. It is fragrance-free, paraben-free, lanolin-free, and sulfate-free, making it especially good for those with sensitive skin." — Garshick

Customer review: "This facial moisturizer is great to wear alone or under foundation. I've used it daily for a couple years after my dermatologist recommended it as I have sensitive skin and autoimmune issues that affect my skin. I'm 65, but great moisturizer for any age. I love Vanicream products and highly recommend!"

Pro: Ideal for all skin types, especially sensitive

Con: None

"This triple-action moisturizer contains key hydrating ingredients such as dimethicone, glycerin, and a urea complex. It works for all skin types, but it's especially powerful at restoring the skin’s hydration and reducing lines." — Sarbaziha

Customer review: "This moisturizer is silk in a bottle. It's truly a luxurious experience and my skin stays hydrated all day."

Pro: Lightweight formula with heavy hydration

Con: High price point

"This lightweight water gel-cream is a great moisturizer that can be used daily, combining the benefits of a gel, as it absorbs easily, and a cream, as it maintains long-lasting hydration. It contains hyaluronic acid to help hydrate and lock in moisture, keeping the skin feeling moisturized." — Garshick

Customer review: "Drenched skin in a tin! This is so great for dry and oily-skinned people as well as sensitive! It’s fragrance-free, does not clog pores, and is non-greasy. It feels very luxe, but thin and lightweight. The gel moisturizer works well alone or under makeup. You can use this with the rest of the hydro line, but it also plays well with other products and brands. Overall I would definitely recommend. Neutrogena is always a safe bet and great drugstore brand, in my experience and opinion."

Pro: Leaves the skin soft, supple, and hydrated

Con: None