Moisturiser: it’s the key skincare step that locks everything else in that comes before, come morning or night. The best moisturiser will make skin feel buttery soft and enveloped in cushiony hydration, with a cloud-like texture and skin-boosting finish. But with so many on the market, how on earth do you even attempt to find your dream product?
Luckily for you, I’ve done the legwork. Over the years, I’ve tried moisturisers of many prices, from many places, during many different phases of my life. I’ve found that for me, moisturising is my most comforting step, particularly in the evening before I go to bed. For that reason, I want my products to feel ultra-soothing on my skin, and as with most skincare and makeup, I long for a dewy, super radiance-boosting finish.
How do I choose the right moisturiser for my skin?
When it comes to texture and finish, it really is the dealer’s choice. While some prefer something whipped, water-based and ultra-lightweight, others crave (and need, because of drier skin) a richer cream that feels extra luxurious. The same goes for finish; while I like a glow-booster, you may experience excess oil and therefore need something a little more mattifying. Whatever your skin type however, you’ll benefit from a moisturiser – it’s just about finding the right one that works for you.
Ingredients-wise, you’ll want to prioritise things like hydrating hero hyaluronic acid, barrier-building ceramides and squalane, and ultra-soothing niacinamide. Some of my top choices also feature vitamin C, rose essence, and collagen, for your best skin ever.
What does moisturiser do?
The purpose of your moisturiser is not only to um, moisturise skin, but also to lock in all the other products you’ve used in your routine – from your cleanser to toner, exfoliant to serum. For this reason, aim to invest in your cream or lotion to top off your regimen, as you want to finish on a high and supercharge your other formulas.
Which brands do the best moisturisers?
I’ve picked out my six hall of fame style moisturisers for all budgets. You can trust in these formulas to moisturise, hydrate, soothe, and leave skin feeling plumped and radiant.
And don’t forget to add an additional SPF step on top of your morning moisturiser for UV protection!
1. Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream, £12
An excellent affordable option for all skin types, this velvety cream feels rich and luxurious on the skin, but is still fairly lightweight and definitely non-cakey. It is packed full of skin barrier-boosting ceramides, which will help to prevent any of the good stuff from getting out (like hydration) and stop the bad stuff (pollution etc) forcing its way in. In addition, it also smells lovely and as mentioned, has a glorious high street price point that means you can buy it time and time again. I reach for this when my skin is feeling extra dry and flakey and needs soothing.
2. Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream, £63
With Tatcha only landing in the UK earlier this year, I long had to live without this gorgeous lilac cream – and my skin felt the extreme withdrawal. This formula is the ultimate plumper and glow-booster, making it ideal for morning time use before SPF and makeup. It feels rich yet light and smooth, and hydrates skin like nothing else, using a blend of Okinawa Algae and Hyaluronic Acid. It also helps to protect against pollution and other skin stressors with Japanese Purple Rice. While the product description says this is best for dry skin, I have combination-oily skin and get on with it perfectly. In short, it’s worth forking out the extra cash for – trust me.
3. Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream, £30.90
Some skincare products are just a pleasure to use – and this is absolutely one of them. Rose Day Cream has such a unique texture that’s hard to describe, but it completely quenches skin and leaves the face feeling soft, comforted, and soothed, especially before bed. It really is suitable for all skin types – including those who are sensitive or prone to redness – but if you find it a little much, the brand does a ‘light’ version, which is lovely for warmer months when you need less, too.
4. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Fluide Moisturiser, £16.50
Some people are surprised when I say this is my go-to moisturiser, because it’s simple, fuss-free, and super pared down. It may not come with super sexy packaging or a long list of claims, but it does the job and even works on skin that’s in trouble or ultra-sensitive. This is the moisturiser I was recommended by my dermatologist when I was suffering from a random bout of adult acne – and it’s the one I will always go back to when I suffer any breakouts. Don’t underestimate it; it’s a light-feeling lotion that sinks into skin beautifully, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, making it extra appealing.
5. Dr Dennis Gross C + Collagen Deep Cream, £77
Another cream that’s worth the higher price point in my opinion, this product will not only hydrate your skin deeply and beautifully, but it’ll give you your daily dose of pollution-protecting, brightening vitamin C – along with anti-ageing collagen. The moisturiser is my favourite kind, given that it is made by combining natural extracts with the cool science-y stuff that Dr Dennis Gross is known for. It uses Camellia Japonica Seed, Sunflower Seed and Rice Bran to provide effective hydration and prevent water loss – so dehydrated skin really doesn’t stand a chance.
6. The Inkey List Omega Water Cream, £9.99
If you need a good moisturiser under a tenner, I really couldn’t recommend a better one than Inkey’s lotion, which is an amazing dupe for Tatcha’s pricey Water Cream (a close second to the Dewy Skin Cream on my list). This is suitable for all skin types, no matter what, as it’s ultra-lightweight with a gel-water texture, but its long list of hard-working ingredients (think Hyaluronic and Collagen Amino Acids) ensure skin is deeply hydrated and moisturised with minimal effort. This is especially lovely in the summer, as it feels cooling and refreshing on skin.