11 Face Moisturizers ELLE Editors Can’t Shut Up About

Pamella Roland - Backstage - September 2019 - New York Fashion Wee

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You know you’ve mastered this whole “adulting” thing when you have a proper savings plan and budget, set goals and actually meet them, get an adequate amount of sleep each night, and have a go-to moisturizer that meets all your current skin needs. NYC-based board certified dermatologist Dr. Ariel Ostad explains that a moisturizer is only as good as the ingredients it contains. Those with dry complexions “should specifically look for facial moisturizers that contain emollients, humectants, ceramides, niacinamide and growth factors, as these ingredients create a proper barrier to seal in moisture.” All of us (greasy, combination, acne-prone, undecided) should avoid “ingredients that could block pores or cause a reaction, such as preservatives and chemicals.”

Whether you get your moisture fix from a splurge-worthy cult-favorite or timeless drugstore formula, below, shop 11 ELLE editor-approved face moisturizers to keep you moist all winter long.

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The Water Cream



“I recently got serious about exercising and have been rewarded with…unprecedented skin drama. My SPF moisturizer melts into my eyes when I sweat (this stings), running outside leaves my face red and dry, so much as looking at a hot yoga mat breaks me out. Tatcha Water Cream brought much-needed relief to my suddenly-combination, suddenly-sensitive skin. It melts into your complexion and doesn’t slide off, and it has a kind of mattifying effect. Which is good, because now that I’m a Tatcha girl I can’t afford primer. “—Katherine Stoeffel, Features Director

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+



“I prefer my skincare routine to be as uncomplicated and unobtrusive as possible. I’ve been using Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion for years and it delivers exactly this. I have dry skin, so this moisturizer helps to soften and soothe irritation while also remaining light after application. I dab a small amount twice a day and let the serum do the rest—not much maintenance required for this moisturizer.”—Savannah Walsh, Editorial Fellow

Renewed Hope in a Jar Water Cream Hyaluronic Glow Moisturizer



“The Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Water Cream and I have only been seeing each other for a few weeks, but I think it’s the one. The lightweight, creamy texture feels like a splash of cold water on a hot summer day. If my skin had feet (stay with me) it would be doing the happy dance all day long.”—Nerisha Penrose, Assistant Editor

Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer With SPF15



“I’ve been using Olay Complete as a morning and evening face moisturizer for as long as I can remember. It’s also a staple in my mom’s skincare routine, which she says is the reason she’s been able to maintain a glowing, poreless complexion for years! Olay Complete’s oil-free formula protects your skin from the sun (SPF 15), plus it has vitamins E, B3, and C.” —Rose Minutaglio, Staff Writer

The Moisturizing Soft Cream

La Mer


“I’m the type to risk— er, spend —it all on skincare, and after being graced by the #GiftedByLaMer gods, I’ve made it a point to budget for the brand’s Moisturizing Soft Cream. It’s a lighter version of the super-rich La Mer Crème, and leaves my skin feeling hydrated, soft, and smooth, without unwanted dewiness (read: oil-slick free). It’s worthy to note that my skin rests at the intersection of sensitive, oily, and dry, and this is a moisturizer I can use year-round, no matter what tricks my epidermis is trying to pull. Plus…let me be honest…it makes me feel r i c h! And feeling is halfway to actually being, right?”—Angel Lenise, Supervising Video Producer

Magic Cream Moisturizer

Charlotte Tilbury


“This moisturizer is an instant pick-me-up for dry, tired skin. Just a small amount goes a long way in getting a perfect glowy look, without an oily aftermath. It has natural ingredients like camelia oil and aloe vera—which is what gives it a pleasant, mild sunscreen-like scent—but also packs a punch with hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and E as well. It’s  a staple in my nighttime and morning routine!”—Mia Feitel, Design Director 

Aqua Cream



“I’ve been dabbling here and there with adding Korean skin products to my skincare regimen. What I love about this moisturizer is not only does it keep my skin from drying out but it contains a bit of retinol, that anti-aging miracle worker my dermatologist swears by. I’ve incorporated this moisturizer seamlessly into my daily routine and my sensitive skin had no issue with it. It’s pricy but a really great product that has lasted me for months—even with my twice-daily use.”— Alyssa Bailey, ELLE.com News Editor

Concentrated Lait Cream

Embryolisse Skin Care


“This is one of those stereotypical products you see on those  ’French Girl’ lists, but it really does work. I wear it during the day with an SPF oil layered on top, then glob it on at night like a mask for an extra dose of moisture.”— Justine Carreon, ELLE.com  Market Editor

Featherweight Daily Moisturizing Cream



“As the queen of oily skin, I prefer to use a formula that’s lightweight and breathable. Saturday Skin’s Featherweight Daily Moisturizer does the trick by being super-hydrating without feeling heavy. I also stay away from moisturizers that are heavily fragranced—I can’t imagine how that can be good for your skin!— and this one is truly unscented.”—Ariana Yaptangco, Social Media Editor

Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer

Drunk Elephant


“One of our editors passed this moisturizer onto me this past winter, and it became my go-to for those cold, dry months. My skin looooves to be moisturized, and even when it was going through its roughest moments (figuratively and literally), I knew this Drunk Elephant cream would be there to help get it back to normal. It’s fairly pricey for a moisturizer, but if you’re looking to indulge, it should definitely be a contender.” — Madison Feller, ELLE.com Staff Writer 

Rose Deep Hydration Moisturizer



“Of all the face moisturizers that occupy the space on my bedroom dresser—from ‘firming’ night creams to ‘brightening,’ vitamin-C rich versions—Fresh’s Rose Deep Hydration Cream is the one that has a permanent residency. Its thick magical mixture gives my skin a huge boost of hydration and I love how soft and supple my skin feels once it absorbs into my skin.” ― Nerisha Penrose, Assistant Editor 

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