I’m far from the best at staying on top of my skincare regimen, but one thing I can’t leave the house or go to bed without doing is some serious moisturizing. As soon as I so much as think about forgoing the crucial step, my skin feels dry, tight, and lackluster. But, just because hydrating is vital, it doesn’t mean you have to break the bank on a $100 product — quite the opposite in fact. There are myriad amazing drugstore moisturizers that work wonders, leaving your skin feeling soft to the touch, glowy, and healthy.
However, as with anything skin-related, there’s much to consider when picking out a moisturizer. First, think about your skin type. Extra oily skin? You might want to try something oil-free and lightweight, like a gel moisturizer. For dry skin, a thicker moisturizer with ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and squalane are best. Sensitive skin? Skip the fragrance and go with something lightweight and gentle. Overall, you’ll want something that leaves your skin feeling soothed, smooth, and not wanting anything else. I know, all of this to find a good moisturizer, right?
Still, there’s no need to get overwhelmed or even drive to your nearest drugstore and feel lost in the skincare aisle. Instead, stay comfortably in your bed, and check out some of the best drugstore moisturizers below. Trust me, your skin will thank you.
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CeraVe’s Moisturizing Cream ($23, Walmart) is an undeniably solid option for those with dry skin. It promises to provide 24-hour hydration and uses hyaluronic acid to help lock in your skin’s moisturizer, as well as three essential ceramides to strengthen your skin’s barrier.
With a water gel formula, Neutrogena’s Hyrdo Boost Moisturizer ($17, Rite Aid) has a lightweight feel, making it an excellent choice for normal to oily skin. (Although, it’s still suitable for every skin type.) Post-application, your skin will feel soft, plump, and ready for the day.
For a supremely affordable, clean beauty option, e.l.f.’s Holy Hydration! Cream ($12, Target) is sulfate-, paraben-, and phthalate-free. This product works for dry, oily, and combination skin types to brighten, even out your skin tone, and lock in moisture all day.
You can cut an extra step out of your morning routine with BLK/OPL’s Moisturizing Lotion ($11.93, Walmart). Its formula is infused with SPF 15 to keep you hydrated and protected.
Help calm irritated, sensitive skin with Aveeno’s Calm and Restore Face Moisturizer ($24, CVS) with its hypoallergenic and fragrance-free formula. The lightweight gel cream works to not only to hydrate in the short term, but to strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier so that it stays feeling moisturized for 24 hours.
For those who eschew heavy, greasy finishes, Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue Gel-Cream ($8, Walgreens) is a holy grail. The oil-free moisturizer is noncomedogenic, meaning it’s formulated not to clog pores, and it uses vitamin E and a Fruit Water Antioxidant Complex to give you soft, smooth skin.
SheaMoisture’s Coconut Hibiscus Moisturizer ($13, Walgreens) is a powerhouse product that targets dark spots while working to brighten skin overall. Its formula combines vitamins E and K with fatty acids and natural emollient hibiscus flower in an effort to even skin’s tone and texture.
Sukin is literally doing it all with this moisturizer. It’s vegan, cruelty-free, made only with natural ingredients, and as a whole, the brand has made a promise to remain carbon neutral. As if that’s not reason enough to buy Sukin’s Facial Moisturizer ($9, Rite Aid), it also boasts over 500 five-star reviews.
My mom swears by Olay’s Complete Moisturizer ($10, CVS), and I’m a firm believer moms know best. Beyond it being her favorite moisturizer and a fixture throughout my entire life, it has a lightweight feel, SPF 15, and won’t irritate sensitive skin. A triple win, if you ask me.
Retinol quickly became one of 2020’s most talked-about ingredients in skincare for its restorative properties, and the L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer ($19.99, Walgreens) is one worth trying. Formulated with pro-retinol to enhance skin cell turnover — thus revealing new, brighter skin — the moisturizer also contains hyaluronic acid to soothe and moisturize the dry skin retinol can bring about.
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