If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: You can’t have a complete skincare routine without an effective face moisturizer. Moisturizing regularly helps keep your skin’s natural moisture barrier properly hydrated, which is critical if you want smooth, healthy-looking skin. Of course, there’s little benefit in just slathering on the first face cream you can find. For skin that looks (and feels) its best, you want to seek out a moisturizer that suits your skin type and unique skin concerns, whatever they may be. If you have dry skin, you’ll want to use a hydrating moisturizer with ingredients that can soothe and nourish your skin. For those with oily or blemish-prone skin, a lightweight, oil-free face lotion may be a better option.
Admittedly, with so many formulas out there, finding the ideal moisturizer for your skin can be intimidating. To help, we’ve compiled a list of our best facial moisturizers for every skin type and concern. Read on to learn how to choose a moisturizer that’s right for your skin.
How To Pick The Best Face Moisturizer For Your Skin
Choosing the best moisturizer for your face first requires understanding what type of skin you have. There are several different skin types (and subtypes), but the most common are: dry, oily, sensitive, blemish-prone, and combination. If you need help figuring out yours, check out our article, How To Determine Your Skin Type. Once that’s out of the way, you can find Kiehl’s best face moisturizer for your needs below.
Best Daily Moisturizer For All Skin Types:
Ultra Facial Cream with Squalane
There are many different types of moisturizers, so we’ll start with a formula that’s suitable for all skin types: the cult-classic Ultra Facial Cream with Squalane. This hydrating staple (our #1 best-selling face cream worldwide) stars olive-derived squalane, a Kiehl’s signature ingredient. It absorbs quickly, leaving the skin feeling hydrated for up to 24 hours. The iconic moisturizer also helps replenish and protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier. We recommend applying a dime-sized amount to clean skin morning and night for soft, healthy-looking skin.
For extra UV protection, reach for Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30, which boasts the same 24-hour hydration but with an added dose of broad-spectrum sunscreen to keep your skin looking its best. For more of Kiehl’s best face lotions with sunscreen, here’s a complete guide to our best moisturizers with SPF. You can also opt to layer your facial moisturizer underneath a separate broad-spectrum sunscreen, such as Super Fluid Daily UV Defense SPF 50+.
Kiehl's Tip: The best moisturizer for you may not be consistent all year round. Many people benefit from using a heavier face cream in the winter, when your skin is more likely to dry out, and using a lighter facial lotion in hot or humid weather.
Best Moisturizer For Oily Skin:
Ultra Facial Oil-Free Moisturizer
While you may be hesitant to moisturize oily skin for fear that doing so will just make it oilier, all skin needs hydration. For long-lasting hydration that won’t weigh down your oily skin, we recommend Ultra Facial Oil-Free Moisturizer. The non-comedogenic gel cream provides a refreshing burst of moisture that leaves your skin feeling hydrated and fresh for up to 24 hours. With consistent use, it also helps visibly minimize the appearance of enlarged pores and shine for a healthy, balanced appearance.
Best Moisturizer For Combination Skin:
Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream
If your skin has both dry and oily areas, you likely have combination skin. The best way to care for it is with a moisturizer that provides lightweight hydration, such as Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream. Made with concentrated calendula extract, this ultra-light moisturizer provides all-day hydration to help soften the skin. Additionally, the soothing formula helps boost radiance after just one week, while continued use helps improve the appearance of dry fine lines, redness, and unevenness for fresher, more radiant-looking skin.
Best Moisturizer For Blemish-Prone Skin:
Breakout Control Acne Treatment Facial Lotion
Almost everyone breaks out occasionally, but if you find that your skin sports spots more often than not, you’re probably blemish-prone. For you, we recommend reaching for an acne moisturizer like Breakout Control Acne Treatment Facial Lotion. This blemish-fighting Kiehl’s favorite is clinically-demonstrated to help diminish acne breakouts while improving the appearance of dull, rough-feeling skin.* When used consistently, it also helps prevent new blemishes from forming, leaving the skin visibly smoother and clearer looking. You can use this effective facial moisturizer daily as part of your regular skincare routine or keep it on hand to use as needed when you’re breaking out.
*Tested in a dermatologist-controlled clinical study.
Kiehl’s Tip: Caring for blemish-prone skin can be tricky, even on the best of days. If you’re battling frequent breakouts, check out our article How To Manage, Treat, and Prevent Pimples for tips.
Best Moisturizer For Sensitive Skin:
Centella Sensitive Cica-Cream
Protect sensitive skin with a mild, fragrance-free face cream, like Centella Sensitive Cica-Cream. This hypoallergenic cica cream with Centella asiatica extract and vitamin B5 provides intensive hydration to help calm and protect sensitive skin. The ultra-gentle, dermatologist-tested formula is clinically-demonstrated to help repair the natural moisture barrier of compromised skin.* Additionally, it absorbs quickly to help minimize rubbing and offers long-lasting hydration to help restore the skin’s healthy appearance. The ultra-gentle moisturizer is suitable for even the most reactive skin and can be used daily for stronger, visibly healthier-looking skin.
*Based on an instrumental test of the skin barrier and clinical grading in an eight-week study. Tested for tolerance on subjects with self-perceived sensitive skin.
Best Moisturizer For Damaged Skin:
Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream
If sensitive skin isn’t cared for properly, redness, flaking, and discomfort can occur. And that’s when you need to call in the big guns. We recommend Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream for these situations. Made with colloidal oatmeal, the reparative formula for dry skin helps restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Additionally, it works to alleviate the symptoms of irritation, such as redness and discomfort. Use it as needed to help soothe and strengthen dry, damaged skin.
Best Moisturizer For Mature Skin:
Super Multi-Corrective Anti-Aging Face and Neck Cream
If visible aging is your main skin concern, we recommend reaching for a wrinkle cream, like Super Multi-Corrective Anti-Aging Face and Neck Cream. The supercharged formula, which contains phytomimetic vitamin A (a gentle retinol alternative) and chaga mushroom, helps target several different signs of skin aging. It’s clinically-demonstrated to visibly reduce wrinkles and smooth skin’s texture within just four weeks.* Over time, it also helps boost elasticity and evens skin tone to reveal a visibly firmer, more radiant appearance.**
*Results based on a 12-week clinical study of 53 panelists in the US. **Based on 96% agreement after continuous use in a consumer study.
Best Moisturizer For Dull Skin:
Clearly Corrective Brightening & Smoothing Moisture Treatment
Sun exposure, airborne pollutants, and the natural aging process can all contribute to dull, uneven-looking skin. To promote a more uniform skin tone, we recommend Clearly Corrective Brightening & Smoothing Moisture Treatment, which contains activated vitamin C and glycolic acid. The effective formula provides continuous, 24-hour hydration while helping to smooth and brighten dull skin. It’s clinically-demonstrated to help correct the appearance of skin discolorations and improve skin texture and can be used morning and night for visibly clearer skin.*
*Results based upon a clinical study of the upper layers of the skin.
Best Nighttime Face Cream:
Midnight Recovery Omega-Rich Botanical Night Cream
While you can use the same moisturizer in the morning and evening, we love reaching for a slightly richer face cream at night—for many, that added boost of hydration can go a long way. If you’re interested in adding a night cream to your nighttime skincare routine, we suggest Midnight Recovery Omega-Rich Botanical Cloud Cream. Formulated with a blend of omega-rich fatty acids and botanical extracts, this rejuvenating moisturizer helps visibly plump the skin and replenishes your skin’s natural lipid barrier.* Massage a pea-sized amount of the lightweight, whipped moisturizer onto your face as the last step of your nighttime skincare routine for more radiant, youthful-looking skin come sunrise.
*Based on a consumer study of 55 participants at four weeks.
Best Moisturizer For All Men’s Skin Types:
Facial Fuel Daily Energizing Moisture Treatment For Men
Many face moisturizers are unisex (including all those we’ve mentioned so far), but men who prefer using products made specifically with their needs in mind can reach for Facial Fuel Daily Energizing Moisture Treatment For Men. This non-greasy men’s moisturizer re-energizes and revives men’s dull, fatigued skin. The creamy formula also provides antioxidant protection to help keep the skin protected from damaging free radicals, leaving it feeling soft, hydrated, and healthy.
Best Moisturizer For Men’s Oily Skin:
Oil Eliminator 24-Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer For Men
While anyone can have oily skin, men are especially prone to this skin type. Many guys also experience oily skin-related issues, like shininess and enlarged pores. If these concerns sound familiar, Oil Eliminator 24-Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer For Men is a must-have. This men’s moisturizer with glycerin and totara wood extract helps absorb excess oil and sweat from the skin’s surface, leaving it feeling clean and fresh. Over time, the mattifying formula also helps visibly reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. Apply a dime-sized amount to clean skin twice daily for skin that looks smooth and shine-free for up to 24 hours.