Your Guide to Facial Moisturizers: What to Look for and Which to Buy for Your Skin Type

Kristen Bousquet
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Your Guide to Facial Moisturizers: What to Look for and Which to Buy for Your Skin Type
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Skin care is a scary thing if you aren’t braced with the right information beforehand. When it comes to deciding which product is best for you and your skin, we totally understand that it can be intimidating, so we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about choosing one of the most important parts of any skin care regimen—a moisturizer.

Plus, we’ve separated our moisturizer tips by skin type! Scroll to your skin type and start learning. Then, you can click through the slideshow to check out some of our product recommendations for each skin type listed!

Dry Skin
To put it simply, dry skin needs a little love. When choosing a moisturizer for your dry skin, you’ll want something that will give you tons of hydration and soothe your skin as well. Some helpful ingredients to look for are lactic acid (soothes dry skin), hyaluronic acid (helps skin to retain water), glycerin (attracts water and makes it stay there), and lanolin (draws water into the outer layer of skin). You also may want to consider a cream rather than a lotion since it’s richer and will give your face the moisture that it needs.

MORE: The Important Skin Care Routine for Every 20-Something

Combination Skin
Combination skin can be some of the most frustrating to deal with since you really don’t know what it wants! If you know you have some spots that are always dry or always oily, don’t be afraid to use two different moisturizers: one for oily skin and one for dry skin to help keep a healthy balance. Speaking of balance, look for a moisturizer that might have balancing qualities to help get your skin back into agreement. If you’re looking into natural skincare, ingredients like lavender and juniper will help to achieve that balance.

Oily Skin
Yes, you still need a moisturizer! After washing your face, you’ve rid your face of it’s naturally produced oils (that’s why it feels tight and squeaky clean!). So since your face doesn’t have oil on it after washing, your face is thirsty and needs oil to make it feel satisfied, and that’s why it produces oil. Rather than your face continuously producing oil all day, if you moisturize (a.k.a. give your skin a drink) then your face won’t feel the need to produce those oils! For best results, opt for a moisturizer that is oil-free. Also, make sure not to over-moisturize. You want your moisturizer to sink into your skin rather than having the feeling of it sitting atop your skin. Gel moisturizers are a favorite among those that are a bit oilier than others.

MORE: The Best Face Mask For Your Skin Type

Sensitive Skin
Moisturizer will help sensitive skin because it holds water in the outermost layer of your skin which acts as a barrier from unwanted forces. If you know you have sensitive skin, make sure to test out any new moisturizer you’re trying on a small patch of your skin and see how it reacts first. If your skin gives you the okay, you’re good to go. When choosing a moisturizer for sensitive skin, many people have better results with a product that is free of fragrances, acids or dyes. If you’re dipping into the natural skincare realm, look for a product with chamomile, aloe, green tea or rose for their soothing qualities.

Normal Skin
Even if you were #blessed with the best skin ever, it’s important to still wear a moisturizer to keep your face hydrated and protected. Opt for a product with sunscreen in it to protect your complexion.

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Dry Skin

Kiehl's Since 1851 Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration for Drier Skin Types; $26.50 at nordstrom.com

Dry Skin

KORRES Greek Yoghurt Moisturizing Face Cream; $36 at beautylish.com

Dry Skin

Skin Drink Moisturizer; $23.95 at lushusa.com

Dry Skin

Clinique 'Dramatically Different' Moisturizing Lotion+ with Pump; $26 at nordstrom.com

Dry Skin

Laura Mercier Mega Moisturizer with SPF 15 Normal To Dry; $53 at bloomingdales.com

Dry Skin

BareMinerals 'Purely Nourishing' Cream; $28 at nordstrom.com

Oily Skin

Enzymion Moisturizer; $39.95 at lushusa.com

Oily Skin

Fresh
Umbrian Clay® Oil-Free Lotion; $38 at sephora.com

Oily Skin

Murad
Skin Perfecting Lotion - Blemish Prone/Oily Skin; $35 at sephora.com

Oily Skin

Shiseido
IBUKI Refining Moisturizer; $45 at sephora.com

Oily Skin

AmorePacific
Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra-Gel Oil-Free; $100 at sephora.com

Oily Skin

Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer; $65 at nordstrom.com

Sensitive Skin

Origins
Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins™ Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Face Cream; $63 at sephora.com

Sensitive Skin

Fresh
Rose Hydrating Gel Cream; $42 at sephora.com

Sensitive Skin

Korres
Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturizing & Brightening Cream; $38 at sephora.com

Sensitive Skin

Kate Somerville
Goat Milk Cream; $65 at sephora.com

Sensitive Skin

Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream; $47 at clinique.com

Sensitive Skin

Celestial Moisturizer; $24.95 at lushusa.com

Normal Skin

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream; $42 at birchbox.com

Normal Skin

Gorgeous Moisturizer; $89.95 at lushusa.com

Normal Skin

Kate Somerville 'Nourish' Daily Moisturizer; $65 at nordstrom.com

Normal Skin

Origins
GinZing™ Energy-Boosting Moisturizer; $26.50 at sephora.com

Normal Skin

Clinique
Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief; $38.50 at sephora.com

Combination Skin

Imperialis Moisturizer; $24.95 at lushusa.com

Combination Skin

Korres
Pomegranate Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturiser; $34 at sephora.com

Combination Skin

Yes To Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturizer; $11.19 at target.com

Combination Skin

Murad Balancing Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 PA++; $35 at nordstrom.com

Combination Skin

Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil; $50 at dermstore.com

Combination Skin

REN 'Clarimatte™' T-Zone Balancing Gel-Cream; $52 at nordstrom.com

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