Moisturizer is a non-negotiable morning essential to put your best face forward, but don’t dismiss it as a boring basic. The best ones not only achieve your skin goals, which may vary depending on your #lookoftheday (dewy? glowing? matte?), but also fuel your skin with all the good stuff to make it stronger, healthier and enviably radiant. If you’re looking to get more out of your moisturizer, check out these game changers and tips from New York City-based board certified dermatologist and Clinique guiding dermatologist Dr. David Orentreich.
If your skin goal is: Dewy + Plump
Get it with: Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator
Why it works: “Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance that attracts and holds water,” explains Dr. Orentreich. “A drop of hyaluronic acid on a leaf looks almost like a dew drop. So if you have that on your skin, it creates that dewy skin finish,” he adds. Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator has two types of hyaluronic acid—one that works immediately on the uppermost layers of your skin, and another that penetrates deeper to ensure long lasting hydration. It’s also what helps plump up fine lines and give skin that youthful bounce. Another dew-gooder: The gel-cream texture is light enough even for oily skin types, and it immediately sinks into your skin, without feeling sticky or tacky.
Extra advice: Apply it under or over your favorite foundation for a dewy, sheer look that also hydrates skin. Have super dry skin? Use it before or after applying another moisturizer (you’ll love how skin feels). Frequent flier? Toss it into your carry-on. Even with the low humidity of an airplane cabin, the formula’s activated aloe water keeps dryness at bay. Apply a generous layer all over your face as a mid-flight 5-minute facial. Or tap it right over your makeup to instantly refresh your look.
If your skin goal is: Healthy Glow
Get it with: Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+
Why it works: “Healthy skin is strong and balanced, so it won’t get easily irritated by outside stressors like makeup and the environment. It’s able to maintain a beautiful radiance,” says Dr. Orentreich. Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ helps to reset the levels of water and oil that naturally occur in your skin, making it more balanced, which is what creates that glow. It also has a blend of sunflower seed, barley extract and cucumber extract to strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier, improving its ability to absorb and lock-in moisture over time. “It also feels like silk going on. It hydrates, but won’t make your skin feel tacky,” says Dr. Orentreich.
Extra advice: Don’t forget to cleanse and exfoliate skin before applying moisturizer. “You need to remove all the oil (sebum) on your skin first or it reduces the ability of a moisturizer to sink in and do its job properly,” explains Dr. Orentreich.
If your skin goal is: Matte Perfection
Get it with: Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer
Why it works: “Matte skin doesn’t reflect light, so you mainly want to control oil so you won't look shiny,” explains Dr. Orentreich. Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer has Laminaria saccharina extract (derived from seaweed) which helps to curb surface oil, preventing it from building up in pores and spreading across your face. This oil-free formula also has a cocktail of ingredients that help mattify and minimize the appearance of pores, while blurring imperfections and giving skin a velvety matte finish. Other good-for-your-skin ingredients: Wrinkle-reducing peptide help to stimulate collagen production, making skin look and feel firmer with a resilient, bounce-back quality.
Extra advice: No one-trick pony, Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer is the ideal pre-makeup primer because it creates a super smooth canvas. See a little shine breakthrough midday? Just rub a bit between your fingertips, then pat it over your makeup to instantly nix shine.
Photos: Ben Ritter | Words: Neha Kulsh