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The 100 best moisturizers ranked, as tested by NBC Select editors

We spent 4+ months trying more than 135 formulas to find the absolute best moisturizers on the market.

Consensus is rare — but when it comes to skin care, dermatologists agree: moisturizers, like sunscreen, are a critical component of any daily skin care routine. They not only prevent dryness and irritation, but they’re crucial for repairing and maintaining your skin barrier, according to experts we spoke with.

Finding the right formula for your skin type, texture and age may take a little trial and error, however. That’s why we set out to find the absolute best face moisturizers on the market right now. Our staff tested more than 135 formulas over almost five months and ranked our top 100. Below, I share more about our testing criteria and methodology for creating this list, followed by our official ranking of the 100 best face moisturizers of 2024.

How we chose our contenders

Our final testing list — of 135+ formulas — was based on a compilation of our previous reporting on the best moisturizers for dry skin and mature skin, night creams, skin barrier creams and recent Wellness Award winners. Our team members also submitted nominations for products they regularly love and use and brands they were curious to try. In short, we did all the research and groundwork, so you don’t have to.

After testing every editor submitted both qualitative and quantitative feedback for each moisturizer.
After testing every editor submitted both qualitative and quantitative feedback for each moisturizer.Vivian Le / NBC

When considering formulas, we focused on day and night creams and excluded formulas with AHAs or BHAs, retinol and acids. We tested moisturizers with SPF and some without — we also tried a few options with vitamin C. For the most part, we focused on creams specifically designed for the face, though we did try some multiuse formulas you can use on your body, hands, and neck as well.

We also tried formulas across price points and included as many brands as possible. We considered drugstore brands, like Cerave and Cetaphil, with as much thought and care as more expensive options from brands like SkinCeuticals, Tata Harper and Biossance.

What we considered

While our team’s formula preferences differ — every member has their own skin tone, texture and concerns — we asked each of our editors to consider the same eight criteria when evaluating a moisturizer. Every entry could earn a maximum of three points per category, as noted below:

15+ opened moisturizer bottles
We gave more points to thick, unscented formulas, while moisturizers that were sticky or oily lost points.Courtesy Zoe Malin
  • Scent: Is it fragrance-free? If it had a scent, was it overwhelming, bothersome or irritating? We gave more points to fragrance-free options.
  • Consistency: We gave higher scores to thicker, less-diluted watery moisturizers. For gels, we also considered whether the formulas were cooling.
  • Absorption: Did the formula penetrate the skin — and how quickly? Did it leave us oily or shiny? We prioritized fast-absorbing options.
  • Wear over time: We gave more points to formulas that kept our skin hydrated throughout the day and overnight. We subtracted points if it resulted in oiliness.
  • Packaging: We evaluated how well the pump or tub dispensed the products. Were there leaks? For pumps, did too much or too little come out at a time? For aluminum-tubed products, we also took note of whether the casing cracked or ripped, which can sometimes happen.
  • Value: Is this worth the cost in terms of both quality and size?
  • Effectiveness: Did the product solve or exacerbate a skin care issue we were having?
  • Rebuy factor: We received almost all of the moisturizers for free from brands as courtesy testing samples; we subsequently asked our editors to consider whether they would buy them on their own. And if so, was that conditional on having a gift card or discount available?

Methodology

Our editors paid close attention to the texture and scent of every formula.
Our editors paid close attention to the texture and scent of every formula.Courtesy Bianca Alvarez

Our team tried more than 135 moisturizers over more than four months in the depths of winter and early spring in New York City. (We received almost all of the moisturizers for free from brands as courtesy testing samples.) We considered every editor’s skin type and assigned them products that would not knowingly irritate them.

At least two editors tried every product. In doing so, every editor used each moisturizer for at least three days — both day and night — and then provided feedback by assigning points based on the above criteria as well as providing qualitative commentary. The higher the score, the better the product performed in our ranking.

After using quantitative data to get an initial rank based on average scores, we adjusted the placement of certain products based on editor commentary, availability and price point. We tried to include brands only once on the list — only 13 brands have multiple entries.

Our ranking

100: Pink Moon Capricorn Moisturizer

99: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer SPF 50

98: Monika Blunder Beauty Undercover Face Creme

97: Jones Road Miracle Cream

96: Indie Lee Retinol Alternative Cream

95: Moon Juice Cosmic Cream

94: EltaMD Skin Recovery Light Moisturizer

93: Grown Alchemist Skin Renewal Day Cream

92: Bareminerals Ageless 10% Phyto ProCollagen Firming Anti-Age Cream

91: HH Science Balanced Skin Lightweight Oil-Free Moisturizer

90: HH Science Antioxidant Facial Cream

Associate reporter Bianca Alvarez paid particular attention to how formulas interacted with her eczema.
Associate reporter Bianca Alvarez paid particular attention to how formulas interacted with her eczema.Kara Birnbaum / NBC

89: Alo Beauty Luminizing Face Moisturizer

88: Derma E Vitamin C Renewing Moisturizer

87: Rhode Barrier Restore Cream

86: Jackfir The Classic Daily Facial Moisturizer

85: Perricone MD High Potency Classics Retinol Recovery Overnight Moisturizer

84: Revision Skincare D.E.J. Face Cream

83: Inside Beauty Antioxidant Moisturizer

82: Deinde Moisture-Locking Face Stick

81: Bioré UV Aqua Rich Weightless Moisturizer

80: Bareminerals Ageless Phyto-Retinol Face Cream

79: Peach Slices Snail Rescue Moisturizer

78: The A Method C Glow Moisturizer

77: Dieux Instant Angel

76: Retrouvé Intensive Replenishing Facial Moisturizer

75: Versed Rich Moisture Cream

74: SkinMedica Dermal Repair Cream

73: Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream 

72: Weleda Skin Food Face Care Nourishing Day Cream

71: Glow Recipe Watermelon Pink Juice Oil-Free Refillable Moisturizer

70: Violette_Fr Boum Boum Milk

69: The Outset Nourishing Squalane Daily Moisturizer

68: Violets Are Blue Enzyme Jelly Hydra Mask

67: Kora Organics Plant Stem Cell Retinol Alternative Firming Moisturizer

66: Farmacy Daily Greens Oil Free Gel Face Moisturizer

65: Lanolips 101 Dry Skin Super Cream

64: Thayers Let’s Be Clear Water Cream

63: Olehenriksen Strength Trainer Peptide Boost Moisturizer

62: Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

61: Dieux Air Angel Hydrating Gel Cream

Editorial director Lauren Swanson preferred thick moisturizers that combated any flaking or peeling she had from Accutane.
Editorial director Lauren Swanson preferred thick moisturizers that combated any flaking or peeling she had from Accutane.Courtesy Lauren Swanson

60: SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture 

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59: Peach & Lily Matcha Pudding Antioxidant Cream

58: Topicals Like Butter Moisturizer

57: Glossier Priming Moisturizer

56: 760 Skin Dew or Dry Moisturizer

55: Danucera Cream Supreme

54: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

53: Medik8 Advanced Night Ceramide

52: Tatcha The Water Cream

51: Erno Laszlo Firmarine Moisturizer SPF 30

50: Acure Radically Rejuvenating Whipped Night Cream

49: Avené Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream

48: Lancer Skincare The Method: Nourish Women’s Anti-Aging Moisturizer

47: Byoma Moisturizing Rich Cream

46: 111Skin Repair Day Cream

45: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Cream

44: Cosrx Snail Mucin 92% Repair Cream

43: Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Probiotic Gel-Cream

42: Dime Beauty TBT Cream

41: Epicuren Discovery Facial Emulsion Enzyme Moisturizer

40: Farmacy Honey Halo Ceramide Face Moisturizer Cream

We tried reliable drugstore favorites, like Cetaphil and La Roche-Posay, as well as bestsellers from popular brands like Glossier and Jones Road Beauty.
We tried reliable drugstore favorites, like Cetaphil and La Roche-Posay, as well as bestsellers from popular brands like Glossier and Jones Road Beauty.Courtesy Zoe Malin

39: Innisfree Green Tea Seed Hyaluronic Cream

38: Skin by Dr. Sethi Ultra Glow Moisturizer

37: Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream SPF 20

36: Roc Barrier Renew Night Moisturizer

35: Roc Barrier Renew Day Cream with SPF 30

34: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream

33: PCA Skin Hydraluxe Moisturizer

32: Summer Fridays Rich Cushion Cream

31: Kat Burki Vitamin C Intensive Face Cream

30: Osea Collagen Dream Night Cream

29: Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream

28: Fresh Rose & Hyaluronic Acid Deep Hydration Moisturizer

27: Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Firming Moisturizer

26: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Water Cream

25: Filorga Global-Repair Advanced Anti-Aging Daily Face Cream

24: Good.Clean.Goop Nutrient-Rich Daily Moisturizer

23: Joanna Vargas Eden Hydrating Pro Moisturizer

22: Futurewise Slug Cream

21: Tata Harper Crème Riche

Top 20

20: Mighty Patch Clear Collective Clarifying Prebiotic Moisturizer

Mighty Patch Clear Collective Clarifying Prebiotic Moisturizer

$12.99
$12.99
$12.99

I love this vibrant yellow packaging, it always immediately catches my eye in my cabinet. I have dry, sensitive and rosacea-prone skin and this is a great fragrance-free option that I reliably use in the morning. I like that it has a super lightweight, lotion-like texture that my skin quickly absorbs, making it easy to apply under my makeup. (It prevents dry skin flakiness from ruining my foundation, too). Admittedly, it’s not the most hydrating moisturizer, so its not one I’d use on my driest days or during the winter, but it does the job when I want something light that won’t leave me shiny or greasy. The yellow tube is also transparent, so I can see exactly how much product I have left and know when I’ll need to repurchase. – Mili Godio, updates editor

Size: 0.5 oz., 2.36 oz. | Best for: normal, dry, combination and oily skin | Key ingredients: glycerin

19: Dermalogica Stabilizing Repair Cream

Dermalogica Stabilizing Repair Cream

$64.00
$64.00
$64.00

Dermalogica’s lightweight cream was great for my combination skin. In the winter, my face becomes bone dry — like that scene in “SpongeBob SquarePants” where he shrivels up and acts like he doesn’t need water. This cream blends in easily and helped hydrate my skin during harsh winter days. I think it might have been a bit too lightweight for my skin, however. I noticed I would sometimes become dry after only a few hours, so it didn’t rank higher on our list. – Jordan Bowman, commerce editor

Size: 1.7 oz. | Best for: dry, combination skin | Key ingredients: glycerin, squalane

18: Curology Barrier Balm

Curology Barrier Balm

$16.99
$16.99
$16.00

When I first tried this balm, I was shocked by how quickly and easily it melted into my skin. I’m prone to getting flaky, dry patches all over my face, especially during the colder months, and this moisturizer healed them almost instantly. It’s occlusive, which means it sits on top of the skin and acts as a barrier to keep moisture locked in, so I only use it when dealing with really dry skin since it feels oily (almost like Vaseline) and can get a bit sticky, which I didn’t love. However, unlike other occlusive balms I’ve tried, it’s lightweight and easy to apply. I like using it on my hands nearly every day to keep them soft and hydrated, and the mini size is small enough to throw in a bag or pocket quickly. – Mili Godio, updates editor

Size: 0.9 oz., 1.6 oz. | Best for: dry, sensitive skin | Key ingredients: shea butter, hyaluronic acid

17: Bubble Cloud Surf Water Cream Moisturizer

Bubble Cloud Surf Water Cream Moisturizer

$16.00
$17.99
$16.00

The vibrant packaging was the first thing I noticed about this moisturizer — it made me excited to try what was inside. However, before I could try the cream formula, I had to battle with the moisturizer’s push-pump applicator, which, in my experience, usually results in a bit of a mess and excess product coming from the pump at one time. This pump was more controlled than others I’ve tried, but still gave me a little too much product with each use.

When it comes to the formula itself a little goes a long way. It has a light, almost airy texture that spreads easily across my skin with zero feelings of heaviness (which is my no. 1 issue with most moisturizers).

Despite its lightweight feel, my skin’s moisture levels lasted throughout the day. The natural finish also works well with balancing my skin’s oiliness — however during hotter weather, I’d probably reach for a less dewy option. – Ashley Morris, associate SEO reporter

Size: 1.7 oz. | Best for: normal, combo and sensitive skin | Key ingredients: glycerin

16: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

$39.00
$39.00
$39.00

The first thing I noticed about this cream was how small the tub was. The second thing I noticed was how great my skin felt with even a small amount of this cream. It’s extremely hydrating — it absorbs instantly and doesn’t feel heavy. As someone who is sensitive to the weight of moisturizers, that was a huge bonus for me. It’s also unscented, which is something I tend to look for in face cream. Overall, it made my skin feel healthier and look less dull. It didn’t resolve any of my acne pop ups or discoloration, but I also didn’t notice it contributing to any sort of irritation either. – Rosalie Sparaco, senior social media editor

Size: 1.7 oz. | Best for: normal, dry, combination and oily skin | Key ingredients: squalane, glycerin

15: Tower28 SOS Recovery Cream

Tower28 SOS Recovery Cream

$24.00
$24.00
$24.00

This moisturizer is simple but still gets the job done. It has all the ingredients I want in a barrier repair cream, but unlike other options I tried, it has a lightweight consistency. It instantly feels dewy on my skin, and I notice that my eczema flare-ups have less redness and irritation.

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It doesn’t take up much space in my bags, either — but its small size might be a con for some. Since I have dry skin, I tend to go through moisturizers quickly, so I run out of this faster than my other options. I wish it were a little bigger for the price. – Bianca Alvarez, associate reporter

Size: 1.86 oz | Best for: all skin types | Key ingredients: ceramides, hyaluronic acid

14: Thayer’s Barrier Bestie Ultra Whip Cream

Thayer’s Barrier Bestie Ultra Whip Cream

$18.97
$19.99
$18.97

I started testing this moisturizer in the transition from winter to spring when my skin was at its driest, and it kept my face well hydrated. The rich, thick texture kept my skin from drying out during the day and left my face feeling smooth. It’s one of the few moisturizers I tried that I found to be actually fragrance-free, which is important since my skin is easily irritated. Overall, it’s a dependable moisturizer, but I wouldn’t wear it year round since it’s rather thick. – Rebecca Rodriguez, editorial project manager

Size: 1.86 oz | Best for: all skin types | Key ingredients: ceramides, hyaluronic acid, petrolatum

13: Itk Prebiotic Gel Moisturizer

Itk Prebiotic Gel Moisturizer

$14.97
$14.97

Because this moisturizer smells similar to the one my facialist uses, I am instantly transported to a spa whenever I spread this over my skin. The scent is mild, which I appreciate as someone who does not want to use a face cream that smells like a fragrant hand lotion. I only needed a tiny amount to cover my face (the brand recommends a blueberry-sized dot), and it didn’t leak out of the lid’s opening when I flipped the bottle over despite its thinner texture. It hydrated my skin and didn’t irritate it at all. For about $15, I’d throw a tube of this cream in my cart if I ran out and saw it at the store, but it’s only available at Walmart, making quick refills challenging. – Zoe Malin, associate updates editor

Size: 2 oz. | Best for: acne-prone and oily skin | Key ingredients: prebiotics, niacinamide, squalane, glycerin

12: Tata Harper Water Lock Moisturizer

Tata Harper Water Lock Moisturizer

$68.00
$68.00
$68.00

The Water Lock Moisturizer from Tata Harper strikes a great balance between luxe packaging and efficacy. Its shiny gold lid, rounded container and the airless pump-style dispenser are reminiscent of high-end cosmetic brands. That said, the product isn’t all looks — it’s a good moisturizer for people with combination or oily skin, and it has a delightful yet subtle green tea scent that isn’t overpowering. When I used this at night, it gave me a decent amount of coverage and moisture through to the morning, even around my nose and cheeks, where I get a lot of dryness. From a practical standpoint, the short cylindrical shape fits nicely in my small cabinet, though it retails for $68, which is more expensive than common drugstore moisturizers that come in bigger tubs. – Cory Fernandez, commerce editor

Size: 1.7 oz | Best for: oily and combination skin | Key ingredients: peptides, hyaluronic acid

11: Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer

Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer

$12.97
$14.95
$15.99
$18.99

Is it the sexiest product? No. But I love it so much that I bought the biggest tub available and proudly display it on my bathroom sink. When everything else fails me (and my skin), the Vanicream Daily Moisturizer will bring it back to life. It’s on the thicker side but won’t clog pores and is absolutely fabulous for my dry, flaking, peeling skin.

This is one of very few products that I will always buy again when it runs out — my skin practically craves it when it’s gone. – Lauren Swanson, editorial director

Size: 3 oz. | Best for: sensitive skin | Key ingredients: squalane, glycerin, hyaluronic acid

10: Colleen Rothschild Sheer Renewal Cream

Colleen Rothschild Sheer Renewal Cream

$55.00
$55.00

One of the things I love most about this cream is that it’s actually not much of a cream at all — it’s so lightweight that it feels a lot more like a lotion, especially given how easily it absorbs into my skin. As a lifelong oily-skin girl, I always struggle to find a non-mattifying moisturizer that can keep my skin balanced and hydrated. I like that this leaves a slightly dewy finish that makes my skin look (and feel) refreshed, without any excess oiliness. I usually wait about two minutes between steps in my skin care routine, but this cream absorbed so quickly into my skin that I could apply my sunscreen almost immediately afterward. On hotter days it does tend to get slightly greasy when combined with some SPFs, however. – Ashley Morris, associate SEO reporter

Size: 2.5 fl oz | Best for: normal, oily and combination skin | Key ingredients: lactic acid

9: Olay Micro-Sculpting Cream

Olay Micro-Sculpting Cream

$23.99
$27.49
$27.49
$36.99

There’s a reason Olay remains a household name: During the testing process, I went back to this moisturizer repeatedly because it kept my skin hydrated, making it look vibrant and smooth. After using it once, I immediately noticed a brighter, more even skin tone, and with repeated use I could see my skin becoming firmer and lifted. As someone with rosacea and eczema-prone skin, I am wary of what I put on my face, but Olay’s Microsculpting Cream was gentle. I found the texture thin and lightweight without feeling watery, which made a little go a long way on my face and neck. The tub packaging lets me take just what I need and easily put back any excess. — Rebecca Rodriguez, editorial project manager

Size: 1.7 oz. | Best for: normal, oily and dry skin | Key ingredients: glycerin, niacinamide

8: Cerave Moisturizing Cream

Cerave Moisturizing Cream

$14.69
$14.62
$19.99

Without a doubt, this moisturizer from Cerave is one of the only moisturizers my sensitive, dry and eczema-prone skin can tolerate. It has a fast-absorbing, thick consistency (not ointment-like, though), which made my eczema patches look and feel less like a desert landscape.

It’s also free of common irritants (like added fragrances) and has the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance, which gives me peace of mind because I know it won’t worsen my flare-ups.

A little bit goes such a long way, so one tub lasts me a couple of months. Since it’s in tub form, you have to scoop it out, which can be messy — it’s one of the reasons it wasn’t higher on our list. — Bianca Alvarez, associate reporter

Size: 12 oz., 16 oz. and 19 oz. | Best for: normal to dry skin | Key ingredients: ceramides, hyaluronic acid, petrolatum

7: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream

$48.00
$48.00
$48.00

We love this barrier repair cream so much that we gave it an NBC Select Wellness Award. And for good reason: It has a thick, creamy texture so a little goes a long way, and it absorbs quickly without feeling greasy or heavy on the skin. Since I have moderate rosacea, I pay very close attention to what I put on my face — this cream fits the bill if you need a sensitive skin-friendly product. Not only is it fragrance-free, but it also managed to calm any redness, small bumps and dryness from my rosacea overnight. I loved lathering this on in the winter since it could get rid of dry patches that formed throughout my day by the next morning. – Mili Godio, updates editor

Size: 1.7 oz. | Best for: normal, dry, combination and oily skin | Key ingredients: colloidal oatmeal, glycerin, niacinamide

6: Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb

Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb

$38.00
$38.00
$38.00

The Belif True Cream Aqua Bomb is a recent NBC Select Wellness Award winner and one of the better face moisturizers I tried during this process. My skin felt like it was hydrated for hours, with no dry patches or flakiness on my face. It’s lightweight, so I was surprised by how effective it was. I expected to blend it into my face without much noticeable change, but it worked almost immediately. My skin felt replenished and I kept turning back to this, even after testing other moisturizers. — Jordan Bowman, commerce editor 

Size: 0.84 oz., 1.69 oz., 3.38 oz. | Best for: oily and combination skin | Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, niacinamide

5: Cetaphil Healthy Renew Night Cream

Cetaphil Healthy Renew Night Cream

$19.97
$22.99
$19.97
$19.99

As someone with oily and combination skin, I sometimes struggle to find a good overnight cream (or mask) that isn’t too thick but still leaves my skin feeling hydrated. I usually shop around at Sephora and experiment with various brand-name moisturizers, so I was surprised by how much I liked this drugstore option. It doesn’t feel oily or too heavy while sleeping, either. I love that my skin feels nice and plump when I wake up in the morning and it’s a great price point, too. — Shari Uyehara, manager of editorial operations

Size: 1.7 oz. | Best for: all skin types | Key ingredients: peptides, vitamins B3 and B5, botanical extracts

4: Biossance Squalane & Probiotic Gel Moisturizer

Biossance Squalane & Probiotic Gel Moisturizer

$54.00
$54.00

As a skin care fanatic, having the opportunity to test out dozens of moisturizers was really exciting — until my skin started freaking out. This Biossance gel moisturizer was one of the few that didn’t cause me any breakouts or irritation, and in fact, was a formula I kept coming back to in between testing other options as a way to calm my skin down. It’s genuinely fragrance-free, which I appreciate and has an instant cooling effect that feels quite heavenly on the skin. It has that perfect Goldilocks consistency, too — it’s not too thick or watery. I only wish it was a bit cheaper. — Lindsay Schneider, commerce editor

Size: 1.35 oz., 3.38 oz. | Best for: sensitive, dry, normal and combination skin | Key ingredients: ceramides, niacinamide

3: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

$23.99
$23.99
$24.99

I’m very picky about what moisturizer I put on my face daily. I have dry, sensitive skin prone to breakouts, and since I use prescription acne medication (Tretinoin), I need moisturizers that are simple, hydrating and free from artificial scents and fragrances. La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer meets all my requirements, which is a tall order. It doesn’t have a scent and it absorbs into my skin quickly so that I can put makeup over it after about a minute. The moisturizer also spreads well — I only have to use a small amount at a time, so I foresee my tube lasting me a while. Plus, I threw it in my toiletry bag while traveling and its cap stayed closed the whole time without any issues. — Zoe Malin, associate updates editor

Size: 1.35 oz., 3.38 oz. | Best for: sensitive, dry, normal and combination skin | Key ingredients: ceramides, niacinamide

2: Glossier After Baume

Glossier After Baume

$30.00
$30.00

I’ve tried many moisturizers during my journey on isotretinoin, commonly known as Accutane. My sensitive, dry skin frequently flakes and peels, so I flock to super-thick creams. The Glossier After Baume is just that and then some — it helps my skin’s moisture level last all day, which is rare for me.

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As a pro tip, scoop the product out of the tin and warm it in your hands. It blends better into my skin when it has a little added warmth. — Lauren Swanson, editorial director

Size: 1.7 oz., 4.2 oz. | Best for: dry and/or sensitive skin | Key ingredients: glycerin

1: Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry to Very Dry Skin

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry to Very Dry Skin

$10.96
$16.99
$18.99

Under this bright green lid is a moisturizer that can handle any and everything: cracked knuckles, dry elbows, sensitive temples, you name it. Every time, it leaves my skin feeling refreshed, without a trace of fragrance or sheen.

It feels thick and rich as it comes out of the jar, with an aroma barely registering on my nose. Everyone on our staff who tried this found it simple, reliable and nourishing, regardless of their skin type.

It may not exactly scream “spa day,” but that’s not the Cetaphil brand. It is a drugstore staple and a household essential for a reason: It’s a cream for everybody and every budget. — Harry Rabinowitz, reporter

Size: 1 oz., 3 oz., 8.8 oz., 16 oz., 20 oz. | Best for: dry and/or sensitive skin | Key ingredients: niacinamide, glycerin, petroleum jelly

Meet our experts

At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • Dr. Arash Akhavan, MD, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist and owner of The Dermatology and Laser Group in New York City.
  • Dr. William W. Huang, MPH, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist and an adjunct professor in the Department of Dermatology at Duke University School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Nkem Ugonabo, MPH, is a board-certified dermatologist at UnionDerm in New York City and an assistant professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s dermatology division.

Why trust NBC Select?

Lindsay Schneider is an editor for NBC Select with more than 7 years of experience in the lifestyle media space. For this package, our staff tested 135+ face moisturizers over more than four months to find their favorites. We considered popular drugstore brands as well as bestselling options from higher-end brands and ranked our top contenders.

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