The Best Drugstore Moisturizers, IMO.

The Best Drugstore Moisturizers

Because there are some real gems at the drugstore…

I’m here to remind you that a good moisturizer is MAJOR KEY in your skincare regimen, k?  I still remember when I first started using a moisturizer on the regular, and it was embarrassingly late in life…we’re talking probably my mid twenties (!).  But once I realized that, no, my skin is not supposed to feel like the Sahara, my life was forever changed.  It’s simple math really: if you take away moisture from your skin by washing it, you must replenish that moisture.

Here are 6 of my fave drugstore moisturizers AND my tips on how to choose the best moisturizer for you.

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6 Best Drugstore Moisturizers

The Best Drugstore Moisturizers

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer SPF 30 ($27)

I will die on my soap box about Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair line, ok?  I’ve been talking about it for years and when it comes to drugstore retinol this line is hard to beat.  This daily moisturizer from the line is a particular stand out for me because it’s not easy finding a day time retinol product – it NEEDS to have SPF and this one not only has the brand’s patented retinol SA, it also as hyaluronic acid and broad spectrum SPF 30!  YES. Get it.  You’re not only protecting your face from future sun damage, but the retinol is simultaneously repairing the look of age spots, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles and brightening your skin tone.  It’s my forever anti aging rec for anyone who wants to fight aging!

The Best Drugstore Moisturizers

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM ($12)

This one is a new one to me but I was drawn to this night lotion because it has niacinamide (my new favorite skincare ingredient).  Read about why I love it HERE.  On top of that, it also has hyaluronic acid and tons of ceramides, which are key for restoring the skin’s protective barrier.  Also, if you have oilier skin, you’ll love this daily moisturizer since it’s oil-free and lightweight, but still super hydrating.

Garnier SkinActive Glow Boost Illuminating Moisturizer

Garnier SkinActive Glow Boost Illuminating Moisturizer ($12)

This one is a new favorite, especially for quarantine when I don’t want to wear makeup.  Garnier’s Glow Boost moisturizer with apricot extract gives skin an instant glow, without makeup.  It gives my skin just a little hint of glow, kinda like I’m wearing a gorgeous bronzer…just with way more hydration.  You can also use this as a primer and layer on other products, btw.

No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Day Cream SPF 30 ($25)

I discovered the amazing powers of No7 moisturizers a few years ago and if you’re not already using this, you need to try it.  This award-winning, rich day time daily moisturizer (with broad spectrum SPF, natch) helps improve the appearance of deep lines, wrinkles, and firms the skin.  The brand also has studies that show MAJOR skin improvement in as little as two weeks, guys.  Pretty impressive.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repaid Face Moisturizer UV SPF 30

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repaid Face Moisturizer UV SPF 30 ($25)

Another fab moisturizer that has SPF protection…but this version from La Roche-Posay helps restore the skin’s natural protective barrier with a high concentration of La Roche-Posay prebiotic thermal water and other “carefully selected” skincare ingredients.  A recent dermatological research study in skin has demonstrated the importance of a healthy microbiome (the population of microorganisms found at the skin surface), and it has been discovered that prebiotics can feed the microbiome, so this version is a clear winner for me.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream ($25)

Lastly, I am VERY INTO Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost line (you can see that here), and their gel cream is the perfect hybrid of, well, a gel and a cream moisturizer.  This gel cream facial moisturizer helps quench extra-dry skin and keeps it looking smooth, supple, and hydrated day after day. The unique gel-cream formula absorbs quickly like a gel, and has the long lasting moisturizing power of a cream. It is formulated with hyaluronic acid, a hydrator found naturally in the skin, attracts moisture and locks it in.  Even though it’s excellent daily moisturizer for dry skin, it’s totally good for ALL skin types (yes, even oily).

How to Choose The Right Moisturizer

Ok, now that you know six of my moisturizer faves, here are a few tips on how to choose the best moisturizer for you…

Figure out how much you want to spend.

This post is all about drugstore daily moisturizers but, that said, even the drugstore (and that includes stores like Target as well), have a range of pricing.  Some products (likely with fewer ingredients) could be as low as $10, but other brands could be as high as $40.  It’s a personal choice but definitely give it some thought before you buy.

Think about what kind of consistency/ formula you want.

Cream, gel or lotion?  Gel cream?  There are a few different choices and you should do some research first into what kind of formulation you want to try out.

Identify your skin type.

That said, the formula you chose could be influenced by your skin type.  If your skin is super oily, I’d definitely go with a lotion versus a cream.  If you have dry skin (like me!), I LOOOOVE a gel cream; it’s so luxe and super hydrating.  And, of course, if you’re super sensitive or have issues with rosacea, etc. then you want to always make sure that you’re products are as gentle as possible, fragrance-free, etc.

Choose based on ingredients.

Dp you want anti aging benefits?  You probably noticed every one of my six favorites all boast superior skincare ingredients like retinol, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and niacinamide.  GO FOR THOSE.  It’s worth the extra money and you’re still getting a high quality moisturizer at a drugstore price.

Is it for day or night? (or both?)

I tend to favor a moisturizer that has broad spectrum SPF but if you know you’ll only be using this particular moisturizer at night, you can totally skip it.  Just make sure you’re still using an SPF during the day!


Photo by Azusa Takano

3 thoughts on “The Best Drugstore Moisturizers, IMO.

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