Earlier this year, I went cocktails with friends. When it was my turn to place my order—an espresso martini, it was a Friday!—and the waitress stopped and cocked her head. “ID, please,” she requested. The table of 30-somethings went silent. After I handed over my driver’s license, stating I was in fact born in 1990, my friend looked me dead in the eye and said “spill the skincare routine.”
A good face cream (whether or not you like the term “anti-aging”) can make all the difference when it comes to smooth, glowing skin. It needs to have the right actives for your skin: maybe you need hyaluronic acid or retinol in your routine, or if you’re feeling dull niacinamide or vitamin C can help. We’ve made a list of 15 of our favorites, which include clean beauty options and fragrance-free formulas all with the goal of keeping your skin looking fresh and glowy.
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- Clinicals behind TFC8 prove that it works.
Known as simply “The Cream” for a reason, this cult-loved moisturizer was developed by scientist Augustinus Bader after he worked with adolescent burn victims. This moisturizer (which also comes in a Rich version) is infused with the same TFC8 molecule Bader used to help heal the skin of the burn victims.
Best For All Skin Types
- Black-Owned Brand
- Dermatologist Brand
Board-certified dermatologist Rosemarie Ingleton was inspired by the natural wonders of her homeland Jamaica while formulating this silky face cream. It’s made with the Jamaican Superfruit Blend (bilberry, orange, sugar cane, lemon, sugar maple, plus hyaluronic acid) to brighten, hydrate, and smooth skin all at once.
Green Stars Winner
N°1 De Chanel Revitalizing Cream
- Not ideal for super dry skin
This refillable moisturizer smells and feels incredible. Chanel researched the red camellia flower for a decade, discovering that the oil and extract combined smooth, plump, and leaves skin glowing.
Best Breakthrough Ingredient
SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Interrupter
- A little goes a long way
- Contains Fragrance
This super-thick cream has 30% concentration of proxylane, a sugar molecule that keeps skin plump and hydrated. There are also ingredients for barrier repair and antioxidants to fight existing signs of aging and prevent future wrinkles, too.
Best Clean Beauty Moisturizer
Protini Polypeptide Firming Moisturizer
- Free of essential oils, silicones, and fragrance
- Clean Beauty
- May be too heavy for oily skin
The airless pump keeps this thick cream—filled with gold star anti-aging ingredients like growth factors, amino acids, and peptides—potent until the moment you smooth is across your skin.
Best Fragrance-Free Moisturizer
Retinol Correxion Max Daily Hydration Crème
- 48 Hour Hydration
- May not be well suited for breakout-prone skin.
Two anti-aging favorites—retinol and hyaluronic acid—and no fragrance come together in this nighttime treatment. Hydration lasts for 48 hours and it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin to try.
RevitaLift Triple Power Deep-Acting Moisturizer
- Three gold-star products.
Hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and pro-retinol (a very stable form of retinol that won’t irritate your skin) combine into a thick cream that works overnight to fight signs of aging.
Best Drugstore Moisturizer
Skin Renewing Night Cream
- May not be suited to very dry skin
Known for their super-gentle products, CeraVe’s nighttime moisturizer uses hydration to plump skin and make it look more youthful. Formulated with niacinamide, peptides, and hyaluronic acid, this night cream uses patented technology so that your skin stays hydrated all day.
Moisture Barrier Friendly
ICE Ceramide Moisturizing Cream
- Great for sensitized skin
If you want a lightweight-yet-powerful moisturizer, this is it. Ceramides, vitamin F (which strengthens the moisture barrier), coconut, red algae extract, and pomegranate sterols combine into a cooling cream that feels heavenly on the skin (especially if you’re super dry or post-laser treatment).
Best Vegan Moisturizer
Squalane + Omega Repair Moisturizer
Lipids from the acai berry and plant-based squalane make this moisturizer super hydrating and nourishing.
Best Moisturizer For Dry Skin
Regenerist Ultra Rich Face Moisturizer
- May not be suited for oily skin
The ultra-rich version of this iconic moisturizer is made with vitamin B3 and peptides and without parabens, phthalates, dye, and synthetic fragrance.
Best Moisturizer For Smooth Skin
Super Multi-Corrective Anti-Aging Face & Neck Cream
- May not be suited for sensitive skin
This twice-a-day treatment for your face has an anti-aging trifecta: vitamin A, chaga mushroom, and hyaluronic acid. These ingredients work in tandem to even skin tone, smooth, and reduce lines. It even works on the neck and can help fight tech neck, too.
Best Botanical Skincare Moisturizer
Sculpture + A
- Clean Beauty
There are 19 different anti-inflammatory botanicals in this oil-based moisturizer, which work synergistically with retinol and peptides to soothe and smooth skin.
Best Moisturizer For Sensitive Skin
V-Shape Filling Cream
Vitamin-enriched water from the Swiss Alps fortifies cream, which starts off thick but quickly melts into skin. It also has vitamin C to brighten skin tone and peptides to help with firming.
Smart Clinical MD Multi-Dimensional Age Transformer Duo Resculpt + Revolumize
- Actives may not work on all skin types
There are two separate chambers inside this pot: The purple cream is super thick and uses hyaluronic acid, soy bean, and yeast to plump and moisturize; the white gel-cream instantly tightens with sweet almond and whey protein. Layer together for the ultimate treatment.
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