The Best Moisturizers to Keep Your Face Looking (and Feeling) Great

Avidan Grossman, Lauren Kranc
·4 mins read
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

From Esquire

Man, I feel like I've been writing so much about skincare recently that these last few days warrant their own theme, like Shark Week but way better for your face. If you've made it this far you're either a member of my immediate family (hi, Mom) or really, really desperate for a few considered tips on how to keep your handsome mug from going completely to shit this summer. It seems almost fitting to conclude this particularly epic run of grooming content with a few words about moisturizing, the building block of all good skincare regimens and one of the best ways to minimize potential breakouts down the line.

Moisturizing twice a day—once when you wake up in the morning and once before you go to bed at night—has long been considered a fundamental component of any solid grooming routine. So naturally you, like most dudes I know, probably aren't doing it. Why are men so fucking bad at taking care of their faces? Look, I'm not saying I'm some patron saint of skincare with pores the size of an early Paleozoic-era bacteria but at least I don't get, like, visibly uncomfortable walking past a Sephora. To completely bastardize the saying, I know what it is I don't know. (You know?)

A good moisturizer will do wonders for your face, and if you've been avoiding 'em regularly for years, it's time to familiarize yourself with the soon-to-be single-most-important product in your bathroom cabinet. To help you navigate this brave new grooming frontier, I've rounded up a few of the best options available now so you can lather on like a pro in no time at all. We'll get through this together. I promise. Sometimes, as Gunna would say, even a gangsta need a hug.

A drugstore staple you can pick up pretty much anywhere, Cetaphil's SPF-included cream is one of the best bargain options on the market.

The Ordinary first developed a cult following for its ultra-affordable line of skincare essentials. The brand's Squalane oil should be applied before bed year round—you’ll wake up with super soft skin, sans any random patches of dryness.

For skin that's not too dry and not too oily you'll want a simple lotion that'll work its hardest to keep it that way. CeraVe's is one of the best you can get.

Kiehl's' energizing moisturizer is packed with vitamins and a little bit of caffeine to wake up tired, dull-looking skin.

Baxter's oil-free formula is a great lightweight option that'll keep your skin feeling hydrated all day long.

Chloe and Chad's face serum can be used as a base before applying moisturizer in the morning and as a standalone moisturizer come nighttime. The brand's formula helps lock in moisture and prevents your pores from clogging, minimizing the chances of your skin breaking out down the line.

This rehydrating blend soothes without adding any extra shine. If your skin's thirsty (and chances are it is) it'll drink this stuff right up.

Anthony's lightweight, smoothing moisturizer helps to minimize signs of aging while hydrating your skin and protecting from harmful UV exposure.

Alder's everyday serum uses hyaluronic acid to firm and plumpen your skin and Vitamin C to target discoloration and sun spots.

This nighttime cream comes jam-packed with helpful ingredients that won't just nourish your skin and lock in moisture for the long haul—they'll prevent inflammation in the morning, too.

OBC's face oil effectively detoxes your skin using the brand's signature blend of antioxidant ingredients, allowing your cells to regenerate anew and preventing breakouts down the line.

Boyface's paraben- and sulfate-free serum keeps your skin hydrated and soothed, leaving you feeling fresh whenever you slather it on.

Sensitive skin demands a bit more attention because any kind of product can spark a reaction. One solution: Keep it simple, stupid. Dermalogica's calming gel will soften and hydrate your skin—and is is way less likely to cause irritation than other options.

If your skin is on the more sensitive side and you want to avoid any potential irritants, this lightweight option is another powerhouse when it comes to soothing hydration.

Aesop don't miss. The brand's hydrating cream lightly cools your skin without weighing it down (and does it all with a hint of fresh citrus).

Kiehl’s Cannabis Seed oil is specifically made for calming blotchy, blemish-prone, and otherwise irritated skin.

Ursa Major's daily defense lotion synthesizes elements found in more standard moisturizers with powerful anti-aging ingredients and SPF 18, in one hybrid serum that provides long-lasting hydration while replenishing your skin's natural moisture barrier.

This stuff is the real deal. Sure, it's got a hefty price tag but it translates to soft, super-smooth skin in a big way.

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