Given that moisturizing is one of the foundational skincare steps — you need to be doing it morning and night, after cleansing—then it’s also not something you should skimp on. If you want the best results, then you obviously need the best moisturizer.
The best moisturizers do more than simply hydrate skin. In fact, they’re as much about preserving existing moisture, and helping the skin’s barrier defenses (which keep moisture in, as well as bad stuff, like toxins, out). Moisturizer protects your skin from photo-aging factors, as much as it feeds your cells with active ingredients. Pair it with a terrific facial sunscreen for the full protection — though some moisturizers and facial sunscreens are one in the same, if they pack SPF and skin-fortifying ingredients.
Below are the best moisturizers for men, whether they prevent and reverse signs of aging, shield you from the sun, soothe skin on the daily (or after each shave), or help you wake up looking brand-spanking new. Pick any one or three from the list, and give your skincare regimen the strong foundation it needs.
Best Overall Face Moisturizer: Hishi Customized Day Cream
Hishi plays the custom skincare game with aplomb, and its serum-like day cream is packed with whatever it is your skin needs. By filling out their quiz—which analyzes your skin type, your environment (like hard water, pollution levels, humidity), as well as your lifestyle — you get one of 17,000 possible combinations. It targets anything from wrinkles to acne, dark spots, moisture boosts... anything that your skin needs most. Each recipe includes butterfly ginger to help shield skin front the dulling effects of blue screen light, and the ingredients in their formulations are all natural. You can even reformulate your unique recipe whenever you need to, as your skin’s own needs evolve from month to month.
Best Upgrade Face Moisturizer: Omorovicza Rejuvenating Night Cream
If there’s any time to upgrade your moisturizer, it’s nighttime. This is when you want to apply as many active, healing, and restorative ingredients as possible since they’ll get in step with your cellular regeneration as you rest. The results are ultra magnified by morning. Lately, my go-to is Omorovicza, with its dense, buttery night shield (dense and buttery is good — again, you want something thick and nutrient-packed). Among its best ingredients are Vitamin A, which works like retinol to expedite cellular turnover; carrot oil to stimulate collagen and firm skin; plus apple pectin and plum almond oil to soften, hydrate, and soothe.
Best Affordable Face Moisturizer: Typology 9-Ingredient Face Moisturizer
We already called Typology one of the best new grooming brands, and it’s because of products like this moisturizer. Typology takes a minimalist approach to maximum benefits: Clear-cut ingredient lists, nearly all-natural, transparent production. This moisturizer is 99 percent naturally derived, fragrance-free (which is terrific for sensitive skin in particular), and has 9 ingredients in all, ranging from moisture-spoking hyaluronic acid to smoothing-and-softening coconut oil. You’ll understand each ingredient’s purpose (be it to balance the product’s pH levels or to help prevent bacterial growth), making your consumption much more informed and intentional — in addition to making your skin firmer, stronger, and softer all at once.
Kiehl’s Facial Fuel with SPF 20
It’s hard not to place this atop the list, for that tingly feeling it gives your skin, not to mention the broad-spectrum sun defense. Facial Fuel is a terrific moisturizer for the active man since it’s powered by stimulating caffeine and soothing aloe — always helping to supercharge your skin while soothing it simultaneously.
Clarins Men Super Moisture Balm
This one is the most versatile on this list; it’s a great winter day-time cream, or a light-enough summer night balm, or an A+ aftershave. It’s fueled by skin-soothing bison grass, nourishing sesame oil, as well as moisture-preserving houseleek and leaf of life (bonus points for using cool-named ingredients). The balm cools on contact and was even tested under intense arctic conditions to ensure its moisture-preserving and boosting abilities.
Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer
If your skin is looking dull or sullen, or if it needs some firming and brightening up, then summon some peptides, which are teeming out of Drunk Elephant’s day and night cream. It’s also formulated with proteins, amino acids, cellular growth factors, and soothing + antioxidant-rich waterlily. Together these ingredients help plump, tighten, and brighten the skin, while shielding it from further signs of aging.
Dr. Loretta Intense Brightening Cream
An anti-aging super cream, Dr. Loretta’s moisturizer can be used morning or night to help thwart hyperpigmentation and turn over dark spots (as well as fine lines and wrinkles). It’s juiced up with Vitamin C to give skin the defense it needs against pollution, blue light damage, endless winters, acne recovery, and more.
Ursa Major Force Field Natural Moisturizer SPF 18
It’s one of our favorite face sunscreens, too, though Ursa Major’s super cream is foremost a moisturizer. It offers physical, natural SPF 18 protection in the form of zinc, and it soothes skin with aloe, nourishes with shea butter, tones and balances complexion with squalane, and kickstarts moisture with floral stem cells. On any day you spend a significant amount of time outdoors and want to apply just one product (as opposed to a moisturizer and sunscreen), then here you go.