The more time you spend outside camping, hiking, swimming and hanging by the fire, the more your skin takes on a healthy glow. Ah, those are the good days — all 14 of them per year. The rest of the time we’re inside with overactive heating systems, too-little water consumption and skin that looks like the Atacama desert. Facial moisturizer helps combat dry (and aging, if we’re honest) skin. Finding a good one is very personal since we’re all starting with our own individual skin issues, but the important thing for everyone to remember is that you should wash with a gentle cleanser first and then apply moisturizer immediately after. We also suggest doing a bit of personal research about ingredients using the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics‘ and EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to make sure you understand what goes into the products you’re smearing on your face.
Take Note: This buying guide has been updated with our favorite moisturizers for 2015. To see last year’s guide, proceed to the next page.
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Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer
Price Per Ounce: $7
Key Ingredients: Squalane, Octinoxate
Our Take: Though Kiehl’s makes some guy-focused moisturizer under the Facial Fuel line, we prefer the unisex and less sexy Ultra Facial Moisturizer. It’s light going on and leaves a healthy glow, plus it has good sun protection at SPF 30. It’s the best performer for really dry skin for the price.
Perricone MD Hypoallergenic Nourishing Moisturizer
Price Per Ounce: $32
Key Ingredients: Olive polyphenols, neuropeptides, tocotrienols
Our Take: This little tub of gold is thicker and richer and perhaps more gelatin-like than the others here. We like that it’s hypoallergenic and free of all the bad stuff (parabens, fragrance, petroleum) that some lesser products use.
Malin and Goetz Vitamin E Moisturizer
Price Per Ounce: $12
Key Ingredients: Glycerin, vitamin E, vitamin B5, allantoin, chamomile
Our Take: New York-born Malin + Goetz launched in 2004 as an apothecary for people with dry skin. They still make all their products in the New York area, and the key to their moisturizer is that instead of oils, silicones and waxes, they use fatty acids and botanical extracts. Just like the Kiehl’s, this one is very rich and relieved some pretty serious early winter dry skin around the nose and eyebrows.
Baxter of California Oil-Free Moisturizer
Price Per Ounce: $6
Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, green tea, chamomile
Our Take: Baxter is a favorite among several members of the GP crew, and this moisturizer is no different. It’s designed specifically for guys: oil-free, fragrance-free and fast absorbing. Another good value.
Ernest Supplies Protective Matte Moisturizer
Price Per Ounce: $10
Key Ingredients: Vitamins A, C and E; extracts of acai, cupuacu and green tea
Our Take: We like the idea of a neatly-packaged skin care regimen, which is what Ernest Supplies offers. This one lives up to its name with a completely matte finish and a really refreshing, wake-your-face-up sensation. Keep it away from the eyes, though.
Price Per Ounce: $10
Key Ingredients: Squalane, Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Our Take: Walk into any Macy’s and you’ll find Zirh Protect, a moisturizer with a nice aqua-citrus smell. It leaves a slightly tacky film that we’re not crazy about but which is probably connected to the improved texture and elasticity that the moisturizer is meant to provide.