photo of woman's well-moisturized skin focusing on the left side of her face with her eyes closed

Best Facial Moisturizer: How To Select One for Your Skin Type

Do you ever feel like you just can’t find the right moisturizer for your skin? If you don’t use the right amount of moisturizer, or the right type of moisturizer, your skin is probably just a little too dry or oily. 

This can be frustrating, but luckily this problem has an easy fix. Read on to learn more about how to choose the best moisturizer for your skin type.

Moisturizer is crucial for radiant, supple skin!”

  • Shani Darden, Celebrity Esthetician

Why Use Moisturizer, Anyway?

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it plays a huge role in keeping you healthy and regulated. Your skin covers your organs, filters out germs, and even supports your immune system.

Your skin also helps regulate body temperature and alerts your body to dangers by detecting cold, heat, and pain. You also need vitamin D, which is produced in the skin.

Clearly, skin is incredibly important. To keep your skin in good condition, it’s essential to moisturize and hydrate. Healthy skin is hydrated skin! 

The skin on your hands, face, and neck are the most sensitive to environmental changes because they’re usually exposed to the elements. These areas also shed more skin cells, so you need to moisturize them more often to keep them hydrated.

Moisturizing can also help regulate your skin. Adequate hydration helps make sure your skin doesn’t get too oily or too dry. Since dry skin can make fine lines and wrinkles more apparent, your daily moisturizer can help offset this. 

How Can I Pick the Best Moisturizer for My Skin?

Moisturizers are often formulated for specific skin types, so it’s important to make sure your moisturizer matches your skin type. Common skin types include:

  • Dry skin
  • Oily skin
  • Normal skin
  • Combination skin

Here are some tips to help you pick out the best moisturizer for your skin type.

Moisturizers for Dry Skin

Dry skin is characterized by red, flaky skin. As your skin cells dry out, they can accumulate to form a layer over your skin that renders moisturizers largely ineffective.

When moisturizing dry skin, make sure you exfoliate before applying any moisturizer. This removes that layer of dead skin so that your moisturizer properly absorbs into the skin. 

Follow with a moisturizer like iS Clinical Reparative Moisture Emulsion to soothe your dry skin and gently restore hydration. This formula is packed with antioxidants and hydrating ingredients that support your skin. You can also add in a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum such as iS Clinical’s Hydra-Cool Serum or Dr. Nigma’s Serum No 1 before moisturizer for added hydration as well. 

Moisturizers for Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, your skin likely has an oily shine and is prone to blemishes. These blemishes occur when your overactive sebaceous glands clog your pores with oil. 

Moisturizers for oily skin should be lightweight, oil-free, and non-comedogenic — meaning that they won’t clog and irritate your pores. Many of these moisturizers are marketed as “for oily skin” to help you distinguish them from other heavier, more oil-based moisturizers.

Moisturizers like my Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer help to hydrate the skin without causing any congestion. They will commonly use hyaluronic acid as the hydrating ingredient, which helps skin attract moisture as well as hold on to it, keeping your skin smooth and happy.

Moisturizers for Normal Skin

Normal skin is exactly what it sounds like: normal. Normal skin is already regulated and rarely stays dry or oily for long. Your normal skin is likely soft, even-toned, and clear. 

You can use any moisturizer for normal skin, but I recommend using a moisturizer that is lightweight and non-comedogenic. These types of moisturizing products still infuse your skin with hydration, but they also help keep it blemish-free.

Moisturizers for Combination Skin

You might have combination skin if you have some oily patches and some dry patches. If this is you, don’t worry — combination skin is incredibly common. 

Combination skin is tricky because what soothes one area will often irritate the other. With two types on one stretch of skin, it’s hard to find a product that does the job.

If you have combination skin, it’s best to take a two-pronged approach. Apply products formulated for dry skin on dry areas and products formulated for oily skin on oily areas. This is the only tried-and-true way to make sure that your skin’s unique needs are being met.

Take a look at our recommendations for dry and oily skin above, and adjust them to fit your skin’s unique layout as needed. Combination skin doesn’t have to be difficult.

Area-Specific Moisturizers

Some moisturizers are formulated for specific areas on your face. One of the most popular forms of area-specific moisturizer is eye cream. Eye creams are made to hydrate your sensitive under-eye skin and help remove dark circles.

I recommend my Intensive Eye Renewal Cream, which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and firm the area around your eyes.

How Much Moisturizer Should I Use?

You should generally use about a nickel-sized dollop of moisturizer in your morning and evening skincare routine if your moisturizer fits your skin type. Although it might not seem like much, this amount should cover your full face.

Tips To Keep Skin Hydrated

Although it’s important to moisturize regularly, I have a few bonus tips to help you stay moisturized all day!


Make sure you’re exfoliating 1-2 times a week. Exfoliating helps your moisturizer absorb deeper into your skin by removing that top layer of dead skin cells. This also helps brighten your complexion.

Use Hydrating Serums

If your skin is very dry and in desperate need of moisture, try pairing your moisturizer with a hydrating serum like iS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum. Serums like this one gently infuse hydration deep into your skin and can help your moisturizer have more impact.

Watch Your Routine

Even little things in your daily routine can irritate your skin. For instance, using hot water can dry out your skin, as can using scrubbing motions or abrasive materials to dry off. Instead, try patting dry and using lukewarm water to shower and wash your face. You may also want to try reducing your shower time.

You can also use a humidifier to introduce more moisture into your daily routine. Though drinking water does not directly impact your skin’s hydration levels, it is an essential part of your overall health. Regularly using a humidifier can team up with your natural hydration to help skin retain hydration and keep it glowing and smooth. 

Wear Sunscreen

Lastly, wear sunscreen! A broad-spectrum sunscreen helps protect your skin against sun damage that can leech your skin’s moisture. Your daily sunscreen should be at least SPF 30, and you should include a lip balm with SPF as well. I love a sunscreen that is lightly hydrating that can double as your daily moisturizer such as Supergoop’s Play Everyday Lotion with SPF 50. 

The Takeaway

Make sure your moisturizer fits your skin’s specific needs, and apply a nickel-sized amount to your face morning and night for soft, supple skin.



Healthy Skin | American Skin

How to Choose the Best Moisturizer for Your Dry Skin | Cleveland Clinic

The Importance of Moisturizing | University of Tennessee


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