Regardless of age, everyone wants their skin to look glowy, radiant, and plump. But the moisturizer that worked so well in your 20s and 30s might not meet the same needs your skin has by the time you hit your 40s and 50s. As Dr. Marla Diakow of Schweiger Dermatology Group explains, as your skin begins to produce less oil and there is a breakdown of elastic and collagen fibers, “the skin becomes drier and thinner with more laxity.” Generally, this means a proper skin-care regimen needs to include “products that strengthen and thicken the dermis, provide moisture retention and barrier renewal, yet are not too harsh or abrasive,” she says. So we turned to ten dermatologists to find out which moisturizers are the best for mature skin types for every budget. (Note that we’re mainly talking about the skin on your face — if you’re looking for a new lotion to moisturize your body, feel free to check out our guide for all skin types.)
Best drugstore moisturizers for mature skin
Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Night Cream
“Overall, using gentle products made from high-quality ingredients with less irritants, fragrances, and additives becomes more important,” explains Diakow. Two of our experts recommended using drugstore brand Cetaphil for its gentle, affordable products. Cetaphil can “hydrate skin without clogging pores” and “can be used year round and is tolerated well on almost all skin types,” says Dr. Francesca Fusco.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
Several of our experts said that a good rule of thumb is to look for products that contain hyaluronic acid which Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, describes as “a hero ingredient” especially for mature skin. As Dr. Hadley King, clinical instructor of dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, explains, hyaluronic acid “can hold over 1,000 times its weight in water” to help hydrate and plump the skin. “Our hyaluronic acid levels decrease as we age, and this moisturizer helps replenish them,” explains Dr. Noelani Gonzalez. It’s also fragrance-free, so it is suitable for those with sensitive skin and doesn’t feel greasy, she says. And it’s got a price that is hard to beat.
Best moisturizer for itchy, mature skin
SkinCeuticals AGE Interrupter
“Many patients with mature skin come to the office complaining of itching or irritation,” says Gonzalez, which is a sign that your skin barrier is compromised. She recommends looking for moisturizers that contain ceramides, which are lipids that work to repair and protect the skin barrier. She suggests SkinCeuticals AGE Interrupter because it also contains blueberry extract which “acts as an antioxidant which helps to both strengthen the skin and prevent wrinkles.” While SkinCeuticals is a luxury product with a luxury price, it also “helps diminish the appearance of crepey skin, which makes it a great option for aging skin.”
Best fragrance-free moisturizer for mature skin
OLAY Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Fragrance-Free
Another powerhouse ingredient is niacinamide “which helps even pigment and skin color,” says Dr. Debra Jaliman, an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine. She recommends this fragrance-free option from Olay that also contains glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and aloe which is super “soothing to the skin.”
Best moisturizer for oily, mature skin
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisturizer
She also recommends this oil-free, noncomedogenic moisturizer from Peter Thomas Roth that will give your skin a glow, without it getting greasy.
Best moisturizers for dry, mature skin
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich Cream Moisturizer
According to King, “the most effective moisturizers combine both humectants and emollients.” She recommends the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich Cream because it’s packed with both, including hyaluronic acid (“a powerful humectant”), shea butter (“a great emollient”), and glycerin (which is both). Though she does warn that the cream has a light fragrance, which means it may not be a good bet for those who are sensitive, “if you are not, the fragrance is light and very nice.”
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2
As we age, “our cells become less robust in maintaining their role integrity and dry up and shrink. What we see, as a result, are lines and dry skin,” says Dr. Julie Russak, founder of the Russak Dermatology Group. SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 is a lipid replenisher that “restores the natural physiological composition of our cell wall” so that “younger, healthier cells” can take over. “You can literally feel the ingredients quench depleted skin,” she promises.
Dermaceutic Hyal Ceutic Intense Moisturizer
“This French moisturizer is a favorite in my office,” says Dr. Melissa Doft, founder of Doft Plastic Surgery. With a combination of low and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (for better penetration), aloe vera, shea butter, and vitamin E, it is an excellent choice for dry and mature skin. “Everyone should have one in their medicine cabinet.”
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Face Moisturizer Gel-Cream to Hydrate and Smooth Extra-Dry Skin
Zeichner also loves this hyaluronic acid-packed Hydroboost Gel Cream from Neutrogena which “acts like a sponge to pull in water to the outer skin layer to hydrate and plump, even improving the appearance of some fine lines.”
Best moisturizers for mature skin with retinol
RoC Deep Wrinkle Night Cream
According to Dr. Zeichner, “retinol is perhaps the best-studied ingredient we have over the counter to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” which can also “help rebuild and strengthen mature skin.” However, it is important to note that retinol does make the skin more photosensitive, so it is especially important to apply sunscreen every morning if you aren’t already.
Revision Skincare D.E.J. Night Face Cream
“DEJ, or dermal-epidermal junction, is where we store collagen. As we age, we produce this collagen less efficiently, so the skin loses its natural elasticity,” says Russak. So finding products that will boost the natural production of collagen will result in skin that looks and feels tighter. She calls this one from Revision Skincare an “all-in-one moisturizer that works overtime to hydrate the skin and address any visible signs of aging.” It also contains 0.25% retinol, a Vitamin A derivative, which increases cell turnover deep within the skin. “These newer cells reflect light much better, they look healthier, and in turn revive the skin to look brighter.”
Chantecaille Retinol Intense
“I always recommend Vitamin C and Retinol for mature skin,” says Doft. This face lotion also contains green tea and niacinamide for extra brightening, making it “the perfect choice for aging skin.”
Best tinted moisturizer for mature skin with SPF
EltaMD UV Elements Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 44
Speaking of sunscreen, Diakow says that this product is among the best for daily use as a combination moisturizer and sunscreen because not only does it provide “broad-spectrum UV protection using completely safe and strong mineral ingredients only” but it also contains hyaluronic acid. Plus, “it has a beautiful universal tint which can blur pigment irregularities, blotchiness, or fine lines which are common concerns in mature skin.” She recommends using one pump for the face, one pump for the neck and decolletage, and one pump for the back of the hands.
Best summer moisturizer for mature skin
Tatcha Water Cream Moisturizer
Doft also loves the “the texture and the light hydrating feel” of the Water Cream by Tatcha. She adds that it is safe for all skin types and is an ideal choice during the warmer months when people tend to want to avoid heavier creams. As a bonus, “the Japanese wild rose helps reduce pores and the algae helps increase radiance.”
Best nightime moisturizer for mature skin
EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer
If you’re looking for a moisturizer to use before bed, look no further then the EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer. Dr. Patricia Wexler, founder of the Wexler Dermatology Group, says that this one from EltaMD is ideal for mature skin because it will be hard at work improving “skin color and tone, repair and restore elasticity and vitality, and strengthen the moisture barrier” all while you catch up on some beauty rest. And it is also “oil-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and safe for sensitive skin.”
Best K-Beauty moisturizers for mature skin
Amore Pacific’s Time Response Skin Reserve Intensive Cream
According to Dr. Kenneth Howe, the key to “creating a great moisturizer for mature skin means finding the ideal balance between how much the product moisturizes the skin and how easily it spreads on.” He says that Amore Pacific’s Time Response Cream is particularly successful in striking this balance due to its silky texture. And while he admits the price point can be prohibitive, “its deep emollient effects — you can’t find a richer night cream— go a long way toward justifying the price.” Not only that, but the “trademarked Chrono-T green tea extract adds anti-aging activity, as well.”
Sulwhasoo Hydro-Aid Moisturizing Soothing Cream
He also suggests the Sulwhasoo’s Hydro-aid Moisturizing Soothing Cream — which also happens to be his mother-in-law’s favorite product — due to its rich hydrating formula that the skin can still drink in with ease. “Liriope platyphylla (sounds like a character from Greek mythology, but its common name is lily turf) and ginseng sprouts give the product its moisturizing properties, while birch sap extract soothes inflamed skin,” he adds.
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