Some of the best moisturizers money can buy are hiding at the drugstore for only $20


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If you had to choose a hot commodity in the beauty aisles right now, I’d bet that it’d be a moisturizer. One of the most important things that your skin needs is hydration, and a solid moisturizer is your best bet when it comes to delivering and sealing in moisture. The good news is that you don’t have to shell out top dollar to get a good one—the best drugstore moisturizers are just as good (if not better) than ones that you’d pay a bunch of bucks to put on your shelf.

After all, the main thing you want your moisturizer to do is, well, moisturize skin, and there aren’t exactly endless ways to do that. “Most moisturizers are pretty similar actually,” says Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “There are a few ingredients to look for. Moisturizers with ceramides and hyaluronic acid are great at locking moisture in the skin.” Aloe vera and glycerin are hydrating superstars, too.

To get the most out of your product, Dr. Mudgil says it’s key to apply it the right way. “Don’t dry skin off completely after showering or cleansing,” he says, suggesting that if moisturizer is applied to damp skin it has better penetrability into your complexion. Ready to reap the benefits of an inexpensive moisturizer in your own routine? Keep on scrolling for the best ones out there that won’t break the bank.

Burt’s Bees Daily Face Moisturizer For Sensitive Skin, $13

For a face cream that ups your skin’s hydration levels without feeling too thick, Burt’s Bees is a solid choice. It’s gentle, spiked with rice extract and aloe vera, and it provides lasting moisture without feeling oily.

Photo: Burt’s Bees

Pond’s Face Cream Dry Skin, $4

This moisturizer has been around for a long time—for good reason. A little goes a long way, but it’s gentle, super creamy, and uses glycerin to get the moisturizing job done with no fuss.

Photo: Pond’s

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Water Gel Face Moisturizer, $17

Dr. Mudgil loves the Neutrogena Hydro Boost line of products, which features hyaluronic acid plus glycerin for moisture. And this is a great choice if you’ve got skin that’s on the oily side.

Photo: Neutrogena

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer, $20

This super-gentle face cream is great for sensitive skin, and features the moisturizing trifecta hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide to keep your skin barrier strong (and hydrated).

Photo: La Roche Posay

Cetaphil Daily Face Moisturizer SPF 15, $12

A simple choice that provides not only hydration but also sun protection? Cetaphil’s Daily Face Moisturizer, which isn’t greasy and is recommended by so many dermatologists.

Photo: Cetaphil

Versed Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream, $15

This Target brand has a skin-soothing moisturizer that’s light, but packs a punch. It’s especially good for irritation or redness since it has aloe vera and green tea extract to calm your skin down.

Photo: Versed

Olay Luminous Whip Face Moisturizer, $16

Even though this cream has a super-light, whipped texture, it provides heavy-duty moisture via camellia leaf extract, glycerin, niacinamide, and panthenol so that your skin’s fully nourished.

Photo: Olay

e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Face Cream, $12

Combat skin dryness with a swipe of this super-hydrating face cream, which has all of the moisturizing superstars your skin loves: hyaluronic acid, peptides, squalane, vitamin B5, and niacinamide.

Photo: e.l.f.

Simple Kind to Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturizer, $10

Deliver moisture back to your skin with this sensitive-skin friendly lotion, which has glycerin and allantoin for a boost of hydration.

Photo: Simple

Honest Beauty Hydrogel Cream, $20

This cream feels like a burst of water when you rub it into your skin. Squalane plus glycerin and apple extract (and hyaluronic acid, of course) feed your complexion moisture that cools upon application.

Photo: Honest Beauty

Pacifica Dreamy Youth Day & Night Face Cream, $16

Give your skin a does of gentle moisture (with soothing oat extract and peptides) and antioxidants with this bottle of soothing face cream that leaves your face feeling soft and dewy.

Photo: Pacifica

Speaking of dry skin, here’s what another derm says to add to your routine:

Also good to buy for cheap? A drugstore mascara, which is always a wise choice. And these are the best drugstore shampoos you can buy. 

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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