6 Best Moisturisers 2021 | The Sun UK
THEY say beauty is skin deep— so we've tested some of the best moisturisers out there to bring you our faves for perfectly healthy and hydrated skin.
When your skin is feeling dry and unloved, there's nothing like slathering on a luxurious application of your favourite moisturiser—be it a formula packed with hero ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides or squalane, an SPF to protect your skin for the day, or a rich night moisturiser when your face needs a little extra TLC.
When it comes to finding the right moisturiser, it's easy to fall into the trap of discovering one that works for you and sticking to it for eternity (guilty)—but it's important to remember that your skin type, age and lifestyle mean that your skincare needs are constantly changing and evolving. So naturally, your go-to moisturiser should too.
Generally speaking, it's a good idea to have a lighter formula for the summer months and something richer for the winter, when skin can dry out from the cold and central heating. If your skin is oily, you might be tempted to skip moisturiser altogether, but we're here to say do not commit this skincare sin! Instead, water-based moisturisers are your friend (so anything with aqua, deionised water and water), while for drier skin—products containing silicones such as cyclomethicone and dimethicone are ideal as they won't clog your pores.
Of course, there's the myriad of skin-enhancing benefits to decide between too: do you want something firming and anti-aging like collagen-stimulating retinol? An intense dose of moisture and hydration from something enriched with hyaluronic acid? Or perhaps something natural and fragrance-free is a priority? Get really clear on what your needs are, and we promise you it'll be way easier to wade through the options and find your perfect potion.
To get you started, we've tried an assortment of creams to bring you our absolute favourites from the bunch—and the best part is, there's something here to suit all budgets. Let's go!
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1. The budget buy beauty editors love: CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 25
- CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 25, £9.75 from Look Fantastic – buy here
Skincare brand CeraVe finally arrived on our shores in 2018 after first launching in the US back in 2006, and it's safe to say that beauty editors and fans alike are all over these products. Affordable, fragrance-free and developed with dermatologists: what's not to love?
This day moisturiser is enriched with three essential ceramides (hence the 'Cera' moniker), which support and protect the skin’s natural barrier, as well as Hyaluronic Acid, which leaves skin hydrated. Since trying it, we've used it pretty much on the daily: it's fuss-free, lightweight without feeling greasy and our skin feels great all day long.
Add in the SPF 25, and this is a winning choice for happy summer skin.
2. Best for a youthful glow: NARS's Luminous Moisture Cream
- Luminous Moisture Cream, £46 from Nars – buy here
NARS's Luminous Moisture Cream promises to restore the skin's luminosity, so we were really intrigued to put it to the test and hopefully breathe some life into our skin which was feeling pretty dull and drab to say the least. The science behind this claim? The brand's exclusive Light Reflecting Complex which is designed to restore radiance and "reflect light like a prism".
True to its promise, there really is something glowy about this formula: it feels rich without being overly oily and our skin felt deeply moisturised, with a smooth and silky base that our foundation sat on perfectly.
With Bio-Hyaluronic Acid and Monoï de Tahiti Oil to plump the skin and Beech Bud Extract to help boost collagen production, there's plenty of anti-aging benefits to this moisturiser. We can't say yet whether our fine lines have diminished, but our skin certainly does feel plump and dewy whenever we use it.
3. Best water-based: Philosophy's Renewed Hope in a Jar Water Cream
- Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Water Cream, £37 from John Lewis – buy here
Containing Norwegian glacial water, enhanced hyaluronic acid and pineapple extract, Philosophy's Renewed Hope in a Jar Water Cream is a water-based moisturiser that's ideal for oily skin in need of moisture—in fact, it promises to increase hydration levels by 86%!
It's a gorgeously luxurious experience from the get-go: it's hard not to fall in love with the packaging and glass jar which was surely made with beauty cabinets in mind. Onto the moisturiser itself and we love the fluffy texture of this formula which almost feels like a slush puppy in consistency; it's light, refreshing and absorbs into our skin like a dream.
Use this on humid summer days for a cooling effect, or lather up before bedtime to wake up with super hydrated skin.
4. Best for sensitive skin: La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Ultra Soothing Fluid
- Toleriane Ultra Soothing Fluid, £13.87 (was £18.50) from La Roche-Posay – buy here
A French pharmacy go-to, skincare brand La Roche-Posay is recommended by dermatologists the world over, and is an absolute must if your skin is prone to sensitivity.
Toleriane is the first skincare range to be given the Seal of Approval by Allergy UK, and has passed stringent dermatological testing to ensure it's suitable for ultra sensitive, reactive or allergy-prone skin.
Containing ceramides, glycerin and vitamin B3, it's a really light formula that perhaps doesn't moisturise as deeply as others we've tried, but our skin still felt soft and hydrated. A must for truly sensitive skin.
5. Best budget buy: Simple's Kind to Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser
- Simple Kind to Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser, £2.14 (was £4.29) from Boots – buy here
For a totally affordable, no-frills moisturiser experience, every beauty cabinet needs a bottle of Simple. Coming in at under £5, this stuff really is a godsend, with no artificial perfumes or harsh chemicals, plus it's cruelty-free certified by PETA.
With pro-vitamin B5, Glycerin, and Bisabolol, we love the Replenishing Rich version which is great for winter skin and a giving a deeper boost of hydration in the summer. We found it to be the least greasy of the bunch too, sinking into our skin without leaving us feeling shiny.
We love the perfume-free formula too, which is ideal for sensitive skin and doesn't feel at all heavy—perfect for wearing and getting on with your day.
6. Best lightweight formula: Glossier's Priming Moisturizer
- Priming Moisturizer, £18 from Glossier – buy here
We're fans of Glossier's easy-wearing, minimal-fuss products, so we were looking forward to trying this one. The noncomedogenic formula means it won't clog pores, so it's ideal, if like us, you suffer from breakouts.
As with every Glossier product, the pink packaging is super cute—we can't not mention that! Promising light and buildable moisture "for a dewy, smooth canvas", we found it certainly lived up to that claim. One application felt really light, so we built up another layer and found that our skin really did feel smooth and silky—without the need for primer.
Ingredients-wise, our skin was treated to the hydrating effects of Hyaluronic Acid and Mushroom Super Hydrator (a plant extract), an Antioxidant Blend of Vitamins A, C, E and radish root, as well as a mix of tea and honey extracts to reduce redness. It's a lovely moisturiser that give an overall dewy effect, so those with oily skin may not find it completely suitable, but we love it for everyday light application.
Enjoyed our guide for the best moisturisers? Why not check out our review of the best concealers?
We've also put the best mascaras to the test and rounded up our faves here.
And check out our dedicated Sun Selects beauty section for more style tips, trends and products.
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