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Moisturizer may not be the most important product in a skincare routine (we're looking at you, sunscreen) but it's definitely an essential one. No matter your needs, from soothing sensitive skin to hydrating a parched complexion, the right moisturizer can help—that is, if you can find it.
Searching for the best moisturizer for your skin type can be a daunting task because of all the options, and some picks are downright expensive. If you're on a budget, the cost alone may sway you to ditch moisturizer altogether, which is why we went on the hunt for the best drugstore face moisturizers that pack a serious hydration punch at an affordable price.
Scroll to see our top picks that'll save you time and money.
Best Overall: Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
Over one billion jars of this iconic face cream have sold, and 20 jars are sold every minute worldwide. Just let that sink in for a moment. If that's not enough to tell you that this face cream is all sorts of iconic, we don't know what else could do it.
The highly-beloved formula contains hyaluronic acid, amino-peptides, and niacinamide (vitamin B3) to plump the look of fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin's elasticity. Skin is left glowing, making you look even younger—which Byrdie contributing writer Bianca Lambert experienced firsthand when she tried this product.
Best for Extra Dry Skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream
Hyaluronic acid is the star ingredient in this popular drugstore gel moisturizer and that's precisely why it's a great pick for extra dry skin types. Hyaluronic acid is a powerhouse skin hydrator that can hold up to 1000x its weight in water, so you can count on this cream to restore moisture and protect against further moisture loss.
Best for Dry Skin: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
Even if your skin feels drier than a desert, this powerful moisturizer will bring the hydration back. A brand beloved by dermatologists, CeraVe is gentle and safe for all skin types.
Their Moisturizing Cream contains three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid to strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier and to keep moisture in. This formula delivers 24 hours of moisture thanks to its delivery system, won’t clog pores and isn’t greasy in the least. It's even got the seal of approval from the National Eczema Association.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion
Dermatologists are always quick to recommend anything from Cetaphil since the line is safe for even the most sensitive skin types. The brand's Daily Hydrating Lotion is an extension of that promise, offering gentle moisturization and nourishment for sensitive and dry to extra dry skin types.
It's formulated with hyaluronic acid to help your skin retain its natural moisture, as well as glycerin for even more skin-plumping moisture.
Best for Oily Skin: Cetaphil Pro Oil Absorbing Moisturizer
Even oily skin requires daily hydration, and the good news is that there are plenty of mattifying formulas to choose from. We really like this one for oily skin types because it offers multiple benefits in one, including oil control, hydration, SPF protection.
As it hydrates your skin, it keeps excess oil in check. And, because it's non-comedogenic, you don't have to worry about the formula clogging your pores and leading to breakouts, a common complaint amongst oilier skin types.
Best Brightening: Bolden Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30
This moisturizer tackles 4 issues in one, offering serious hydration, SPF protection, hyperpigmentation relief, and antioxidant protection. Users rave that it leaves skin feeling moisturized and protected without a greasy residue. It also delivers in fading dark marks, so you can have an overall brighter, more even complexion.
Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Vichy Normaderm Anti-Acne Moisturizer
This anti-acne, salicylic acid treatment cream is clinically tested to address imperfections, including acne, visible pores, excess shine, and a dulled complexion. Not only will the skin look mattified, but it will feel comfortable and hydrated for hours.
Salicylic acid can be drying, so be mindful of how much of it you are using daily. Stick to one salicylic acne treatment at once to prevent excess dryness or irritation.
Best for Wrinkles: Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Moisturizer
Ever since its launch, this retinol-rich moisturizer has won over the hearts of users. It features the brand's proprietary blend of vitamin B3 and a retinol complex to improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles, smoothness, large pores, sagging and more. Best of all? It tackles all of this without causing unwanted irritation, so the only thing you witness is younger-looking skin that's radiant and healthy.
Retinol is a powerful ingredient that can cause skin sensitivity to sunlight. As such, be sure to reserve the use of retinol products for the evening only and protect your skin during daytime hours with a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Best with SPF: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer SPF 30
La Roche-Posay is an expert in the sunscreen category, and their Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer UV combines their ace sun protection with their impressive skincare.
This moisturizer works its way into the top layer of the skin’s barrier to deliver deep hydration, all while delivering broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection from the sun’s harmful rays. It keeps skin hydrated all day with a combination of prebiotic thermal water, ceramide-3, niacinamide, and glycerin, plus it reduces redness.
Best No-Frills: e.l.f Daily Hydration Moisturizer
This moisturizer costs less than lunch but packs a big punch. If you want a face cream that's really budget-friendly and packed with good-for-skin ingredients, this one's for you.
Shea butter, jojoba, aloe, and cucumber all deliver the hydration thirsty skin craves, and they all boost skin health, too. Skin is left with a natural glow and left feeling soothed and comfortable.
Best Natural: Burt's Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream
There’s no need to worry about this gentle formula triggering a reaction, even if you have incredibly sensitive skin. Burt's Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream is 98.9% natural and has been clinically proven to deliver hydration without leading to redness or irritation. It contains rice extract and aloe to soothe and nourish, as well as cotton extract to strengthen the skin’s outer layer and protect it from irritants.
Best K Beauty: Frudia Pomegranate Nutri-Moisturizing Cream
Korean Beauty from an American drugstore sounds too good to be true, but this anti-aging moisturizer is the real deal. With pomegranate extract as the number one ingredient, followed by tomato and other fruit seed oils, this hydrating cream improves skin's elasticity and resilience.