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Which moisturizer for aging skin is best?

As we age, our skin requires different needs. Skin that was once oily may become dry or sensitive to specific ingredients, so it’s important to give your skin all the support it needs to stay healthy. From serums to hydrating moisturizers, if you want to keep skin looking and feeling its best, it’s worthwhile to invest in some new products to add to your daily routine. 

However, when it comes to skin care products for aging skin, there are a lot of options, so it can be difficult to determine what fits your needs. If you’re looking for a moisturizer that offers impactful, hydrating results, the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid is a top choice.

What to know before you buy a moisturizer for aging skin

Even if you’ve got new skin care goals than you did before, that doesn’t mean that all mature skin is the same. You’ll still want to shop for moisturizers that fit your skin type, environment and lifestyle. For example, if you spend a significant amount of time outdoors, you may want to look for a moisturizer with SPF. If you live in a very dry environment, you may need something that’s extra moisturizing. If you’ve always struggled with breakouts, you may still want to look for noncomedogenic formulations. Your skin’s tendencies will likely inform what kind of products you buy, even with your new goals in mind.

Your skin care habits 

The best skin care routine is the one that you can stick to. Even the best intentions can be disrupted if you don’t have the time, funds or energy to commit to a lengthy skin care program. If you always zoom out the door without a lot of fuss, you may want to look for a face moisturizer that absorbs quickly. This way, your skin will be instantly ready for makeup. On the other hand, if you enjoy a more detailed skin care routine, you may want to incorporate additional serums and creams as well as derma rollers or a gua sha stone. Either way, pick a moisturizer that allows for a routine that works for you.

Oil or water-based hydrating moisturizer?

Even if you see far fewer breakouts than you did before, you’ll want to honor if your skin tends to be oily or acne-prone. If you have oily or combination skin, be sure to steer clear of thick, oil-based moisturizer formulas, as these may clog your pores and cause unwanted pimples. If your skin always tends to be on the dryer side, don’t be afraid to get a face cream that gives you a nourishing boost of moisture. After all, hydrating the skin is about water retention, so thick moisturizers may or may not be necessary to make your skin look great.

Your main skin care concern

Everyone’s skin changes over time, but not everyone’s skin changes in the same way. Identify how you want to support your skin. Do you want to have smooth, even skin? It may be a good idea to invest in a tone-correcting serum. Do you want to have a supple, dewy texture? Hydraulic acid will likely be a wise choice. Find hydrating ingredients that address your concerns to find the perfect moisturizer for your skin goals.

What to look for in a quality moisturizer for aging skin

There are numerous moisturizers available, each promising a range of results and requiring varying levels of application. Depending on your desired results, you’ll be able to narrow down which hydrating moisturizing is right for you. Here are a few key ingredients to look for in a good moisturizer and how to tell if it fits your goals. 

Hyaluronic acid

If you’ve been in the market for a moisturizer over the last few years, you’ve probably seen hyaluronic acid listed as an ingredient. Hyaluronic acid has gained popularity because it works with the body to increase moisture in the skin. This tandem effort helps your skin look more plump, healthy and smooth. Facial lotions with hyaluronic acid boost the body’s healing process right where you need it most.


If you want your skin to appear more supple and smooth, you may want to look into a moisturizer with retinoids. Retinoids not only smooth the skin, but they can also reduce breakouts for acne-prone skin, no matter your age. However, keep in mind that it’s important to start slow with retinoids. Some people experience redness and irritation when first using moisturizers with this ingredient. Be sure to follow application directions carefully and scale back if you experience irritation. You can also discuss this with your dermatologist for additional application ideas.

Vitamin C

Collagen is crucial to your skin looking vital and healthy — and vitamin C is a building block for proper collagen production. Collagen production is at its highest when you’re a teenager, and then it tapers off over time. If you want your skin to have a bright, supple quality, collagen will improve elasticity and the regeneration process. If you have less collagen, you’ll notice less elasticity in your skin.

How much you can expect to spend on a moisturizer for aging skin

Pricing ultimately depends on ingredients, formula, size and brand name. A good department-store brand facial moisturizer will cost about $15-$30. A luxury brand can run upward of $60-$100. Some of the premium brands, such as La Mer, cost $100 and up. That said, you get what you pay for, and sometimes it’s worth it to spend more for an effective product.

Moisturizers for aging skin FAQ

How often should I apply moisturizer?

A. It depends on the product. It’s best to read the recommendations on the product label and follow application instructions from the company. As a general rule, skin care routines work best when you use a daily moisturizer in the morning and then a night cream before you go to sleep. Be sure to give your new product a few weeks to start working before you decide if it’s the right fit.

Does aging skin require a thick moisturizer?

A. Not typically. Some people associate the thickness of a moisturizer with its efficacy. This is a rather outdated approach and isn’t necessarily the case. Some night creams may feel thicker than daily moisturizers, but they should still absorb into your skin easily. Thicker formulations will simply sit on top of the skin and may end up being counterproductive to your goals. Choose a moisturizer that absorbs easily for the best results.

Which moisturizer is best for fine lines and wrinkles?

A. If you’re hoping to achieve an overall smoother complexion, you’ll likely want to find products that have collagen or hyaluronic acid. These boost regeneration and give your skin the boost it needs to repair quickly. That said, there are other options you can use as well, such as tools like derma rollers or light therapy. If there’s a specific area you’re concerned about, you may want to ask a dermatologist for additional guidance.

What is the best moisturizer for aging skin to buy?

Top moisturizer for aging skin

Best Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid 

What you need to know: Thick but not overpowering, this sensational UK product helps your skin feel plump and hydrated. Along with helping your skin look visibly smooth and plump, it also leaves you with a glowy complexion.

What you’ll love: It feels luxurious, and application is incredibly easy. The hyaluronic acid makes this a great tool for hydrating dry skin, and it has vitamins C and E to help even tone.

What you should consider: Some users with blemish-prone skin report that this cream makes them break out.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora

Top moisturizer for aging skin for the money

Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Moisturizer with UVA/UVB Protection

What you need to know: This longtime staple in skin care is a classic for a reason: It gives you plenty of high-quality ingredients to help your skin feel and look its best while it protects it from sun exposure. 

What you’ll love: It has a light, creamy consistency and absorbs in no time. The formula addresses several skin concerns and works to improve tone, shrink pores, smooth skin and increase elasticity. It’s formulated with SPF 30 that provides reliable protection from the sun’s rays. 

What you should consider: Some users with sensitive skin report that they developed breakouts or irritation after use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Dr. Dennis Gross Intense Wrinkle Cream

Dr. Dennis Gross Intense Wrinkle Cream

What you need to know: This moisturizer offers a range of ingredients that help boost your skin’s ability to repair and rejuvenate. It works well for all skin types, from dry to oily to combination skin.

What you’ll love: You’ll notice an improvement in the texture and tone of your skin with this moisturizer. While it’s a luxurious splurge, users swear by its ability to hydrate and help with cell turnover. It uses retinol and other botanical ingredients to support even sensitive skin.

What you should consider: This moisturizer doesn’t absorb into the skin as well as other products we considered. 

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Amazon 

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Maria Andreu writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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