Woman of color applying moisturizer

How Often Should You Moisturize Your Face?

A good moisturizer is one of the most essential aspects of any good skincare routine. Dehydrated skin is prone to itching, fragility, infection, flare-ups of skin conditions, and it doesn’t look or feel as healthy as it should. This is because the skin has a natural, protective barrier that can be damaged by aging, weather, environmental allergens and irritants, such as certain soaps and cleansers. As we age, water loss increases and our skin retains less moisture. A good moisturizer can help you replace lost moisture and keep skin healthy and hydrated. In this blog, we’ll walk through the basics of good moisturizer use as well as highlight some of our most recommended moisturizers.

When to Moisturize

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you may think that you don’t need to apply moisturizer very often, and if you have dry or combination skin, you may be heaping on the moisturizer several times a day. It may seem counterintuitive, but no matter what skin type you have, you should be moisturizing twice a day, typically in the morning and evening. The difference is in what type of moisturizer you should use, which we will discuss below. Additionally, you should be moisturizing your whole body once a day. Whenever possible, apply moisturizer to the skin immediately after showering or bathing to trap in moisture.

How Much Moisturizer to UseHow Often Should You Moisturize Your Face?

If you use the same moisturizer for your face and neck, a quarter-sized amount of moisturizer is usually adequate for complete coverage. If you’re using a separate neck cream, a nickel-sized amount of facial moisturizer should be adequate along with a dime-sized dollop of neck cream. The amount of lotion needed for the whole body can be much more varied based on body type and height as well as the type of lotion you’re using (thick, cream lotions are more difficult to spread and may take more for complete coverage). Start with a small amount and add more as you go to achieve full coverage.

What Moisturizer to Use

When it comes to choosing a moisturizer, there are a number of different factors to consider before selecting the best product for your skincare needs. Most moisturizers will include some combination of active ingredients that are considered humectants, emollients, or occlusives. Humectants attract water to the skin. They pull moisture from your environment as well as from the deep layers of skin. Emollients are used to repair and soften dry, dehydrated skin. These ingredients fill the spaces between skin cells to heal the skin’s protective barrier and improve moisture retention. Finally, occlusives are thick, protective ingredients that sit on the top of the skin, mimicking the function of the skin’s natural protective barrier. These products are great if your skin is damaged or severely dehydrated. The occlusive-heavy moisturizer will provide the protective barrier your skin needs to heal.

When you’re choosing a moisturizer, you may not know which products contain which active ingredients. A good rule of thumb is that thicker moisturizers are likely to have higher levels of all three ingredients, but they tend to be occlusive-heavy. Whereas lighter lotions, and gel-based or oil-free moisturizers are more reliant on humectants to attract moisture rather than utilizing larger amounts of emollients and occlusives. Gel moisturizers especially are very humectant-rich, making them ideal for people with oily or acne-prone skin since they will help your body retain moisture without significantly increasing the risk for clogged pores. Below, we’ve outlined a few of our favorite moisturizing products.

Daytime Moisturizer for All Skin Types – EltaMD AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer

EltaMD AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer is the perfect start to your day. Not only does this light-weight product offer skin-soothing, brightening moisture that’s compatible with sunscreens (especially the EltaMD sun care line), but the EltaMD AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid that helps to increase the skin’s natural moisture absorption and retention, leaving skin looking and feeling great all day long. EltaMD is safe and effective for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

Nighttime Moisturizer for All Skin Types – EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer

At the end of a long day, you need a soothing and replenishing moisturizer to restore your skin after the day’s damage. The EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer strengthens skin, promotes healing, prevents sun damage, repairs UV damage, diminishes the visual signs of aging (fine lines and wrinkles), and leaves skin looking healthy and youthful. It’s effective for all skin types, and it’s safe for use on sensitive skin.

Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin – Epionce Renewal Facial Lotion

The Epionce Renewal Facial Lotion is marketed as being for normal to oily skin, but this lightweight moisturizer is also great for acne-prone skin. The lotion is specifically formulated to promote skin clarity, the removal of dead skin cells, and the production of new, healthy skin cells, which can help to minimize the risk for acne breakouts. This hydrating lotion improves the appearance and texture of the skin.

Deep Moisturizer for Dry Skin – Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer

Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer with TriHex TechnologyFor dry skin, the Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer offers an ideal hydration solution. This product contains Alastin’s TriHex Technology, which supports the natural skin cell cycle for a healthier, more beautiful appearance. Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer helps to calm and restore skin, promotes healthy skin cell turnover, and improves general skin health and hydration. The Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer also includes anti-aging ingredients that stimulate the body’s natural collagen and elastin production.

Lip Moisturizer – ColoreScience Sunforgettable Lip Shine

Your lips are part of your face, and you shouldn’t neglect them when it’s time for moisturizing! The ColoreScience Sunforgettable Lip Shine product line offers sun protection and deep moisturizing, leaving your lips looking and feeling great. There are a variety of shades available to compliment any makeup look, or you can use the clear lip shine over your favorite lip color.

Want a Professional Recommendation?

Still not sure which moisturizer to add to your daily skincare routine? The knowledgeable dermatologists at U.S. Dermatology Partners have you covered. These skilled professionals put their years of training and experience to work curating the list of recommended skincare products on Derm Skincare, but they agree that no product is right for everyone. So, if you want a more personalized product recommendation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our local U.S. Dermatology Partners locations to learn more or schedule a consultation with a trusted dermatologist. You can get started any time by filling out our simple online scheduling request form.