Moisturisers are experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Once relegated to the status of merely cossetting the skin, they are now infused with benefits to keep the surface of your skin happy. Here’s everything you need to know - and your ultimate moisturiser shopping list…
Back in the day, moisturiser was considered a sufficient skincare step post-cleansing, but once serums and essences and sleeping masks hit the market, not so much. In fact, so popular were these other steps because they contained higher concentrations of actives and offered more speedy results, that humble moisturiser was relegated to the bottom of the beauty list.
But change is underway. Not only are moisturisers getting more clever, with actives being blended into the comforting creams, but beauty buffs are wising up to their not insignificant role in a routine.
The first thing to know is that moisturisers will of course not penetrate deeply into the skin - that is the job of serums. What they will do is work on the surface, calming irritation, softening, and comforting dryness. They also prep skin for make-up, with many doing the job of a primer well enough to skip that step, with some make-up artists claiming to prefer moisturiser to primer for it’s ability to meld foundation to skin for a natural finish.
When picking the one for you, you need to choose the moisturiser that befits your skin type and the time of day - if you have oily skin or are looking for an anti-ageing formula, consider the ingredients list - aloe vera, for example, is brilliant at calming redness, while hyaluronic acid will attract water and plump the skin’s surface. This quick quiz can pair you up with the best moisturiser for your skin type.
During the morning, SPF is mandatory, so you can either opt for a moisturising SPF, or choose a formula that won’t overwhelm your skin when you apply your sun cream on top. Equally, at night, you may want to use a cream that contains retinols to help turn over your skin’s surface and treat it to a dose of Vitamin A. The key with here is trial and error - if your skin feels hydrated, calm and doesn’t pool grease by the afternoon, you’re set.
The final piece of wisdom is how to apply moisturiser. Generally, it should go on top of serum as a final step in moisturiser - think of it as a blanket that tucks your other steps in. The best application technique is to sweep and massage it in to really push the product into your skin.
1. Zelens Hydro-Shiso Balancing Moisturiser
This lightweight cream combines a unique lipid complex and polyphenols from Green Shiso to help maintain your skin’s moisture balance.
Zelens | £55.00
2. Dr Jackson's Ski Cream 05
A deeply nourishing cream that protects against ageing UVA and UVB rays and uses soothing Kigali to calm congested skin.
3. Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream
Antipodes products all smell so ridiculously nice, which would make them worth using even if they weren’t good, but they actually are. The day cream is thick and moisturising, but sinks in so you don’t feel shiny or greasy. It’s also got antioxidant properties which will protect skin from ageing effects and help repair any damage.
4. Embyolisse Lair Creme Concentrate Nourishing Moisturiser
Embryolisse moisturiser is a total cult classic. An industry favourite since the 50s, the lotion is the ultimate multi-tasker, working as a moisturiser (obviously) as well as a primer, make-up remover and repairing mask. The formula is rich in vitamins and fatty acids which plump, quench and balance your skin, and protect it from damaging environmental factors.
Embryolisse | £13.00
5. Aromatherapy Associates Rose Infinity Moisturiser
This cream is like a luxury facial in a tub – pampering, comforting and soothing. Take care to spend a couple of minutes massaging it into skin, morning and night, to encourage the ingredients (including powerful Alpine rose stem cells) to penetrate the skin, and promote a feeling of wellbeing.
Aromatherapy Associates | £93.51
6. Dermalogica Active Moist
Dermalogica Active Moist Moisturiser is a firm favourite. The light cream keeps skin more matte than it usually would be after a long day, and it moisturises without feeling at all clogged or leaving a greasy film. Apply before make-up in the morning and at night if you fancy too.
Dermalogica | £93.51
7. Creme De La Mer Moisturising Cream
Creme De La Mer Moisturising Cream is a real cult classic. So many celebrities, skin experts and make-up artists swear by it for its skin softening power. It's very rich and nourishing, and a little goes a long way so although it's pricey, it'll last a long time.
8. Omorovicza Intensive Hydra Lifting Cream
Omorovicza's Intensive Hydra Lifting Cream has been very well received by the industry. Great for mature skin, it feels like a bit of a miracle product. Not only is the rich formula quickly absorbed but it delivers anti-ageing effects you can actually see, including firming and lifting the skin. You only need a small amount, smoothe it evenly over the face and neck after cleansing.
Omorovicza | £208.00
9. Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Day Cream
Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Day Cream is a budget favourite. Chock full of active ingredients, a small amount will help keep your skin protected throughout the day, as well as making it noticeable smoother, softer and less senstive to environmental irritants. Turns out Green Tea isn't just beneficial when you drink it either, it fights the signs of ageing while Mushroom Extract refines the skin.
Simple | £2.50
10. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
You can't go wrong with Clarins but we particularly love the moisturiser/radiance-booster hybrid that is the Beauty Flash Balm. Keep it in your handbag or desk drawer and reach for it whenever you need a quick hydration and radiance boost. It's a brilliant quick pick-me-up for tired or hungover skin.
Clarins | £2.50
11. Darphin Stimulskin Plus Divine Lifting Cream
The Stimulskin Plus Divine Lifting Cream is the latest launch from gorgeous skincare brand Darphin. It contains sophisticated ingredients that support the skin's production of hyaluronic acid, which is responsible for skin's plumpness. As it's specifically designed to lift and tighten, it's best for more mature skin.
Darphin | £39.90
12. Balance Me Moisture-Rich Face Cream
Balance Me is a lovely natural brand which states clearly what percentage of its products are natural on the packaging – in this case it's 99%. They use natural oils and ingredients, like rose oil and Arctic cloudberry extract, which is rich in anti-oxidants, to hydrate and soothe the skin. As such, it's particularly great for sensitives skins.
Balance Me | £23.99
13. Sisley Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream
Centred around a trio of roses with skincare benefits, this lightweight serum-like cream will act as an antioxidant, soften skin and deeply replenish - think drink for skin, in a jar.
Sisley | £79.50