Detroit Medical Center

DMC Dermatologist Dr. Brittany Carter-Snell Shares Her Top Drugstore Moisturizers Based on Ingredients with O, The Oprah Magazine Online

11 Drugstore Face Moisturizers Dermatologists Swear By

Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer

Suffering from breakouts or dark spots? Dr. Rachel Nazarian is a fan of the celebrity-endorsed skincare brand Proactiv.

"Redness and irritation can be alleviated by topical anti-inflammatories," she says, "Proactiv makes a good Green Tea Moisturizer that’s quite calming for inflamed skin."

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion

Though the CeraVe PM formula offers lightweight coverage, it doesn't skimp on the hydrating benefits. According to Dr. Brittany Carter-Snell, a board-certified dermatologist at Detroit Medical Center, this face moisturizing lotion contains humectant compounds and ceramides that work wonders for the skin.

"Humectant compounds attract water from the second layer of the skin and maintains water in the first layer of the skin, working from the inside out," she says. "Ceramides are naturally present in the skin and improve the skin barrier by preventing water loss."

Neutrogena Deep Moisture Night Cream

This hydrating and lightweight face moisturizer helps to restore your skin while you sleep.

"The night cream is reasonably priced and offers vitamin D3 to help balance the skin’s oil levels," recommends Dr. Gary Goldenberg of Goldenberg Dermatology in New York. "It’s non-comedogenic and can be used by all skin types."

Garnier 3-in-1 Face Moisturizer with Rose Water

Garnier's moisturizer offers triple the benefits. Not only does it serve as a day and night cream, but it can also be applied as a face mask.  

"The formula contains glycolic acid, which helps with the removal of superficial layers of the skin and improves skin texture," explains Dr. Carter-Snell. "Glycolic acid also has a natural skin lightening agent derived from sources such as a fruits and vegetables that aid in enhancing skin tone."

Neutrogena Hydroboost Hydrating Serum

The non-greasy formula pulls double duty, hydrating dry skin while controlling shine in oily-prone areas. Dr. Margo Weishar of Springhouse Dermaesthetics attributes the effects to the product's hyaluronic acid.

"Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring component of skin that holds onto water molecules and hydrates the skin," she adds. "This lightweight serum provides even oily acne prone skin the moisture it needs when facing the winter weather."

SheaMoisture Bamboo Charcoal Hydrating Gelee Moisturizer

Thanks to one specific ingredient, this gelee moisturizer nourishes skin and acts as a clarifying agent.

"The charcoal powder removes excess oils from the skin, which is why it's an appropriate moisturizer for an oily skin type," suggests Dr. Carter-Snell.

Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Daily Face Moisturizer

Not only does this anti-aging moisturizer contain vitamins c and e, but you also receive seven benefits for a bargain: smoothing wrinkles, evening tone, brightening, refining pores, targeting age spots, restoring firmness, and moisturizing. Dr. Carter-Snell says it's because of the leaf and green tea extracts that make up the ingredient list.

"The antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties help protect against premature aging and skin cancer formation," she says.

Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 50

New York-based plastic surgeon, Dr. Joshua Zuckerman, MD, FACS, is a fan of this Neutrogena product, as well as his wife.

"I think it's important for any daily moisturizer to include SPF, because medical research has shown that sun damage is responsible for up to 80 percent of the signs of aging including lines, wrinkles, and sagging, not to mention melanoma and other skin cancers," says Dr. Zuckerman. "Combining the SPF product with your daily moisturizer means there're one less step to perform in the morning, and it helps to be consistent in the application of sun protection. This one is also great because it doesn't have a heavy feel or whiteness when applied."

Pond's Face Cream

This product is considered magic in a jar for many women—partly because of how affordable it is, and partly because of the benefits it boasts, many which can be credited to the botanical extracts that make up the formula.

"The apple and grapefruit extracts fight off the signs of aging caused by ultraviolet exposure," Dr. Carter-Snell explains, adding that the therapeutic herbs in the ingredient list contain "anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties."  

Aveeno Positively Radiant Sheer Daily Moisturizing Lotion

We won't bore you with the chemical makeup of ingredients such as avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, and oxybenzone. But the one thing you should know about Aveeno's milky-like lotion is that its sunscreen agents protect your face from harmful rays, while keeping your skin soft, smooth, and healthy.

"Aveeno goes on sheer without leaving the appearance of chalky residue," suggests Dr. Carter-Snell. "It's suitable for daytime use in order to protect against the aging and carcinogenic effects of the sun."

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Soothing Moisturizer

If your skin is super sensitive, it may be time to switch things up in your beauty routine and incorporate this inexpensive Parisian brand.

"The Toleriane line is a lightweight moisturizer that is formulated without any of the ingredients that may cause irritation or allergy," advises Dr. Margo Weishar. "It also works well under makeup, and is recommended for anyone with redness or flaking, rosacea, and eczema."