The most basic function of a moisturizer is to hydrate and soften the skin. “Essentially, moisturizers assist in preventing water loss through the outer layers of skin,” “They can also complement the naturally found protective oils and other building blocks within the skin, such as ceramides.” This is one product that doctors recommend using year-round, for all skin types. “Skin naturally loses the ability to retain moisture as we age,” “and daily activities, such as washing, can strip natural hydrators from the surface.”

How to Pick a Moisturizer

“Everyone needs moisture, but the texture of your moisturizer will differ depending on your skin type. Consider this your cheat-sheet.

The Difference Between a Day and Night Cream

Creams you apply in the morning are equipped to protect your skin from the environmental aggressors you’ll face when you leave the house—many contain antioxidants to minimize pollution-based free radicals and sunscreen to shield you from ultraviolet radiation. They typically have a lightweight consistency. Night creams, on the other hand, focus on repairing any damage you might have picked up with ingredients like retinol to speed cellular turnover and counteract dark spots. These creams also replenish moisture levels, which naturally dip in the evening, with emollients that often create a rich, thick texture.

Eye Creams

Can you survive without an eye cream? Absolutely. But, if you have specific concerns — like hyperpigmentation, dryness or puffiness — you might want to try one. “The skin around the eyes is quite thin and delicate, and more likely to react to irritating ingredients than other areas,” “Therefore, dermatologists typically recommend an eye cream that considers the potential sensitivity and has more tolerable concentrations of active ingredients.”

For undereye bags and inflammation, caffeine, peptides and hyaluronic acid can be soothing, “Dark circles can be due to visible veins or actual discoloration common in darker skin tones,” “Look for brightening ingredients like vitamin C, kojic acid and niacinamide.” Insider tip: Steer clear of strong retinols (which can sting and create redness) and fragrance, to avoid any eye irritation. 

How to Pick a Moisturizer

“Everyone needs moisture, but the texture of your moisturizer will differ depending on your skin type,” Mattioli notes. Consider this your cheat-sheet,