You Know You Need a Moisturizer, But Which One?

woman in robe applies moisturizer to face

You Know You Need a Moisturizer, But Which One?

We all know we need a facial moisturizer, but with all the moisturizers on the market, each touting their own benefit (anti-aging! Ultra-moisturizing! Instant dry-skin relief!), it can be hard to decipher what works, and most importantly, what works for your unique skin needs.

From face creams to facial oil, we walk through the different options on the market and what you should look out for.

When choosing a moisturizer, context is everything

Day or night, summer or winter, your moisturizer will be determined by when you use it. WebMD suggests you pick the thickness of your moisturizer based on when and where you use it on your body. During the day, opt for a lightweight moisturizer for your face. At night, elect to use a heavier, thicker serum moisturizer to seal in moisture while you sleep.

During the humid and hot summer months, you’ll want to stick to a lighter moisturizer; otherwise, your skin may not properly breathe, leaving you feeling sticky and weighed down. Unfortunately, winter months (and indoor heating) can wreak havoc on the skin; therefore, you’ll want to choose a heavier lotion for the skin. 

Moisturizers for different needs

Across the board, a lightweight moisturizer with a built-in SPF of 30 is your best bet. If you choose to pick a moisturizer with sunscreen for your face, make sure you pick one that is oil-free and fragrance-free, says WebMD.

However, you may choose to pick a moisturizer that helps combat acne-prone skin. If you do, choose one with an alpha-hydroxy acid, which will encourage healthy skin cell turnover as well as promote anti-aging. Of course, you’ll need to pick a moisturizer that won’t clog pores. 

For those with sensitive skin or common skin conditions like eczema, choose a moisturizer with few ingredients. Fewer ingredients mean fewer possibilities for interaction with sensitive or compromised skin. 

Lastly, choosing a tinted moisturizer is a great way to even out skin tone without having to go through the effort of putting on makeup. 

What to avoid

When choosing your moisturizer, avoid these common ingredients, as they can lead to irritation or clogged pores:

  • Colorings
  • Perfumes
  • Urea or lactic acid
  • Alcohols
  • Lanolin, mineral oil, shea butter or waxes

Trial and error is key

Above all, it’s important to try multiple products — and mix-and-match! Just because you chose a lightweight moisturizer for your face doesn’t mean you have to use it on your body! And with moisturizers each containing their own benefits, like anti-aging or acne-fighting ingredients, it’s important to switch it up every now and then. 

Over time, you’ll find the one that works best for your skin type and your lifestyle. What may work for someone else may not work for you. Try different brands and different ingredients until you find something that sticks.

If you choose a moisturizer without SPF, follow up with a sunscreen to fight against premature aging and skin cancer. But, like we said before, it doesn’t hurt to find one that offers both.

Moisturizers are a crucial component of any effective skincare routine; do you know what works for you?


Cumberland Skin Surgery and Dermatology provides effective, compassionate general dermatology, skin cancer surgery and cosmetic dermatology solutions for our patients throughout the Southeast. With offices in Hermitage, Lebanon, Brentwood and Hendersonville, Tennessee, we’re your destination for high-caliber skincare. Visit our website at cumberlandskin.com or give us a call today at 615-257-7128.