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Five Best Moisturizers February 2013

Five Best Moisturizers of 2013

Solution for:

Combination Skin, Dry Skin, Oily Skin
June 27, 2013 Reviewed by Marta 10 Comments

Recently a reader asked me for my recommendations for “best lotions.” The request brought me up short, realizing that it is easy to get carried away with all those fancy serums out there and forget that we all need a damn good moisturizer. I have rounded up not only the best I have found, but also tried to make a selection that will appeal to different needs: anti-aging, dry or combination skin, oily/breakout-prone skin, light or rich. They can be used on their own or layered over a serum. Either way, here are my Five Best moisturizers.

  • BRAD Biophotonic Ultra Elastin Sculpting Firming Cream Complex

    BRAD Biophotonic Ultra Elastin Sculpting Firming Cream Complex ($195/1.70z in the shop). This day or night cream (or both) can be used on the face and neck to firm, brighten, and hydrate. Unscented and absorbent, it is a great base for makeup. The ingredients consist of a very solid list of vitamins, natural oils, herbs, extracts, butters, antioxidants. In fact it just about has it all in a complex everything-including-the-kitchen-sink combination that will moisturize and exfoliate (the latter with glycolic acid and vitamin A). Aside from being a great moisturizer, with hyaluronic acid and phospholipids, there are also a few good anti-aging ingredients, including green tea and expression line inhibiting peptides and a ton of botanical antioxidants.

  • Royal Nectar Moisturizing Face Lift

    Royal Nectar Moisturizing Face Lift ($55/1.7oz in the shop). A good choice for oily skin, as this moisturizer is light with an almost whipped texture and is non-greasy and easily absorbed. Like its sister Face Mask, there is bee venom here, which is mainly made up of anti-inflammatory peptides. There are nourishing antioxidants in the form of avocado, vitamin E, apricot and rose hip. I like the inclusion of marshmallow as it has an inhibitory effect on hyaluronidase, the enzyme that degrades hyaluronic acid in our skin tissue. A lovely moisturizer at any price and great value for under $60.

  • Snowberry Bright Defence Day Cream No. 2

    Snowberry Bright Defence Day Cream No. 2 ($63 in the shop). This is a moisturizer for dry to combination skin. There are some unique ingredients, such as “silver ear,” a mushroom (also known as tremella) whose water-retaining capacity is greater than hyaluronic acid! Emollients used include: rosehip, grapeseed, passion flower, macadamia and the New Zealand harakeke. Then there is kombuchka, produced from the fermentation of sweet black tea; this compound decreases glycation and skin roughness, improving radiance. Regular use will impart a subtle brightness and a velvety softness to the skin.

  • Arcona Magic White Ice

    Arcona Magic White Ice ($40/1 oz). Arcona has a thing about cream and without putting words in the brand’s mouth, I’d go so far as to say it doesn’t like them. Its moisturizers – whether Magic White Ice or Desert Mist – are lightweight gels. Generally, they serve oily, sensitive skin well and leave it refreshed but matte. There’s hyaluronic acid and a bevy of antioxidants including totara (a native New Zealand tree, known for its healing properties), cranberry and green tea.

  • M.A.D Illuminating Daily Moisturizer

    M.A.D Illuminating Daily Moisturizer ($50/1.7 oz). This describes itself as a “lightweight daily moisturizer,” but don’t expect something that is watery or insubstantial. It is part of M.A.D’s “Brightening” line and so you can expect to find ingredients that will even out skin tone as well as moisturize. One of the key actives is B-White, a peptide that binds to the TGF-b receptor in skin cells to inhibit the enzymes involved in skin pigmentation. The other is Lumiskin, also known as diacetyl boldine. Extracted from the bark of the Chilean Boldo tree, this is another skin-lightening agent. Plus there’s strawberry seed, elderberry and blackcurrant. Like all M.A.D products, this has a good quality to price ratio.

  • June 16, 2013

    by VickyL

    It's certified. Scent is subjective so my take on this lotion is a light spicy floral scent that I like. I prefer earthy and herbaceous scents over floral but this scent does not put me off like some sweet floral scents do.

  • June 16, 2013

    by Jo

    Can you tell me if this product you suggested, or any of them, are "pet friendly" (not tested on animals)? Also, is the scent a strong floral scent? Because I don't care for real floral type scents.

  • June 16, 2013

    by VickyL

    Hi Jo,
    Try Biao Beauty Rejuvenating Night Cream. It is excellent. Light but very effective and lovely ingredients. It's 4 oz for $25 in the shop and with Marta's various sales and discounts you can't beat it IMHO.

  • June 14, 2013

    by jo

    Isn't there an affordable, good moisturizer. These are way above anything I (or my friends) could afford.

  • February 28, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    Marta! Thank you for this timely article. Moisturizers are oftentimes overlooked these days in lieu of serum and gel products that seem to do the trick. But I'm of the old school that believes long-term results lay in these emmolient rich creams that deeply soak into the derma and go to work for hours on end. I'm also a stubborn old broad, and you've presented five lovely creams, none of which include my favorite active Matrixyl 3000. Yet I do place extreme faith in you! This gives me much to ponder. I'm leaning to the M.A.D. cream in this pondering and will continue my meditations. ~grasshopper

  • February 28, 2013

    by Jeri

    Thank you, Marta. I guess the prescribed reading is the reason I became confused in the first place. After re reading and trying to absorb, I hope I have a better understanding. I feel safe with the rose hip oil. I may go with the Snowberry, now!

  • February 27, 2013

    by Marta

    Thanks for the catch VickyL. The correct one is now published.

  • February 27, 2013

    by VickyL

    FYI - The BRAD ingredient list on this page is very different from the list on the linked "Read the full review" page.

  • February 27, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Jeri, retinol is part of the vitamin A family. You can read more on it here: .Rosehip oil is not retinol and there is no need for you to avoid it as it is gentle and nourishing ingredient. You can see more on its properties here:

  • February 27, 2013

    by Jeri DiNardo

    Thank you Marta and everyone at TIA for your diligence! It just so happens that I was combing through TIA posts this weekend looking for moisterizers! I ended up not ordering because I became a little confused. My question is regarding vitamin A and rose hip oil. Are they not they same as retinol? I ask because of my horrific reaction to retinol. It takes longer to recover every time my poor face is exposed to it. Red, rashy, scaly, patchy mess. My neck and chest react as well, but not so badly. I would love to try the Brad or the Royal Nectar, but I am afraid of these ingredients. Need I be?

    Thanks again,
    Jeri (still needing moisterizer)

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