Lady in bathroom applying face cream to her cheek

Gone are the days when a moisturiser was an optional part of a skincare regime. Thanks to new-age formulas that can target a host of skin types and concerns, the beauty shelves are packed out with nourishing lotions waiting to take your complexion to the next level. 

Discover everything there is to know about this must-have skincare saviour...

Lady in bathroom applying face cream to her cheek

What are Moisturisers?

A moisturiser is a cream, lotion or balm that hydrates the skin. It also works to lock in moisture and prevents the water from evaporating from your skin. This leaves skin supple, soft and healthy. Using a moisturiser that is right for your skin type will slow down the signs of ageing and contribute to a more youthful and glowing complexion.

Moisturisers for Dry Skin

If you have dry, dull skin – a hearty moisturiser can be a life saver. Look out for hydrating creams that boast ingredients including shea butter, jojoba oil, vitamins and other skin-helping agents like antioxidants.

If your skin is very dry, a day moisturiser may not be enough – make sure you include other skincare saviours too like an overnight serum.

Olay Olay 2in1 Hydration + Radiant Glow Moisturiser Lotion 75ml £4.89 Buy Now
Avene Avene Skin Recovery Cream 50ml £12.19 Buy Now

Moisturisers for Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, go for a moisturiser that is fragrance-free as the ingredients that create scents may irritate your skin.

Look out for products that state the ingredients are hypoallergenic or suitable for sensitive skin.

Moisturisers for Normal Skin

If you have normal skin, even the most basic moisturiser will do the trick for your skin. To keep skin hydrated and supple all year long, make sure your winter moisturiser is richer and the one you use in the summer is lighter.

Brand Description of the Product Price Buy Now
Nivea NIVEA Express Primer Gel-Cream, 50ml £2.55 Buy Now
Vitamin E Superdrug Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream 100ml £2.99 Buy Now

Moisturisers for Blemish-Prone Skin

If you have problematic skin, the moisturiser you should go for will depend on how severe your blemishes are.

If your condition is serious, it is best for your dermatologist to prescribe you the correct skincare product. Generally, if you have blemish-prone skin, look out for moisturisers that are lightweight and with ingredients such as salicylic acid. 

The lighter your moisturiser, the less likely your pores will be clogged. If you feel that adding a moisturiser to your beauty regime makes your skin greasy, it may not be the right product for you. Try using a hydrating serum or overnight mask instead.

Moisturisers for Oily Skin

Depending on how oily your skin is, a daily moisturiser may not be right for you. If you need to combat the oily glow with blotting paper several times a day, consider using a hydrating gel or overnight serum instead of a day moisturiser.

Gels have a lighter formula, so they can help to mattify the glow and won’t make your skin look greasy. If your skin is not severely oily, you can benefit from a good daily moisturiser. Look out for one that has a light consistency, regulates the natural balance of your skin and doesn’t clog your pores.

Moisturisers for Combination Skin

If you have combination skin, use a heavier moisturiser only on parts of your skin that need that extra hydration boost, and use a lighter one for patches of skin where you see the most shine build-up - we're looking at you T-zone. 

Freederm Freederm Oil Free Perfecting Moisturiser £6.95 Buy Now
Olay Olay 2in1 Hydration & SPF 15 Lightweight Lotion 100ml £2.89 Buy Now

What's the Difference Between a Serum and a Moisturiser?

Let's get one thing straight - these products are not interchangeable. They have very different purposes and act in different ways when applied to the skin.

Moisturisers have a primary function to hydrate. While they may have other added features (eg. SPF protection) hydration is the key function of a moisturiser. Whereas, a serum can also hydrate the skin but it is not its primary function. Serums can treat anything from wrinkles to hyperpigmentation, so target specific skin concerns.

A serum is much lighter in weight when compared to a serum, as this allows them to penetrate deeper into the skin. Find out more with our complete guide to serums.