Think back to the last time when you were really, really thirsty. Maybe it was after a busy day spent running errands all over town, or while you were basking in the sweaty glow of a great workout. Remember that instinctual desire to grab the closest glass and hydrate? Your skin essentially experiences the same urge when it’s craving moisture. Only instead of an internalized feeling, you’ll see and feel physical side effects such as a rough texture, dullness, flaking, and decreased plumpness.
Regularly moisturizing your skin with powerful, skin-loving products helps it look radiant, feel firmer, and appear healthy. But how often should you slather on your favorite cream? We’re answering that question below. To drive the point home, we’re also outlining the benefits of moisturizing your face and explaining what happens when you don’t meet your hydrating quota. Bonus: We’re sharing some of our favorite, skin-changing IT Cosmetics moisturizers, too.
What are the Benefits of Moisturizing Your Face?
A simple facial skincare regimen consists of three must-do steps: cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection. All three are vital to skin health, but today we’re focusing on the importance of moisturizing, specifically.
Your facial skin is especially susceptible to becoming damaged by the outside world, including cold and hot weather, dust and pollution, and the sun’s harmful UV rays. Additionally, your skin experiences what’s referred to a transepidermal water loss (TEWL), which is the process of water evaporating out of your skin.I
While TEWL is a normal function of the body, excessive water loss can occur and cause the skin to look and feel dried out.
Moisturizers help in all three of these scenarios. They help shield your skin from environmental stressors, prevent excessive TEWL, and replenish moisture that’s been washed away. Some of the best face moisturizers and serums go one step further by incorporating powerful, transformative ingredients to soothe, smooth, plump, and brighten skin’s appearance.
Without moisturizers, your skin can appear dull, less firm, and rougher in texture. It can also feel tight, itchy, tender, and generally uncomfortable. Bottom line: moisturizing your skin is a prerequisite to a happy, beautiful, healthy-looking complexion.
Do All Skin Types Need Facial Moisturizers?
Some people mistakenly assume that they don’t need to apply moisturizer unless they have super dry skin. This is untrue. Interestingly, oily skin can occur or worsen when your skin is dehydrated and in need of moisture.
Essentially, your body may sometimes compensate for that dryness by generating more oil. Kind of like it’s trying to produce its very own glass of water! Moisturizing your skin regularly can help restore balance and keep excess oil production at bay.
There’s also a belief that you don’t need to moisturize your skin if you’re not yet seeing any of the effects of aging. This is also untrue. A moisturizer not only keeps your skin feeling and looking healthy and youthful, but when it’s formulated with anti-aging ingredients then you’ll also help prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
The bottom line is that moisturizers are a skincare must no matter your age or your complexion—be it oily, dry, or sensitive.
How Many Times a Day Should You Moisturize Your Face?
As a general rule of thumb, you should apply a moisturizing cream or lotion anytime you wash your face. The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) recommends limiting washing to twice a day (evening and morning) and every time you sweat.II
You can also apply a moisturizer anytime your skin seems particularly dry. This can feel like an itchy or tight sensation, or you might notice your face appears lackluster, flaky, and less plump. Below we’ve laid out some facial moisturizer suggestions you can use morning, midday, and evening. Within each category, we’ve made sure to include recommendations based on your specific skin type, too.
Morning Moisturizer Recommendations
If you have a normal, combination, or dry skin type, we recommend applying IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream™ Hydrating Moisturizer. This #1 nationwide, best-selling, does-it-all cream boasts 7 key benefits.* In addition to moisturizing, it reduces the look of fine lines, smooths skin, and visibly evens your skin tone. Plus, it helps create a plumped appearance and brighter complexion.
One reviewer says, “By far my favorite moisturizer. [It] will not leave skin feeling oily. A little goes a long way and [it] leaves my skin feeling so soft.” Make it an indulgent self-care moment by massaging the moisturizer onto your skin with the Heavenly Luxe Face & Neck Citrine Roller, which not only feels divine, it will help the product absorb better, too.
If your skin is very dry and/or if you want to prioritize anti-aging, you could instead try Secret Sauce™ Moisturizer. It contains IT Cosmetics' proprietary Secret Sauce™ Fermented Complex, a blend of 7 advanced, skin-penetrating ingredients. This formula helps increase absorbency while maximizing the ultra-hydrating benefits. It's also infused with skin-loving peptides, plumping hyaluronic acid, and antioxidant-rich vitamin C.
Oily skin types should reach for an oil-free moisturizer, such as Confidence in a Gel. It's a light-as-air moisturizer that absorbs quickly into skin to deliver hydration for up to 72 hours. The formula also contains ceramides, glycerin, and cactus flower extract to make skin appear smoother, softer, and more radiant.
Pro Tip: All skin types in need of a moisture boost will benefit from a hydrating face serum like Bye Bye Lines Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Apply it after cleansing, preferably while your skin is still damp. Doing so helps trap the water in your skin for improved hydration.III Then layer your moisturizer on top.
Midday Moisturizer Recommendations
You can apply any of the above moisturizers to your skin throughout the day if your skin looks or feels dry. If doing so might mess up your makeup—which we know you put a good deal of effort into—then consider using a hydrating mist. Your Skin But Better Setting Spray+ works overtime for you to help preserve your makeup while simultaneously delivering a boost of hydration.
“I didn’t have to touch up, powder, or reapply makeup all day even after getting steamy inside my face mask,” writes one reviewer “Plus, my skin looked fresh—not dry like my usual setting spray makes my skin look. I have a new favorite!”
To use, shake the bottle and hold it about 10 inches from your face. Close your eyes and mouth and mist onto your skin four times. We recommend making a + and an x pattern for an even application.
Nighttime Moisturizer Recommendations
Evenings present an opportunity to slightly switch up your skincare regimen. You can, of course, still apply your preferred Confidence in a Cream or Confidence in a Gel Lotion. However, if you want to experiment or level up, then reach for something different come bedtime.
One option could be to use the Secret Sauce Moisturizer we suggested above, which boasts anti-aging benefits and serious hydration. You could also swap in our best night moisturizer for your face: Confidence In Your Beauty Sleep™ Night Cream lets you sleep your way to beautiful, younger-looking skin. It does so via IT Cosmetics' Rest & Restore Technology, which visibly improves the top 5 signs of aging. Those include fine lines, wrinkles, dryness, dullness, and loss of firmness.
Even after one night of sweet dreams you'll notice skin feels more hydrated, smooth, and supple. And after a week? You'll relish in a reduced appearance of fine lines, firmer-looking skin, and visibly more plump skin. You’ll also love that it smells like a freshly plucked bouquet of lavender.
“The smell is lavender and wonderfully relaxing, but even better is how this product softened the lines around my lips. [It] makes skin incredibly soft and will now be a staple in my skin arsenal,” writes one reviewer. Another raves, “[This is] the BEST night cream I have ever used! [It’s] very moisturizing but absorbs, so it doesn’t stick to my pillow. My face was obviously brighter after the first night!”
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to moisturize your neck with Confidence in a Neck Cream™ Moisturizer. Consider this skin-firming hydrator as "shapewear for your neck.” It’s formulated with shea butter, seaweed extract, and a tri-structural complex composed of elastin, collagen, and hyaluronic acid to visibly transform your neck, décolleté and chest.
Now that you know the many benefits of moisturizing your face—and the best products to deliver radiant skin—go forth and slather.
*Source: The NPD Group, Inc./US Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market, Skincare Product Dollar and Unit Sales, January-December 2019.
I. Anisha Sethi; Tejinder Kaur; SK Malhotra; and ML Gambhir. “Moisturizers: The Slippery Road.” Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2016 May-Jun.
II. “Face washing 101.” American Academy of Dermatology Association. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/care/face-washing-101
III. “Moisturizers: Options for softer skin.” Mayo Clinic. 2019, Oct. 18. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-skin/in-depth/moisturizers/art-20044232