Think back to the last time when you were really thirsty. Maybe it was after a busy day running errands all over town, or while you were basking in the sweaty glow of a great workout. Remember that instinctual desire to gulp water? Your skin sort of experiences the same when it craves moisture, only you’ll experience the physical side effects of dry skin, such as roughness, dullness, flaking, and decreased plumpness.
Routinely using a hydrating moisturizer helps avoid thirsty skin syndrome and lends to a radiant and healthy complexion. But what are the rules regarding how to moisturize your face? Keep reading to learn how much moisturizer you should use, how often you should moisturize skin (yup, there’s a hydration quota!) and what to look for in the best face moisturizers for dry skin.
Are Face Moisturizers Necessary?
Yup. Face moisturizer is an absolute necessity, and your skin will thank you in all sorts of ways for routinely slathering. Think of a radiant-looking complexion, skin that feels bouncy, and a brag-worthy glow. This is true regardless of your skin type. Some people mistakenly assume that they don’t need to moisturize skin unless they have a super dry complexion, but that’s untrue. Interestingly, oily skin and blemish-prone may worsen when your skin is dehydrated.
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 false. A hydrating face moisturizer not only keeps your skin feeling and looking healthy and youthful, but when it’s formulated with powerful anti-aging ingredients then you’ll also help prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The bottom line is that using a moisturizer for your face is a skincare must—no matter your age or your skin type.
5 Major Benefits of Moisturizing Your Face
Every skincare regimen consists of three must-do steps: cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection. All three are vital to skin health—and you can always add targeted skincare treatments—but let’s focus on what moisturizer does and why it’s so important.
- Creates a youthful glow: Moisturizing ingredients can help visibly plump and soften skin for a bouncy, youthful appearance.
- Provides comfort: Without moisturizers, your skin can feel tight, itchy, tender, or generally uncomfortable. This is your skin’s way of telling you, “Hey, I’m thirsty!”
- Replenishes lost moisture: Routinely applying face moisturizer helps replenish hydration that’s washed away during cleansing and from transepidermal water loss (TEWL). TEWL is the process of water evaporating from your skin.1
- Minimizes TEWL: While TEWL is a normal function of the body, excessive evaporation can occur when you don’t “lock” hydration in via a face moisturizer. Excess TEWL can make skin look and feel dry, dull, and rough. It may also compromise your skin barrier.
- Creates a protective barrier: Your skin is constantly exposed to outside forces, including wind, indoor heating/cooling, cold air, dust, and pollutants. A layer of moisturizer creates a barrier that protects your skin.
Did You Know? Some of the best face moisturizers and skincare serums go one step further by incorporating powerful, transformative ingredients to soothe, smooth, plump, and brighten skin’s appearance.
A Quick Guide on How To Moisturize Your Face
For a simple skincare routine, wash your face and then apply a thin layer of face moisturizer to damp skin. Follow up with sunscreen during the daytime, and you’re good to go. Remember to include your neck, ears, and décolletage. If you prefer a more detailed routine that involves some skincare layering, try this routine:
- Cleanse: Wash your face and gently pat dry. Leave a little moisture behind.
- Plump: Double down on moisture by applying a layer of Bye Bye Lines Hyaluronic Acid Serum. This delivers some visibly plumping action that lends to a complexion that looks bouncy, healthy, and glowy.
- Treat: Use a skincare acid of your choosing, such as Bye Bye Pores Glycolic Acid Serum or Bye Bye Breakout Salicylic Acid Serum.
- Moisturize: Apply a pea-sized amount of your preferred moisturizer to your face. Always massage the moisturizer upward for a visibly lifted effect. (More recommendations on our best moisturizers below.)
Pro Tip: In the mornings, always apply sunscreen as the final step of your skincare regimen.
When Should You Moisturize?
Apply face moisturizer anytime you wash your face. You can also apply a moisturizer throughout the day if you notice your skin seems dry. This can feel like an itchy or tight sensation, or you might notice your face appears lackluster, flaky, and less plump.
Did You Know? The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends limiting washing to twice a day (evening and morning) and every time you sweat.2
Our Best Facial Moisturizers
Not sure which moisturizer to use? We’re sharing our best facial moisturizers below.
Confidence in a Cream Hydrating Moisturizer
If you have a normal, combination, or dry skin type, use Confidence in a Cream Hydrating Moisturizer. This #1 anti-aging cream in America* delivers 48 hours of hydration and visibly reverses 10 signs of aging in just 2 weeks. You’ll see fewer fine lines, smoother skin, and improved tone. Plus, it helps create a plumped appearance and brighter complexion. It’s one of our best face moisturizers for dry skin, normal skin, and combination skin.
Confidence in a Gel Lotion Moisturizer
Oily skin types should reach for an oil-free moisturizer, such as Confidence in a Gel Lotion Moisturizer. This waterlight moisturizer absorbs quickly 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.
Your Skin But Better Setting Spray+
For a midday pick-me-up that won’t mess up your makeup, spritz on Your Skin But Better Setting Spray+. The formula works overtime for you to help preserve your makeup while simultaneously delivering a boost of hydration. 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.
Secret Sauce Anti-Aging Moisturizer
Secret Sauce Anti-Aging Moisturizer is one of our best dry skin moisturizers that helps visibly reverse common signs of aging. The newly renovated formula is a luxurious gel-cream consistency that visibly plumps skin and hydrates the second you slather. It features a proprietary Ferment Concentrate that tackles the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and also contains our proprietary Drops of Light Technology™ that conceals discoloration while lending a gorgeous glow.
Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep Night Cream
Let your moisturizer tackle dry skin overnight via Confidence In Your Beauty Sleep Night Cream, the #1 night facial moisturizer in America.** This calming, lavender-scented formula lets you sleep your way to beautiful, younger-looking skin via Rest & Restore Technology, which visibly improves the top 5 signs of aging: 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.
How Can I Hydrate a Dry Face? 4 Quick Lifestyle Tips
Still wondering why your face is getting so dry? Sometimes little lifestyle habits can make your skin feel parched. Along with moisturizing at least twice per day, try the following skin hydrating pro-tips:
- Use a humidifier. Adding moisture to the air can help keep your skin plump and calm.
- Shower and cleanse with warm water. Hot water can strip your skin of essential moisture. Then, pat dry.
- Apply moisturizer to damp skin. Lock in some of that hydration by applying moisturizer to damp skin. You can spritz your skin first, or apply immediately after showering or cleansing.
- Wear lip balm. Opt for a nourishing lip balm (like our Je Ne Sais Quoi Hydrating Lip Balm Treatment) that doesn’t tingle or cause irritation.
Now that you know the many benefits of moisturizing your face—and the best products to deliver radiant skin—go forth and slather. For more moisturizing tips, read our guide on how to help dry skin overnight.
*Source: The NPD Group/U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market, Face Cream with Anti-Aging Benefit, Skincare Product Unit Sales, January-December 2021.
**Source: The NPD Group, Inc./ U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market, Skincare Product Unit Sales, January – May 2020.
1. Anisha Sethi; Tejinder Kaur; SK Malhotra; and ML Gambhir. “Moisturizers: The Slippery Road.” Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2016 May-Jun.
2. “Face washing 101.” American Academy of Dermatology Association. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/care/face-washing-101
3. “Moisturizers: Options for softer skin.” Mayo Clinic. 2019, Oct. 18. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-skin/in-depth/moisturizers/art-20044232