We all know (and hate) the feeling of tight, parched skin in the winter. But humidity, sunshine, and long days by the pool are no reason to skip a moisturizer. Chances are, if you’re reluctant to slather on a moisturizer in the summer, it’s probably because you’re not using the right one, and you definitely aren’t alone.
Here are 10 great moisturizers that will keep your skin looking supple and nourished, regardless of blazing hot temperatures or skin type.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Light ($100)
This new lightweight moisturizer—inspired by Charlotte’s beloved, iconic Magic Cream—is a flawless multitasker that mightily lives up to its name. With a smooth, matte finish, it protects the skin from both UV and blue light while hydrating, plumping, and firming. It claims to make skin look transformed, and I have to say: The hype is real.
Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream ($60)
While it is true that this oil-and-ceramide-infused moisturizer is ideally suited to rescue skin from even the harshest winters, there are some who need a replenishing rescue cream like this one all year long—even in the summer. The unique, whipped texture is what makes this an incredible summertime moisturizer for those who need to protect and heal stressed skin without making you look like an oil slick. Pretty remarkable for a cream infused with six (six!) different oils.
Goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Glow Lotion ($58)
Lightweight products are the name of the game when it comes to summertime skin care, and this new creation from Goop leaves skin looking healthy, radiant, and dewy; some even say it allows them to skip the makeup. Spirulina extract helps protect the skin, while vitamin C and kakadu plum turn on the glow. The fact that it smells like a warm summer day doesn’t hurt either.
Paula’s Choice Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30 ($29)
This might just be my favorite product on this list, and it’s certainly one of my best skin care discoveries of the last several years. While it didn’t provide my skin quite enough moisture during the winter months, it’s just right for the summer. Not only does this mineral sunscreen not leave any white cast, but it finishes the skin with a glow so perfect that it may cause you to skip the makeup. On top of that, it protects the skin from blue light and neutralizes airborne pollutants before they can damage the skin.
PCA Skin Clearskin Moisturizer ($50)
Those with oily, breakout-prone, or sensitive skin have a hard enough time finding a suitable moisturizer in general, let alone a moisturizer that won’t cause their skin to freak out in the summer. Not only does this cooling gel from PCA Skin balance moisture levels, but it contains plant extracts that help calm the skin. And if breakouts are a concern, this product will actually help to reduce discoloration. The star ingredient here is niacinamide, which is a godsend for skin that’s on the oilier side.
Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Bright & Plump Moisturizer ($68)
It’s common knowledge that vitamin C is one of our skin’s greatest allies. A well-formulated topical vitamin C—like this knockout product from Peter Thomas Roth—can promote collagen production, diminish lines, and help promote firm skin. What’s more, it helps minimize the damage caused by UV exposure. While most vitamin C comes in the form of a serum rather than a moisturizer, this potent treatment manages to harness the power of vitamin C in a complete anti-aging moisturizer that absorbs instantly with no oily finish.
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Hyaluronic Cloud Moisturizer ($52)
While SPF is vital all year long, it is particularly important in the summer. Similar to the brand’s vitamin C moisturizer mentioned above, this sunscreen-moisturizer combo harnesses the power of a multifunction serum in a lightweight, easy-to-use moisturizer. A 30% hyaluronic acid complex plumps and moisturizes the skin, while ceramides and ProHyal+ help reduce the look of photoaging. If you’re looking for a single product to streamline your routine this summer, this might be it.
Skinbetter Science Trio Rebalancing Moisture Treatment ($140)
There’s a reason that top aestheticians and dermatologists around the globe stock their offices with this medical-grade miracle product: It’s the real deal. Like all skinbetter science products, this potent, lightweight moisturizer is the result of extensive clinical research and utilizes cutting-edge technology. This nongreasy, featherweight cream floods the skin with moisture and hydration, reduces fine lines, and significantly brightens the skin in a way that most other light moisturizers can’t manage. If you’ve been thinking of dipping your toes into the world of medical grade skin care, this is a great place to start.
SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 ($115)
Anyone who knows anything about skin care can tell you this: If it’s made by SkinCeuticals, it’s going to be great for your skin. Suitable for literally any skin type, this barely there moisturizer infuses the skin with 5% niacinamide, a tripeptide concentrate, and pure glycerin to firm, moisturize, and address early signs of photoaging. And the key to nice skin in the future is to minimize and address that photoaging now.
Tatcha The Water Cream ($68)
Tatcha’s Water Cream has undoubtedly achieved cult status by this point, and after just a few days of use, the reasons for that are clear: It’s one of the most unique, effective, and luxurious moisturizers I’ve ever used. It provides instant, lightweight hydration while tightening pores and controlling oil with Japanese botanicals, restoring radiance with Japanese superfoods, and imparting a perfect glow with 23-karat gold. That’s luxury.