Moisturizers are not to be skipped, no matter the season, age, or skin type. If there’s something that never goes out of trend in skincare, it’s a glowy, bouncy, and plump complexion. The easiest way to have that? Moisturizer, you may believe. While that’s partially true, the type of moisturizer you’re using is also deadly important. Today, we’ll focus on the best humectant moisturizers, those that pull water into the skin, holding on to that plump and dewy appearance. This brings us to the main question:
- Best Overall: Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hydrating Moisturizer
- Best for Oily Skin: Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer
- Best for Skin Firmness: Youth To The People Superfood Air-Whip Moisturizer
- Best for Dryness: Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer
- Best for All Skin Types: L’Occitane Moisturizing Ultra Thirst-Quenching Cream
- Best Non-Comedogenic: Obagi Medical Hydrate Facial Moisturizer
- Best for Large Pores: Tatcha The Water Cream Oil-Free Pore Minimizing Moisturizer
- Best for Budget: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
Why do I need a humectant moisturizer?
As long as you want hydrated, plump, and bouncy skin, you should use one of these best humectant moisturizers. Humectants are hydrophilic, meaning they are attracted to water molecules, aka are able to draw moisture from the environment and pull it into the upper layer of the skin. In turn, this makes the skin hydrated, dewy, plump, and soft while also having a role in keeping the skin barrier integer.
What’s even greater about humectant moisturizers is that they provide instant results in terms of boosting skin hydration and giving a temporary plumping effect. Nevertheless, humectants don’t address the causes of dry skin. To combat dryness, you have to use humectants with occlusives, the ones that seal moisture in, plus emollients to soften the skin.
Which are the best humectants
A few elements can bind themselves to the water in the air, allowing these water molecules to enter the skin, giving you that plump look. So, in your hunt for the best humectant moisturizers, focus on ingredients like hyaluronic acid (HA), glycerin, glycolic acid, lactic acid, urea, peptides, panthenol, bisabolol, aloe vera, and honey.
Since humectants draw in moisture, it’s best to layer humectants on damp skin for wow effects.
Best Overall: Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hydrating Moisturizer
Say what? A moisturizer with three molecular sizes of hyaluronic acid, totaling 30% of the product? Yup, Peter Thomas Roth made that to come in handy to whoever struggles with losing moisture. Besides hyaluronic acid, this moisturizer includes glycerin (another famous humectant), plus ceramides and vitamin E — two emollients that lock hydration into the skin. Everything in a light-as-air formula, weightless and soft, making it one of the best humectant moisturizers that provide 72 hours of hydration.
Best for Oily Skin: Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer
The key ingredient in Boscia’s moisturizer is Queen of the Night cactus flower extract, a well-known ultimate hydrator that has humectant and skin barrier-improving properties. Besides, the formula includes glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and aloe flower extract, three potent humectants that serve as water-binding agents for the skin, making it appear hydrated and firm. Everybody can use this humectant moisturizer, but oily skin folks will absolutely love it.
Best for Skin Firmness: Youth To The People Superfood Air-Whip Moisturizer
If you’re looking for a lightweight and clean humectant moisturizer, this is your best bet. Boosted with small and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, glycerin, panthenol, aloe leaf extract, it aims to hydrate the skin deeply, while the antioxidant-rich sources shield against free radical damage. Plus, it’s made with ascorbic acid, the active form of vitamin C that aids in collagen production, making the skin plumper and bouncier. It’s the right addition to your skincare routine if you want to target fine lines, dryness, loss of firmness, and elasticity with a natural, hydrating formula.
Best for Dryness: Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer
Farmacy made another of the best clean humectant moisturizers, intense enough to replenish dry skin, plump and improve fine lines look. The formula is spiked with some of the most powerful humectants, such as glycerin, honey, royal jelly, panthenol, and bisabolol. But hydration isn’t all this formula does. Thanks to ingredients like ceramide, seabuckthorn oil, and vitamin E, it acts as an emollient too, locking that hydration into the skin, keeping it moisturized and bouncy all day long.
Best for All Skin Types: L’Occitane Moisturizing Ultra Thirst-Quenching Cream
L’Oocitane created this moisturizer to recharge your skin with hydration, leaving it glowing and soft. Responsible for its thirst-quenching properties are the base of Réotier water, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid. You already know glycerin and HA are the MVPs of humectants, but what about Réotier water? Well, this water is sourced from the Provence mountains and is super rich in calcium, helping skin maintain its hydration barrier and retain moisture. The sunflower oil and vitamin E addition just lock that moisture in some more — it delivers what your skin needs.
Best Non-Comedogenic: Obagi Medical Hydrate Facial Moisturizer
The key ingredient in this moisturizer is Hydromanil — matrix molecules that hold in moisture and prevent water loss, allowing the skin to remain hydrated. In plus, the formula features two other great humectants, glycerin, and bisabolol. What’s more, this moisturizer not only has humectant properties but emollient too, locking hydration in for prolonged moisture. It’s boosted with shea butter, avocado oil, mango seed butter, and vitamin E, all known occlusives that seal hydration into the skin, preventing transepidermal water loss.
Best for Large Pores: Tatcha The Water Cream Oil-Free Pore Minimizing Moisturizer
This lightweight, oil-free moisturizer is made with small molecular weight HA and glycerin to draw moisture into the skin. Plus, it includes Japanese wild rose, and leopard lily extracts to calm and balance skin and minimize the look of pores. The addition of Tatcha’s signature Hadsei-3 (green tea, rice, and algae) restores a healthy-looking, radiant skin while boosting it with antioxidants. And since it’s non-comedogenic, non-irritating, and oil-free, acne-prone skin can also use it without worrying about breaking out — yup, one of the best humectant moisturizers suitable for all skin types.
Best for Budget: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
If splurging for a moisturizer is not what you really need now, Neutrogena has the best humectant moisturizer at an affordable price. With a non-comedogenic, fragrance- and oil-free formula, it’s an excellent cream, even for oily and sensitive skin types. Glycerin and hyaluronic acid work to attract moisture into the skin, helping deliver intense hydration in a gel-like feathery light texture. It not only leaves skin soft and smooth, but it also gives the perfect canvas for makeup, making it a nice, velvety primer.