Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Edit: My Favorite Moisturizers

Hi Abra,

Lancome discontinued my favorite moisturizer a few years ago.  I cleared eBay out of them and kept them in my crisper drawer, but alas, they’re gone now too.  What do you use?  It sounds like we have similar skin: aging, a bit of acne, sensitive.  I need to find something new before fall comes or else my skin will go completely haywire.


Right now, I use moisturizer once per day.  I apply a thin layer in the morning, and I think it’s helped my breakout to just use the Clear Sailing oil at night and only moisturize once.  Here are the two face moisturizers that I’ve used over the past three or so years and liked enough to keep around, either of which I would buy without hesitation.

It! Secret Sauce is the moisturizer I’m using right now.  I received a trial size a few weeks ago and fell in love.  It’s lightweight, moisturizes well, and isn’t greasy.  It has collagen, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid in it.  It brightens, minimizes discolorations, and doesn’t not contribute to my acne.  Cue the hallelujah chorus!

My advice, at $68 a jar, try it before you buy.  Go to the store, get a sample.  Buy from somewhere that takes returns.  Pick up the trial size before the larger one.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer is my transition choice.  If I hate what I’m using, and am hunting for something else, this is my bridge moisturizer.  It’s good.  It’s not everything I need at age 36, but it lives up to expectations.  Devotees swear by it, but for me, good enough.

If you need brightening, one of my friends is a disciple for the Glow Skin Hydrator.  She swears it’s the best thing ever.

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  1. Melissa says:

    I love the Laneige Water Bank moisturizer. I’m 41 and have pretty good skin, but am definitely becoming aware of the little lines and weird dry spots. It’s spendy, but less so than the higher end Amore Pacific line by the same manufacturer. I’ve recently slummed back down to a drugstore brand, and am really noticing the difference. Laneige is so light and non-greasy. It works wonderfully with the other products in the line, but also allows me to rotate in serums from The Ordinary. Sephora has a relatively inexpensive sample set that is perfect for testing it out/travelling. The kit lasted me months, and completely converted me to the cleanser and toner. I’ll be switching back to the moisturizer ASAP.

    June 27, 2018/Reply
  2. Jules says:

    I know a lot of people swear by the CeraVe products since it has ceramides.

    June 27, 2018/Reply
  3. AK says:

    You might try Clarins products. I have many of the same issues as you both do, and the Clarins double serum and basic moisturizer with spf have been amazing for my skin for the past three years. At 37, I feel as though I have finally found what works for me!

    June 27, 2018/Reply
  4. J says:

    On the budget side of things, I have been using L’Oréal Collagen Moisture Filler Day and Night for about six months and really like it. My skin is dry, so YMMV, but I can use it at least twice a day in summer humidity with no issues. I tend to put it all over at night and in some trouble zones in the morning. I use the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel all over in the morning, too, and like it well enough. Being a gel, I could see it working well with acne. Both are pretty basic, which works well for my dry, sensitive skin.

    June 28, 2018/Reply
  5. Catherine says:

    I like the new Drunk Elephant protini moisturizer. It doesn’t have any silicones, which can break me out, and has a lot of peptides and other good ingredients in a gel-type cream. Anytime I’m a little more dry I just two or three drops of my face oil to it and I’m good to go. Sits really well under sunscreen and makeup too.

    June 28, 2018/Reply
  6. SC says:

    I’ll raise my hand for the CeraVe love! I use the “Night” moisturizer when I don’t want an SPF (mostly in the winter). It’s light and doesn’t interfere with makeup. Big thumbs-up.

    June 28, 2018/Reply
  7. raq says:

    I’ve been using Mario Badeescu’s oil free moisturizer and LOVE it- lightweight, moisturizing and doesn’t break me out

    June 28, 2018/Reply
  8. Ashley says:

    For daily use, Neutrogena Healthy Defense Sensitive Skin SPF 50. My psoriasis can’t handle chemical sunscreens, and I’ve been using this for 5 years happily now in the morning under my makeup. For extra moisture in the winter (or when I shower for dinner and won’t be seeing the sun), I swear by the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream.

    June 28, 2018/Reply
  9. BN says:

    Does the Secret Sauce help with wrinkles? Thank you!!

    July 23, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I think it is supposed to. I don’t have but a few fine lines, so I cannot attest to success.

      July 23, 2018/Reply