10 Best Face Moisturizers, Creams & Lotions for Men

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best face moisturizer

Our skin is kind of a big deal.

It is the human body’s largest organ and covers about 20 square feet, accounting for 16 percent of our body weight. It is responsible for many crucial roles in the maintenance of our health. It protects us from the outside world, helps us with vitamin production and temperature regulation.

Our visual health and appearance all start with the skin. So, it is worth taking care of.

Many important steps go into a solid skincare routine, but perhaps the most important of all is moisturizing.

Facial moisturizing has come a long way – so much so that it’s no longer taboo or “unmanly” for a man to include it in his daily routine. The benefits are many, as we’ll touch on in a bit, and innovations in men’s facial moisturizers are rapidly on the rise.

In a hurry? Here are our top picks:
Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20

We want to tell you about what we think are the best face moisturizers for men – led by Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20. It ticks a lot of boxes. It is lightweight, easy to apply, and gives strong hydration and sun protection.

ZELEN Life Moisturizer

Another option is the ZELEN Life Moisturizer. Its non-greasy organic formula absorbs into the skin fast to lock in moisture and form a protective barrier. It is suitable for men of all skin types, particularly those with sensitive and acne-prone skin. ZELEN Life is a venture that I am partly involved in. You can read more about it in the product overview below.

And if that’s not enough, we got a list of 10 excellent face moisturizing options, while providing information such as how to apply a moisturizer and what “moisturizer” really means.

First, let’s get started by discussing some things to keep in mind when buying a face moisturizer.

Quick summary

bb2-table__imageJack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20
  • Lightweight, easy to apply
  • Powerful organic and natural ingredients
  • Provides excellent sun protection
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bb2-table__imageZELEN Life Moisturizer
  • Organic formula contains essential vitamins A, C & E
  • Locks in moisture and forms protective barrier
  • Light, non-greasy and absorbs fast
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bb2-table__imageTiege Hanley’s Daily Face Moisturizer (Skin Care System Level 1)
  • Keeps skin moisturized without a greasy look
  • Protects against the sun’s harmful UV rays
  • Fragrance-free
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bb2-table__imageBrickell Men’s Daily Face Moisturizer
  • Absorbs moisture quickly
  • Helps smooth lines and wrinkles
  • Refreshing scent
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bb2-table__imageRugged & Dapper Face Moisturizer for Men
  • Lightweight, not greasy
  • Smooths skin
  • Natural, organic ingredients
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bb2-table__imageBaxter of California Skin Starter Kit
  • Restores and hydrates men’s oil-prone skin
  • Absorbs quickly into the skin
  • Loaded with antioxidants
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bb2-table__imageLab Series Daily Moisture Defense Lotion SPF 15
  • Includes sunscreen
  • Non-oily texture
  • One of the best men’s anti-aging face cream
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bb2-table__imageLather & Wood Man’s Man Facial Moisturizer
  • Versatile product
  • Helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles
  • Soothing formula
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bb2-table__imageBulldog Original Face Moisturizer
  • Especially good for oily skin
  • Pleasant, masculine scent
  • Natural ingredients and antioxidants
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bb2-table__imageNeutrogena Men Triple Protect Face Lotion with Sunscreen
  • Works to relieve shaving irritation
  • Excellent sun protection
  • Heals dry skin
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Before you buy: 7 Things to consider when purchasing a face moisturizer

If you’re serious about properly hydrating and protecting your facial skin, then you’ll want to choose a moisturizer carefully.

Picking the right facial moisturizer isn’t easy, but your selection process can become easier when you take into account your circumstances. You need to consider many things, including your skin type, where you live, and the ingredients that make the moisturizer what it is.

In this section, we will share the most important aspects you need to know before you buy. We hope the following guidelines will make the selection process easier for you.

1. Know the three ways moisturizers work

Did you know the word ‘moisturizer’ is a loose term that covers a wide range of moisturizing products, such as creams, lotions, gels, emulsions, ointments, etc.

Meaning, there are many types of moisturizers to choose from, and not all moisturizers work the same. How they go about their job is usually determined by their formula and the combination of ingredients.

Moisturizers can be classified into three different groups:

Humectants

Humectants’ main job is to bring water to the surface of the skin to make it look hydrated. This is either from the skin’s deeper layers or from the outside air.

Humectants are beneficial for any skin type, as all skin requires hydration. However, they are especially helpful for those with dry skin. They are also useful for counteracting the drying effects of soap or alcohol-based products in your skincare routine.

Occlusives

The thickest type of moisturizer—occlusives coats the skin. It locks in moisture by preventing water from escaping from the skin into the environment. This barrier also protects the skin from the outside world.

Due to their heavier consistency, after you apply an occlusive, not a lot is either getting in or out. Resulting in a stronger skin barrier, reduced irritation, and retained moisture. This makes occlusives beneficial for very dry and sensitive skin types.

Emollients

Emollients are mainly the fats and oils which hydrate and soften the skin by filling in cracks. This helps to soothe and make the skin feel more comfortable. They spread on the surface and repair the skin barrier. Emollients are particularly beneficial for easily irritated and inflamed skin—also, dry skin conditions such as eczema.

Emollients are more useful when they are formulated with a humectant and occlusive to perform their job better. In fact, most good facial moisturizers have a mix of various ingredients so that it can source the moisture in multiple ways.

Often, they have humectants and emollients acting in tandem. It is also useful to know if your chosen moisturizer has a lot of occlusives.  Remember to use occlusives at the end of your skincare routine because it’s protective layer will not let other active products penetrate the skin.

2. Think about ingredients

The main goal of any moisturizer is to boost and regulate the moisture of your skin. Yet when you consider the different types and how they serve the skin, it is clear that they can do much more.

Therefore, the next step is to consider the ingredients of the moisturizer.

The most commonly used ingredients as humectants are hyaluronic acid and glycerin. However, there are many options such as aloe vera, honey, egg white and yolk, castor oil, to name but a few.

Common occlusive ingredients are waxes, such as carnauba and beeswax, lanolin, as well as silicone and petroleum. Also, oils such as jojoba, soybean, and olive oil are excellent natural occlusives.

Typical ingredients used in emollients are lipids, butters, fatty acids, and again, oils such as jojoba.

You also want added ingredients that help to heal daily damage, calm irritation and inflammation, and reduce aging. As we age, so does our skin. It is less able to heal itself and requires some help.

Look out for:

Antioxidants

Antioxidants help repair damaged skin and come in many forms – green tea, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, pomegranate, etc.

Scientifically-speaking, antioxidants help neutralize unstable oxygen molecules (a.k.a. free radicals) that break down the skin’s collagen and cause wrinkles, among other damage.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Alpha Hydroxy Acids are naturally found in many fruit products and are mildly acidic. They help to clear away dead skin cells while smoothing out the skin. They’re mild enough to be regularly applied.

Retinol

Retinol is a common ingredient found in skincare products. It acts as an exfoliating agent to reduce dead skin cells, and it also boosts collagen and elastin by stimulating cell repair at the deepest levels of the skin.

Alcohols

You’ll find a variety of alcohols in skin products, including ethyl alcohol and astringents. Be wary, however, because alcohols often are harsh and irritate the skin if used too liberally, but so-called “fatty” alcohols – such as lanolin – help moisturize and strengthen the skin.

3. Keep in mind your skin type

You must consider your skin type when buying a facial moisturizer. Various skin types, such as dry, oily, combination, or sensitive, all have different needs from a moisturizer, and you should take these into account when making your selection.

Dry skin

If your skin is dry and flaky, then you should look for a moisturizer that is rich in hyaluronic acid and packed with antioxidants, such as coconut oil, olive oil, or argan oil. If your skin is exceptionally dry and cracks easily, look for a moisturizer that locks in moisture, such as a petroleum jelly base. The latter is also a good option if you have wrinkles and eczema.

Oily skin

If you have oily skin, look for a lightweight, ‘non-comedogenic’ moisturizer, i.e., it doesn’t block your pores. Look for oil-balancing ingredients like jojoba, sunflower, or grapeseed oil.

Normal skin

Normal skin is typically the middle ground between oily and dry skin. Look for a moisturizer that’s more on the moderate end regarding ingredients. Water-based moisturizers always are a good choice for men with normal skin.

Sensitive skin

If your skin is susceptible to irritation – such as when you’re shaving – you probably have sensitive skin. If so, look for moisturizers that don’t cause prolonged irritation, including those with harsh chemicals found in certain alcohols.

In addition to skin type, consider your skin’s condition. For example, are you prone to clogged pores or suffer from acne? Is your skin showing signs of aging or sun damage? Do you have redness or flaky patches?

Various ingredients will help alleviate and treat complex skin conditions. Paying attention to the characteristics of your skin will help you narrow down what moisturizer is the most suitable and what ingredients will be most effective.

Pro tip

Everyone’s skin is different, and finding the right moisturizer that brings the best results may take time. Identify your skin type and any underlying skin conditions that you have on your face. Be mindful that your skin can change as you age and in response to your surroundings. So always be prepared to revaluate your skincare routine and change things up.

4. Consider your surroundings

Where you live and your environment has a significant impact on your skin. You should consider your surroundings and be aware that you might need different moisturizers at different times.

The weather is a factor:

Choose a moisturizer that holds up whether you live in a warmer, dry climate or one where extreme and harsh winter conditions aren’t uncommon. In the summer season, when you lose more moisture, you may prefer a hydrating moisturizer. In the winter months, you may want to choose a product that is more soothing to dry skin.

You should also think about the time of the day. In the daytime, you may prefer a lightweight moisturizer that gives a matte texture. Whereas at night, you may want an enriched formula that penetrates the deeper layers.

You should also be aware of your sunlight exposure. If a moisturizer also protects your skin against the sun’s harmful UVA and UAB rays, you need to give it serious consideration. Look for moisturizers that have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15, even if your skin is darker than most.

5. Be aware of chemicals

Whether we like it or not, chemicals play their part in skincare products. However, it is possible to avoid products that are packed with them.

Firstly, skincare companies are creating formulas that contain them less and less. However, this is not an exact science, and it is important to be mindful that some of the nasty ones still crop up in moisturizers from time to time.

Keep an eye out for the petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates, synthetic colors, and fragrances. These are the most common harmful ingredients that make the skin most susceptible to irritation.

6. Pay attention to labels

If knowing about good and bad ingredients is the ‘theory,’ then checking the label is the ‘practical.’

Paying attention to the label on products ensures that you are fully aware of what you will be applying to your skin. Over time you’ll be able to identify the formulas that work best. This is particularly important if your skin is prone to irritation as it will help you figure out what ingredients your skin reacts to and what treats it right.

Think about it. If you had a sensitive stomach, the chances are you would check food labels and cut out problem foods. Taking the same approach with skincare reduces any unwanted reactions.

Pro tip

The shorter the ingredients list, the less chance of harmful chemicals cropping up in the formula. If you have an opportunity, do a spot test on the bottom of your jawline. Continue with your day, and monitor its condition before you apply the product to your entire face.

If studying chemicals and labels is not at the top of your to-do list, know that all of the products listed in this review do not contain any of the typical nasties.

7. Your budget

We’ve already established, moisturizing is an essential part of any skincare regimen. So, a good one can be worth its weight in gold.

That said, the price of facial moisturizer for men varies widely.

As with everything you can buy, some products are worthy of their price tag no matter how cheap or expensive. But if the product that works best for you – based on ingredients and skin type – is a bit pricey, so be it!

There’s no need to spend a lot of time fretting over a moisturizer’s brand name. Sure, there’s no problem in choosing a trustworthy brand that you’ve heard of (and heard good things about). Most well-known brand names have years of research and testing behind those products.

Now, let’s move on to our reviews of the best moisturizer for men in 2020.

The 10 best face moisturizers, creams, and lotions for men 2020

1. Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20

Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer

Best features:

  • SPF protection
  • Hydrates skin
  • Suitable for all types of skin

The best moisturizer for:

Men looking for an all-encompassing moisturizer with sun protection.

Overview:

The Jack Black brand is all about men. Formed in Texas by men who sought to design products that weren’t superficial and were good for every man, Jack Black has risen among industry behemoths to become a go-to choice.

Their Double-Duty Face Moisturizer is a lightweight formula that packs a potent punch, thanks to its antioxidant and vitamin-filled formula that includes sun protection.

Its Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 20 is higher than many other men’s facial products and offers protection against the sun’s most harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Meanwhile, it also provides excellent hydration to the skin without being oily or as heavy as some other products. It’s all part of Jack Black’s “PureScience,” which consists of natural formulas with natural surfactants and certified organic ingredients.

All of their ingredients are vegan and gluten, fragrance, paraben, and animal ingredient-free.

A variety of organic ingredients help create the moisturizing qualities of Jack Black’s Face Moisturizer, including blue algae, sea parsley, organic edelweiss, and Plantago leaf extracts.

Blue algae is an excellent source of vitamin E (which reduces the redness and irritation of shaving). The other ingredients mentioned are excellent antioxidants and help protect against the effects of aging.

It’s excellent for use all year round but particularly effective in the driest months. Like most quality men’s face moisturizers, Jack Black Double-Duty is suitable for men with all types of skin.

We also like that a little of Jack Black’s Double-Duty goes a long way.

Merely applying a thin layer over your face helps keep your skin hydrated for the day, and you’ll notice a definite improvement in your skin’s overall appearance the longer you use it. It should be on any list of the best moisturizers for men.

Type: 

Cream

Pros

  • Lightweight, easy to apply
  • Powerful organic and natural ingredients
  • Provides excellent sun protection

Cons

  • Some men don’t like its scent (which resembles the scent of baby powder)

Bottom line

Jack Black’s Double Duty moisturizer is good for all men and skin types and delivers on the brand’s promise of providing top-notch natural products for men. It’s more expensive than some moisturizers, but one bottle should last you three to four months.

2. ZELEN Life MoisturizerZELEN-Life-Moisturizer

Best features:

  • Lightweight, non-greasy formula
  • Soothes and nourishes the skin to control inflammation
  • Locks in hydration without blocking pores

The best moisturizer for:

Men of all skin types, particularly those with sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Overview:

ZELEN Life’s Moisturizer has a lightweight, non-greasy texture that’s easy to apply and absorbs into the skin fast. It quickly boosts hydration and strengthens the skin barrier to protect it from the elements a man encounters daily while leaving it feeling soft and smooth.

This is a gentle yet powerful moisturizer thanks to its plant-based ingredients. It is handmade with organic oils jojoba, calendula, and clary sage, which are packed with essential vitamins A, C, and E, essential fatty acids, as well as antioxidants.

Jojoba is very similar to sebum, our skin’s natural oil. Its similarity means that it is an excellent hydrator and protector for dry skin. It also makes this moisturizer great for oily skin as it can regulate the amount of natural oil (sebum) your skin produces, which prevents clogged pores and acne breakouts.

Jojoba has anti-aging properties that fight wrinkles and fine lines, speeds up the skin’s healing process, and helps to repair any damage your skin may have suffered. All of these factors make jojoba one of the best oils to moisturize your face and why you’ll find it in many men’s skincare products.

Calendula is a powerful plant oil that penetrates the deepest layers of your skin, pulling in moisture and forming a barrier that locks in that hydration. It also serves as a natural antiseptic that reduces redness and inflamed skin.

Likewise, clary sage helps to treat skin inflammation while working to prevent irritation. It also tightens skin and gives it a youthful, radiant glow. It’s antibacterial properties prevent the growth of bacteria.

Like all of ZELEN Life’s products, this moisturizing cream features a natural formula that’s chemical-free and doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, or synthetic colors and fragrances. This makes it hypoallergenic and suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

It is also non-comedogenic, which means it moisturizes without blocking your pores, making it an excellent choice for acne-prone men.

ZELEN Life is a brand I am partly involved in, with someone who is no stranger to skincare issues, Jordan Sully. A completely natural and organic, Mediterranean-inspired skincare range.

Type: 

Cream

Pros

  • It’s ideal for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin.
  • It provides a barrier that protects the skin from the daily elements.
  • It has a lightweight texture that makes it easy to apply and absorb fast.

Cons

  • As a premium organic product, it has a higher price tag.

Bottom line

ZELEN Life’s Moisturizer offers everything you need to keep your face properly hydrated and protected from the elements. It is a great all-around moisturizer that is powerful enough for almost all skin while reducing the chances of irritation and inflammation. A real soothing hydrator.

3. Tiege Hanley’s Daily Face Moisturizer (Skin Care System Level 1)

Tiege Hanley Men's Skin Care System - Level 1

Best features:

  • Gentle formula
  • Soothes irritated skin
  • Protects the skin

The best moisturizer for:

Men with combination skin who like to keep things simple.

Overview:

If you haven’t heard of Tiege Hanley and their excellent line of men’s skin products, you owe it to yourself to give them a long look.

Started by men who built on the premises that men don’t know much about skincare products, that men’s skincare products are overly complicated, and that they’re too expensive, Tiege Hanley offers three levels of skincare.

They offer their System Level 1 package that includes morning and bedtime facial moisturizers, as well as a daily face wash – all of which are gentle enough to use daily.

Let’s take a closer look at their two facial moisturizers which, among other plaudits, has the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation.

Tiege Hanley’s Morning Facial Moisturizer contains four key ingredients: Calendula extract, Plantain extract, Lavandula Oil, and Rosemary Leaf oil. Those ingredients work together to hydrate skin without leaving it too oily or feeling too greasy.

Calendula extract calms and nourishes the skin, while plantain extract soothes skin, promotes healing, and minimizes the risk of scarring. Lavandula oil (or lavender, as it were) reduces redness and fights off bacteria that may lead to acne.

Meanwhile, Rosemary Leaf oil protects the skin and offers antiseptic properties.

The active ingredients in the TH morning moisturizer are Octinoxate, Avobenzone, and Octocrylene, all of which protect against UV radiation that can damage the skin.

The Tiege Hanley Bedtime Facial Moisturizer works while you sleep and repairs and regenerates the skin after a long day. It also attacks fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen and hydrating the skin.

Our skin feels the daily stress of elements such as wind, sunlight, and pollution, and helping it to regenerate and rejuvenate overnight is a good thing.

A key ingredient in the PM facial moisturizer is Niacin, which contains properties that are essential to the health and youthfulness of facial tissues.

It also acts to reduce itching, promotes circulation, all while stabilizing the skin’s sebaceous glands – which produce the natural oils needed to lubricate skin and hair.

Among other key ingredients found in the PM, moisturizer is hydrolyzed elastin, which condition and hydrates skin, and extracts of green tea and aloe vera, which both have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and skin healing properties.

Another plus is that Tiege Hanley’s Bedtime Facial Moisturizer is fragrance-free, which is a good thing if you have sensitive skin.

Type:

Complete system

Pro tip:

You can use the code “BALDINGBEARDS10” at checkout to get a free Tiege Hanley Dopp bag.

Pros

  • Keeps skin moisturized without a greasy look
  • Protects against the sun’s harmful UV rays
  • Fragrance-free
  • Free U.S. shipping

Cons

  • Doesn’t work as well for men who have acne

Bottom line

Your face’s skin deserves some TLC, and Tiege Hanley gives you the means to pamper yourself. Their AM and PM moisturizers rejuvenate skin while leaving it soft, but not too oily.

4. Brickell Men’s Daily Face Moisturizer

Brickell Men’s Daily Essential Face Moisturizer for Men

Best features:

  • Natural ingredients
  • Lightweight formula
  • Doesn’t leave skin feeling greasy

The best moisturizer for:

Men with dry skin looking for a lightweight moisturizer.

Overview:

The story of how the Brickell brand evolved isn’t new, but it’s worth repeating. Meanwhile, their Men’s Daily Face Moisturizer is worth adding to your grooming kit.

First, the company story: co-founder Josh Meyer and Matt Bolduc were seeking premium men’s skincare products and couldn’t find a brand they could stand behind. Moreover, they wanted quality products that only used natural ingredients.

Working out of Matt’s garage, the pair formed Brickell in 2014, and the brand is now one of the fastest-growing in the men’s skincare and grooming world.

Of course, no company rises so quickly without some kick-ass items in its product line. Brickell has plenty, including its popular Daily Face Moisturizer.

Like other top moisturizers, the Brickell version absorbs moisture while providing your facial skin with what it needs, and it’s loaded with natural ingredients, including:

  • Green tea – which has powerful antioxidants that are proven to help slow the signs of aging
  • Aloe vera – which penetrates deeply into the skin to add moisture and antioxidants
  • Jojoba oil – which creates a barrier on your skin to reduce moisture loss
  • Hyaluronic acid – which is considered one of the best skin hydrators there is
  • It also includes a blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemongrass oils to produce a refreshing scent that’s not too over-the-top

What Brickell’s products don’t contain is just as impressive: sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, gluten, synthetic fragrances – you get the picture. All of their products are vegan-friendly and never tested on animals.

You’ll also like how Brickell’s Daily Moisturizer goes on your face: light and not greasy. Lighter creams are better as you get older because they absorb quickly into the skin, unlike heavier creams that many younger men use.

Type: 

Cream

Pros

  • Absorbs moisture quickly
  • Helps smooth lines and wrinkles
  • Refreshing scent

Cons

  • Doesn’t include sun protection

Bottom line

Brickell puts a lot of thought into its men-only products. Their Daily Moisturizer provides all of the hydration your skin needs and provides a smoother-but-not-shiny appearance.

5. Rugged & Dapper Face Moisturizer for Men

Rugged & Dapper Face Moisturizer for Men

Best features:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Natural and organic ingredients
  • Versatile

The best moisturizer for:

Men with skin issues, such as acne.

Overview:

Rugger & Dapper is an all-in-one face moisturizer that tackles some of the toughest skin issues: post-shave irritation, aging, acne breakouts, and the damage of harsh weather and sun conditions.

That’s saying a lot, but it’s a product we really like, it makes a great long-term investment, and it’s our choice for the best men’s moisturizer.

Let’s break it down and tell you what we like about R & D’s Face Moisturizer (and why we think you’ll like it, too).

  • Ingredients

Rugged & Dapper is committed to using only natural and organic ingredients in their products. We always like products with natural ingredients, and when it comes to the stuff you use on your face, the fewer chemicals, the better.

So what’s in Rugged & Dapper Face Moisturizer? A lot, including organic aloe vera, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, green tea, vitamin B5, and more.

You’ll also find hyaluronic acid in the R & D formula, but don’t be alarmed; it’s a natural component of the skin and works to restore the skin’s elasticity and firmness. Hyaluronic acid also protects the skin from harmful UV rays.

Besides including no parabens or toxins, R & D also never tests its products on animals.

  • Versatility

No matter what type of facial skin you have, you’ll reap the benefits of using Rugged & Dapper’s Facial Moisturizer for men.

Its texture is lightweight compared to other face moisturizers and lotions, while it quickly absorbs into the skin. Better yet, you won’t be left with a greasy residue after you’ve applied it.

  • Other pluses

There are many other reasons to like R & D Facial Moisturizer. For one, it’s fragrance-free, which many men prefer, while it smooths the skin to make it easier to shave.

Type: 

Cream

Pros

  • Lightweight, not greasy
  • Smooths skin
  • Natural, organic ingredients

Cons

  • Doesn’t contain sun protection

Bottom line

Rugged & Dapper Face Moisturizer is the best face cream for men, as well as good for men of all skin types. Their natural formula covers all the bases.

6. Baxter of California Skin Starter Kit

Baxter of California Skin Starter Kit

Best features:

  • Oil-free moisturizer
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Helps prevent skin cell damage

The best moisturizer for:

Men looking for an oil-free, lightweight moisturizer

Overview:

The Baxter of California Skin Starter Kit has everything you’ll need to hydrate, cleanse, and tone your skin before you start your day.

We especially like it for its oil-free moisturizer, which replenishes the skin’s essential moisture, and we like that it’s fast-absorbing and fragrance-free.

However, your Starter Kit also includes a daily face wash and an herbal mint toner that’s made from plant-based antioxidants to protect the skin from damage.

Quality products are nothing new for Baxter of California, which was formed in 1965 in Los Angeles with the goal of providing unique – but not pretentious – men’s grooming products. To them, performance is everything.

The Baxter of California Moisturizer delivers on the performance promise with a lightweight formula that leaves your skin feeling smooth and refreshed. It absorbs quickly to help restore the skin’s natural moisture barriers, while antioxidants defend against cell damage.

With the Skin Starter Kit, it’s best to begin your morning skincare routine with the daily face wash to get rid of excess oil and debris.

Follow up with the herbal mint toner, which provides further cleansing and conditioning, and then finish with the moisturizer that leaves your skin feeling hydrated and refreshed.

Type:

Cream

Pros

  • Moisturizer restores and hydrates men’s oil-prone skin
  • Absorbs quickly into the skin
  • Loaded with antioxidants

Cons

  • Too “light” for some

Bottom line

Baxter of California’s oil-free moisturizer is excellent by itself, yet it also makes the company’s Starter Kit even more impressive. Natural ingredients soothe the skin and keep it hydrated, and it ranks among the best men’s face creams for oily skin.

7. Lab Series Daily Moisture Defense Lotion SPF 15

Lab Series Daily Moisture

Best features:

  • Non-greasy
  • SPF protection
  • Effectively hydrates skin

The best moisturizer for:

Men looking for a non-greasy moisturizer with anti-aging properties.

Overview:

Some moisturizers are greasier than others. For a lot of men, oiliness is a problem, because – to be honest – who wants a greasy sheen left on his face after applying moisturizer?

One of the reasons we like the Lab Series Daily Moisture Defense Lotion SPF 15 is that it’s non-greasy. It has many other attributes, but for men who only prefer oil in their car motor’s engine, this product is a good choice.

Lab Series Daily Moisture Defense Lotion works for men of all skin types and smoothes your skin’s texture while helping to minimize the signs of aging (mainly by smoothing out fine lines).

Some argue that you won’t find a better product for hydrating your face, which is what a moisturizer is supposed to do in the first place.

The Lab Series lotion works best if used in the morning after shaving. It’s loaded with antioxidants, easy for your skin to absorb, and it’s lightweight. It doesn’t feel heavy on your skin, which you’d expect from a moisturizer that’s less oily than most.

Another bonus with this product is that it has a Sun Protection Factor of 15. Unlike other SPF moisturizers, it isn’t oily, sticky, nor does it otherwise feel like suntan lotion. It doesn’t smell like one, either, as its fragrance is light enough that you hardly know it’s there.

Type:

Lotion

Pros

  • Includes sunscreen
  • Non-oily texture
  • Is one of the best anti-aging men’s face cream

Cons

  • Contains parabens

Bottom line

You’ll pay a little more for the Lab Series Daily Moisture Defense Lotion, but it’s a worthwhile investment. It goes on your skin without a greasy feel while also providing excellent sun protection.

8. Lather & Wood Man’s Man Facial Moisturizer

Face Moisturizer for Men - Lather & Wood's Luxurious Sophisticated Mens Moisturizer

Best features:

  • Versatility
  • Fights wrinkles
  • Goes on smoothly

The best moisturizer for:

Men with aging skin looking for an all-in-one moisturizer.

Overview:

Lather & Wood is another company that sells a multitude of men’s grooming and styling products, including face moisturizer, face wash, and shaving supplies. Like the other brands, Lather & Wood stands for quality and customer satisfaction. Nothing new there.

But L & W’s Man’s Man Facial Moisturizer backs up their customer-first claims because it’s an all-in-one product, like others we mentioned here, and delivers a solid performance.

The Man’s Man Facial Moisturizer, like others on our list, is made with natural ingredients, such as shea butter, jojoba oil, and palm oil (an effective antioxidant). It’s a lotion that doubles as an eye cream, with ingredients designed to hydrate, fortify, and repair skin.

Moreover, it deals with wrinkles that come with aging (and stress and environmental factors). There’s some dispute as to the effectiveness of facial moisturizers in treating wrinkles, with the consensus being that moisturizers don’t actually get rid of wrinkles.

However, a good facial moisturizer works to improve the appearance of the wrinkle, especially in the drier skin that accentuates the appearance of wrinkles.

In essence, the moisturizer provides hydration (and prevents tearing and bruising of the skin) to make the wrinkle seem less deep.

Something else to like about Lather & Wood’s Face Moisturizer is that it goes on smooth and provides a soothing effect that you’ll feel immediately.

As mentioned, it has an all-natural formula that’s free from harsh chemicals and alcohol found in other lesser brands. It’s a formula that leaves your skin feeling hydrated and supple but not greasy and oily.

Type: 

Cream

Pros

  • Versatile product
  • Helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles
  • Soothing formula

Cons

  • Reviewers have complained about pump not working

Bottom line

Lather & Wood might be considered a “luxury” product because it is priced higher than many other moisturizers, but it gets results. Its formula has a variety of natural ingredients, and you’ll like how your skin feels after you’ve applied it.

9. Bulldog Original Face Moisturizer

Bulldog Original Face Moisturizer

Best features:

  • Non-oily hydration
  • Eight essential oils
  • Subtle scent

The best moisturizer for:

Men with oily skin

Overview:

British-based Bulldog works from the premise that dogs are man’s best friend but that men’s skincare products are an important ally, as well.

Bulldog has a variety of natural products made for men, and we like their Original Moisturizer, which definitely ranks among the best face lotions for men. While it’s ideal for men of all skin types, some reviewers say it best serves men with medium to oily skin.

There’s nothing overly fancy about Bulldog’s moisturizer, but don’t let that fool you. Applying an even layer of it in the morning and before bed leaves your skin feeling moisturized but not overly oily and smooth but not tight.

There’s also a lot to like about what’s not in Bulldog Original Moisturizer: parabens, sulfates, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, or any ingredients made from animal sources.

It does contain eight essential oils, as well as green tea, green algae, vitamin E, and konjac mannan. The latter comes from a plant native to tropical eastern Asia, and it’s used in many facial massage treatments.

Bulldog’s moisturizer goes on a bit thicker than other moisturizers but, again, won’t leave your face with an oily, shiny finish. It has a pleasant, subtle scent that smells like a man should smell.

It does a great job moisturizing your face, which sounds obvious, but one can argue that not all moisturizers do what their name implies.

Type: 

Lotion

Pros

  • Especially good for oily skin
  • Pleasant, masculine scent
  • Natural ingredients and antioxidants

Cons

  • Goes on too thick for some

Bottom line

There’s nothing exotic or frilly about Bulldog’s Original Moisturizer. However, it succeeds in doing what you expect a moisturizer to do: it moisturizes. It’s a good all-around product that keeps your skin hydrated and smooth throughout the day.

10. Neutrogena Men Triple Protect Face Lotion With Sunscreen

Neutrogena Men Triple Protect Face Lotion With Sunscreen

Best features:

  • Soothes irritation
  • Non-greasy
  • Cooling sensation

The best moisturizer for:

Men looking for an all-in-one face lotion

Overview:

Neutrogena’s over-the-counter products are rated near the top by dermatologists for a reason. They come in many forms – lotions, shampoos, you name it – and they work for men and women.

Neutrogena also understands that men’s facial skin is different than women’s skin (about 20% thicker, according to studies).

Yes, it’s thicker and, therefore, tougher, but it needs protection, too, and Neutrogena ups the ante with its Triple Protect Face Lotion With Sunscreen.

This all-in-one lotion soothes shaving irritation, heals dry skin, and helps fight the signs of aging, and it has an SPF of 20 to help protect against the sun’s harmful rays.

We think it’s the best men’s moisturizer with SPF, and some even use it as their go-to sunscreen. You just need to reapply it every few hours, which you don’t have to do if you use it as a facial moisturizer only.

Here are some other things we like about the Neutrogena Men Triple Protect Face Lotion With Sunscreen:

  • It has a cooling sensation that helps soothe razor irritation
  • It isn’t greasy and leaves a matte finish
  • It has a thick consistency but absorbs well into the skin
  • It has a fresh, soapy scent that’s pleasant but not all that noticeable
  • It’s inexpensive when compared with other quality facial moisturizers for men

Type: 

Lotion

Pros

  • Works to relieve shaving irritation
  • Excellent sun protection
  • Heals dry skin

Cons

  • Fragrance is not subtle enough for some

Bottom line

The Neutrogena brand is known for its variety of grooming products and has another one near the head of the pack with its Triple Protect Face Lotion.

It provides excellent sun protection and leaves your skin feeling cool and refreshed without the burn of shaving irritation.

The how-to of applying a face moisturizer (A simple, illustrated guide)

Sure, it may look easy, but there is definitely a right way to apply a facial moisturizer. Taking the time to apply it properly keeps your skin hydrated and protected against the environment as you go about your day. Here’s how:

1. Always apply moisturizer to a clean face

face moisturizer 1Applying moisturizer to a dirty face is, well, dirty business. The fact is, doing so enables the moisturizer to seal in oil, sweat, and other impurities into your pores, which is the last thing you want.

So, wipe away the grime with a quality face wash for men and then apply your moisturizer. Oh, and while you’re at it, wash your hands first, too – just like your mother taught you.

2. Dry your face

face moisturizer 2After you’ve washed your face, dry it completely. Applying moisturizer to wet or damp skin may prevent the skin from easily absorbing the moisturizer.

3. Apply in the morning and at bedtime

face moisturizer 3The best times to apply a facial moisturizer are after you’ve cleaned your skin in the morning and before bed. The morning application helps your face look refreshed before you start the day, while applying it at night may limit aging.

If your skin is extremely dry, it’s OK to have a mid-day application, as well.

4. Use a little, not a lot

face moisturizer 4You only need a small amount of moisturizer – about half a teaspoon – to get the job done. Applying too much moisturizer gives your skin a greasy and shiny appearance.

5. Start with the cheeks

face moisturizer 5A common mistake is applying moisturizer in the wrong order. Start with your cheeks, which are often the driest part of your face, and apply your moisturizer in gentle, circular motions.

6. Apply it to your forehead, then the rest of your face

face moisturizer 6Move on to your forehead after you’ve applied moisturizer to your cheeks. From there, move on to your nose, chin, neck, and ears.

7. Applying it to the “T-zone”

face moisturizer 7The “T” area of your face is the t-shaped area defined by the forehead, nose, and chin. These are parts of the face that tend to be more oily, so be careful not to apply too much moisturizer to these areas.

Moisturizer 101: A closer look

While we’ve defined “moisturizer” as something you use on your face to provide it with hydration, to protect it from everyday wear and tear, and to – in some cases – protect it from the sun. We have also established the term itself is very broad, indeed.

If you start with water, which is a weak moisturizer if used alone, and then move on to vaseline at the other end of the spectrum, lotions, creams, and ointments fall somewhere in the middle as a combination of the two.

They’re what’s often referred to when talking about facial moisturizers.

And there are differences when it comes to lotions, creams, and ointments. Most of them, especially lotion, are made mostly of water. Here’s a closer look:

  • Lotion

Lotion isn’t as heavy as cream and is an effective moisturizer for almost everyone. If you have trouble choosing a lotion, your best bet is to choose one that’s non-comedogenic, which means it won’t block your pores.

Most lotions are thin enough that they won’t leave a shiny or greasy finish.

  • Cream

Cream is thicker than lotion and a good option for folks with dry skin. It’s advisable to use a heavier cream in winter, when harsh weather conditions may dry out your skin.

  • Ointment

Ointments are thicker and have the highest oil concentration of all moisturizers. They’re also heavier and stickier than other products.

  • Gels

Gels are among the lightest and less-greasy-feeling of all moisturizers and have a base that disperses their ingredients by water, alcohol, or liquid fat. They also feel cooler on the skin.

  • Anti-aging moisturizer

There’s no stopping the effects of aging, but we men can choose to age well, and there’s nothing more attractive than a healthy-looking, mature man, who’s in control of his life and his grooming. Anti-aging moisturizers aim to slow down the signs of it on your face (namely, wrinkles). They’re loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and free radical-fighting ingredients.

  • Energizing moisturizer

Some moisturizers include caffeine as an ingredient, and we all know how caffeine provides the jolt we need most mornings. They also have antioxidants and ingredients that work as a blood circulation enhancer.

  • SPF-infused moisturizers

Using a facial moisturizer that includes sunscreen has the advantage of moisturizing your skin while also protecting it from the sun.

Moreover, a product with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) also helps prevent wrinkles and brown spots that occur with premature aging due to over-exposure to the sun.

Choosing the best facial moisturizers for men

In this review, our goal was simple:

To provide you with a superior list of products that are excellent moisturizers of the skin and are well equipped to lock-in that much-needed hydration.

There’s more to a moisturizer than just hydration, and we aimed to show you that. We considered additional benefits that moisturizers should bring to the table, such as soothing and healing properties, as well as being anti-aging and skin rejuvenating.

The criteria we used to choose the best facial moisturizer for men include several factors: ingredients, texture, fragrance, and who it’s for (i.e., skin type).

We analyzed the ingredients in each product and assessed the benefits each one provided. As with products in all of our reviews, we liked moisturizers that used natural ingredients, but that doesn’t mean we excluded those that don’t.

Every selection has proven hydrating ingredients and is free of known irritants and harmful compounds. We checked for vitamins, antioxidants, and hydrating qualities to help soothe the skin and prevent future damage.

We only included in our list reputable brands that you can trust. We also wanted to provide a wide enough variety that works on various skin types. We also looked for those that included sun protection (SPF), although not exclusively.

Finally, we considered the price. We always like to include products that vary in price, including those that fit in every man’s budget.

We pulled together all the key elements that should go into any moisturizer purchase. So that you can make the most informed decision when purchasing your next facial moisturizer. Ultimately to get you looking your radiant best while spending less time and money in the process.

Frequently asked questions

Why should I moisturize?

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a moisturizer to trap the existing moisture in your skin and form a protective barrier. It also helps to replenish the moisture that gets lost during the day, whether that’s from things you do, such as washing or from the environment.

What’s more, moisturizing makes our skin look and feel better. It softens and smooths, reduces signs of aging, and restores our youthful glow.

When should I moisturize?

According to The American Academy of Dermatology, you should moisturize immediately after washing your face. Moisturizing is usually the third step in a skincare routine. After using a face wash or cleanser and toning your skin, you should apply your chosen moisturizer.

Cleansing is an essential step in any skincare routine. However, the action is intense, and during the process of clearing the skin of impurities, it also removes your skin’s natural oils and moisture.

Therefore, immediately after washing your face, you should moisturize to lock in hydration. For best results, you should apply your moisturizer before your skin dries (so it should be slightly damp).

Generally, it is recommended not to cleanse your skin more than twice a day. In this case, you should moisturize two times a day as well, once in the morning and once before sleeping at night.

At what age should I start using a moisturizer?

There is no optimal age when you should start moisturizing your skin. However, it is best to start using a moisturizer sooner rather than later. The first signs of aging on the skin surface begin in our twenties. Fine lines appear first, and then gradually, over time, wrinkles, a loss of volume, and elasticity start to become visible.

Irrespective of age, moisturizing every day can prevent dry skin, slow down the development of wrinkles, and make your skin appear plumper. Therefore, when the first signs of skin damage occur in your twenties, it would be an opportune time to start a skincare routine – and moisturize.

What else do I need to use with my moisturizer?

Moisturizing is an important part of a broader skin care routine. In a complete regimen, it is usually the third step. Firstly, you should use a cleanser to clear dirt, excess oil, and impurities from the skin. To maintain moisture, choose a cleanser with hydration properties.

Next, you should tone your skin. A toner prepares your skin and helps it to absorb any moisturizer that follows. Then, apply your chosen moisturizer. After this, you may wish to use a sunscreen (SPF) or an acne/spot treatment gel if you suffer from blemishes.

Should I moisturize if I have oily or acne-prone skin?

Yes, absolutely. There are moisturizers on the market that are made with these skin types in mind. These moisturizers contain ingredients that help regulate the amount of sebum your skin produces. Sebum is the skin’s natural oil.

If your skin overproduces sebum, it can create an oily complexion and lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Using a product that has ingredients to control sebum production, for example, jojoba oil, can help to control sebum production and reduce these symptoms on your skin.

How do I use a moisturizer?

It’s best to apply a moisturizer after you’d showered or otherwise cleaned your face. The best time to apply it to your skin when it is partly dry but still damp. After your skin is cleansed with a gentle cleanser, pat your face and then apply a layer of moisturizer to seal in hydration. Don’t rub or massage into the skin. Let the moisturizer dry before applying other products.

Do I need a face moisturizer with SPF?

Not necessarily, but it is important to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays, which we receive mainly from the sun. You can choose a moisturizer with SPF, or you can always apply sunscreen after you moisturize. However, if you can use a moisturizer that includes UVA and UVB protection, it will quicken your morning routine.

What is a tinted moisturizer?

As its name implies, a tinted moisturizer is one that has a slight tint to it. It gives the skin a slightly polished look. Titanium oxide is the ingredient used most to provide the tint.

What moisturizer should I use with Retin A?

Use an oil-free moisturizer with Retin A. Also, look for moisturizers that are suitable for men with sensitive skin, and those that are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.

What is the best moisturizer for dry skin?

We think Brickell’s Daily Essential Moisturizer is a great all-around product and one that you can use on dry skin to ensure it has the proper hydration.

What is a good moisturizer for oily skin?

Bulldog’s Moisturizer goes on a bit thicker than other moisturizers but won’t leave your skin with an oily, shiny finish. And it has a pleasant masculine scent.

What is the best moisturizer for aging skin?

ZELEN Life’s Moisturizer is considered an excellent product for aging skin. It contains natural ingredients that are good for dry or oily skin and includes multiple botanical antioxidants.

Can I use a body moisturizer on my face?

Resist the temptation to buy a body moisturizer and use it in your face. Facial skin is more delicate than the skin on the other parts of our bodies.

The outer layer of the skin is thinner on the face. As such, the ‘corneocytes’ are smaller, and it has the highest concentration of sebaceous glands. Using a thick body moisturizer on the face risks clogging these smaller corneocytes and increases the chances of acne and bacterial infection.

Therefore, you should refrain from using a body moisturizer on your face.

Conclusion

We men like to keep it simple – so, moisturizing our skin doesn’t need to be complicated.

We hope this guide of the best men’s moisturizers for 2020 has been useful and helps you find a product that works effectively for your face and lifestyle.

The takeaway:

Ingredients. Ingredients. Ingredients. If we sound like a broken record by emphasizing the importance of ingredients in men’s grooming products, then so be it, but the bottom line is that you mustn’t overlook ingredients when choosing the right stuff for you.

We’d also love to hear from you! Have you used any of the products listed here? Do you use another one we haven’t listed?

As always, we welcome your suggestions and comments.


You might also like:

Best Men’s Hand Creams & Lotions for Soft, Smooth Hands

Best Skin Care Products for Men: Upgrade Your Daily Routine

Best Face Washes & Cleansers for Men (All Skin Types)

Best Eye Creams for Men to Fight Aging & Puffy Eyes

Best Face Masks for Men That Work Like Magic

Best Toothpastes for Bad Breath a.k.a. Halitosis

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About The Author

Domen Hrovatin
Domen Hrovatin

Domen—a self-confessed facial hair addict—is a grooming professional, style enthusiast, and someone with deep personal experience and knowledge about male pattern baldness. His work was mentioned in countless notable men's grooming and style publications, including Beardbrand and AskMen.

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