Facial moisturizer 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.
In fact, we strongly urge you to include a facial moisturizer to your grooming arsenal. The benefits are many, as we’ll touch on in a bit, and innovations in men’s facial moisturizer are rapidly on the rise.
That’s why we want to tell you about what we think is the best face moisturizer for men – led by Rugged & Dapper Face Moisturizer for Men – while providing information such as how to apply moisturizer and what “moisturizer” really means.
First, let’s get started by discussing some things to keep in mind when buying a face moisturizer.
- Before you buy: 7 Things to consider when purchasing a face moisturizer
- 8 Best face moisturizers, creams, and lotions for men 2018
- The how-to of applying a face moisturizer (A simple, 7-step illustrated guide)
- Moisturizer 101: A closer look
- Choosing the best facial moisturizers for men
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 moisturizer carefully. Picking the right facial moisturizer isn’t easy. You need to consider many things, including your skin type and where you live. We hope the following guidelines will make the selection process easier for you:
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. Here are some ingredients to look for in a moisturizer:
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.
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.
You’ll find a variety of alcohols in skin products, including ethyl alcohol and astringents. Be wary, however, because alcohols are often harsh and irritate the skin if used too liberally. But so-called “fatty” alcohols – such as lanolin – help moisturize and strengthen the skin.
- 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 your skin. They’re mild enough to be regularly applied.
2. Skin Type
You must consider your skin type when buying a facial moisturizer.
- 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.
- Oily skin
If you have oily skin, avoid moisturizers that have natural oils as their base. Those products will make your face look overly-shiny. Instead, look for a lightweight, water-based moisturizer that contains some essential oils.
- Dry skin
If your skin is dry and flaky, then you should look for a moisturizer that’s packed with antioxidants such as grape seed oil, and others. If your skin is exceptionally dry and cracks easily, look for a moisturizer that has a petroleum jelly base. The latter is also a good option if you have wrinkles and eczema.
- 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 are always a good choice for men with normal skin.
3. Your Age
Retaining moisture becomes more important as you age. It’s important to preserve that moisture, and if you start a moisturizing routine when you’re younger, you’re likely to have excellent long-term results that include fewer wrinkles.
4. Your Climate
Where you live and your environment has a major impact on your skin. 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.
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), but take a closer look at the product’s ingredients. Most well-known brand names have established products and years of research and testing behind those products, however.
The price of facial moisturizer for men varies widely. As with most 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. Your skin and comfort are worth the investment.
7. Sun Protection
If a moisturizer also protects your skin against the sun’s harmful UVA and UAB rays, you need to give it serious consideration during the buying process. Look for moisturizers that have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15, even if your skin is darker than most.
Let’s move on to our reviews of the best moisturizer for men in 2018.
8 Best Face Moisturizers, Creams, and Lotions for Men 2018
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).
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 an firmness. Hyaluronic acid also protects the skin from harmful UV rays.
Besides including no parabens to toxins, R & D also never tests its products on animals.
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.
- Lightweight, not greasy
- Smooths skin
- Natural, organic ingredients
- Doesn’t contain sun protection
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.
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. It’s 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 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 vegan-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 dryest months. Like most quality men’s face moisturizers, Jack Black Double-Duty is good for men with all types of skin.
We also like that a little of Jack Black’s Double-Duty goes a long way. Simply 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 moisturizer for men.
- Lightweight, easy to apply
- Powerful organic and natural ingredients
- Provides excellent sun protection
- Some men don’t like its scent (which resembles the scent of baby powder).
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.
The Baxter of California Skin Starter Kit has everything you’ll need to hydrate, cleanse, and a tone your skin before you start your day. We especially like it for its oil-free moisturizer, which replenishes the skin’s essential moisture that’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.
But 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.
- Moisturizer restores and hydrates men’s oil-prone skin
- Absorbs quickly into the skin
- Loaded with antioxidants
- Too “light” for some
Baxter of California’s oil-free moisturizer is excellent by itself while also making 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 cream for oily skin.
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. Jack Black has plenty, including their 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.
- Absorbs moisture quickly
- Helps smooth lines and wrinkles
- Refreshing scent
- Doesn’t include sun protection
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.
Let’s face it (pun intended), 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 smooths your skin’s texture and helps 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, moreover, 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, or 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.
- Includes sunscreen
- Non-oily texture
- Is one of the best men’s face cream anti-aging
- Contains parabens
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.
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 better 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 other 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.
- Versatile product
- Helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles
- Soothing formula
- Reviewers have complained about pump not working
Lather & Wood might be considered a “luxury” product because it is priced higher than many other moisturizers, but it gets results. It’s formula has a variety of natural ingredients and you’ll like how your skin feels after you’ve applied it.
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 lotion 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 which is 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.
- Especially good for oily skin
- Pleasant, masculine scent
- Natural ingredients and antioxidants
- Goes on too thick for some
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.
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 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
- Works to relieve shaving irritation
- Excellent sun protection
- Heals dry skin
- Fragrance is not subtle enough for some
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
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
Applying 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
After 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
The 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
You 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
A 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 – and the rest of your face
Move 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”
The “T” area of your face is the t-shaped area that 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, 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 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 noncomedogenic – which means it won’t block your pores. Most lotions are thin enough that they won’t leave a shiny or greasy finish.
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.
Ointments are thicker and have the highest oil concentration of all moisturizers. They’re also heavier and stickier than other products.
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 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 in the sun.
Choosing the Best Facial Moisturizers for Men
The criteria we used to choose the best facial moisturizer for men including several factors – ingredients, texture, fragrance, and who it’s for (i.e., skin type). As with products in all of our reviews, we liked moisturizers that used natural ingredients, but that doesn’t mean we exclude those that don’t.
Another goal was to include a wide enough variety that work on various skin types. We also looked for those that included Sun Protection Factor, 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 hope this review of the best men’s moisturizers for 2018 helps you find a product that works effectively for your face and lifestyle. 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.