Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance

What it is: A moisturizing treatment for face/neck/decollete

What it does: Deeply hydrates and fortifies the skin

Star ingredients: Barrier repairing lipids, Hyaluronic Acid, Echinacea, Centella Asiatica, Chlorella Algea complex, Ceramides


This is at the forefront of my favorite moisturizing products ever. I’m on my second supersize tube of it and have yet to come across another product that is in the same league as this cream in terms of performance. It does exactly what it says in the name: it intensely moisturizes and balances the skin, and it does so without shouting “Hi, I’m on your face!” It effortlessly blends into the skin and leaves it feeling like, well, skin. Calm and comforted, hydrated and healthy.

This is exceptional for me during the colder winter months (I live in Michigan) and for the havoc that wearing a mask for long periods of time wreaks on the skin. I can wear this during the day or in the evening, although I generally save it for evening use as my morning routine works well for me without it. It gives me the needed extra oomph in restoring my skin after the day’s activities and keeps it hydrated and protected throughout the night. It does not have any discernible scent to it, just smells like product (does that even make any sense?). It is lightweight and smooth and glides on like a lipid-rich lotion, and a pea-size amount goes a long way. My first 3.4 oz version lasted me almost nine months with regular nighttime use.

This is a product that knows its purpose and delivers, straight and to the point. And for a time and a season such as this current one, that is exactly what I need and what I think a lot of others need, too. Highly recommend. For a lighter moisturizer option, Dermalogica’s Skin Smoothing Cream is also perfection, though more suited for the summertime for me.

Purchase: Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance | Ulta Beauty

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer

What it is: A face moisturizer

What it does: Soothes, moisturizes, and repairs skin without feeling heavy

Star ingredients: Glycerin, Collodial Oatmeal, Squalane, Allantoin, Urea, Ceramides, Green Tea Extract, Licorice Root Extract


If you need a product that gives a lightweight, comfortable layer of moisture, then this is the product for you. Not to be confused with the cult favorite First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, this is a non-greasy, non-intrusive hydrating cream that performs well in a variety of situations on a multitude of skins. It is packed with powerhouse ingredients to soothe redness and inflammation, even out skin tone, brighten the complexion, and repair the skin barrier.

One of the ways this product has become a superstar for me is as an after-shave treatment. Most of the after-shave products on the market are too irritating for me and this calms down any inflammation I may have and provides an essential barrier on my skin without suffocating it. I also love this during the hot, humid summer months when anything too thick feels unbearable. It has layered well with every other product I have combined it with in my routine. I would recommend it for almost any skin situation, with the exception being dryness or severe dehydration. If that’s you, you would probably appreciate something more along the lines of the famous sibling, the Ultra Repair Cream.

Overall, this is a great product with an amazing cocktail of ingredients at a reasonable price. I have yet to find another moisturizer with such a great mix of reparative, beneficial actives in such a lightweight formula. I keep this in my collection at all times and usually have a back-up as well.

Price: $26