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If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: the right moisturiser is the bedrock of your skincare routine. Think of it like a great pair of jeans or a crisp white shirt; it’s the foundation of your look, the staple that you could happily throw on every day – and, crucially, it works with everything else. But with hundreds on the shelves at MECCA (more than 400, to be exact), how do you choose? We tapped MECCA’s Skincare Education Lead, Erin Gorman, for her expert advice – and her top picks.
The number-one factor you should consider when choosing a moisturiser? According to Gorman, it’s your skin type: “Selecting a moisturiser according to your skin type helps ensure that your skin receives the appropriate care and hydration it needs. Understanding and knowing your skin type is key to curating your skincare routine,” she explains.
Ready to curate (or update) your routine? Meet your moisturiser match – and serum, essence, cleanser and exfoliator. Take the MECCA skincare finder quiz now!
So, how do you determine your skin type? Let’s go back to Skin 101: “Skin types are determined on your oil flow. If your skin is not producing a lot of oil, it will likely be dry. If your skin is producing excess oil all over, you probably have an oily skin type. If your skin is oily in some places, such as the T-zone, but dry in others, such as the cheeks, you may have a combination skin type.” (There are also lucky people out there with a balanced skin type that’s neither oily nor dry – jealous!)
Throughout our lives, our skin type also tends to change – in our teenage years, skin tends to fall into the oily or combination types and be more prone to breakouts. But as we age, it tends to become drier with more visible fine lines and dehydration. For that reason, the type of moisturiser (and all other skincare products) you use over time will change.
LEARN MORE AT MECCAVERSITY: Join our experts for mini masterclasses in all things skin – from finding your skin type and building your routine to reading your complexion’s SOS signals. Class is in session!
Once you’ve figured out your skin type, you can find the moisturiser that will keep your unique skin looking radiant, balanced and smooth. Read on for Gorman’s expert picks…
The classic signs of dry skin? Feeling tight and flaky (if you know, you know!). To counteract this, Gorman recommends “opting for rich, nourishing moisturisers that replenish and support the skin barrier with ingredients like ceramides, squalane or hyaluronic acid.”
The dry skin saviours Gorman suggests:
• “Tatcha’s The Dewy Skin Cream has a rich, luxurious texture that deeply hydrates and replenishes the skin for a nourished, plump complexion thanks to its blend of Japanese superfoods, green tea, rice and algae.”
• “The ultra-rich, ultra-luxurious Crème de la Mer from La Mer is infused with ocean botanicals that repair the skin barrier and deliver all day hydration.”
• “Infused with a complex of nourishing oils, hyaluronic acid and she butter, Charlotte's Magic Cream™ from Charlotte Tilbury floods the skin with moisture to leave it feeling supple and nourished. The perfect prep for makeup lovers wanting to transform their skin!”
• “The creamy, nourishing texture of Drunk Elephant’s Lala Retro™ Whipped Cream deeply replenishes the skin. Six cold-pressed oils and ceramides work to revive and hydrate.”
• “Dr. Dennis Gross B3Adaptive SuperFoods™ Stress Repair Face Cream has a decadent, rich, comforting texture that supports your skin barrier.”
viewing of products
“Those with an oily skin type may experience excess shine and can be prone to congestion and breakouts,” Gorman explains. Teen skin usually falls into this category, by the way! She suggests oil-free moisturisers with “refreshing, lightweight textures, like lotions or gels, to hydrate the skin without weighing it down.” The key ingredients to look for? “Ingredients like niacinamide can help to balance the skin!”
These are her top recommendations for oily types:
• “The Cloud Dew Oil-Free Gel Cream from Summer Fridays is an ultra-lightweight gel-cream that is infused with three types of hyaluronic acid, ceramides and amino acids that all work to boost the skin’s moisture barrier. Pineapple enzymes and antioxidants brighten and work to improve skin’s tone and texture.”
• “Lightweight, fresh and never greasy, MECCA MAX’s ALL DAY EVERY DAY Mattifying Oil-Free Moisturiser floods the skin with hydration and soothing nourishment – perfect for those with oilier complexions.”
• “Origins Clear Improvement Oil Free Pore Clearing Moisturiser is suited to breakout-prone skin, including teen skin.”
• “The lightweight Oil Free Moisturizer from Kate Somerville is formulated to keep oil production in check, while leaving skin smooth, firm and supple. Oil-absorbing spheres balance the skin for a shine-free complexion, while amino acids and red marine algae improve skin firmness.”
• “The Malin+Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturizer is formulated with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E and gently hydrates, soothes and balances the skin. Its oil-free formula absorbs into the skin quickly without leaving any residue, making it a great choice for someone wanting lightweight hydration.”
• “The Water Cream from Tatcha has a lightweight, gel-cream texture that is fast-absorbing into the skin. This moisturiser also smooths the appearance of pores and provides a refreshed base, ready for makeup.”
“Combination skin can experience areas that have excess oil (typically the forehead and nose) and other areas that experience dryness, like the cheeks, jaw and hairline,” says Gorman. The right moisturiser will help to restore hydration to dry areas without exacerbating oilier areas; look for formulas “with gel-cream textures that hydrate and balance with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.”
Try these balancing acts:
• “Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is lightweight, delivers deep hydration to the skin and is quickly absorbed, making it a great choice for someone with combination skin. Avocado oil nourishes the skin, while squalene helps to replenish the skin barrier, keeping it soft and moisturised.”
• “The Clinique Moisture Surge 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator has a gel-cream texture and delivers long-lasting hydration with a blend of aloe ferment and hyaluronic acid to plump and replenish.”
• “Infused with Japanese marine algae and hyaluronic acid, the Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Oil-Free Moisture Cushion delivers a burst of moisture to the skin. A lightweight gel-cream, it plumps and balances the skin, leaving it feeling fresh and smooth.”
• “Sunday Riley’s C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream hydrates the skin and leaves it glowing, thanks to brightening vitamin C.”
In addition to your skin type, your skin goals are also another key part of choosing the right moisturiser – whether you’re targeting a specific concern or looking to restore and support skin and return it to a balanced state. One of the most common skin concerns is sensitivity, which “can appear in the form of redness, dryness or breakouts in places they wouldn’t usually be,” explains Gorman. So, how can you help soothe sensitive skin? “We recommend opting for calming, reparative moisturisers.”
These skin soothers have her tick of approval:
• “The Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cream works to relieve sensitive, dry skin. It’s infused with jojoba and avocado to hydrate and condition the skin, while aloe works to soothe redness and irritation while delivering hydration.”
• “Sunday Riley’s Ice Ceramide Moisturizing Cream is formulated to help strengthen and protect the skin's moisture barrier and shield the skin from environmental stressors.”
• “For a rich night balm that feeds your skin with lipids to intensely nourish, repair and moisturise while you sleep, try the REN Clean Skincare Evercalm™ Overnight Recovery Balm.”
As we age, skin tends to become drier while also loosing suppleness and volume. It can also appear more textured, with an increased appearance of fine lines. This is when you can try a moisturiser enriched with actives to address these specific concerns. “Looking to lift, firm or smooth the complexion? We recommend moisturisers that include powerhouse ingredients like peptides, vitamin C and retinol,” explains Gorman.
These supercharged formulas are just what you need:
• “The Drunk Elephant Protini™ Polypeptide Cream combines peptides that bind moisture to skin plumping, firming, and restoring bounce. Amino acids and pygmy waterlily improve the appearance of skin’s tone, texture and firmness.”
• “The Time Retreat Intensive Night Cream from Eve Lom is formulated around skincare’s hero ingredient, retinol. This decadent night cream is both deeply hydrating and restorative.”
• “Cosmetics 27’s Baume 27 Bio-Energising Cell Repair Balm is formulated with Centella asiatica and a blend of oils to repair, regenerate and protect the skin.”
• “Based on advanced scientific research, Kate Somerville’s Age Arrest Anti-Wrinkle Cream formula is infused with peptides and works to increase skin firmness, elasticity and hydration.”
• “A potent moisturiser that mimics the skin’s natural barrier function, the Dr. Barbara Sturm Super Anti-Aging Face Cream helps to strengthen and support the skin while targeting visible signs of ageing.”
• “[Using the brand’s TFC8® Complex], Augustinus Bader's The Rich Cream is a luxurious cream that helps to transform the complexion and replenish moisture for a radiant, healthy-looking glow."
Shop all moisturisers at MECCA or shop all skincare steps, according to your skin type!