What facial moisturizer will seriously drench my skin?
June 23, 2015 8:47 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a facial moisturizer that will inundate me with MOISTURE.

I currently use Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference (Creme Complexe Hydratante), and I'm quite happy with it on my cheeks, but I still get dry spots around my nose and eyes. I basically use it because it's very easy for me to pick it up at Costco, and it doesn't have an overwhelming scent.

Some details on my routine:

- I use Purpose soap (love it) twice a day.
- I exfoliate using a very gentle hand-held facial brush from Bed Bath & Beyond - about 2-3 times a week.
- I prefer drugstore but will buy pricier if I have to.
- Tried Cetaphil; did not get rid of dry spots.

If you can recommend a heavy-duty, super-duper moisturizer for the face and maybe where you bought it - that'd be helpful. Bonus points if not overly perfumed. Thanks!
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (40 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Paula's Choice Skin Recovery (what I use currently, has the texture of thick hand lotion but soaks in within a minute, almost no scent) or Clinical Ultra Rich (what I'm going to try next).

Sign up for the site and they will heap you with coupons and sales.

I am also using their 1% BHA lotion beforehand, and I went so low because of rosacea concerns but i could have gone for the 2% with no worries. The combo has made a real difference in my skin and rosacea though.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:55 PM on June 23, 2015 [4 favorites]

Would you be into oils? I would recommend coconut oil, or bio oil. I have combination skin and get very dry around my mouth and nose area with an oily t- zone and love oils. If that's too much for you the Cerave moisturizer (drug store) is also really good. Embryolisse is pricy but worked really well for me during the winter. I used Purpose for a while but it made my skin feel a bit too tight for my liking.
posted by mokeydraws at 8:55 PM on June 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

I get dry spots when I'm not exfoliating enough, oddly.

I like Philosophy's Take A Deep Breath, it's insanely moisturizing and has SPF.

But it doesn't work unless I'm exfoliating every day.

Oddly enough it works best when I moisturize, then exfoliate after about 5 minutes, then moisturize again. Really gets rid of the dry patches.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:03 PM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Cerave in the tub is pretty great. It's different from the pump bottle - a lot thicker. My partner got a pump bottle lid to fit ours, which is great, because I didn't want to contaminate it with my grubby hands.

The two of us have been using one tub for the last... three months or so? And it's still mostly full. And I've been dealing with a lot of stress and allergy induced dry skin.
posted by you could feel the sky at 9:06 PM on June 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: My rudimentary understanding of these things is that there are two categories of goo: humectants and occlusives. Humectants add moisture to the skin, and most moisturizers fall into this category. Occlusives create a barrier that prevents the skin from losing moisture. Vaseline is an occlusive. Aquaphor (which is readily available at drugstores, Target, etc.) is very similar to Vaseline but has ingredients that make it a humectant as well. So what you want to do at night is cleanse the face as you normally would, apply the moisturizer of your choice, and then smear a very small amount of Vaseline or Aquaphor (which is maybe a slightly better option if price is not a factor) on top.

You can read about this more in the skincare addiction sub in reddit.com; a lot of people call doing this "slug life."
posted by kitty teeth at 9:08 PM on June 23, 2015 [16 favorites]

I highly recommend Aveeno's Eczema Therapy Cream. It's enriched with ceramides, which enhance and restore your skin's protective barrier.

It works really well if you put it on after taking a shower or washing your face, while your skin is still slightly damp- it quite literally, locks the moisture onto your skin.

However, for this same reason, I would not recommend putting it on before using foundation, because it does take time to absorb. For my pre-foundation face, I use Neutrogena's Oil-Free Moisture for Sensitive Skin.

I used to get dry, flaky patches on my cheeks, and the Aveeno has pretty much drowned them out of existence.
posted by invisible ink at 9:20 PM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Josie Maran argan oil. Yes, it's weird at first to slather oil on your face but this stuff sinks in and makes your face feel baby soft and is unscented and just so good. I cannot rave enough about it.
posted by joan_holloway at 9:26 PM on June 23, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I started using CeraVe (the really thick kind that comes in a tub, not the squirt/pump bottle) back at the start of May and my face has been much better for it. Highly, highly recommended. And, like, I am a lotion addict and recognize that CeraVe has something distinct and special going on that, for instance, Aveeno and Cetaphil (my usual standbys) just do not have. Costco carries it so it should be similarly easy for you to get.

I will add also that Purpose was way too harsh for me. I used it probably more than a decade ago, though, so maybe the formula is different and gentler now? I don't know. I know you say you love it, but I seem to recall it making me tight and squeaky feeling (which is not a way that your face skin should ever feel). I use Cetaphil gentle cleanser (also available at Costco) as my only face wash now. If you're still having issues with flakiness even with the CeraVe, I would buy a thing of Cetaphil cleanser and try using that for a week or two in place of the Purpose to see if you see improvement.
posted by phunniemee at 9:26 PM on June 23, 2015 [7 favorites]

I put Vaseline on my face before I shower. That's all I use.
It keeps my skin pretty soft and I don't get the rosecea looking skin that I'm prone to.
posted by gt2 at 9:28 PM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

The only thing that cleared up my persistent dry spots was the Clarisonic Mia (I hear the knockoff version works just as well) followed by a light application of jojoba oil. Works fantastically well and the dry spots have never come back.
posted by anderjen at 9:32 PM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Classes of moisturizer explained

Personally I limit the amount of physical exfoliation because it scratches the skin. It could be the cause of your dryness. You could consider an over the counter chemical exfoliant instead. My skin became better almost overnight when I switched to using AHA as my exfoliant instead of a scratchy apricot seed based exfoliant.

Once I started a proper skin care routine I found I didn't need to cake on the moisturizer since my skin didn't have that tough layer of rough skin on top anymore and so it soaked up moisturizer better. So now I'm happy with ceraVe daily moisturizer or neutragena with retinol which is quite creamy.

Finally the oil cleansing method (I use jojoba oil) makes my skin super smooth. The first time I tried it, it removed layers of crappy dry skin and made my face baby smooth.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:36 PM on June 23, 2015 [8 favorites]

Oil cleansing, and I follow it up with argan oil. Then in the morning, La Roche Posay moisturizer/sunscreen. About once a week I use an AHA cleanser instead of oil.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 9:47 PM on June 23, 2015

Seconding the coconut oil vote. I get super dry skin in the winter and what works for me is to put a moderate amount of coconut oil on my face after I wash it, before I go to bed. It feels a little greasy, even, which might not suit you, but it works for me. I shower in the morning and my face feels clean and smooth afterwards.

I've heard of people just putting a pretty heavy layer on in the morning before showering, which sounds an awful lot like St. Peepsburg's oil cleansing method.
posted by amandabee at 10:12 PM on June 23, 2015

Jan Marini. Expensive but miraculous.
posted by lovableiago at 10:34 PM on June 23, 2015

What's that stuff? C is for Carrots? Available at Target. Not the regular cream, they make a balm in a little pot that is very rich, but absorbs completely and becomes non-greasy.

Coconut oil at night, and especially after you exfoliate or do a light acid peel.
posted by jbenben at 10:56 PM on June 23, 2015

Best answer: Ha. The line is Yes To Carrots.

The body butter is not the right one. You can sample them at target, the one I linked might be right, iDK, the packaging is all changed. I like the whole line, but that one super rich cream they make is a knock-out.
posted by jbenben at 11:01 PM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Trader Joe's argan oil based moisturizer is a godsend for me! It's like $4!
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:03 PM on June 23, 2015

Clinique's Moisture Surge is the only thing that sufficiently moisturizes for me (and does it without greasing up the hands and face). Especially effective if you apply it to slightly damp skin.
posted by thebots at 11:55 PM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Nthing Cerave in the tub, with a pump as you can feel the sky suggests. Effective, fragrance-free, affordable and gentle. Check your drugstore.
posted by KathyK at 12:50 AM on June 24, 2015

Nthing Clinique Moisture Surge - but you really need to 'seal' it in with a heavier moisturiser (I used to use Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream).

That said, I recently discovered Korean/Japanese skincare brands through the Green, and I figured out two things: (1) layering products is really, super key when it comes to dryness, (2) Korean/Taiwanese/Japanese brands offer loads of different, well-formulated options that cost significantly less than their Western counterparts. For instance, you could try layering Hadalabo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion under your current moisturiser. It's actually a very runny liquid - you press it into your skin with your hands while it's still a bit damp. It's not a moisturiser on its own, but it will dial up the effectiveness of whatever you're using.

The (unfortunately named) Asian Beauty Reddit is a GOLDMINE for this stuff.
posted by nerdfish at 1:11 AM on June 24, 2015 [10 favorites]

The most hydrating facial products in my skincare arsenal are Dr. Hauschka's Rose Day Cream (oleaginous as heck albeit highly scented; sample first!), Neal's Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm, and Evan Healy's Whipped Shea Butter with Olive Leaf.

I am a huge fan of oils in general and often use argan oil (John Masters has a nice one) or rosehip oil (Trilogy) in lieu of moisturizer.

I would also try oil cleansing or a cleansing balm rather than soap, which can really dry out one's skin. Suti Organic cleansing balm is insanely hydrating-- you won't even need a moisturizer after using this!
posted by Sylvia Tebrick at 1:52 AM on June 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm prepared to spend lots of money on pricey creams if they do the job, but even though I've tried others I always return to nivea q10 night wrinkle cream... It is very soothing... I've shared it with male friends who were complaining about dry patches and it always does the trick... And I had an itchy bumpy patch on my
Pregnant tummy and after 2 days
Using the Nivea it was resolved... So I highly recommend it!
posted by catspajammies at 2:20 AM on June 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Seconding Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion -- apparently available at Walgreens in the US in its original form. I follow up with DHC CoQ10 milk. Also seconding the Asian Beauty Reddit.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 2:35 AM on June 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

CeraVe in the tub.
posted by OmieWise at 5:41 AM on June 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

A few years ago I had horrible dry, flaky patches on my face that wouldn't go away for months. I tried a bunch of different moisturizers and oils with no success.

Then my stylist gave me a sample of Aveda's Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Creme that comes in a little tub. The spots were gone in just a couple days. I only use it occasionally in the winter now. That spring I started using Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum on my face every morning, and I haven't had problems with dry skin since.
posted by thejanna at 5:42 AM on June 24, 2015

I get eczema on my face, so I get red flaky patches that can be a nightmare. Kitty Teeth nails it above: very emollient moisturizer and then Vaseline or Acquphor over. I use the Eucerin Eczema Relief stuff that says "body creme" on the tube, and then Vaseline over that. Cleared up the dry flaky patches when nothing else did and believe me, I tried everything else. I also really like Vanicream, which is recommended for eczema; it comes in a tub with a pump on top.
posted by holborne at 5:51 AM on June 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

N-thing argan oil in addition to your current moisturiser. However:

I personally wouldn't use anything described as a "soap" on my face. After having a look at online reviews for what you've been using, it seems like most of the people who have good results from Purpose have very oily skin and acne. If you don't have oily skin, then it's probably just a bit too harsh for you.

My skin is combination - I used to have quite an oily t-zone and dry cheeks (especially the upper cheeks near my nose and eyes). Discovering cream cleansers was like a turning point in skin care for me. My favourite is Sukin Sensitive Cleansing Lotion, which may actually now be available outside of Australia. If you can't find it where you are, though, I'm sure you could find something similar. The main ingredients I look out for in a cream cleanser are oils like jojoba, avocado, and rose hip.

I also sometimes use a "cleansing milk" like the one by Nivea, which is also very gentle. I just don't find it quite as moisturising as a proper oil-based cream cleanser.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 6:12 AM on June 24, 2015 [3 favorites]

I try a lot of other things, but I always come back to dumb old Nivea Soft in the white tub. It's $4 at every drugstore.
posted by almostmanda at 6:16 AM on June 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'd skip the physical exfoliation and go for a Chemical AHA (BHA's would work too but are a little drying for some people) though note you'll have to wear sunscreen if you do. I am partial to Paulas choice as you can buy different concentrations to find what works best for you and they do samples.

Then Cerave in the tub.

Maybe look into a non soap based cleanser too.
posted by wwax at 6:51 AM on June 24, 2015

I have a similar issue with dry spots and Argan Oil wasn't working for me. The biggest difference for me was starting to use a Clarisonic. I needed to exfoliate every day to really get rid of the dry spots, then a super rich moisturizer (I use La Mer, which is ridiculously priced and I shouldn't be buying it but it is sooooooo great).
posted by elvissa at 7:20 AM on June 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ponds. I am not kidding. In the tub-- the dry skin formula. Old school, but I use it religiously.
I have a friend (mentioned her a few times in threads like these) who is an aesthetician, who is much more in favor of chemical versus manual exfoliation. I spend the money on the cleanser-- DermaDoctor's Wrinkle Revenge, which has between 1-3% glycolic acid depending on which formula you get, and then the Neutrogena Wrinkle Repair mentioned above. I have very combination skin, and at several points in my life have been on oral and topical meds for acne, roscacea, and the like. This keeps it all at bay. At certain points I do MyChelle's Fruit Fiesta peel as well. MyChelle has a Pumpkin mask as well.
posted by oflinkey at 8:11 AM on June 24, 2015

Wash with non-soap cleanser. I love Cetaphil (the gentle/normal version, not the one for oily skin), Cerave foaming, and the awesome Korean Beauty Cult Favorite SU:M37 Miracle Rose Cleaning Stick.

Put on a chemical exfoliant. I'd start with an AHA-based option, at 1-2%. Vitamin C is also good.

Wait a bit if you can, if not, no big deal.

Put on one layer of light oil or light cream. You want this to really soak in. Argan oil, Kiehl's light cream, Clinique yellow cream, Paula's Choice, whatever works for you and feels good. Korean emulsions are good because they're cheap to try out and seem to have great quality.

Day time: Put on a SPF cream. I'm looooooving the Japanese Biore SPF here. Not greasy but also not drying.

Night time: put on a thicker layer of cream on top. Cerave in the tub, or a Korean sleep pack, or Ponds or whatever.
posted by barnone at 9:34 AM on June 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Skin Drink is awesomely wonderful. From Lush.
posted by bearwife at 10:08 AM on June 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have super dry skin. My go-to lotions:

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
Hyalauronic acid gel by Indeed
Hourglass serum primer
posted by SassHat at 11:07 AM on June 24, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks for all the amazing recs - I'm drawn to the higher-end options like Aveda and Philosophy, but thought I'd try the frugal options first, so I ran to Target to pick up Cetaphil daily facial cleanser and Yes to Carrots Intense Hydration cream. (I'll give these a go and if they don't do the trick, try something else.)

Looks like it's time to ditch Purpose soap - too bad, I really like it. And I just bought a bar. :/ I am very interested in Paula's Choice (first comment) and a BHA exfoliant, so I'll investigate that in future, too.

Thanks again Mefites! :)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:30 AM on June 24, 2015

Watch out for propylene glycol; a lot of moisturizers have it (a lot) and a lot of people are allergic, or mildly allergic, to it.

Your face gets a lot of moisture from a warm shower. Apply moisturizer _immediately_ after the shower to take full advantage of that.

I use Cera Ve moisturizers. I actually use the daytime one and the night time one; using only one or the other doesn't work as well.
posted by amtho at 12:24 PM on June 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think that you might be better off considering an AHA, which would be more moisturising than a BHA. Here is a thread discussing AHAs and BHAs. Check out the "cheat sheet" to work out which would be more suitable for your needs.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 5:44 PM on June 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

If you end up willing to buy more expensive options, then I strongly suggest going to Sephora and asking someone to help you. They're the ones who told me my skin was dry because I wasn't exfoliating enough (and they were so, so right!) They also have an incredible return policy.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:17 PM on June 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you're interested in chemical exfoliants, I recently switched from Paula's Choice to the Korean brand CosRX. I use both their BHA liquid and their AHA liquid - a bottle of each costs the same as one bottle of Paula's Choice. I now prefer these to Paula's Choice because, well, they cost less, but my skin also seems to prefer them - they're a much gentler option.

The only trick is you really do need to wait after you've applied (I press them into my skin with my hands) to let the acids do their work. I wait 20 minutes after each - I actually set a timer on my phone.
posted by nerdfish at 12:48 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

I use coconut oil, purchased in a jar from the grocery store. Best moisturizer ever.

I actually use it as my facial cleanser as well. My routine is that I scoop out about a nickel-sized dollop of coconut oil and slather it all over face for about a minute (including over eyelids), then gently wipe off with a washcloth doused in hot water. I lay the washcloth over my face for a minute to get some nice steam action going. Then, at night, I scoop out a bit more coconut oil and apply a thin layer over my face. In the morning, I splash my face with water. I use neutrogena sunblock on my face during the day.

My skin has never looked better since switching to this routine. If you are prone to acne, it probably won't work. My skin is pretty dry, so it loves the oil.

It costs about $7, and one jar lasts (as a cleaner/moisturizer) for prob 5 months.
posted by corn_bread at 8:37 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

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