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Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Moisturizer
Clinique Superdefense SPF 25 Age Defense Moisturizer

How to Buy Facial Moisturizer

Dermatologists agree: A twice daily dose of moisturizer can make your skin look supple, feel soft, and prevent fine lines and wrinkles. But with so many moisturizers doing double duty-hydrating and treating your skin-it's easy to miss what's right for your face's needs. Thankfully, you can save your skin and sanity with these tips. Read on to find the perfect moisturizer to give your skin a radiant, healthy glow 24/7:

The Basics

Step 1TEXTURE: Most moisturizers usually come in these forms: a lotion, a gel or cream. What you need depends on your skin type and preference. If you're oily, then you'll want a lotion that doesn't clog pores or feel greasy. If you're very dry, you'll want a cream that sinks into skin and feels hydrating going on.
Step 2SKIN TYPE: The formula you choose is based on your skin type and most moisturizers are labeled that way. Dry? Look for a moisturizer that specifically targets your thirsty skin, usually packed with richer, hydrating ingredients than a formula for normal types. Oily? Focus on an oil-free, noncomedogenic or matte formula that simply adds a touch of hydration without extra oil. Normal? You can try almost any formula just make sure it's not too rich, which can cause pimples.
Step 3TREATMENT: Some moisturizers are overachievers; not only do they hydrate, but they also contain special ingredients like peptides and extracts to combat sagging skin, firm up wrinkles and lines, or brighten a dull tone. Some are backed by scientific research or a dermatologist's endorsement. Zero in on your skin's concerns and look at the moisturizer's claims before you make the decision to buy it. Then give it a whirl for at least a month to see significant results.

The Lingo

Anti-Aging: A formula that has SPF and ingredients to help prevent the signs of aging, including wrinkles, dark spots, fine lines and sagging.
SPF: Usually in a daily formula; a moisturizer that has sunscreen protects from harmful rays of the sun. Most moisturizers contain an SPF of 15 or higher.
Night Cream: Used at bedtime, doesn't have SPF and is usually a treatment formula to help repair the skin during sleep.
Matte: Another word for oil-free. Some matte moisturizers might also contain oil-absorbing micro-particles in their formulas that sop up extra oil.
Peptides: A chain of amino-acid ingredients that minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and promote healthy collagen growth.
Antioxidants: Natural, botanical ingredients that counteract damaging free radicals (like pollution and UV rays) and help improve skin's overall appearance.
Humectant: Ingredients that draws and hold water into the skin to make it look soft and supple. Some examples of humectants are hyaluronic acid and glycerin.

The Experts

Here's what Allure Magazine has to say about B. Kamins Chemist Bio-Maple Matte Moisturizer SPF 15 "It has vitamins A and E to heal our skin, and proteins and humectants that banned our dry flakes without plugging our pores. A perfect balance." Source: Allure Magazine
Editors at InStyle Magazine named Crème De La Mer Face Cream, a beauty classic: "Fans of this facial moisturizer claim that it gives them a noticeable glow while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While the exact ingredients are a mystery, this cream works wonders on sensitive and dry skin-types." Source: InStyle Magazine

The Brands

Neutrogena Recommended by dermatologists, this venerable company has been known for being cutting-edge and health-conscious.
Olay Owned by Proctor and Gamble, this brand backs major science behind all its skincare products.
Lancome A favorite among beauty editors and celebrities, their moisturizers are usually the first to contain unique anti-aging ingredients.
Philosophy Inspired by medical research and dermatologists, this brand is known for its quality formulas packaged in jars and bottles that carry inspirational and quirky messages.
Clinique Best known for its Dramatically Different Moisturizer and newer, innovative moisturizers that help protect skin cells from the damaging effects of stress and the sun.

The Price

$: Look for a solid moisturizer that has basic ingredients to get the job done. Dove Pro Age Day Moisturizer, SPF 15, $12.99
$$: Expect to find higher concentrations of age-preventing ingredients or unique botanical extracts that help smooth and soothe dry, stressed skin. Zirh Protect Daily Face Moisturizer, $28
$$$: A formula at this price point usually contains larger amounts of rare extracts, expensive treatment ingredients and beautiful packaging to leave out on a dressing table. Z. Bigatti Re-storation Skin Treatment Facial Cream, $155