Photo: Courtesy of Aveeno
So you know you don't need to spend hundreds on a moisturizer. But what do you need to look for? An effective moisturizer will contain two types of hydrating ingredients: a humectant (to draw water to the skin) and an emollient (to prevent water loss). Common humectants are glycerin, hyaluronic acid and propylene glycol; emollients include dimethicone, petrolatum and coconut oil. Look for at least one of each in the ingredients list. (Aveeno Positively Ageless Restructuring Treatment Cream, $20, and Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream, $25, are good bets you can find at the drugstore.) Unless your skin is oily, apply a moisturizer on top of your retinoid at night. And if your face isn't shiny in the morning, skip the cleanser and just splash your face with lukewarm water. "There's no better moisturizer than the natural oils on your skin," says Benabio. "Why wash them off?"
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