In our best moisturizers by budget guide, you’ll discover the perfect hydrating cream for your price point.
Moisturizing is a critical step in your routine regardless of how many steps you do or what skin type you have. But moisturizers can get expensive fast, so we’ve compiled a list of the best moisturizers at every price point. Whether you want to spend closer to the $20 or splurge in the $65 range, we’ve got you covered.
There’s this misconception about moisturizer which is that you only really need it if your skin is dry. But this isn’t true. Not only does moisturizer keep your skin baby soft, plump, and hydrated, but it can also keep your oil production in check, thereby taming some of that annoying acne.
Korean moisturizers have taken this up a notch by producing creams that are not only hydrating for the skin, but also target a whole host of skin issues so that no matter what your budget is, you can have the clearest, brightest, most radiant skin possible.
If you’re looking to spend $18 to $30…
The Missha Super Aqua Water-Full Clear Cream, Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream, Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream, and Etude House SoonJung 2x Barrier Intensive Cream are some great affordable moisturizers that can target a multitude of skin types and problem areas.
The Missha Super Ultra Water-Full Clear Cream is a super unique moisturizer that adds hydration to your skin without leaving you feeling greasy, which is how it landed itself on the 2017 Soko Glam Best of K-Beauty winner list. When you have oily or acne-prone skin, moisturizing sounds like the worst thing because often times it leaves you feeling more oily than when you started. But letting your skin dry out will often cause increase in oil production thereby causing even more acne, which is why this product would be great for you! It’s completely oil-free and contains baobab tree extracts and glacial water to keep the moisture in as well as control sebum production.
The Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream is a dream if you have sensitive or oily skin, and especially if you’re prone to redness. It contains guaiazulene, a camomile extract, that is great for calming the skin. It also contains centella asiatica, an ingredient we love for soothing irritation and redness. This cream is also amazing for soothing minor tears in the skin caused by sunburn or shaving, spot extraction and laser procedures. It’s fairly basic with a pH level of 7.11.
Another Best of K-beauty Winner, the Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream gives you the richness and luxury of an expensive moisturizer, without the price tag. This cream is recommended for all skin types, but can be particularly helpful if you have sensitive skin because it’s formulated with beta glucan, jojoba oil, and ceramides, which all work together to strengthen the skin barrier and increase cell repairing abilities, while simultaneously hydrating and soothing irritated skin.
The Etude House SoonJung 2x Barrier Intensive Cream is another great lightweight option. Formulated with 93% naturally derived ingredients, this moisturizer boasts a short ingredients list that still balances, hydrates, and soothes the skin. It features panthenol, sunflower seed oil, and shea butter for some deep hydration to keep skin moisturized, and soft and smooth. It also includes madecassoside for decreasing redness and repairing damaged skin. It has a low pH, making it skin-balancing and is free of potential skin irritants like fragrance, artificial color, and parabens, making it especially great for sensitive skin.
If you’re looking to spend $30-$40…
The SKINRx MadeCera Cream and the RE:P Nutrinature All-In-One Multitem, and Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Essential Moisturizer are all great moisturizers if you’re looking to pamper yourself with a mid-range price.
The SKINRx MadeCera Cream is an absolute dream for those with sensitive skin and those prone to redness because it’s free of potential irritants like parabens, surfactants, and mineral oils. The cream is formulated with madecassoside which is great for fighting inflammation and facial redness as well as niacinamide to brighten and adenosine to smooth the skin and protect against wrinkles and fine lines. Within the formula are also ceramides, which deeply moisturize to leave your skin feeling plump and hydrated.
The RE:P Nutrinature All-In-One Multitem is a bigger bargain product that initially meets the eye. The product is formulated as a moisturizer, but it actually combines a toner, essence, and emulsion all in one to balance the skin as well as brighten and moisturize. It contains niacinamide and antioxidants like rosehips and lotus seed to brighten, nourish the skin, and strengthen the skin barrier as well as avocado oil and olive oil to moisturize. Even so, the consistency is that of a light gel rather than a cream and super lightweight so it won’t leave you feeling greasy. Plus, RE:P is vegan and cruelty free!
The Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Essential Moisturizer is a super hydrating and versatile moisturizer, boasting and incredible ingredient list with 40% snail mucin, niacinamide, baobab tree extract, and squalene for targeting redness, improving skin texture, brightening, and more! This product was developed for those who have oily skin and want to decrease the darkness of their acne scars. It’s super lightweight and seeps into the skin easily leaving you with plump and glowing skin.
If you’re looking to spend $40+…
Sometimes the splurge is worth it, especially if you’ve got the funds. The Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream, Hanskin Bio Origin the Cream, and Missha Time Revolution Immortal Youth Cream are some great higher-end options to treat your skin to the most luxurious moisturize.
There’s a reason why the Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream remains one of the top K-beauty creams (and my personal favorite moisturizer). A Best of K-Beauty winner, this cream is formulated with 70% snail mucin extract making it deeply hydrating, moisturizing, and naturally skin-repairing. Snail mucin is also known for healing irritated skin, making this a great product for acne-prone or sensitive skin. It has a light gel texture that leaves a dewy finish without leaving you looking oily.
Hanskin Bio Origin the Cream is a wonder product if your primary concern is fine lines. This product is super rich and nourishing but still super lightweight. It’s packed with niacinamide to brighten and even out skin tone, as well as adenosine, a powerful anti-ager the boosts production of collagen and elastin in the body, while still being super moisturizing and packing in some serious hydration.
We all want to have young looking skin forever, which makes the Missha Time Revolution Immortal Youth Cream a miracle product. This luxurious cream targets a whole host of issues, including aging, dryness, dull complexion, and strengthening the skin barrier against environmental damages. It’s super silky and creamy, a little bit thick in consistency, and packed with moisture to leave you with baby soft skin. It’s a great moisturizer for even those with sensitive skin since it’s free of parabens, artificial coloring, animal ingredients, and triclosan, all potential irritants, and leaves you with a light floral scent to last the whole day.
The Bottom Line
Moisturizing is a crucial step in any skin care routine, Korean or not. And moisturizing doesn’t need to just be about adding hydration back into the skin. You can certainly target problem areas with your moisturizer. There’s awesome options for every skin type and skin concern at every price bracket, as long as you take the time to do the research!