Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Holy Grail Moisturizers

I'm pretty much a skin care whore. I love make up but when I reach a limit I tend to stop myself, with skin care, the ceiling seems endless...

I currently have one new moisturizer left to try in my skin care drawer, from La Roche Posay. Once I finished that item off, I am pretty much set for the next few years on this subject. I now know all the moisturizers I can live by all year long for the indefinite future - quite an accomplishment for a tester fiend like myself!

Summer Moisturizers
Light, while hydrating is what my combo oily skin needs in summer months. I get pretty slick during the day so gel formulas work best for me when the temperature rises

Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel : My second bottle! I had used the lotion version for years, but the gel is what my skin needed and is an absolute dream for my skin type.
If you have oily skin, and find yourself getting oilier through the day (more than 1 blotting sheet a day) you may not be moisturizing your skin enough. With this gel based formula 2 pumps is more than enough for my face and neck. When I use this in the summer I know my skin is hydrated because on no make up days when I look at my skin, I don't see shine! After hours of application, if you still look pretty shine free, your skin is balanced and happy. This is my go to summer moisturizer for perfect balance.

Clinique's Moisture Surge: I actually don't use this as a moisturizer alone. I use this on top of moisturizer throughout the year whenever I have flakiness. Flakiness for me, happens when I am a bit over zealous with the acne creams and pretty much bomb my face with the stuff. Even oily skin can flake with those crazy potions, I dab this on, and flakes be gone!

Spring and All Around
When cold weather turns warmer, the skin is going from dry to oilier and this lotion brings everything to it's center of balance

If I could only choose 1 moisturizer out of this bunch to use all year, the best all around moisturizer is hands down Olay Moisturizing Lotion for Sensitive Skin -Formerly Beauty Fluid for Sensitive Skin

This has stood the test of time. It's changed names and packaging, but many grandmothers swear by what used to be called Oil of Olay

This stuff is AMAZING. I have like 3 new ones stock piled on my shelf because I will never be without this.

If my skin is oily, I just put a coin size amount to my entire face for complete hydration
In the winter, I apply a more generous portion, and tend to estimate in the spring.

When I went on some crazy acne treatment and my skin went bizerk this stuff saved my life in a matter of mere days. When my skin was drier and flakier than any one's I had ever seen this light, gentle, and fast absorbing formula was something my skin pretty much drank in like holy water and fixed in an instant.

Great things don't mean they have to be expensive, this is my ultimate Holy Grail.

If you can only buy 1, buy this one!!

*If you have drier skin, I would recommend the original formula which seems more rich, but I personally can't stand the smell, so I opt for sensitive*
* I have heard mixed reviews on the version with SPF*

Winter Months
Thick, creamy, and a WHOOSH of hydration is what I'm looking for when my skin is parched

Estee Lauder's Hydrationist for Dry Skin:
Yup, dry skin formula, you read right. I have tried the formula for combination skin, and found it a bit..slippery...the dry skin formula is more absorbent. It smells very fresh, and is not heavy or greasy. It's a lotion cream that feels whipped and absorbs into the skin making it look very healthy, and glowing.
Also when using this, my make up always seems to glide on better, as if the base was an improved texture for application

*If you actually have dry skin, the dry skin formula I think would not be hydrating enough, despite the name. *

Creme de la Mer:
Probably one of the most famous moisturizer in the world
Yes, I succumbed to the stories and bought this. It has over 1000 reviews of being perfection!
This cream is very good. I mean very good, but you have to have the right skin type to use it.
You will only see the complete manifestation of the power this moisturizer has, IF your skin is dry.

If you have generally oily skin or combo oily skin in the winter, you can skip this and save your money. If you have dry skin, or normal-dry skin this may be the last moisturizer you will ever use in your life.

The price is pretty steep, but you only need the TINIEST amount for your whole face. I only use this in the winter, when my skin is pretty red, and is flaking off (gross I know) but I literally use less than a pea size for my whole face. I have had this 1 oz tub for going on 3 years! (again I only use this in the winter) but when your skin is red, raw, peeling, flaking, apply this and in the morning, be prepared for some normalcy. Even though I only use this sparingly, and during a small part of the year, the fact that it has lasted me so long, and the results I achieve when I am in a SOS state, makes me run to repurchase this when I am out.

When I'm a bit Spotty...
It happens, and when it does, I turn to this

Burts Bees Natural Acne Solutions
I have tried a few Burts Bees items, but this is the complete stand out product
Many acne moisturizers, are not very moisturizing. They assume the consumer has oily skin, so creates a light formula with acne treatments that can easily ball up and can be difficult to spread.
This is light,actually hydrating ( just enough) and delivers acne aid
In terms of miniaturization, I only use this at night, and need about 2 pumps
It doesn't deeply hydrate, but it leaves combo-oily skinned comfortable enough, I sometimes wish it did add a bit more moisture, but the formula is JUST barely reaching adequate levels of moisture for the night. I use this because this is best acne moisturizer I have found which actually works, while moisturizing on a decent level
Salicylic acid of 1.0% is not high, but layered with acne washes, or acne creams, it really can give problematic skin that extra boost

*I only use this at night because when I apply salicylic acid on my face during the day, and expose myself to the sun, my acne marks get darker, regardless of how high, or how much spf I apply for protection*

There you have it. My exhaustive long list of HG moisturizers. Who says you can only have 1 HG? Skin changes all year. Have you found your HG moisturizer(s)?


  1. The Clinique Moisture Surge is amazing! I love it! Also really loving the Body Shop's Vtimin E range. X

  2. Great reviews! I struggle with finding a good moisturizer for my oily skin as well :( I have the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion and I only use that in the winter when my skin tends to be combination oily and dry. I don't know if I want to get the gel version honestly because I just want to try something new (oh the product junkie in me). I've used the moisture surge before and it was pretty good but I'm pretty sure there's a wee bit of alcohol in it and don't like alcohol in my skincare. I just finished up using some samples of The Body Shop's Seaweed night treatment which is more of a serum and I haven't had a whole lot of luck with it. Now I'm using Ole Henriksen's Truth Serum which isn't really supposed to be a moisturizer.... lol.... The Olay one sounds promising though so I might try that out :D Sorry for the super long, rambly comment >.<

  3. hiya! for the dramatically diff gel, sephora has a travel version which u can try without a large investment, too bad about the alcohol.. I dont use it much, but my face seems ok with alcohol. I have tried the body shop seaweed moisturizer and it was ok...i wouldnt get it again but the whole liner together i thought worked well. I have had bad luck with Ole Henriksen for some reason...I have one moisturizer left to try from La Roche Posay but i found after i wrote this post i have another neutrogena moisturizer in it's box to try too =X I also have some moisturizers which are only half done and i need to go back to but i know they are not HG just things i need to finish
    I LOVE the olay - sensitive skin though, the original made me gag, i hate baby powder smelling stuff!
    OMG look at my comment size hahaha

  4. thanks for commenting! i really enjoy moisture surge too for flakes! I have tried the Vitamin E range, it was a bit rich for me =(

  5. your review is super impressive!!! I use alot of products on my face, somedays for whitening, some days for hydration, some days for firming, I tend to lose track of what is it that really works. For you to whittle the list down to these few, and knowing which works when, that must require alot of commitment and perseverence!

  6. hahaha thanks! i have tried and tested so many products and still have many more to go. I have only found my HG moisturizers, im still on the search for... everything else!! lol hope u enjoyed the list =)

  7. I wonder if it'll take me a long time and many products later before I find my HGs xD
    You've been raving about the beauty fluid a few times I'm even more interested in trying it. I hope it doesn't smell like the SPF one does =X

  8. I am just the same! I have plenty of different products i can opt for if my skin changes. I use to be on roaccutane and by the sounds like you were too?

  9. I love love LOVE the Clinique Dramatically Different gel! I've been using the tester I got at the counter for the 3-step system and I've loved it, definitely getting a full size when I am back in the UK :)

    Been loving your posts very much!

  10. Thank you for sharing this, I've jotted down some notes and will try some of these out=)

  11. This post came at the right time! I'm on the look out for a new moisturizer.. I use an Olay one at night.. The purple pot.. It's so smooth and lovely but just not hydrating enough for my dry skin.. I was thinkin of getting La Mer at Duty Free but the price is too much.. What do you think? Should I take the plunge? I've been using a sample of it and I'm liking it.. Nothing too WOW but it feels nice..

    If not LA Mer, Im thinkin Philosophy's Hope in Jar?

  12. I'm running out of my clinique moisturizing gel, and I will definitely give some of these a look! They all sound amazing!

  13. I love the merlot grape seed night cream (I don't need moisturizer for day and their spf15 is a little too weak for the Texan sun), the texture, scent are such a joy to use not to mention it makes my skin/epidermis thicker and strong so I get fewer allergic reaction from other products. t

  14. I never tried the spf version bc I wear spf already so don't need it in my moisturizer, but i hate heavily fragrance lotions, hope you find the right formula for you! i seriously love the olay fragrance free! =D

  15. nope I was not on accutane but I was on a product that was just 1 step below accutane, it worked amazingly! till my dr took me off it!!!! now my skin is going through an embaressigly terrible period, but i know everyone get's spots, and it will pass in a few days =)

  16. awww thanks so much Yu!!!

    Yup, I didnt even know how much I loved the gel until I ran out of it and I tried something else. After about 2 days I ran to a Clinique counter to replenish and happily repurchased! One of these tubs last for months, so it is well worth the $!
    Glad we share a moisturizer love!

  17. Yay, i hope something on this list works out for u!!!

  18. Oh I have tried the Olay in the purple pot at night but mostly for winter, in the summer it is a bit too rich for my skin...If you can get La Mer at Duty Free I think you should go for it! When my skin is super dry that stuff is my go to, it lasts a long time, you only need a tiny amount, and i really do think it delivers results if you have the right skin type which sounds like you do.

    I never tried Hope in a Jar, I felt it in the store and i knew it was just too rich for my skin, but i have used hope in bottle which is aimed for more oily skin, EH it was ok....i never finished the bottle though =P

  19. hope something works out for you if you try something new, but the gel is seriously awesome!

  20. oh i have seen that in the store and it looked interesting, glad to hear someone used it with success!!

  21. So true, I got a 15mL 3 day sample and it's lasted me a good 3 weeks, maybe even more! :) I love the packaging too, it's a win win! :D

  22. i'm using the clinique one and it's doing pretty good so far!

  23. My HG moisturizer is the DDF one I always bang on about...but I am really liking the one I picked up from the Body Shop as well. I may need to pick up that Burt's Bees for the next time I get a spot! Thanks for the great reviews dear!

  24. I like how you have high- and more lower end ones.. I'm so so so picky with moisturizers! I agree that the Clinique extra moisture surge, it's one of my faves!

  25. thanks for the reviews! i've been meaning to try the olay moisturizer, now it looks like i must have it asap

  26. You've reviewed the Olay Moisturizing Lotion for Sensitive Skin in the past and I swore to get it but I can't find it! :( Need to order online I guess. You make is sound so amazing, def. sold on it. It's great that you're a skin care junkie like me!

  27. good to hear that i am not the only fan =D

  28. everytime i pass by DDF i pick up that moisturizer bc u mention it!!! i will prob buy it in the future, i just always have so many moisturizers in queue that i never got to get urs!

  29. hihi!! yup i try everything i dont care if it's super high end of 1 dollar, but a cheapie HG is always nice!!

  30. i really love it!!!! but rem sensitive skin!!! the original only is you have dry skin, but i was not a fan of the crazy baby powder smell!

  31. yeah!!!! its getting harder and harder to find in stores right! i usually find them in beauty stores or like Harmon face values! good luck, i hope u enjoy the efforts!!

  32. I use Olay's moisturizer for combination skin. It does have SPF, which is mandatory for me in summer. But when it runs out, maybe I'll try the sensitive skin version because SO MANY people really like it.

  33. Try Somatique's Moisturizer. My doctor recommended it while I was pregnant with my fourth child, because its ingredients are safe for pregnant women. I would not put the jar down.

    It really helped fight my dry skin, and those wrinkles around my eyes. After my baby was born, my skin because extra dry and this moisturizer was able to handle it. I just wish they made a biger jar because I use so much of it. Well worth it if you have sensitive skin like me, and need something gentle yet effective. I bought at

  34. I wrote a post about my holy grail moisturizer on my blog if you're interested! It's soo soothing and great for sensitive skin - LOVE


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