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The 10 Best Drugstore Moisturizers Everyone Should Try

Let's go back to basics!
The 10 Best Drugstore Moisturizers Everyone Should Try
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/simpleskin, olay
Let's go back to basics!

The beauty industry has been on a roll as of late—releasing new things one after the other and populating the market with buzzy beauty terms, the most unique packaging, and more (skincare) steps than we, personally, take in a day. All these frills keep our routines exciting, but here's the thing: behind every perfectly curated top shelfie, is a medicine cabinet that contains the real unsung heroes. These drugstore staples may not be at the forefront of everyone's feeds, but they have been with you through your awkward phase and back, boast of glowing reviews from your friends and relatives with the nicest skin, and are just as hardworking and effective as your fanciest creams.

Read on as we give credit where credit is due: to the best moisturizers that are worth a trip to the nearest drugstore—and an Instagram story shoutout, at the very least.

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1. Nivea Creme

Star Ingredient: Lanolin

They say you should never fix what isn't broken, and the majority of this formula has remained unchanged for over a century. Securing its cult status as the OG moisturizer, the Nivea Creme deserves a spot on your dresser if you're the type with extra dry skin. Lanolin, a wax derived from sheared sheep wool (the wax naturally coats the sheep's wool to protect it), locks in moisture and prevents moisture loss on the outer layer of the skin. While it's not the best option for those with pores that clog easily, it's the perfect last step for those who love to (and need to) layer hydrating serums—just warm it up with your fingers before applying. 

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NIVEA Creme, P254, SM Department Store 

2. Nivea Refreshingly Soft Moisturizing Cream

Star Ingredient: Lanolin

Just like its original counterpart, the Nivea Soft contains lanolin, but in a formula with a higher concentration of water over oil. It's a slightly lighter, more refreshing formula that’s better suited to our local climate if you have normal to dry skin, and the best reformulation that happened for those who still want to lock in all that moisture but find the original Nivea Creme too heavy. 

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NIVEA Refreshingly Soft Moisturizing Cream, P249, SM Department Store 

3. Pond’s Flawless White Dewy Rose Whitening Soft Gel

Star Ingredient: Niacinamide

If you're after glass skin—a Korean ideal characterized by dewy, even toned, almost translucent skin—then you'll want to give Pond's Dewy Rose Gel a try. Don't be intimidated by its whitening label, the niacinamide in this moisturizer targets dark spots to even out your skin tone and improve overall translucency, transforming dull looking skin. The smooth texture of this moisturizer also makes it a great primer—your foundation will glide on your skin like a dream.

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POND'S Flawless White Dewy Rose Whitening Soft Gel, P607, Watsons

4. Olay Total Effects Whip Face Moisturizer

Star Ingredient: Niacinamide

Another cult favorite made modern, the lighter, whipped texture of this moisturizer makes it a lot more refreshing to wear during the warm summer months. It absorbs quicker, so you're out the door in a quick minute. With continued use, you can expect improvement on your dark spots and hyperpigmentation, thanks to brightening niacinamide.

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OLAY Total Effects Whip Face Moisturizer, P1999, SM Department Store

5. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

Star Ingredient: Hyaluronic Acid

Contrary to popular belief, you can have dehydrated and oily skin at the same time. If your skin breaks out in an oil-slick every time you try to moisturize, this oil-free moisturizer hydrates your skin without the grease. It contains hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that draws moisture to the skin, enhancing its moisture content to keep your skin moisturized for longer.

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NEUTROGENA Hydro Boost Water Gel, P898, Watsons

6. Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 PA++

Star Ingredient: Avobenzone (Sunscreen)

Fact: Sunscreen is important. Another fact: We can also be very lazy. Hitting two birds with one stone, this basic moisturizer with SPF can get you into the habit of protecting your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Yes, it's only SPF 15, but it's better than nothing and could be enough if you’re not getting much sun. On another note, if you walk to work, go out for lunch, or actually work outdoors, please give yourself an extra helping—reapply, reapply, reapply.

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CETAPHIL Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 PA++, P944, SM Department Store

7. Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer

Star Ingredient: Lactic Acid + Bisabolol

True to its name, this moisturizer keeps things simple. It contains a small amount of lactic acid for gentle exfoliation, but balances things out with bisabolol, a calming, anti-inflammatory ingredient. This helps keep your skin fresh and healthy without the threat of overly sensitizing it—no peeling or redness here, just simple, healthy skin.

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SIMPLE Hydrating Light Moisturizer, P499, SM Department Store

8. Physiogel Calming Relief A.I. Cream

Star Ingredient: Squalane

A mainstay for anyone who has ever suffered through eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis, A.I. Cream contains squalane, one of the buzziest skincare ingredients today. It's a naturally occuring substance in our skin, responsible for keeping our skin healthy and moisturized. The amount we have decreases as we get older, so re-infusing our skin with it helps repair the hydrolipidic barrier, preventing moisture loss and irritation.

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PHYSIOGEL Calming Relief A.I. Cream, P789, SM Department Store

9. Avène Skin Recovery Cream

Star Ingredient: Squalane

If you have sensitive skin, you'll appreciate the unique closing system of this tube that releases without letting bacteria from the outside in. This allows Avène to keep preservatives to a minimum, significantly reducing the chances of skin irritation. Just like Physiogel's A.I. Cream, Avene's Skin Recovery Cream contains Squalane to repair the hydrolipidic barrier, keeping moisture locked in and the external aggressors out. 

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AVENE Skin Recovery Cream, P1275, Watsons

10. Bioderma Sensibio Light Soothing Cream

Star Ingredient: Glycyrrhetinic Acid

Another one for those with sensitive skin! Bioderma's Sensibio soothes irritated skin instantly. If you've accidentally overdone your exfoliating acids, take and break and repair your skin with this basic moisturizer containing another acid: glycyrrhetinic acid. Unlike AHAs and BHAs, this acid helps with irritation and redness instead. It calms skin and decreases sensitivity while also a being brightening antioxidant. Baby your skin with this cream and it will be back in tip top shape in no time.

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BIODERMA Sensibio Light Soothing Cream, P1388, Watsons

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