Alex Sandoval

Soft, hydrated skin shouldn't be a luxury. These are the best drugstore moisturizers for face and body that won't break the bank, according to dermatologists.

By Kathleen Felton
Updated March 11, 2019
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Here's some happy news: Although there's no shortage of splurge-worthy moisturizers out there, "you do not need to spend a lot of money to get a good quality, effective moisturizer," says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

When shopping for any moisturizer—whether it's a drugstore steal or pricey luxury brand—Dr. Zeichner tells us it's important to look for a formula that contains a combination of occlusive, humectant, and emollient ingredients.

"Occlusives are ingredients like petrolatum or dimethicone that form a protective seal over the skin to prevent loss of the skin's natural hydration," he explains. "Humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin bind to water to hydrate and plump the skin." Finally, emollients are natural oils that help smooth rough cells and soften the outer skin layer.

New York City-based dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, agrees that a moisturizer's ingredient list is much more important than its price tag. In addition to hyaluronic acid and glycerin, she favors formulas that also contain ceramides and niacinamide, both of which can be found in many drugstore brands.

So you don't have to scan the product labels, we asked dermatologists to share the best drugstore moisturizer formulas that contain these nourishing, good-for-skin ingredients. Below, top drugstore lotion picks for both face and body—all under $20.

RELATED: The Best Moisturizers to Combat Dry, Flaky Skin, According to Dermatologists

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