Staff tested: The best face creams
We tested the latest face creams that moisturize and fight wrinkles
Nuxe Crème Fraîche de Beauté Enrichie for dry, sensitive skin
Eight plant milks blend with almond and orange flowers, aloe vera and anti-inflammatory allantoin for soothing moisture.
My skin tends to be a little dry and sensitive in the cold season, so I was glad to give this a try. The name of the made-in-France product exactly describes how it feels when you dip your fingers into the glass jar: It has the same thick texture as crème fraîche. The indulgent feeling translated onto my face as I smoothed it on before I went to bed. (It’s a 24-hour cream, but it felt so rich I worried it wouldn’t be a good fit for me in the daytime.) I love the scent. -Bonnie Munday, Editor-in-Chief
($42, 50 mL), Nuxe
Estée Lauder Perfectionist CP+R Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum
Peptides support natural collagen to fight the look of wrinkles. “Light diffusion optics” smooth and “blur” fine lines.
The press material talks about Flexible Elastomer Technology that minimizes “the stress and strain” of daily movement. Intriguing as that is, I see this lotion-y serum as a luxury that’s easy to get addicted to because of its subtle floral scent, which I like in this instance, and the fact that it immediately made my skin feel soft and look a little smoother (you just need one or two pumps). Time will tell if the peptides in the formula kick in with firming. It’s suggested you wear it under your regular moisturizer-I like it at night. -Rhonda Rovan, Beauty Editor
($102, 50 mL), Estée Lauder
Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15
Skin-soothing feverfew (a relative of chamomile) calms irritation and redness in sensitive, dry and inflamed skin.
As the hot, humid summer slipped away, my skin inevitably reverted to its sucked-dry feeling. Aveeno is one of my go-to product lines for body lotion, so when I saw this “ultra-calming” face moisturizer, I put dibs on it. My skin often feels tight after washing; this worked almost as well as my regular moisturizer, and it left my skin feeling soft and smooth. I prefer not to use anything on my face with a scent, but this one truly was lightly fragranced. And having SPF right in the cream saves me time-always a good thing in my book. -Ruth Hanley, Copy Chief
($23, 120 mL), Aveeno
Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Skin Balancing Lotion SPF 15
A retinol derivative is meant to improve skin’s texture and tone. Vitamin E hydrates in this oil-free lotion for combination skin.
This is a very light and gentle day lotion that has the bonus of providing sun protection. My skin is oily and dry, and this balancing lotion addressed both issues. My face felt soft and fresh even at the end of a long workday. It has a nice scent and the pump is well-designed. The only downside is that it left my skin a bit shiny afterwards, despite being oil-free. Nothing a little light foundation overtop couldn’t fix, though. -Josephine Woertman, Acting Art Director
($48, 49.5 mL), Elizabeth Arden
Anew Clinical Pro Line Eraser Treatment
Avon says its innovative “Amino-Fill 33” molecule is designed to boost the production of new collagen.
I’m up for trying anything that promises to reduce the look of wrinkles and fine lines. The box’s description says “A-F 33” is the latest advance in wrinkle-fighting technology-sounds good to me. I’ve been applying the lightly scented serum in the morning before my moisturizer. It goes on light and is non-greasy-a big plus. I love that it soaks right in. At night I add my regular night cream on top of it. I’m not sure if my skin looks younger yet, but I plan to keep using it and hope for the best! -Jennifer Walker, Deputy Editor
($45, 30 g), Anew Clinical
Biotherm PureFect Skin Pure Skin Effect Hydrating Gel
For combination or oily skin, this includes antibacterial marine algae and oil-absorbing micro-particles of volcanic rock.
My skin ranges from oily in my T-zone to dry on my chin-and is unpredictable everywhere else. So picking a moisturizer can be a guessing game. I loved the cool, fresh feeling of this fluid gel-lotion-a nice morning pick-me-up. It surprised me by giving hydration where I needed it, yet also mattifying oily areas-though it left a slightly chalky feel. (Happily, this was easily masked by layering on an oil-free B.B.cream that has SPF-a must for daytime anyway.) I’ve noticed fewer breakouts while using it. -Jennifer Masseau, Associate Editor
($45, 50 mL), Biotherm
Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream for Dry Skin
Vitamin B helps moisturizing glycerin, conditioning vitamin E and antioxidant fruit water penetrate deep into dry skin.
Heading into the colder months, my combination skin shifts more toward the dry side. When I applied this night and day, my skin stayed hydrated all day and felt silky-smooth. The gel-cream texture is super-moisturizing, yet light. And it absorbed quickly-a good thing because I often find dry-skin moisturizers sit on my skin if they are a little too thick. The fruit water gives it a light, fruity scent-and a bonus dose of vitamin C. -Melissa Greer, Content Producer
($11, 50 g), Garnier
Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream
This 99% natural formula’s star is clary sage, a hydrating botanical that “helps increase skin’s ability to retain moisture.”
The first thing I look for in a beauty product is the “leaping bunny” symbol, which means it’s not tested on animals. This has it. I usually just use one lotion for both day and night (gasp!), so I wasn’t expecting to notice a difference with a night cream. Cream is cream, right? Clary sage is a plant that survives in dry climates-read: my apartment-so I figure it’s good for Canadian winters. It’s thick but not heavy, and it left my skin nicely hydrated. -Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor
($30, 50 g), Burt’s Bees