Congratulations! The mere fact that you’ve landed on this page is a good sign. It makes you one of the growing number of men who are choosing to say no to dull, dried-out, flaky skin by embracing a more active approach to grooming.
Your first port of call on the journey to preening perfection: a high-quality, male-specific moisturiser. If you already use one, you know why it’s so important. If you don’t, prepare to have your life irreversibly changed for the better.
But buying a moisturiser isn’t as simple as it sounds. The male-grooming renaissance has brought with it thousands of brands looking to make a quick buck. As a result, there’s now a dizzying selection of moisturisers to pick from, each making its own bold, confusing and often spurious claims about how it can revolutionise your skincare routine.
To streamline the process, we took it upon ourselves to spend a fortnight testing men’s moisturisers. We soaked up some of the best options from some of the most trusted names in order to deliver the key information to you in plain English.
Our criteria? They had to leave our skin feeling nourished, fresh and generally live up to their claims. We also tried to include options for every skin type, so whether you’re dry or oily, there’ll be something to suit even the toughest skin.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Triumph & Disaster gameface moisturiser, 100ml
We love how this silky moisturiser from New Zealand’s Triumph & Disaster just glides onto the skin. It feels light and smooth, and soaks in nice and swiftly without leaving your face or hands feeling greasy. It smells great, too. The formula contains jojoba, ponga fern and horopito, and while we’re not entirely sure what those last two things are, suffice to say they’re as easy on the nostrils as they are on the skin.
Charles + Lee moisturiser SPF15, 100ml
Ask any skincare expert and they’ll tell you that wearing an SPF moisturiser on a daily basis is a good idea. We know that might not seem like top priority for UK winter weather, but every time you go outside, you’re exposing your skin to radiation that causes skin ageing and possibly worse. Incorporating SPF into your daily skincare routine will not only keep your skin soft, nourished and healthy, it’ll also keep it shielded from harmful UV rays. That’s why we’re big fans of this particular SPF moisturiser from Charles + Lee. It left us with a nice even skin texture and smelling of shea butter.
Jack Black double-duty face moisturizer, 97ml
How did this lightweight moisturiser from Jack Black (men’s grooming brand, not musically-gifted Hollywood funnyman) make our skin feel? In a word: refreshed. We loved the clean, crisp smell of the blue algae and sea parsley, and appreciated how quickly it absorbed into the skin.
The added bonus of SPF 20 makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a light, do-it-all solution to facial skincare. It’s essentially a sunscreen and a moisturiser rolled into one handy package, but manages to avoid the greasiness that so often accompanies anything sun-protection related.
Horace rich face moisturiser, 75ml
This rich moisturiser from French sustainable grooming brand Horace is the perfect way to add luxury to your skincare routine but still stick to a budget. According to the company, it’s “like a big glass of water for your skin”, and we’d be hard pressed to disagree there. With 98.5 per cent natural ingredients, it left our skin feeling hydrated, soft and smooth. It’s packed with clever ingredients that do everything from removing dead skin cells to helping prevent dehydration, and it’s completely unscented, which is good news for anyone with sensitive skin.
Aesop perfect facial hydrating cream, 60ml
If you suffer from dry skin and are partial to the occasional Instagram “shelfie”, this little pot of goodness from the most aesthetically pleasing cosmetics brand around will suit you down to the ground. It smells (as all things from Aesop do) herbaceous and fantastic, and worked wonders on our dry, lifeless skin. Expensive? Sure, but as is the case with most things in life, you tend to get what you pay for.
Simple hydrating light moisturiser, 125ml
This modest moisturiser from Simple may not be male-specific, but it does the job – it’s kind to sensitive skin and not too harsh on sensitive wallets either. It’s unscented, so you don’t have to worry about irritation, and it even offers SPF 15 to protect you from harmful UV rays. Not bad for a shade over two quid: no wonder it’s got a cult following.
Kiehl’s facial fuel, 75ml
We all know how effective a cup of coffee is at waking us up in the morning, so imagine what a bit of caffeine could do for your tired, lifeless-looking skin. That’s the secret behind this best-selling moisturiser from premium grooming giant Kiehl’s – it’s infused with the good stuff to give dull skin a boost.
Our skin definitely felt revitalised after use, and we really liked the matte finish it left behind. Goodbye, shiny forehead, you’re not welcome around here any more. Add to that the fact that it’s specially formulated for men’s skin and it’s really hard to fault.
Anthony all-purpose facial moisturizer, 90ml
This vegan moisturiser from purveyor of premium men’s grooming products Anthony is a one-stop shop for facial skincare. It’s packed full of natural ingredients that help to combat dullness and wrinkles, and contains vitamins and proteins to aid elasticity and hydrate the skin. It’s also paraben free and has been dermatologically tested, which provides some peace of mind if you’re prone to irritation. We also found it to be great for evening out our skin tone and reducing redness.
The verdict: Men’s moisturisers
We’re fans of Triumph & Disaster at the best of times, but the gameface moisturiser really won us over with its fresh fragrance and silky texture. The tub is pretty generously sized too. If you still balk at the idea of spending more than a fiver on face cream, it’s hard to fault Simple’s hydrating light moisturiser for sheer value for money.
Now you know where to begin with moisturiser’s, read our review of the other men’s skincare products you need in your grooming regime
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.