Musicians have the Grammies and actors have the Oscars. For beauty products, earning a spot in InStyle’s coveted beauty awards is the industry pinnacle. With over 100 winners in 2016, these contenders are carefully chosen and vetted by the industry’s top experts—dermatologists, hair stylists, makeup artists, and manicurists. With a process that takes over six months, we begin sending out super detailed (and long!) surveys in October and then tally up the results. As our beauty closet begins to fill up, we interview our pros to find out why they really love these products and why they deserve some real estate in your makeup bag. Healthy skin is hydrated skin. Applying an effective moisturizer every morning is one skincare step that can't be skipped if you want to put your best complexion forward. However, not all moisturizers are created equal and some can be too greasy or thick to apply before putting on makeup. According to our pro panel, these three datyime moisturizers are better than the rest.
1. Best Overall: Aveeno Positively Radiant SPF 30
Dermatologists recommend wearing SPF daily but applying SPF and a moisturizer can take up too many precious minutes in your morning routine. Finding a moisturizer with SPF that wears well under makeup, doesn't feel sticky and hydrates withoutheavy- well, that's a lot to ask for. "A lot of times, there is a compliance issue when you ask patients to ask too many products and this is a great 2-in-1," says San Diego dermatologist Melanie Palm.
Here's a one-two punch you'll want to receive: The lotion delivers a respectably high SPF of 30 with a lightweight, non-sticky consistency, says N.Y.C. dermatologist David Bank. The hydrator also addresses discoloration with soy, which "breaks up excess pigment in the skin," says N.Y.C. dermatologist Rosemarie Ingleton. "It's perfect for anyone who has dark spots and is looking for a gentle way to even out skin," says she. ,
Aveeno | $14
2. Best For Dry Skin: CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion
Sure, your skin needs moisture, but you don't want to start the day feeling basted with grease. This formula skips the mineral oils (as well as the overly thick emollients), "it's very lightweight moisturizer, you can apply it to dry skin but it nearly works on every skin type," says Dr. David Bank.
The ceramide rich base helps restore the skin barrier, making it especially great for irritated skin, says Dr. Ingleton. And if you have any fine lines, you'll see some immediate plumping due to the addition of hyaluronic acid, "it draws water to the skin," says Dr. Emmy Graber. And while it shouldn't tick off eczema-plagued users, doctors say any skin type could benefit from its fragrance-free moisture and physical sunscreen.
Cera Ve | $11
3. Best for Oily Skin: EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
"This formula has captured the hearts of dermatologists," says Dr. David Bank of this winning formula. Solana Beach Calif.-based dermatologist Melanie Palm's prescription for acne patients isn't complete without a notice to use this SPF cream every day. It contains a whopping SPF 46 yet feels light enough to use on the daily. " The name ultra clear says it all, it contains such lightweight particles so it goes on very easily, says Boston dermatologist Dr. Emmy Graber.
The oil-free formula (available in a tinted and untinted version) won't clog your pores or bring on a breakout, she says. "The active ingredient, zinc oxide is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial so that can help with inflammation," says Bank. And a boost of niacinamide also helps take down inflammation and ward off dark spots (which can follow bouts of inflammation). Don't think all that anti-blemish insurance comes at the cost of serious sun protection: Once blended in, the micronized zinc leaves no cast. " It's invisible even on the darkest skin and yet it has 9% zinc- that’s unbelievable! Even witht hat much protection, you get none of that ashy cast- even on dark skin," says Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, who has used it on her own chestnut skin.
EltaMD | $32