The 11 Best Ceramide Moisturizers of 2023 for Healthy, Radiant Skin

Don’t sleep on ceramides — this super healing lipid repairs, hydrates, and protects skin.

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Best Ceramide Moisturizers for Healthy, Radiant Skin

InStyle / Marcus Millan

Ceramides — often imitated but never duplicated — have long been the unsung hero of skincare. Overshadowed for far too long by buzzy hyaluronic acid and squalane, ceramides are finally getting their time to shine as skincare superheroes. 

Ceramides are lipids found naturally in high concentrations in the uppermost layers of skin, says Dr. Morgan Rabach, a board certified dermatologist and co-founder of LM Medical NYC. Not only do ceramides naturally exist in our skin, but they also perform impressive and essential tasks when added to skincare products, particularly facial moisturizers. 

"Ceramides create a water-impermeable, protective barrier to prevent excessive water loss due to evaporation, as well as prevent the entry of microorganisms and other environmental aggressors, like pollution,” says Dr. Rachel Westbay, a board certified dermatologist at Marmur Medical. “Ceramides are critical for helping the skin retain moisture, protecting it from external forces and, overall, permitting it to properly function,” she adds. 

Think of ceramides as your skin’s bodyguards, helping to protect and keep it strong, healthy, and safe. Aging, irritating products, excessive sun exposure, and environmental damage are the main triggers for vulnerable skin that appears dull, dehydrated, and visibly worn skin.

Best Overall

BeautyStat Cosmetics Universal Pro-Bio Moisture Boost Cream

BeautyStat Cosmetics Universal Pro-Bio Moisture Boost Cream


What We Love: A lightweight gel moisturizer that’s impressively ideal for almost all skin types, including dry, acne-prone, oily, and combination.
What We Don’t Love: It does have a slight scent that may be irritating for the ultra-sensitive. 

The bouncy, nutrient-rich cream defies ceramide moisturizer expectations. Rather than a rich, healing balm, BeautyStat’s iteration is light-as-air and instantly absorbed, yet provides all-day-long hydration. Ceramides heal and strengthen skin, plus prevent dryness and irritation, while hyaluronic acid and botanical extracts hydrate and repair dehydrated, irritated, and unbalanced skin.

The formula — crafted by beloved cosmetic chemist and BeautyStat founder and CEO Ron Robinson — also contains bifida ferment lysate, a probiotic that soothes and provides protection from environmental aggressors. The skin-quenching moisturizer leaves skin glowing, plump, and refreshed. Forget about heavy, greasy moisturizers and slather on this game-changing ceramide cream instead. 

Price at time of publish: $50

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, hyaluronic acid, reishi mushroom extract, vitamin F | Skin Type: Any | Size: 1 fl. oz.

Best Splurge

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2


What We Love: This popular cream is formulated to address the loss of facial fullness, rough texture, and dullness.
What We Don’t Love: The formula includes an essential oil blend of lavender, rosemary, and peppermint oils, that offer a cooling sensation. And while it feels delightful, the fragrance may not ideal for sensitive skin. 

SkinCeuticals has long been touting the benefits of ceramides, particularly with this iconic cream. As the name hints, it has a 2:4:2 ratio: two percent ceramides, four percent cholesterol, and two percent fatty acids. The patented trio combines to not only restore skin’s essential lipids but also improve the look of skin overall. Although the formula is designed for aging and dry skin, it can be used on most skin types looking for an improvement in the appearance of smoothness, pores, and radiance. 

Dr. Westbay is a fan of this restorative cream. “It mimics the skin’s natural lipid concentrations, with cholesterol, ceramides, and fatty acids in a ratio that closely mimics the ratio naturally found in the stratum corneum,” she says. “This moisturizer is excellent for strengthening the skin barrier and preventing it from losing water.” 

Price at time of publish: $150 

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, cholesterol, fatty acids,  | Skin Type: Aging, dry, combo | Size: 1.6 fl. oz.

Best Budget

The INKEY List Ceramide Hydrating Night Treatment

The INKEY List Ceramide Hydrating Night Treatment


What We Love: A lot of bang for your buck, this supercharged treatment repairs and hydrates dull, dry skin overnight.
What We Don’t Love: The formula can pill (which is why it’s intended for overnight use only). 

The lightweight liquid treatment is designed as a ceramide booster. It's meant to be used two to three times a week when skin feels particularly dry and could benefit from a strong dose of extra overnight moisture. The formula is powered by a three percent ceramide complex, which repairs, hydrates, and forms a protective layer over the epidermis to prevent moisture loss. It also includes multi-molecular weight hyaluronic acid to plump and moisturize. You'll awaken to find healthier looking and feeling skin by the a.m. — talk about beauty sleep. 

Price at time of publish: $16

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, hyaluronic acid | Skin Type: Any | Size: 1 fl. oz.

Best for Aging Skin

Fresh Black Tea Advanced Age Renewal Cream

Fresh Black Tea Advanced Age Renewal Cream


What We Love: A new cream that is clinically proven to improve the health, firmness, and look of wrinkles in just eight weeks.
What We Don’t Love: The black-tea scent can be irritating for some users. 

Fresh’s new Black Tea Age Renewal Cream includes an underutilized ceramide, called Ceramide NP, for maximum skin-strengthening benefits. The advanced biotech ceramide complex is paired with squalane to prevent moisture loss and pink porcelain lily to address skin texture. The lightweight velvety cream improves the often rough texture and overall appearance of dry and aging skin (but is also effective and tested for sensitive skin), while also protecting it from harmful irritants. In clinical trials, consumers saw smoother wrinkles, visibly firmer skin, and more radiance after eight weeks. 

Price at time of publish: $95

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, squalane, BT Matrix complex | Skin Type: Any | Size: 1.6 fl. oz.

Best for Sensitive Skin

alpyn beauty Melt Moisturizer with Bakuchiol and Squalane

alpyn beauty Melt Moisturizer with Bakuchiol and Squalane


What We Love: The cream not only includes ceramides but also bakuchiol, a fantastic alternative to retinol for sensitive skin.
What We Don’t Love: The product has a matte finish, making it a mismatch for anyone searching for a dewy glow.

Fun fact: The wild botanical plants in this rich cream are hand-harvested in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. But back to ceramides: This moisturizer with a feathery-finish includes a healthy dose of ceramides to support the skin barrier, as well as hyaluronic acid and squalane for hydration, plus bakuchiol to gently address the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The cream is ideal for dry, dehydrated, and sensitive skin, and has no added fragrance (although it does have a slight scent from the botanical ingredients). Plus, it’s dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin safety. 

Price at time of publish: $60 

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, squalane, hyaluronic acid, bakuchiol | Skin Type: Combo, dry, sensitive | Size: 1.7 fl. oz.

Best for Eczema and Psoriasis

Cetaphil Restoraderm Flare-Up Relief Cream

Cetaphil Eczema Restoraderm Flare-Up Relief Cream


What We Love: The rich cream provides relief from uncomfortable eczema and psoriasis flare-ups, while also repairing the skin’s barrier.
What We Don’t Love: The cream can be a little too rich and greasy for sensitive or oily skin. 

According to Dr. Rabach, if you’re experiencing eczema, psoriasis or just plain sensitive skin, using a ceramide-boosted cream is not only helpful, it’s potentially a skin savior. To ease an uncomfortable flare-up, she recommends this dermatologist beloved cream from Cetaphil, as it includes two percent colloidal oatmeal to calm irritation and itching, as well as plenty of ceramides to restore damaged skin and strengthen the skin’s barrier against irritants. If that wasn't enough to sway you, this gentle moisturizer also earned the coveted National Eczema Association seal of approval.

Price at time of publish: $20

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, colloidal oatmeal | Skin Type: Sensitive | Size: 8 fl. oz.

Best for Acne-Prone Skin

Urban Skin Rx Even Tone Barrier Repair Ceramide Cream

Urban Skin Rx Even Tone Barrier Repair Ceramide Cream

Urban Skin Rx

What We Love: A clever formula that not only applies lightly but also actively supports skin without clogging pores.
What We Don’t Love: It may not be hydrating enough for super dry skin. 

This silky, fluffy cream is a great moisturizing companion to pair with acne products and retinol, helping to calm harsh-formula dryness with the ceramide-boosted hydrator. Its three ceramide complex supports the moisture barrier to prevent the loss of hydration, protects from environmental stressors, and reduces visible signs of aging.

Niacinamide and squalane round out the formula to hydrate skin without clogging pores and replenish dwindling moisture levels. Papaya extract enzymes naturally and gently exfoliate skin to improve texture and uneven tone. As an extra bonus, the cream applies completely clear, so you won't irritate acne-riddled skin further by rubbing and buffing out a white cast, making it a true BFF for acne-prone skin. 

Price at time of publish: $24

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, niacinamide, squalane, papaya extract | Skin Type: Acne, oily, combo | Size: 1.7 fl. oz. 

Best for Dull Skin

Paula's Choice Ceramide-Enriched Firming Moisturizer

Paula's Choice Ceramide-Enriched Firming Moisturizer

Paula's Choice

What We Love: The moisturizer simplifies multiple steps into a single, easy-to-use cream.
What We Don’t Love: The inclusion of retinol and vitamin C may make the formula too powerful for sensitive or reactive skin. 

Paula’s Choice one-ups standard ceramide moisturizers by combining five different types of ceramides with two other proven powerhouses: Vitamin C and retinol. Together, the trio strengthens, brightens, and minimizes the appearance of wrinkles on the skin. And the true brilliance of this firming moisturizer, is that it’s actually three products in one, helping to pare down and simplify your regime. While the 0.1 retinol concentration is a beginner’s percentage, it will still provide a significant boost to the skin’s youthful appearance.

Price at time of publish: $63

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, retinol, vitamin C | Skin Type: Aging, oily | Size: 1.7 fl. oz.

Best for Body

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream


What We Love: Soothe irritation, restore the moisture barrier, and hydrate with this cost-conscious cream.
What We Don’t Love: It can leave a greasy feeling that takes time to absorb. 

Dr. Rabach and Dr. Westbay are both fans of CeraVe, and this ceramide cream specifically earns their top praise. “This moisturizing cream is packed with not one, but three essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-II) to strengthen the skin’s barrier and prevent moisture loss, as well as hyaluronic acid to help maintain hydration for 24 hours,” says Dr. Westbay.

This dermatologist-developed formula is ideal for dry, itchy, and irritated skin. Immediately after applying, the cream jumps into action, restoring skin both immediately and over time (thanks to the brand’s tech that encapsulates the ceramides for slow-release). The fragrance-free and non-comedogenic formula mean its safe to use on your face as well as the body (although it's still smart to do a patch test first to see if it’s too thick for the delicate facial skin). 

Price at time of publish: $16

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, hyaluronic acid | Skin Type: Sensitive, dry | Size: 19 fl. oz.

Best for Hands

EltaMD So Silky Hand Creme

EltaMD So Silky Hand Crème


What We Love: It provides a protective barrier around skin that last up to 12 hours.
What We Don’t Love: It's not as deeply moisturizing as competitive hand creams. 

Powered by five different ceramides, this EltaMD hand cream is quite literally a soothing balm for tired, dry hands. This specific blend of ceramides is particularly beneficial for hands, helping to protect, repair, and hydrate dry skin (for up to 12 hours). The formula also includes emollients for further barrier repair and protection, as well as vitamin E and sclareolide, a plant-derived ingredient from clary sage, that helps improve the appearance of skin discoloration. 

Price at time of publish: $25

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, vitamin E, sclareolide | Skin Type: Any | Size: 3 fl. oz.

Best for Dry Skin

Avène RetrinAL Ceramide Lipid-Replenishing Balm

Avène RetrinAL Ceramide Lipid-Replenishing Balm


What We Love: For the right skin type (mature, dry, and/or estrogen-deficient), this balm can restore the skin barrier and impart radiance, firmness, and hydration.
What We Don’t Love: This French brand can be difficult to find in the U.S.

This brand-new cream has a hyper-specific customer focus: Dry and mature skin, including estrogen deficiency caused by menopause. For anyone feeling frustrated in their search for a solution, consider this Avène RetrinAL Ceramide Lipid-Replenishing Balm. The ultra-rich lipid balm includes the brand’s ceramide complex, which strengthens the skin barrier while delivering a bevy of vitamins and minerals to soften and nourish skin. The formula also features bakuchiol and niacinamide, as well as the heralded, world-famous Avène Thermal Spring Water to diminish the look fine lines for healthier, more radiant and firmer-looking skin. 

Price at time of publish: $76

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, niacinamide, bakuchiol, thermal spring water | Skin Type: Mature, dry | Size: 1.3 fl. oz.

What to Keep in Mind


Everyone can benefit from ceramide-containing skincare products, says Dr. Westbay. “They are considered a universally safe addition to any skincare routine and play well with all ingredients.” 

Ceramides are often paired with other hydrating ingredients within moisturizers, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, to help boost moisture levels and address skin tone and texture. 

They also work well with powerful antioxidants, like niacinamide, vitamin C, and even retinol. When mixed with these powerhouse ingredients, ceramides reinforce the skin’s barrier, while antioxidants get to work addressing signs of aging, pigmentation, and dullness. 

“Incorporating ceramides into skincare is useful because they make skin more tolerable to active ingredients, so they work especially well with stronger and potentially more irritating topicals, like retinol and hydroxy acids,” adds Dr. Westbay.

Ceramide Type

There are nine different types of ceramides produced by the skin. Each variety has a unique structure that helps differ its function and benefits on the skin. You can uncover which ceramide number is in your skincare by how it’s named on the ingredient list (from ceramide AP to ceramide NP). But know that in general, all ceramides function pretty much the same, working to support and reinforce the skin barrier. 

Body Area

“The same benefits of ceramides on the face can be reaped for the body as well,” says Dr. Westbay, although this doesn’t necessarily mean you can slather on the same cream from eyebrows to ankles. 

For example, the dermatologist-approved CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is technically made for both the body and face, but those with oily or acne-prone skin might find the formula too thick and occlusive for their facial skin. You’ll likely have better luck using two different ceramide moisturizers — one for the face and one for the body. 

Your Questions, Answered

What are the benefits of ceramides in skincare?

“Ceramides help to strengthen the skin barrier and help to prevent moisture loss or dehydration,” says Dr. Anne-Laure Bulteau, a skin biologist at Fresh. “Those characteristics make it a natural match as an ingredient in moisturizers and help to lock in other skincare products when used as a final step in a routine.” 

Do ceramides help decrease wrinkles?

Replenishing your skin’s bank of ceramides via skincare is useful, as the coffers are easily depleted in response to several factors, including aging. “In fact, we lose about one percent of ceramides per year after the age of 20,” says Dr. Westbay. This means that when it comes to aging skin, ceramides have been shown to increase the skin's hydration levels, which in turn, plump and soften the appearance of fine lines. 

Are ceramides okay for acne-prone skin?

They sure are! And they’re not just “okay” — they’re actually great. “Ceramides are the key to healthy skin and are a skin-strengthening ingredient,” says Dr. Bulteau. 

The only potential hiccup could be the supporting ingredients within a ceramide-based formula. Dr. Westbay recommends looking for the “non-comedogenic” label on the packaging, which means it’s safe for acne-prone skin.

Why Shop With Us

Kristin Limoges is a freelance editor for numerous publications, including Byrdie, Harper’s Bazaar, and WWD Shop, and has nearly a decade of beauty writing experience. To compile this list, she researched and tested numerous ceramide moisturizers herself. She also consulted with Dr. Anne-Laure Bulteau, a skin biologist at Fresh, as well as two board certified dermatologists, Dr. Morgan Rabach and Dr. Rachel Westbay, for their incredible knowledge of ceramides within skincare and to learn their favorite ceramide-based formulas that they recommend to their own patients.

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