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Top 3 Day Creams of 2024

See our favorite moisturizers—and find the one that’s right for you

A great day cream (otherwise known as a daily moisturizer) is a perfect addition to your daily skincare routine. Daily moisturizing is incredibly important for skin health. It ensures that you’re protected from daily sun damage, in addition to preventing the signs of aging. You’ll have skin that looks fresh and smooth every day, daily protection from the sun, and day-to-day skin damage.

That is, if you pick the right one. (No pressure.)


















There are plenty of the day creams out there masquerading as useful when actually they’ll only provide surface-level moisturization for your skin. However you want deep hydration for your skin, and additional ingredients that will help fight the signs of aging and protect against day-to-day damage.

That’s why we’re going to show you our top criteria for the best day creams. Read on to see the criteria, or skip ahead to see our top choice.

Our Criteria

It Doesn’t Leave your Skin Oily. This is a big one, especially for those of you who struggle with acne, or already have oily skin. Oil can cause acne, and generally only provides surface-level moisturization. Oil-free moisturizers are the way to go.

Clinically proven Active Ingredients. Ingredients like Hyaluronic acid and retinol are important for firming skin, preventing wrinkles, and deeply moisturizing skin. Many day creams use custom or proprietary ingredients to hydrate and moisturize your skin. It’s important to do your research on what ingredients in your day cream are actually used for  moisturization and whether those effects are clinically studied.null

Contains Peptides & Proteins. Both are important supporting ingredients for collagen production and elasticity.

Contains Antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for fighting free radicals, which are produced both internally and externally. Free radicals are known for causing cancer and also contribute to signs of aging; antioxidants stabilize free radicals and restore cellular damage.

All-natural with No Additives. Common additives include fragrances and preservatives. But can also include things such as parabens, sulfates, certain alcohols and salts. All of which can irritate sensitive skin.

It actually works! Obviously. You want a day cream that’s not only going to alleviate the acute signs of dry skin (skin that is flaky, dry, or cracked.) But is also going to provide long-term skin health and daily protection. We tested all of these day creams ourselves, so we can vouch for their effectiveness. We also did a deep-dive of each brand’s reviews, so we know what customers think of each of the day creams we covered.




Tatcha—The Water Cream

Tatcha—The Water Cream

This best-selling
moisturizer sold out at Sephora—twice!

$68.00 $68.00

This best-selling moisturizer sold out at Sephora—twice! It’s composed of powerful Japanese botanicals made for hydrating and repairing skin. It also includes Hadasei-3, Tatcha’s proprietary blend of 3 anti-aging superfoods which give your skin the nutrients it needs to stay strong and healthy. These include green tea, an amazing antioxidant, Akita rice, a proven moisturizer, and Okinawa Mozuku Algae, which helps with water retention in the skin. Finally, sodium hyaluronate, a salt of hyaluronic acid provides the clinically proven hydration you need. Best of all this day cream is oil-free, which means there’s no chance of accidentally causing acne.

  • Powerful hydration + Moisturization
  • Oil free
  • Japanese superfoods &botanicals

  • More expensive than other brands


Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

Olay Regenerist

This is a classic choice
that is a go-to day cream for beauty professionals and consumers alike.


This is a classic choice that is a go-to day cream for beauty professionals and consumers alike. It includes an amino-peptide blend to nourish your skin, and hydrates all day with a glycerin base. It also uses a non-greasy formula, and absorbs easily into the skin. Unfortunately, it does include some alcohol as part of the ingredient list, as well as sodium compounds. These ingredients are known to be harsh and irritating, especially for those with sensitive skin. Still an old standby, but not the best choice for sensitive skin.

  • Amino-peptide blend
  • Hyaluronic Acid providespowerful hydration

  • May irritate sensitiveskin; contains alcohols and salts


La Roche Posay – Ultra Toleriane Cream

La Roche Posay

La Roche Posay is another brand that’s seen major traction in recent months.


La Roche Posay is another brand that’s seen major traction in recent months. They have a wide line of day creams for different skin types, but one of our favorites has been their Ultra Toleriane Cream. It’s specifically formulated for sensitive skin, and those struggling with conditions like eczema, dermatitis, and rosacea. Their active ingredient Neurosensine, has been proven to help alleviate these conditions, and is supported by spring water and shea butter. This day cream also has no parabens, fragrances, preservatives, or drying alcohols. Overall, another GREAT budget option.

  • No Parabens,preservatives, or drying alcohols—great for sensitive skin
  • Neurosensine moisturizer specifically for sensitive skin

  • May not be AS powerful as other moisturizers; best for sensitive skin

Christy is a licensed cosmetologist with 10 years of experience working for one of the top 20 Paul Mitchell Salons in the US. She is also an experienced Brand Advisor, and Beauty Blogger.