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The Best Anti-Aging Moisturizers to Use Every Morning

The One Skin-Care Product You Can't Skip

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Whether you keep your skin-care routine simple and streamlined or follow a diligent 12-step routine morning and night, there's one common product that unites us all: moisturizer. After all, no matter how old we are or what our particular complexion concerns may be, we all need to hydrate our skin.

So why not make the most of this simple step by using a face cream that goes above and beyond its call of duty? The dermatologist picks here offer a host of youth-boosting benefits that will help you make the most of your moisturizer. (And then read up on the best anti-aging night creams to use during your p.m. routine) 

Photo: Getty Images / Pamplemousse

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream

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Peptides have a special place in the anti-aging world, thanks to their efficacy coupled with incredible tolerability. Unlike many other collagen-boosting ingredients—retinoids, even vitamin C—which can often have irritating side effects, peptides are generally fairly well tolerated by everyone, notes Dhaval Bhanusali, M.D., a dermatologist based in New York City. (While you should always check with your ob-gyn, they're typically okay to use during pregnancy, too.) They're the star in this protein-rich moisturizer, which has a complex of nine different peptides, along with plant-based stem cell extracts. The formula is light yet hydrating, and thanks to the pump-top dispenser, you never have to stick your germy fingers into the jar.

Related: Safe Skin-Care Products for Pregnant Women (Plus Those to Avoid)

buy it, $68

Photo: Drunk Elephant

Clinique iD Moisturizer

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It's time to get personal with your moisturizer. Clinique's latest launch lets you choose from one of three bases (depending on how much hydration your skin needs). From there, add in one of five custom concentrates to address you particular complexion concern: pores, irritation, fatigue, uneven skin tone, or, our go-to, lines and wrinkles.

buy it, $39

Photo: Clinique

GlyDerm Hydrotone Facial Moisturizer

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Consider this your basic moisturizer...amped up a few notches thanks to the addition of lemon fruit extract. The ingredient not only clarifies the skin, but is also a natural source of vitamin C, a top-notch antioxidant to use in the morning as an added layer of protection from environmental factors such as sun and pollution. "Exposure to UV rays and pollution creates reactive oxygen species—or ROS—in the skin, which can damage your cells' DNA and lead to both signs of aging and skin cancer," explains Ted Lain, M.D., a dermatologist in Austin, TX,. "Vitamin C works to neutralize those damaging ROS, protecting your skin cells."

buy it, $39

Photo: GlyDerm

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream

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The more mature your skin gets, the more compromised the skin barrier can become, leading to a host of issues, including dehydration, irritation, and sensitivity. Enter this newbie anti-aging moisturizer. Ceramides and linoleic acid repair that all-important skin barrier, while hyaluronic acid packs lots of hydration. All in a bouncy, lighter-than-air texture.

Related: How to Boost Your Skin Barrier (and Why You Need To)

buy it, $30

Photo: First Aid Beauty

Youth to the People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream

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Kale, spinach, and green tea aren't just good ingredients to put in your morning smoothie, they're also good things to put into your morning moisturizer. Those green superfoods are rich in antioxidants, delivering important protection from exposure to UV rays and pollution (which, unfortunately, we're all exposed to daily). They work to help firm and smooth skin, and the 100 percent vegan formula is nice and hydrating, too.

buy it, $48

Photo: Youth to the People

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Moisturizer SPF 30

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A drugstore cult-classic, this wallet-friendly option earns big points not only for its peptide-rich formula that firms and smooths skin, but for containing the always-important SPF protection, too. Because let's not forget that you can use all of the anti-aging products you want, but if you're not sporting sunscreen 365 days a year, all of your efforts are going to be futile.

buy it, $29

Photo: Olay

Dr. Loretta Anti-Aging Repair Moisturizer

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We've long known that it's important to protect your skin from the sun's damaging UVA and UVB rays, but the latest studies point to the damaging effects of another type of light we're exposed to all day, every day: high-energy visible light. Known as HEV, this is a different spectrum of light than what's emitted by the sun, and it includes the light from the screens of technological devices, explains Julie Russak, M.D., dermatologist and founder of Russak Dermatology Clinic in New York City. Who knew staring at your computer/phone/tablet all day could be damaging your skin? (Does that mean selfies are bad for your skin?) Luckily, this moisturizer has an antioxidant complex that safeguards your skin from that very light. It also has firming peptides to deliver just the right amount of hydration.

buy it, $70

Photo: Dr. Loretta

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream

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Those with oily skin or who prefer lighter moisturizers will appreciate the refreshing texture of this gel. It's all about hyaluronic acid: "Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it draws water to the skin," says Emily Arch, M.D., a dermatologist at Dermatology + Aesthetics in Chicago. It then holds on to that moisture instantly (yes, the effects are immediate), making skin look and feel more hydrated and plump, making this a great morning moisturizer to use under makeup. (More lightweight picks: 10 of the Best Gel Moisturizers for Oily Skin

buy it, $20

Photo: Neutrogena

Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Face Lifting Soft Cream

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Given the featherweight and whipped texture of this cream, it's hard to believe just how many benefits it delivers, but trust us, it does. The brand's patented blend of resveratrol (an antioxidant derived from grapes) and micro hyaluronic acids firms and adds volume. It's coupled with collagen- and elastin-boosting peptides to make your face look lifted and younger.

buy it, $76

Photo: Caudalie

Apothecare Essentials PhytoQuench Day Hydrating Day Lotion

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The star ingredient here is Japanese blood grass root; known as a survivor plant, its roots have to ability to hang onto even the tiniest bits of water found in super sandy or salty soil. When it comes to your skin, it means this plant-based ingredient is able to help boost the natural moisture reservoir in your skin for a full 24 hours—and let's not forget that hydrated skin is always going to look plumper, smoother, and more youthful. Still, despite the heavy dose of hydration, it still feels incredibly lightweight going on, and will play nicely under makeup, an important quality in a morning moisturizer.

by it, $20

Photo: Apothecare

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