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9 best men's moisturisers that do all the work for you

Overwhelmed by the onslaught of skincare options? Fear not, we’ve found creams that actually deliver

Here’s a guide to some muscle-powered skin tonics for the chaps ( The Independent/iStock )

Now fellas, if your moisturiser has “MAN” emblazoned on the bottle, we’re going to have a guess it’s either a) because you couldn’t be bothered gambling your way through endless stabs at beauty bingo (which is a very acceptable reason); b) It’s all the same stuff anyway so it doesn’t matter (knife edge of acceptability); or c) moisturiser is not manly but this one is and was endorsed by David Beckham so it’s top banana (unacceptable – you’re fired).

The man marketing struggle is real.

While there are a few masc moisture boosters on the shelves which do their bit to help us look more George Clooney than George Bush, some can be a tad misleading; preying on our masculinity in slick black packaging and bold, beefed-up type; when we really wanted the nice flowered one that smelt like a fresh meadow.

Being buff doesn’t mean you have to be boring and besides, how a face cream could be more blokey than another is anyone’s guess...

So without further ado, here’s a guide to some muscle-powered skin tonics for the chaps, regardless of how much hair is on their proverbial chests.

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. 


For a pick me up: Drunk Elephant protini polypeptide cream: £57, Space NK

If there’s anything that shouts “bloke” it’s a protein shake, so it would be criminal to not feature Drunk Elephant’s protini on this list – as it’s pretty much just that for your skin.

It’s a gel formula and super light, kept in airtight packaging to keep the ingredients at their best by not being exposed to air or light. This is a terrific choice if you want to strengthen the skin and subsequently bring it back to life. It also doesn’t have any nasties in it so makes a wonderful choice for sensitive skin.

With regular use you’ll notice a refreshed and firmer appearance. It’s a somewhat serum/moisturiser hybrid. With so many wonderful active and fermented cultures it really packs a punch. Basically, if your skin is knackered, this is the post-workout power drink to reach for.

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For dry skin: Kate Somerville goat milk moisturising cream: £55, Cult Beauty

Continuing on the protein theme is this goat milk treat from super-facialist Kate Somerville. Chucking a load of milk on your mug might not sound ideal but you’ll have to trust us on this one.

The lactose from the goat milk helps soothe and moisturise dry skin in particular, restoring it in the process, as it’s an age-old natural healer. From the ancient Egyptians apparently – and they definitely knew what they were doing. Well, mostly.

There’s aloe vera and a bunch of vitamins in here too to really give your skin some TLC. Airtight packaging is always a plus, keeping it fresh and fuss-free too. Surprisingly, it doesn’t have a milky consistency, yet feels rich on the skin. You can feel it working its magic.

Definitely for you if you’re on the drier side and want to give unwanted texture a telling off.

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For anti-ageing: Verso day cream: £95, Cult Beauty

Verso is Latin for “reverse”. So if turning back time is on your agenda, this is for you.

Verso is redefining the anti-ageing superhero retinol with its unique take on it. Vitamin A is the strongest and most reliable anti-ageing ingredient on the market, however, it can be a tricky one to navigate if you’re new to the skincare game. Initial use can cause flaking, redness and sensitivity; more colloquially known as “the ugly phase”.

Verso’s retinol 8 complex is a vitamin A derivative which is more stable, less aggressive and helps your skin be less sensitive to the sun too. It’s a new approach which works incredibly well for daily use if you’re wanting a boost to sagging skin.

Other ingredients include turmeric and niacinamide to give you some extra oomph by brightening the skin. Housed in a rather neutral pump bottle, the application is easy and smooth. It’s rich but not greasy, quickly absorbing into the skin without a fuss.

The whole mantra of Verso is maximum efficacy with no mucking about. You can sort of tell just by looking at it, but luckily this day cream will get your face up to scratch, even if you can’t get yourself together.

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For overnight hydration: Murad city skin overnight detox moisturiser: £70, John Lewis & Partners

No one says it better than Dr Murad: “Skincare is not superficial because it is healthcare.” Wise words for anyone still on the fence.

This night cream is a great antidote if you’re wanting to really recharge skin from the onslaught of environmental aggressors. The vitamin C in here plays the perfect role in helping brighten overnight while sunflower, cucumber and barley give extra nourishment to city-trodden skin.

While this doesn’t detox per se, it does provide enough antioxidants to really feed your face overnight. Results are smoother, perkier and super-hydrated skin.

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For no nonsense simplicity: Kiehl’s ultra facial moisturiser: from £17.50, John Lewis & Partners

At more than 100 years old, Kiehl’s must know a thing or two about skincare. This is a no-nonsense, lightweight cream; ideal for any skin type. The main sell here is squalene, which is easily absorbed by the skin as it has the same molecular weight as our natural oils. Vitamin E is in the mix, helping skin to feel soft and comfortable.

It’s a great choice if you have normal skin and need an extra bit of care without a massive song and dance. Simple and effective.

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For mature skin: Omorovicza gold rescue cream: £170, Look Fantastic

Hungarian thermal water has been Omorovicza’s trademark ingredient throughout all of its products. Rich in minerals, it’s highly regarded for its curative properties.

This gold-infused cream is the definition of luxe. It’s aimed at more mature skin as it’s an extremely rich cream – however, this feels like it’s really getting in there and is as absorbing as its lighter counterparts.

A particularly good choice if you’re looking to firm up and repair skin all in one go. The colloidal gold also has anti-inflammatory properties partnered with omega-6, adding extra moisture. A heavy hitter all round.

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For fine lines: Algenist power advanced wrinkle fighter moisturiser: £68, Space NK

For something labelled “power”, this is surprisingly light and a pleasure to apply. With a hefty base of glycerin, this formula will draw in moisture from the air to keep you hydrated throughout the day.

The algae proteins and alguronic acid helps to minimise pesky lines by boosting elasticity in the skin. It has a slightly whipped consistency, which leaves no residue. With continued use there’s a welcome softening of fine lines and a more even texture.

Seal in the goodness with an oil afterwards for optimum results.

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For combination skin: Clark’s Botanicals soothing marine cream: £92, Space NK

The story of the founder of Clark’s Botanicals, Francesco Clark, is pretty impressive. After suffering a spinal cord injury, leaving him paralysed from the neck down, his skin was left unable to release toxins and as a result was particularly unhealthy. So after trying everything under the sun, him and his father made their own skincare line to help his skin recover. Clark’s skincare line is the result. If you’re not sold from that kind of tenacity then we don’t know what it will take.

This is a pretty hardy moisturiser, with their signature jasmine absolute complex, which is an anti-inflammatory and tackles redness. Glycolic acid works as a deep exfoliant, getting inside pores and giving them a good seeing to. Plant-derived atelocollagen helps firm up skin while the natural botanicals calm and balance.

It’s a terrific multitasker, hitting all the right notes when your face doesn’t want to. It works hard, like the founder, and is a fan favourite of the line. Rightly so, too.

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For oily skin: Dennis Gross hyaluronic marine oil-free moisture cushion: £59, Cult Beauty

Choosing skincare is tricky when you’re oily. You get a multitude of different directions to follow and conflicting ideas on how to balance your skin, none really making much sense when you look at them altogether.

This moisturiser is a great step forward if you’re in this camp. It’s an awesome lightweight texture, a water-gel packed with hyaluronic acid, which will help keep you moisturised, while the oil-free formula will keep oilophobes at bay. There’s a mixture of AHAs in here to help exfoliate and clear out skin, while soy protein helps nourish and tighten.

It’s a terrific way to destress the skin without overcomplicating things. The balance of ingredients in this is what makes us give it a thumbs up. The texture gets extra brownie points for grease-free goodness.

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The verdict: Men’s moisturisers

Drunk Elephant is streaks ahead with its blend of effective goodies. Clark’s gets a special mention, for a truly well-thought-out, mindful and respected skincare line. Dennis Gross also gets a shoutout as even though it’s terrific for oily skin, it’s good for anyone who’s confused about where to start with skincare.

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.

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