Best Face Moisturizer for African American Skin

smiling African woman with a moisturizer on her face

If you’re currently on the hunt for the best face moisturizer for dark African American skin to keep you feeling and looking moisturized all day and night, you might want to stop to consider a few important things: your skin type, the ingredients used, and the consistency of the moisturizer. I took it upon myself to review and summarize my favorites of the bunch. If you want to know what I found to be the best of the best and how these features play a huge role in my choosing process, go ahead and read with me!

I, for one, have a naturally darker skin tone. And from personal experience, this makes me prone to looking and feeling dry during the rest of the day. It might not be the same case for my face (which leans more towards combination) but I understand how people with darker skin tones also have dry skin on their faces. I have very few products I use on my skincare routine, and I make sure I don’t miss any of them – including my regular moisturizer.

When we talk about African American skin, the first thing that comes to mind are dark and darker skin tones. But their skin varies from light to dark, with many other factors affecting them and the pigment they come out as. However, in this article, I will be talking about darker African American skin and the best facial moisturizers that will work wonders for your skin.

If you have constantly struggled with finding a moisturizer that will fit all of your skin’s needs, no need to look further because I reviewed and listed them below so you don’t have to!

Why Do I Need a Face Moisturizer?

A moisturizer is a world of wonders in a jar. With just one skincare product, you’re sure to get more than one skincare benefit – especially if you find one that checks all the boxes of your skincare needs. Of the many skin benefits you can get, the hydrating and moisturizing properties is one of its greatest advantages.

Dark and black skin are more prone to having an overall dry skin. Their skin is also more likely to appear flaky and ashy, especially in colder and drier months. And because of the darker skin tone, the dryness and flakiness becomes more obvious. Aside from looking dry, it’s also pretty uncomfortable for anyone to have dry skin.

This is where moisturizers come into play. Investing in a good moisturizer, and one that fits your skin type and skin’s needs, will ensure your skin stays hydrated and moisturized all day and all night. It will diminish the appearance of dry, flaky, and ashy skin and will give you an overall healthier looking skin.

Our Top Picks for the Best Face Moisturizer for African American Skin

Product ImageProduct NamePrice
Our PickPalmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Moisture Rich Night CreamPalmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Moisture Rich Night CreamCheck Price
Best for Oily to Combination, Acne-Prone SkinSheaMoisture Balancing MoisturizerSheaMoisture Balancing MoisturizerCheck Price
Best for Dry, Acne-Prone SkinEra Organics Face MoisturizerEra Organics Face MoisturizerCheck Price
Cetaphil Daily Facial MoisturizerCetaphil Daily Facial MoisturizerCheck Price
Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Face MoisturizerAveeno Positively Radiant Daily Face MoisturizerCheck Price

The Best Face Moisturizer for African American Skin

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Moisture Rich Night Cream – Our Pick!

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Moisture Rich Night Cream

Our pick for the best face moisturizer for African American skin is the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Moisture Rich Night Cream! Packed with shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and cocoa butter, this moisture rich night cream is sure to keep your skin hydrated, moisturized, and thirst-free. It is also formulated with retinol, peptides, and vitamin E that will help regenerate your skin overnight and will give you softer and smoother skin as you wake up. This one is non-comedogenic making it safe to use by those with sensitive skin.

With this in your nightly routine (and even in mornings), your face is sure to get the moisture it needs but without the feeling of uncomfortable sweating many of us know too well – I know I do! This one hydrates really well, so if your main concern lies on your skin’s dryness, you might want to check this one out. It has a great scent to it although not everyone is a fan of.

The consistency of this night cream feels great on skin – it’s not too thick and doesn’t feel too hot unlike other night creams. This one feels lightweight and is totally non-greasy on skin while it feels deeply moisturizing and hydrating. Continued use of this face moisturizer will make your skin look clearer and softer. It’s also able to smooth out your skin and fine lines that are already starting to show themselves on your skin.

It also helps reduce redness and helps acne fade and heal faster. It causes no breakouts since it is formulated as non-comedogenic. Overall, it gives your skin a very healthy glow you will for sure wake up every morning with.

Pros:

  • Keeps skin hydrated and moisturized
  • Regenerates and replenishes skin overnight
  • Skin wakes up softer and smoother
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Sensitive skin-friendly
  • Not too thick and doesn’t feel hot on skin
  • Lightweight and non-greasy
  • Smooths out skin and fine lines
  • Gives skin an overall healthy and natural glow

Cons:

  • Scent is not for everyone
  • Not everyone will like the consistency

SheaMoisture Balancing Moisturizer – Best for Oily to Combination, Acne-Prone Skin!

SheaMoisture Balancing Moisturizer

The next item on our list of the best face moisturizers for African American skin and our pick as the best for oily to combination, acne-prone skin is the SheaMoisture Balancing Moisturizer! We know we’ve mentioned early on in the article that darker skin tones are more prone to dryness but it doesn’t mean no one with darker skin tone lives with oily skin to combination skin, and if you do, along with acne and breakouts, you might want to stay for this one. This one is specially formulated for those with oily to combination skin skin types because it effectively keeps your skin hydrated while balancing your skin’s sebum or oil production. 

Infused with African black soap that’s specially designed for skin dealing with acne and breakouts, you are sure to keep acne and flair ups at bay with this one. It’s also formulated with tamarind oil extract and tea tree oil, it will help you calm acne-prone skin while also fighting against blemishes and scars left behind by previous breakouts. It doesn’t cause pores to clog that can lead to further acne.

And because this is specially formulated for those with oily to combination skin, it keeps skin matte and oil-free all day while still working to moisturize and hydrate the skin so you won’t feel tight and uncomfortable at all. And because it has a matte finish, it will definitely go well under your makeup so it stays oil-free all day as well.

It has a thick texture to it that’s still easy to spread, and it’s not heavy on the face at all. It also has a clean scent to it that hasn’t come up as a problem for most users. With regularly incorporating this in your daily and nightly routines, acne-prone skin is kept calm and oily skin is balanced. Though if you have already dry skin, you might want to opt for another item on our list.

Pros:

  • Ideal for oily to combination, acne-prone skin
  • Balances skin’s oil production
  • Keeps skin calm and acne at bay
  • Combats breakouts and blemishes
  • Matte finish
  • Keeps skin oil-free while it moisturizes and hydrates
  • No clogged pores
  • Skin is overall calm and balanced
  • Paraben and mineral oil-free

Cons:

  • Not ideal for dry skin

Era Organics Face Moisturizer – Best for Dry, Acne-Prone Skin!

Era Organics Face Moisturizer

The Era Organics Face Moisturizer is our next choice of the best face moisturizers for African American skin and also our top choice for dry, acne-prone skin! Formulated with aloe vera, manuka honey, coconut oil, shea butter, and hyaluronic acid, this face moisturizer is sure to moisturize and hydrate dry skin so you wake up the next day feeling refreshed and replenished all over. With this in your routine, your skin is sure to be brighter, smoother, refreshed, and overall healthier skin.

This Era Organics moisturizer is also formulated with cehami extract which has anti-inflammatory and restorative properties. This comes in handy for those dealing with acne-prone skin. It helps reduce skin inflammation and promotes healthy cell regeneration. If you’re looking for something that can help minimize acne inflammation and redness caused by it, you might want to consider this one. It’s also able to effectively heal acne scars faster.

Thanks to its organic and natural pool of ingredients, users don’t experience breakouts and have even experienced reduced acne. It has a thick consistency that feels luscious and rich on skin without feeling too thick and heavy. With this moisturizer, you are guaranteed moisture that can last from 8 to 12 hours and will heal dry patches your skin may have developed overtime.

This is totally sensitive skin-friendly thanks to it being unscented and having only been formulated with natural and nothing but good ingredients. Remember though that because this is a bit thick and specially formulated for those with dry skin, it might require a bit more time to completely absorb into skin.

Pros:

  • Ideal for dry, acne-prone skin
  • Moisturizes and hydrates skin
  • Skin is brighter, smoother, refreshed, and overall healthier
  • Reduces acne inflammation and redness
  • Heals acne and scars faster for improved skin texture
  • Natural and organic
  • No breakouts and minimized acne
  • Luscious and rich consistency
  • 8-12 hours of moisture
  • Unscented

Cons:

  • Might be too thick for oily skin
  • Might need some time to completely absorb into skin

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer

Cetaphil’s Daily Facial Moisturizer also made it into our list of the best face moisturizers for African American skin! Formulated as a three-in-one skincare product, this daily moisturizer promises to hydrate, nourish, and protect your skin. Always one of the first brands to be recommended by dermatologists, this is sure to be effective yet gentle, especially on those with very sensitive skin.

With this in your daily routine, your skin is sure to be moisturized for the rest of the day and at the same time be protected from the harmful rays of the sun thanks to its formula infused with SPF35. It applies nicely and feels nice thanks to its non-heavy, non-greasy formula. Unlike other sun protection skincare products, this feels very light on the face and not heavy at all. It’s able to smooth out your skin for a younger and overall healthy-looking skin.

This is also a great option of moisturizer during winter months when your skin might be feeling extra dry. Unlike other sunscreen products, this one is also gentle on the eyes on top of being gentle on skin. It also doesn’t leave any white cast of residue. Its fragrance-free and parabens-free formula doesn’t clog pores and will help minimize breakouts.

Some downsides users have reported include packaging issues, specifically issues with the pump of the bottle. The consistency and formula have also been found to be too heavy by some with less dry skin.

Pros:

  • SPF35
  • Hydrates and moisturizes skin
  • Gentle yet effective
  • Sensitive skin-friendly
  • Non-heavy, non-greasy
  • Smooths out skin
  • Ideal for colder and drier winter months
  • Gentle even on eyes
  • No white cast
  • Fragrance-free and parabens-free
  • No clogged pores and breakouts

Cons:

  • Packaging issues with pump
  • May be too thick and heavy for some

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Face Moisturizer

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Face Moisturizer

Our last pick for the best face moisturizer for African American skin is the Positively Radiant Daily Face Moisturizer from skincare brand Aveeno! Formulated with a total soy complex, this face moisturizer will help your skin be brighter over time by reducing the appearance of discoloration on skin. This will help you achieve improved tone and texture, and also eliminate dullness and brown spots your skin have accumulated over the years.

As a face moisturizer, expect that this will keep your skin hydrated and moisturized all day without the uncomfortable greasy and oily feeling that comes along with a lot of moisturizers. This one is also formulated with SPF15 to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Although there is SPF, some might find this to be too little and would opt to add another layer of sun protection. It is absorbed into skin easily without any residue, making it very light to wear as your everyday moisturizer.

With continued use of this moisturizer in your daily routine, your skin will surely brighten and glow and will overall feel and look healthy and smooth. This is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, making it safe to use by those with sensitive skin. It also doesn’t cause acne and breakouts so you don’t have to worry about that. There is, however, a slight fragrance to it which may not be up to everyone’s taste and preference.

Pros:

  • Brightens skin
  • Improves skin texture and skin tone
  • Eliminates dullness and spots
  • Non-heavy and non-greasy
  • Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic
  • SPF15
  • Easily absorbs into skin without residue
  • Feels light on face
  • Gives skin healthy glow
  • No acne and breakouts

Cons:

  • Minimal sun protection
  • Fragrance is not for everyone

How to Choose the Best Face Moisturizer for African American Skin

In keeping an eye for the best moisturizer for your skin’s needs, it’s important that you stop and consider a few important things first to make sure you get the best results.

Skin type

Before deciding on your new face moisturizer, you must first determine your skin type. Face moisturizers, pretty much like any skincare product, are formulated to cater to specific skin types. Do you have a normal, oily, combination, dry skin type? Are you prone to acne or one with skin sensitivities?

Oily to combination skin types will benefit from a moisturizer that has oil controlling properties. Those who have dry skin should keep an eye out for something that’s extra moisturizing. And those with acne-prone and sensitive skin should look for face moisturizers that can calm down skin inflammation.

Ingredients

A moisturizer should be able to moisturize your skin – yes, even if you have oily or combination skin! Some moisturizing ingredients you can look out for include shea butter, cocoa butter, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin. It’s also important that you make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients in your new moisturizer to avoid further skin damage.

Consistency

Consistency also matters when you’re on the hunt for your new face moisturizer. Make sure you get something with a consistency you’re comfortable enough with to wear every morning and every night. Your skin type should also play a role in choosing your moisturizer’s consistency. For dry skin, it’s good to go for a moisturizer with thicker consistency. For those with oily to combination skin, it’s better to go for something that’s thinner.

Conclusion

A moisturizer is a must-have in anyone’s skincare routine. And with so many options with just a single click, it can be overwhelming to determine which ones will work wonders for your skin.

Our pick for the best face moisturizer for African American skin is the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Moisture Rich Night Cream. It’s formulated to regenerate and replenish your skin overnight and is even able to smooth out your skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines. If you have oily to combination, acne-prone skin, you might want to check out SheaMoisture Balancing Moisturizer as this one is able to balance out your skin’s oil production and at the same time calms skin inflammation. And the Era Organics Face Moisturizer is our choice for the best moisturizer for dry, acne-prone skin! This face moisturizer specializes in deeply hydrating and moisturizing very dry skin and helps minimize acne and inflammation.

To keep the skin healthy and well-hydrated, it’s important that we keep a staple moisturizer in our skincare routine. No matter your skin type, we hope you were able to find your new face moisturizer from our list above. Cheers to your happy and ever-healthy skin!