5 Best Moisturizers for Black Skin of 2018 Reviewed

What Makes Black Skin Unique

If you have black skin, you know it creates a gorgeous silky complexion but comes with some cosmetic issues. For example, both dry and oily patches are common for people of African descent.

These issues are just some of the ones faced by people with darker skin tones. Black skin is strong, with a high concentration of cellular layers. This concentration helps strengthen the stratum corneum (otherwise known as the outer layer of your skin).

Black skin also contains large amounts of melanin. In other words, people with darker skin tones have a higher resistance to UV damage caused by the sun. However, you’re still not immune to UV damage. It’ll simply take more sun exposure to begin causing damage. So proper precautions should still be taken by protecting your skin with a daily SPF.

As mentioned, darker skin is thicker than most skin types, so it tends to be drier than others. This dryness can cause irritation, which may make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. That's why daily moisturizing is so important for maintaining a healthy complexion.

One fantastic benefit of having darker, thicker skin is that wrinkles will be less noticeable.

The Best Moisturizers for Black Skin

Moisturizing is essential for a healthy, glowing complexion. And it isn't only for the winter seasons. If you want to avoid ashy, rough-looking skin, it's for everyday use.

There are many benefits to moisturizing your skin every day. Some benefits include keeping your skin hydrated and youthful and creating a barrier between your skin and weather conditions.

Finding the perfect moisturizer for your skin type can be difficult, given a lot of cosmetic products marketed toward lighter skin tones. That's why we've created a list of the best moisturizers for black skin that can fulfill all your cosmetic needs.

Key features we look for in a moisturizer are collagen boosters, hydration, infused vitamins, and sun protection. Here’s a sneak peek at the top five moisturizers for black skin.

Cetaphil Fragrance-Free Daily Facial Moisturizer

Cetaphil fragrance free daily facial moisturizer

Cetaphil Fragrance-Free Daily Facial Moisturizer is a non-greasy formula that won’t clog your pores. This lightweight moisturizer helps skin feel softer — without weighing it down with a greasy formulation.

This cream is non-comedogenic and lightweight.

This 2-in-1 product both hydrates your skin and protects it from harmful UV and UVB rays with SPF 15. Not only does this protect your skin from sunburns and damage, it also helps prevent premature signs of aging (such as wrinkles and lines).

Cetaphil products are fragrance-free, which makes them absolutely perfect for people of African descent with sensitive skin.

This moisturizer is ideal for dry skin since it contains both water and glycerin.

While this moisturizer is great for black skin, the sun-protecting ingredients may cause stinging if it’s applied too close to the eyes.


    • Dermatologist-recommended
    • Moisturizing
    • Contains both glycerin and water


    • Some found this product irritating to the eyes
    • May stain clothes

Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer with Helioplex

Neutrogena healthy defense daily moisturizer with helioplex

If you’re looking for a moisturizer packed with both hydration and sun protection, Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer is a sure winner.

This daily moisturizer contains SPF 50 to help protect your skin from damaging UV rays. Neutrogena Healthy Defense also contains Helioplex.

This patented formula was created by Neutrogena, and it’s made of oxybenzone and avobenzone.

These ingredients give your skin an extra boost of protection from the sun.

Packed with Vitamin E and Pro-Vitamin B5, this award-winning moisturizer was formulated with three things in mind: moisturizing your skin, preventing damage and signs of aging, and protecting your skin


    • Ranges from SPF 30-50
    • Keeps the skin hydrated and fresh
    • Non-comedogenic
    • Non-greasy formula
    • ​Lightweight consistency that doesn’t feel heavy
    • Great primer for foundation


    • Strong scent
    • May cause allergic reactions, redness, or acne on sensitive skin

Era Organics Natural Face Moisturizer Cream

era organics natural face moisturizer cream

People with dark skin will love the deep hydrating effect of using Era Organics Natural Face Moisturizer Cream.

Perfect for dry patches or all-over hydration. Era Organics contains amino and fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that will help soothe and moisturize your skin.

In fact, this moisturizer is so jam-packed with great ingredients that the company hails it as a “superfood for your skin”. Ingredients include Manuka honey, coconut oil, olive oil, and shea butter — all of which provide long-lasting hydration. And aloe vera gives your skin an organic, soothing finish.

This moisturizer is formulated to deeply penetrate your skin, fight against free radicals, and repair cell damage. Era Organics also strengthens skin fibers, improves skin elasticity, stimulates cell growth, softens the appearance of tough skin, and contains mostly organic ingredients. This moisturizer is scented, which may irritate both your skin and senses.

Even though this moisturizer contains organic ingredients, some people with sensitive skin may experience breakouts after using this moisturizer. Therefore, we recommend doing a patch test. This product may also stain your clothes or sheets, so use caution when applying.


    • Long-lasting hydrating effects
    • Repairs cell damage and deeply penetrates skin
    • Great for any skin type


    • May stain clothes
    • May cause breakouts on sensitive skin

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 15

aveeno positively radiant daily moisturizer spf 15

This moisturizer contains SPF 15 to help protect your skin from the sun, which will help prevent premature wrinkles and dry patches.

A four-week study shows that Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer is clinically proven to even out the appearance of brown spots and blotchiness while improving skin’s overall tone, texture, and dullness.

Aveeno Positively Radiant was created with Aveeno’s exclusive Active Natural Total Soy Complex. And it’s formulated with light diffusers to keep skin looking radiant. Since soy boosts collagen production, it’s a star ingredient in skincare products. And collagen can reduce the signs of aging and help build elasticity in the skin. Black skin can get greasy, making this oil-free moisturizer a must for your skincare routine.

This cream is also hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. Reviews raved about the lightweight feel of this moisturizer. However, users also reported the clunky packaging (especially the pump) of this product as both ineffective and difficult to use.


    • Contains SPF for sun protection
    • Oil-free formula
    • Lightweight application
    • Contains Soy
    • Softens skin and improves texture


    • Some found this moisturizer irritating to the skin
    • Bulky packaging with clunky pump

Covergirl Smoothers SPF 21 Tinted Moisturizer

covergirl smoothers spf 21 tinted moisturizer

Covergirl Smoothers SPF 21 Tinted Moisturizer is a fantastic, lightweight moisturizer. It contains an SPF 21 and provides your skin with sunscreen protection against UVB and UVA rays. It’s also formulated to benefit your skin in 10 different ways, which include improving skin elasticity, making the skin appear hydrated and fresh, and giving your skin a natural-looking radiance.

This moisturizer is tinted, making it perfect for a woman on the go.

Not only will it hydrate your face, it’ll give you a healthy sheen to mask skin imperfections. This gel moisturizer has a non-greasy formula that won’t cake or settle into fine lines. However, don’t expect full coverage from a tinted moisturizer.

It may not exactly match your skin. With the only options being “Fair to Light” and “Medium to Dark,” this moisturizer doesn’t have the best shade selection.


    • Contains SPF
    • Quick and easy application
    • Easy to blend


    • Poor coverage
    • Caused breakouts on some users
    • Poor color options, especially for darker skin tones

Caring for Black Skin

No matter what color your skin is, creating a good skincare routine is essential for maintaining a healthy, glowing complexion.

Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and caring for it is your responsibility. Creating a good skincare routine is essential, no matter what color your skin is. It's important to remember that your skin is completely unique to you.

Whether your skin is oily, dry, or a combination, you're going to need to find a moisturizer that caters to your specific needs. Here are the top concerns to keep in mind when it comes to taking care of your skin:

  • Know what your skin type is. Then you can narrow down which products you need and which ones to pass on.
  • Choose the right ingredients. Stick to products that are loaded with nourishing, hydrating ingredients.
    Some keywords to look for include alpha hydroxy acids, antioxidants, and glycerin. All of these ingredients are formulated to help your skin achieve a healthy, youthful appearance.
  • Avoid products that are comedogenic. Comedogenic means that creams or serums have a tendency to block pores and create pimples, blackheads, and acne. Alcohol should also be avoided since it can dry out your skin.
  • Skip bar soaps. These soaps are convenient to find and usually have a favorable price tag. But they aren't always favorable to your skin.
    Choose water-soluble cleansers instead.
  • Wear sunscreen every day. No matter what the season is, you should be applying a daily SPF of 25 or higher. Then you can protect your skin from damaging sun rays.
  • Exfoliate regularly. Black skin has a higher sebum production than other skin types. So your skin will be more prone to a buildup of dead skin, making gentle exfoliating a must for darker skin tones.
    Other benefits of exfoliating include dead-skin removal and increased blood flow.

When choosing the perfect moisturizer, look for one that’s water-based. Water-based moisturizers easily absorb into the skin without leaving you feeling sticky or wet.

Milk also makes an excellent base for your moisturizer. It helps skin appear radiant, soothes skin irritation, removes dead cells, and can help soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Milk also promotes the shedding of highly pigmented skin cells, which can be beneficial for reducing dark patches and evening out your skin tone.

Best Ways to Moisturize Black Skin

Now that you have the lowdown on the best moisturizers for black skin, you’ll want to know the best way to apply them.

  • For the best results, a moisturizer should be applied twice a day. Use it once in the morning (after washing your face) and once at night (before bed).
  • The most effective way to apply moisturizer is to smooth it over damp skin. This tactic will help lock in the moisture and keep your skin feeling hydrated and fresh.
  • Don't over-apply. Unless you’re prone to dry skin, applying too much moisturizer will actually clog your pores and leave you feeling greasy. Let your moisturizer completely absorb before applying other products (such as foundation or concealer).
  • Never pull your skin when applying your moisturizer. To prevent tugging on the skin, moisturizers should always be applied in an upward, tapping motion.

Applying moisturizer this way will prevent unnecessary wrinkles.


In summary, Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 15 takes first place on our list as the best moisturizer for black skin. The soy found in this moisturizer helps keep skin looking young and feeling great. Aveeno moisturizer hydrates your face, contains UV-protecting SPF, and improves the look and feel of your skin.

Regardless of your preference in skincare, know that it's important to have a cosmetic routine that’s catered to your personal skin type. What works for others may not work for you, so pamper the skin you have.

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