The 18 Best Moisturizers You Can Wear Under Makeup Without Pilling

The 18 Best Moisturizers You Can Wear Under Makeup Without Pilling

Choosing the Right Moisturizer for Under Makeup

Finding a moisturizer that works well under makeup without pilling or balling up can feel like a challenge. As you shop around and test different products, keep these tips in mind:

  • Look for oil-free, lightweight formulas marketed as primers or perfecting creams.
  • Silicone-based moisturizers tend to layer better under makeup.
  • Apply only a small amount and give it time to fully absorb before makeup application.
  • Pay attention to reviewers mentioning how a moisturizer wears under makeup specifically.

18 Top-Rated Moisturizers for Under Makeup

Based on glowing online reviews mentioning compatibility with makeup application, check out this list of 18 moisturizers to try:

  1. CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM
  2. Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with Sunscreen
  3. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream
  4. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
  5. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
  6. Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream
  7. EltaMD AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer
  8. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
  9. Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream
  10. Cetaphil PRO Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30
  11. IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Hydrating Moisturizer
  12. Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream
  13. Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30
  14. Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb
  15. Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50
  16. CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream
  17. Perricone MD Pre:Empt Brightening Eye Cream
  18. Youth To The People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream


What ingredients make a moisturizer pill under makeup?

Thick, greasy moisturizers tend to pill and ball up when layered under makeup. Look for lightweight, fast-absorbing formulas without heavy oils, butters, or waxes.

How long should you wait between moisturizer and makeup?

It’s best to allow your moisturizer to fully absorb for 5-10 minutes before applying primer or foundation on top. This prevents pilling and allows makeup to smoothly adhere.

Can I mix my moisturizer with primer?

Yes, mixing a pea-sized amount of moisturizer with your favorite primer is a great technique for a smooth, hydrated base under makeup.

Should you moisturize daily before makeup?

Applying moisturizer under makeup helps create a smooth, hydrated canvas, prevents drying and flakiness, and can extend the wear of your makeup. Moisturizing before makeup is highly recommended.

What moisturizer ingredients are best for under makeup?

Light, fast-absorbing silicone-based moisturizers tend to layer best under makeup. Key ingredients to look for are dimethicone, polysiloxanes, and other silicone derivatives.