This Derm-Recommended Moisturizer Works Wonders For My Sensitive Skin

elta md AM therapy review
POPSUGAR Photography | Renee Rodriguez
POPSUGAR Photography | Renee Rodriguez
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Solidifying a skin-care routine that works can be daunting, especially if you're someone with sensitive skin. I spent my entire teenage years and early 20s acne-free, with skin that thrived using just a bar of soap and a $3 bottle of moisturizer. Now, my skin needs to be babied and pampered, and even the slightest upset throws it for a loop. Because of this, over the last few years, I've had to become extra picky about any products I use, and I have to put each new item I try through a rigorous round of testing.

After suddenly developing an aversion to a moisturizer I had been safely using for a few months, I had to start the search all over again. Instead of trying something entirely new, I decided to reintroduce one I had tested in the past that worked well for my skin — the EltaMD AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer ($39).

When I first started experiencing acne five years ago, my dermatologist suggested I try using the EltaMD line, because the products are all fragrance-free and noncomedogenic. I used the line for a year or so before I moved on to other products, but earlier this year, when I started experiencing issues with acne and dermatitis, I decided to switch back, and my skin has never been happier.

I have dry, acne-prone skin, and finding the right products for my specific skin type has always been difficult, especially regarding moisturizers. Because I'm so dry, I crave heavy, creamy products, but because I'm prone to acne, anything too rich will make me break out.

The product is made with ingredients like exfoliating willow-bark extract, a natural alternative to salicylic acid, and niacinamide, which helps reduce inflammation. It's also made with hyaluronic acid to fight off dryness and caffeine, which helps improve skin's circulation.

elta MD AM therapy review
POPSUGAR Photography | Renee Rodriguez

The moisturizer's consistency falls between lightweight and medium, which is perfect for my skin type. If it were too lightweight, I wouldn't get enough hydration, but if it were too heavy, I would find myself dealing with a spattering of acne all over my face. Although the EltaMD AM Therapy Moisturizer is created for morning use, it is hydrating enough to use in the morning and at night. When I wake up, after applying vitamin C serum, I squeeze out a nickel-size amount of the moisturizer onto my hands before rubbing it onto my face. I also like to mix a pearl-size amount with the Alastin Hydra Tint Pro SPF ($60) to give my complexion a nice all-over glow that lasts all day long.

Another thing I love is that this product is the perfect base for makeup — I've never had issues with pilling, and I swear it helps keep my foundation in place all day. When it comes to nighttime use, after cleansing my face, I distribute the product evenly and then follow up with a face oil. I always wake up with glowing skin and not a dry flake in sight.

elta MD Am therapy review
POPSUGAR Photography | Renee Rodriguez

Although this product worked well for me in the past and didn't trigger my acne, I still wasn't sure if it would work the same way years later. However, after months of consistent use and no bad breakouts or dermatitis to show for it, I can confirm that the EltaMD AM Therapy Moisturizer and I are in a happily committed relationship. If you're in the market for a new moisturizer and you've been looking for something that won't irritate your skin or exacerbate acne, I highly recommend this product. It's been the perfect addition to my skin-care routine.