benefit total moisture facial cream review

It’s so rare to find a moisturizer that does what it says on the tin. These days, they’re all competing for attention by making the most outlandish claims. Like:

  • “It detoxifies skin!” – Nope, your kidneys do that.
  • “It can activate genes that slow down aging!’ – Thank goodness they don’t, cos messing with genes can cause cancer…
  • “It contains maximum concentrations of key actives which upregulate epidermal growth factors for fibroblast development!” – What the heck does that even mean?!

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream keeps it simple. It only claims to provide a “concentrated immediate & long-term hydration for a radiantly refreshed complexion.” And it delivers exactly that.

What’s In Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream?


Lanolin is the thick, greasy, yellow substance sheep naturally produce to protect themselves from harsh weather. It completely waterproofs their bodies, so they can stay out in the rain without getting cold.

In skincare, lanolin and its derivatives are excellent moisturisers: they lock in moisture. They prevent water from evaporating and make even the driest of skin all soft and smooth.

You may have heard that lanolin can cause irritations and allergies. This was true in the days when farmers used heavy pesticides. These days, lanolin is free of those irritants and much gentler on the skin.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, sheep aren’t harmed in the collection of lanolin. Phew!

Related: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Lanolin In Skincare


Squalane is the hydrogenated version of squalene, a natural component of human sebum.

Squalane oil is super moisturising. Because it’s so similar to human sebum, your skin absorbs it straight away.

Once on your skin, squalane strengthens the skin’s protective barrier so that moisture stays in and germs, pollutants and irritants stay out.

The best part? It’s non-irritating and non-comedogenic.

Related: The Complete Guide To Squalane Oil In Skincare

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It’s all well and good to lock moisture in. But where does this moisture come from?

Glycerin. It’s a moisture magnet that draws moisture from the environment into your skin. Once there, this extra moisture plumps up skin, softens its texture, and gives the complexion a dewy glow.

Related: Why Is Glycerin In ALL My Skincare Products?!


THICK. It’s one of the thickest creams I’ve come across. It takes a while to sink in, too.


Light cucumber scent. Refreshing.

How To Use It

In the AM, after serum and before moisturiser. In the PM, it’s the last step of your skincare routine.

Performance & Personal Opinion

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream is THICK. That’s great news for dry skin. Not so much for oily skin. Mine is combination, so I experienced what it does to both skin types.

As I said, it does wonders for dry skin. I recently overdid the retinol on my undereye area. My skin always tolerates retinol well, so I thought I could risk it and reduce those wrinkles there a bit faster. Bad idea. I was left with dry, flaky patches that hurt if I only gently touched them. Ouch!

Benefit Total Moisture Face Cream came to the rescue. Within four days, my dry patches disappeared. My skin was as good as new. Soft. Smooth. Well-hydrated and moisturized.

My oily t-zone was less pleased. While on my dry areas, the cream quickly absorbed, on my oily bits it stayed on the surface for ages, making it greasy and oily. Yuck. It didn’t make me breakout, but that’s probably because I stopped using it there after a few days.

I may be a dedicated beauty blogger and all that, but there really is no point in keep using on oily skin a cream that’s clearly not formulated for it. It can only end badly.

Related: The Best Skincare Routine For Dry Skin

benefit total moisture facial cream 01

Who Is This For?

Very dry skin.

Who Is This NOT For?

It’s too thick for everyone else.


Jar with a cork-like cap. It’s super cute (all Benefit products are), but not the most hygienic. This cream doesn’t contain that many antioxidants, but the jar doesn’t help them stay effective for long (antioxidants degrade when exposed to light and air).

Does Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream Live Up To Its Claims?

This facial cream provides concentrated hydration for a radiantly refreshed complexion. True.
Long-lasting. True.
Contains mango butter, a natural plant-based emollient known to provide moisture. Notice that it says how mango butter has moisturising properties, not that it provides hydration here. There’s too little mango butter in this cream for it to work.
For normal to dry skin. May be a bit too rich for normal skin. But it’s great for dry skin.

Price & Availability

$42.00/£35.00 at Feel Unique and Ulta

Do You Need It?

If you have very dry, flaky skin, this is a good option to consider. As long as you don’t expect any extra antiaging benefits.

Dupes & Alternatives


Water, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Hydrogenate Lanolin, Squalane, Glycerin, Methyl Trimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, PEG-8, Pentylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric/Succiinic Triglyceride, Ceteath-20, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Betaine, Decyloxazolidinone, Phenoxyethanol, Cetyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Steareth-25, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Steareth-21, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carbomer, Xylitylglucoside, Ajuga Turkestanica Extract, Sorbitol, Anhydroxylitol, Sodium Hydroxide, Algin, Xylitol, Cellulose Gum, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Polyvinyl Alcohol, BHT. N?? 05420/N