Does Moisturizing Cream Affect the Validity of Wudu’?
It is essential for the validity of ablution that water reaches all the parts of ablution (wudu’). It was narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw a person offering prayer, and on the back of his foot a small part equal to the space of a dirham remained unwashed; the water did not reach it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded him to repeat the ablution and prayer.” (Authenticated by Al-Albani)
There is an agreement among the majority of scholars including the four schools of Fiqh that it is compulsory to remove any substance which prevents water from reaching the skin such as wax and fat.
Imam An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy upon him) said, “If a person has some wax, dough, henna or the like on one of his limbs and it prevents water from reaching part of that limb, then his purity is not valid regardless of whether there is much or little of this substance present. However, if the trace of henna or its color remains on the hand or on any other body part, but its very essence is no longer there, or if the trace of a liquid fat (like oil) remains in a way that the water reaches the skin and it runs on it but does not stay on it, then his purity is valid.”
To sum up, if the oil or moisturizing cream that one uses does not prevent water from reaching the skin, then one’s ablution is valid with the presence of these substances. But if the cream or oil prevents water from reaching the skin, then they must be removed before performing ablution, even if this means washing it with soap or with any other item.