Even though every step of your skincare routine is essential, people with dry skin often need to focus more on the moisturizing step to avoid flaking and painfully tight, sandpapery skin.
But not all moisturizers for dry skin will work on very dry skin, especially in the winter. You do need that super-thick cream to soothe your skin. A thin moisturizer, like a lotion, just won’t do, especially if your skin is cracked and flaky.
With the help and advice of almost a dozen dermatologists, I’ll talk about what you should look for in a moisturizer, such as the ingredients and the way it feels. We even added some favorite items from the Strategist. Our panel of experts and our staff have chosen ten moisturizers for dry skin that should help even the driest skin. But if you’re looking for something specific, you can use our guide below to jump to a different section.
7 Best Moisturizers for Dry Skin
1. Cetaphil Moisturising Cream
Yes, this is labeled as a body cream, but Dr. Hadley King, a clinical instructor of dermatology at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College, says it’s “a great cream for both the face and body.”
This is because it is full of humectants like glycerin, which keep the skin moist, and emollients like glyceryl stearate and sweet almond oil, which make the skin soft. Dr. Rachel Nazarian often recommends it to her patients, saying it is “extremely light and comfortable for daily use all year long.” Plus, you can get it easily at the drugstore. It is one of the best moisturizers for dry skin.
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2. Aquaphor Healing Ointment
Some people’s skin gets dry and flaky, especially in the winter, and some people’s skin is so dry that it can look scaly and is therefore very hard to nourish. Dr. Susan Binder and Dr. Katelyn Woolridge of Westlake Dermatology recommend Aquaphor for people in the second group.
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3. Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream
We’ve already suggested Vanicream for very dry skin, but it works just as well and is just as gentle for your face. Dr. Ife Rodney, the founder and director of Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics, says that Vanicream is “ideal” because it was made for sensitive skin and is free of lanolin, formaldehyde, parabens.
She also says that it’s “full of ceramides,” which strengthen the skin’s barrier and keep moisture in. It is considered one of the best moisturizers for dry skin.
4. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Moisturiser
This Neutrogena gel cream for extra-dry skin is also loved by four of our dermatologists.
And so do our readers; it has been on best-sellers lists more than ten times. Gel textures are usually made for people with normal or oily skin, but Mitchell says this cream is “perfect” for dry skin and works pretty quickly. “Give it seven days. She says, “The hyaluronic acid and glycerin will quench the dryness and give you skin that is soft, smooth, and well-hydrated.” Rodney says that because it has a gel texture.
5. CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion
This has been named one of the best moisturizers for dry skin because it has ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid that help soothe dry, irritated skin. They also provide maximum hydration 24 hours a day and soothe the skin. It also has niacinamide, which is an anti-inflammatory that calms redness and soreness in dry areas of the skin. Mitchell calls it “a triple bang for your buck” because it not only heals the skin but is also light, noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores), and oil-free.
6. SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore
Technically, the Augustinus Bader cream also works as an anti-aging moisturizer, but this SkinCeuticals moisturizer is made to target signs of aging. This is because it contains lipids, such as natural cholesterol, pure ceramides, and fatty acids, that the skin naturally loses over time.
7. Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Repair Cream
Paula’s Choice’s Resist Intensive Repair Cream is a jack-of-all-trades product. It not only moisturizes dry skin but also strengthens the skin barrier and makes your skin look firmer and brighter. Combining retinol with nourishing botanical extracts, jojoba oil, and niacinamide gives you a three-pronged way to get healthier, more hydrated skin. Before you worry about using retinol on your dry, sensitive skin, know that there isn’t much of it here. Dr. Fishman says that’s a great place to start if you’ve never used it before. If you’ve never used retinol before, you should start by using it once or twice a week before using it more often.
You shouldn’t skimp on a daily moisturizer. It only takes a minute or two out of your day, but it will help you in the long run. Put moisturizer on every day to protect your skin from the elements and from life itself. Neonpolice have a website where you can find out more about moisturizers for dry skin.
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