10 Moisturizers for Dry Skin - Tips and Ingredients

By Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest


Quality moisturizers can help soothe and repair dry, itchy, and irritated skin. But with so many moisturizers on the market, how do you find one that works for you? It usually comes down to a matter of personal preference. You may choose to have a few on hand to suit your various needs. Keep reading for 10 of the best moisturizers for dry skin and to learn how to pick a healthy moisturizer for you.

10 moisturizers for dry skin

1. Andalou Naturals Purple Carrot + C Luminous Night Cream

This night cream from Andalou Naturals focuses on renewing surface skin cells. It's easily absorbed into your skin and works overnight to revitalize your complexion.

2. Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme

This Nivea cream contains both vitamin E and jojoba oil. It absorbs quickly into your skin and hydrates without being overly oily.

3. The Body Shop Oils of Life Revitalising Sleeping Cream

A variety of natural oils gives this nighttime cream an extra boost. It's hydrating but not too heavy.

4. Kiehl's Ultra Facial Deep Moisture Balm

This fragrance-free balm is formulated to withstand cold, dry climates. Its thick consistency is nourishing when your skin is severely dry.

5. Eucerin Dry Skin Replenishing Cream

This replenishing cream from Eucerin contains 5 percent urea, which helps restore and hydrate problem skin. An older study found that moisturizers containing urea helped reduce participants' skin water loss.

6. Avene Hydrance Optimale Riche hydrating cream

This thick, creamy moisturizer is a popular French pharmacy beauty pick. It hydrates your skin and locks in moisture. Its soothing properties help to restore and rebalance dry skin.

7. St. Ives Timeless Skin Facial Moisturizer

Full of collagen, elastins, and safflower seed oil, this St. Ives moisturizer promises to soften and repair dry skin. Its medium consistency is good for both daytime and nighttime use.

8. Weleda Skin Food

You can use Weleda Skin Food anywhere on your body that needs some extra attention. It's formulated using plant extracts to heal and improve the appearance of dry, rough skin.

9. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

CeraVe is the go-to moisturizer to replenish dry skin. Created by dermatologists, it contains ceramides that help skin retain moisture and protect itself from environmental influences. It's often recommended for people who have psoriasis and eczema.

10. Dermasil Labs Dry Skin Treatment Original Lotion

This fragrance-free lotion is made to treat severely dry skin. It can be used to relieve itching and irritation from psoriasis and eczema.

How to pick a healthy moisturizer for dry skin

Most moisturizers for dry skin will have a thicker consistency and be cream- based. It's up to you if you want to avoid fragrances or use only natural ingredients. The most important thing is that the product is well-formulated using quality ingredients and works well for your specific skin concern.

It may take a bit of trial and error to find the products that work well for you. A study from 2016 found that using a moisturizer on a regular basis was more important than the moisturizer's specific ingredients. But research supports the use of ceramides and aquaporins in moisturizers.

Choose a moisturizer that contains at least some of the following ingredients:

  • hyaluronic acid
  • ceramides
  • glycerin
  • urea
  • antioxidants
  • aquaporins
  • plant butters and oils
  • salicylic acid

Moisturizing tips

Achieving healthy skin depends on more than just what moisturizer you choose. How you apply the moisturizer is also important. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your moisturizer:

  • Apply moisturizer when your skin is still a little damp after your shower or bath.
  • If you have sensitive skin, use moisturizers with soothing ingredients that are free of acids, fragrances, and dyes.
  • Do a patch test before using a new product.
  • Buy from a reputable brand you trust.
  • Avoid extra hot water for showers and when washing your face.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
  • Consider using a humidifier at night, or keep a small one on your desk during the day.
  • Moisturize at least twice a day (more when your skin is especially dry).
  • Add a protective facial serum under your moisturizer for added benefits.
  • Mix an oil like jojoba or rosehip oil into your moisturizer if your skin is extremely parched. These may be too heavy to use all of the time.

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