Don’t let the wrong moisturizer sabotage your skincare goals

By Bridget Degnan
May 28, 2020 03:26 PM
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As the skincare world continues to evolve, there’s one thing that won’t ever change: the importance of a quality moisturizer. Like most things in life, moisturizers are not a one-size-fits-all product, so finding a cream to complement your skin is not always an easy task. Ahead, we dive deep into the must-have moisturizers for dry skin. 

Generally, an effective moisturizer for dry skin provides hydration, protection, and relief. But within the realm of dry skin, there are other factors to consider, such as acne, sensitive skin, and the climate in which you live. Whether your skin is naturally dry, dehydrated during a certain time of year, or has developed roughness from other skin battles, using the right moisturizer can help you transform your skin from dull to a dreamy glow. With a variety of options to suit everyone’s unique skin story, we are sure you’ll find one of the following moisturizers to be a perfect match. 

These are the best moisturizers for dry skin: 

Best Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin: SkinCeuticals

Dry skin calls for deep hydration; enter the SkinCeuticals moisturizer. Formulated for normal and oily skin, it also works wonders for dryness. One five-star reviewer said, “I've struggled with extremely dry skin and have tried countless products. I started using this product about 5 years ago and now use it every day! My face is soft and my skin looks healthy.” It's made with vitamin E, algae extracts, and a blend of botanical extracts to nourish, purify, and balance oil production to give you smooth skin. What’s more, it won't leave behind any greasy residue, and it  helps protect against environmental damage. Apply a small amount (a little goes a long way) to your face and neck twice a day to banish dry skin.

Buy It! SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture, $63; dermstore.com

Best Moisturizer for Dry, Acne-Prone Skin: Mario Badescu

If you have acne-prone skin, you know how tough it is to find a moisturizer that won’t clog your pores. Made with an oil-free formula including SPF, this face lotion helps to prevent breakouts as well as protect your skin from sun damage. Other noteworthy ingredients include green tea and aloe vera, which nourish and soothe skin. One passionate shopper said, “I’ve been wearing this every day for about three years now. Very lightweight and non-greasy. I’ve never had any breakouts from it.” Bonus: The petite 2-ounce size is small enough to store in your purse for on-the-go use. 

Buy It! Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturizer, $28; nordstrom.com 

Best Natural Moisturizer for Dry Skin: Drunk Elephant

While on the hunt for skincare products for dry skin, it’s hard to know which ingredients are compatible with your skin type. An ingredient you can count on to lock in moisture and provide healthy benefits to your skin is ceramides, which is why this whipped moisturizer is a must. Along with ceramides, this balanced cream contains a handful of nutrient-rich plant oils to help give your skin a youthful glow. One five-star reviewer said, “It’s so rich and decadent! I swear this cream has made my face more dewy and glowy...smooth like a baby.” For best results, apply this silky moisturizer in the morning and at night after cleansing. 

Buy It! Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream, $60; sephora.com

Best Night Cream for Dry Skin: Caudalie 

With a thick consistency, this cream has the perfect formula for nighttime when you’re able to let it soak in for hours. It’s made with top-notch ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, resveratrol (an antioxidant to help fight aging), and grapeseed oil to help restore skin overnight and look super fresh in the morning. One five-star shopper said, “My fine lines are almost gone, my pores are smaller, age spots and skin discoloration (which is pretty bad for me) is a lot lighter and I can't stop touching my face because its so soft!” On top of its powerhouse formula for anti-aging, this moisturizer also has a relaxing scent of lavender and mint to make it even more appealing for your night routine. Tip: Don’t forget to lather up your neck. 

Buy It! Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Night Infusion Cream, $76; amazon.com

Best Moisturizer for Combination Skin: Clinique

For combination skin, you need something that balances hydration with oil control, and this Clinique moisturizer works overtime. With auto-replenishing technology, the gel-cream helps skin generate and lock in its own water source for continuous moisture — even if you wash your face, it'll still hydrate for up to 72 hours. Shoppers love this product because of how light it feels and how quickly it absorbs into skin, with one reviewer calling it “the best product to maintain moisture.” It also works under makeup and doubles as a five-minute mask if you want a quick refresh.

Buy It! Clinique Moisture Surge, $12–$78; nordstrom.com

Best Moisturizer for Dry Sensitive Skin: First Aid Beauty

If you have sensitive skin, then you probably have a drawer filled with skincare products that you've tried but didn't love. Well, it’s time to clear out the drawer and pick up this First Aid Beauty moisturizer. With 130,000 loves at Sephora and thousands of reviews on Amazon, the cruelty-free product includes colloidal oatmeal (which reduces irritation caused by rashes and eczema), shea butter (to protect the skin barrier), allantoin (for soothing skin), and ceramides for maximum moisture. One satisfied shopper said, “I have very dry but also very acne-prone skin, and I swear this stuff is a miracle balm. Super moisturizing but does not aggravate my acne,” while another customer claims, “I tried a bunch of moisturizers, but my skin was always so sensitive. This has literally made my skin healthier than its ever been.” This cream is also free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, so it's extremely gentle on sensitive skin.

Buy It! First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, $14–$34; amazon.com

Best Anti-Aging Moisturizer: It Cosmetics

Developed in collaboration with plastic surgeons, It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles — no wonder more than 90 percent of reviewers recommend this product. The anti-aging formula includes collagen, hyaluronic acid, peptides, ceramides, antioxidants, and oatmeal to restore and hydrate skin. It's hypoallergenic and non-irritating, so it works well for sensitive complexions, too.

Buy It! It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Anti-Aging Moisturizer, $17–$70; ulta.com

Best Drugstore Moisturizer: Pond’s Dry Skin Cream

The Pond’s face cream works best for those with sensitive or dry skin, as its occlusive (water-trapping) and humectant (deeply hydrating) formula penetrates the skin to seal in moisture — and it’s less than $8. One loyal buyer says, “This product has made a visible difference in the smoothness of my skin, which no longer has any dry or flaking areas. It's a product that has endured over generations of women and it's very affordable.” You don't need a lot (less than a dime size), so the 10.1-oz. bottle lasts for several months, even if you use it both morning and night. For a no-frills, no-fuss moisturizer that actually works, this is a tried-and-true solution for dry skin. 

Buy It! Pond’s Dry Skin Cream, $7.19; walgreens.com

Best For All Skin Types: Glossier

This Glossier moisturizer doesn't just hydrate; its combination of fatty acids, ceramides, algae complex, murumuru butter, and lavender oil reduces redness, smooths your complexion, and locks in moisture. Hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested, this face moisturizer is suitable for all skin types and works great as a night cream. Many reviewers praise its luxurious scent and texture as well as its thickness that doesn’t feel greasy whatsoever. Plus, like all Glossier's products, it's cruelty-free.

Buy It! Glossier Priming Moisturizer, $35; glossier.com

Best Body Lotion for Dry Skin: CeraVe

CeraVe is known for nourishing creams, and the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream for Normal to Dry Skin, which is developed with dermatologists, is a no-brainer. Kim Kardashian West's makeup artist uses this moisturizer on clients prior to foundation, but you can use it all over. With a 4.7-star customer rating, this cream is no joke as one reviewer claims, “This stuff healed my dry skin in 2 days!” Apply it to your legs after shaving or to your neck and decolletage at night. The gentle, fragrance-free formula won't irritate your skin, and hyaluronic acid will help your skin retain its natural moisture.

Buy It! CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, $16.08; amazon.com

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