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Ceramides: Everything You Need To Know – What Do Ceramides Do?, How Do Ceramides Work?And Are Ceramides Safe?

Why Should You Care About Ceramides?One of the most important factors in shopping for skincare products is taking the time to research the ingredients they contain; and if you have dry, flaky, or itchy skin, then you may have already heard that ceramides skincare items can be an essential part of your skincare kit.If you’re …

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On the Hunt for the Best Moisturizer for Dry Skin? We Have 17 Top Picks

As if flakiness, dry patches, and tightness weren’t enough to contend with when dealing with dry skin, it ages easier — and more rapidly. Simply put, dry skin is more likely to show wrinkling and rough skin texture since it doesn’t have the natural moisture necessary to “smooth out” those telltale lines and cracks. 

Perhaps the most vital part of a skincare routine for thirsty skin is a dry skin moisturizer. However, it can be complicated — if not wholly overwhelming — to find one that actually works. The best moisturizer for dry skin can be elusive if you haven’t done your homework. 

Not sure where to start? No worries. Here at the Derm Review, we’ve reviewed hundreds of products with a scientific lens to ensure you’re creating a skincare regimen that’s safe and effective. Ahead, 20 of the best facial moisturizers for dry skin to help you promote a healthy, glowing complexion.

Best Moisturizer for Dry Skin: The List 

BEST OVERALL
Carrot & Stick The Repair Cream

FULL LIST
Formulyst Super Hyaluronic Water Moisturizer

Cosmedix Phytoharmony Balancing Skin Moisturizer

SK II Essential Power Rich Cream

La Solution 10 de Chanel

Dr. Brandt Hyaluronic Facial Cream

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Exuviance Age Reverse Hydrafirm

Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Hydrating Cream

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

Skinceuticals Emollience

Perricone MD High Potency Classics Hyaluronic Intensive Moisturizer

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

Best Moisturizer for Dry Skin

BEST OVERALL
Carrot & Stick The Repair Cream

A proprietary probiotic formulation keeps the microbiome operating at peak performance and skin looking hydrated and visible issues diminished. Formulated to nurture and protect skin’s microbiome. The microbiome is the ecosystem of microbes that live on the skin surface. Happy microbes equal a healthy microbiome and a healthy microbiome equals healthier-looking, more radiant skin.

FULL LIST
Formulyst Super Hyaluronic Water Moisturizer
Enriched with jojoba seed oil and apricot kernel oil, Formulyst’s Super Hyaluronic Water Moisturizer is formulated with the brand’s innovative Hyaluronic Acid Technology, which helps boost your skin’s natural nourishing powers by attracting atmospheric moisture and transforming it into intense hydration for your skin.

Packed with Hyaluronic Acid that delivers moisture to every layer of the skin, this lightweight formula locks in essential nourishment, beautifying skin and reducing the visible signs of aging. So skin feels softer and smoother and has a healthier, more youthful appearance.

Cosmedix Phytoharmony Balancing Skin Moisturizer

A sure bet for mature, postmenopausal dry skin, this antiaging moisturizer nourishes and hydrates the face with the help of phytohormones —  or phytoestrogens — which are plant hormones that are critical components of plant growth.

In human skin, they have estrogen-like effects. Isoflavones are one of the three categories of phytohormones and have been shown in studies to “significantly” improve skin roughness and dryness, reduce facial wrinkles and improve skin laxity. 

SK II Essential Power Rich Cream
This face moisturizer for dry skin features the brand’s signature trademarked ingredient called Pitera, a substance found in sake (the alcoholic beverage) chock full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and organic acids. Pitera was supposedly discovered when it was noticed sake brewery workers had extraordinarily youthful hands.

Another critical ingredient is panthenol, which is both a humectant and emollient. As a humectant, it helps skin retain water, absorbing moisture from the air and deeper in the skin to bring it up to the surface to hydrate dry skin effectively. 

La Solution 10 de Chanel
Many consider this face lotion the best moisturizer for dry, sensitive skin — whether it’s naturally sensitive or has been temporarily sensitized by overuse of harsh products. It’s only formulated with ten ingredients (hence the name.) 

Highlights include nourishing shea butter, vegetal squalane, and antioxidant-rich needle ta extract, which has lovely soothing properties. This lotion for dry skin is alcohol-free, fragrance-free, oil-free, non-comedogenic, anti-pollution, and dermatologist-tested.

Dr. Brandt Hyaluronic Facial Cream
Anyone with dry, mature skin knows that if they skimp out on moisturizer just once, their parched facial features pay the price. While we don’t want to give you an excuse to become lazy with your skincare routine, this peptide-packed moisturizer keeps the skin moist and supple for an impressive 72 hours while targeting loss of tone in the process. 

As the product’s name implies, hyaluronic acid works to hydrate and plump the skin, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion
This lightweight, oil-free moisturizer by CeraVe is an excellent option for those with dry skin and eczema because it helps to improve the skin’s hydration by restoring its natural barrier. The formula is non-comedogenic (it won’t clog pores), which means you can use this CeraVe lotion on both your face and body. 

A few of the key ingredients in the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion include glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid.

Exuviance Age Reverse Hydrafirm
This face moisturizer for dry skin promises to hydrate, lift, firm, and plump up the skin. With time skin tends to become lax, develop fine lines and deep folds, and overall roughen in texture. It also becomes dryer and decreases in oil production. Once again, hyaluronic acid is one of the top ingredients, helping to retain as much moisture as possible to achieve that desirable, highly sought-after plumpness. 

Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream
The Cream is by far the brand’s most popular product. However, it can be too lightweight for those with dry skin, so the brand formulated The Rich Cream. This moisturizer for dry skin is ideal for normal to dry skin, more mature skin types, and colder, drier climates. It’s formulated with the brand’s pantentedTFC8 (Trigger Factor Complex) technology and emollients like coco-caprylate/caprate, sunflower seed oil, squalane, and argan oil, avocado oil, evening primrose oil, and shea butter.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Hydrating Cream
This face moisturizer for dry skin is also great for those who experience sensitivity too. It’s been shown to be effective against extreme dryness that includes symptoms like flakiness. Key ingredients include shea butter and squalane. 

Shea butter is a well-known moisturizer that can be used on all skin types. It’s incredibly hydrating, and long-term use can show such benefits as wrinkle reduction and overall softening and smoothing of the skin. Squalane lubricates and protects, improving skin roughness and dryness. It can even prevent loss of hydration, which will only help the skin remain moisturized for longer.  

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
This head-to-toe moisturizer by First Aid Beauty can be used as a daily moisturizer to prevent dry skin and help alleviate dry, itchy, and red skin. The skin is said to be left feeling smooth, hydrated, and comfortable after just a single-use. 

The main active ingredient in First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration is 0.5% colloidal oatmeal, a skin protectant that has been used for centuries to soothe and heal the skin and reduce inflammation and redness. There are also several emollients in the Ultra Repair Cream, including shea butter and squalane. 

Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance
Dermalogica has specifically developed a nourishing facial moisturizer to restore lipid balance to dry, depleted skin for optimal barrier performance. The formula contains a BioReplenish Complex that delivers a combination of crucial barrier lipids to help enhance the skin’s natural resilience and support barrier recovery. 

This dry skin moisturizer also includes two forms of hyaluronic acid — sodium hyaluronate and hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate — to help enhance the skin’s moisture content and reduce the appearance of fine lines.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
One brand that truly knows how to alleviate dry skin is CeraVe. One of their best moisturizers is the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. This dry skin moisturizer is designed to reinforce the skin barrier by hydrating it with key ingredients like ceramides, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, and petrolatum. 

The texture of the cream is formulated to be rich and deeply hydrating without being too greasy – it’s also formulated to absorb quickly. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is meant for “dry and very skin,” According to the company, the patented delivery system continually releases moisturizing ingredients for 24-hour hydration.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
Ultra Facial Cream is the brand’s number one moisturizing cream for dry skin that provides ultra-lightweight 24-hour hydration. It’s recommended for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin. 

This cream contains a high concentration of squalane, which is found in the skin lipid barrier of humans and animals, therefore playing an essential role in skin lubrication and protection. However, the amount made and retained in the skin decreases over time. Topical application of squalane helps replenish the skin’s lipid barrier, resulting in softer, smoother skin.

Skinceuticals Emollience
This dry skin moisturizer is formulated with three types of algae extracts that help bind water to the skin while providing antioxidant benefits. Further hydration comes from plant oils derived from grape seed, rosehip, and macadamia nut. 

While this is a popular moisturizer for dry skin, note that it contains essential oils (rosemary, lavender, and peppermint), which could cause sensitivity — or worsen an existing sensitive skin type. Conduct a patch test first to ensure this moisturizer for dry skin is right for you. 

Perricone MD High Potency Classics Hyaluronic Intensive Moisturizer
This gel-cream moisturizer for dry skin is formulated with three different forms of hyaluronic acid to moisturize and nourish and revive the skin’s appearance deeply. Micro hyaluronic acid plumps the skin, cross-linked hyaluronic acid delivers continuous hydration to reduce the appearance of fine lines, and barrier HA helps prevent vital moisture loss. Additionally, DMAE helps address the loss of tone over time. 

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
Are you looking for the best drugstore moisturizer for dry skin? One of the most affordable lotions on this list is nonetheless one of the best. Don’t be fooled by its meager price tag — Cetaphil is a cult favorite for a reason. Suitable for all skin types, this moisturizer for dry skin is packed with highly hydrating humectants and emollients to lock in moisture. Key ingredients include glycerin, glyceryl stearate, sweet almond oil, and vitamin E. 

Best Facial Moisturizer for Dry Skin: The Bottom Line

In addition to symptoms like tightness, flakes, and sensitivity, dry skin is more likely to show wrinkling and rough skin texture since it doesn’t have the natural moisture necessary to “smooth out” those telltale lines and cracks. With that said, perhaps the most vital part of a skincare routine for thirsty skin is a dry skin moisturizer. 

When choosing the best moisturizer for dry skin, consider your skin type (as in, do you also have other issues like acne and sensitivity), climate, and age, as the skin produces less sebum (oil) with age. 

Look for formulas with dry skin-friendly ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, urea, vitamin E, sodium hyaluronate, and glycerin, to name a few.

What’s the best face moisturizer on the market?

Overall, we suggest Carrot & Stick The Repair Cream. We also recommend using a hydrating serum before. Try Carrot & Stick The Hydrating Serum.

 

FAQs
In most cases, dry skin is caused by factors like hot or cold weather, low moisture in the air, using products with harsh ingredients, allergies, and soaking in hot water — but genetics and age also play a significant role.
In most cases, dry skin responds well to lifestyle measures, as listed above, in conjunction with a good moisturizer for dry skin that’s well-formulated. However, if you have dehydrated and scaly skin, your doctor may recommend you use an over-the-counter (nonprescription) cream that contains lactic acid or lactic acid and urea.
The surface of your skin contains oil and natural moisturizing factors that help protect your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Overwashing can strip your skin of this vital moisture, leading to dryness. Alternatively, you may not be using the best face lotion for dry skin.
While dry skin is a common skin condition, it can also result from a Vitamin D deficiency. If you’ve tried several different moisturizers for dry skin and nothing seems to be working, speak to your doctor to see if you’re deficient in D. Dietary changes and/or supplements can help reverse dryness, along with the best moisturizer for dry skin.
Although dry skin is not a direct cause of acne, it can trigger the production of more sebum or oil in your skin due to an imbalance —this likely means you have to switch up your moisturizer. Oil mixed with dry, flaky skin cells and bacteria can lead to a continuous dry skin and acne cycle.
Vaseline is safe and can be used on dry skin. Because of its occlusive properties, it can help soothe skin that’s chafed, cracked, and dry. However, it’s not recommended for those dealing with dryness and acne.

If you speak to a dermatologist about a moisturizer for dry skin, they will likely suggest a formula with ingredients such as ceramides, lactic acid, or urea. In more severe cases of dryness, a prescription dry skin moisturizer is needed.

Continued Reading 

Best Face Moisturizers

Sources:
Moisturizers: Options for Softer Skin,” Mayo Clinic.
Assessing the Relationship between Vitamin D3 and Stratum Corneum Hydration for the Treatment of Xerotic Skin,” US National Library of Medicine National Center for Biology.