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Ever wondered what is the best face moisturizer for dry skin? With so many products out there claiming to tackle dry skin, it can be hard to know which ones are best.
When you have dry skin, the best face moisturizers for your skin type are those containing humectants, which draw moisture into your skin, emollients, which soften the skin, and occlusive ingredients, which lock moisture into the epidermis.
Also, look out for products containing ceramides, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients, like licorice extract and vitamin E.
What is the Best Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin: Product Recommendations
As mentioned above, finding the right face moisturizer for dry skin can be difficult! There are so many products out there claiming to tackle dry skin concerns. But most of them simply don’t follow through on their claims.
Fortunately, many of them do. The following 20 products are simply excellent for dry skin, and contain ingredients that are scientifically proven to work for this skin type. In the list you’ll find a mix of hydrating night creams, skin-replenishing day creams and much more!
For dry and sensitive skin types, the night cream I would highly recommend is the Boscia Restorative Night Moisture Cream.
It softens and soothes the skin, thanks to the perfect combination of emollients and occlusive ingredients it contains. The emollients in the cream, like soybean oil, soften the skin. And, the occlusive ingredients help to keep your skin moisturized for a longer period of time.
Plus, its fragrance free and it contains soothing magnolia bark, making ideal for sensitive skin. There are also plenty of antioxidant rich ingredients, like rose hip oil and honeysuckle.
It feels so soothing and moisturizing on the skin.
Another excellent face cream for dry skin is the Nivea Daily Essentials Sensitive Day Cream with SPF 15. It’s filled to the brim with all the good stuff that dry skin needs:
- Anti-inflammatory ingredients.
And, it’s really inexpensive!
In this reasonably priced moisturizer, you’ll find:
- Grape seed oil. This is such a good ingredient for dry skin. It functions as both an antioxidant and emollient.
- Panthenol, or vitamin B5, as it’s also known.
- Licorice extract, which acts as an anti-irritant. It’s also another skin-replenishing antioxidant.
It’s a great budget-friendly day cream, containing SPF 15. Even though it does contain a mineral sunscreen, it doesn’t leave a white cast once you blend it in. Also, while it does feel very moisturizing on the skin, it doesn’t feel at all greasy. In fact, it absorbs really easily into the skin.
Containing a great combination of moisturizing and skin-restoring ingredients, the Paula’s Choice Skincare Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion is such a good option for anyone with dry or very dry skin.
This moisturizer, which offers a pretty high SPF rating of 30, glides over the skin nicely, without feeling overly greasy or heavy. While it doesn’t feel heavy, it’s still very moisturizing.
In this lotion, you’ll find a great selection of moisturizing ingredients, like apricot kernel oil and glycerin.
But, that’s not all. The inclusion of ceramides and peptides makes this cream really stand out among other moisturizers for dry skin on the market.
You see, not only do ceramides and peptides hydrate the skin, but they also prevent moisture loss, and repair your skin’s natural moisture barrier. You’ll also find plenty of vitamin E in this lotion, another great ingredient for drier skin types.
If you’re wondering what is the best face moisturizer for very dry skin, then check out the Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration from First Aid Beauty.
For very dry and sensitive skin types that are prone to irritation, there’s really no better face cream. It contains a really nice mix of:
- Occlusive ingredients.
- Humectants, like shea butter.
- And, moisture restoring ceramides.
It’s incredibly rich and moisturizing. This makes it an absolute joy to use on very dry, scaly, or flaky skin. If you have dermatitis, this moisturizer is very effective.
In this formulation, you’ll find colloidal oatmeal. This is a very soothing ingredient that has anti-inflammatory properties. So, if your skin is also itchy or inflamed, as many dry skin types are, then the oatmeal will calm that.
The addition of white tea, licorice extract and feverfew, all of which are powerful antioxidants, further boosts the restorative effect of this moisturizer
The thick, rich consistency of the cream makes it ideal for very dry skin. But, even though it is a heavy cream, it absorbs into the skin quickly.
CereVe is one of the best product lines for dry skin, offering a range of hydrating and replenishing products. One of the best items from CereVe is the Skin Renewing Gel Oil.
It has a beautiful, silky texture that is almost gel-like. When you apply it, it blends seamlessly into an oil-like consistency as it warms up on the skin. And, surprisingly for an oily product, it absorbs really well.
What’s great about this product is just how moisturizing it is, and the fact that it contains skin-restoring ceramides. Ceramides are really important for skin health. In fact, they aid in repairing it. So, for dry skin, ceramides are a wonderful ingredient.
If you’re wondering what is the best face moisturizer for dry skin, then you’ll definitely want to check out the Majestic Pure Shea Butter.
This product, as its name would suggest, contains one ingredient – shea butter, but it’s a fantastic one.
Shea butter is one of the most effective ingredients for dry skin. It has both emollient and occlusive properties.
This means that it’s able to soften and repair skin, while preventing water evaporation from the epidermis – also known as trans-epidermal water loss, or TEWL.
And, that’s exactly what you want from an ingredient when you have dry or very dry skin.
Plus, it’s full of antioxidants and skin-replenishing fatty acids.
Several studies have shown shea butter’s effectiveness at softening and repairing flaky, tight or rough skin.
In one study, participants had their skin washed using ethanol, which is a very drying type of alcohol, and water to increase moisture loss from the epidermis – known as TEWL.
After having shea butter applied to their skin, the participants recovered from TEWL within just two hours. Even more amazingly, the shea butter didn’t just repair the dryness caused by the ethanol, but four hours later, the barrier properties of the skin were improved.
Another study conducted by Kansas University in 2009, found that shea butter was effective at treating even severely dry, damaged skin, and skin issues, like eczema.
This shea butter from Majestic is pretty inexpensive, plus it is completely pure and unrefined.
Fluffy, non-greasy and super hydrating, Lala Retro Whipped Cream is a simply luxurious product. It’s one of the most moisturizing creams out there, making it ideal for dry skin types.
Even in the winter this keeps dry skin feeling soft and smooth. It has a beautiful, whipped texture that makes it feel both hydrating, but light and fluffy at the same time.
The formulation of the product is truly outstanding. It contains a huge range of emollients, occlusive ingredients and humectants that moisturize and smooth the skin.
In this cream, you’ll find a wide range of skin-softening oils too, like:
- Soybean oil
- Watermelon seed oil
- Murula oil
These are emollient ingredients, which add moisture to the skin and serve as a rich source of fatty acids.
This fragrance-free moisturizer is ideal for sensitive skin types too. If your skin is incredibly dry, then you’ll love this face cream.
Overall, it’s highly moisturizing and restorative. Its price is a little on the higher side, but it’s one of those cases where the results justify the price tag. It’s certainly one of the best face moisturizers for dry skin out there.
The Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream is a rich moisturizer that effectively hydrates and replenishes the skin. It contains a great mix of occlusive ingredients, emollients and humectants that really soften the skin and lock in moisture
There’s also a nice mix of antioxidants in this formulation too. Overall, it’s a nice, rich moisturizer that’s ideal for dry skin types.
Another face cream for dry skin that has a simply luxurious texture is the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream.
It has a light, gel-cream texture that feels almost pillow soft.
It contains an excellent mix of humectants, like glycerin and sodium hyaluronate.
Sodium hyaluronate has the ability to retain between 500 and 1000 times its own weight in water.
This makes sodium hyaluronate highly effective at boosting skin’s moisture content, especially when it’s combined with occlusive ingredients, like dimethicone, which is also found in this well formulated cream.
Another excellent aspect of sodium hyaluronate is the way that it leaves skin looking plumper.
The addition of antioxidants and other skin-restoring ingredients, like ceramides and vitamin E round out this excellent formulation. Overall, this is a really hydrating cream for dry skin that offers anti-aging benefits too.
It has a cloud-like texture that simply glides over the skin, leaving it feeling incredibly smooth and hydrated.
The Olay Regenerist Deep Hydration Regenerating Cream is another reasonably priced moisturizer for dry skin that offers a wide range of benefits.
It has a wonderfully moisturizing formulation that contains a mix of skin-softening ingredients. The inclusion of vitamin B5 in this moisturizer is incredibly beneficial to the skin. Here are just a few of it’s benefits:
- It is an effective humectant. So it draws water into the skin, increasing its moisture content.
- But, that’s not the only benefit this vitamin has to offer. Vitamin B5 is also an excellent antioxidant, which prevents free radical damage – and therefore, many visible signs of aging.
- It also boosts collagen production. This is just another reason that vitamin B5 is such as good anti-aging ingredient.
This moisturizer is also packed with niacinamide, another skin-boosting ingredient. Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is a really effective moisturizing ingredient. It has a number of benefits:
- Vitamin B3 acts as an antioxidant.
- It prevents moisture loss.
- It reduces visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles.
The inclusion of those two vitamins makes this arguably the best moisturizer for dry aging skin.
There’s fragrance in this product. But it’s one of the last listed ingredients. This means that there’s probably only a tiny amount in the cream. If you have sensitive skin, keep that in mind.
The La Roche-Posay Toleraine Double Repair Moisturizer provides an excellent mix of moisturizing ingredients that leave skin feeling soft and smooth.
It has a creamy texture that glides beautifully over the skin, without feeling too heavy or greasy. It does leave behind a slightly dewy finish that is ideal for dry skin types.
The fact that this moisturizer offers UV broad spectrum protection in the form of SPF 30 makes it an excellent day cream for dry skin.
The Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Night Cream with Hyaluronic Acid is a reasonably priced moisturizer with a lot to offer dry skin. It’s a beautiful cream that has an almost soufflé type quality to it.
There’s a great mix of hydrating ingredients in this formulation, like:
- Moisture boosting glycerin.
- Skin softening cetearyl alcohol.
- Moisture-sealing olive oil.
But, what’s great about this moisturizer, especially for the price, is the addition of hyaluronic acid. As mentioned above, it has the ability to hold 500 and 1,000 times its own weight in water. This is exactly what you want when you have dry skin.
Containing a great mix of antioxidants, like vitamin C, which keeps skin supple, and vitamin E, this cream not only keeps the skin moisturized, but also keeps it protected and healthy.
The Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer is another great skincare product for dry skin. It has a wonderfully creamy texture that effectively hydrates the skin, without leaving it feeling greasy.
There’s an excellent mix of gentle and moisturizing ingredients in this formulation, like stearyl alcohol, and Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride. These soften and smooth the skin. This makes it ideal for both dry and sensitive skin types, and as dry skin and sensitive skin often go hand in hand, this is ideal!
What’s also great about this moisturizer, especially for the price point, is the addition of antioxidants, like panthenol and vitamin E, both of which nourish the skin, and in the case of panthenol, hydrate the skin.
The SkinMedica Total Defense + Repair Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 34 is an excellent day cream for dry skin.
It contains so many wonderful ingredients, like:
- Shea butter, one of the most effective ingredients for drier skin types.
- Niacinamide, excellent for improving the appearance of dull-looking skin.
- Green tea extract, a powerful antioxidant.
Plus it has SPF 34, which keeps your skin protected from the sun’s harmful rays. It has a very lightweight feel. This makes it better suited to slightly dry to dry skin, rather than very dry skin types.
For very dry skin, the Kate Somerville Dry Skin Saver is an excellent product. It’s loaded with plant derived fatty acids that are incredibly gentle and effective at softening dry, flaky skin.
While it is incredibly hydrating, it doesn’t feel heavy or feel overly greasy either.
This cream, which can also be used as a body moisturizer for dry skin, includes a wonderful mix of skin-softening ingredients, like:
- Petrolatum, great for locking moisture into the epidermis.
- Triglycerides, effective at softening the skin.
- Glycerin, which pulls moisture into the epidermis.
It hydrates the skin and prevents moisture loss, leaving tight feeling, dry skin, soft, comfortable and smooth. There are also a few antioxidant properties thrown into the mix to round out this great overall face cream for dry skin.
Another face moisturizer that’s ideal for dry to very dry skin types is the Paula’s Choice CLINICAL Ultra-Rich Moisturizer.
It has a very thick, rich, creamy texture to it, which is ideal for dry, tight feeling skin.
What’s interesting about this product is the wonderful range of plant butters it includes, like:
- Shea butter
- Mango butter
All of these plant butters hydrate and soften the skin. Plus, they offer antioxidant properties too.
The inclusion of non-fragrant plant oils, like olive oil and avocado oil, makes this formulation perfect for very dry skin.
If you want to know what is the best face moisturizer for dry skin, then check out the Bioderma Sensibio Rich Cream.
- Glycerin, which boosts your skin’s moisture content.
- Avocado oil, which softens the skin.
- Triglycerides and a range of other highly moisturizing ingredients.
It has a really creamy consistency, and contains plenty of emollients. So, it feels wonderful on dry skin. It’s also fragrance-free, as most of the products on this list are. This makes it an ideal moisturizer for dry sensitive skin types too.
There are a few antioxidants on offer in this formulation as well, in the form of non-fragrant plant oils.
Overall, it’s a really soothing face cream that nourishes and softens dry skin.
One of the best face moisturizers for dry skin is the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer. This is such a good day cream, because it offers a really impressive broad spectrum SPF 40 sunscreen.
The ingredients in this cream are wonderful. You’ll find a perfect blend of skin-softening and restoring ingredients, like:
- Shea butter, a highly moisturizing ingredient that’s also a rich source of antioxidants.
- Colloidal oatmeal.
- Avocado oil.
Even though it does contain such a high SPF rating and it’s so incredibly moisturizing, this cream has a wonderful texture that doesn’t feel at all heavy.
It has a whipped cream-like texture that blends beautifully over the skin. As you’d expect from a moisturizer containing a mineral sunscreen, this cream does have a slight white cast when you first apply it.
But, once you blend it in, this fades.
Once you apply this silky feeling cream to your skin, it is left feeling incredibly moisturized. So, if you want to know what is the best moisturizer for dry skin, then you should definitely check out this cream from First Aid Beauty.
If you’re looking a good basic moisturizer, then the Pond’s Dry Skin Cream is a great choice.
It contains a nice mix of all of the ingredients that dry, rough, flaky skin types love – emollients, humectants and occlusive ingredients, such as:
- Cetyl alcohol
Plus, it’s super inexpensive! You won’t find many extras with this moisturizer, like anti-aging ingredients or any antioxidants. But hey, that’s what other products, like serums are for.
So, if you’re literally looking for something to tackle your dry skin concerns, and you don’t need your face cream to contain tons of fancy extras, then this is a good choice! It works great as a night cream, and it leaves dry skin feeling soft and smooth.
If you’re looking for a night cream for dry skin, then you need to check out the Clinique Repairwear Uplifting Firming Cream Very Dry To Dry Skin Formula.
The inclusion of cetearyl alcohol, glycerin and jojoba oil make this a very hydrating product that not only increases your skin’s moisture content, but also prevents moisture loss.
This mix of hydrating ingredients is exactly what you want from a face cream for dry skin.
Closing Thoughts: Choosing a Moisturizer for Dry Skin
A lot of people wonder what is the best face moisturizer for dry skin? But, when it comes down to it, it’s really a matter of personal preference.
The best moisturizers for dry skin types are those that contain that perfect mix of emollients, humectants and occlusive ingredients, as the moisturizers in this list do. These types of ingredients are so beneficial for this skin type. This is because they soften the skin, add moisture and lock that moisture into the epidermis too.
And, if a product contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients too, then even better.