10 Best Moisturizers For Dry Skin Tested & Compared
While living an active lifestyle breeds a lot of positive benefits for our skin and our bodies, if you have dry skin you will find that your skin is lacking in nourishment—especially when it is cold and windy out or when you run out in the sun.
The best moisturizers for dry skin will provide your skin with the hydration your skin needs. It will replenish your cells and skin, leaving you feeling ready to take on the day. A lot of moisturizers also offer additional SPF protection to keep you safe from the sun’s harmful rays.
Check out our top pics below!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 11 hrs of research
Most effective at delivering all-day hydration
Immediate results with a dewy and fresh feel
A little product goes a long way
Water based, so not thick and creamy
10 Best Moisturizers for Dry Skin
1. Neutrogena Hydro Boost
Most effective at delivering all-day hydration
Immediate results with a dewy and fresh feel
A little product goes a long way
Water based, so not thick and creamy
Slightly pricey for a drugstore moisturizer
Doesn’t contain SPF
Try Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel once, and you won’t have to try another moisturizer again. It really is that good. That’s because it’s super lightweight, not being overly creamy since it is a gel. But where it really delivers is on how fast users see and feel results as to how hydrated, smooth and naturally glowing their face becomes. Its formula features hyaluronic acid, is oil, fragrance, and dye-free, and is made by a brand you can trust.Read more
The main ingredient in this option is its hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring polysaccharide that is a moisture-binding ingredient that adds hydration to the skin cells, as well as plumping and smoothing for a rejuvenated and fresh. Other inactive ingredients include water, dimethicone, glycerin, Cetearyl, C13-14, and sodium hyaluronate.
This is a gel-based moisturizer that goes on like a cream. It is extremely lightweight, virtually weightless, and feels essentially like water being applied to the face. It dries quickly, leaving a slightly dewy look that isn’t too shiny or greasy.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel works exceedingly well at hydrating the face, making it among the best for very dry skin, but also for all types of skin. Consumers can feel results after just one use, the skin feeling intense hydration that lasts all day long.
This option is great for almost anyone. Its formula is gentle and will stay on all day.
This moisturizer is not cheap but absolutely worth every penny. It is oil-free and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog the pores. This makes it great to wear alone or as a primer under makeup. The face is left feeling smooth and visually looks fresh.
2. Tatcha The Water Cream
Free of harmful ingredients
Perfect for sensitive skin
Won’t leave you feeling sticky
If you are looking for an anti-aging moisturizer for dry skin that is free of oil, then you will love our second pick. It is water-based, so if you don’t like the creamy texture some other moisturizers have to offer, then take a look at this one.Read more
This moisturizer is free of harmful ingredients. It is completely oil free as well as free of sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrance, urea, phthalates, DEA, and so much more. This gentle product won’t irritate your skin and is perfect for those of you who have sensitive skin.
As far as texture, this product is a water-based moisturizer which makes it easier to apply and leaves you with a dewy look that you will love. When you apply it you will find that it is really lightweight and won’t weigh you down. It won’t leave your skin feeling sticky and it won’t take too long for your skin to absorb.
As far as use, this moisturizer will ensure your skin stays hydrated and will prevent dry skin over time. If you deal with larger pores and want to start tackling the effects of age, this is an excellent one to consider.
When we looked at the compatibility of this moisturizer, we found that it was so much more than just a moisturizer. If you want to tighten your pores and reduce the signs of aging while also hydrating your skin, you will absolutely love this option.
This product is pricey, but if you want a clean and organic option then you will absolutely love this one and have to check it out.
3. Weleda Skin Food
Can be used on your face and body
Some users don’t like the texture
The Weleda Skin Food moisturizer is a versatile option that you can use on both your face and your body. If you want a single option for both so you don’t have to worry about using different products, then this is a great option to consider. It is made of sage ingredients and is all natural—so take a close a look.Read more
When we took a look at the ingredient list we found the main ingredients are plant and botanical extracts—specifically pansy, calendula, and lavender. It is a light cream that won’t weigh you down and since the formula is gentle and all-natural, you will find it works even for those of you with sensitive skin.
This moisturizer is a light and dreamy cream that feels great. It will leave your skin feeling silky and smooth, although it is important to mention that you need to use it sparingly.
This is a perfect option for those of you who have dry skin all over—not just your face. If you find this is you, and you don’t want to get a separate moisturizer for your face, then you will love the versatility of this product.
The Weleda moisturizer is available at a great price. It is versatile and a perfect all-around investment for anyone with dry skin that Is also on a budget.
4. First Aid Beauty Ultra Intense Hydration
Easy to use
Soothes your skin
Some users don’t like the texture
This moisturizer is the perfect cost-effective option for anyone on a budget who also wants a high-quality product. It is made of ingredients you can trust and is versatile enough for those of you who need something you can use on both your hands and face.Read more
As far as potency and ingredients, this product is made without parabens, Lanolin, Mineral oil, Artificial colors or fragrances, alcohol, petroleum, and sulfates. It is a perfect option for those of you who have sensitive skin or can’t use certain ingredients.
As far as texture, this is a creamy cream where a little goes a long way. It is whipped in texture and won’t leave behind any greasiness or stickiness. It is quickly absorbed, so you won’t have to spend forever rubbing it in.
Since this moisturizer also has additional vitamins and ingredients to calm, soothe, and protect your skin, this is a great product if you want something that will help soothe your skin and leave you feeling great.
Available at a really affordable price, you will love everything this versatile moisturizer has to offer.
5. Era Organics
Easy to use
Some users find it too thick and heavy
If you have severely dry skin and need a moisturizer that will help protect your skin and address the symptoms you have been having, then you will love this moisturizer. It is safe, easy to use, and easily absorbable—what’s not to love?Read more
As far as potency, this moisturizer is made of organic ingredients designed for sensitive and dry skin. It won’t clog up all of your pores and is free of toxins, fragrances, fillers, parabens, and alcohol.
As far as texture, this moisturizer won’t leave you feeling greasy or sticky. It is easily absorbable and won’t leave any creamy residue behind. Its creamy texture is absorbed easily but if you don’t love creamy then you won’t love this one.
You can use this product on both your hands and your body—and many users swear by it as a facial moisturizer. It is packed with Aminos, vitamins, and minerals. It is really versatile and will last up to 8-12 hours, so it is perfect for those of you who need something that will hold up even when you sweat.
It is safe and made of mostly organic ingredients so it can be used by almost anyone with really dry skin. It will hydrate your skin effectively and sooth your skin.
Available at a great price, this moisturizer is worth every cent. It is really versatile and a great option for those of you who have severely dry skin.
6. Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting
Instantly hydrates and reducing the appearance of wrinkles
Best for anti-aging properties
Long-lasting; little product goes a long way
Available in drugstores
A bit pricey for a drugstore moisturizer
This option has a moisture-binding formula to instantly hydrate, plump and lift surface cells. Along with keeping the skin moisturized thanks to its hyaluronic acid and amino-peptide complex II, it also prevents wrinkles and improves the texture and elasticity of the skin.Read more
Olay re-engineered this formula to now include amino-peptide complex II that works alongside ingredients like carob exact to provide anti-aging properties and rejuvenate skin cells. The hyaluronic acid adds water to the skin and keeps skin cells moisturized all day. It also contains niacinamide (vitamin B3) to further add to promoting healthy surface cells.
This is a rich cream moisturizer that is creamier than other options but still feels lightweight once applied. It firms and plums instantly without being tacky or sticky. It’s available in both scented fragrance-free options.
The amino-peptide complex and hyaluronic acid formula are powerful when it comes to performance, penetrating deep into the skin cells. As a result, the skin is immediately left looking plumper and hydrated.
When it comes to compatibility, this moisturizer not only moisturizes your dry skin but is perfect for those of you looking for an anti-aging product as well.
This product is a bit pricey as compared to the others on the market. However, it visibly reduces wrinkles with consistent use since the formula promotes anti-aging. But the disappearance of lines can be seen from day 1.
7. Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture
Affordable, yet reliable brand
Best for combo skin
All day hydration
Available in drugstores
Not the best for normal skin
Great for mildly dry skin, this option moisturizes the dry areas while controlling the shine in the oily areas. It’s light, and oil-free, and not greasy. It leaves the skin soft and feeling great, and best of all is sold for an adorable price, making this one of the best drugstore moisturizers.Read more
Hypoallergenic and fragrance, alcohol and oil-free, this option features a special formula for mildly dry skin. It does not include hyaluronic acid but does feature SPF protection that helps prevent signs of a aging caused by the sun. Ingredients include water, glycerin, stearyl alcohol, dimethacrylate, Methylparaben, and other inactive ingredients.
This is one of the most lightweight options on this list. It is a cream, but goes smoothly and isn’t thick. It is sheer and doesn’t leave the face looking shiny. It also won’t clog pores. Instead, the face is left feeling silky smooth. It is great for wearing alone or under makeup.
This is the best option for a consumer with mildly dry skin. It hydrates dry areas impressively well, without making more oily areas like the T-zone look greasy. It provides all hydration, needing just one pump of the product to cover the entire face and neck area.
If you have mildly dry, borderline combination skin, you will love this product. It addresses the needs of dry skin but won't be enough for those of you with really dry skin.
This is one of the more affordable products on the list. It won’t cause breakouts, great for those with acne-prone skin. It’s great for sensitive skin as well and absorbs and dries quickly.
8. La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense UV
Comes with SPF 20
Container makes it hard to end product out when it’s almost finished
This daily moisturizer is appropriate for all kinds of skin types, but ideal for those with very dry to dry skins, providing all-day hydration and repairing the skin’s moisture barrier over time with consistent use. It is a lightweight, gel-creme that is oil-free and feels great on.Read more
Active ingredients in Hydraphase Intense UV includes Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, as well as other inactive ingredients like dimethicone and spring water that has antioxidants. This moisturizer is paraben free, making it a good options for those with sensitive skin.
Slightly creamy, but still lightweight, this moisturizer is lightweight and non-greasy. It actually feels refreshing when applying, and leaves the skin smooth. After applying, it leaves a slight “glow.” It doesn’t make the face look oily, but more like a replenished skin look at is slightly moist.
This option does a great job at plumping the skin immediately after application thanks to its hyaluronic acid. The skin is left feeling hydrated right after putting on, and this feeling lasts all day.
Since it has fragmented hyaluronic acid that quickly absorbs into the skin for an immediate plumping effect that penetrates deep to hydrate and keeps the skin hydrated all day. It also is equipped with SPF 20 to serve as sunscreen and protect against sun damage on the skin.
This product is not too expensive and is fairly priced. Surprisingly, acne spots tend to fade when using this product, so expect clear and glowing skin. This makes it a great option for those who often battle breakouts or who have oily, as well as very dry skin.
9. Clinique Moisture Surge Intense
Leaves the skin glowing and provides 24-hour hydrations
Skin is left smooth without looking shiny
Best for those with very dry skin
A little product goes a long way
A little on the pricier side for a moisturizer
Jar is a bit small, even though not a lot of product is needed
This gel-cream moisturizer made for very dry to combination skin works exceedingly well at replenishing the skin and making the skin look healthy and feel smooth. It helps to repair the skin’s moisture barrier while keeping environmental irritants out.Read more
With ingredients like whey protein, love fruit extract, aloe leaf extract, caffeine and water, Clinique Moisture Surge Intense deeply nourishes the skin and hydrates the skin. As a result, even the driest cracked and flaky skin is left feeling silky smooth. Other inactive ingredients include citric acid, peg-8, palmitoyl hexapeptide-12, butylene glycol, and sucrose just to name a few.
This formula consists of a gel-cream texture. That makes it not as thick as creamy moisturizers, with the gel giving it more of a water feel to it when hitting the face. With that said there is some creaminess to it, which helps to allow for it to go only smoothly. It also dries quickly and is not sticky.
It’s recommended to use the Clinique moisturizer twice a day, in the morning and at night after cleaning the face as part of a daily routine. But just one use leaves the skin looking fresh, plump and hydrated.
This gel moisturizer is perfect for those of you who have some skin damage and need something that will help repair the damage and get your skin back on track.
This product is a bit pricier. However, it leaves the skin glowing without looking oily or shiny. It doesn’t cause breakouts and quickly combats dry patches, ideal for the winter or those with eczema.
10. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
Features three ceramides for hydration
All day hydration with slow release of ingredients
Not thick or heavy on the skin
Great for the whole body
Some may breakout with acne
Better used on body than face
This moisturizing cream features ceramides and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and helps the skin retain its natural moisture. It has a patenting MVE controlled-release technology to provide all-day hydration. It’s great for those with normal to dry skin even those with eczema is oil-free and hypoallergenic.Read more
This moisturizer has all the essential ceramides including ceramide 1, 3 and 6-11, the lipids that bind together with protective cells in the outer layer of the skin to restore and maintain its natural protective barrier. Its other main ingredients are hyaluronic acid for retention of the skin’s natural moisture.
This cream is non-greasy, so there is no oily look after application. It is a bit thicker in texture than other options but dries very fast after applying. It also doesn’t leave that thick lotion feel.
A great option for those of you who need something that works for sensitive and dry skin and will stay on all day.
As far as compatibility, this is perfect for those of you with eczema and skin sensitivities.
Another product that is fairly priced on the list. It features the company’s patented MultiVesicular Emulsion technology that slowly delivers the ingredients into the skin over time, so it continuously is working all day to hydrate. It’s gentle on the skin, causing no irritation, and great for those with eczema.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The potency is important because you want to make sure your skin gets the nutrients it needs!
When we decided to research and review the best moisturizers for dry skin, we had to sit down and consider what factors we needed to evaluate in order to really narrow down the top 10 best options available for our readers to choose from. The potency is one of the top factors we considered, take a look at what to look out for below!
Ingredients in the moisturizer
Whether you choose to stay away from certain ingredients, or you just are sensitive to some common ingredients, this is one of the most important things to keep a lookout for. If you know you want a product that is free of parabens and sulfates then prioritize that in your search—we have several options on our list free of both.
On the other hand, since you have dry skin, to begin with, you will want to make sure you steer clear from harsh chemicals and ingredients (like alcohol) that will further dry your skin. If you are sensitive or allergic to skin products, you may want to try out a sample beforehand—just to be sure that you get the right option.
Hyaluronic Acid is one of the more populate ingredients out there when it comes to treating dry skin. It is a featured ingredient because it rarely causes any irritation, helps hydrate the skin, and leaves you with a vibrant glow that will leave you looking as good as you feel.
Other vitamins and minerals
Many moisturizers for dry skin may have additional ingredients that will help hydrate your skin and get rid of the pesky dry skin symptoms. Some may have additional Vitamin E while others have vitamins and minerals that will plump your skin cells. Whatever you choose, just make sure they will suit your needs well.
Whether it is cold or hot out, if you are a runner then chances are that you spend a lot of time out in the sun. Whenever you are out in the sun you want to make sure your skin is well-protected—skin cancer is no joke! If you want to kill two birds with one stone, look into moisturizers that also offer SPF protection.
If you have texture issues, you will love that you have options when it comes to moisturizers.
Whether you can’t stand certain textures or just have a preference for certain options, you will be happy to hear that you have options when it comes to consistency. The consistency you choose is based on your own personal preference, so take a look at what to look out for below:
Cream-based moisturizers are pretty popular since this is how they started out to begin with. Creams are generally a lot thicker gel-based and water-based moisturizers. While they are heavier than other options, that doesn’t mean that they are too heavy or that they will weigh you down once you get them on.
On the other hand, gel-based moisturizers are a lot lighter than cream-based moisturizers. They typically are absorbed a little faster and leave you with a dewy glow once you get it all on.
Water-based based moisturizers are the lightest option out of the three. They typically absorb much faster and leave you with a clean and dewy look.
Make sure the moisturizer is made for your skin type!
If you are here looking for a moisturizer, it is definitely because you have dry skin! So, first and foremost, you will want to make sure that you get a moisturizer that will address your level of dry skin. Some options are made for severely dry skin while others are made for those of you with skin that is not as dry.
You don’t want to end up with something that doesn’t provide you with too much or too little hydration. If you get a moisturizer that overly hydrates your skin, you will end up with slightly oily skin and if you get an option that doesn’t provide enough hydration then you will find you will have to reapply several times during the day.
All in all, the right moisturizer will both hydrate and prevent dry skin. Make sure you apply your moisturizer at least once a day to clean and dry skin before making your final judgments on how well it works. In fact, to evaluate the use of each selection on our list we took countless reviews into consideration to see how they hold up.
While you always have the option to reapply your moisturizer throughout the day, the goal is to not have to do that. So, the last factor we took into consideration was whether or not you could use the moisturizer once a day without having to reapply.
Getting a moisturizer that is compatible with your needs is of utmost importance!
Before investing in any type of skin care product, we need to make sure that it is something that will work for us. Each and everyone has their own on unique needs when it comes to their skin. , and when you have dry skin you need to be especially careful before choosing your next product. To evaluate the overall compatibility of each moisturizer we took a look at the following and we encourage you to do the same--but to your own unique needs.
How does it fit into your skin care regimen?
Some moisturizers are fine being applied just once a day. Just make sure you wash and dry your face thoroughly before applying it. However, to get the most from some selections, you might need to apply your moisturizer at night as well. If you already have a nightime regime you might want to stick to a moisturizer that you only have to apply in the morning.
Is it sweat resistant?
If you want a moisturizer that you want to be able to wear in any environment, take a look at whether or not it is sweat resistant. Not all of the selections on our list are designed to make it through your sweaty workouts, however, there are some options that are. If you don't want your moisturizer to disappear the second you walk out the door then prioritize this feature.
How portable is the bottle?
Whether you travel a lot or just want to make sure that you are able to keep your moisturizer on you in case you need to reapply, you will want to take a look at how portable the container is. We evaluated how lightweight and compact each option we chose was to make a final rating on this factor. Some moisturizers do come in different sizes, so keep that in mind.
Where does it need to be stored?
This is important because although it might not be a problem for most of you, it might be for some--especially if you want to travel. For the most part, you want to make sure you store your moisturizer in room temperature--so don't keep it in overheated or frigid environments.
Value is more than how much it costs.
We evaluated each of the moisturizers we chose based on their overall value because we wanted to make sure our readers would not only get a moisturizer they can afford, but also one that you find brings value and benefits to your life. If you choose to try out a moisturizer from our list, we want to make sure that it is something you feel confident will work for you and that you will love.
Is it worth the investment?
Is it worth the price tag? There are both drugstore and higher end brands on the list. Sometimes a drugstore product can outshine a more pricey option. Then there are other times that the consumer gets what they pay for when it comes to other fancy features like reducing wrinkles and improving skin elasticity.
Does it provide you with what you need?
Like we mentioned earlier, value is not just about how much the moisturizer costs, but rather the value it brings to the table overall. Does it have ingredients that work for you? Is it potent enough to alleviate your dry skin? Is it compatible for all of your needs> Regardless of what you decide to try, just make sure it is something you feel is tailored to your needs!
Expert Interviews & Opinions
You should look forward to putting your moisturizer on every morning. Make sure you get the right texture, so you look forward to putting it on and getting your day started.
Before you apply your moisturizer, make sure you wash you face thoroughly and dry it well. If you have a toner that works for dry skin, tone your face after you wash it because it will allow your skin to absorb the moisturizer more efficiently.
Other Factors to Consider
Usage and Side Effects
Moisturizer is best used after washing the face with a cleanser, and while still damp. Those with very dry skin may wish to reapply during the day, as well as follow a bedtime routine post face wash with an application. Make sure the ingredients and recommended use is compatible with your skin type so you don't experience any unnecessary side effects.
Keep in mind that some options work differently across different skin types and sensitivity levels. Some products may irritate some and not others. Those with sensitive skin should look for an option made specifically for sensitive skin. If a moisturizer causes redness, itching or irritation, stop using immediately.
Hyaluronic Acid is a carbohydrate molecule that naturally occurs in our bodies. It is found in our connective tissue, as well as in our skin. Popular in skincare products such as moisturizer, hyaluronic acid delivers moisture to the skin. It can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water and works by grading and holding moisture that is absorbed through the skin.
Performance and price point are among the two most important criteria to look at when shopping around for the best moisturizers. But these aren’t the only things that matter. When you consider whether or not a moisturizer will work for you make sure that you consider your own personal needs and preferences regarding the following.
While all these moisturizers treat and prevent dry skin, a consumer’s skin type plays a major role in how the product works. It’s important to read the label to make sure the product is suited for skin type such as combination skin, very dry, or oily. Combination skin options typically work well at hydrating dry areas without creating excess shine, and oils for the T-zone problem areas.
Options for oily skin may cause more dryness for those with already dry skin. Before purchasing any moisturizer, make sure to know the right skin type to avoid irritations or under-performance. If you don't get a moisturizer that is designed for your skin type you will end up with something that isn't compatible with your needs.
More Than Just For Dry Skin
Everyone should moisturize, even if they don’t have dry skin because the skin’s moisture barrier is constantly being broken down by factors like dehydration, sun, pollution, sweat, and dirt. Moisturizing can prevent wrinkles and skin from looking dull and dry. Using a product that contains hyaluronic acid is a great way to add moisture to the skin, repair the moisture barrier and prevent dryness.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: I have acne, should I still use a moisturizer?
Yes, you absolutely can! If you have dry skin, the selections on our list are a great option, however, if you have oily or combination skin, you will want to look for a moisturizer for your skin type. Make sure you take a look at reviews from users who have acne and see how their skin responded to the moisturizer.
If you get the right one, moisturizing can actually help you prevent acne because it loosens sebum built up inside pores.
q: How often should I apply moisturizer when I have dry skin?
As a bare minimum, you should apply your moisturizer on a daily basis. Most people will at least apply it in the morning after they have washed and cleansed their face. A lot of moisturizers recommend you apply the moisturizer in the morning and at night. If you have severely dry skin you can apply your moisturizer as needed as long as you don't have any negative side effects from doing so.
q: I am not sure if my skin qualifies as dry, what are typical symptoms of dry skin?
This is common, so if you are unsure just know that you are not the only one. If you have severely dry skin, you will know it, however, some of us may have mildly dry skin. Symptoms are typically more noticeable in the winter so look out for dry skin cracks, flakes, tight feeling skin anywhere on your face and neck, rough spots, and dull looking skin. In the summer you may notice these same symptoms if you are overexposed to the sun as well.
q: What should I avoid when looking for skincare products?
First and foremost, you should avoid any ingredients you may be sensitive or allergic to. I, personally, need to stay away from salicylic acid, so whenever I check out any skincare product I make sure it doesn't have it as a listed ingredient. Secondly, if you want to stay away from sulfates and parabens you have a lot of options nowadays, so read the ingredients and look for options that are free of both.
Lastly, make sure you stay away from products with alcohol because this can be detrimental for those of you with dry skin. When you wash your face, do not over exfoliate. Most importantly, make sure that you are getting a product that is made for dry skin--stay away from moisturizers that are made for oily or combination skin.
q: Will I experience results right away?
This really just depends on your skin's specific needs and how it responds to the moisturizers you choose to use. Some users may experience results and relief immediately while others need to wait a few days. Overall, the best moisturizers for dry skin should kick into effect pretty quickly if you are moisturizing daily on a consistent basis. You won't see any results if you don't stick to it.
- Exercise for Healthy Skin, Informational Health Website ,
- Save Your Skin, Running Website ,
- Hexinol: The Basics, Company website ,
- Hyaluronic Acid, Informational Health Website ,
- This Is What Happens to Your Skin on a Run, Beauty Website ,
- 7 Bad Things That Happen When You Don't Moisturize Your Face, Informational Website ,
- Ingredient to Know: Hyaluronic Acid, Comapny Website ,
- Skin Moisturizer Basics, Informational Website ,