10 Best Moisturizers For Dry Skin Tested & Compared
A good moisturizer solves this problem by nourishing skin cells, penetrating deep into the skin’s layers to replenish cells. Many also contain SPF which protects skin from harmful rays, which can lead to more serious issues like malignant melanoma. Everyone should add a good moisturizer to their daily routine, but this is especially true for athletes and gym junkies. That’s because we often find ourselves washing our face post workout to get rid of sweat. This can dry out the skin. Put your best face forward and invest in the best moisturizers.
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
- Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
- Bella Serata
- Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Combination Skin
- La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense UV
- Clinique Moisture Surge Intense
- Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer
- RoC Multi Correxion 5-In-1 Daily Moisturizer
- Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion for Dry Skin
- CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Moisturizers for Dry Skin
1. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
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.
Cost and Value
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. Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
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.
Cost and Value
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.
3. Bella Serata
Safe for all skin types
Non-greasy, and dries quickly
Not too expensive
Doesn't contain any sunscreen in it it will only help repair damage from UV rays.
Bella Serate is a revitalizing moisturizer that repairs the damage done to the skin by UV rays. It has anti-aging ingredients to make you look younger, and prevent wrinkles. Safe for all skin types dry or oily, it will hydrate your skin to help clarify, and brighten your skin.Read more
Bella has Hyalauronic acid, and essential peptides that will help boost your body's natural collagen and keep your skin silky smooth.
This moisturizer is non-greasy, and it only takes your body minutes to absorb it. So you can literally put it on, wait five minutes or so, and then apply your makeup if you wanted to. I will add this lotion is more advertised for women, but there is no reason men can't use this product as well, especially since it is fragrance-free.
Bella Serata increases skins hydration, and is designed to create smoother, softer, well toned skin. Consumers seem to love this product and it is easy to see why when it has everything you need all in one, at a decent price.
Cost and Value
The good thing is that the product is fairly priced. It has age-defying ingredients in it and when used daily it will get rid of wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots. By boosting your natural collagen to make your skin tighter and stronger.
4. Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Combination Skin
Affordable, yet reliable brand
Best for combo skin
All day hydration
Available in drugstores
Not the best for normal skin
Great for combination 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 combination 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 combination 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.
Cost and Value
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.
5. 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. It also 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.
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.
Cost and Value
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.
6. 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 leave the skin looking fresh, plump and hydrated.
Cost and Value
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.
7. Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer
Unique water activated moisturize with ceramide complex
Performs well at treating dry skin
Hydrates the entire body
Great for those with eczema
Can be harsh for those with sensitive skin
Too thin consistency means not as hydrating or soft to touch the skin
Add this moisturizer as the final step after the shower help heal and prevent dry skin. The user must apply when still wet on freshly showered skin as it aids in moisture renovation while restores the skin’s ceramide. It is dermatologist approved and has the National Eczema Association seal of acceptance.Read more
Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer features ceramides complex that repairs the moisture barrier while hydrating the skin, treating dryness and replenishing the skin’s natural ceramide levels. Other ingredients include shea butter, orange peel oil, eucalyptus leak extract, and other nonactive ingredients.
This is probably the most unique option on this list because of how it works. This is a wet skin moisturizer, which means its designed to be applied when the skin is wet post-shower. Instead of feeling like a creamy, thick lotion it has a thinner texture that is more like a cleanser or soap than a lotion. It is non-greasy and fragrance-free.
Cost and Value
A more affordable product that is easily worth buying. This product is dermatologist recommended and helps treat dry and cracking skin as a result of eczema.
8. RoC Multi Correxion 5-In-1 Daily Moisturizer
5-in-1 moisturizer for a versatile product
Contains SPF 30
Great at treating wrinkles
Contains slight fragrance
Moisturizing and protecting against harmful sun rays, this option has SPF 30 sunscreen. It reduces discoloration and wrinkles and improves the skin’s elasticity. This product is a 5-in-1 lotion, great for those who want to take proper care of their skin with just one simple step. Plus it works great for the face, neck and chest.Read more
This moisturizer features four main active ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, and Octocrylene. It includes the company’s HEXING technology to aid in firming the skin, evening skin tone, and preventing wrinkles and fine lines. This tech is made of a molecule that acts directly at cells to help reverse the signs of aging.
This is a lightweight formula that leaves the skin soft and smooth. It absorbs well and is great for wearing underneath makeup without feeling like the pores are clogged. It isn’t oily and won’t irritate or cause redness to the skin.
Cost and Value
The product is fairly priced unlike some on the list. It works extremely well for treating discolorations. It also is great for use on the neck, making it a versatile product for slowing down signs of aging.
9. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion for Dry Skin
Lots of hydration ingredients
Dermatologist recommended brand
Can be purchased from the drugstore at an affordable price
Can cause irritation for those with wheat allergies
Pump stops working well the less product the bottles features
This daily moisturizing lotion is among the best for dry skin thanks to its active natural colloidal oatmeal that locks in moisture to restore the skin’s natural pH. It acts as a skin protectant, nourishing and soothing the skin.Read more
This option is great for those looking for natural ingredients at a drugstore price. It includes colloidal oatmeal as its main “Active Naturals” ingredient, used to restore the skin’s pH and maintain the moisture barrier of the skin. Other nutrients include proteins, B6, thiamine, enzymes, lipids and antioxidants to combat dry skin.
This moisturizer feels nice and smooth on the skin without being greasy. Ut can feel a bit sticky after it dries, which is it’s only downside.
Cost and Value
The product is fairly priced and can be purchased from the drugstore. It treats cracked skin, leaving it silky and smooth with consistent use. The oatmeal really is credited for making the skin very soft. It performs well for a drugstore product.
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 is 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.
Cost and Value
Another product that is failry 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
Consumers don’t want to buy a product that contains harsh chemicals, and other bad ingredients, especially since it will be applied to the face. What ingredients does this option contain? The most popular ingredient for treating dry skin is hyaluronic acid. The best moisturizes commonly feature this ingredient, as well as other vitamins to plump and add moisture to the skin cells. It’s important that the product doesn’t cause any skin irritations, and is suitable for those with sensitive skin. Bring an option suitable for eczema is also a good indicator that it performs well against combating dry skin.
The consistency of a product mainly is based on personal preference. Is the option cream or gel-based? What is the pros and cons of each? Just because creams are thicker than gels doesn’t mean that the product is heavy. Gels typically feel more like water being applied to the skin, which often leaves a dewy look.
How well does this product really work at hydrating and preventing dry skin? At its core, the product needs to deliver when it comes to moisturizing. Having all day hydration is also key so that the consumer doesn’t need to reapply often.
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.
Other Factors to Consider
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.
While all these moisturizes 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.
More Than Just For Dry Skin
Everyone should use moisturizer, even if they don’t have dry skin. That’s because the skin’s moisture barrier is constantly being broken down by factors like dehydration, sun, pollution, sweat and dirt. Moisturizer can prevent developing wrinkles or may winkles appear to look worst. The skin can also look dull, and dry without having any on.
Using a product that contains hyaluronic acid is a great way to add moisture to the skin, repair the moisture barrier and prevent dryness.
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.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it is safe to use moisturizer even when there is acne present. Moisturizing the skin can actually prevent acne since moistened skin loosens sebum built up inside pores.
Yes, you can as long as it doesn’t irritate the skin. Moisturizers are commonly used on the face and neck. There are also options made specifically for the entire body.
It should be applied daily to clean damp skin in the morning, as well as at nighttime for severely dry skin
Very common in the winter, dry skin cracks, flakes, feels tight, rough and looks dull.
Never use options with alcohol, and do not over exfoliate. Pick out products made specifically for dry skin.
This depends on the product, with some seeing significant results after one application. Use daily to see results.
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