(Last Updated On: February 1, 2018)

Experiencing dry skin? Get a moisturizer!

No, not so fast.

Different moisturizers come with different textures. Some contain exfoliants. Some contain antioxidants.

Which one do you need? What should you look for?

This is where I come in. I’ve reviewed 30 different products available right now and come up with a list of 10 Best Moisturizers for Dry Skin.

Not only that, I’ll also tell you what I looked for in creating the list.

Sit back and read on.

 

At A Glance: My Choices For The Best Moisturizer For Dry Skin

Aveeno’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion comes in both a SPF and a non-SPF avatar.

Cetaphil’s Moisturizing Cream is based on the well-known Vitamin E-Glycerin-Dimethicone combination.

Eucerin Intensive Repair Very Dry Skin Lotion is a good exfoliant with a lovely texture.

Nivea Essentially Enriched Body Lotion uses Petrolatum (also used by Doris Day) as a conditioner.

Teddie Organics’ Organic Rosehip Oil is as moisturizing as Coconut and Jojoba Oils without being as greasy.

The Best Moisturizer For Dry Skin

01. Aveeno’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion Review

USP: Colloidal Oatmeal is recognized by the FDA as a skin protectant.

It comes in a non-sunscreen version and a SPF 15 version.

The SPF version has a number of sunscreen ingredients – 3% Avobenzene, 5% Octisalate, 1.7% Octocrylene, 3% Oxybenzone – and some other ingredients.

It has just the right consistency – thick, but not too much so. However that may be a problem for those with excessively dry skin because that may demand a thicker moisturizer.

It contains no added fragrance making it suitable for sensitive skin.

The SPF version may irritate sensitive skin, so if your skin is sensitive as well as dry, consider using the non-SPF version along with a broad spectrum sunscreen.

The main ingredients are listed below.

 Daily MoisturizingDaily Moidturizing SPF 15
Sunscreen3% Avobenzene, 5% Octisalate, 1.7% Octocrylene, 3% Oxybenzone
Moisturizer1.2% Dimethicone, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetyl AlcoholDistearyldimonium Chloride, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone
Replenish and Restore your skinGlycerinGlycerin
Soothe and Condition your skinDistearyldimonium Chloride, Oat Kernel Flour*Oat Kernel Flour*
SurfactantSteareth-21
AntioxidantBenzalkonium Chloride
PreservativeBenzyl AlcoholMethylparaben
Chelating AgentDisodium EDTA
*Here Oat Kernel Flour = Colloidal Oatmeal. Colloidal Oatmeal is recognized by the FDA as a skin protectant.

Oat Flour has the bran removed ONLY FOR ORAL CONSUMPTION.

Directions

  • Wash your face (with cool water for a cool feel) and pat it dry.
  • Take 3 pumps of the moiturizer in your palm and massage onto your face.
  • Wait 5 minutes before applying makeup (if you want to).

What I Liked

No added fragrance so suitable for sensitive skin.

Colloidal Oatmeal is recognized by the FDA as a skin protectant.

Available in both non-SPF and SPF 15 versions.

Great cool sensation on the skin.

What I Didn’t Like

Dimethicone, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol are comedogenic.

The non-SPF version does not have any antioxidants.

Contains Methylparaben.

May sting your eyes.

The Best Face Moisturizer For Dry Skin

02. Cetaphil’s Moisturizing Cream Review

USP: Topical application of Glycerin (also called Glycerol)-containing products goes a long way in improving skin properties in cases of dry skin (Xerosis). And Vitamin E-Glycerin-Dimethicone is a well-known combination for alleviating dry skin.

That alone would have sufficed to push it into any list of moisturizers for dry skin. But wait, there’s more.

This cream has a slightly heavy texture making it perfect for you if you have excessively dry skin. Otherwise you may find it a little excessive.

It has no added fragrance making it perfect for sensitive skin.

This product can even relieve dry and cracked skin on your legs.

A key drawback of it is it does not have SPF so you need to use a sunscreen separately.

The key ingredients follow.

MoisturizerPropylene Glycol, Petrolatum, Dicaprylyl Ether, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Cetyl Alcohol, Sweet Almond Oil
SurfactantPEG-5 Glyceryl Stearate
Replenish and Restore your skinGlycerin
AntioxidantVit. E*
pH adjuster/BufferSodium Hydroxide
ExfoliantLactic Acid
PreservativePhenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol
Chelating AgentDisodium EDTA
*As Tocopheryl Acetate.

Directions

  • Wash your face with lukewarm water and pat it dry.
  • Take a liberal amount of the moisturizer and massage gently onto your face.
  • Wait 5 minutes before applying makeup.

What I Liked

 No added fragrance so suitable for sensitive skin.

 Paraben-free.

 Even relieves dry skin on your legs.

 Good to use with makeup.

What I Didn’t Like

Petrolatum, Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Sweet Almond Oil are comedogenic.

Sodium Hydroxide may sensitize your skin.

No SPF.

The Best Drugstore Moisturizer For Dry Skin

03. Eucerin Intensive Repair Very Dry Skin Lotion Review

USP: Urea is very good at restoring and hydrating dry skin. It also reduces Trans-Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL).

One thing I particularly liked about this is it has a number of exfoliants. And that’s not just a paper claim, it does exfoliate rather well.

It is a lotion but has a rather creamy texture which makes it suitable for excessively dry skin. On the other hand it is not too heavy to be unsuitable for skin that’s not too dry.

Dermatologists frequently suggest this as a moisturizer for dry skin.

It’s fragrance-free making it suitable for sensitive skin.

The main ingredients follow.

MoisturizerMineral Oil, Octyldodecanol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Isopropyl Palmitate, PEG-7 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dimethicone
Soothe and Condition your skinSodium Lactate, PEG-2 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
Replenish and Restore your skinUrea, Glycerin
SurfactantPEG-7 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-2 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sorbitan Isostearate
ExfoliantSodium Lactate, Urea, Lactic Acid
pH adjuster/BufferSodium Lactate
PreservativeBenzyl Alcohol

Directions

  • For best results apply right after bathing.
  • Take 2-3 pumps and massage it gently onto your face.
  • Wait 5 minutes before applying makeup.
  • Remember to use a broad spectrum sunscreen along with this.

What I Liked

 Paraben-free.

 Texture just balanced so will be sufficient for both moderately and excessively dry skin.

 Exfoliant

 Urea is a very good skin hydrator.

 Fragrance-free so suitable for sensitive skin.

What I Didn’t Like

 Mineral Oil, Isopropyl Palmitate, PEG-7 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dimethicone, PEG-2 Hydrogenated Castor Oil and Sorbitan Isostearate are comedogenic.

 No SPF.

 Contains Lactic Acid (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) which increases sun sensitivity.

 You may have to limit sun exposure while using this.

The Best Body Moisturizer For Dry Skin

04. Nivea Essentially Enriched Body Lotion Review

USP: Doris Day’s autobiography reveals Petrolatum was key to her skincare regimen. If you don’t know who that is, look her up. In addition to maintaining a perfect skin tone she’s a US movie icon.

Sea Salt converts the water that you put on your face to give skin a higher mineral content—and minerals are absolutely crucial to healthy skin. As usual, I kid you not.

Citric Acid is a good exfoliant. On the other hand, it increases sun sensitivity, which means you have to remember to use a good broad spectrum sunscreen while using this lotion.

You can apply it on your feet before going to bed; and wear socks. You will wake up with smooth legs.

The key ingredients are listed out.

MoisturizerMineral Oil, Isopropyl Palmitate, Sweet Almond Oil, Sea Salt
Replenish and Restore your skinGlycerin, Sweet Almond Oil
Soothe and Condition your skinPetrolatum
SurfactantPEG-40 Sorbitan Perisostearate
AntioxidantVit. E*, Sodium Citrate
ExfoliantCitric Acid
PreservativePotassium Sorbate, Sodium Citrate
pH adjuster/BufferSodium Citrate
*As Tocopheryl Acetate.

Directions

  • Wash your face with cool water.
  • Pat dry.
  • Take 2-3 pumps of Nivea Lotion and massage onto your face.
  • Wait 5 minutes before applying makeup.

What I Liked

No added fragrance.

No Parabens.

Petrolatum gives your skin great tone.

Sea Salt increases your skin’s mineral content.

Citric Acid is a great exfoliant.

What I Didn’t Like

Mineral Oil, C13-16 Isoparaffin,  Isopropyl Palmitate, Petrolatum, Sweet Almond Oil are the main comedogenic ingredients.

Sea Salt may sensitize your skin.

No SPF.

Citric Acid may increase your skin’s sun sensitivity.

The Best Tinted Moisturizer For Dry Skin

05. Teddie Organics’ Organic Rosehip Oil Review

What do Kate Middleton, Gwyneth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr have in common? They all swear by the use of rosehip oil in their beauty regimen.

While there may be disagreement of over rosehip oil’s efficacy on other grounds it’s agreed that it will provide moisturizing relief to dry skin.

It shares benefits with Jojoba Oil but it’s much lighter and less greasy compared with Jojoba Oil.

It also absorbs into skin fairly quickly so you won’t feel greasy or oily.

It contains no added fragrance making it suitable for sensitive skin.

It works very well under makeup and foundation.

Directions

  • Wash your face with cool water and pat dry.
  • Take 2-3 drops of rosehip oil and massage onto your face.
  • Wait 5 minutes before applying makeup.

STOP USING IF YOU FACE IRRITATION.

DIY Rosehip Oil Moisturizer – Add 5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil and 5 drops of Chamomile Essential Oil to a base of Rosehip Oil for a soothing DIY Moisturizer for Dry Skin.

You may put the DIY Moisturizer in your humidifier if you have one.

What I Liked

 Moisturizes your skin without being greasy.

 No added fragrance hence perfect for sensitive skin.

 Works very well under makeup and foundation.

What I Didn’t Like

 It does NOT protect against sun damage.

The Best Moisturizer For Extremely Dry Skin

06. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream Review

USP: The Olivate twins – Cetearyl Olivate and Sorbitan Olivate – feature in a patent for their use as a cosmetic moisturizer. Not only are they excellent moisturizers; they can mimic our skin excellently as well. Why is that important? Because it means minimal disruption to our skin.

New York dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD, says that Sodium hyaluron is a very viscous substance that increases the water-holding capacity of skin which has an immediate plumping effect on skin.

If you have very dry skin you should appreciate the gel texture. However people with sensitive skin may not like it.

The key ingredients follow.

MoisturizerDimethicone, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Synthetic Beeswax, Dimethiconol
Replenish and Restore your skinGlycerin, Hyaluronic Acid*
SurfactantLaureth-7, C12-14 pareth-12
AntioxidantHyaluronic Acid*
pH adjuster/BufferSodium Hydroxide
PreservativePhenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Ethylhexylglycerin
*As salt Sodium Hyaluronate.

Directions

  • Wash your face and neck with cool water and pat dry.
  • Take a liberal amount of the moisturizer and massage gently onto your face and neck.
  • Wait for it to dry before applying makeup.

What I Liked

 No parabens.

 Cetearyl Olivate and Sorbitan Olivate mimic your skin.

 Great cool feeling on application.

 Very suitable texture for dry skin.

What I Didn’t Like

 Dimethicone and Synthetic Beeswax are comedogenic.

 No SPF.

The Best Hand Moisturizer For Dry Skin

07. Ora’s Amazing Herbal’s Natural Touchy Skin Healing Salve Review

USP: Grapeseed is very rich in linoleic acid content which makes it a kickass moisturizer for dry skin.

Calendula Extract will impart a youthful glow to your skin.

Chickweed Extract can relieve serious skin problems like eczema.

One thing I liked about this product is it can reduce facial scarring tremendously.

It has a smooth light texture which makes it an ideal moisturizer for moderately dry skin. However people with excessively dry skin may find it a bit too light.

There is only a faint natural scent, no extra fragrance hence suitable for sensitive skin.

The main ingredients follow.

AntioxidantGrapeseed Extract, Calendula Extract, St John’s Extract, Burdock Extract, Thyme Extract
Soothe and Condition your skinGrapeseed Extract, Calendula Extract, Comfrey Extract, Burdock Extract
MoisturizerCastor Oil, Coconut Oil, Beeswax
AntioxidantVit. E*
As Tocopherol.

Directions

  • Wash your face with warm water and pat dry.
  • Take a liberal amount of the salve and massage it onto your face.
  • You may apply it below your eyes but be careful.

What I Liked

 Chickweed Extract will relieve a more serious skin problem like eczema (eczema causes dry skin).

 Coconut Oil is as good a moisturizer as Mineral Oil.

 No parabens.

 No added fragrance hence suitable for sensitive skin.

What I Didn’t Like

 Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Beeswax and Tocopherol are comedogenic.

 Comfrey Extract may sensitize your skin.

 St John’s Extract may react with sunlight.

 Thyme Extract may sensitize your skin.

 You may feel slightly sticky from the Castor Oil.

The Best Moisturizer Lotion For Dry Skin

08. Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Extra Dry Skin Lotion Review

USP: Titanium Dioxide is a well-known Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, meaning it will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. Stearic Acid increases its stability and efficacy.

Furthermore, Titanium Dioxide is very gentle. So there is little chance of it irritating your skin.

And unlike Zinc Oxide (the other well-known sunscreen) it does not have an astringent property so it won’t dry your skin.

It does not have any added fragrance making it perfect for sensitive skin.

It may even alleviate more serious problems like eczema and Keratosis pilaris.

What makes this an easy pick in moisturizers for dry skin is that you will feel your hands staying moisturized and comfortable.

Following are the key ingredients.

SunscreenTitanium Dioxide
MoisturizerMineral Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Lecithin, Panthenol
Replenish and Restore your skinGlycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearic Acid, Lecithin, Vit. A**
Soothe and Condition your skinSodium Pyruvate
HydratorSorbitol
AntioxidantVit. E*, Sodium Citrate, BHT, Vit. A**
ExfoliantCitric Acid
pH adjuster/BufferSodium Hydroxide, Sodium Citrate
PreservativePhenoxyethanol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Citrate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben
*As tocopheryl acetate.

**As Retinyl Palmitate.

Directions

  • Wash your skin with lukewarm water and pat dry.
  • Take 2-3 pumps of the lotion and massage onto your face.

What I Liked

 Titanium Dioxide is a great Broad Spectrum Sunscreen.

 Stearic Acid also ensures efficacy and stability of Titanium Dioxide.

 No added fragrance so perfect for sensitive skin.

What I Didn’t Like

 Mineral Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol are the main comedogenic ingredients.

 BHT may irritate your skin.

 Includes 3 parabens.

 Citric Acid may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

The Best Organic Face Moisturizer For Dry Skin

09. Sky Organics’ Organic Shea Butter Review

Dr. McLean Sheperd of Sheperd Integrative Dermatology in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, recommends Shea Butter for repairing dry inflamed skin caused by dermatitis and as a night time moisturizer for hands and feet.

As far as makeup is concerned, some users may complain it is too heavy to be worn under makeup but you should try it out for yourself.

Its nice creamy texture is perfect for dry skin.

Shea Butter has a SPF of 6-10. It should suffice to protect you for short exposures to sunlight such as a shopping trip.

For longer exposures you should use a sunscreen with broad spectrum spf 15 or higher.

Directions

  • Wash your face with lukewarm water and pat dry.
  • Take a small amount of Sky Organics’ Shea Butter in your hand and rub it until it melts.
  • Massage the butter melt onto your face.
  • Wait 5 minutes before applying makeup.

What I Liked

 Natural SPF 6-10.

 Can make makeup last longer. May even be used to remove

 Perfect for ordinary dry skin. May even work for problems like dermatitis.

What I Didn’t Like

 Some users may not like the smell.

 It’s a bit pale in color which is not common in shea butter.

The Best Natural Facial Moisturizer For Dry Skin

10. Christina Moss Naturals’ Facial Moisturizer Review

USP: This has not one but two Natural Moisturizing Factors – Apricot Kernel Oil and Avocado Oil. That’s the mother load right there.

It has a nice creamy texture making it perfect for dry skin.

It does not get absorbed too quickly giving you adequate time to massage it in.

You will also enjoy the cool feeling after applying it.

This moisturizer is great for applying below makeup. In fact, you will get a great dewy look if you apply makeup after it.

The main ingredients are listed below.

Soothe and Condition Your SkinAloe Vera Juice, Apricot Kernel Oil
MoisturizerAloe Vera Juice, Apricot Kernel Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Avocado Oil
AntioxidantApricot Kernel Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Star Anise Seed Oil
Replenish and Restore your skinGlycerin, Stearic Acid

Directions

  • Wash your face with cool water and pat dry.
  • Put a small amount of the moisturizer on your forehead, nose, cheeks, under eyes and chin.
  • Massage it in.
  • Wait 5 minutes before applying makeup.

What I Liked

 Apricot Kernel Oil, Avocado Oil are Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMF).

 No parabens.

 Great dewy look with makeup.

 Great cool feeling on application.

 No added fragrance so suitable for sensitive skin.

What I Didn’t Like

 Apricot Kernel Oil, Avocado Oil and Stearic Acid are comedogenic.

 Star Anise Seed Oil may sensitize your skin.

 You won’t like it if you don’t like licorice scent.

What did I look for in selecting moisturizers for dry skin?

The problem is three-fold.

Dry skin itself, medically called Xerosis cutis, is caused by various factors. You will need moisturizers to deal with that.

Dry skin is no guarantee to not having acne..

You would apply moisturizers when going out. Do you need a separate sunscreen as well?

You will remember how I kept talking about the ingredients having properties like Skin Conditioning, Antioxidant and so on.

Well, this is the 411 of why those properties are so crucial.

Antioxidants firm up your skin, reduce inflammation and scars.

If you’re experienced you will know there are various types of moisturizers like humectants and exfoliants. I’ve clubbed them together under the umbrella term Moisturizers.

Skin restoring and Replenishing ingredients protect your skin from moisture loss and other damage.

Skin conditioning and Soothing agents will relieve any discomfort you are experiencing from your drying skin.

Hydrators will keep your skin hydrated.

A pH imbalance will irritate your skin. pH adjusters/Buffers stop that.

A Surfactant is a cleansing agent and would stop oil from accumulating on your skin. However too much of it may dry your skin excessively. So be careful using products that have surfactants within the first 6 ingredients.

You will want Preservative(s) to maintain product quality if you want to keep the product for a while.

Chelating agents help your product avoid contamination. This is a little different to preserving your product.

Exfoliants clear away dead skin cells stopping them from clogging your pores and stop acne.

NMF’s (Natural Moisturizing Factors). These are natural substances on your skin that keep your skin hydrated and soft. Lactic acid and Sodium PCA are two popular NMF’s.

It will be good if your moisturizer itself contains Water because that would reduce the chances of it drying your skin ‘inside out’.

Why on Earth would you list ‘water’ as a separate ingredient?

Water in the moisturizer is critical to staving off a ‘drying inside out’ problem.

Every moisturizer has humectants. Humectants attract water to your skin.

If enough moisture isn’t available from your external environment, humectants could start drawing water from deeper inside your skin, drying your skin inside out.

Such a scenario would be avoided if the moisturizer had some water of its own.

You’re listing comedogenic as a ‘con’ for dry skin? Really?

Yeah, that’s not a copy-paste error.

It may not seem that intuitive at first but you should be wary of comedogenic ingredients even if you have dry skin.

The reason is that dry skin does not stop skin cells from dying and accumulating on your skin. If those start clogging up your pores, you could end up with breakouts.

And you do NOT want acne on top of dry skin.

Of course, comedogenic isn’t that red a flag here.

But you should keep note of how many ingredients are comedogenic and see if the benefits from those ingredients are outweighing the negative.

Well that was a looong list…

Yeah, it was, and you know I won’t leave you hanging.

Of course, you’re free to choose any cleanser you want but I think there’s a clear two-step combination for dry skin you should check out.

Begin with Sky Organics’ Organic Shea Butter.

I always belive in KISS (Keeping It Short & Simple). Shea Butter, short and simple.

It is highly recommended as a moisturizer. It also has its own SPF, sufficient for limited sun exposure.

If you want more SPF or if you feel Shea Butter is not moisturizing enough you should transition to Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Extra Dry Skin Lotion.

It’s got SPF 15 and the sunscreen – Titanium Dioxide – is gentle and not drying or irritating.

It can alleviate more serious problems like eczema and Keratosis pilaris. And it feels great on your skin.

OK, what’s the deal with SPF?

You hear ‘sun damage’ and you think sunblock or sunscreen right?

In an interview with Allure Dr Mona Gohara, professor of dermatology at Yale, says that a moisturizer with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) can protect you from suburn.

Dr Gohara suggests a minimum SPF of 30 but if your sun exposure is limited, say a quick walk or a shopping trip, SPF 15 should suffice.

 While we’re at it, a bit about ‘broad spectrum’

Broad spectrum SPF will protect you from both UVA and UVB sunlight.

SPF that isn’t broad spectrum will protect you from UVB sunlight only.

In terms of your skin, you are guaranteed protection from skin cancer and premature aging only with broad spectrum SPF.

These standards are set by the FDA.

However I should warn you.

In a case of dry skin, medically called xerosis, choice of moistuizer will only go so far. Regular application has been found to be more important than a particular choice.

So, choose one from my list of moisturizers for dry skin and keep applying it regularly.

That’s about it. If you feel I’ve missed something…or you just wanna talk about moisturizers for dry skin, feel free to leave a comment below!

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