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If your dry skin isn’t getting the moisture that it needs, the first thing you need to do is reconsider your moisturizer. While often overlooked and under-appreciated, a high-quality face moisturizer can completely transform your routine, giving the skin exactly what it needs to stay soft and supple. That’s why it’s such a key part of a foundational skincare routine — especially for those with dry skin.
Thinking it’s time to upgrade your moisturizer? We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to the absolute best face moisturizers for dry skin that are currently available on the market.
What to Look for in a Dry Skin Face Moisturizer
When looking for a highly effective moisturizer for dry skin, the first thing to analyze is the ingredients list. In order to give dry skin the deep hydration it desperately needs, you’ll want to find a formula that features a combination of emollients, humectants, and/or occlusives. Each of these types of ingredients play a different role in ensuring the skin stays super hydrated. Some of our favorite moisturizing ingredients include ceramides, hyaluronic acid/sodium hyaluronate, plant-derived butters (such as mango seed, shea and cocoa butters), glycerin and oils (such as jojoba seed, moringa seed, argan and avocado oils).
Additionally, you should also consider whether you want a moisturizer that targets additional concerns beyond dryness. For example, if you want to tackle signs of aging, you might look for formulas that contain ingredients like retinol and/or peptides. If you want to achieve a more radiant, even-toned complexion, you can seek out moisturizers made with brightening ingredients like vitamin C and kojic acid. Those with easily irritated skin might also want to reach for soothing formulas made with ingredients like aloe, chamomile, and centella asiatica.
On a final note, in our opinion, the absolute best face moisturizers for dry skin also have high-quality, clean formulas that we feel confident putting on our skin. We prefer to reach for formulas made without ingredients like parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances and dyes, especially considering many of these ingredients can aggravate the skin.
The Best Face Moisturizers for Dry Skin
Now, let’s discuss our recommendations for the best face moisturizers for dry skin. After analyzing a range of options currently available on the market, we’ve narrowed the choices down to a select list of 22 products. You’ll find options for all budgets, as well as formulas that address a variety of different concerns and needs.
The Blu Atlas Face Moisturizer is our top pick for anyone looking for the perfect daily moisturizer that gives dry skin exactly what it needs. The super hydrating formula conditions the skin and promotes a brighter complexion and a healthy skin barrier. This vegan and cruelty-free moisturizer also has a top-quality, clean formula, and is completely free of parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances.
The Blu Atlas formula is powered by antioxidant and fatty acid rich mango seed butter. It not only softens the skin and improves hydration levels, but also defends the skin against damaging environmental aggressors, thanks to its vitamins C and E content. The mango seed butter works alongside moringa oil and antioxidant-packed seaweed extract, which work in tandem to brighten, nourish, and moisturize the skin.
In addition to these ingredients, we love that the formula also features ascorbic acid. This science-backed form of vitamin C brightens the skin and improves uneven skin tone while also promoting a more youthful complexion.
This Sunday Riley moisturizer is specifically made for normal to dry skin types, and works to replenish moisture levels and promote a soft complexion while strengthening and protecting the skin to prevent premature signs of aging. The fast-absorbing cream is made with ceramides and vitamin F, both of which enhance the skin’s barrier, as well as coconut to prevent water loss.
The ICE Ceramide Moisturizing Cream also contains beet root extract, which improves skin smoothness, as well as red algae extract, a mineral-rich ingredient that nourishes the skin. Antioxidant-packed pomegranate sterols work alongside these ingredients, defending the complexion against the damage of environmental aggressors.
Beyond the excellent range of high-performance ingredients, what also makes this moisturizer stand out is the clean formula. It’s made without sulfates, phthalates, parabens, or fragrances, and is also vegetarian and cruelty-free.
Anyone who is willing to spend a bit more for a top-quality luxury skincare product will want to check out the Cold Plasma+ from Perricone MD. This rich cream has a balm-like texture that absorbs deep into the skin, addressing a range of concerns, including dryness, fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and texture, and loss of firmness, and a lack of radiance.
The hydration power in this formula comes from a vegetable triglyceride complex, which includes jojoba, olive, and soybean oils. This complex nourishes the skin while intensely hydrating and improving skin barrier function so that it is better able to retain moisture.
Other key ingredients in this cream include brightening vitamin C ester, as well as anti-aging and strengthening peptides. Like our other top picks, this cream also has a clean formula. It’s vegan, cruelty-free, and doesn’t contain parabens, phthalates, or fragrances.
If you’re looking to seriously plump your skin, look no further than the Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer. This vegan and cruelty-free moisturizer boosts radiance while it douses the skin with moisture, promoting a supple, radiant complexion.
As it says in the name, this formula features a blend of multi-weight hyaluronic acids. Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant that draws moisture to the skin and locks it in for long-term hydration. Since the moisturizer has multiple types of this humectant at different weights, it’s effectively able to hydrate the skin at all layers.
The gel cream also contains polyglutamic acid, a hydrating peptide that boosts the hyaluronic acid’s effects. Plum also works to boost radiance, while ingredients like squalane, glycerin, moringa seed oil, and jojoba seed oil further work to ensure the skin stays nourished and moisturized.
Another moisturizer that we highly recommend for anyone with dry skin is the Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer. This luxurious cream is infused with a wide variety of some of our favorite ingredients for dry skin, and works to plump and soften while supporting the skin barrier.
Three different plant-derived ceramides work in tandem to protect against moisture loss while soothing the skin and balancing moisture levels. These ceramides work alongside a blend of six African oils, which rejuvenates the skin while nourishing and moisturizing.
Additionally, this vegan, cruelty-free, and fragrance-free cream features phytosphingosine, a lipid that restores the skin and soothes any irritation. Antioxidant-rich fermented green tea defends against environmental aggressors, while a sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer adds an extra hydration punch to the formula.
Next up is a moisturizer that we especially recommend for anyone with dry skin looking to address signs of aging. As it says in the name, this rich cream melts into the skin, softening fine lines and wrinkles and infusing the skin with much needed moisture.
The PlantGenius Melt Moisturizer is formulated with bakuchiol, a plant-derived, gentle alternative to retinol that promotes a firmer, more youthful complexion. Bakuchiol is joined by a range of powerful ingredients that boost moisture levels and improve barrier function, including ceramides, squalane, and hyaluronic acid. At the same time, aloe vera and centella asiatica work to soothe for a more comfortable complexion.
Even better, this moisturizer has a clean formula that is also vegan and cruelty-free. It’s made without fragrances, dyes, parabens, phthalates, or sulfates.
Honey is an excellent ingredient for those with dry skin, as it works as a natural humectant. This ingredient is the star of the cruelty-free and clean Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer, which is created to deeply hydrate the skin while plumping fine lines and wrinkles and soothing the complexion.
Propolis and royal jelly extracts work alongside the honey, helping to ensure the skin stays hydrated long-term, while also soothing the skin and providing antioxidant benefits. These ingredients are joined by a ceramide blend that restores the skin’s barrier for maximum strength and comfort. Fig fruit extract further plumps the skin, while ingredients like shea butter, glycerin, and sunflower seed oil ensure the skin stays well-hydrated all day.
Tula’s 24-7 Moisture Hydrating Day & Night Cream is perfectly suited for dry skin, as the lightweight cream formula quickly absorbs into the skin to provide maximum hydration. Like other Tula formulas, this moisturizer contains a prebiotic and probiotic complex to balance the skin and calm any irritation, making it an ideal choice for those with reactive skin.
As the probiotic and prebiotic complex gets to work, peptides help provide anti-aging benefits for a youthful glow, while at the same time targeting any unevenness in the skin tone. Apple and watermelon extracts work together to hydrate the skin while softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while ingredients like squalane, sodium hyaluronate, and olive oil boost moisture levels.
If you prioritize using clean formulas in your routine, you’re in luck. This moisturizer is made without parabens, phthalates, or sulfates.
This rich cream moisturizer from First Aid Beauty is all about hydration. The creamy yet fast-absorbing formula is packed with ingredients that relieve dryness and irritation, and is made to be suitable for even the most sensitive complexions (including eczema-prone skin). It also has a clean, vegan and cruelty-free formula, and has been dermatologist tested — so you can feel confident using it on your skin.
One of the star moisturizing ingredients in this fragrance-free formula is shea butter, an ingredient packed with nourishing vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Shea butter works alongside soothing colloidal oatmeal, an ingredient approved by the FDA for relieving itchiness and irritation in the skin. These ingredients are joined by allantoin, which provides additional calming benefits for maximum comfort.
Another one of the dry skin-friendly creams that we especially recommend for those looking to fight signs of aging is the Polypeptide-121 Future Cream from Youth to the People. This cream is designed to restore moisture levels and strengthen the barrier for a dewy, plump glow. At the same time, it firms the skin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles for a youthful complexion.
As it says in the name, the key ingredient in this formula is polypeptide-121, an ingredient that works to address multiple signs of aging. It’s joined by ceramides that seal in moisture and improve barrier function, as well as plant proteins that provide additional anti-aging benefits.
Of course, as with all Youth to the People products, we’re also big fans of the clean formula. This moisturizer is vegan and cruelty-free, and is also made without fragrances.
We were really impressed by the texture of this Fresh face cream, which has more of a lightweight feel, despite its ability to deeply hydrate the skin. It works to not only improve moisture levels for more supple skin, but also boosts radiance while strengthening the barrier for a complexion that both looks and feels its best.
The Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Face Cream is made with super lotus, an antioxidant-packed ingredient that protects the skin against the damaging effects of free radicals. This ingredient also strengthens the skin’s barrier. It’s joined by a variety of ingredients that boost moisture levels, including glycerin, shea butter, and cucumber fruit extract. The cream is also infused with peach leaf extract for an extra refreshing touch.
The Rich Cream from dermatologist-founded brand Augustinus Bader is easily the priciest option on the list, but if you’re willing to splurge, it is well worth the high price point. The deeply hydrating formula is powered by a unique patented complex that has been clinically shown to lessen the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. This makes the cream an ideal choice for those looking for a powerful anti-aging remedy that can also help keep their dry skin hydrated and healthy.
In addition to the complex, The Rich Cream features hyaluronic acid, which draws moisture to the complexion and plumps the skin. It works alongside hydrolyzed rice protein, an ingredient that calms the skin while further improving hydration levels. This vegan and cruelty-free formula also gets bonus points for being made without parabens or phthalates.
Biossance is known for creating high-performance and clean formulas, and this moisturizing cream lives up to the company’s reputation. The Squalane + Omega Repair Cream penetrates deep into the skin, where it plumps and hydrates while supporting overall barrier health. It’s gentle on the skin, and is a suitable option for even more sensitive skin types.
This vegan, cruelty-free and fragrance-free moisturizing cream is made with ceramides, hyaluronic acid, shea butter, and squalane, all of which work together to revive dry skin and help the skin retain its moisture in the long-term. Another key component are acai berry sterols, which mimic the cholesterol naturally found in the skin for optimal skin health and balance.
The Innisfree Green Tea Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Moisturizer has been proven to intensely hydrate the skin. In fact, after a one-week clinical trial, 100% of participants agreed that the dermatologist tested moisturizer helped their skin feel more hydrated, while 96% said it enhanced the skin’s barrier.
This formula is made with green tea seed oil and extract. These antioxidant-rich ingredients protect the skin while balancing the microbiome and boosting hydration levels.
Additionally, this moisturizer is powered by an impressive five different types of hyaluronic acid, which work at different layers of the skin to ensure the complexion is deeply hydrated. Glycerin, allantoin, panthenol, squalane, and ceramides also work to calm and further moisturize the skin, ensuring it is left feeling plump and comforted.
This cult-favorite multi-purpose face and body moisturizer from CeraVe has a lot to love. It’s not only budget-friendly but also has a super simple yet incredibly effective formula that ensures the skin stays comforted and well-hydrated.
This dermatologist-developed moisturizer features three essential ceramides that work to restore the barrier and improve moisture levels. At the same time, hyaluronic acid and glycerin help draw moisture to the skin and lock it in for long-term hydration.
What’s particularly unique about this formula is that it uses a patented MVE technology, which gradually releases moisturizing ingredients to the skin for round-the-clock hydration. This formula is also non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog pores), and is free of fragrances.
If you have dry, sensitive skin, this moisturizer is for you. Avène specializes in crafting formulas that are super gentle — so much so that they won’t aggravate sensitive skin. The company’s Revitalizing Nourishing Cream conditions and restores the skin while preventing moisture loss.
This non-comedogenic and paraben-free formula features pre-tocopheryl (a precursor to vitamin E), which provides antioxidant benefits to defend the skin against environmental aggressors. It works alongside various fruit extracts (including bilberry, raspberry, and redcurrant extracts), packed with lipids and vitamins that strengthen the barrier and nourish the skin.
In addition to these ingredients, the formula features glycerin to draw moisture to the skin. Thermal spring water also helps soothe sensitive skin, while at the same time softening the complexion.
This moisturizing cream from budget-friendly skincare brand Versed strikes the perfect balance between being rich but not greasy. The vegan and cruelty-free formula is loaded with ingredients that ensure the skin stays moisturized, nourished, and healthy. It also helps soften the appearance of signs of aging.
The Skin Soak Rich Moisture Cream is powered by sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid, which work in tandem to attract moisture to the skin. They’re joined by squalane, another powerful hydrating ingredient that keeps the skin soft and supple. Nutrient-dense red algae extract also restores and strengthens the skin, while antioxidant vitamin E defends against environmental aggressors that can cause damage and lead to premature signs of aging. Bonus: the clean formula is made without parabens, fragrances, or sulfates.
Paula’s Choice always makes excellent products that are targeted towards specific skin types, and this creamy moisturizer is an absolute must-try for anyone with dry skin. It is packed with some of the best ingredients for bringing parched, flaky skin back to life. The creamy formula immediately hydrates the skin while boosting radiance and soothing any signs of irritation. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free, and doesn’t contain any fragrances.
The Omega+ Complex Moisturizer is infused with nourishing omegas 3, 6, and 9 from chia seed and linseed oils. These fatty acids work together to strengthen the barrier and prevent any moisture loss. At the same time, shea butter, ceramides, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, and other ingredients boost skin moisture levels, while antioxidant-rich ingredients like passionfruit and guava extracts calm the complexion and defend against free radicals.
This luxuriously rich moisturizer from Naturium restores the moisture barrier to bring dry skin back to life. It uses the company’s second skin technology, which helps to prevent water loss and boost moisture levels by mimicking the skin’s natural stratum corneum. Regular use allows you to achieve and maintain supple, soft, and healthy skin.
The Plant Ceramide Rich Moisture Cream is made with powerful plant-derived ceramides. These ceramides work alongside shea butter, squalane, glycerin, and other ingredients that douse the skin with much-needed moisture while boosting overall strength and health so that the skin is more resilient.
What we also love about this gentle, deeply moisturizing formula is that it is offered at a budget-friendly price. Even better, the dermatologist tested cream is vegan and cruelty-free, and doesn’t contain parabens or fragrances.
Vanicream makes some of the absolute best formulas for dry, sensitive skin, and the company’s Daily Facial Moisture is one of our all-time favorite products. It has a rich texture, but quickly absorbs into the skin without leaving behind any greasy residue. Once applied, it immediately gets to work to promote super soft and hydrated skin.
This Vanicream moisturizer is powered by five key ceramides that work in tandem to support the barrier and balance moisture levels. These ceramides are joined by hyaluronic acid, the highly effective humectant that attracts moisture to the skin. Squalane and glycerin further work to ensure the skin is adequately hydrated.
This dermatologist tested formula is fairly simple, and only contains the key ingredients needed to keep dry, easily aggravated skin healthy and happy. It’s also non-comedogenic, and is made without potential irritants, including fragrances, dyes, parabens, and essential oils.
Another cult-favorite product especially beloved by those with dry skin is the Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentré. This light and milky moisturizer — which has a subtle sweet floral scent — quickly absorbs into the skin, leaving a soft satin finish.
This Embryolisse formula features shea butter and beeswax, which work together to seal moisture into the skin and repair the lipid barrier. Anti-inflammatory aloe vera also calms the skin and provides additional hydrating benefits. The moisturizer is also infused with soy proteins, which firm the skin and improve elasticity while softening the appearance of fine lines for a more youthful appearance.
What’s also great about this formula is that it’s multi-tasking. While it is safe to use on the face, you can also use it as a full body moisturizer. You can also use it as a moisturizing mask when your skin needs an extra hydration boost.
Our final recommendation is the Ultra Facial Cream with Squalane, which is one of the best-selling Kiehl’s products. The lightweight cream is made to be gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin, and is designed to improve the skin’s hydration levels by an impressive 132%. It’s also made without fragrances or parabens.
The star ingredient in this Kiehl’s moisturizer is olive-derived squalane, which restores moisture levels while supporting overall barrier health. Another key ingredient worth highlighting is glacial glycoprotein, which works with the squalane to quench dry skin, leaving it feeling soft and supple.
While these are some of the stars of the formula, the ingredients list certainly doesn’t stop there. This moisturizing cream also contains glycerin, a humectant that draws moisture to the skin, as well as nourishing and moisturizing oils, including apricot, olive, avocado, and sweet almond oil. It also features vitamin E, which provides an antioxidant boost.
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