Find your new dry skin saviour with our picks of the best moisturiser for dry skin
Dry skin is the worst. Flaky bits appear out of nowhere and it can feel tight. If it’s really dry and sensitive, it can also be painful and sore. Keeping it moisturised is important, as is using the best moisturiser for dry skin. Any old cream just won’t cut it.
What makes the best moisturiser for dry skin?
These differ vastly from the best moisturisers for oily skin. Applied after your best face serums, they’re developed with ingredients like hyaluronic acid (which can hold 1,000 times its weight in water), fortifying hydrators and soothing ingredients. These clever formulas can also attract moisture from the environment, drawing it deep into your dermis. They also defend your skin’s protective barrier against environmental aggressors such as pollution, which then helps to lock in moisture. ‘Choose a good quality light moisturiser that soaks in readily, rather than just sitting on the surface of the skin,’ advises Dr Ross Perry, cosmetic doctor and managing director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics.
‘Try a rich emollient cream as this will soften and smooth out any flakiness on a dry face whilst adding in that much-needed moisture boost,’ adds consultant dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto. ‘If in any doubt, speak to a dermatologist, GP or sales assistant to find the perfect moisturiser to suit your individual needs. There is no one size fits all when it comes to skincare.’
But there’s more to keeping your skin hydrated than simply applying moisturiser. One of the common causes of dry patches is dead cells adhering to your skin, so invest in the best cleanser that contains gentle exfoliating ingredients to break down the bonds holding those dead skin cells together. Follow this with the best toner, which boosts hydration and your moisturiser will then sink in to your skin better and be as effective as it possibly can.
Finish off with one of the best foundations for dry skin and your complexion will stay healthy and glowing throughout the day. Scroll through for our round-up of the best moisturiser for dry skin. Find one that suits your skin, budget and lifestyle…
Why we love it No fuss, no frills, delivers on its promises
If you have dry skin, its natural protection is weak and vulnerable, which makes it super fragile. Nothing is more gentle and more hydrating on skin than this cream by Skinceuticals. It's water-based and rich in valuable lipids, natural extracts and essentials oils that cocoon the skin in softness.
Why we love it Purse-friendly and really, really good
CeraVe might not have the sexiest packaging, but boy does the dry skin cream inside make up for that. This purse-friendly cream is rich and nourishing, but not greasy at all. It uses this clever thing called MVE Delivery Technology that releases the much-needed ingredients throughout the day, exactly when you need them. It's also a great, gentle cream for dry or itchy skin conditions like eczema, as it supports a compromised skin barrier.
Why we love it A cult classic
This cream is not for the faint-hearted. It is so thick and rich that it can be used all over the body, but some people think it makes the best moisturiser for dry skin on the face too. You have been warned.
Why we love it Instantly soothes tight skin
One of Japan's best-selling brands has finally landed on UK shores, and we're obsessed. Although it's described as an intensive cream and is lovely and thick, it importantly doesn't feel greasy on your skin, supporting your skin barrier with a thick dose of hydration. It's nothing short of excellent.
Why we love it Rich, but not at all greasy
Keeping your skin's mosuture levels up for eight hours, the non greasy formula doesn't leave a layer of greasy, oiliness behind and keeps skin soft, smooth and comfortable.
Why we love it Dreamy luxury worth every penny
If you have nearly £150 to spend on a day cream, then you should do it. Sisley know how to create a beautiful moisturiser and this one is no different. This cream can be used day and night and eases tightness, calms redness, soothes discomfort. This cream is all about making your skin feel comfortable and that's thanks to the Saffron flower extract.
Why we love it Makes for an excellent base for make-up
Dry skin, beware. Tidal combines hyaluronic acid to hydrate and papaya enzymes to nibble away at the dry dead skin cells that linger on the skin's surface. Be sure to use an SPF afterwards.
Why we love it French pharmacy must-have
When skin is so dry that it feels tight and sore, this soothes and prevents further moisture-loss. Works particularly well in Winter when skin needs an extra boost.
Why we love it The perfect summer lightweight hydrator
If you’re after lightweight hydration rather than creamy nourishment, then Neutrogena’s gel moisturiser is an absolute dream. This one’s all about its hyaluronic acid, which draws in water and essentially locks it to your skin cells, meaning all-day hydration without any greasiness.
Why we love it Make-up artists swear by this
You can find a tube of this hero cream inside the kits of pretty much every famed makeup artist. Rich in vitamins and fatty acids, it preps the skin for makeup beautifully, and also works wonders as a flash moisture mask, makeup remover, razor bump remedy, and for your everyday moisturiser.
Why we love it Skin rescue in a pot
When your skin is in need of rescuing, maybe the weather has turned or you've used a pretty punch peel, this will boost your skin's moisture levels leaving it smooth, plump and nourished.
Why we love it Korean skincare at its best
When your skin is dry and tight, you want a cream to do two things. One - envelop the skin in moisture, making it feel more comfortable. Two - penetrate deep into the dermal layers to improve hydration from within.
Why we love it Sustainability at the core
If you're after a sustainable option, Biossance combines scientific research with sustainable practices. Each of their products contains a sugarcane-derived squalane (rather than squalene, which is found is sharks) that helps seal in moisture. This nourishing cream banishes flakes, seals in moisture and leaves skin plump and happy. The packaging is also completely recyclable.
Why we love it A scientifically-proven skin healer
You've probably seen Augustinus Bader on some of your favourite celebrities' Instagram feed. Victoria Beckham loves it, Diane Kruger can't get enough and Marie Claire is just as obsessed. The science behind it a special complex that has previously been used to heal burnt skin. It's been a total game-changer in the industry for good reason.
Why we love it A triple hyaluronic acid threat
This new range from Beauty Pie uses three forms of hyaluronic acid. Skin is transformed after one use - gone is any evidence of dry and dehydrated skin.
Why we love it Affordable luxury
This rich cream floods the skin with moisture and reinforces the skin's barrier function, meaning that skin is happier for longer.