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, it can feel tight and, if it’s really, really dry and senstive, it can 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.
These differ vastly from the best moisturisers for oily skin. 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, as well as defending 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 face 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 to find one that suits your skin, budget and lifestyle…
Best moisturiser for dry skin on the face
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.
Best moisturiser for dry sensitive skin
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.
Best moisturiser for dry skin on body
Containing their specially formed LaH6 hydration complex and alpha-hydroxy acids, this exfoliating lotion is a great buy if you’re looking for all-round smoother skin or to minimise the appearance of keratosis pilaris. It’s one of the most popular body moisturisers out there – and with good reason!
See more of our creams for dry skin below. Dry and sore skin, be gone.
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.
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.
Keeping your skin's mosuture levels up for 8 hours, the non greasy formula doesn't leave a layer of greasy, oiliness behind and keeps skin soft, smooth and comfortable.
This does EXACTLY what it says on the tin. It rescues your skin. It's aimed to minimise the effects of stress on the skin, which in some cases is dehydration and dryness. It's like a superhero that swoops in, sorts your skin out and then leaves again. Keep it in your cupboard for those days when your skin is so angry and dry, then go back to your normal day cream once skin has been rescued.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.