The Best Moisturizer for Dry Skin


Your skin acts as a barrier protecting the underlying tissues, from infection, chemicals, desiccation, and mechanical stress. When this function is disrupted, it results in transepidermal water loss. TEWL links up with conditions like atopic dermatitis and other chronic skin diseases.

Dry skin occurs because of insufficient moisture retention by your skin. This condition may be the result of frequent bathing, aging, use of harsh soaps, or other medical conditions. If you’re living in colder climates, it can stem from dry cold winter air.

This is where the moisturizers come into play. “Moisturizing products are important,” You need them because you never want to dry out the outermost layer of skin.” celebrity aesthetician Nerida Joy tells Newbeauty.

They improve these skin conditions by restoring the integrity of the stratum corneum or the outermost layer of the skin and acts as a barrier to water loss. They even replace skin lipids and other compounds. Also, moisturizers reduce fine lines and make your skin smooth and soft.

Dry skin is not a severe health problem, but it can result in severe complications. In this article, we’ve discussed all you need to know about moisturizers, and we even recommend the best moisturizer for dry skin.

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Who needs a moisturizer?

Everyone needs a moisturizer but especially people with dry skin. The best moisturizer for dry skin is packed with hyaluronic acid, which can hold 1000 times its weight in water that enhances skin hydration.

The moisturizers for dry skin not only inject your skin with hydration but also attract moisture from the environment and draw it deep into your dermis. These smart formulas protect your skin’s natural barrier from against pollution which then works at locking in any moisture.

It is essential to use the best face moisturizer for dry skin because if you’re not using it, you could develop wrinkles, your complexion will appear dull and flaky, and your dry skin will aggravate the acne.

What is a moisturizer?

The moisturizer is a complex mixture of chemical agents specially designed to make the external layers of your skin more pliable and soft. The ingredients present in moisturizer help hold water in the skin after application. The emollients soothe the skin while humectants attract moisture.

Moisturizers don’t add moisture they attract and tap existing water in your skin. A good moisturizer locks water in the outer layer of the skin and gives the damaged cells a chance to repair. The type of your skin and the degree of dryness will dictate what kind of hydration you need the most.

Humectants: They can be otherwise called the moisture absorbers. These moisturizers draw water to skin cells and keep them hydrated. They work best for thick dry skin in climates that are very humid. The essential ingredients include lactic acid, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, urea, and alpha hydroxy acid. “Humectants act as a good first layer of moisture and are suitable for all skin types including oily, combination and acne prone skin because they’re void of the heavier oils,” New York dermatologist Anne Chapas, MD tells NewBeauty.

Emollients: They fill in any gaps or spaces between skin cells that have lost moisturizing lipids. Emollients are usually oil based, but sometimes they can be water-based too. As an emollient fills the space between cells, the skin becomes hydrated and smoother. Emollients are suited aptly for dehydrated, mature skin that needs serious moisture. The key ingredients include lanolin, petrolatum, and mineral oil.

Ceramides: They are naturally found in your skin. The damaged or depleted ceramide levels show up in dry, damaged skin. If you replenish your skin with the lost ceramides, the moisture holding capacity of your skin will be significantly enhanced. Ceramides also called the skin glue, work best for normal or combination skin types, minimal dryness and those with eczema.

Occlusive: These moisture sealers are designed to douse your skin with moisture. They are heavy and can be used as the best body moisturizer for dry skin and not as best face moisturizer for dry skin. The key ingredients include avocado, rosehip and hazelnut oils. Occlusives work best for more mature, dehydrated skin that does not contain any humidity in its environment. If your skin is blemish prone or reactive, it is wise to stay away from occlusive moisturizers best.

How to select a moisturizer?

Sun protection: Dermatologists advise getting the best moisturizer for dry skin with an SPF 30 irrespective of your skin type. If you’re looking for a best facial moisturizer for dry skin, then go in for oil and fragrance-free variations.

Antioxidants: Moisturizers containing green tea, pomegranate, chamomile, or licorice root extract may keep your skin looking fresh and healthy. The antioxidants protect your skin cells by neutralizing free radicals which break down skin cells.

If you have dry skin, a heavy moisturizer will work wonders. Look for ingredients like dimethicone and hyaluronic acid. These components help keep your skin hydrated. Propylene glycol, proteins, glycerin, and urea also helps attract water to your skin. Mineral oil, lanolin and petrolatum locks in moisture.

If you have itchy skin and find that a hypoallergenic cream doesn’t relieve your itch, you can try a 1% hydrocortisone steroid skin cream for one week and not longer. If you suffer from eczema, use a thick moisturizing ointment containing petrolatum or merely apply petroleum jelly to help smooth the cracks to keep your skin supple.

Things to avoid when choosing a moisturizer: When you want to moisturize dry skin experts warn you to avoid potentially irritating ingredients like perfumes and added colors. The antibacterial agents can also be unnecessarily harsh stripping skin of its essential oils.

Be known that whatever is right for your body is not always suitable for your face. Experts recommend you to avoid facial moisturizers with favorite body ingredients like mineral oil, lanolin, shea butter or waxes. These ingredients can clog the pores and cause acne on your face. Try to avoid too many acids such as the glycolic acids, alpha-hydroxy acids, salicylic acid and retinoic acid if you have dry or sensitive skin. These ingredients may penetrate your skin too profoundly and trouble delicate skin. Beware of products containing alcohol as well.

Limit your use of steroid cream or ointment to only one or two weeks unless your doctor recommends using it longer. Overuse can make your skin very thin and lead to other skin problems. If you have eczema or cracked skin, stay away from urea or lactic acids because they can aggravate existing skin irritations.

How to get the most out of your moisturizer? For best hydrating results and all over skin care, use a thin lotion for your face and the best body moisturizer for dry skin which is a thick cream. Smooth on the best moisturizer for dry skin after a bath or shower. Then pat your skin dry. Be sure to use a moisturizer that has sun protection. The pros recommend using alpha hydroxyl acids or vitamin A for an anti-aging boost. To get an even skin tone, look out for a tinted moisturizer suitable for your complexion.

What’s in a moisturizer?

When it comes to moisturizers, the choices are seemingly endless. High-end department stores and drug stores are packed with creams, moisturizers, serums and more. They all promise everything from younger looking skin to a blemish-free complexion. But what makes one moisturizer different from others? It all comes down to ingredients.

Antioxidants: They play an important when it comes to reducing dry skin. Most often dry skin is the result of the destructive efforts of sun exposure. Stable antioxidants shield your skin’s surface from further deterioration. They defend against the environmental assault on the visible signs of aging.

The best moisturizer for dry skin may contain multiple antioxidants to rejuvenate your skin. A few fascinating antioxidants include grape extract, green tea extract, resveratrol, vitamin E, vitamin C, epigallocatechin-3 gallate, ferulic acid, superoxide dismutase, willow herb extract, feverfew extract, and licorice extract.

Skin replenishing ingredients: They help to replenish your skin’s surface, drenching it with hydration and keeping it in place. The skin replenishing ingredients help your skin to look and feel soft and supple. Some of the hydration boosting superstars include ceramides, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, sodium PCA, silicones, glycerol, salicylic acid, petrolatum and alpha hydroxyl acids.

Emollients: They are lubricating agents that reduce water loss and gives a beautiful softening, protective and smoothening effect on your skin. These aspects are the key to maintaining the skin’s moisture, radiance, and silky texture. The emollients may be thick or fluid and include non-fragrant plant oils. They may also contain cocoa butter, shea butter, fatty acids, linoleic acid, borage oil, evening primrose oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil and mango butter.

Sunscreen: If you’re applying the best moisturizer for dry skin during the day, it should contain broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30+. Unprotected sun exposure continually harms your skin rendering its ability to hold moisture in and replenish your dry skin with vital substances that’ll help to hydrate it. Make sure that the label specifies broad spectrum and apply it liberally to ensure you’re getting adequate protection.

There are some ingredients that you may need to avoid. Many of these chemicals are skin irritants, skin penetrants endocrine disruptors and are carcinogenic. Here are ten chemicals that you should highly avoid. Parabens, synthetic colors, fragrance, phthalates, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, formaldehyde, toluene, propylene glycol and sunscreen chemicals are some of the ingredients that could be harmful.

What are the benefits of moisturizer?

The skin moisturizers are beneficial in maintaining healthy skin. The skin is the most significant organ in the body and has several vital functions to perform. The skin protects us from harsh environmental conditions such as microbial invasion and physical injuries. Your skin regulates your body temperature, eliminates waste and provides sensory input. Your skin loses its ability when compromised or damaged.

The epidermis which is the top layer of your skin has an outermost layer the stratum corneum. It is where the moisture content is controlled. Keratin and phospholipids found in stratum corneum aid in moisture control. When your skin is healthy, these two components work carefully to keep out irritants and preserve moisture.

Dry skin may occur when the skin loses its phospholipid bilayers. This results in potential irritants entering your skin and moisture exiting through the skin. The best body moisturizer for dry skin can be used preventatively or to improve the function of the stratum corneum. There are two means to moisturize your skin. You can add moisture back into your skin, or you can block the transepidermal water loss.

According to Infection Control Today, transepidermal water loss is a process by which moisture migrates from the dermal tissues to the epidermis into the stratum corneum and then evaporates into the atmosphere. Moisturizers fall into two categories humectants and lipids. Humectants attract moisture. Depending upon the moisture particles molecular weight and size; they get absorbed or stay on the surface of the skin.

The lipids block moisture from leaving the skin. They are occlusive or semi-occlusive materials that you can apply topically. They provide a barrier and allow your skin to restore itself better. They are best used soon after showering, bathing or soaking. At this time your skin will retain some moisture, and a lipid-based moisturizer will provide a barrier to moisture loss.

What are the points to consider of a moisturizer?

Read the labels while selecting the best drugstore moisturizer for dry skin. You can go in for heavy moisturizers if you have dry skin. You’ll have to experiment with several brands before you find a moisturizer that suits you best. So, you can buy small bottles of a variety of products until you’ve found the best moisturizer for dry skin.

If your skin is dry and cracking better go in for a moisturizer that doubles as sunscreen. Apply the moisturizer when getting out of the shower because the hot water removes some essential oils from your skin. Play close attention to legs, knees, and hands. These are the areas susceptible to drying. You can apply the moisturizer as needed. Better apply lotion after being exposed to cold weather, after exercise and after washing your hands.

Try to follow certain precautions when using heavier creams. Avoid using heavier oil-based creams on your face unless you have excessive dryness. The heavier creams can clog pores and leads to acne breakouts.

What is the best moisturizer for dry skin?

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Beauty Without Cruelty Fragrance-Free Hand & Body Lotion

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This best moisturizer for dry skin is a perfect all-over body treatment. It is an ideal drink of moisture for your dry skin. This unique plant-based formula gets absorbed quickly replenishing your skin with pro-vitamins, humectants, and the protective emollients like shea butter, kukui nut, and jojoba oils. These ingredients, moisturize, replenish and protect your skin, against environmental stress and effects of time.

This product is 100% vegetarian and contains all organic ingredients. This best moisturizer for dry skin is Amazon’s top choice product.

“The BWC lotion is a lovely, lightweight lotion that absorbs into the skin very nicely. It is thankfully fragrance-free, which is very hard to find a quality lotion. It’s wonderful to add a few drops of essential oil and customize your fragrance. I purchased both the regular version and the extra rich formula. I use the regular as a body lotion and the extra rich for hands,” says Copper Cavalier (Amazon)


  • Has strong moisturizing effect
  • Amazon’s top choice product
  • All-over body treatment
  • Organic ingredients


  • Has slight stickiness

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream 16 oz Daily Face and Body Moisturizer for Dry Skin

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This best drugstore moisturizer for dry skin provides 24-hour hydration. It helps restore the protective skin barrier with three essential ceramides. It is formulated with hyaluronic acid to help retain your skin’s natural moisture.

This best dry skin moisturizer contains patented MVE® controlled-release technology to replenish ceramides and deliver long-lasting moisturization. It is free of fragrance and oil, non-comedogenic, non-irritating and hypoallergenic. This best facial moisturizer for dry skin is ideal for normal to dry skin.

“So far, so good with this great cream. It seems to be working much better than other brands (and we have tried many) for winter’s dry skin issues. Highly recommended, “says Bolt (Amazon).


  • 24-hour hydration
  • Free of fragrance
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-comedogenic and nonirritating


  • Irritating for the eyes

ATTITUDE, Blooming Belly, Natural Nourishing Cream, Argan

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Perfect to use during pregnancy, this best moisturizer for dry skin is made with emollient-rich argan oil. Cold pressed from the fruit of the Moroccan argan tree, argan oil is known as the miracle oil.

Argan oil keeps your skin firm and elastic. This non-greasy formula will help prepare your skin, for pregnancy-related changes by keeping it soft and hydrated. “I love this lotion.  It smells go well.  It has been helping with my dry skin as winter has been setting in,” writes Mollie.P (attitude living)


  • Free of potentially harmful preservatives
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-greasy formula
  • Certified by EWG


  • None

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer

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Juice Beauty is the best face moisturizer for dry skin. It contains a proprietary blend of fresh stem cells, infused into a vitamin C, resveratrol-rich grapeseed formula to reduce fine lines, and wrinkles. This best facial moisturizer for dry skin contains certified organic, antioxidant-rich ingredients that hydrate and improve the elasticity of your skin.

“Hands down the best moisture. A bit on the pricey side, but worth it! I’m hoping to still look in my 20’s when I am far into my 30’s! I love all Juice products!” writes Amazoner (Amazon)


  • Organic
  • Excellent results
  • Contains jojoba oil and shea butter


  • Contains sodium benzoate.

Advanced Clinicals Coconut Oil Cream. Spa size 16oz Moisturizing Cream.

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This best body moisturizer for dry skin contains organic ingredients, is super emollient and not greasy. It contains anti-aging hydrating coconut oil, which restores deep hydration to your face and body.

This best dry skin moisturizer has a 3-in one formula which acts as a facial moisturizer, body cream, and hair conditioner. “Like the pump feature. The cream is very good. Fast absorbing and not greasy,” – KS (Amazon)


  • Excellent result
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Pump feature is great


  • Cream dries out quickly

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Our choice for the best product

After analyzing from all possible angles, we found that Beauty Without Cruelty Fragrance-Free Hand and Body Lotion is the best moisturizer for dry skin. This product is an allover body treatment, is 100% vegetarian and contains only organic ingredients. It is parabens and fragrance-free.

“I love this lotion! It works great! It’s hard to find a lotion that doesn’t have parabens or petroleum in it, not to mention a host of other undesirable ingredients, but BWC fits the bill. BWC soaks in quickly and doesn’t leave your skin greasy. It works quickly and makes your hands nice and soft, even with really dry skin.” K. Langner (Amazon)

This best moisturizer for dry skin is reasonably priced and gives you excellent results. The customers say because of its creamy consistency it doesn’t take a lot. This vegetarian formula quickly gets absorbed by your skin replenishing it with pro-vitamins, humectants, and protective emollients. We found that most of the customers are happy and satisfied with this product.

The best part is there is no animal testing or animal ingredients in this moisturizer. So, our choice for the best moisturizer for dry skin is Beauty Without Cruelty Fragrance-Free Hand and Body Lotion.

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