Suffering from dry, itchy skin? Nursing your skin back to healthiness means more than just getting back your glow. The skin barrier is a delicate web of lipids that help your skin retain water, keeping it moisturized and healthy. A damaged skin barrier makes your skin more susceptible to acne, flakiness, burning, itching, and redness. Fortunately, using a moisturizer for sensitive skin can help reduce dryness and get you back on track.
What to Look for in the Best Moisturizer for Women’s Dry Skin
Certain ingredients work harder than others to moisturize dry, cracked skin, but be wary of some pore-clogging ingredients that can stall out the repair process! Here are some things to look for in a moisturizer:
- Emollients like shea butter and botanical oils smooth and soften skin, often with fresh, mood-lifting scents.
- Humectants like hyaluronic acid attract water to the skin, increasing the skin’s water content over time. Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by your body and can hold 1,000 times its weight in water, making it a favorite with dermatologists.
- Ceramides or niacinamide bind cells together, enhancing the skin’s natural lipid barrier.
- Occlusives like petroleum or beeswax are sometimes helpful, but sometimes best avoided. Occlusives sit on top of the skin, unlike humectants or ceramides, which penetrate and heal the skin’s lipid layer. They create a substitute barrier over your skin instead of helping repair the skin’s lipid layer. While they can prevent further water loss, they also may stop some products from reaching down into the skin to truly restore moisture.
Best Moisturizers for Dry Skin
Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich – $35.00
This luxurious face cream is the best face moisturizer for dry skin before applying foundation or other makeup. Known for its light, refreshing scent, this blend of shea and murumuru butter is a popular offering by trendy new giant on the beauty scene, Glossier. This skin moisturizer is packed with ceramides and fatty acids to improve overall skin texture.
The Lotus Youth Preserve moisturizer combines star fruit leaf extract, lotus, and vitamin E as well as hyaluronic acid to attract and preserve moisture. Fresh products boast consistently high reviews from their users, and the Lotus Moisturizer is no exception. In an assessment of 61 subjects over the course of four weeks, 98% of respondents said that their skin felt stronger, protected, soft, and supple after using the Lotus Youth Preserve Moisturizer.
Aquaphor Healing Ointment – $13.74
This no-fuss ointment is a multi-purpose lotion for dry skin anywhere it might appear. From chapped lips to dry cuticles to minor burns, Aquaphor’s ointment has stood the test of time as the best lotion for dry skin all over the body. Aquaphor’s Healing Ointment consistently offers relief at a reasonable price point.
Neutrogena Hydro-Boost Gel Cream – $16.44
Neutrogena’s gel-formula is gentle enough to be used every day but still delivers powerful hyaluronic acid to quench thirsty skin. Recommended time and again by magazines and reviewers, this formula’s signature lightweight feel smooths and softens rough patches, making it a candidate for a best facial moisturizer for dry skin.
Saturday Skin’s artisanal water-based moisturizer is made with Alaskan glacial water as its base. Iceland moss calms and reduces redness, as the mineral-rich cream smooths and brightens skin’s overall appearance.
Aveeno Eczema Therapy – $16.44
Aveeno’s nutrient-rich oatmeal-based cream has been awarded the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Approval, but it can be used by anyone who suffers from extra-dry skin. Aveeno boasts that it is the number one dermatologist-recommended brand, making it perhaps the best lotion for dry skin, and a contender for best lotion brand overall.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream – $16.08
This patented formula is fragrance and oil-free, non-comedogenic, and usable on the whole body. A dermatologist favorite, CeraVe is possibly the best face moisturizer for dry, sensitive skin. It uses three essential ceramides as well as hyaluronic acid to restore the skin’s moisture barrier, without clogging pores. CeraVe’s patented technology is a cost-effective and proven way to treat dry skin from head to toe.
Nia 24 Intensive Recovery Complex – $84.00
At a hefty $84.00 per 1.7 fluid ounce, the Nia 24 Intensive Recovery Complex is one of the most expensive creams on this list. At this price though, you know you’re getting perhaps the very best moisturizer for sensitive skin. This cream uses niacin to promote healing after intensive sun damage. Niacin is an anti-inflammatory, and this cream uses concentrated doses to reduce redness in the skin and re-bond the lipid layer. At this price, however, this cream is a best moisturizer for face only, not the whole body.
This gel moisturizer from Origins is the best moisturizer for anyone looking to add some pep into their skincare routine. Caffeine and ginseng firm up tired and lackluster skin, while an essential oil blend of lemon, grapefruit, and spearmint hydrates with a cooling feel and fresh scent. Proven to deliver 72-hour hydration, this silicone-free creme is the best face moisturizer for dry, sensitive skin that needs a boost in radiance.
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps – $49.00
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps has been a staple on best body moisturizer lists for a long time. This non-greasy option is the best body lotion for dry skin due to its proprietary blend of cocoa butter and Beta-Carotene. It also contains squalene, an olive-derived lipid. This botanical-rich moisturizer for dry skin leaves skin supple and soft and carries a 95% approval rating.
Dry, tired skin can be both painful and a pain, but luckily there are many helpful premium skincare products, face masks like DIY oatmeal mask, that can help your skin soak up the moisture it needs to heal and give you the healthy skin glow you seek. A product with a scent and price point you love can freshen up your daily skincare routine while repairing and restoring your skin’s all-important lipid layer.