What Are Moisturizers for Dry Skin?

Dealing with dry skin can be quite a struggle, especially dry flakes, patches, or itchy spots. However, the best moisturizers for dry skin can help soothe inflammation, rehydrate dry patches, and improve skin texture.

To find the right formula for yourself, start by choosing thick moisturizers, which contain oils and butter instead of water.

Marie Hayag, a board-certified dermatologist, says you should pick moisturizers that contain humectants, emollients, Ceramides, and occlusives to help hydrate skin, protect the moisture barrier, soften skin, and prevent water loss from the skin.

Expert Take:
Dendy Engelman, a board-certified dermatologist says, “Think of moisturizers as a shield: You use moisturizers to lock in active ingredients and block harmful aggressors out.” She further adds that moisturizers do help strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier to make it less vulnerable.

What Are the Benefits?

  • Hydrating face moisturizers help boost skin hydration by attracting water to the skin
  • Dry skin moisturizers help soften and improve skin texture
  • Face creams for dry skin do help strengthen the skin’s lipid barrier to prevent water loss
  • Facial moisturizers may soothe skin inflammations and flare-ups

Best Moisturizers for Dry Skin

14 Best Moisturizers for Dry Skin

Best Overall Moisturizer for Dry Skin Beverly Hills MD Deep Regenerating Stem Cell Moisturizer
Best tinted Moisturizer for Dry Skin DRMTLGY Universal Tinted Moisturizer SPF 46
Best Non-greasy Moisturizer for Dry Skin CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
Best Moisturizer for Extremely Dry Skin Aquaphor Healing Ointment
Best Hydrating Cream Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
Best Moisturizer for Sensitive Dry Skin Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer
Best for Sensitive Skin Aveeno Calm + Restore Oat Gel Moisturizer
Best for Redness Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
Best for Texture EltaMD AM Therapy Face Moisturizer
Best Replenishing & Plumping Moisturizer Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream
Best Moisturizer for Dry Acne-Prone Skin La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
Best Anti-aging Moisturizer for Dry Skin SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2
Best Plumping Moisturizer Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream
Best Natural Moisturizer Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream

Our Top Picks For Moisturizers for Dry Skin

Beverly Hills MD Deep Regenerating Stem Cell Moisturizer

Beverly Hills MD Deep Regenerating Stem Cell Moisturizer

The Beverly Hills MD Deep Regenerating Stem Cell Moisturizer is an innovative skincare product, designed to harness the power of cutting-edge scientific developments to promote a youthful skin appearance. Formulated by esteemed dermatologists, this moisturizer aims to revitalize the skin by using advanced ingredients that support stem cell rejuvenation.

It works to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines while deeply hydrating even a very dry skin. Furthermore, it helps to restore a radiant and firm skin texture, making it appear more vibrant and elastic. With consistent use, this product endeavors to deliver transformative results, leading to healthier, more supple skin that defies the common signs of aging.


I love this moisturizer. It goes on so smoothly, smells nice, and keeps my face moisturized. It feels good. I use it every morning and a few nights when I don’t use the activated retinol night treatment.~ by LORI L SMALL


Container Type: Jar | Skin Type: All skin types | Size: 1.7 oz | Form: Cream | Brand: Beverly Hills MD

DRMTLGY Universal Tinted Moisturizer SPF 46

DRMTLGY’s Universal Tinted Moisturizer SPF 46 is an amazing skincare product that caters to a range of complexion needs while providing strong sun protection. It’s like a multitasking powerhouse! Not only does this tinted moisturizer hydrate and nourish your dry skin, but it also gives a sheer, universally flattering tint that blends seamlessly with most skin tones.

It’s all about enhancing your natural beauty. And with an SPF of 46, it’s got your back against those UVA and UVB rays, helping to prevent sun damage and premature aging. Plus, it’s so lightweight and versatile, that you can wear it alone or under makeup. It’s the perfect addition to your skincare routine!


I ve been wanting to switch to a SPF moisturizer. Bonus this is tinted. I love the feel of it on my face, not heavy or sticky feeling. Some days I just stick with the moisturizer and don’t apply any makeup.
It’s not full coverage but a natural nice look I am happy with.
~ by A.B.


Container Type: Pump Bottle | Skin Type: Normal, Sensitive, and Dry skin | Size: 1.7 oz | Form: Cream | Brand: DRMTLGY

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is a quick-absorbing, non-greasy moisturizer suitable for both face and body, designed for normal to dry skin. It is formed with three vital ceramides that effectively retain skin moisture and support your skin’s protective shield.


Nice lotion that is non-greasy and has a nice silky feel. The smell is not off-putting like some of the other samples I have received lately, and it is from a brand I know and trust. A little goes a long way which is also cost effective. I look forward to making this part of my daily routine.~ by Cherub


Container Type: Jar | Skin Type: Dry Skin | Size: 14 oz | Form: Cream | Brand: CeraVe

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Aquaphor Healing Ointment is known to revive and maintain smooth and healthy skin. Unlike lotions or creams, this ointment provides protection and relief for dry skin, chapped lips, and various skin irritations allowing you to go comfortably.


I use it everywhere. Everywhere. I love it more than any other prose that out there the ingredients are just pure so that adds to the greatness. Ya…I just love it I have a tub or tube everywhere.~ by Bestie B.


Container Type: Jar | Skin Type: Dry Skin | Size: 14.oz | Form: Cream | Brand: Aquaphor

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream is designed for people with very dry to dry, sensitive skin. This rich cream has been clinically proven to offer deep and long-lasting hydration for up to 48 hours. It contains a special blend of niacinamide (vitamin B3), panthenol (pro-vitamin B5), and hydrating glycerin, all supported by dermatologists, to enhance the strength and health of sensitive skin.


This Cetaphil moisturizer is the best product I have found for my body. After years in the sun with nothing on but a bathing suit, my skin is now paying the price. Always had a great tan, but now I always have dry skin. This product keeps my skin well moisturized. It goes on easily, is not oily, and soaks in quickly. Hard to find sometimes, so I buy in multiple quantities. Also reasonably priced. Give it a try and I think you will like it as well.~by JKTexas


Container Type: Jar | Skin Type: Dry and Sensitive Skin | Size: 250g | Form: Cream | Brand: Cetaphil

Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer

The Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer is a lightweight lotion suitable for both daytime and nighttime use. It contains hyaluronic acid and five essential ceramides that work together to moisturize and lock in the skin’s moisture. This moisturizer leaves the skin feeling soft and supple.


Please stock this in stores! This has been a lifesaver for me, I have super reactive clog-prone skin, and can never find a moisturizer that hydrates well enough. This is the perfect formula (no clogging ingredients or coconut as far as I can tell) and it has worked so well to help my parched skin.~by Grace


Container Type: Tube | Skin Type: Dry Skin | Size: 3 fl oz (89ml) | Form: Cream | Brand: Vanicream

Aveeno Calm + Restore Oat Gel Moisturizer

This lightweight gel moisturizer soothes and hydrates sensitive, dry skin with nourishing oats and feverfew. The fast-absorbing formula moisturizes for 24 hours with prebiotic oats and calming feverfew. As a gel cream, it provides hydration but is non-greasy. Over 95% of the formula works to benefit sensitive skin through ingredients like oat kernel flour and extract that soothe, and feverfew that moisturizes and is antioxidant rich.


I use this moisturizer twice a day morning and night. It keeps my skin from drying out. Because it is a gel, it absorbs quickly and feels light and not heavy like other creams. If you have sensitive skin, you should try it.~by Uyen


Container Type: Bottle | Skin Type: Sensitive skin | Size: 1.7 oz | Form: Cream, Gel | Brand: Aveeno

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré

A multi-functional skin care product is recommended by professionals for its ability to nourish and protect fragile skin. With a blend of natural ingredients like shea butter, beeswax, aloe vera, and soy proteins, it delivers nutrients to the skin to retain moisture while protecting it from external elements. It can be used as a moisturizing cream, mask, makeup base, cleansing milk, after-shave care, and after-sun care to keep skin beautiful, comfortable, and well-balanced.


This has been my go-to moisturizer for the last 4 years. I worked at Sephora for 3 years and not even the most expensive $100 creams keep me as hydrated as this does. My skin is super dry, sensitive, and reactive. Lait-creme concentre keeps my skin hydrated all day and doesn’t irritate my skin. It’s amazing.”~ by Cordeiro


Container Type: Tube | Skin Type: All skin type | Size: 2.54 Fl.oz (75 ml) | Form: Creme | Brand: Embryolisse

EltaMD AM Therapy Face Moisturizer

EltaMD AM Therapy is a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer that smoothes skin texture and evens skin tone. It stimulates the skin’s natural water system to moisturize without heavy emollients through hyaluronic acid. This fragrance-free and non-comedogenic moisturizer is suitable for sensitive skin and helps increase moisture absorption and retention through antioxidants and hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.


My facialist recommended me this moisturizer due to my skin being super sensitive and picky to certain products. This is my go to, does not feel too thick or oily. My skin truly loves this product as other products will make me break out more or irritate my skin.~by Janellisaa


Container Type: Pump Bottle | Skin Type: Normal to Oily | Size: 1.7 oz | Form: Lotion | Brand: ELtaMD

Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream

It is a rich moisturizing cream that hydrates and plumps dry skin with a blend of Okinawa algae, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidant-packed Japanese purple rice. The purple rice helps protect against stress and pollution for a healthy, dewy glow. An ideal moisturizer for dry skin, it can also be used on combination skin for its richer texture. The cream imparts moisture using botanical extracts while nourishing and smoothing the skin.


The loveliest cream ever.I have been using this skin cream for a couple of years now and my skin looks and feels years younger than my 66 years. I get compliments all of the time and I love to give the mini version as a gift. It is light and silky but moisturizes very well.by~ Patricia


Container Type: Box | Skin Type: Dry to Mature | Size: 1.7 oz (50 ml)| Form: Rich cream | Brand: Tatcha

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

This moisturizer repairs the skin’s protective barrier after 1 hour and provides up to 48 hours of hydration with a lightweight cream texture. It contains ceramide-3, niacinamide, glycerin, and La Roche-Posay Thermal Water to restore the skin’s moisture barrier and produce a unique prebiotic action. Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, it immediately comforts and helps restore a healthy-looking complexion.


I absolutely love love this product! It is perfect for dry skin. It adds so much hydration to my face without making my skin feel greasy. It’s a thicker consistency but does not feel heavy on the skin. It’s a little pricey for a drug store product but I think it’s worth it!~by Marleea


Container Type: Tube | Skin Type: Sensitive Skin | Size: 3.38 Fl Oz (100 ml) | Form: Cream | Brand: La Roche-Posay

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2

View On WalmartPrice: $138

Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 cream from SkinCeuticals contains the patented ratio of 2% ceramides, 4% cholesterol, and 2% fatty acids proven to nourish dry skin and correct signs of aging. This unique cream helps restore the skin’s barrier and supports self-repair while improving skin smoothness, firmness, pores, and radiance. It contains essential lipids and oils that replenish skin and improve texture, fullness, and elasticity.


I love this product! Feels so smooth and I can instantly feel the hydration. It does not feel sticky or thick. I can see the difference in my skin tone. More supple and clear. I get asked all the time what I use for skin care. I am 54 and my skins looks younger, yay! Give it a try!~ by Jen PL


Container Type: Box | Skin Type: All types of Skins | Size: 48 ml | Form: Cream | Brand: SkinCeuticals

Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream

Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream is the whipped gel cream moisturizer is here to hydrate, plump, and balance your skin. It adds lasting moisture to every layer of your skin, giving you a dewy and glowing look. It’s great for balancing your skin, absorbs quickly, and won’t make your skin feel greasy.


I was actually just expecting a good moisturizer. I almost didn’t buy it because I use one and was just gonna wait till it was gone. But wow. It’s incredible. My face feels like butter.~ by Crystal B.


Container Type: Jar | Skin Type: Dry Skin | Size: 1.7 fl oz (50 ml) | Form: Cream | Brand: Glow Recipe

Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream

Weleda Skin Food is good for dry and rough skin on your face, elbows, hands and feet. It contains gentle plant extracts like voila tricolor, calendula, and chamomile in a thick, rich mixture of oils and beeswax. This cream hydrates your skin and gives a healthy glow.


Hands, body, even face – I feel like this product instantly rebuilds the skin’s barrier without being oily. Smells nice too!~by Justine


Container Type: Tube | Skin Type: Dry and rough skin | Size: 2.5 ml fl oz (75 ml ) | Form: Cream | Brand: Weleda

How Did We Evaluate Top Rated Moisturizers for Dry Skin?

For us to generate our list of the best moisturizers for dry, sensitive skin face, the best moisturizer for dry aging skin, the best moisturizer for dry acne-prone skin, and the best body moisturizer for extremely dry skin, our team of experts and dermatologists looked at different products from different brands and ranked them accordingly.

Below are among the important features that the team considered when selecting good moisturizers for dry skin.

We Ensure The Manufacturer Has a Good Reputation

While we may despise the less well-known and smaller brands, they do offer quality products. But, to be on the safer side, you should buy your products from reputable and well-known brands on the market. Reputable companies do offer safe and high-quality skincare products.

The Ingredients, Blends, and Benefits Are Supported by Scientific Evidence

Our team looked for the best natural moisturizers for dry skin, which contains purely organic ingredients that are free of chemicals, artificial additives, or any harmful substances. Additionally, they selected products with ingredients that are backed by clinical research to ensure safety and efficiency.

Analyze Whether the Customers Found the Supplement Effective

Reading through testimonials of customers who have tried the products is a good way to determine the advantages, disadvantages, and side effects of the products. We selected products that have amazing customer reviews.

Whether The Return Policy or Guarantee is Fair and Adequate

Brands that believe in the quality and effectiveness of their products do offer sufficient time for you to try the product before returning it. Our team chose products from brands that offer at least a 30-to 60-day return policy.

The Supplement is Worth the Price

The prices for moisturizers for dry skin will vary widely depending on the formulation and where you make your purchase. Our team ensured that the selected products have high-quality ingredients that offer value for your money.

The Company Follows Strict Safety Practices

Skincare experts and dermatologists recommend buying products from brands, which make and test their products in FDA-approved facilities to ensure safety.

How Do Moisturizers for Dry Skin Work?

As we documented in our content titled Daytime vs. Nighttime Moisturizers, a good moisturizer should have hydration-boosting properties to help replenish and retain skin moisture. An effective product will help improve skin hydration, boost collagen production, improve skin tightness and elasticity, and improve the appearance of acne-prone skin.

According to research published in the Clinical Medicine and Research journal by Schandra Purnamawati, moisturizers act as emollients and humectants to help improve skin hydration, protect the skin moisture barrier, and maintain skin integrity.

The best facial moisturizer for dry skin contains super hydrating ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, squalane, glycerin, and ceramides, which deeply moisturize dry and sensitive skin.

According to research done by Anca Maria Juncan and published in the Molecules journal, hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient in many skin moisturizers as it helps improve skin hydration, enhance wound healing, and promote new skin cell regeneration.

Additionally, added liquids on the skin help improve skin plumpness, firmness, and elasticity. Skin moisturizers also have anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe skin irritation and heal certain skin conditions.

What Are Some of the Ingredients To Look For in Moisturizer for Dry Skin?

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a sticky substance that is naturally available on the skin, eyes, and connective tissues in the body. It helps boost skin hydration and retain moisture in the skin. However, as we age, the levels of hyaluronic acid may decrease. In our content on The Best Skin Tightening Creams, we noted that regular application of Hyaluronic Acid keeps the skin plump and improves aging signs.

According to the Dermato Endocrinology journal, hyaluronic acid is a key molecule in skincare products as it helps boost skin hydration by retaining water in the skin.


Ceramides are lipids that naturally exist in our skin and makeup approximately 50% of the skin’s outer layer. Ceramides help form a protective barrier on the skin to prevent moisture loss and keep skin hydrated. Our content for Best Anti-Aging Supplements for Vibrant Youthful Skin also points out that ceramides keep off bacteria and germs from the skin.

A publication in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology reveals that ceramides are lipids that provide a protective barrier to the epidermis. This helps protect the skin’s moisture barrier to prevent water loss.


Niacinamide helps boost skin hydration by enhancing the function of the skin’s lipid barrier. It helps lock in moisture to improve skin hydration and protects the skin against damage by pollutants and other environmental aggressors as discussed in the content of best spot corrector for dark spots.

According to the Dermatologic Surgery journal, niacinamide helps improve skin hydration, reduce the appearance of pigments and spots, improve skin texture, and improve skin firmness and elasticity.

Shea Butter

Shea butter is included in many creams and lotions for dry skin. Shea butter is an emollient that works to boost skin hydration and soften the skin. It may also prevent acne breakouts and soothe skin inflammations.

The International Journal of Molecular Sciences reveals that topical application of shea butter may help repair the skin’s moisture barrier, soothe inflammation, and boost skin hydration.


For many years people have used petroleum jelly products because of their healing and moisturizing properties. Petrolatum helps keep skin and lips moisturized, enhance wound healing, and relieve skin dryness.

A publication in the National Library of Medicine supports that ointments for dry skin do include petrolatum as it helps trap water under the skin to prevent moisture loss.

Key Things to Look for When Choosing the Best Moisturizers for Dry Skin

Dr. Elyse Love, MD, a board-certified dermatologist supports that the best body moisturizer for dry skin should include ingredients that help protect the skin’s moisture barrier and increase its water content. To ensure these skincare products perform the mentioned functions, there are things you need to look out for. “Moisturizers need to contain three components: humectants, emollients, and occlusives,” says Hadley King, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. Below are the functions of these components;


The skin’s natural lipid layer helps lock in moisture and may act as a barrier to prevent skin damage against environmental aggressors. However, this barrier depletes us as we age. Ceramides help hold the skin cells together to restore the skin’s moisture barrier. Dr. Engelman supports that ceramides do help make skin appear plumper and feel softer. She advises to look for products with ceramides to restore the skin’s lipid layer.


Emollients help protect and improve the skin’s moisture barrier, repair damaged skin, improve skin hydration, and soften the skin. According to Dr. Craig Kraffert, a board-certified dermatologist, emollients may come in the form of mineral oils, plant oils, animal oils, and butter. Individuals with cracked, dry, and uncomfortable skin should consider moisturizers with emollients.


Lindsey Zubritsky, a board-certified dermatologist says that humectants help draw water towards them to help increase the skin’s moisture content. Moisturizers for very dry skin do include humectants because they add moisture to the skin, making it plumper, softer, and healthier. Dr. Love adds that glycerin, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid are the common humectants on the market.


While humectants and emollients work to improve skin hydration, occlusive work to protect the skin moisture layer against moisture loss. They shield the skin against air and wind, which may reap moisture from the skin. Oily and greasy ingredients like petrolatum, cocoa butter, beeswax, and candelilla act as occlusives.


Q: How Often Should You Use a Moisturizer for Dry Skin?

A: The use of a moisturizer will depend on the area of the skin that you want to hydrate. Dermatologists and skin experts recommend using face lotion for dry skin twice every day to boost skin hydration. For the body, you may apply it as often as you need it to keep your skin moisturized.

Q: How Much Moisturizer for Dry Skin Should You Use?

A: They say a little goes a long way. However, if you have extremely dry skin, then you should increase the amount of moisturizer you apply to your skin.

Q: Why Should You Use Moisturizer for Dry Skin?

A: Regular moisturization is important for skin as it helps quench extreme skin dryness. Moisturizers help boost skin hydration, improve skin texture, soften skin, strengthen skin moisture barrier, and prevent moisture loss.

Q: When Should You Apply a Moisturizer for Dry Skin?

A: Dr. Engelman recommends applying your moisturizer immediately after showering or cleansing the face when the skin is still damp. This allows the product to trap in more water and prevent it from evaporating.

Q: Do Moisturizers for Dry Skin Improve Aging Signs?

A: Yes, moisturizers do help plump up the skin to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and improve skin firmness and elasticity.

Q: Where Can I Buy Moisturizer for Dry Skin?

A: Most moisturizers are available for sale on the brand’s official website or other online and offline retail stores.

Q: What Moisturizer for Dry Skin is the Best?

A: The best moisturizers for dry skin should include emollients, humectants, Ceramides, and occlusives for optimum skin hydration


Moisturizers should be included in your daily skincare routine because they help attract water to the skin to boost skin hydration and prevent moisture loss.

While moisturization is important, finding the right moisturizer can be a challenge. Especially in today’s market where new products are emerging with each second.

Our article highlights some of the best moisturizers for dry skin on the market today to help you have an easy time selecting. The good part with the list we provided, is that the products clearly indicate the skin type they work best for, thereby reducing guesswork. In other words, you get what you expect with any pick in our collection, we believe so.

Carmine A Vacchio, PA-C

By Carmine A Vacchio, PA-C

Carmine A Vacchio PA-C is a Dermatology Physician Assistant with 13 years of experience in general and cosmetic dermatology.

8 sources

[1] The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5849435/
[2] Advantages of Hyaluronic Acid and Its Combination with Other Bioactive Ingredients in Cosmeceuticals https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8347214/
[3] Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/
[4] Ceramides and Skin Function https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12553851/
[5] Niacinamide: A B vitamin that improves aging facial skin appearance https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16029679/
[6] Some causes of skin dehydration https://painspy.com/solutions-for-dehydrated-skin-around-eyes/
[7] Effects of petrolatum on stratum corneum structure and function https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1564142/
[8] Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/