Take it from me: picking the best moisturisers for dry skin is equivalent to finding a needle in in a haystack. As someone who has dry skin, I’ve learned time and time again that when it comes to skincare, there’s no such thing as “one-size-fits-all”. TBH, even when a product claims to work on all skin types, it’s mostly a case of trial and error. I’ve spent years trying to figure out which one of the best moisturisers actually do a decent job at delivering long-term moisture and strengthening my skin barrier. Plus, when you throw in factors like different skin conditions (such as eczema and rosacea), budgets and other preferences, deciding becomes that much trickier.
The ideal scenario is finding a product that’s nourishing enough to give your skin a hydration boost that will retain the moisture throughout the day, but at the same time, the formula shouldn’t be so heavy that so that it leaves your skin feeling greasy and oily. Similar to all skin types, dry skin also tends to act up from time to time. Whether you experience dry patches underneath makeup, flaking (or both), incorporating an appropriate skincare routine tailored to your specific needs can make the biggest difference. And let’s be real, when it comes to any basic skincare products – whether you’re a team dry, combination, or oily skin – it all starts with the holy duo: cleanser and moisturiser.
To help you pick, we’ve included a round-up of the best moisturisers for dry skin for every budget and preference – from those with brightening properties and SPF 30 protection to oil-free formulas and lightweight consistencies. We’ve also taken the time to answer all of your moisturiser-related FAQs, after consulting with some of the best dermatologists and skincare experts in the biz. Enjoy.
SKIP TO: How to choose the right moisturiser for dry skin | When should you moisturise? | What do dermatologists recommend for extremely dry skin? | Which brand of moisturiser is best for dry skin? | Our full reviews
Meet the expert:
- Dr Alexis Granite, consultant dermatologist at CeraVe
Reviewed moisturisers for dry skin at a glance:
- Our current favourite: Medik8 Daily Radiance Vitamin C-Tetra Cream, £59, Medik8
- Best face moisturiser for dry skin overall: Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream, £61, LookFantastic
- Best moisturiser for dry sensitive skin: Kate Somerville Dry Skin Saviour, £48, Kate Somerville
- Best affordable moisturiser for dry skin: CeraVe Moisturising Cream, £15, LookFantastic
- Best moisturiser for dry skin for under £20: La Roche-Posay Toleraine Creme, £18.50, LookFantastic
How to choose the right moisturiser for dry skin
The ideal moisturiser (or lotion) for dry skin will include a mixture of emollients such as ceramides, occlusives such as fatty acids, and lanolin (all of which help hydrate the skin and repair your natural skin barrier while locking in the moisture) as well as humectants, including glycerin, squalane and hyaluronic acid, all of which are essential active ingredients for the ultimate hydration cocktail.
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