Now dry skin is where the real struggle’s at. All skin types are valuable and worthy, but it’s time we admit that those with dry skin were given just as tough a hand as those with oily skin. With the right skincare products, your dry skin can be a blessing, so check out our top recommendations and give your skin that much-needed hydration and nourishment! Below, we’ve collected the 17 best skincare products for dry skin, encompassing everything from cleansers and exfoliants to serums and moisturizers.
1. Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream
A ceramide cream should be the go-to moisturizer for those with dry skin. Nothing holds as much affinity to the skin as an appropriate blend of ceramides, fatty acids, and cholesterol. These ingredients are a natural part of our skin barrier, but we lose them with age – even more quickly if our skin is dry.
This creamy, rich cream restores these wonderful ingredients to the skin and helps improve barrier functions. It is also enriched with humectants and natural extracts to give the skin additional luminosity and bounce. Buy it from Sephora!
2. Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Hydration Booster Serum
Alleviating dehydration is one of the best ways to make sure your dry skin looks and feels its best, all year round. This serum is one of the best ways of hydrating the skin since it holds a microencapsulated form of hyaluronic acid that can penetrate the skin fairly deeply, bringing with it a whole lot of moisture, and helping to plump up and brighten the skin.
It also contains skin-soothing centella extract, and some remarkable skin-repairing botanical extracts. There are ceramides, cholesterol, and linoleic acid in the blend as well, and just a touch of retinol to give an anti-aging boost. You can find it at Nordstrom.
3. Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser
One of the quickest ways to exacerbate dry skin is with a harsh cleanser. However, with a creamy and nourishing cleanser like this all-natural one you can keep your skin clear without compromising its barrier functions. This cleanser breaks down makeup and sunscreen with a blend of sesame oil and shea butter, which also act as emollients to moisturize the skin. During the cleansing process glycerin will improve skin hydration and green tea extract will keep the skin soothed and calm. This incredible cleanser is available at Ulta.
4. Ren Clean Skincare Vita Mineral Emollient Rescue Cream
This rich cream gives instant relief to irritated, dry skin. It has a thick and creamy texture courtesy of emollient beeswax and protective, moisturizing properties from skin-identical squalane. Cranberry and lingonberry oils load the skin up with antioxidants, while rosewater and glycerin restore hydration. This cream is best used in the evening over lighter lotions, or on targeted areas of skin that are extra stressed. Find it at SkinStore!
5. Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50
This highly protective sunscreen is nourishing enough to double as your daytime moisturizer. It provides broad-spectrum protection to ward off both UVA and UVB rays and will keep your skin soft and supple with a variety of ingredients. It contains safflower oleosomes, which give a time release dose of fatty acids, as hydrators like butylene glycol and glycerin. There are also some well-respected anti-aging ingredients in the blend, including peptides, licorice root extract, and hyaluronic acid. Pick it up at Nordstrom!
6. Kitao Matcha + Chia Essence Lotion
The best dry skincare routine involves a lot of layering, as clever layers of thin to thick products will give the skin the most thorough moisturization possible. Essences come into play by offering a thin, quick penetrating layer of hydration that can then be locked in with thicker products. This essence, in particular, is phenomenal since it is made with a blend of humectants like glycerin, butylene glycol, and hyaluronic acid. It also contains microbiome fortifying sake ferment, and soothing green tea extract, and anti-aging vitamin C and chia seed oil. It is sold at Ulta.
7. Skyn Iceland The ANTIDOTE Cooling Daily Lotion
If in addition to being dry your skin is also quite sensitive then this lotion is a must. It contains extremely potent skin soothers like anti-inflammatory willow bark extract and barrier-fortifying Saccharomyces extract. The blend is fairly light, with just a bit of cranberry seed oil, so it might be a good choice for daytime, under sunscreen, or at night before heavier occlusive cream. It contains a variation on menthol that provides a cooling effect without compromising the skin, so you can also give it a try after a sunburn. You can get it at Ulta.
8. SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2
This ultra-occlusive moisturizer is the perfect final step in your evening routine. It contains dimethicone, which does not allow any moisture to escape, but it also has that wonderful skin-repairing ratio of ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. Layer it over your hydrating serums for the perfect dry skin treat. This formula does contain some essential oils, so be careful if you’re sensitive to fragrances. Pick it up online from Dermstore!
9. The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA
Just because you have dry skin doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for exfoliation. For many people with dry skin the go-to exfoliating chemicals like glycolic and salicylic acid are either too harsh or drying, while physical exfoliation is irritating and uneven. Mandelic acid, however, is gentle enough even at 10% though it gives a very thorough exfoliation. This The Ordinary formula also contains hyaluronic acid and glycerin to increase hydration. Give it a try just once a week, and work your way up to nightly use. It is sold at Sephora.
10. Osmosis Beauty Calm – Gentle Retinal Serum
Having dry skin, especially when it’s severely dry, can make using potent anti-aging ingredients a little tougher, as they are likelier to irritate or compromise the skin. Fortunately, there are many gentler twists on old anti-aging favorites, with this retinal aldehyde serum being a perfect example. This serum provides the same skin-smoothing and renewing effect as retinol, albeit a little slowly, but without any of the irritation associated with it. It also contains a touch of gentle yet resurfacing lactic acid and soothing asiaticoside taken from the centella plant. Order it online from Dermstore!
11. COSRX Honey Ceramide Full Moisture Cream
This is another great ceramide cream option, especially for those of you who don’t want to break the bank. This rich formula is made with manuka honey extract in place of water, as it gives a soothing and skin-protecting effect while helping to hydrate. It has some ceramides, of course, along with linoleic acid-rich sunflower oil and skin-plumping hyaluronic acid. The texture is quite thick so you might prefer to save it for evening. Find it at Ulta!
12. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup Cleansing Balm
If you’re a die-hard makeup wearer then this is the cleanser for you. This rich balm will remove every last speck of makeup while also loading your dry skin up with softening emollients, humectants, and even peptides. Its base includes safflower and macadamia oils, which melt down impurities completely. Massage it into your skin while it is dry and then rinse off with water, and your dry skin will be clean, nourished, and soft. You can purchase it from Sephora.
13. Avène Gentle Milk Cleanser
This is another fabulous cleanser choice for those with dry skin, especially if you’d like a lighter gentle cleanser for a second cleanse or to use in the mornings. You can use it to easily remove light makeup, as well. It has a lotion-like texture that is extremely soothing, and it is made with skin-nourishing ingredients like propylene glycol and hyaluronic acid. The base itself is mineral oil, which is mild enough even for the most sensitive skin. Apply it to your skin while it is dry, and then wipe off with a damp face cloth. It is available through Dermstore.
14. Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster
Treating acne when you have dry skin can be difficult since most breakout remedies are quite skin drying. One of the most notable exceptions to that, however, is azelaic acid, which is both an acne and rosacea treatment. This gentle acid targets acne by promoting dead skin cell shedding as well as by inhibiting the acne bacteria. The best part is that it does that while also soothing redness and inflammation and without causing any dryness.
This particular formula also includes just a small touch of salicylic acid – enough to improve exfoliation in the pore but without irritating the skin. There is also licorice root extract in here to help keep the skin bright and spot-free. Get it at Nordstrom!
15. Allies of Skin Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum
This potent night serum gives powerful results for those with dry skin who would like to target premature aging or hyperpigmentation. This formula features an 11% blend of mandelic, lactic, and salicylic acids to give a thorough exfoliation that is still extremely gentle. It also includes peptides to counter fine lines and loss of tone, antioxidant bakuchiol, and skin-brightening vitamin C and rumex extract. You may want to start off slow with such a powerful product, and to be careful about using sunscreen regularly. Buy it from Dermstore!
16. Saturday Skin Quench Set of 5 Intense Hydration Masks
These ultra-hydrating sheet masks will give your skin the perfect boost when it needs something a little extra. They are made with a probiotic yeast ferment extract that will fortify and hydrate your skin, along with other wonderful humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. The sheet itself will do the extra work to prevent any of that wonderful moisture from evaporating. Do note that because of the probiotics this mask won’t work for those with fungal skin issues. You can find it at Nordstrom.
17. Tatcha Gold Camellia Beauty Oil
Face oils are a great way of boosting the skin when it’s on the dry side, and they can be an especially nice addition to a multi-step routine that focuses on hydration. In this formula we have light MCT oil and squalane oil to act as emollients to make the skin smooth, as well as camellia oil to penetrate the skin and give it deeper nourishment. It’s a formula rich in protective antioxidants from both the oils and from extracts of green tea and licorice root. It is sold at Sephora.
Photos via @nikki.cruz, Sephora, Nordstrom