The Best Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin During the Winter

The Best Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin During the Winter

When it comes to skincare, moisturizers are the cornerstone. 

That’s not to say other parts of your routine don’t matter — ingredients like vitamin E, retinol, or vitamin C are all well and good, and the antioxidants they provide can improve many aspects of your complexion. While some of your serums may indirectly contribute to hydration, they can’t do much moisturizing on their own. 

“Your skin needs a little extra hydration in the winter, and a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid and other humectants is a stellar choice!”

  • Shani Darden, Esthetician

And if you’re looking for a dewy complexion, dry skin can really stand in your way. This is especially apparent when the weather starts to get colder, because winter can be extra rough on your skin.

When your usual face cream isn’t cutting it, it’s time to look specifically for moisturizers for dry skin. These specific formulations can help address your dry skin’s specific needs while still supporting your complexion. Let’s talk about what you should look for to help you find the best face moisturizer for dry skin during the winter.

How Does Wintertime Affect Your Skin?

Although it may seem like it, your skin doesn’t change with the seasons — but the air and the weather certainly do. In most climates, winter isn’t just cold. It’s also very low in humidity both indoors and outdoors, especially when you have the drying air of a heater blowing on you at all times to keep the cold at bay. 

All skin types, including oily skin, are likely to be dryer during the winter, but you’re more likely to struggle with seasonal dryness if you have sensitive skin or dry skin. So, if you find yourself reaching for lotion more often than usual or notice your skin feeling particularly cracked and rough during the winter season, you’re not imagining it. 

While choosing the best facial moisturizer can be a challenge at the best of times, knowing what causes you to have irritated skin in the winter is important. It means that you can adjust your skincare routine accordingly and avoid side effects like redness, flaking, flare-ups from blemish-prone skin, and even visible fine lines and wrinkles.

Maybe that means adding a night cream when you don’t usually bother. Maybe it means adjusting your retinol usage to prevent additional dryness. However, an even better tactic is actually to prioritize nourishing, moisturizing ingredients in your skincare products.

Why Is Moisturizing Important?

Skin hydration is perhaps the single most important thing when it comes to a healthy-looking and glowing complexion. Prolonged dryness or dehydration can damage your skin barrier, also known as your moisture barrier. 

Your skin barrier helps prevent breakouts and infections, and also helps to keep necessary moisture in. A damaged moisture barrier can leave you vulnerable to skin conditions and wreak havoc on your skin tone.

There are many skin-care products out there that can help you keep your skin hydrated, like moisturizers, eye creams, and night creams. 

However, if you think your skin barrier might be damaged, it’s worth visiting a board-certified dermatologist or esthetician to get things back on track. Your dermatologist will be best able to advise you on a routine to help repair your moisture barrier.

Diet also plays a large role in skin hydration. To promote skin health, try some prebiotics and make sure to take your daily vitamins. Limit processed foods and focus on eating a balanced diet along with drinking plenty of water. While drinking water does not directly affect skin’s hydration levels, it does affect overall health and will show up on your skin.

What Should You Look for in a Dry Skin Moisturizer?

To keep your skin hydrated, I recommend starting with a hydrating cleanser in addition to your facial moisturizer. 

My Cleansing Serum creates the perfect base for your gel cream moisturizer and features a combination of humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, as well as olive, chicory, and oat bran extracts to help create the perfect blank canvas for your moisturizing cream. If you’re trying to prevent wintertime wrinkles, follow up with my anti-aging Retinol Reform serum.

Follow that with a moisturizer like my upcoming Hydration Peptide Cream. This rich moisturizer is oil-free and non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores or lead to breakouts. It’s also fragrance-free and made without parabens or dyes to help prevent unnecessary skin irritation.

This brand-new formula uses hydrosella, a hydro boost derived from the Australian wild rosella flower. This botanical provides up to seventy-two hours of hydration, which is a serious help to your skin barrier during the dry winter months. 

This formula also features peptides to help support elasticity, both of which can help you maintain younger-looking skin. 

Replenishing squalane works perfectly with skin-brightening niacinamide in my new formula. Lastly, ceramides are especially key to hydrated, healthy-looking skin because these lipids are one of the skin’s fundamental building blocks. 

Like most ingredients high in fatty acids, such as shea butter or aloe, ceramides act as an emollient, helping to seal in moisture and prevent moisture loss throughout the day. This means they can improve the appearance of fine lines and support your skin barrier, leading to the appearance of smoother and more hydrated skin.

My Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer is another non-comedogenic option that can provide light hydration with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed collagen, and red algae. My formula helps skin retain moisture while also working to deliver key nutrients and support a plump complexion.

A gel moisturizer may cut it during other times of the year, but you may want a rich cream like this during the winter so you can promote maximum hydration with these nourishing and gentle ingredients.

Should You Wear Sunscreen in the Winter?

As always, it’s important to follow up your daily skincare routine with sunscreen. 

Cleansing with a hydrating face wash and moisturizing properly can do wonders for dry winter skin, but it’s also important to protect your skin from potential sun damage — even in the winter. Even if you don’t feel like you need an SPF because it’s winter, be sure to apply at least an SPF 30 to help protect against UV exposure.

The Bottom Line

It’s not always easy to find the right moisturizer for your skin type. And if you have dry skin, it’s even more important to stock up on winter-specific moisturizers.

Winter’s cold weather and lack of humidity can leach moisture from your skin, which means you need to reinforce it with a quality moisturizer. Luckily, you can find moisturizers for all skin types on my website.


How to Pick the Right Moisturizer for Your Skin | American Academy of Dermatology

What to Do About Dry Skin in Winter | Harvard Health Publishing

Understanding the Epidermal Barrier in Healthy and Compromised Skin: Clinically Relevant Information for the Dermatology Practitioner | National Library of Medicine


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