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The 21 Best Moisturizers for Dry Skin

A very necessary roundup this time of year.

Design by Morgan McMullen

Redness, cake-y makeup, and itching are the hallmarks of uncomfortably dry skin. And conditions are only about to get worse, as freezing temps, whipping wind, and low-humidity combine to make your skin desert-like. Which is why it's crucial to find a moisturizer that soothes your face with a salvo of hydration before you step out the door. Here, the moisturizers we love for saving us from our lizard-skin nightmares.

Oasis in a Tube
Caudalie sephora.com

The key word here is nourishing: Caudalie Vinosource Intense Moisture Rescue Cream uses grape-oil and vinolevure—a skin fortifying compound sourced from wine yeast—and the combo is just what the doctor ordered for thirsty skin. 

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The Redness Eraser
Bioderma dermstore.com

The Bioderma Sensibio AR Cream is an anti-redness moisturizer that targets inflammation. Dry skin and rosacea are treated to the most soothing of oils and skin-repairing ingredients, so you don't have to double up on the green concealer before you head off to work.

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La Roche-Posay
The Double Timer
La Roche Posay target.com

Having dry and acne-prone skin can make choosing a moisturizer that won't make you break out a minefield. Thankfully, the brains behind French cult brand La Roche-Posay heard your prayers and created La Roche-Posay Toleriane Soothing Protective Skincare Lotion, a lightweight, fragrance-free lotion, perfect for sensitive skin. 

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Charlotte Tilbury
The Catwalk Favorite
Charlotte Tilbury charlottetilbury.com

Charlotte Tillbury's Magic Cream was so popular backstage at fashion shows that she eventually decided to sell the stuff. The thick cream goes on light, and layers beautifully with other products. As for if it really is magical cream? One editor tried it on a rough, red dry patch and it was gone within minutes.

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The Cure-All
Avene dermstore.com

Redness, rashes, rosacea, inflammation? This Avène Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream hydrates and conditions so well, it has been known to speed up the recovery process of all of these pesky problems. Just layer it on, wait, and watch it work its magic.

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Paula's Choice
The Replenisher
Paula's Choice nordstrom.com

The most annoying side-effect of heavy moisturizers is a greasy residue on skin, which clogs pores and causes more problems than you started with. (Ugh.) But Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer is popular because it does just the opposite, leaving skin smooth like a baby's. 

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Key Word: Crucial
bioelements bioelements.com

Crucial Moisture focuses on one thing and one thing only: relieving parched skin. The result is smoother, softer skin plus a reduction in fine lines over time.

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Josie Maran
The Hybrid
Josie Maran sephora.com

If you thought that oil and water simply didn't mix, think again. Josie Maran's creamy Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment combines purified water and 100-percent argan oil in a formula that leaves skin radiant and moisturized.

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The Drugstore Star
CeraVe ulta.com

The CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion is the most pleasantly basic of effective moisturizers. There's nothing fancy about it, but that's fine with us because it works, leaving skin quenched, plus it layers like a dream.

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The Triple Threat

The SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 sounds complex, so let us break it down for you: The formula is filled 2 percent pure ceramides, 4 percent natural cholesterol, and 2 percent fatty acids. The cholesterol-dominant ratio helps to restore the skin's external barrier and boost natural self-repair. On top of all of that, it nourishes aging skin, leaving a youthful glow.

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An Oldie, But Goodie
Kiehl's Since 1851 sephora.com

The Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream is the perfect everyday moisturizer for wintertime. The formula is thick enough to keep your skin hydrated, but not too heavy to wear under makeup. A great option for hydration without grease; it's a classic for a reason. 

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The Long-Laster
Clinique ulta.com

This gel-cream hybrid promises skin will be as moisturized at the end of the day as it was at the beginning, with 72 hours of hydration—even after washing your face. How? Clinique Moisture Surge™ 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator is packed with ingredients including caffeine, hyaluronic acid, and activated aloe water.

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Peter Thomas Roth
The Auto-Hydrator
Peter Thomas Roth dermstore.com

The Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream is concentrated with 30-percent hyaluronic acid cream, an ingredient that actually attracts water. The resultant continuous hydration, leaves skin full, supple, and smooth.

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A Whipped Dream
Drunk Elephant Sephora

There's plenty to love about this restorative moisturizer. The Drunk Elephant Lala Retro™ Whipped Cream uses a blend of six rare African oils to save your dry and dull skin while also serving up a nice dose of barrier moisture. And, for all you clean-beauty fiends, it's vegan and formulated without gluten, fragrance, essential oil, irritants, or silicone. 

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The Update
Philosophy Ulta

A reformulation of the original "Hope in a Jar" from Philosophy, Renewed Hope In A Jar has an abundance of ingredients: alpha hydroxy acids, three forms of hyaluronate, plus an Asian fruit extract. Guaranteed to keep skin constantly glowing and shining, but not shiny

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The Multi-Hyphenate
First Aid Beauty First Aid Beauty

Not just for your face, this whipped formula promises hydration and healing for all patches of dry, parched skin. Filled with oatmeal, shea butter, and several antioxidants (including licorice root and white tea extracts), Ultra Repair Cream is a dream for those with sensitive skin, and safe for all members of the household to use, even children.

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The Fanciest
Tatcha Sephora

Tatcha Water Cream is nutrient-rich, using powerful and pure Japanese botanicals like wild rose and leopard lily to improve skin's texture and control oil production. But forget all that, this nourishing lotion offers up an added glow from some 23k gold. Gold! In a moisturizer!

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Luxury Feel For A Drugstore Price
Olay Ulta

The Olay Regenerist Whip Fragrance-Free Moisturizer is known for having anti-aging agents, like Amino-Peptide Complex II, that will plump skin from within and also functions as a primer for makeup. Think of it as a stellar hydrator that just happens to smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles. 

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The Clinically Proven
belif Sephora

Clinical tests prove that belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb really is the bomb dot com (sorry, couldn't help ourselves). Actually, they show that the formula offers intense and soothing hydration, providing up to 26 hours of moisture. The cushiony, creamy consistency "bursts" on your skin when applied, then absorbs without stickiness. 

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The Next Cult Classic
Neutrogena Amazon

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel counts purified hyaluronic acid and olive extract as its primary ingredients. It hydrates skin instantly—absorbing quickly without any oily residue—while also keeping it that way for 48 hours.

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The Protectant
Estée Lauder Sephora

Wear! SPF! Every! Day! This Estée Lauder DayWear Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant 24H-Moisture Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 15 uses antioxidants to reverse signs of premature aging, while the light SPF 15 staves off the aging effects of UV rays. Oh, and it will keep your skin moisturized for 24 hours. 

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