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Maintaining healthy skin requires proper care, and one of the essential steps in any skincare routine is moisturizing. Skin moisturizers play a pivotal role in hydrating the skin, locking in moisture, and protecting it from environmental stressors. However, with an abundance of options available, choosing the right moisturizer can be overwhelming. To help in this endeavor, experts have recommended the top five skin moisturizers that stand out for their effectiveness and quality.

Importance of Using Skin Moisturizers

Before diving into the recommendations, understanding why using a moisturizer is crucial is essential. Moisturizers aid in maintaining the skin’s natural barrier, preventing dryness, flakiness, and irritation. They also help in nourishing and rejuvenating the skin, promoting a youthful and radiant complexion.

Criteria for Selecting Effective Skin Moisturizers

Experts emphasize certain criteria when selecting the best moisturizers. These include non-comedogenic ingredients, compatibility with skin types, the presence of hydrating elements like hyaluronic acid or glycerin, SPF protection for daytime use, and the absence of harmful chemicals or fragrances.

Top 5 Skin Moisturizers Recommended by Experts

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream


Not only is this moisturizer a Select Wellness Awards winner, but it’s also accepted by the National Eczema Association, which means it’s suitable for sensitive skin. The CeraVe Moisturizing Cream contains both hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which repair the skin’s moisture barrier.

Vanicream Facial Moisturizer


Goldman recommended Vanicream for dry skin. The brand’s facial moisturizer is made with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, glycerin and squalane, a popular emollient.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Moisturizer

Chiu recommended Neutrogena Hydro Boost for people with dry skin, as did dermatologist Dr. Barry Goldman and licensed aesthetician Jean Dachnowicz, both of New York City’s Goldman Dermatology. “[It] addresses the dryness and [helps] the face feel hydrated,” Goldman and Dachnowicz said. Notable ingredients include hyaluronic aciddimethicone (a silicone-based ingredient that forms a barrier) and glycerin, a frequently-used ingredient in the cosmetic world that attracts moisture to the skin.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

This fragrance-free cream from First Aid Beauty is formulated with colloidal oatmeal, an emollient that “helps strengthen your skin barrier and adds moisture to it,” according to Goldman and Dachnowicz. Chiu said this is a great option for those suffering from dry skin in the wintertime, and the brand says it’s also helpful for those with redness and eczema.

Kiehls Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream

Select Wellness Awards winner for dry skin, this Kiehls moisturizer contains colloidal oatmeal and beta-glucan, which soothe redness and repair the skin’s moisture barrier. The cream is also lightweight and gentle on sensitive skin, according to the brand.

Top moisturizer products we highly recommend

Moisturizers Archives – Bareface (

How to shop for a moisturizer for dry skin

Shopping for a moisturizer for dry skin involves considering certain key factors to ensure you select the right product. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you:

  • Identify your skin type: Determine if you have dry skin. Dry skin tends to feel tight, flaky, and may appear dull or rough.
  • Look for ingredients: Opt for moisturizers with specific ingredients that benefit dry skin:
    • Hyaluronic acid: Attracts and retains moisture.
    • Glycerin: Helps in hydrating and soothing dry skin.
    • Ceramides: Restore and strengthen the skin’s barrier.
    • Occlusives: (like petrolatum, mineral oil, or shea butter): Help lock in moisture.
    • Dimethicone: Forms a protective barrier to prevent moisture loss.
    • Aloe vera or oat extracts: Can soothe and calm dry, irritated skin.
  • Avoid certain ingredients: Some ingredients might exacerbate dryness or cause irritation in sensitive skin. Steer clear of alcohol, fragrances, and harsh chemicals.
  • Consider the texture: Choose a thicker, creamier consistency for intense hydration, especially if your skin is extremely dry. Lighter lotions or gels might work better for mildly dry skin.
  • Check for added benefits: Some moisturizers offer additional features like SPF for sun protection or anti-aging properties, which can be beneficial depending on your needs.
  • Read reviews and get recommendations: Look for reviews from people with similar skin types and concerns to see how well the product worked for them. Seek recommendations from dermatologists or skincare professionals.
  • Patch test: Before applying a new moisturizer all over your face, do a patch test on a small area to ensure it doesn’t cause any adverse reactions or irritation.
  • Budget considerations: Skincare products can vary widely in price. Set a budget that you’re comfortable with and look for products within that range.
  • Trial and observation: After selecting a moisturizer, use it consistently for at least a few weeks to see how your skin responds. If it doesn’t improve your skin’s condition or causes irritation, consider trying a different product.
  • Consider other factors: Your environment, the season, and lifestyle can also impact your skin’s moisture levels. You might need a heavier moisturizer in colder, drier weather or a lighter one in humid conditions.

Remember, finding the right moisturizer for dry skin might involve some trial and error. Pay attention to how your skin reacts to different products and adjust your routine accordingly. Consulting with a dermatologist can provide personalized recommendations based on your skin’s specific needs.

What to avoid while shopping for moisturizers for dry skin

When shopping for moisturizers for dry skin, it’s important to steer clear of certain ingredients and factors that might exacerbate dryness or cause irritation. Here’s a list of things to avoid:

Alcohol: Products containing high amounts of alcohol can be drying and irritating to dry skin. Look for moisturizers labeled “alcohol-free.”

Fragrances: Avoid products with added fragrances or perfumes, as these can be irritating, especially for sensitive or dry skin types.

Exfoliating ingredients: Avoid moisturizers with high concentrations of exfoliating acids (like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, etc.), as these can be too harsh for already dry skin and might cause further irritation.

Always check the ingredients list before purchasing a moisturizer and consider your skin’s individual sensitivities and preferences. If you have specific allergies or concerns, consult with a dermatologist for personalized recommendations.


Selecting the right skin moisturizer is pivotal for maintaining healthy and radiant skin. The recommendations by experts highlight a range of options catering to various skin concerns and preferences. Prioritizing hydration, protection, and compatibility with individual skin types are crucial factors to consider when choosing an effective moisturizer.