Whether you suffer from dry, itchy, irritated skin all year round or just during the cold months of the year, finding the right moisturizer can be a challenge. There are a tremendous amount of skin care products to choose from but not all of them will transform your lizard-like skin into something silky smooth and supple. Our skin can be so picky at times, right? Well, if you’re in the market for a new lotion for your dry skin, below is a list of the best ones recommended by dermatologists.
- CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
- Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion
- AmLactin Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion
- Simple Water Boost Skin Quench Sleeping Cream
- Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
- Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Lotion
- Curél Ultra Healing Lotion
- La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+
- L’Occitane Moisturizing 15% Shea Butter Rich Body Lotion
- Eau Thermale Avène Xeracalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Balm
- How to Buy Lotion for Your Dry Skin:
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
This moisturizing cream from CeraVe is a crowd-favorite which already means a lot since no skin is the same. It contains hyaluronic acid which absorbs water into the outer layer of your skin. It also contains three types of ceramides that help restore your protective skin barrier. It is fragrance-free and gentle which makes it a great option for sensitive skin. And it’s non-comedogenic which means you can use it on your face without fear of causing breakouts. Even better, it contains occlusive ingredients like petrolatum which help lock in moisture. However, the pump of the bottle can clog and it doesn’t seem to be able to get the last third of the cream out, requiring you to open it up and scoop it out. Also, it contains parabens, specifically methylparaben, which has been linked to cancer by several studies. Take note that these studies are not conclusive.
- contains ceramides and occlusive ingredients.
- great for sensitive skin
- contains methylparaben
- pump clogs up at times
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion
The Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion is another fragrance-free option for those with dry, sensitive skin. It contains rich emollients to smoothen out your rough skin and Colloidal Oatmeal which locks in moisture, keeping your skin hydrated for a full 24 hours. It is non-comedogenic which makes it a good option as a facial moisturizer. And it is not greasy when applied. However, it can be a bit heavy for some, especially during the summer. Also, while it is fragrance-free, it has this faint oatmeal smell which some users dislike. And the pump that comes with the bottle is easily broken.
- contains emollients and colloidal oatmeal
- non-greasy and non-comedogenic
- may be too heavy for summer use
- not all like the faint oatmeal smell
- pump is easily broken
AmLactin Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion
Those with rough, dry skin will feel rejuvenated with the AmLactin Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion. It contains 12% lactic acid which promotes natural skin cell renewal through exfoliation, leaving your smooth silky new. It also contains glycerin which is a humectant, binding water to the outer layer of your skin. It even contains light mineral oil which creates a protective seal over your skin, locking moisture in. However, because of the presence of lactic acid, this is not a good choice if you have sensitive skin. It does sting if you have cracked skin. And the lotion itself doesn’t smell good, at least until it dries.
- great for rough, dry skin like keratosis pilaris
- locks in moisture
- promotes new skin cell growth
- not for sensitive skin
- can sting if applying on cracked skin
- smells bad until it dries
Simple Water Boost Skin Quench Sleeping Cream
If you have dehydrated, dry skin, this cream is going to do its magic while you sleep. Leaving you to enjoy soft, smooth skin when you wake up. Unlike other night creams, this one is quite thin but don’t let that fool you. It is easily absorbed by the skin so there’s no sticky mess on your pillow in the morning. The emollients in the cream hydrates your skin and leaves it smooth and supple. The cream also contains humectants that absorb water into the outer layer of your skin. It’s also fragrance-free. However, it does not contain any occlusive ingredients to trap moisture in which is one of the causes of dehydrated skin. Also, it comes in a jar which is not the most hygienic way to package a skincare product, especially a water-based one. It may be too light for use during the winter months.
- not sticky
- contains emollients and humectants
- packaged in a jar
- no occlusive ingredients
- too light for winter months
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
Cetaphil is a well-known brand that provides excellent skin care products so it’s no surprise that their moisturizing cream is in our list. The lotion is rich and creamy but doesn’t feel sticky or greasy unless you only have mildly dry skin. It contains extra strength emollients to quickly hydrate your skin while humectants in the formula ensure that water binds to the skin, preventing moisture loss. The moisturizer is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free. It’s an excellent lotion for those with eczema. However, it does come in a jar which is not hygienic. Some users felt that it leaves a residue. And it may be too thick and greasy for people with normal to mildly dry skin.
- trusted brand
- great for treating eczema
- comes in a jar
- may be too greasy for some (mildly dry skin)
- may leave a residue
Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Lotion
As the name implies, the Cocoa Radiant Lotion from Vaseline leaves your skin glowing, not a dry speck in place. It contains pure cocoa butter which rejuvenates your skin and keeps moisture locked in. The formula is light and creamy, easily absorbed by your skin. However, this contains fragrance which is not good if you have sensitive skin. Also, since this contains cocoa butter, it cannot be used as a facial moisturizer since it can potentially block your pores and cause breakouts. Also, it is not thick enough for severely dry skin.
- Light and creamy
- perfect for summer use
- smells like chocolate
- not for sensitive skin
- not for facial use
- may be too light for severely dry skin
Curél Ultra Healing Lotion
The Curél Ultra Healing Intensive Lotion is one of the best solutions for extra-dry, tight skin. It contains extra-strength, naturally hydrating agents such as the Advanced Ceramide Complex, Shea Butter, and Oatmeal Extract. The lotion not only penetrates your dry skin, thereby hydrating it, it also helps repair the skin barrier which is one of the main causes for dry skin. Plus, the presence of oatmeal extract or colloidal oatmeal seals in that moisture, preventing dehydration. The lotion itself is not greasy or heavy. And it does not contain any fragrances. However, it is not intended for facial use. It does take a while to absorb. And some report that it has a kind of medical smell.
- extra-strength, hydrating agents
- not greasy or thick
- not for facial use
- takes a while to absorb
- smells a bit like medicine
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+
The La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ is another body cream that works wonders on extra dry skin. It even has the approval of the National Eczema Association, suitable for babies as young as 2 weeks old. So, what’s in it? Well, it has a high concentration of La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water, lipid-replenishing Shea Butter, moisturizing Glycerin and Niacinamide, a form of Vitamin B3 with soothing properties. It has been tested by dermatologists and pediatricians. It is paraben-free (rare!), fragrance-free, and has been allergy-tested. However, despite being labeled non-comedogenic, it does contain shea butter which has been known to clog pores. It is a little bit greasy, especially if you only have mildly dry skin.
- great for extra dry skin and eczema
- not truly non-comedogenic
- can be quite greasy if your skin is not severely dry
L’Occitane Moisturizing 15% Shea Butter Rich Body Lotion
The L’Occitane Moisturizing 15% Shea Butter Ultra-Rich Body Lotion contains a lot of naturally-occurring ingredients such as apricot oil, shea butter, sweet almond extracts, calendula extract, and natural honey. It’s great for moisturizing very dry body skin. It’s not greasy at all but it is nice and thick, hydrating your skin beautifully. And it absorbs pretty fast. However, it is quite pricey for a moisturizer. It contains scents which can irritate sensitive skin. Those with nut allergies may be better off avoiding this since it contains almond extract.
- nice, clean scent (jasmine)
- naturally-occuring ingredients
- thick and creamy but not greasy
- not fragrance-free
- contains almond extract; not for those with nut allergies
Eau Thermale Avène Xeracalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Balm
Dry, itchy skin? Nothing soothes better than the XeraCalm A.D. Lipid-Repleneshing Balm. Not only does it stop the itching, it helps restore and maintain the moisture barrier of your skin. The Avene Thermal Spring Water and Cer Omega in the formula are responsible for hydrating your skin for a good long while. This lotion is recommended by experts for treating eczema and atopic dermatitis as well as other similar dry skin conditions. It’s fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and parabens-free. The lotion is not greasy at all and does not leave a residue. However, it is a bit on the expensive side. The packaging leaves a lot to be desired. Squeezing the tube to get the lotion out is not something you want to deal with when you’re feeling itchy.
- clinically tested with a high success rate
- great for atopic dermatitis and eczema
- alcohol and fragrance-free
- difficult to squeeze the tube
How to Buy Lotion for Your Dry Skin:
Dry skin sucks. It definitely isn’t your best look. And the fact that it can get itchy, irritated, and flaky makes it suck even worse. You can’t even cover it with makeup. So, how do you keep your skin looking young and healthy all year round? The answer: moisturizer. The right lotion can easily transform your skin from cracked and flaky into dewy, glowy, and silky smooth. Unfortunately, not all moisturizers are made equal. And finding out the right one can cost you a bit of patience and a whole lot of money. Fortunately, we’ve learned the secret to finding lotions that are best at combating dry skin. We’ve created this guide based on the knowledge imparted to us by research and dermatologists worldwide.
What makes my skin so dry?
Dry skin occurs if the skin barrier is compromised or there is a deficiency in the healthy fats in the top layer of your skin. An impaired skin barrier can cause bacteria and irritants to get in, causing itchiness, redness, and flaking. Dehydration can also cause your skin to dry out. Certain conditions such as hypothyroidism can also cause dry skin. Some medications may also cause dry skin (though rarely). And we all know what dry climates as well as cold weather does to your skin. In short, there are plenty of reasons why your skin is drying out. And while there are other things you can do about it (such as stop taking certain medications and making sure you’re always hydrated), the best solution is to always moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
What does the best lotion for dry skin have?
To truly rehydrate your dry skin, a lotion should have three main ingredients. It should have emollients (i.e. natural oils, dimethicone, and cyclomethicone ) which help smoothen the surface of your skin, making it feel soft and pliable. It should also contain humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid which absorb water which, in turn, hydrates your skin and plumps up the outer layer. Then, your lotion should also feature occlusives such as petroleum, oils, and colloidal oatmeal (an ingredient in Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion) which are responsible for sealing all that moisture in your skin. That protective layer will help prevent the loss of hydration. In short, all three ingredients will help rehydrate your skin and protect it from drying out again so you’re less likely to experience itchiness, redness, or flaking.Take note that any lotion that does not contain occlusive ingredients won’t keep your skin moisturized for long, requiring you to constantly apply it.
What should you avoid when choosing a lotion for dry skin?
You should be wary of any skin care products that have exfoliating ingredients because it can cause more inflammation on your skin, causing it to become even more dry. Fragrances can also cause irritation and dryness. The same can be said for chemicals retinol and retinyl palmitate. Any products with alcohol must be avoided as well. The Eau Thermale Avène Xeracalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Balm, for example, is alcohol-free. The same can be said for colorings and antibacterial agents which can potentially irritate your skin and strip it of essential oils. If you have sensitive skin, you should also avoid any lotions that contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA), glycolic acids, and salicylic acid which can cause it to react.
So, how do you choose the right moisturizer?
It all depends on your skin. Sensitive skin will need something soothing and creamy to avoid irritating it. Products that contain ceramide like the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream are recommended. Also, look for hypoallergenic moisturizers that contain less than 10 ingredients like the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream. The less ingredients a lotion has, the less interactions your skin will have which reduces the chances of it getting irritated.
Those who don’t have sensitive skin, just excessive dryness, will want a rich moisturizer that contains urea, petroleum jelly, or beeswax which help lock in moisture. If you have cracked skin or eczema, you should avoid any lotions that do contain urea or lactic acids as these can aggravate your condition.
Do I use the same lotion on my body?
While most people are concerned about dry skin on their face, it doesn’t mean that the body shouldn’t be moisturized regularly as well. After all, the skin is the largest organ we have and it covers more than just your face. Also, taking care of all of your skin will help your whole body age gracefully.
However, what’s good for the body isn’t always good for your face. Which means that you’ll need to get a different moisturizer for both. For facial moisturizers, look for something that does not contain lanolin, mineral oil, or shea butter as these can clog your pores and make you more likely to get breakouts. You may see the word “non comedogenic” on the bottle which means it won’t clog your pores. The Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Lotion, for example, is a great body lotion for dry skin but it is not intended for facial use.
An important note…
Finding the right moisturizer isn’t going to be easy. In fact, there’s going to be some trial and error, no matter how informed you are. Even dermatologists won’t know what exactly will work best for you until you try it. Also, make sure that any lotion you get contains sunscreen protection, at least SPF 30. This can help protect your skin not just from the harmful rays of the sun but also from damage caused by wind and cold weather.