There are moisturisers and then there is the best moisturiser for dry skin. Yes, they differ from your regular lotions (especially the best moisturisers for oily skin). Packed with things like hyaluronic acid (which can hold 1,000 times its weight in water) and fortifying hydrators, moisturisers for dry skin don’t just inject your skin with the hydration it needs.
They also attract moisture from your environment and draw it deep into your dermis as well as defend your skin’s protective barrier against environmental aggressors such as pollution, which then works at locking in any moisture. “Choose a good quality light moisturiser that soaks in readily, rather than just sitting on the surface of the skin,” advises Dr Ross Perry, cosmetic doctor and managing director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics.
But there’s more to keeping your skin hydrated than simply applying moisturiser. One of the common causes of dry patches is due to dead cells adhering to your skin, so invest in a good face cleanser containing ingredients like salicylic acid, then chemically or physically exfoliate to break down the bonds that hold those dead skin cells together. Then, when it comes to putting your moisturiser on, you know it’s going to sink in to your skin and be as effective as it can possibly be. Finish off with one of the best foundations for dry skin and your complexion will stay healthy and glowing throughout the day.
Scroll through for our round-up of the best moisturiser for dry skin and find one that suits your skin, budget and lifestyle…
Best moisturiser for dry skin on face
Simple Kind To Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser
Buy it now: Simple Kind To Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser, £4 from Boots
Simple’s Kind To Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser wins hands down as our best budget dry skin product, not even breaking the £5 barrier. Simple does exactly what it promises, delivering a light, fragrance-free cream that gives intense moisture, without making skin greasy. Your skin will be smooth, soft and you can splash out on another beauty buy to boot, thanks to its cheap as chips price tag.
Best moisturiser for dry skin on body
E45 Cream for Dry Skin & Eczema
Buy it now: E45 Cream for Dry Skin & Eczema, £4.40 from Boots
Not just for nappies, E45 has earned its place in every sensible person’s bathroom cupboard – and for good reason. Treating dryness, flakiness, eczema, itches, sunburn and psoriasis, it really does fix a myriad of skin woes.
Best moisturiser for dry skin on legs
Aveeno Moisturising Creamy Oil
Buy it now: Aveeno Moisturising Creamy Oil, £7.69, Boots
Aveeno’s ultra-rich formula injects a shot of moisture to any rough, scaly patches your pins might be affected with. Eczema-sufferers should also reach for this one; the colloidal oats soothe any inflammation and help repair broken skin.
Best moisturiser for dry skin on hands
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
Buy it now: L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, £19 from John Lewis
This has won too many awards to keep count, really, and we have zero doubts as to why. Shea butter is heralded for its ability to nourish and cocoon dry skin, and the inclusion of it in this hero hand cream (along with honey, and almond and coconut oils) means that dry hands are a thing of the past. It really is one of the best hand creams, ever.
Best moisturiser for dry ageing skin
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream
Buy it now: Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, £80 from John Lewis
Elemis’ Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is backed by impressive scientific evidence which shows that after just two weeks of use, wrinkles can be reduced by up to 78%, thanks to its hero ingredient, the marine extract Padina Pavonica, which mimics the skin’s own function. We’re no scientists, but the light gel-like cream sinks in quickly, skin feels firmer and instantly more supple on application.
Best moisturiser for dry sensitive skin
Hylamide Booster Sensitive Fix Serum
Buy it now: Hylamide Booster Sensitive Fix Serum, £12.60 from Fabled
The combo of dry skin that also happens to be sensitive is a killer. This pared-down vial from cult-status brand Hylamide will not only fix dry, tired skin, but it’ll be sure to reduce redness and other indicators of sensitivity.