Best Dry Skin Moisturizer For Face


Best Dry Skin moisturizer for face is not necessarily a specific brand but WHAT is IN the moisturizer .

Dry skin is different from dehydrated skin. Dry skin lacks fatty acids, cholesterol and oil.

Dehydrated skin lacks water.

If you are NOT sure whether you have DRY skin vs Dehydrated skin, please click on link to find out the appearance of dry skin vs dehydrated skin.

If you are :

-over the age of 40

-living in an arid climate (ie Arizona, Utah, Nevada, some parts of Australia, ,etc)

-or just very very dry skin

then your moisturizers need more of these ingredients to help soothe dry skin.


The best moisturizer for for dry mature skin will have a combination of humectants, emollients and occlusives but may have more ingredients in the emollient and occlusive category since dry skin lacks lipids.

Moisturizer for Mature Skin:

Moisturizers for mature skin may have the following to help bring moisture to the skin such as:



-hyaluronic Acid

-sodium PCA





-propylene Glycol

-butylene Glycol


These can all be beneficial to your skin but if your skin is really lacking lipids, especially those of you have cracked, dry skin such as eczema /psoriasis.

Emollients and occlusive agents can really help lipid poor skin. These ingredients helps improve skin texture such as increasing smoothness, softness , and suppleness.

It also helps protect our skin from the environment, helps with eicosanoid production (fatty acid production) and membrane fluidity.

Examples of emollients listed commonly in the ingredients lists of moisturizers:



-fatty acids

-fatty alcohol

Dry skin can benefit more from fatty emollients such as:

-castor oil

-jojoba oil

-sunflower oil

-octyl stearate

-propylene glycol

How to Treat Dry Skin in Dry weather:

Dry skin also needs occlusive agents to help prevent moisture loss.

Ingredients that have:

-plant based waxes

-wax esters

-phospholipids such as lecithin

-Caprylic Triglyceride (combination of coconut oil and glycerin) (Hydrocarbon)

-Squalene-emollient and occlusive agent

There are also less expensive occlusive agents that are used in the more common drug store moisturizer and even some expensive department store brands.

Such as:

-Paraffin (can be under different names)


-mineral oil

***The downsides to these is that some of these can have an odor, can feel greasy on the skin and will not absorb, and can clog pores for some skin types.


The best dry skin moisturizer for face will have a higher percentage of emollient and occlusive agents that can help restore /replace fatty acids to the skin.

Here are some EXAMPLES of the different levels of the best dry skin moisturizers .

Level 1 Lotion:

This typically will be the lightest texture and the highest water content of the different types of dry skin moisturizer for face.

In this example, this would be considered a lotion or a cream gel.

The ingredients list shows that silicone is the most used for occlusives agents and oils are further down on the list so skin types that break out more from oils may do better with this type of a lotion for their skin.

Level 2 Cream:

Creams have a good balance of humectants, emollients and some occlusive agents.

Creams have broader categorization. The product could be described as a medium weight cream to a heavy weight cream.

Here are some examples of creams for dry skin:

Md Dermaceutical Overnight Repair Cream: medium weight moisturizer that has a good blends of humectants such as glycerin, HA, and Aloe Vera gel .

It also uses Sunflower oil . Sunflower oil is high in vitamin E which helps when used with vitamin C. It is a great emollient that is high in Omega-3,6, and 9 which helps with inflammation and helps reduce the signs of aging with consistent use.

It also has jojoba oil and squalene to help restore the natural fatty acids in the skin.

This is a great anti aging moisturizer that does NOT inflame the skin.

Cerave Moisturizing Cream: this cream is formulated for very dry, lipid poor skin. The second ingredients is a fatty alcohol. It has a blend of ceramides, cholesterol and the occlusive agent is petroleum. Although it says on the label that this is for normal to dry skin, I would not recommend for normal skin unless it was for dry hands.

This is NOT RECOMMENDED for break out prone skin.

The ingredients that draw moisture to the skin are:


-aloe vera gel



Cream for Dry Break out Prone Skin: If your skin is more sensitive to break outs and prefer a cream that does NOT have any occlusive agents that tend to be comedogenic, this cream has a good balance of humectants and emollients.

It is also formulated with a pH that is favorable to skin that is inflamed. It was created for post treatments such as laser, post peel, post surgical and also good to use when using Retin A.


Level 3 Moisturizer for EXTREMELY DRY SKIN:

Some may find that lotions and even the heaviest weight cream may not be enough.

Balms and Salves have the least amount of water. This is why the texture is solids and not even close to liquid at all.

This is recommended for eczema and psoriasis.

Farmacy Honey All in one Repair Salve -first ingredients is listed as sunflower oil. Most skin care products will list water or aloe vera gel as the first ingredients.

Honey is also a soothing humectant that also has antibacterial properties.

However, this lists an emollient and occlusive agent that is high in Omega 3, 6,and 9. This is great for repelling water and keeping moisture in and high in linoleic acid which protects against bacteria and germs.

This also has castor seed oil and it seems to be an anhydrous formulation because water is not in the ingredients list.


Oils for Dry Skin:

Some people prefer using oils more than lotions, cream or salves. Naturally, if using oils, oils are emollients and occlusive agents and will soften the skin but will not add any moisture to the skin.

There is a wide array of oils that can be used as a dry skin moisturizer for face. The results will vary widely depending on the type of oil being used on the face.

Best Type of Sunscreen for Dry Skin:

A sunscreen that does not have any moisturizers will typically have a tendency to dry out the skin. BOTH chemical and mineral based sunscreens that do NOT have any moisturizers in the formulation will tend to dry out the skin.

It is best to find a sunscreen plus moisturizer for dry skin vs using a moisturizer then layering it with sunscreen. This can dilute the SPF of the sunscreen.

Dry skin does need some moisture and more lipids. The best dry skin moisturizer for face will be on skin that is exfoliated, and has some moisture on the skin, before applying.

For more tips on hydrating the skin:

Anti Aging tips for 40s and 50s

Anti Aging Tips for 60s and 70s

Best Moisturizer for Dry Skin


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