Some of us await the arrival of sweater weather with excitement while others — not so much. Personal preferences aside, cold and chilly months are a fact of life and the only way to get through them is to embrace them fully. You might’ve picked out all the runway trends for this winter but what about your face? The dry and cold winds of the chilly months can suck the moisture out of your skin leaving it parched, dull, and lifeless. If you’ve got your winter wardrobe set, it’s time to amp up your skincare regimen!
Our list of the best moisturizers for winter brings you 15 picks of the choicest potions your skin is going to love! These potent lotions restore lost hydration to make your skin feel soft and supple. So, lather them on, and conquer the freezing world with no fears.
15 Best Moisturizers For Winter That Rejuvenate Dull And Dry Skin
Vanicream’s got the best winter moisturizer that will instantly restore the moisture levels in your skin. The non-greasy formula isn’t just easy to spread, it also absorbs quickly without clogging your pores. For skin that is red, dry, irritated, cracked, or itchy, Vanicream’s Moisturizing Cream offers a soothing hug. If you happen to suffer from conditions like eczema, psoriasis, winter itch, or ichthyosis, this is the right thicker moisturizer for you. Vanicream’s bestseller is suited to dry and sensitive skin types too as it gives them hydrated skin in cold weather.
- Safe for children
- Free of dyes, fragrance, lanolin, and gluten
- Ideal for dry and sensitive skin
- Helpful for eczema, psoriasis, and related conditions
- Maintains moisture levels
- Some may not like the sticky consistency
For healthy skin and hydration that lasts up to 48 hours, you should try the best drugstore moisturizer for winter by Cetaphil. A blend consisting of glycerin that amps up hydration along with vitamins B3 and B5, it also contains avocado oil to repair your weakened skin barrier and strengthen it. Lightweight in texture, this clinically-proven formula works to protect and soothe normal-to-dry skin types. So, when the cold months are approaching, we recommend you stock up on this lotion that will soften dry, cracked, and inflamed skin.
- Free of fragrances and parabens
- Combats dryness, irritation, roughness, and tightness
- Strengthens and protects skin barrier
- Non-greasy and lightweight
- Some may find it slightly sticky
Powered with the goodness of 97.5% snail mucin extract, this winter face moisturizer is also loaded with anti-aging benefits. This wonder ingredient delivers long-lasting hydration, along with brightening and skin smoothing advantages. Additionally, ingredients such as jojoba oil, organic shea butter, aloe, and vitamin E are also present. They make your skin plump and the nutrient-rich, non-comedogenic formula restores a youthful complexion even in acne-prone skin types. With just a few uses, you will definitely notice lesser wrinkles, dark spots, and fine lines with this facial moisturizing lotion.
- Anti-aging benefits
- Long-lasting hydration
- Smoothes skin texture
- Brightens skin tone
- Might not be quick-absorbing
Neutrogena’s winter face moisturizer ensures both you and your skin can wake up refreshed and reenergized. Packed with neoglucosamine, this cream boosts your skin’s cell turnover, which results in a fresh complexion in the morning. This powerhouse ingredient also exfoliates, plumps, and resurfaces skin to tone it. Supplemented with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and skin-nourishing conditioners like shea butter, your dull skin is transformed to being smoother and brighter. The memory gel oil-free formula is breathable and forms a veil on the skin to help it recover overnight.
- Oil-free and alcohol-free
- Brightens, tones, and exfoliates skin
- Revives dull skin
- Lightweight and breathable gel consistency
- Packed with skin-nourishing benefits
- Some may not like the strong scent
Drunk Elephant’s Protini Polypeptide Cream combines proteins with 9 signal peptides, amino acids, growth factors, and the pygmy water lily to improve the tone, firmness, and texture of skin. With soybean folic acid ferment extract, its vitamin B maintains the elasticity of skin and protects it after sun exposure. This is perhaps the best winter face moisturizer owing to the moisture boost that leaves you with skin that bounces back. Antioxidants and nutrients are also released which soothe skin inflammation, strengthen the barrier, and give you younger-looking skin.
- Made without essential oils, alcohols, SLS, silicones, or dyes
- pH-balanced formula
- Strengthens, calms, and tones skin
- Filled with antioxidants and nutrients
- Some may not like the thick consistency
A good face moisturizer for winter that also improves your skin’s appearance? That’s exactly Olay’s formula enriched with niacinamide that not only brightens complexion but also retains skin moisture. It also exfoliates skin to get rid of dullness while amino peptides smooth down and firm up skin texture. Hyaluronic acid also regulates hydration in parched skin by penetrating 10 layers and keeping it moist throughout the day. Normal, oily, and combination skin types can reap the benefits of this moisture-binding formula that also levels up your skin’s elasticity. Softening fine lines and wrinkles, your overall complexion will be a sight to behold.
- Deeply hydrates skin
- Anti-aging effects
- Firms and smoothes skin texture
- Ideal for normal, combination, and oily skin types
- Promotes skin elasticity
- Some may find it slightly greasy
To enhance the smoothness of skin, Obagi’s formulas have been a favorite around the world. This just might be the best face moisturizer for winter as it soothes dry and flaky skin while providing up to 8 hours of hydration. Suitable for all skin types, the Obagi Hydrate Facial Moisturizer has been clinically proven to improve your skin’s moisture content. To further fight dryness, glycerin, avocado and shea and mango butters are added. With the unique Hydromanil technology, water is caught and retained for plumper skin.
- Hypoallergenic and non-irritating
- Reduces water loss and retains skin moisture
- Enhances the smoothness of skin
- Suited to all skin types
- Contains moisturizing butters
Super lightweight, this is a good moisturizer for winter if you’re looking to refine texture, minimize pores, and add a healthy-looking glow to your skin. The whipped texture contains a triple blend of AHAs, 3 types of hyaluronate, and Asian fruit extracts to re-energize and brighten your skin naturally. While the AHAs gently exfoliate skin, the hyaluronate ensures that dehydrated skin is cared for with enough hydration. Normal or combination skin types can benefit from this revolutionary formula that rids the skin of the first signs of aging.
- Refines skin texture
- Minimizes the appearance of pores
- Ideal for normal and combination skin types
- Contains AHAs, fruit extracts, and 3 types of hyaluronate
- Brightens skin
- Some may not like the scent
Proactiv’s hydrating moisturizer for winter is designed to soothe acne-prone skin that is dull and tired. With a blend of antioxidants and botanicals, this lightweight formula provides deep hydration to thirsty, dry, and irritated skin to rejuvenate it. As green tea calms the skin down, macadamia nut oil locks in moisture and hyaluronic acid retains it. The skin is also protected from free radical damage. You can use this green tea moisturizer on its own or as part of your skincare regimen for softer and smoother-looking skin.
- Made with antioxidants and botanical extracts
- Deeply hydrates skin
- Calming and soothing effect
- Locks in and retains moisture
- Safeguards against free radicals
- Contains alcohol
Dr. Jart’s proprietary moisturizer is supercharged with the 5-Cera Complex that strengthens your skin’s barrier by protecting it from moisture loss. If you happen to live in harsh climates, the complex works to provide long-lasting moisture and provide relief for itchiness, roughness, or any general discomfort. Some notable ingredients areoat kernel extract, shea butter, hyaluronic acid, and oils of sage and bergamot. With these nourishing and nutrient-rich elements, Dr. Jart’s face moisturizer for winter is a winner in our books.
- Soothes irritated skin
- Strengthens skin barrier
- Free from parabens, sulfates, and phthalates
- Prevents moisture loss
- Ideal for dry skin
- Some may find the consistency thick and heavy
The Oasis Ultra Hydrating Cream is a weightless cream-gel consistency that instantly boosts the moisture levels of your skin. It provides relief to dry and parched skin with soothing ingredients like aloe and allantoin. With the help of glycerin and sodium hyaluronate, this formula delivers hydration to the barrier to keep it strengthened and protected. While this gel moisturizer for winter absorbs quickly, you will also find that it gives an illuminating glow.
- Contains soothing ingredients
- Doubles skin’s moisture levels
- Gives a glow
- Strengthens and protects barrier
- Might be irritating for those sensitive to fragrance
SkinMedica’s winter moisturizer for dry skin contains vitamin C to protect your skin from free radicals and vitamin E for antioxidant benefits. A retinol ester is present to keep your skin feeling soft while sodium hyaluronate retains water to keep the skin hydrated. Dull and tired-looking skin can be easily rejuvenated with this nourishing formula that will also leave you with a subtle yet healthy glow.
- Ideal for normal-to-dry skin types
- Contains skin-nourishing ingredients
- Retains moisture
- Provides hydration
- Fights free radicals
- Imparts a subtle glow
- Might have a watery consistency
A good facial moisturizer for winter like this one by Murad also shields the skin from sun damage with broad spectrum SPF 30. It protects the skin from early aging signs, keeping your skin youthful. With this non-greasy formula and an Oil Complex, you can prevent and treat breakouts brought on by adult acne. Packed with essential hydrators and anti-aging ingredients like a black tea ferment, fine lines and wrinkles are softened. Dry, combination, and oily skin types can use this moisturizer with no worries as it provides the skin with lightweight hydration.
- Prevents and treats breakouts in acne-prone skin
- Anti-aging benefits
- SPF 30
- Provides lightweight hydration
- Formulated without sulfates, phthalates, petroleum, gluten, or mineral oil
- Might not be ideal for sensitive skin types
Honest Beauty’s natural moisturizer for winter packs a punch with its vegan ingredients. It uses micro hyaluronic acid that penetrates skin deeply for hydration, while the Liquid Crystal Technology retains moisture levels. To calm your skin and support its barrier, the Phyto-Blend works its magic. Glycerin, jojoba esters, and allantoin also work towards soothing and nourishing your skin for the ultimate moisturized and supple feel.
- Free of parabens, phthalates, dyes, fragrances, and PEGs
- Supports skin barrier
- Might need frequent reapplication
The best moisturizer for dry skin in winter is brought to you by iS Clinical, that works for up to 24 hours! With a luxurious formula, fine lines and wrinkles are softened along with the power hydration this age-defying cream provides. A mix of antioxidants, botanically-derived moisturizers, resurfacing acids, and growth factors are used to smooth the texture of your skin. Additionally, this potent cocktail blend also tones and firms up skin for a radiant and youthful complexion.
- Provides 24-hour hydration
- Improves skin texture
- Softens fine lines and wrinkles
- Improves skin elasticity
- Delivers antioxidant protection
- Might not be ideal for sensitive skin types
Now that we’ve looked at some of the best moisturizers that can be used during the winter time, let’s take a look at how you can choose the right one for yourself.
How To Choose A Moisturizer For Winter
- Skin type
Not every skin type is created equal, so you need a moisturizing formula that is suited to yours. If you have oily or combination skin, a lightweight gel or cream-gel texture is ideal as it won’t be heavy on your pores. Also ensure that you’re choosing a non-comedogenic product if you have acne-prone skin as it won’t clog your pores, cause acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. An oil-free moisturizer for winter is airy and absorbs quickly. Dry skin types can also face issues like itchiness, flakiness, redness, and irritation. For this reason, a thick and heavy-duty moisturizer will soften the skin and soothe insensitivity.
Some key ingredients that you should keep an eye out for in your body moisturizer for winter are:
Ceramides form the top layer of the cell that trap in moisture and prevent its escape. When moisture is retained, your skin looks soft and plump. Ceramides can be lost due to harsh weather conditions or even as we age. Therefore, using a cream with this ingredient will help restore this lipid back into your skin.
Humectants like aloe vera, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, and sorbitol are molecules that pull water into skin cells from the environment and swell up. This can give the appearance of healthier and smoother skin. These elements also play an important role in retaining moisture throughout the day.
Hyaluronic acid is a star ingredient that occurs naturally and maintains your skin’s elasticity and moisture levels. It also creates a moisture barrier that can improve the texture of skin along with preventing moisture loss. As it has a watery consistency, hyaluronic acid is easily absorbed by the skin and can be used on oily skin types with no worries as it causes no breakouts. Either this or its derivative called sodium hyaluronate forms the key component of many hydrating beauty products.
You could also look for the types of moisturizers that use AHAs like lactic acid or BHAs like salicylic acid to gently exfoliate the skin. This gets rid of dead skin cells and allows fresh, bright skin to come to the surface. While vitamins B3 and C can provide brightening benefits, vitamin E is an excellent moisturizing agent that also provides antioxidant protection. This helps keep your barrier protected from pollution and sun damage. Soothing ingredients like tea tree and green tea can help tone down the redness in sensitive skin types with a redness skin relief moisturizer.
Always ensure you’re purchasing a moisturizer that is free of harsh ingredients or irritants. Read the label to confirm that a product has been formulated without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, mineral oils, waxes, dyes, fragrances, and other additives. These can cause skin to flare-up and disrupt the barrier, especially if you happen to have sensitive skin.
The temperatures will be dropping in a couple of months and this brings about so many changes. While you’re upgrading to a winter wardrobe, make some space for your winter skincare routine. The most important addition to the latter is a moisturizer that feels like a soothing hug against the cold, harsh climate. As the weather is going to start getting rough, it’s a sign that you should be gentler towards your skin. With different formulas made for various skin types, we’re sure you can easily pick out a moisturizer for winter suited to you. No more dull and tired skin — our list of moisturizers can liven it up and make it as bright as day!
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Can a moisturizer be used in winter?
Yes! The winter air is dry and cold, which can dry skin out no matter your skin type. When you use a moisturizer, the skin’s lost moisture is restored.
When should I apply a moisturizer in winter?
Moisturizing your skin right after a shower or bath is most ideal as your skin is hydrated at this time. Applying a cream or lotion locks hydration in so your skin remains soft without getting dry and flaky.
How often should you moisturize in the winter months?
Ideally, you should be moisturizing in the mornings and at night before bed as part of your skin care routine. However, if you notice your skin getting drier due to the harsh climate in the winter, you can reapply moisturizer during the day.
How can I hydrate my face in winter?
Toners and moisturizers are a great way to keep skin hydrated. Look out for products with shea butter, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid.