You can find an effective moisturizer for dry skin that doesn’t break the bank. Below, you’ll find our recommendations for the best affordable moisturizers for dry skin.

Our Recommendations

1. Hydro Boost Overnight Hydration Gel Cream

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Overnight Hydration Gel Cream

Neutrogena Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Overnight Hydration Gel Cream

Neutrogena’s affordable moisturizer for the body is packed with ingredients that help deeply hydrate the skin overnight.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Massage the lotion all over the body, or where needed.
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One of the key ingredients in this drugstore moisturizer is hyaluronic acid. This skincare ingredient pulls moisture to the skin and locks it in to keep the skin hydrated. While this gel body lotion intensely hydrates, it absorbs quickly into the skin, and doesn’t leave a greasy or sticky finish.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Oil-free

Cons


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In addition to the hyaluronic acid, this drugstore body lotion also contains other ingredients known to hydrate and nourish the skin, including glycerin and vitamin E.

Water Glycerin Isopropyl Palmitate Petrolatum Dimethicone Cetyl Alcohol Cetearyl Olivate Sorbitan Olivate Caprylyl Glycol Ethylhexylglycerin Tocopheryl Acetate Sodium Hyaluronate Magnesium Aspartate Zinc Gluconate Copper Gluconate Sodium Polyacrylate Carbomer Phenoxyethanol Sodium Hydroxide

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging"

    Accessed Nov. 10, 2021.
  2. Sage Journals. "Safety Assessment of Glycerin as Used in Cosmetics"

    Accessed Nov. 10, 2021.

2. Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream

Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream

Neutrogena Moisturizer for Moisturization and Anti-Aging

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream

This cream moisturizer combines the power of retinol and hyaluronic acid to fight the signs of aging while also plumping and moisturizing the skin.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Combination
Best for: Moisturization and Anti-Aging
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing, apply the cream to your face, neck, and chest.
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This anti-aging moisturizer is a great way to add retinol to your routine, as the addition of moisturizing ingredients may help mitigate some of the irritation often associated with retinol. The cream contains retinol SA, which works to smooth lines and even skin tone. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which pulls moisture to the skin for healthy hydration levels.

Pros

  • Anti-aging
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-greasy
  • Hydrating

Cons

  • May cause irritation

In addition to the hydrating benefits, hyaluronic acid has been shown to help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, which makes this drugstore moisturizer even more effective for anti-aging. Even though the hydrating ingredients may mitigate the irritating effects of retinol, if you’re new to this skincare ingredient or have sensitive skin, you may want to start by using this cream every other day or every two days to see how your skin reacts.

Water, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Glycerin, Dimethicone, PPG 15 Stearyl Ether, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Behenate, Ceteareth 20, Isohexadecane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polyethylene, Sodium Polyacrylate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Crosspolymer, Polyacrylamide, PTFE, C13-14 Isoparaf n, Chlorphenesin, Polysorbate 20, Hydrolyzed Myrtus Communis Leaf Extract, Retinol, BHT, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Laureth-7, Ascorbic Acid

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: An overview of clinical efficacy and safety"

    Accessed Nov. 8, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging"

    Accessed Nov. 8, 2021.

3. Daily Facial Moisturizer

Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer

Vanicream Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization

Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer

This fragrance-free moisturizer is lightweight but deeply hydrating. It is gentle on the skin, and specifically formulated with sensitive skin in mind.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: Cleanse the skin and apply serums or treatments. Then, apply this moisturizer to the face, neck, and chest. Follow up with sunscreen during the day.
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This daily moisturizer is packed with 5 key ceramides, which help restore the skin’s barrier. It also contains hyaluronic acid, squalane, and glycerin, which all help keep the skin hydrated.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • May not be moisturizing enough for very dry skin

The formula of this affordable moisturizer is perfect for sensitive skin, because it is fragrance-free, dye-free, essential oil-free, and free of virtually anything else known to irritate the skin. It is also dermatologist tested.

Purified Water, Squalane, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramide Eop, Ceramide Ng, Ceramide Np, Ceramide As, Ceramide Ap, Carnosine, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Phytosterols, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-11, 1,2-Hexanediol

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Hyaluronic Acid"

    Accessed Nov. 10, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "The structure, function, and importance of ceramides in skin and their use as therapeutic agents in skin-care products"

    Accessed Nov. 10, 2021.

4. Skin Renewing Night Cream

CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream

CeraVe Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization

CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream

This cream moisturizer contains peptides and a blend of other ingredients that soften, hydrate, and restore the skin’s barrier overnight.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Combination
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Cleanse the skin and apply serums or treatments. Then, apply this cream to the face, neck, and chest.
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It is important to pick an effective, hydrating night cream, especially if your skincare routine includes potent serums or treatments that may irritate or dry the skin (such as retinol). This affordable moisturizer contains a variety of skincare ingredients that help renew the skin and also protect its natural barrier.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • May be too thick for some

This drugstore moisturizer features peptides, which help rejuvenate fatigued skin. It also contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which protect the skin’s barrier and lock in moisture. Additionally, it has niacinamide, which calms the skin and fights signs of aging.

Purified Water, Glycerin, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Stearic Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Saccharide Isomerate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Ceramide 6 II, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 1, Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3, Tripeptide-1, Cholesterol, Phenoxyethanol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Behentrimonium Methosulphate, Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopherol, Allantoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Phytosphingosine, Dextran, Xanthan Gum

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging"

    Accessed Nov. 9, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "How Much Do We Really Know About Our Favorite Cosmeceutical Ingredients?"

    Accessed Nov. 9, 2021.
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "The structure, function, and importance of ceramides in skin and their use as therapeutic agents in skin-care products"

    Accessed Nov. 9, 2021.

5. Healing Ointment

Cerave Healing Ointment

CeraVe Moisturizer for Very dry skin

CeraVe Healing Ointment

This is one of the best CeraVe products for restoring and protecting areas of the skin that need intense hydration. It is a staple year-round, but can really come in handy to provide relief for skin dried out by winter weather.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Very dry skin
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Apply to any areas of the skin that are cracked, chafed, or extremely dry. It can be applied over a body or face lotion to lock in moisture.
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This is one of the best CeraVe products for restoring and protecting areas of the skin that need intense hydration. It is a staple year-round, but can really come in handy to provide relief for skin dried out by winter weather.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Dye-free
  • Lanolin-free
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

  • Greasy

This affordable ointment is formulated with petrolatum, which provides a physical barrier to protect the skin and prevent moisture from escaping. It also contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides to restore and hydrate.

Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Paraffin, Ozokerite, Dimethicone, Ceramide Np, Ceramide Ap, Ceramide Eop, Carbomer, Water, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Proline, Cholesterol, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Panthenol, Pantolactone, Phytosphingosine, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "The structure, function, and importance of ceramides in skin and their use as therapeutic agents in skin-care products"

    Accessed Nov. 8, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Hyaluronic Acid"

    Accessed Nov. 8, 2021.
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Petrolatum: Barrier repair and antimicrobial responses underlying this "inert" moisturizer"

    Accessed Nov. 8, 2021.

6. Moisture Boost Hydrating Treatment Cream

Paula’s Choice Moisture Boost Hydrating Treatment Cream

Paula's Choice Moisturizer for Intense Moisturization

Paula’s Choice Moisture Boost Hydrating Treatment Cream

This fan-favorite rich face cream is packed with nourishing and restoring ingredients that are perfect for when dry skin needs an intense boost of moisture.

Skin types: Normal and Dry
Best for: Intense Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums and treatments, apply the moisturizer over your face, neck, and chest.
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Those with drier skin may want a richer face cream in their skincare arsenal for when their skin needs even more hydration, particularly in the winter. This face cream is one of the best Paula’s Choice moisturizers for dry skin, because it contains plant oils, emollients, and antioxidants that restore and deeply hydrate.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Super moisturizing

Cons

  • Heavier texture

One of the key ingredients in this cream is jojoba oil, which is anti-inflammatory, can help restore the skin’s barrier, and has the ability to help fight the signs of aging. It also contains other ingredients known to boost hydration and soothe the skin, including vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, squalane, and glycerin.

Water (Aqua), Ethylhexyl Stearate (texture enhancer), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil (emollient plant oil), Butylene Glycol (texture enhancer), Glycerin (skin-replenishing ingredient), Petrolatum (emollient), Cetearyl Alcohol, Dipentaerythrityl Hexacaprylate/ Hexacaprate, Tridecyl Trimellitate (texture enhancers), Sodium Hyaluronate, Ceramide 3, Cholesterol (skin-replenishing ingredients),Tocopherol (Vitamin E/antioxidant) Squalane (emollient), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (stabilized Vitamin C/antioxidant), Dimethicone (texture enhancer), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3/skin-restoring ingredient) Polysorbate 60 (texture enhancer), Hydrolyzed Jojoba Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein (skin conditioning agents), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract (soothing agent), Hydrogenated Lecithin (skin-restoring ingredient), Whey Protein (water-binding agent), Tridecyl Stearate, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Myristyl Myristate (texture enhancers), Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Decarboxy Carnosine HCI (skin-restoring ingredients), Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer (texture enhancers/water-binding agents),Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax (texture enhancers/emollients), Aminomethyl Propanol (pH-adjustor), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent), Benzoic Acid, Chlorphenesin, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol (all preservatives)

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils"

    Accessed Aug. 2, 2021.

7. Intense Riche Hyaluronic Acid Cream

La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Riche Hyaluronic Acid Cream

La Roche-Posay Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization

La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Riche Hyaluronic Acid Cream

This face cream uses the power of hyaluronic acid and other moisturizing ingredients to deeply hydrate the skin for up to 24 hours.

Skin types: Normal and Dry
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums and treatments, apply to the face, neck, and chest. During the day, follow up with an SPF.
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This rich but non-greasy face cream contains hyaluronic acid, which pulls moisture to the skin for healthy hydration levels. It also contains shea butter and glycerin, which further moisturize the skin.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • Contains fragrance

In addition to the hydrating benefits, hyaluronic acid has been shown to help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, which makes this face cream a great choice for those also looking for anti-aging benefits.

Aqua / Water, Glycerin, Isopropyl Palmitate, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter / Shea Butter, Lauroyl Lysine, Cetyl Alcohol, Urea, Peg-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cera Alba / Beeswax, Pentylene Glycol, Stearic Acid, Carbomer, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Myristic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 60, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Chlorphenesin, Parfum / Fragrance

8. Mineral SPF Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral SPF Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid

La Roche-Posay Moisturizer for Daily Sun Protection and Moisturization

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral SPF Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid

This product is a moisturizer and mineral sunscreen in one, and is great for daily use. SPF 30 protects the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, and hyaluronic acid works to hydrate.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Sun Protection and Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: In the morning, after applying your moisturizer, apply the sunscreen to your face, neck, and chest. Reapply at least every 2 hours. Since this is a moisturizer as well, it may be used without a moisturizer (although drier skin types may prefer to use an additional moisturizer).
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This sunscreen is formulated with hyaluronic acid, which helps maintain moisture levels in the skin. It also contains glycerin and vitamin B5 (panthenol), which further moisturize and soothe the skin. This sunscreen uses 100% mineral filters (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), which are generally better tolerated by sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dermatologist tested

Cons

  • Not water resistant (use a water resistant sunscreen when swimming or sweating)
  • May leave a white cast on some skin tones

In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, this sunscreen contains senna alata, a tropical leaf extract. This ingredient provides antioxidant protection, defending against free radicals that can accelerate the development of signs of aging.

Titanium Dioxide (5.5%), Zinc Oxide (10%), Water, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Isononyl Isononanoate, Dicaprylyl Ether, Peg-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Dimethicone, Caprylyl Methicone, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Triethylhexanoin, Silica, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Panthenol, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Stearate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Chlorphenesin, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Alumina, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Tocopherol, P-Anisic Acid, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Propylene Carbonate, Cassia Alata Leaf Extract, Maltodextrin.

9. Toleriane Ultra Night Moisturizer

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Moisturizer

La Roche-Posay Moisturizer for Nightly Moisturization

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Moisturizer

This gel-cream moisturizer is one of the best La Roche-Posay products for sensitive, dry skin. It contains intensely moisturizing ingredients, and has been formulated without potentially irritating ingredients.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Nightly Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums and treatments, apply to the face, neck, and chest.
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This night moisturizer is packed with ingredients that help restore the skin’s moisture barrier. The shea butter is anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant effects, and is intensely moisturizing. Glycerin, squalane, and vitamin E also help moisturize and soothe the skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Cons

  • Some reviewers complain about the packaging

This moisturizer has been tested on allergy-prone skin, and is free of any ingredients that may potentially cause irritation, including fragrance and drying alcohols.

Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Squalane, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Pentylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Dimethicone, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Polysorbate 20, Tocopherol, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Allantoin, Toluene Sulfonic Acid, Dimethiconol, Xanthan Gum, Carnosine, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer.

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils"

    Accessed Aug. 19, 2021.

10. Substiane Riche Anti-Aging Cream

Best La Roche-Posay Moisturizer for Wrinkles

La Roche-Posay Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization

La Roche-Posay Substiane Riche Anti-Aging Cream

This is one of the best La Roche-Posay moisturizers for those with aging concerns. It effectively moisturizes while addressing lack of firmness and sagging skin.

Skin types: Normal and Dry
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums and treatments, apply to the face, neck, and chest. During the day, follow up with an SPF.
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One of the key ingredients in this moisturizer is pro-xylane, a sugar-protein hybrid that is used to help defend against water loss in the skin. Additionally, this moisturizer contains linactyl, which is used to help restore elasticity and firmness. The use of these ingredients, plus additional moisturizing ingredients, helps make this moisturizer excellent for aging skin.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist tested

Cons

  • Contains fragrance

In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, this moisturizer contains a variety of ingredients that help moisturize the skin, including shea butter and apricot kernel oil.

Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Cyclohexasiloxane, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil/Apricot Kernel Oil, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Isohexadecane, Zea Mays Starch/Corn Starch, Silica, Hydroxypropyl Tetrahydropyrantriol, Cera Alba/Beeswax, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Palmitic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Propylene Glycol, PEG-20 Tearate, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Stearyl Alcohol, Dimethiconol, Arginine PCA, Serine, Disodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Linseed Extract, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetylester, Polysorbate 80, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Parfum/Fragrance

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils"

    Accessed Aug. 18, 2021.

11. Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer

Paula's Choice Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer

This creamy moisturizer provides the deep hydration that drier skin types need. It also contains replenishing ingredients that fight the signs of aging and improve the skin’s texture.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums and treatments, apply the moisturizer over your face, neck, and chest.
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This product is one of the all time best Paula’s Choice moisturizers. It contains a beneficial blend of emollients, peptides, antioxidants, and other replenishing and moisturizing ingredients that deeply hydrate the skin to soften and smooth. It is also suitable for sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Soothing

Cons

  • No SPF for daytime use

One of the main ingredients in this moisturizer is hyaluronic acid, which attracts and maintains moisture to the skin. It also contains moisturizing evening primrose oil, a non-fragrant plant oil containing antioxidants that protect the skin.

Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate (Emollient), Butylene Glycol (Hydration/Slip Agent), Glycereth-26 (Hydration), Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil (Non-fragrant Antioxidant Plant Oil), Cetyl Alcohol (Texture Enhancer/Hydration), Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate (Emollient), Cyclopentasiloxane (Texture Enhancer), Stearic Acid (Texture Enhancer/Hydration), Glyceryl Stearate (Texture Enhancer/Emollient), PEG-100 Stearate (Thickener), Glycerin (Skin-Replenishing), Cyclohexasiloxane (Texture Enhancer), Dimethicone (Hydration/Texture Enhancer), Panthenol (Vitamin B5/Skin-Soothing), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (Skin-Restoring), Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (Skin-Restoring), Sodium Hyaluronate (Skin-Replenishing), Tocopheryl Linoleate (Vitamin E/Antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E/Antioxidant), Tocopherol (Vitamin E/Antioxidant), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C/Antioxidant), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C/Antioxidant), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice-Derived Skin-Soothing), Sodium PCA (Skin-Replenishing), Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract (Roman Chamomile/Skin-Soothing Antioxidant), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Hydration), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C/Antioxidant), Linoleic Acid (Skin-Replenishing/Skin-Restoring), Linolenic Acid (Skin-Replenishing/Skin-Restoring), Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate (Antioxidant), Saccharide Isomerate (Hydration), Hydroxypropyl Guar (Film-Forming Agent), Allantoin (Skin-Soothing), Rosa Moschata Seed Oil (Non-fragrant Antioxidant Plant Oil), Polysorbate 20 (Emulsifier), Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose (Texture Enhancer/Stabilizer), Carbomer (Texture Enhancer), Sodium Citrate (pH Adjuster/Chelating Agent), Trisodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Batyl Alcohol (Stabilizer), Sodium Hydroxide (pH Adjuster), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Chlorphenesin (Preservative), Benzoic Acid (Preservative), Sorbic Acid (Preservative)

12. Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

Paula's Choice Moisturizer for Daily Sun Protection and Moisturization

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

This creamy moisturizer contains mineral-based SPF to protect the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. It also contains hydrating and replenishing ingredients to soften dry skin.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Sun Protection and Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: In the morning, after cleansing and applying any treatments, apply the moisturizer all over the face, neck, and chest.
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This SPF moisturizer uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, two mineral sunscreens that are suitable for sensitive skin. It also contains a blend of antioxidants, ceramides, and peptides that help to soften, protect, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Gentle

Cons

  • Some reviewers note it feels greasy on the skin
  • Not water-resistant

The ceramides in this moisturizer help to restore the moisture barrier and strengthen the skin, while the peptides help provide anti-aging benefits.

Titanium Dioxide 3.85%, Zinc Oxide 3.12% (mineral sunscreens), Water (Aqua), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (emollient/texture-enhancing), Isononyl Isononanoate (texture-enhancing), Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil (apricot oil/non-fragrant oil/emollient), Cyclopentasiloxane (hydration/texture-enhancing), Glyceryl Stearate (emollient/texture-enhancing), PEG-100 Stearate (emollient/texture-enhancing), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Pentylene Glycol (hydration), Cetearyl Alcohol (emollient/texture-enhancing), Dimethicone (hydration), Glycine Soja Sterols (emollient), VP/Eicosene Copolymer (texture-enhancing), Avena Sativa Kernel Extract (oat extract/skin-soothing), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Sodium Hyaluronate (hydration/skin replenishing), Allantoin (skin-soothing) , Tocopheryl Acetate (antioxidant), Hydrogenated Lecithin (skin-restoring), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Superoxide Dismutase (antioxidant), Ubiquinone (antioxidant), Ceramide NG (hydration/skin replenishing), Methicone (hydration), Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (skin-restoring), PEG-10 Dimethicone (texture-enhancing), Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract (cucumber extract/skin-soothing), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (emollient/texture-enhancing), Tribehenin (skin-restoring), PEG-10 Phytosterol (texture-enhancing), Sorbitan Stearate (texture-enhancing), Polyhydroxystearic Acid (texture-enhancing), Alumina (texture-enhancing), Polysorbate 20 (texture-enhancing), Aluminum Stearate (texture-enhancing), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Chlorphenesin (preservative).

  1. American Academy of Dermatology. "Is Sunscreen Safe?"

    Accessed Aug. 4, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Skin hydration is significantly increased by a cream formulated to mimic the skin's own natural moisturizing systems"

    Accessed Aug. 4, 2021.

13. Resist Intensive Repair Cream

Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Repair Cream

Paula's Choice Moisturizer for Intense Moisturization and Anti-Aging Benefits

Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Repair Cream

This ultra-rich face cream contains a concentrated blend of ingredients that restore, deeply hydrate, and fight the signs of aging, including a low concentration of retinol.

Skin types: Normal and Dry
Best for: Intense Moisturization and Anti-Aging Benefits
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums and treatments, apply the moisturizer over your face, neck, and chest.
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This face cream contains a low concentration of retinol (0.01%), a skincare ingredient that is considered the gold-standard for fighting signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles. While the concentration is not super high, it is great for people who want to gently work retinol into their routine, but are worried about irritation from higher concentration treatments.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Intensely moisturizing
  • Anti-aging

Cons

  • Some reviewers note it has a greasy texture

In addition to the retinol, this cream contains hyaluronic acid, which locks in moisture and plumps the skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines. It also contains a blend of antioxidants that fight environmental aggressors to protect the skin.

Water (Aqua), Ethylhexyl Stearate (texture-enhancing), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Petrolatum, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Dipentaerythrityl Hexacaprylate/Hexacaprate, Glyceryl Stearate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, PEG-100 Stearate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Retinol, Adenosine, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Ceramide NG, Sodium Hyaluronate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Niacinamide, Tocopherol, Lecithin, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Tribehenin, PEG-10 Phytosterol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Pullulan, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Tridecyl Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Sclerotium Gum, Carbomer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Polysorbate 20, Disodium EDTA, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Benzoic Acid

14. Resist Anti-Aging Eye Cream

Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Eye Cream

Paula's Choice Moisturizer for Reducing the Signs of Aging and Hydrating the Eye Area

Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Eye Cream

This balm-like eye cream contains a blend of ingredients that hydrate, reduce puffiness and dark circles, and minimize wrinkles.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Reducing the Signs of Aging and Hydrating the Eye Area
Tested on animals: No
How to use: Gently pat the eye cream around the entire eye area.
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This rich eye cream contains antioxidants and hydrating ingredients that are excellent for minimizing wrinkles around the eye area. These ingredients also help with other eye-related concerns, including puffiness, dark circles, and dry skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Rich texture

Cons

  • Texture may be too thick for daytime use

Hydrating and anti-aging ingredients in this eye cream include shea butter, glycerin, allantoin, and vitamin C.

Water (Aqua), Butyrospermum Parkii Butter (shea butter/emollient/antioxidant), Glycerin hydration/skin replenishing), Dimethicone (hydration), Sodium PCA (hydration/skin replenishing), Hydrogenated Polyisobutene (texture-enhancing), Ascorbyl Glucoside (vitamin C/antioxidant), Sodium Polyacrylate (texture-enhancing), Hydrogenated Lecithin (skin-restoring), Glucosyl Hesperidin (skin replenishing), Copper Gluconate (skin-restoring), Troxerutin (skin-restoring), Disodium Rutinyl Disulfate (skin-restoring), Resveratrol (antioxidant), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38 (skin-restoring), Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3 (skin-restoring), Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (licorice extract/skin-soothing), Phytic Acid (skin replenishing), Beta-Glucan (skin-soothing/antioxidant), Acetyl Glucosamine (skin replenishing), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Adenosine (skin-restoring), Dextran (hydration/skin replenishing), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (emollient), Sea Whip Extract (skin-soothing), Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract (bearberry extract/antioxidant), Salix Alba Bark Extract (willow bark extract/skin-soothing), Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 (texture-enhancing), Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin (texture-enhancing), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Cetearyl Alcohol (texture-enhancing), Maltodextrin (hydration), Benzyl Alcohol (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health"

    Accessed Aug. 6, 2021.
  2. Sage Journals. "Safety Assessment of Glycerin as Used in Cosmetics"

    Accessed Aug. 6, 2021.
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils"

    Accessed Aug. 6, 2021.

15. Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer

Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Dry Skin

Paula's Choice Moisturizer for Redness and Daily Sun Protection and Moisturization

Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Dry Skin

This mineral-based SPF moisturizer is one of the best Paula’s Choice sunscreens for sensitive and redness-prone skin, and is even gentle enough for rosacea-prone skin. It contains additional ingredients that calm and hydrate the skin.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Redness and Daily Sun Protection and Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: In the morning, after cleansing and applying any treatments, apply the moisturizer all over the face, neck, and chest.
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This is a great SPF moisturizer for sensitive and redness-prone skin, partially due to the fact that it contains mineral sunscreen (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), which is gentler on the skin. Additionally, it has calming, hydrating, and redness-reducing plant extracts, antioxidants, and peptides.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Gentle

Cons

  • Not water-resistant

Some of the nourishing and calming ingredients in this gentle formula include apricot oil, oat extract, allantoin, and vitamin E.

Titanium Dioxide 3.85%, Zinc Oxide 3.12%, Water (Aqua), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (texture-enhancing/emollient), Isononyl Isononanoate (texture-enhancing/emollient), Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil (apricot oil/non-fragrant plant oil/emollient), Cyclopentasiloxane (hydration), Glyceryl Stearate (emollient), PEG-100 Stearate (texture-enhancing), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Pentylene Glycol (hydration), Cetearyl Alcohol (emollient), Dimethicone (hydration), Glycine Soja Sterols (soybean/emollient), VP/Eicosene Copolymer (texture-enhancing), Avena Sativa Kernel Extract (oat extract/skin-soothing), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Sodium Hyaluronate (hydration), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Hydrogenated Lecithin (skin replenishing), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Superoxide Dismutase (antioxidant), Ubiquinone (antioxidant), Ceramide NG (hydration/skin replenishing), Methicone (hydration), Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (texture-enhancing), PEG-10 Dimethicone (texture-enhancing), Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract (cucumber extract/skin-soothing), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (emollient), Tribehenin (emollient), PEG-10 Phytosterol (texture-enhancing/emollient), Sorbitan Stearate (texture-enhancing), Polyhydroxystearic Acid (texture-enhancing), Alumina (stabilizer), Polysorbate 20 (stabilizer), Aluminum Stearate (texture-enhancing), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Chlorphenesin (preservative).

  1. American Academy of Dermatology. "Is Sunscreen Safe?"

    Accessed Aug. 4, 2021.

16. Moisturizing Cream

CeraVe Moisturizing CreamCult favorite

CeraVe Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

This rich, non-comedogenic cream – which is often called “CeraVe in the tub” – is a cult favorite for both the face and body. It is thick and effective at moisturizing, but doesn’t leave behind an overly greasy film.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: On the face, after cleansing and applying treatments, massage a pea-sized amount into the skin. On the body, massage as much as is needed into the skin.
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This CeraVe cream is incredibly moisturizing. For dry and sensitive skin types, it is an excellent multi-purpose product to have on hand, since it can be used on both the face and the body.

Pros

  • Multi-purpose
  • Thick but not greasy
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • People with oily skin may find the thick consistency uncomfortable
  • Some people with acne-prone skin have noted that this product makes them break out

The CeraVe Moisturizing Cream contains three key ingredients that restore the skin’s barrier, hydrate, and replenish: hyaluronic acid, ceramides 3, 6-II, and 1, and glycerin.

Aqua / Water / Eau, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Petrolatum, Potassium Phosphate, Ceramide Np, Ceramide Ap, Ceramide Eop, Carbomer, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cholesterol, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Edta, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tocopherol, Phytosphingosine, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin

17. Toleriane Ultra Moisturizing Cream

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Moisturizing Cream

La Roche-Posay Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Moisturizing Cream

This gentle moisturizing cream was formulated for dry and sensitive skin, and helps soothe and intensely hydrate.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums and treatments, apply to the face, neck, and chest. During the day, follow up with an SPF.
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This face cream contains a variety of effective ingredients that help hydrate and soothe the skin, including neurosensine, shea butter, squalane, and glycerin. It has been tested and shown to be suitable for ultra-sensitive, allergy-prone skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Allergy tested

Cons

  • Some reviewers complain about the packaging

This moisturizing cream is free of ingredients that may further irritate sensitive skin, including fragrances, preservatives, and drying alcohol.

Aqua/Water, Isocetyl Stearate, Squalane, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Pentylene Glycol, Peg-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethiconol, Sodium Hydroxide, Acetyl Depeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils"

    Accessed Aug. 30, 2021.
  2. Sage Journals. "Safety Assessment of Glycerin as Used in Cosmetics"

    Accessed Aug. 30, 2021.
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Moisturizers: The Slippery Road"

    Accessed Aug. 30, 2021.

FAQs

Are gel moisturizers good for dry skin?

People with dry skin can certainly use a gel moisturizer, but they may find that a moisturizer with a creamier texture may work better when it comes to keeping their skin adequately hydrated. Gel moisturizers are lightweight and are well-suited for keeping oilier skin types hydrated without feeling greasy, but may be too light for drier skin types. If this is the case with you, a cream formula may better fit your needs. Keep in mind that your needs may fluctuate as the seasons change. For example, you may use a gel moisturizer during the day during a humid summer, but may switch to using a cream both day and night when the weather is cooler and drier.

Which moisturizer is best for dry and sensitive skin?

If you have dry skin that is also sensitive, there are some great options for you on this list that are specifically formulated with sensitive skin in mind. This includes the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Moisturizer, the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer, the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, and the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Moisturizing Cream. If you also are looking for a daytime moisturizer with SPF, two excellent options are the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 and the Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Dry Skin.

Do I need both a serum and a moisturizer?

Regardless of skin type, everyone should be using a moisturizer everyday, because it keeps the skin healthy and adequately hydrated so that it looks and feels its best. Serums aren’t an absolute necessity if you’re looking to establish a simple skincare routine, but they can be helpful if you want to address specific skin concerns, since they give your skin a concentrated boost of effective skincare ingredients. If you choose to add a serum to your routine, apply it first, after cleansing. Follow up with a moisturizer, and then sunscreen during the day.

The Bottom Line

There are some excellent affordable moisturizers for dry skin, so you don’t need to put a ton of strain on your wallet to establish an effective skincare routine. Add one of our recommended moisturizers to your routine to keep your skin feeling and looking its best.