10 best moisturisers for dry skin: Hyaluronic acid and vitamin C formulas

Chloë James
·2-min read
While combination and oily complexions thrive with gel products, thicker formulas typically hydrate dry skin more thoroughly (The Indepednent/iStock)
While combination and oily complexions thrive with gel products, thicker formulas typically hydrate dry skin more thoroughly (The Indepednent/iStock)

As the skies get darker and the weather gets colder, our complexions begin to suffer. Dry skin can worsen over the winter months as the harsher climes combined with the return of central heating can leave us feeling parched.

But while it seems easy to moisturise away dry patches, not just any moisturiser does the trick. Surprisingly, finding a product that combats dry skin is just as difficult as finding one to fight oiliness.

The most effective moisturisers for dry skin tend to contain hyaluronic acid. Renowned for its ability to hold 1000 times its weight in water, it penetrates every layer of your skin, not just the surface. However, other secret ingredients to look out for include cell regenerating vitamin E and ceramides, which help form a protective barrier to lock in moisture.

To give our skin the best chance this winter, we started our search for the top moisturiser at the ingredients list. Equally important was the consistency. While combination and oily complexions thrive with gel products, thicker formulas typically hydrate dry skin more thoroughly. Yet this can just as easily be a bad thing – too rich a formula can congest pores and lead to increased oil production, which just leaves us with the opposite problem.

For chronically dry skin, it’s important to remember the solution doesn’t stop at moisturiser. Dry patches are often caused by a buildup of dead skin cells, which will need cleansing and gentle exfoliation before they’re hydrated. With our skin prepped, primed and ready to go, we began the hunt for the formula that would complete our dry skin routine.

We wanted something that would soothe existing dryness while also retaining moisture to prevent any future problems. It also needed to sit well beneath make-up – thicker formulas tend to run a higher risk of pilling, which creates a cakey, uneven base. Most of all, we just wanted to glow like it was the middle of summer.

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