The Best Moisturizers for Dry Skin in Winter

The winter season is approaching, and with it, a rush of emotions. Whether you’re looking forward to the holiday season, spending time with your loved ones, or looking forward to the start of a brand new year, there are many reasons to feel excited this season.

However, as the weather gets colder, your skin may experience dryness. Cold weather and dry skin go hand in hand. Even if your skin is typically normal, you may experience dryness when temperatures start to drop. 

Did you know having the right moisturizer for dry skin in winter can save you from discomfort, irritation, sensitivity, and even breakouts this holiday? 

Here’s what you need to know about finding the best moisturizer for dry skin

Dry Skin 

Dry skin is a common skin concern caused by insufficient moisture retention. In other words, your skin can’t hold on to enough moisture to stay hydrated. Levels of dry skin vary between skin types. For instance, you may have mild or moderate dry skin, while someone else may have severely dry skin

Dry skin is especially common in the winter due to the cold weather and the dryness in the air. Let’s take a look at dry skin to understand what causes dry skin.

What Causes Dry Skin

Our skin’s ability to hold in moisture lessens as we age, and our skin can become dry more easily. Luckily, thanks to research surrounding skincare that can support youthful skin, you can help your skin retain moisture even as you get older. 

Weather and environment are also influential factors in causing dryness. Both cold and hot weather can lead to dryness in the air, making our skin even drier. The epidermis contains a layer known as the stratum corneum. When the weather gets cold, this layer can shrink, letting more moisture escape easily. 

Dry skin can also be caused by other factors such as over-cleansing, scrubbing too hard or exfoliating too often, using harsh chemicals, and more. Even too-hot showers can lead to dry skin

Some people also just naturally have drier skin because no two skin types are exactly the same. 

Why Is Dryness a Skin Concern? 

If you experience dry skin during the winter season (or all year long), it’s likely one of your top skin concerns. Dry skin can cause discomfort, flaky skin, irritation, inflammation, sensitivity, and redness. 

Dry skin may also lead to acne. Our skin produces a substance known as sebum, a natural oil to lubricate and hydrate our skin and hair. If you have dry skin, your body may overproduce sebum to compensate for the dryness. 

For instance, if we use harsh chemicals on our skin or experience weather-related dry skin, our bodies will signal to produce more sebum to make up for the dryness. This excess production of sebum clogs pores and can lead to acne and breakouts. 

How To Lock in Moisture 

The best way to combat dry skin is to try to get the skin to retain moisture. However, this is easier said than done. 

Our skin has three layers. The outermost layer is the epidermis, which is the main protective barrier where dry skin occurs. 

The cells in this layer are similar to shingles on a roof. When they become loose or damaged, they can’t hold in as much moisture. Many factors influence the skin’s ability to retain moisture, including sun damage, harsh chemicals, over-cleansing, and harsh exfoliation. 

Locking in moisture relies on maintaining the epidermal layer of skin. This is where moisturizers come in handy! Moisturizers help rehydrate the epidermis, restore the moisture barrier, and lock in hydration. A good moisturizer is key to keeping your skin hydrated and smooth all winter long. 

Finding the Best Moisturizers 

Moisturizer is the key to combating dry winter skin. But what moisturizers are the most effective? Let’s break down some of the factors to look for when choosing the best moisturizer for dry skin in winter.  

Avoid Drying Ingredients 

It’s critical to avoid drying ingredients. Not all products labeled as moisturizers actually get the job done—some include drying alcohols and other ingredients that make dry skin even worse. 

When you’re selecting products, here are a few ingredients that you may want to avoid: 

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Sodium laureth sulfate 
  • Denatured alcohols
  • Most fragrances 
  • Salicylic acid 

Find Hydrating Ingredients 

If the best tip for caring for dry winter skin is to avoid drying ingredients, it follows to find hydrating ingredients! Intentionally finding skincare products that are packed with moisture is critical to taking care of dry skin this winter. 

Look for the following ingredients:

  • Hyaluronic acid 
  • Lanolin
  • Humectants
  • Lecithin
  • Glycerin 
  • Vitamin E oil

These ingredients not only give you a boost of initial moisture but also help your skin retain moisture throughout the day. 

Another quality to look for is consistency. When it comes to dry winter skin, it’s important to get a heavy-duty solution. Rich, nourishing creams that include some of the above ingredients are excellent options. You may want to use a heavier cream at night and a more lightweight cream during the day to make sure your skin stays hydrated without feeling too greasy or heavy. 

Find Non-Comedogenic Products 

Look for a hydrating moisturizer with non-comedogenic ingredients. Many skin and hair care products contain comedogenic ingredients, meaning these ingredients may clog pores. Those clogged pores may contribute to acne, so choose a non-comedogenic moisturizer instead. 

Choose Real Ingredients 

As a general rule of thumb, real ingredients are better for your skin. 

Aim to find ingredients you can pronounce, like Matcha, White Lily, Kukui Nut, Noni, Grapefruit, Blueberry, and Daisy. Look for ingredients you recognize to support your skin and hydrate without harsh or drying chemicals. 

Use Moisturizing Products 

While you can use a moisturizer in the morning and night, using moisturizing products all day can add an extra punch to your skin’s hydration

Here at Journ, we focus on creating products that will simplify your routine. That’s why we created our ALSO Daily Moisturizer and Sanitizer—you can care for the dry skin on your hands while eliminating unwanted germs and bacteria, all in one step. 

Our Dew color corrector will also come in handy when dealing with the dry skin on your face. Thanks to ingredients like Eucalyptus and Jasmine, you can reduce the appearance of unwanted redness while also hydrating and soothing those stubborn red, dry patches. 

Other Tips for Taking Care of Dry Winter Skin 

When it comes to keeping your skin moisturized in the winter, timing is everything. When applying your moisturizer, don’t wait until your face is completely dry—apply it while your skin is still just a bit damp. 

This is because your moisturizer creates a barrier around your skin. If your face is dry, it will lock in dryness. If it’s hydrated, it will lock in hydration. To keep your skin moisturized and comfortable, be sure to apply moisturizer when your face is still damp from washing it. The general rule is not to wait more than a minute to put on your moisturizer

You can also keep a humidifier in your home to keep water in the air during dry weather. 

Steer Clear of Dry Winter Skin

Whether you love cold, snowy weather or you’re dreaming of warmer days on the beach, there’s no arguing that cooler temperatures have an effect on your skin. Steer clear of pesky dry patches by using the right moisturizer and giving your skin a bit of extra love as the days get shorter. 


How to Prevent Dry Skin in Winter | Brigham Health 

Acne - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic 

What to do about dry skin in winter | Harvard 

What Is Comedogenicity, and What Ingredients Are Comedogenic? |