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11 Best Products When Cold Weather Leaves You With Dry Skin

A woman rubbing her face. Large, exposed pores are shown.
Iuliia Diakova/Shutterstock.com

You’ve probably noticed that as the temperatures outside drop, your skin becomes increasingly dry. This isn’t just a coincidence: cold air means that there’s low humidity, which helps create dry skin. Scaly skin can be uncomfortable and doesn’t look fantastic, but fortunately, it’s pretty easy to fix with the right products.

How To Get Rid Of Dry Skin

Keeping skin hydrated in the winter isn’t just about rubbing some moisturizer into your hands or on your face. If your skin is really dry, even a heavy-duty moisturizer won’t do much right away. A variety of products will help prevent and get rid of dry skin no matter how chilly it is outside.

  • Change up your shower habits. A hot shower might feel soothing in the winter cold, but scalding hot water strips oil from your skin, leaving it drier than before. And while showering more often might seem like it would leave you less dry (because of all the water), it can actually do the opposite.
  • Try a different soap. Traditional bar soaps have a high pH that can dry out your skin instead of hydrating it. Opt for a moisturizing body wash made with oils or rich creams, like shea butter or coconut oil.
  • Moisturize at least twice a day. Moisturizer exists for a reason! Apply hand cream whenever you feel dry, put lotion on your body after the shower, and slather your face in creams when you wake up and before you go to bed.
  • Use a humidifier. A humidifier can add moisture to the air and is especially helpful in the winter. Not only can it prevent your sinuses from drying out, but it can also help with your skin as well.

Best Hand Cream: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Moisturizing Hand Cream

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Moisturizing Hand Cream

Dry hands can feel like the worst, and can also be more prevalent in the winter. That’s not just from the cold air, but also because you’re likely washing your hands more often or using hand sanitizer more since it’s cold and flu season. Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Moisturizing Hand Cream is one you’ll always want nearby.

This dermatologist-recommended formula is thick and super moisturizing, but it never feels greasy or oily. A little goes a long way, so it will last you for a while. There’s no fragrance, which is nice for anyone who doesn’t want their hands to smell or has sensitive skin. It also offers immediate relief and can even prevent dry skin in the future. It’s genuinely one of the best formulas out there, and as a plus, it’s inexpensive and can be found in most drugstores.

Best Hand Cream

Best Daily Face Moisturizer: Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream
Drunk Elephant

Hand cream and facial cream are not created equal. When the skin on your face feels dry, you need an extra thick moisturizer, not just the light one you were using during the summer. Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream is an excellent choice. The creamy formula is thick and super hydrating, but it feels very lightweight when applied to your face—so lightweight that it works as a daily moisturizer under your makeup for the day. Some super hydrating creams like this can be heavy, but this one manages to feel refreshing.

It doesn’t leave behind an oily residue, and the ceramides it’s made with provide a replenishing barrier to keep your skin soft all day. It’s also clean and all-natural, free of silicone, essential oils, drying alcohols, chemical screens, fragrance/dyes, and SLS. It absorbs easily into your skin, and the push top is convenient and hygienic.

Best Daily Face Moisturizer

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream. Replenishing Moisturizer for Skin Protection and Rejuvenation. 1.69 Ounce. - Lala Whipped Cream 50 Milliliters

Drunk Elephant Retro Lala Whipped Cream is immediately moisturizing but feels lightweight and refreshing.

Best Lip Balm: Lanolips 101 Ointment Multi-Balm Coconutter

Lanolips 101 Ointment Multi-Balm Coconutter

Chapped lips can be painful and obnoxious, and happen when the lips get too dry in cold weather. Consistently applying lip balm is a great way to avoid this—as long as the lip balm is truly hydrating. Lanolips 101 Ointment Multi-Balm Coconutter is an excellent choice. Made with medical-grade lanolin, it’s a natural and effective alternative to petroleum-based balms. It feels hydrating but not heavy or sticky and leaves behind a natural-looking sheen. It also smells like a beautiful tropical day, which is nice to be reminded of in the middle of winter.

This heavy-duty lip balm is so hydrating that it can also be used for dry patches on your face or the rest of your body. A little goes a long way here, so this will last a while.

Best Body Lotion: Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion For Dry Skin

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion For Dry Skin

Your winter ritual should be to slather your body in lotion immediately after taking a shower, and ideally, you’ll use Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. Made with dry skin in mind, this lotion is a classic for a reason: it really works. Made with emollients and Active Naturals Colloidal Oatmeal, it both prevents and protects dry skin for an entire day.

The lotion is fragrance-free, never greasy, and noncomedogenic, and it leaves your skin feeling soft but not oily. It’s also lightweight enough that you should be able to put clothes on right away.

Best Face Oil: Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil

Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil
Youth To The People

Putting oil on your face might seem strange, but it’s actually great for extra hydration. Facial oils pack a punch and can be more moisturizing than any cream out there. They penetrate your skin to trap water and moisture so that your skin doesn’t feel dry again in another hour. Keep in mind it’s still an oil, so it’s something you probably want to apply before bed instead of in the morning.

Youth To The People’s Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil is a great option. Made of a clean, natural blend of super berries, prickly pear, squalane oil, omega fatty acids, and vitamin C, it’s super hydrating and full of antioxidants. It also smells nice, and it really doesn’t feel as oily on your face as you would assume an oil might.

Best Overnight Mask: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask

An overnight mask is more than just a moisturizer for your face. It’s thicker and penetrates more deeply so that it really hydrates and prevents dry skin. Applied before bed, it soaks into your skin while you’re sleeping so that you wake up with softer skin. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask is a great pick. While some overnight masks are so thick that they leave your face feeling oily (which is uncomfortable against your pillow), this one is never greasy.

It’s made with ultra-hydrating squalane, glycerin, and fountain plant to leave your skin more moisturized than it was before you fell asleep. It has a light, clean scent, and works well for sensitive skin too.

Best Facial Spray: Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater
Mario Badescu

When you’re out and about, and you start to feel super dry, you can’t exactly run to the bathroom and apply more moisturizer. The next best thing is a hydrating facial spray for a blast of moisturizing ingredients to leave you feeling less dry and refreshed. Try Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater. A cult favorite, this facial spray smells wonderful and never overwhelming, and it leaves skin feeling soft and looking dewy.

You also don’t need to worry about this messing up any makeup you have on—simply spritz it a few times and then leave it. The spray absorbs into your skin and can actually freshen up your makeup, so it looks less dull.

Best Facial Spray

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rose Water for All Skin Types, Face Mist that Hydrates, Rejuvenates & Clarifies, 8 FL OZ

Mario Badescu Facial Spray is made with aloe, rosewater, and herbs to feel super hydrating and refreshing.

Best Cleanser: First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser
First Aid Beauty

If you have really dry skin, then yes, even your cleanser should be extra hydrating. First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser is a very gentle, fragrance-free formula that never leaves your skin feeling stripped. It removes dirt, grime, and makeup quickly and effectively, and the whipped texture is a really lovely cream when rubbed into your skin.

A lot of cleansers are made with alcohol, which can be drying, but this one has no alcohol, no parabens, phthalates, sulfates, formaldehyde, or any other chemicals you want to avoid. It’s great for sensitive, dry skin, and will quickly become a favorite.

Best Cleanser

First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser, Sensitive Skin Cream Cleanser with Antioxidant Booster, 5 oz.

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser is a gentle, fragrance-free formula that never makes skin feel stripped.

Best Body Wash: Cerave Hydrating Body Wash

Cerave Hydrating Body Wash

Since the hot water in the shower is likely pulling moisture from your skin, you need an extra moisturizing body wash. Cerave Hydrating Body Wash gets the job done and has been a drugstore favorite for years. Made with ceramides, it’s super cleansing but also restores your natural protective skin barrier, so it doesn’t leave you feeling depleted of moisture.

This one produces a pleasant foamy lather, doesn’t have any parabens or sulfates, and is even safe for people with eczema.

Best Body Wash

CeraVe Body Wash for Dry Skin | Moisturizing Body Wash with Hyaluronic Acid and Ceramides | Paraben, Sulfate & Fragrance Free | 10 Ounce

CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash is a simple and effective formula for a truly moisturizing shower experience.

Best Serum: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Serum

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Serum

Contrary to what you may have heard, face serum isn’t something you should skip, especially if your skin is extra dry. Serums can penetrate deeply into the skin to deliver a high concentration of active ingredients, so if they’re made with moisturizing ingredients, they can really make skin feel hydrated.

You also don’t need to spend a lot on a good one. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Serum is one of the best moisturizing serums out there and comes at a reasonable price point. Made with hyaluronic acid, which helps skin absorb a ton of water, it leaves your skin soft and glowing. It’s also oil-free and noncomedogenic, so it never feels heavy or clogs pores.

Best Serum

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum, Oil-Free and Non-Comedogenic Face Serum Formula for Glowing Complexion, Oil-Free & Non-Comedogenic, 1 fl. oz

Neutrogena Hydro Boost is made with hyaluronic acid for a super-moisturizing experience that leaves skin glowing.

Best Shaving Cream: Soap & Glory Original Pink Righteous Butter 3in1 Body Wash

Soap & Glory Original Pink Righteous Butter 3in1 Body Wash
Soap & Glory

Shaving can easily strip your skin of moisture and leave you feeling dry, especially if you exfoliate before. That’s why it’s so important to moisturize immediately after and to use hydrating shaving cream. Soap & Glory’s Original Pink Righteous Butter is a three-in-one product and can act as a body wash, shaving cream, and body lotion. Thick and creamy, this stuff spreads nicely and is so hydrating it helps prevent nicks and cuts. It moisturizes the skin as you shave so that when you’re done, you barely feel like you need lotion at all.

Jessica Booth Jessica Booth
Jessica Booth is a freelance writer for Review Geek. She has been working in the editorial world as a freelance writer for over two years and previously worked as an editor for over eight years.  Jessica writes about travel, beauty, wellness, health, food, home decor, and parenting, and has reviewed and tested out products for all of those verticals over the course of her career. Read Full Bio »