Whether your dry skin is seasonal or not, treating it can often seem impossible

Tight, red, itchy, rough — these are all descriptors of dry skin. And while dry skin on its own is tough, peeling or flaking can also appear, especially during the transition from the summer season to fall and winter, no matter your skin type.

Dry skin, also known as xerosis or xeroderma, has many causes, including cold or dry weather, sun damage, harsh soaps, and overbathing. You can do a lot on your own to improve your skin, including moisturizing and practicing sun protection year-round.

If you notice your skin experiencing dryness, you likely also notice that not all facial moisturizers can get the job done in curing it. The most important things to keep in mind when buying a moisturizer are the ingredients and consistencies of the lotion itself.

 Dry-skin types often need more attention in the moisturising department to avoid flaking and painfully tight, sandpapery skin. But not every moisturiser will work for severely dehydrated skin. Experts say people with dry skin, especially eczema sufferers, have to be very mindful of the moisturisers they use.

Generally speaking, goopy and greasy creams and ointments are your best friend if you have dry skin, because they are oil based, have a thicker consistency, and provide more hydration than lotions. This can also depend on the seasons, though, which is why experts mention that you can transition to a lighter lotion, gel-based moisturiser, or serum in summer.

Almost all the experts we spoke to also said that your moisturiser should ideally contain a mixture of emollients (like ceramides), which repair your skin barrier, and humectants (like glycerin and hyaluronic acid), which draw and seal moisture into the skin.

Here are the 5 best cream for dry skin

dry skin

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich Cream Face Moisturiser

We like this Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich Cream for dry skin, which has a thicker, creamier consistency and contains hyaluronic acid — a powerful humectant that can hold over a thousand times its weight in water to help hydrate and plump the skin, as well as emollients like shea butter. Note that this cream does have a light fragrance, though, which may be something to keep in mind if you have sensitivities.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Moisturiser

If you’re looking for something at a budget-friendly price point, we also recommends this Neutrogena gel-cream. This moisturiser is specifically formulated for extra-dry skin; it’s a different formulation of the gel-cream often recommended for acne sufferers. While we don’t usually think of gel textures as dry-skin friendly — they’re more typically targeted to normal and oilier types — this moisturiser contains hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which help lock in moisture while still feeling airy and lightweight.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume

Cicaplast Baume is an absolute staple to avoid dry skin. Suffering from extremely dry, sensitive skin and finding a moisturiser that could quench her skin without irritating it was somewhat of a task. The balm is enriched with powerful Vitamin B5, Madecassoside and Glycerin, which come together to deeply nourish and moisturise dry, uncomfortable skin, minimising the appearance of coarseness and redness.

Highly gentle and kind, the balm is suitable for babies, relieving skin tightness, chapped lips or dry, cracked skin. Despite its thick, luxurious texture, the balm does not leave a greasy, sticky residue and instead absorbs fast to leave your complexion soft to the touch. The balm is finished with La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water.

CeraVe Moisturising Cream

If in doubt, always choose CeraVe because you can’t go far wrong. Not only is it one of the most affordable brands on the market, but its products are incredibly effective and they just work – mostly down to the fact that everything is developed by dermatologists. This cream is bolstered with both ceramides and hyaluronic acid, this cream moisturises and hydrates while protecting the skin’s barrier. Plus it’s fragrance free, making it suitable for even the most sensitive of skin types.

Caudalie Premier Cru The Rich Cream

This cream was specially developed to supply sensitive skin with a global anti-aging action, by targeting the eight main aging marks. In fact, this rejuvenating formula proves to be highly successful when it comes to counteracting wrinkles and fine lines, loss of firmness and volume, decrease of elasticity, dark spots, dehydration, and dullness. These incredible results are possible thanks to the presence of TET8™ in the composition.

This ground-breaking technology is the outcome of a 10-year partnership between Caudalie’s anti-aging expertise and the prestigious Harvard Medical School. Combining vine Resveratrol with Honokiol, the TET8™ not only corrects the previously mentioned aging concerns but also stimulates the skin’s youthful proteins. Besides its outstanding anti-aging properties, the Premier Cru The Rich Cream also focuses on nourishing dry skin. Enriched with lipid-replenishing bio-ceramides, this velvety cream is able to deliver instant comfort and hydration even to sensitive skins.