As the weather gets colder, sweaters get cozier, and skin gets drier. It’s an unfortunate and inevitable fact about the season. Not enough moisture in the air means dryness and irritability for your skin, especially around your face. If you’re like me, and hopefully you’re not, you don’t have any oil to help combat this dryness. Not being able to produce oil gives a lot of pros (no acne, no greasy hair) and cons (flaky and dry skin 24/7) to consider. But it does mean one thing: I have perfected the art of adding moisture back into my skin with the best winter face moisturizers.
The trick is to do some research before you shop and dig into the ingredients. Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycolic acid are three ingredients to always look for in a moisturizer. Products don’t have to have all three, but it should definitely have at least one. These ingredients are known for their hydrating powers, so don’t take them lightly. For most, this is a winter-specific list, but for me this is year round maintenance to ensure I don’t leave a trail of dry skin wherever I go (trust me, it’s happened before). If this is sounds like too much moisture for you, have no fear, I’ve added in some alternatives if you have oilier skin. Below are the 10 best winter face moisturizers to help save your skin this season.
Best Budget Winter Moisturizers
A great drugstore option is the bathroom counter staple, Cetaphil. Their Unscented Daily Facial Moisturizer ($17) is perfect if you need lighter hydration and a moisturizer that will never irritate your skin. I tend to use this one in the morning before makeup. I love the way it seamlessly sinks into my skin under foundation.
Another great budget option for saving your winter skin is CeraVe’s Moisturizing Lotion ($13). With three different types of ceramides and hyaluronic acid, this is perfect for daily use. While this moisturizer is specifically for those with normal to dry skin, it does not irritate or cause breakouts, so it’s safe to use if your skin has more oil, too.
Best Winter Moisturizers for Oilier Skin
Moisturizing with oilier skin can be tricky. Your skin needs moisture, but you don’t want to add too much. It’s a balancing act. A great winter moisturizer for those looking to manage oil and minimize breakouts is the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream ($28). The formula is light and hydrating, and it works for skin year round. It sinks in quickly and leaves behind no greasy residue.
If you’re looking to add an extra breakout fighting powerhouse to your winter skincare routine, I recommend the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream ($30). This moisturizer is heavy enough to protect from winter winds, but leaves no excess oil which means it won’t cause any breakouts. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream has a special formula that draws moisture from the air into your skin to help reduce moisture loss.
Best Winter Moisturizers for Dry Skin
My skin is scary dry and the winter air definitely doesn’t help. A recent find is the Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream ($40). It’s a little heavier than most moisturizers, so I like to use this one as more of a night cream. With ingredients such as rosewater and hydropatches, this moisturizer is perfect for targeting dryness and dullness in winter skin.
A great day cream for the extra dry winter skin is the Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich ($35). This creamy moisturizer is heavy enough to give me all-day hydration, yet light enough that I don’t feel it on my skin after application. Perfect for night or day, it primes your skin to look its best all winter long.
Best Winter Moisturizers for an All-Day Glow
Winter can cause the skin to look a little lifeless which is something no one ever wants. Combat and reverse dull skin with Origin’s GinZing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer ($30). I just started using this over the last month, and the results were almost immediate. This lotion leaves your skin looking radiant with an all-day glow. The cooling effect helps reduce inflammation and puffiness, which is always a plus. Your skin is left rejuvenated and energized for the day ahead.
I’ll also throw in the Dior Hydra Life Fresh Hydration Sorbet Creme. Yes, it’s pricey, but oh my goodness is it worth it. This moisturizer transformed my skin in ways I can’t explain. It’s light enough to wear under makeup, yet powerful enough to keep my skin feeling fresh overnight when used as a night cream. The glow this moisturizer caused my skin to have is unimaginable. If you’re looking to splurge on skincare, move this product to the top of your list.
Best Winter Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin & Breakouts
A perfect moisturizer for extra sensitive skin is the Lush Celestial Moisturizer ($27). Certified vegan and cruelty-free, this is a moisturizer that you can feel good about. Lush blends vanilla water with hydrating almond milk and fresh dove orchid extract to keep sensitive skin soft and glowing. Formulated for extra sensitive skin, the cocoa butter base is made to soothe skin and reduce redness and irritability.
For those with breakout prone skin, the First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Oil-Free Mattifying Gel Moisturizer ($30) is a must-try. This gel formula is specially made to deliver lightweight moisture and instantly disappears after applying. Adding hydration while simultaneously working to control oil? Sign me up.
What are you adding to your winter skincare routine? Do you have any favorite winter moisturizers? Let us know in the comments or by tagging us @cfashionista!
Opening image by Laura Craffey