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5 Winter Moisturizers that Actually Work

Your skin will thank you.

5 Winter Moisturizers that Actually Work
Alec Kugler
The other day I field-tripped up to the Central Park Zoo and aside from the sea lions (amazing, truthfully), the “Tropical Zone” was my personal happy place. It wasn’t because of the parrots and lush greenery, it was purely because of what the humidity that hits you when you step inside—similar to coming off a flight from the frozen northeast to Florida in February—did for my skin. Plump is one word to describe its side effects, enough so to make me want to throw down for zoo membership right then and there, just to keep dry skin at bay (insane, no?).

Luckily, because daily trips to the zoo aren’t all that realistic, the moisturizers that have landed on my desk in recent weeks are not playing around when it comes to parched skin. Product keywords include but are not limited to: rich, hydrating, soothing, drench, cloud, hyaluronic, rehab, and so on. So, as we head into the coldest days of the year, I’m on a constant (massage-upwards) rotation with these creams. The best part of all? Trip to the zoo not required.


Glossier’s PM Rich is the luxe moisturizer you didn’t know you could afford. It’s chock-full of ceramides and fatty acids (which lock in hydration) and feels very fancy. I like to use it before makeup to smooth out skin and any dry patches.

Hyaluronic acid is the the key ingredient here—it’s what helps your skin retain moisture. PTR’s appropriately named Cloud Cream feels more like a gel than a cream, which oily skin types will enjoy. Bonus points for giving my skin a really nice, dewy sheen.

The whipped texture of Drunk Elephant’s cream goes on super light and doesn’t feel greasy, which is a plus for skin types that aren’t *super* dry. It’s infused with six different African Oils—which promise to deeply hydrate.

A moisture “cushion” sounds like exactly what our skin needs on those windy, cold days. Dr. Dennis Gross’ gel-cream formula immediately makes skin look dewy and uses Japanese marine algae to keep moisture in and smooth out fine lines and dullness.


Think of this formula as a three-in-one: the gel moisturizer can be used alone after cleansing, over your normal day or night lotion (if you’re combatting really parched skin), or alone as a five-minute moisture mask. My personal preference is to use it as a sleeping mask on top of my night skincare—I wake up with a baby-smooth face.

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