clean moisturizers

These 5 Clean Moisturizers Saved My Dry Winter Skin

They have a permanent spot on my bathroom shelf.

By: Hannah Baxter

There’s a noticeable shift whenever I’m at a non-work event and someone finds out that I’m a beauty editor. I can see the questions bubbling up inside them before they even open their mouth to ask: “What should I be using for…” insert skin, hair, or makeup product here. Do I mind it? Not one bit. I spend my entire day surrounded by products, and my coworkers are likely tired of hearing my squeals of delight over an obscure new face massage tool or apricot cream blush, so I’ve got to tell someone.

Lately, the questions are all about hydration, specifically anything and everything that can save your skin from irritation, dryness, and other winter nastiness. I’m right there with you—my skin is not a fan of subzero temperatures—which is why I’ve amassed a list of moisturizers that I always keep in my skin-care rotation this time of year. I’ve also been trying to use as many clean beauty products as possible these days, without sacrificing efficacy. So rather than wait until I run into you at a party, here are the five all-natural moisturizers I swear by for glowy and hydrated winter skin.


Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream, $58

I want my skin to look plump in the winter, meaning bouncy and nourished with all manner of oils and fatty acids. This Biossance cream has a gorgeous whipped texture that I absolutely savor in the morning. It’s such a pleasure to blend it into my skin. The added squalane is also one of the most effective hydrating ingredients on the market right now, along with the always classic hyaluronic acid. No irritation, no fuss, just dewy, happy skin that lasts until I wash my face at night.

Milk Makeup Vegan Milk Moisturizer, $38

This is a brand-new launch from Milk Makeup, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Remember that scene in the Snow White remake when Charlize Theron takes a bath in what looks like a swimming pool full of milk? That’s what my face feels like after I use this moisturizer. It has a blend of vegan milks, like argan, fig, and oat, to douse your skin with hydration, as well as squalane and grapeseed oil for antioxidants. You also never feel greasy, which is a must for any winter moisturizer.

Macrene Actives High Performance Face Cream Extra Rich, $245

Don’t hate me, but this ultra-luxe face cream is worth every penny. It’s formulated by Dr. Macrene Alexiades, a top NYC-based dermatologist, and is full of nourishing botanicals to not only hydrate your skin but also help heal discoloration and prevent fine lines. I use this one at night after my prescription acne treatment to prevent any irritation, and by morning my skin looks airbrushed, I swear. The glass packaging is also earth-friendly and looks beautiful on your vanity.

Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream, $68

When this moisturizer landed on my desk last winter, it for some reason languished in a corner, forgotten, until I had a particularly nasty bout of eczema and was desperate for anything to soothe it. I ended up flying through the jar in about a month. The added Japanese purple rice contains an ingredient called anthocyanin, which is a potent antioxidant that helps the plant survive in a harsh environment. That’s exactly how I’d classify NYC in January, and so this will always have a spot on my bathroom shelf for when my skin needs some deep hydration.

Pai Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream, $60

If I already have skin irritation happening, whether from a particularly nasty snow day or a skin-care treatment (like a peel for hyperpigmentation), I want ingredients like chamomile and rosehip to help soothe my skin, fast. The vitamins A, C, and E from the rosehip and apricot oils also protect against free radical damage. Plus, it doesn’t turn my face into an oil slick. So if I have something going on at night where I want to wear a little more makeup, this is my go-to moisturizer for no slip without sacrificing hydration.

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