11 Essential Winter Moisturizers & Oils for Healthy, Hydrated Skin
Restore your glow despite the frigid temperatures.
Although we just *officially* passed the threshold for winter a few days ago, our skin has been feeling the effects of the cold, dry weather for weeks now. Aside from incorporating plenty of water into our daily routines (seriously, drink more water), it’s always wise to have a few moisturizers in your cabinet to help prevent dehydrated, cracked skin and prolong that healthy glow.
To keep your skin moisturized (as opposed to hydrated, which requires a humectant-rich serum or targeted treatment), you’ll want to reach for emollient ingredients to seal in moisture and support your skin barrier function. A stronger skin barrier means you’ll minimize water loss and keep your pH levels balanced, AKA you’ll have less irritation, even when the temperatures outside drop below freezing.
Examples of common moisturizing ingredients to look for include: peony extract, seed oils, shea butter, cocoa butter, ceramides, colloidal oatmeal, isopropyl palmitate, and dimethicone, among others. How dry your skin is naturally, as well as the other hydrating products you like to use on a regular basis, will determine which formula is right for you. And don’t worry—just because your complexion is oilier than average doesn’t mean you can’t try a face oil. Keeping your skin moisturized via a cream or an oil will minimize the need for you to produce excess sebum to ward off dryness. We all need plenty of moisture, especially this time of year, so consider it an invitation to uncover your new holy-grail product.
Unsure of where to start? Check out 11 of our favorite winter moisturizers and face oils.
Tammy Fender Holistic Skin Care Celestial Rose Creme
Holistic skin expert Tammy Fender debuted her newest face cream earlier this year to much acclaim, and we can attest that the luxe, creamy formula is packed with nourishing botanicals and oils to ward off winter dryness. Rose and hibiscus are the stars here for their protective antioxidant properties, along with rich kaduka plum, carrot seed oil, and orange blossom honey. Your skin will feel marshmallow soft in just one use.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream Rich
Dr. Sturm’s signature purslane ingredient is in full effect in this reparative cream, which also uses skullcap root for its anti-inflammatory and brightening properties. If you’re dealing with skin-barrier damage (think redness and irritation), this rich cream will have your complexion soothed and supple again, fast. There’s a reason you’ll spot this jar in every beauty editor’s cabinet.
Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream
Douse your skin in omega fatty acids to replenish your skin’s lipid barrier, along with plenty of ceramides to plump and increase moisture, and hyaluronic acid to help hydrate deep into the dermis. Squalane is also one of the most effective emollients available. That means your fine lines are minimized and your skin will be back to its bouncy, dewy self in no time.
La Mer Crème de la Mer Moisturizer
La Mer’s patented ‘miracle broth’ works hard to heal cracked, dry skin while also protecting your skin barrier against free-radical damage and pollution. The added lime tea adds a boost of antioxidants and helps moisturize intensely dry skin. Slathering this cream on before bed just feels like the epitome of luxury. This is the brand’s first product ever, and there’s a reason it has stood the test of time—it really works to make an impression.
Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream Plumping & Hydrating Moisturizer
If you’re after that plump “mochi hada” skin that’s infamous in J-beauty circles, this cream will help take you there. It’s packed with Japanese purple rice to nourish and protect your skin (thanks to the antioxidant-dense anthocyanin), while the Okinawa algae blend restores your moisture reserves and banishes dry patches.
Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre
The French-girl staple is beloved for a reason—it’s one of the best no-frill moisturizers on the market. The added aloe vera and shea butter gently soothe and hydrate without ever feeling too heavy or sticky. It also gives you that perfectly dewy complexion with minimal effort. If your skin is particularly sensitive or reactive, this cream is about to be your new best friend.
Deawy Cloud Nine Moisturizer
Dry, irritated skin can benefit from the healing effects of CBD. This face cream has a delightful whipped texture that is loaded with argan, rose, and sunflower seed oils to fortify damaged skin, while hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and sodium PCA rehydrate your parched complexion.
Avène Skin Recovery Cream
Are you already dealing with the side effects of freezing-cold weather? This gentle repairing cream will soothe skin that’s already red and angry via a trifecta of dimethicone, amino acids, and shea butter. The brand’s signature thermal spring-water formula is also suitable for even the most sensitive skin types.
Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum
The longtime beauty-editor favorite truly shines in the winter, when skin is most vulnerable to dryness and damage. The 22 botanicals blend is packed with nourishing fatty acids and nutrients, which help to repair and encourage cell turnover to reveal brighter, healthy-looking skin.
Shiffa Sapphire Face Oil
New to the oil game? This calming face oil is loaded with protective antioxidants to prevent environmental damage, while the combination of argan, prickly pear seed, seabuckthorn, and camellia seed oil douse your skin with moisture. The bottle top also contains a sapphire stone to infuse the formula with tranquility and clarity for an all-over calming effect.
Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil
We’re longtime fans of this plum oil, which is rich in antioxidants, nourishing omega fatty acids 6 and 9, and protective polyphenols. Vitamins A and E also work to repair and restore your complexion without ever causing undue irritation. It also happens to smell amazing. Sensitive-skinned people, this one’s for you.
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