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9 best moisturisers for dry skin

Hydrate your skin this winter with one of these face creams

The cold can dry out your skin ( Getty )

Those with dry skin will be all too familiar with having to apply several layers of moisturiser only to feel, minutes later, as though you’ve not applied anything; leaving skin rough, patchy and tight by the middle of the day.

And then there’s the peeling which, exacerbated by winter weather, is at best irritating and at worst painful.

It is important to recognise the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin – though it can be both.

The latter is more common, looks dull and is audibly papery sounding under fingers; deal with it by drinking plenty of water, eating fresh food and using products containing hyaluronic acid.

Dry skin is a more surface-level problem that results in dry, flaky patches and requires heavy-duty creams.

Finding those that nourish, protect and improve skin’s appearance without leaving your face greasy and a nightmare for makeup, however, is tricky.

These are our favourites, all of which feel luxurious and relieving upon application and leave skin plumped and comfortable for hours after.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Dr Roebuck’s No Worries: £34.20, Dr Roebuck’s  

Punching far above its price, this feels lighter weight on the fingers than most moisturisers that we tried (hence the pump bottle rather than a pot), but is incredibly hydrating and softening, with vitamin E, rosehip oil, hyaluronic acid and macadamia oil.

It also didn’t exacerbate our tester’s more spot-prone areas, so we’d particularly recommend this for those with multiple skin concerns.

Buy now

Votary Super Seed Nutrient Cream: £65, Space NK

Votary can do no wrong as far as we’re concerned. Its Super Seed Nutrient Cream is the only cream in the range (facial oils are the brand’s bread and butter) and it contains the same 22 oils as the cult Super Seed Facial Oil.

It smells like you could eat it – earthy, natural and healthy – and feels rich and deeply nourishing and yet leaves a matte finish, making it a perfect makeup base.

Buy now

Balance Me Moisture Rich Face Cream: £24, Look Fantastic 

This is a real winter skin saviour, giving immediate, calming relief to skin that is sensitive, tight and raw.

As with all Balance Me’s products, it’s as natural as possible – 99 per cent – and packed with soothing aloe vera and healing rose oils, plus an antioxidant, cloudberry, that helps protect against environmental damage.

Buy now

Elemis Superfood Day Cream: £42, John Lewis & Partners

We’re already big fans of Elemis’s Superfood facial wash (somehow foaming and creamy, it feels efficient without stripping moisture) and weren’t disappointed by this new addition to the range.

It turns out ginger, matcha and goji berry are as good for your skin as they are for your diet, and make for a nourishing combination with broccoli seed, orange peel, rosemary leaf, carrot seeds and sunflower seed oils.

Buy now

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream: £60, Cult Beauty

Already big fans of Sunday Riley’s CEO vitamin C moisturiser, we were confident we’d get on well with Tidal – and we were right.

It’s a different kind of formula to most on this list, containing not just two weights of hyaluronic acid to leave skin supple and bright, but also exfoliating papaya enzymes to gently eliminate skin cell buildup.

Buy now

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich Cream: £20, Feel Unique 

Vichy’s Aqualia range is one of the best low-price options on the market for dry skins, and this hyaluronic acid and lipid-infused moisturiser does an incredible job of soothing and plumping tight and dry skin for the price.

Buy now

Eve Lom TLC Cream: £55, Net-a-Porter

Eve Lom’s TLC does exactly what the name suggests. It’s stiffer than most and so takes a little extra work to massage it in, but that only adds to the soothing, comforting experience.

We love it for sensitive and/or mature skin types and for more severe cases of dry skin.

Try using it as a mask to target specific problem areas by dabbing on and not rubbing in before bed.

Buy now

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream: £24.50, Kiehl’s 

Kiehl’s Ultra Cream is the kind of product that people remain loyal to for life, and for good reason.

It is rich and creamy but doesn’t feel greasy on the face, and smooths, protects, plumps and hydrates with minimal fuss and for a very accessible price.

We’d recommend it for pretty much any skin type, not just dry skins.

Buy now

Sisley Velvet Nourishing Cream: £143, John Lewis & Partners

This indulgent – in both feel and price – cream is a new launch from the luxury French brand.

It’s incredibly fast-absorbing for a cream that feels quite stiff straight out of the pot, and significantly the dry and peeling skin that our tester normally has around her nose.

It contains soothing saffron flower and cottonseed, macadamia and sunflower oils – all rich in omegas 6, 7 and 9 – and a delicate orange blossom scent.

Buy now

The Verdict: Best moisturisers for dry skin

For a moderate budget, we’d opt for Dr Roebuck’s or Kiehl’s, while those with a little more to spend won’t regret using Votary.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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