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As winter rolls in, so too does everyone's worst enemy: dry skin. The cooler temperatures can leave your face and body feeling raw, cracked, and inflamed, but the right lotion can help stave off this inconvenience entirely. "During colder months, your skin is more susceptible to becoming dry and dull-looking due to the dehydrating effects of the winter," explains Dr. Stacy Chimento, a board certified dermatologist at Miami's Riverchase Dermatology. "When it gets cold, our pores tend to shrink, which causes heat to accumulate, resulting in oily skin. It can also become prone to acne breakouts, rashes and infections." There are a few ways dermatologists recommend combatting dry skin—shower with lukewarm water, avoid scrubbing, invest in a humidifier. But perhaps the most effective way to prevent dry skin is to moisturize your face and body regularly.
While there are plenty of face and body lotions to choose from, it's important to understand what makes a quality moisturizer. "People with dry skin should consider a lotion that is a little heavier and contains ingredients like hyaluronic acid and dimethicone, which helps hydrate the skin," says Dr. Chimento. She also notes that facial lotions should be non-comedogenic and have a lighter consistency than body lotion because the skin is thinner, oilier, and therefore more sensitive. Now that you know the basics, let's dive into the best dermatologist-recommended moisturizers for dry skin.
Neutrogena Moisturizing Sheer Oil Lotion
If you prefer lightweight lotions that aren't super creamy, consider this option from Neutrogena. The ultra-hydrating body moisturizer has glycerin—a safe and effective ingredient for hydration that works with any skin type. Board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green says glycerin "promotes retention of moisture, reinforcing the skin's natural barrier, and keeping it healthy and hydrated."
Shop Now: Neutrogena Moisturizing Sheer Oil Lotion, $17.49, amazon.com.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
A favorite among dermatologists, CeraVe's moisturizing cream is perfect for the body and face. "It contains three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid," says Dr. Chimento. "It smooths and restores skin while keeping it hydrated for up to 24 hours." Products with ceramides are essential for proper skin hydration as they essentially act as a glue that holds skin cells together.
Shop Now: Cerave Moisturizing Cream, $16.08, amazon.com.
Augustinus Bader The Body Cream
Ultra-rich and decidedly luxurious, this cream doesn't just hydrate—backed by 30 years of research, the formula improves firmness and elasticity, too.
Shop Now: Augustinus Bader The Body Cream, from $100, augustinusbader.com.
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream
Free of fragrance and oil, this non-comedogenic cream is ideal for people with eczema-prone skin and can be applied to your face, body, and hands. Dr. Chimento says it's an excellent option for targeting specific areas on your body. It will soothe the skin and provide relief from incessant itching.
Shop Now: La Roche-Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream, $14.99, ulta.com.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
One of the most popular lotions on the market, this lightweight and gentle cream is perfect for everyday use. Aside from being hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, the formula is also fragrance free—notable when you consider that "products containing fragrances can irritate, sting, burn, and dry the skin which can worsen eczema," says Dr. Green.
Shop Now: Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, $11.97, walmart.com.
Vanicream Moisturizing Cream
Looking for a no-frills body cream that won't disrupt your acne prone skin? Consider this option from Vanicream. It's free of fragrances, dyes, lanolin, and parabens, making it a clean choice for people combating eczema.
Shop Now: Vanicream Moisturizing Cream, $12.99, amazon.com.
Eucerin Eczema Relief Cream
This full body cream—which is clinically proven to reduce eczema flare-ups—contains colloidal oatmeal, an additive that benefits dry dermis. According to Dr. Green, oats calm the skin, as well as stimulate collagen. "The oats bind to the skin creating a shield against irritation while locking in natural moisture," she explains.
Shop Now: Eucerin Eczema Relief Cream, $9.38, amazon.com.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Water Gel
Formulated with hyaluronic acid, this super moisturizer will bring dull skin back to life. According to Dr. Green, hyaluronic acid helps to soften and hydrate the skin by locking in moisturizer. It also has "antioxidant properties that can help protect against free radicals and other environmental pollutants," she says. The water gel also contains ceramides and essential fatty acids that strengthens your barrier.
Shop Now: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Water Gel, $17.54, walmart.com.
Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Lotion
Soothe dry skin with microdroplets of Vaseline jelly, a defining feature of this prescription strength moisturizer. Dr. Amanda Doyle, dermatologist at Russak Dermatology, says it's one of her favorites thanks to the ultra-hydrating droplets that repair dry, damaged skin.
Shop Now: Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Lotion, $10.49, walmart.com.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
Its name speaks for itself—this face and body cream is ultra-repairing. The formula contains colloidal oatmeal and shea butter, two ingredients that protect the barrier and relieve itching and irritation caused by eczema, rashes, and other skin conditions.
Shop Now: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, $36, ulta.com.
Aquaphor Healing Ointment
This heavy-duty ointment can be used as a lip moisturizer, hand cream, foot cream, and beyond. It's a great option dry skin; the addition of glycerin prevents dryness from occurring in the first place (it actually pulls water into the dermis). Apply it to dry, cracked skin for instant relief.
Shop Now: Aquaphor Healing Ointment, $13.74, amazon.com.
Cetaphil Advanced Relief Lotion
Here's another option from Cetaphil. According to Dr. Chimento, the shea butter formula helps restore your skin's barrier while still being a lightweight option. The advanced relief lotion also contains vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects the skin from oxidative stress. "Vitamin E also has restorative properties and is able to repair the skin at its cellular level, accelerating the production of collagen and elastin," Dr. Green says.
Shop Now: Cetaphil Advanced Relief Lotion, $15.95, amazon.com.
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion
Dr. Green's top pick for dry skin is this option from Aveeno because it contains colloidal oatmeal, which is oat that is crushed and formulated into our products. The fragrance-free lotion reduces inflammation and stimulates collagen production, which improves elasticity.
Shop Now: Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion, $8.77, walmart.com.