This is How You Moisturize Dehydrated Skin and It’s Different Than Dry Skin

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As the temperature keeps dropping, some skin types suffer more from dehydration,* cough*dry skin*cough*. But dehydration isn’t exclusive to dry skin. You’ll be surprised how many people suffer from dehydration even with oily skin. The colder months create a common ground for all skin types where we complain about dullness, tightness, flakiness, and more visible wrinkles together. To save you some time looking for products, we’ll be helping you pick the best moisturizer for dehydrated skin.

The difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin is that dry skin is a skin type whereas dehydrated skin is a skin issue. It means that whether you have oily or dry or combination skin, you can still suffer from dehydrated skin.

Remember that dehydration can also be a sign of an impaired skin barrier. If you think that’s the case, learn how you can repair a damaged skin barrier to prevent further dehydration.

The Best Moisturizers For Dehydrated Skin

In the simplest terms, dehydrated skin usually occurs when the outer layer of your skin lacks water. The way you treat dehydrated skin is by moisturizing and hydrating. Especially in the colder months, you need thicker moisturizers that can survive cold and windy weather.

To give you more context, hydration translates to humectants in your moisturizer. The most common of them are glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and sorbitol. As dehydration is mostly about lack of water, these are the ingredients to look for to compensate.

This is the bare minimum for all skin types. From here on, it turns into a matter of specific skin types. For example, oily skin can get away with a humectant (water-based) moisturizer that’s oil-free. But you can still try oil-based ones as long as the oils are non-comedogenic.

And for dry skin, a water-based cream is not going to cut it. Besides attracting water to the skin with humectants, look for oil-based creams that are more emollient and occlusive. So, here are 15 of the best moisturizers for dehydrated skin.

1. Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream - Best Moisturizers For Dehydrated Skin

With 30% hyaluronic acid, this moisturizer is basically a constant splash of water on the face. My main man Thomas doesn’t play when it comes to skincare. The cream has an amazing lightweight texture with a dewy finish.

But the cool thing is that it also contains ceramides, which are lipids that help the skin retain moisture and give the skin that hydrated and fresh look.

2. Origins GinZing Oil-Free Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer

Origins GinZing Oil-Free Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer - Best Moisturizers For Dehydrated Skin

One of the best smelling moisturizers is brought to you by Origins. It’s an incredibly lightweight, oil-free moisturizer that’s also the perfect primer. This one is great for all skin types, especially for oily skin. For hydration, it has sodium hyaluronate, which is a lighter version of hyaluronic acid. And to increase hydration, it has jojoba and shea butter.

It also has barrier-repairing niacinamide, and citrus fruit extracts to nourish the skin. Last but not least, it has ginseng and caffeine to energize dull and tired-looking skin. The moisturizer has an invisible finish and it instantly wakes up your face. It’s the perfect shield of moisture for harsh weather and an amazing source of hydration for hot weather.

3. Laneige Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Cream Moisturizer

Laneige Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Cream Moisturizer - Best Moisturizers For Dehydrated Skin

This was previously known as Water Bank Moisture Cream. But it had a huge makeover and now has a very nice packaging. Just like the former formula, this one is also an amazing moisturizer and it’s perfect for dehydrated skin. It’s infused with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and squalane.

The restorative formula is intensely hydrating for thirsty skin and absorbs quickly too. And it leaves the skin smooth and velvety. It has a nice ‘clean’ smell; nothing too fancy. It also looks amazing underneath the foundation.

4. Murad Nutrient Charged Water Gel

Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel - Best Moisturizers For Dehydrated Skin

Nutrient-charged indeed! Sometimes hydration may not be enough. You need to make sure it lasts longer. And for that, this one contains nourishing ingredients that are amazingly beneficial to repair the skin barrier. An intact skin barrier is essential if you want your skin to stay hydrated.

It has peptides and ceramides to restore the skin barrier. Plus, it has niacinamide (vitamin B3), which is the super multi-tasker that helps repair the skin barrier while balancing the oil. On top of that, it has hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to ensure long-lasting moisture retention as well as free radical protection.

5. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

This is one of the best moisturizers for dehydrated skin, especially in the winter. It works as a protective layer against harsh weather. It’s enriched with squalane to lock water in and prevent dehydration. This fragrance-free moisturizer is also a favorite of Kim K’s makeup artist Mario.

Turns out, Mario gave a beauty tip to his students in his master class using this face moisturizer. Thanks for the validation! He uses it as a primer and he applies it using a damp beauty blender.

6. Tatcha The Water Cream

Tatcha Water Cream - Best Moisturizers For Dehydrated Skin

Packed with a variety of antioxidants like green tea and algae that have amazing anti-aging benefits, Tatcha Water Cream is a lightweight moisturizer that has a smooth, silky finish. The cream is oil-free, which makes it even better for oily and dehydrated skin.

Besides hyaluronic acid, it’s packed with oil-balancing botanicals to keep the skin hydrated without making it greasy. You don’t need too much product to hydrate and blur out pores. This is an amazing moisturizer for dehydrated skin to seal moisture in right after the shower.

7. Dermalogica Calm Water Gel

Dermalogica Calm Water Gel - Best Moisturizers For Dehydrated Skin

Dermalogica always does a great job when it comes to solutions for sensitive skin. This one is a gel-like moisturizer and it’s perfect for dry/sensitive and dehydrated skin.

The cream has hyaluronic acid in different molecular sizes to ensure hydration on all skin levels. Besides apple extract to smooth the skin, it has aloe and lavender to calm and soothe sensitive skin.

8. Summer Fridays Cloud Dew Oil-Free Gel Cream Moisturizer

Summer Fridays Cloud Dew Oil-Free Gel Cream Moisturizer

This face moisturizer is designed to replenish the skin, boost moisture, and gently brighten the skin to address issues like dark spots and pigmentation. The overall formula is highly effective in targeting dehydration. It’s packed with hyaluronic acid, amino acids, and ceramides to increase hydration.

And it has pineapple enzymes, which is a natural exfoliant that renews the look of dehydrated skin and smooths out flakiness. Plus, it’s super lightweight and oil-free. You can hydrate your skin throughout the winter/summer with this one while reducing the damage caused by the sun.

9. Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Remedy Moisturizer

Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Remedy Moisturizer

This one is perfect for amping up the water content on oily skin without causing congestion or breakouts. The oil-free cream is like a hydrator. It simply hydrates without adding extra oil to the skin and is perfect for oil-free lovers with an oily and acne-prone complexion.

It has salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is gold when it comes to keeping acne, pores, and oiliness in check. The gel-cream adds water to the skin, soothes it with anti-inflammatory botanicals, and leaves the complexion matte. It’s an overall amazing option and a great addition to a quenching skincare routine without clogging pores.

10. Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Cream

Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Cream - Best Moisturizers For Dehydrated Skin

This moisturizer is perfect for getting rid of flaky skin. Because it addresses the root cause of dehydration. With the help of sodium hyaluronate, it boosts the skin’s hydration levels. To keep it stay hydrated, it has nourishing emollients like jojoba, shea butter, and squalene.

The creamy texture prevents moisture loss by supporting the skin with skin-restoring peptides. This one forms a protective layer on the face, making it one of the best moisturizers for dry and combination skin that’s prone to dehydration.

11. Clinique Moisture Surge 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator Moisturizer

Clinique Moisture Surge 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator Moisturizer

This long-lasting moisturizer is fragrance-free, which makes it perfect for overnight use. Plus, it’s oil-free and non-comedogenic, so you can use it as a hydrating sleep mask to wake up to a fresh-looking face without clogging your pores.

It has a watery texture with a dewy finish and it can be used as a makeup primer too. Plus, it absorbs super easily. With hyaluronic acid, antioxidant-rich green tea, and aloe, it hydrates and calms the skin.

12. Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb

Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb

This one is a little box of antioxidants to help your skin bounce back from free radical damage. The gel-like texture has a cooling and refreshing feel to it.

The Korean cream helps the skin lock moisture in for long-lasting hydration with the help of skin-restoring botanical extracts. Additionally, it’s packed with ceramides and enriched with shea butter to soften the skin.

13. Versed Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream

Versed Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream - Best Moisturizers For Dehydrated Skin

This is an amazing drugstore moisturizer to slather on parched skin. It’s a super lightweight gel cream and is one of the best moisturizers for dehydrated skin with additional anti-aging benefits.

It hydrates the skin with hyaluronic acid, aloe, and plumps it up to reduce the visibility of fine lines. Infused with green tea, the cream provides the skin with a daily dose of antioxidants to keep it looking luminous, juicy, and bouncy. Plus, it’s super affordable.

14. First Aid Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration

First Aid Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration

This rich moisturizer is one of the best moisturizers for dehydrated and sensitive skin. It’s even recommended for people with issues like eczema and rosacea, and with good reason! The moisturizing effects of shea butter and squalane soften, smooth, and protect the skin during colder months.

But the best part is that it has amazing antioxidants that calm the skin and reduce redness. Oatmeal, allantoin, licorice, and feverfew are formulated into the cream to soothe stressed and irritated skin.

15. Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream - Best Moisturizers For Dehydrated Skin

One of the best moisturizers for dry and dehydrated skin is Ceramidin by Dr. Jart. The cream is highly concentrated and it instantly revitalizes dull and dry skin. It has hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and shea butter to boost hydration and seal moisture in.

Plus, it has several botanical extracts to replenish and calm irritated skin. It has a matte finish and has a botanical smell. You can also use it as a primer to help your foundation glide easily in cold weather.

So these are some of the moisturizers you can try for dehydrated skin. We think that overall, Clinique is the best one to try because it contains several humectants and it’s non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and oil-free. It’s also great for all skin types including sensitive skin. And it comes in different sizes which makes it suitable for every budget too.

There are several ways you can get rid of dehydrated skin. The important thing is to delegate! For example, you can add a hyaluronic acid serum into your routine. And you can top it off with a moisturizer.

This will attract water to the skin and make sure it doesn’t evaporate. If you have very dry skin, use your moisturizer on damp skin and apply a face oil over it. This will lock everything in and give you significantly longer hydration. Also, remember to exfoliate regularly!

Read Next: The Best Vitamin C Creams & Moisturizers

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