Best products for dry skin that moisturise and protect your face

·7-min read

Winter is coming and that only means one thing for our delicate facial zones – welcome dry, flaky and dull skin. The reason for this is simple; in winter the humidity levels drop so the water in your skin evaporates more quickly, thus makes it feel tight and dry.

If you’re a victim of the cold and dark weather wreaking havoc on exposed areas (which let’s face it, is all of us, right?), one of the most important things you can do to help alleviate it is moisturise.

When it comes to choosing a moisturiser, it’s about the type you choose rather than the amount you use, so pay attention to what’s actually inside each remedy to ensure you get the results you’re after.

Key booster ingredients to look out for are hyaluronic acid, which helps retain water and keeps skin well hydrated for that all-important dewy glow, and ceramides, which improve the skin’s barrier by minimising water loss and therefore balancing moisturisation. And as a double win, ceramides are also known to prevent acne breakouts.

See our pick of the best products out there to maximise moisture below.

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Pai love & haight hydrating moisturiser

Pioneers of sensitive skin solutions and masters of the eco revolution, Pai is certainly not one to miss.

Not only does this brand have a fantastic ethos that puts sustainability at its core – everything can be recycled either at home or through pre-paid return – but its products are absolutely divine and really effective.

When it comes to moisturisers, Pai has four to choose from. The first is the Anthemis, which is made for sensitive and eczema-prone skin, helping to soothe and hydrate while reducing redness. Then there’s the Pioneer, which is perfect for oily skin thanks to its non-greasy formula which leaves a fantastic matt finish.

My personal favourites for super-dehydrated skin though are Love & Haight and Salvation Jane.

For those concerned with lines and wrinkles as well as dryness, Salvation Jane is as good as it gets. Appropriately named after the plant known for its calming and nourishing properties, this moisturiser contains hyaluronic acid to keep skin quenched and echium (which contains omegas 3 and 6) to smooth.

If it’s all about moisture and nothing else, get stuck into Love & Haight. With avocado and jojoba oils for enhanced hydration, this lightweight moisturiser sinks straight in, with excellent results.

Buy now £38.00, Pai Skincare

Jones Road miracle cream

This deliciously thick balm is oh-so soothing. From Bobbi Brown’s new label, its intensely nourishing formula sinks into skin, providing a soft cushioning that leaves you with a glow all day long.

Made with hydrating vitamin E, which protects against environmental stressors and strengthens the skin’s barrier, sunflower seed oil to help remove acne-causing bacteria as well as retain moisture, and Shea butter to calm the skin’s surface, this cream gives velvet-smooth results in a matter of minutes.

It’s also packed with added goodness including linoleic and stearic acids which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines. A win-win!

Buy now £34.00, Jones Road Beauty

Scientia ceramide skin rescue

So you know those all-important ceramides we were talking about earlier? This moisture barrier balm by Scientia encapsulates all of that as it’s blended with five types of ceramides as well as hyaluronic acid – just the job for dry, stressed-out skin.

The gentle texture glides on easily and has a silky smoothness to it, helping to protect and restore your face.

What’s more, their vegan formula is enhanced by sphingolipids – ceramide precursors that strengthen the skin’s barrier, as well as lipids that work to rebuild the skin’s barrier whilst retaining moisture.

If you are looking for a fail-safe moisturiser that truly nourishes inside and out, this is the one to choose.

Buy now £28.00, Scientia

Freya & Bailey reboot

The first thing you’ll notice about this superfood-enriched resilience moisturiser is the scent – the lavender and vanilla fragrance smells good enough to eat.

As well as hyaluronic acid, this antioxidant-infused formula contains skin-soothing plum kernel oil, green tea extract to conquer free radicals and balancing active niacinamide.

It absorbs so quickly into the skin thanks to the emollient consistency, without any greasy residue left behind. It’s also great for wearing under makeup.

Another bonus is that it’s suitable for those with sensitive skin, meaning it’s sure to become everyone’s go-to product.

Buy now £42.00, Wolf & Badger

CeraVe moisturising cream

For the best wallet-friendly moisturiser out there, get your hands (or face) on CeraVe’s moisturising cream.

The rich formula contains three ceramides, as well as hyaluronic acid, to keep your skin nourished throughout the day. Along with this, the patented MVE delivery technology brings controlled, long-lasting hydration for up to 24 hours.

It’s also a winner for those with sensitive skin, being specially formulated and fragrance-free to avoid irritation. Here, CeraVe delivers a cream that sinks in quickly and gives maximum moisture. It might not be the most stylish, but boy does it deliver.

Buy now £5.00, FeelUnique

Ren vita mineral emollient rescue cream

Another great addition to your moisturising staples is Ren’s Emollient Rescue Cream. This lotion is made with winter skin in mind, with a super hydrating formula that provides rapid relief for skin that’s less than happy with the change in seasons.

Filled with cranberry and lingonberry seed oil, as well as seaweed extract, it protects, soothes and reduces irritation whilst also offering a barrier against pollution.

Or, if you are after that added boost, opt for the Global Protection Day Cream and Overnight Recovery Balm which nourish and revitalise your skin from dawn ‘til dusk.

Buy now £17.00, Ren Clean Skincare

Kate Somerville goat milk moisturising cream

This beautifully thick cream is immediately cooling upon application, making it perfect for those with sensitive skin but also for acne or irritation-prone, including eczema.

Along with providing mild exfoliation, it also helps support a natural skin barrier, repairing damaged skin and leaving you feeling hydrated all day.

The key to the top results is, of course, in the ingredients. The lactose from goat’s milk, along with milk proteins, help to soothe and restore the skin’s natural barrier. Meanwhile, jojoba and avocado hydrate and condition, and the natural antioxidants of grape seed oil and vitamin E help to neutralise free radicals.

One can’t help but wonder when a product comes with a high price tag whether it is worth all the hype but when it comes to the goat milk cream, you won’t be let down.

Buy now £58.00, Space NK

Medik8 advanced night restore

This rejuvenating antioxidant-filled night cream works to restore and nourish skin whilst you sleep.

Key to all creams is high performing ingredients and the Advanced Night Restore is no stranger to this. With no OTT packaging to distract you, it instead focuses on contents, cleverly combining a whole host of ingredients that will leave your face feeling deeply hydrated and smooth to touch.

Among these are two ceramides, peptide to neutralise free radicals (which can cause skin aging) and prevent damage, saskatoon berry and dragon fruit extract for antioxidant protection and N-Acetyl glucosamine which works alongside retinol to encourage hyaluronic acid production – all in all, a pile of hydrating deliciousness to fall into.

Buy now £38.50, lookfantastic

Skin Labo collagen active cream

If you’re after great results for a fraction of the price of many brands, give the Italian digital cosmetics label Skin Labo a go.

By only selling online, the company is able to eliminate any additional costs and thus provide effective skincare that doesn’t put a hole in the wallet.

For ultra-moisturisation, get your hands on the collagen active cream. This cream, which is suitable even for sensitive skin, includes hydrolysed collagen to help soften wrinkles and restore skin, as well as Shea butter which nourishes and hydrates thanks to its vitamin E content.

But of course, the proof is in the pudding, which is shown in the fact that 99 per cent of women reported significantly more hydrated and nourished skin after using it.

Buy now £10.00, Skin Labo


One thing we know is that dry skin causes premature aging (and who wants that?), which is why a good moisturiser is so important. But of course, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to choosing which is right for you as we are all different. That being said, the high quality and wide range of moisturisers at Pai – which are suitable for even irritated complexions – makes it top of the list when it comes to the best product for dry skin.

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