Best Dry Skin Moisturizers For Very Dry Skin

skin like parched earth

If your skin is very dry, like parched earth, try Sali's dry skin care tips

I came across this helpful video and article by Sali Hughes at the Guardian (one of the quality newspapers in the UK, in case you don’t recognize the publication). She takes us through the best dry skin moisturizers available for dealing with facial dry skin.

Sali makes the point that although there are some great cheap moisturizers for very dry skin for use on the body (such as Vaseline, Eucerin and E45) you can’t use the same cheap products on your face especially if you want to use makeup. Makeup just doesn’t sit well on top of those formulas. You need a product that moisturizes your skin well so the makeup glides on well but you don’t want it to be so greasy that the makeup slides off and looks patchy.

My skin tends to be more combination than dry, tending towards dryness in winter and I easily develop ugly patches of dry skin then if I’m not careful so I was interested in what Sali had to say as she is a sufferer of extreme dry skin, prone to chapping, flaking and feeling sore.

Sali has tried tons of products and what is surprising is that it is not always the products that are supposed to be for dry skin that work well.

“There are so many moisturizers for dry skin, that don’t even touch the sides, that don’t offer the same level of comfort, hydration and moisture that you want”

She advises looking for ingredients in moisturizers which work well for dry skin, rather than just a label saying “suitable for dry skin”.

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Here are the ingredients to look out for

  • avocado oil
  • shea butter
  • olive oil
  • glycerin (if your skin is also lacking in water as well as oil)

As you might want a product that does more than moisturize ( for example one with anti-aging properties or sun protection) you can either look for this to be included in your moisturizer or use a serum with those properties. Apply the serum to cleansed skin and then your moisturizer on top of that to get all the benefits to your skin. Look for one which is more emollient than others if you have dry skin as it will give you an extra layer of moisturizer to protect your skin.

Sali’s Other Tips For Extreme Dry Skin

  • Try a steam room at the gym and slather on moisturizer when you come out to lock in the hydrating effect
  • Use a humidifier at home or leave bowls of water around to help counteract the effects of central heating
  • Apply a liberal coating of moisturizer to body and feet at night and sleep in cotton pajamas and socks to wake up with softer skin
  • Don’t be scared to use gentle exfoliation to get rid of flaky dead skin as it can help your skin absorb product better and it will look better too. Just don’t choose a harsh product that strips away moisture as well as dead skin. This might include removing cleanser with a hot damp face cloth rather than toner and shaving legs instead of waxing to reveal healthier skin
  • It’s Ok to use enzyme peels, masks and scrubs but don’t leave them on dry skin, like you might with an oilier complexion. Just sweep them over your skin and rinse right off
  • Moisturize as soon as you come out of the shower as that is when your skin is at its most vulnerable

Best Dry Skin Moisturizer

Decleor Hydra Floral Anti Pollution CreamSali’s favorite this winter is Decleor Hydra Floral Anti-Pollution Moisturising Cream. She initially thought this one seemed too light for her ultra dry skin but it works very well and is a great base for makeup too. It has plant extracts and essential oils.

As with most things, you have to pay for quality, and dry skin creams (although this one is targeted at all skins) don’t come cheap, though it may be worth the price if you suffer from very dry skin like Sali.

There are some cheaper (as well as more expensive) alternatives offered in the article including some put forward by others as comments on the post. I was interested that Aveeno moisturizer was recommended for dry skin as it is one of the few creams which work on my dry hands without affecting my eyes when I touch them. Though the cheap dry skin creams may not be quite so effective as the Decleor one, they may work for your skin, and if you are on a budget they could be worth exploring too.

Facial Oils for Dry Skin

One suggestion from several commenters I like is to use a facial oil as a serum under whatever moisturizer you choose. You could experiment with using tiny dabs of jojoba oil, Bio oil or even plain grapeseed oil to get the effect of a serum and then choose a cheaper moisturizer. You will need to make sure you have some kind of sun protection however. I always thought that it would be a complete no no using oils on the face especially for acne prone complexions until I tried one by Clarins after a facial one time and found it worked a treat at making my skin soft without the greasy finish I expected. It really depends on the amount you use – make sure you have a light touch if you use an oil.

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