If you’ve read anything I’ve written, you know that my dry skin requires a lot of attention to avoid looking scaly and flaky and miserable. What I don’t often talk about, however, is how important properly moisturizing is in the service of keeping my skin looking radiant and soft. Over the years, I’ve tried just about every moisturizer I’ve ever laid my eyes on in an attempt to find a reliable cream that hydrates, smooths, and doesn’t make me break out.
Since all I talk about with friends and family and strangers is skin, I’ve learned that people are naturally skeptical about moisturizing — and rightfully so, as many products that promise hydration don’t necessarily ensure a clear complexion as well. Fortunately, I’ve put in the work to figure out what moisturizers will keep your skin looking quenched, but won’t clog your pores and break you out. So if your skin is on the parched side and you’ve historically had some skin-care trust issues, look no further. Here are my top-six picks.
This moisturizer from Korean brand Benton is incredible and has completely changed the texture of my skin. I’m ashamed to say I only found out about it a few weeks ago. The amateur dermatologists at oo35mm in Chinatown said that for dry and acne-prone skin, this cream is a must, and I’m so glad I trusted them (when do I not?). This cream is very, very thick, so if you’re oily, I would say to use this in small doses or only when your skin is looking particularly dehydrated. This cream includes hyaluronic acid for deep moisture as well as snail and niacinamide, both of which are amazing for blemishes and texture. Some evenings, I use this right after I’ve used Benton’s Snail Bee Pollen mask, and I wake up and my skin looks so clear and plump! If your skin is having an off day, this combo will set it straight. Also, the price???? C’mon! A new Holy Grail for me.
I’ve mentioned this cream before, but I initially got into it not by choice, but because it was the moisturizer my sister picked up at a convenience store when we were traveling together in Tokyo. I personally feel skeptical of products that market themselves as straight “collagen treatment,” because I worry that since they’re marketed to a slightly older, less-blemish-prone demographic, they have the potential to make me breakout. However, this cream hasn’t once made me break out, and actually leaves my skin looking super hydrated and dewy. I also love the smell of it.
At this point, I’m sure you guys are aware that my articles are basically just an eczema-support forum. In windy, cold weather, I get these horrible dry patches due to my constant battle with eczema, and I’m serious when I said this cream saved me last winter. The price on this is so insane, I’ve considered mentioning it in therapy, but if you suffer from dry, eczema- or rosacea-prone skin, this moisturizer is certainly worth trying. Super rich and infused with indigo, the cream is great for healing chapped or irritated skin as well as redness.
If you’re looking for a cream that does a good job of hydrating without that sticky, thick feeling, this is your girl. Targeted toward those with irritated skin, this cream promises to sooth and calm sensitive, dry skin. I like using this during the day because it never leaves me looking shiny.
While this isn’t a straightforward moisturizer, it’s a gel that you can either use in lieu of a moisturizer or mix in with your serums. On days when I’m feeling extra dry, I like mixing this with my Drunk Elephant C-Firma Serum for a really bright, glowy finish.
Like a lot of other Biologique products, this cream smells truly insane. I’ve gotten “rancid oatmeal” before, and I’ve also gotten “straight-up trash.” If you’re acne-prone, but sensitive to scent, get over it for your skin’s sake because Biologique products are a must-try. Use this in conjunction with their P50 exfoliant for the full experience — I’ve seen some serious skin transformations from this combo. Though pretty hydrating, this moisturizer helps regulate oil production as well as decrease redness. Biologique products certainly aren’t cheap, but you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
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