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October 2, 2017

These Are the 5 Dry Skin Moisturizers That Will Save Me All Season Long

Dry skin girls, unite! Just because winter is coming doesn’t mean you have to put up with the tightness, flaking, and redness that accompany low-humidity air and overworked heaters. Stock up on some serious dry skin moisturizers (I live by these three face creams and two emulsions) for supple skin all winter long.


Fall signals changing leaves, the rebirth of sweater weather, and naturally, an updated skincare routine. During the summer months, I layered on lightweight products, but now that the weather is finally cooling down in sunny Los Angeles (and by cool, I mean a cool 70, 80 degrees) and the drier months are upon us, my routine definitely needed some help in the moisture department, especially for my ever-so-parched skin.


My skin type is a combination of things: normal-to-oily on my T-zone (sebum-sucking powders all day!) and dry on my cheeks as well as on and around my nose and lips (avoid sebum-sucking powders at all costs!). I also tend to get redness on my cheeks, and thankfully, I don’t get too many acne flare-ups (unless I’m indulging in too many sugary, fried, or cheesy foods). So my main skin qualm is keeping my cheeks peachy-keen and hydrated all day long. Here are five dry skin moisturizers (three creams, two emulsions) that help me tackle hydration head on.


dry skin moisturizers


1. SanDaWha Ultra Rich Hydrating Camellia Floral Water Cream


If I ever wrote a love letter to a skincare brand, it’d be addressed to SanDaWha. Their Liposome Skin Softener, Camellia Flower Hydrating Mist, and Extra Virgin Camellia Face Oil are at the top of my favorites list, and this moisturizer is right there with ’em. The SanDaWha Ultra Rich Hydrating Camellia Floral Water Cream (*gasps for air*) is so luxurious, rich, creamy, and outright delicious, I want to spread it on some toast and eat it right up.




Its first ingredient is Camellia japonica flower extract, which is followed by over 30 botanical extracts and oils (hello, shea butter, we meet again), as well as skin saviors like niacinamide, adenosine, hyaluronic acid, and beta-glucan. It smells sooo good, and at $38, you’re getting a luxury face cream for a bargain.


2. Swanicoco Extra Hydrating Swan Cream


Swanicoco, you had me at “swan cream.” Milky, gel-like, and creamy, this moisturizer is chock full of skin-quenching ingredients. First on the list? Saccharomyces ferment filtrate, a natural humectant that belongs to the #fungifam and boasts the ability to brighten, even skin tone, and promote cell turnover. Marry that with macadamia seed oil, shea butter, allantoin, and a number of other natural skin-boosters, and you’ve got a cocktail for nourishing hydration in one spatula-full of facial cream.




3. COSRX Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream


dry skin moisturizers


You’d think that any dry-skinned girl would run far away from any product labeled “acid intensive,” but lucky for you, that acid is hyaluronic, and girl, it’s intense in the moisture department. Formulated with a base of antioxidant-rich sea buckthorn water, glycerin, sunflower seed oil, macadamia seed oil, and of course, sodium hyaluronate (aka hyaluronic acid), the COSRX Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream has an ultra-gooey, slightly tacky texture, and a little goes a long way. I would recommend this more so as a nighttime moisturizer, but I have used this during the day. Just make sure that you let the cream sink in and dry completely before applying your sunscreen and foundation or cushion.




4. Swanicoco Bitamin A All Skin Emulsion


For extra, extra hydration — and thanks to my moisture-sucking skin, I need the extra, extra help — I incorporate a layer of emulsion before my face cream step.


dry skin moisturizers


For day, I’ve been using Swanicoco’s Bitamin A All Skin Emulsion, and at $16, this one is an affordable option if you’re looking for an everyday emulsion. For starters, it’s got the holy grail snail secretion filtrate, cotton seed oil (which contains free radical-fighting vitamin E and antioxidants), rice bran extract, sodium hyaluronate (the salt form of the oh-so-hydrating hyaluronic acid), and allantoin. Its texture is everything you’d want in an emulsion: a lightweight moisturizer that absorbs quickly, prepping your skin for the final seal of moisture from your facial cream.


My only qualm with this product is that it doesn’t come with a pump dispenser, so I have to whack the bottle against my poor hand until the product comes out. But all in all, the Bitamin A All Skin Emulsion is a trusty emulsion that my skin can depend on.


5. Swanicoco Peptine Care Emulsion


The other emulsion I’ve been using is the Bitamin A’s much fancier (and pricier) older sister, the Peptine Care Emulsion. I use the latter mainly at night (and especially when my skin feels like it needs an extra boost), and that’s because it contains an extensive list of rich, nourishing ingredients that’ll leave your tongue twisted and your face happy.


dry skin moisturizers


The first five ingredients of the Peptine Care Emulsion are skin-conditioning rice ferment filtrate, aka sake; Poria cocos extract, a derivative of mushrooms that has skin-soothing abilities; ginseng callus culture extract, stem cells that claim to lighten and brighten skin with antioxidant properties; hydrolyzed collagen (oh hi, plump skin!); and sodium hyaluronate. The rest of the skin-tillating ingredient list goes on and on.


At $62, it definitely is on the expensive side for an emulsion, so this does fall under the splurge category for me — or alternately, it would work well as a fancy gift for Mom or Aunt Steph (I mean, look at that black and gold packaging!). I’ll also interject and say that it is thick and hydrating enough to work as a moisturizer alone. It’s rich, creamy, and leaves a healthy sheen to your skin, which absorbs nicely into a dewy finish.


What are your go-to dry skin moisturizers? Do you use different moisturizers for day and night? I’d love to hear what your favorite creams are in the comments below!


Ruth is a 20-something creative with a fixation on black coffee, black boots, and the beautiful black hole that is all things K-beauty. A Southern California native, she loves to share her current skincare favorites and lifestyle inspirations on her Instagram @ruthhlesslyy.




Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

As a dry skin gal (rolls eyes) I can say ANYTHING with sea buck thorn is a winnneeerrrrrr for me. I use natural sea buck thorn oil mixed with some natural aloe leaf gel on my eczema flare ups in the winter and the results are *sings* magicallll. That cosrx-hyaluronic acid intensive cream is amazing and I’m adding it to my cart as we speak. Ladies I swear by seabuck thorn. It works wonders. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments! I’d love to hear your feedback regarding how the products are working for you. Read more


I have the same skin type as you, Ruth! I'm so glad to read this. I can't wait to try the Sandawha cream. It sounds so lovely!


I want to love the COSRX HA intensive cream but I think it might be too much for me even when using super tiny amounts...


I use Tony Moly Timeless Ferment Snail Cream. For my sensitive dry skin it is a blast!


thanks for the helpful recommendations!
my instagram is @chatshired and i'd love to receive the k-beauty starter pack!


That's great! I've been eyeing this Peptine line.
I do use different moisturizer during the day and night. It's too humid here so I can use the same one I use in the night during the morning. =)

I am @rafaeldiascosta and I'd love to if I could get the Desert Oasis box because I'm moving to a very cold place next month.

Thanks in advance.


I'm using Mizon snail repair cream and vegetal squalane right now.
Desert oasis box


Good article! I'm always on the hunt for a new moisturizer! My ig handle is: terendg and i'd like to win the dessert oasis box :)


Nice article! I've ordered the Swanicoco Peptine Care Emulsion and the Extra Hydrating Swan Cream - can't wait for them to arrive so I can try them out!


My Instagram is lnmrep. Id love to win the teen favs box. Right now I'm using welcome 98%aloe gel to moisturize my face n I love it.