When I think of winter, shimmery snowflakes, steaming-hot diner coffee, and puffy coats come to mind. But so does dry skin. It’s a bummer, really, but when the temperature drops and the wind kicks up, it inevitably wreaks havoc on my face. And I’m sure you’ve suffered from the same issues. It’s great for your Netflix queue but not so wonderful for your skin.
To help myself (and now you), I polled our secret beauty Facebook group, my co-workers, my friends, and anyone who would listen to find the best winter moisturizers and facial oils. Boy, did they deliver.
Below, find your new cold-weather skin secrets. Read the descriptions, consider the prices (a few have hefty tags, I’ll admit), and land on the best one for you. Then DM us on Instagram which one made the cut and why.
Use this 24-hour time-release formula for intense hydration throughout the day, as it supports natural cellular turnover and contains antioxidants to protect your skin from free-radical damage, according to the brand. It’s made from bamboo sap meant to retain moisture and keep your skin from drying out during the winter months.
An OG moisturizer, Clinique’s Moisture Surge is made specifically for very dry to dry combination skin—and it works. It’s super-rich but oil-free, and feels like a plumped up cream-gel hybrid. It promises to repair your skin’s moisture barrier to keep moisture in and all the bad stuff out.
Hyaluronic acid holds up to 1000 times its weight in water. Translation: You want it in your moisturizer. Thanks to that powerhouse ingredient, this day cream promises to plump and smooth dehydrated skin. Antioxidants like green tea, vitamin E, and vitamin C are meant to help protect your skin from free radical and environmental damage.
The best part about this offering is the texture—it’s thick and creamy but never heavy or greasy. It really does feel like whipped cream—but don’t try eating it. Rather, apply it to your parched face daily for more balanced, hydrated, healthy-looking skin.
The ultra-luxurious blue-tinged balm melts into a serum when massaged into your skin and will keep you supple all winter long.
Enriched with squalane, a botanical lipid that is similar in molecular structure to natural skin lipids, Kiehl’s signature moisturizer promises to keep dryness at bay and protect your skin from the sun.
The Perfecting Treatment promises to blur and soften any flaws while also actually improving your skin—so it’s literally skincare as makeup. Plus, it may reduce redness and give you the soft glow you’ve always wanted.
If you’re looking for a clean night cream, this is it. It’s 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten-free, and GMO-free. And it’s loaded with anti-aging ingredients like vitamin C and E—perfect for dry skin that needs an extra boost of moisture at night.
Looking to save itchy, red, sensitive skin? We found the formula for you. Made with indigo, this product promises to calm irritation while also targeting skin sagging. The light, natural scent is non-irritating, making it perfect for those with eczema or psoriasis.
Indigo is a tropical plant of the pea family, which has been widely cultivated as a source of dark blue dyes. Most recently, it has been used in skincare products thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
For anti-aging benefits as well as hydrating ones, apply a few drops of this soothing oil. It’s chock-full of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, amino acids, and vitamins C and E.
Elemis’s highly concentrated oil (seriously, a little goes a long way) promises to feed your face with antioxidants and omega-rich ingredients meant to remedy sallow skin. The blend of broccoli, flaxseed, and daikon radish boost stressed dull skin, and make it stronger and more supple with each application, according to the brand. Oh, and by the way, it smells incredible.
Fresh’s precious blend of pure oils—seaberry, cranberry seed, camellia seed, grapeseed, and sweet almond—are packed with nourishing omegas meant to keep you looking youthful. After only one application, you’ll notice a difference in the softness and moisture of your skin, according to the brand.
Another squalane oil product makes the list. Squalane may help improve texture and tone, moisturizes, and even helps treat dermatitis and other skin disorders. Use two to three drops of this lightweight oil both day and night (even with acne-prone skin!).
This one is pretty self-explanatory, as it’s a 100% natural, organic, and antioxidant-rich oil for your skin, hair, and nails. It’s become a cult favorite for its multitude of uses and really hydrating formula.
Mixed with cold-pressed superfood seed oils, vitamins, botanicals, soothing agents, and so many more intriguing ingredients, this facial oil promises to brighten, fortify, protect, soften—the works. It’s absolutely one of the best products out there. Plus, it might even clear acne scars and breakouts in the process.
Juncan AM, Moisă DG, Santini A, et al. Advantages of hyaluronic acid and its combination with other bioactive ingredients in cosmeceuticals. Molecules. 2021;26(15):4429. doi:10.3390/molecules26154429
Rattanawiwatpong P, Wanitphakdeedecha R, Bumrungpert A, Maiprasert M. Anti-aging and brightening effects of a topical treatment containing vitamin C, vitamin E, and raspberry leaf cell culture extract: a split-face, randomized controlled trial. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020;19(3):671-676. doi:10.1111/jocd.13305
Cheng HM, Wu YC, Wang Q, et al. Clinical efficacy and IL-17 targeting mechanism of Indigo naturalis as a topical agent in moderate psoriasis. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017;17(1):439. doi:10.1186/s12906-017-1947-1
Purnamawati S, Indrastuti N, Danarti R, Saefudin T. The role of moisturizers in addressing various kinds of dermatitis: a review. Clin Med Res. 2017;15(3-4):75-87. doi:10.3121/cmr.2017.1363