Skin care

The 50 best dry skin products that we tested in 2021

Table of Contents

As we welcome winter, we also welcome dry skin.

Though some may experience dull and cracked skin all year round (myself included), there hasn’t been a better time to invest in a new skincare routine.

For one, you’ll have a regimented ritual set in place just before the new year. Not to mention, the 50 products in this list have been thoroughly tested and are miracle formulas for my dry skin.

I’ve been testing products for years and, truth be told, there’s an entire product cart in my bathroom dedicated to face cleansers, serums, moisturizers and more.

Essentially, I’ve put nearly every top brand from Alpyn Beauty to Youth to the People on a calendar-driven cycle, much thanks due to my color-coded Google Calendars and notes app.

I’ve had dry skin for as long as I can remember, have made several visits to the dermatologist to try to cure it and, until using these products on a regular basis, I’ve seen a major improvement to the flakiness on my skin.

That said, you’ll rest assured that all the top picks are actually worth the buy. We know skincare can be pricey at times. But hey, even if you want to start with a quality cleanser and a cloud-like moisturizer, your skin will still thank you.

Below, find our 50 best skincare products for dry skin we reviewed. They sure made my skin bounce and glow — and have since erased the itchy, thirsty skin I used to have.

Click to jump to a specific category:

  • Our favorite moisturizers for dry skin
  • Our favorite lotions for dry skin
  • Our favorite primers for dry skin
  • Our favorite face washes & cleansers for dry skin
  • Our favorite hand creams for dry skin
  • Our favorite toners for dry skin
  • Our favorite face oils & serums for dry skin
  • Our favorite body washes for dry skin
  • Our favorite face masks for dry skin
  • Our favorite makeup removers for dry skin
  • Our favorite lip balms for dry skin
  • The best moisturizers for dry skin

    Our winner: Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Probiotic Gel-Cream, $36

    Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Probiotic Gel-Cream

    All I can say is wow. Korres’ Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Probiotic Gel-Cream has a heavenly subtle almond paste scent and is calming, bounce-evoking and doses your skin with the dewiest hydration. It’s pure magic, TBH.


    Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Melt Moisturizer, $60

    Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Melt Moisturizer

    Alpyn Beauty is one of my favorite clean beauty brands, with its PlantGenius Melt Moisturizer being a standout product. Infused with hyaluronic acid for refreshment, squalane for hydration and bakuchiol to target fine lines, it’s one of my favorites to apply twice daily.


    Alypn Beauty Triple-C Brightening Bounce Cream, $49

    Alypn Beauty Triple-C Brightening Bounce Cream

    Truthfully, your skin will bounce with Alpyn Beauty’s Triple-C Brightening Bounce Cream. It kind of reminds me of Maybelline’s Dream Bouncy Blushes (RIP), and this aloe-rich cream — which also includes chokecherry — always leaves my skin with unmatched radiance every time I use it.


    CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream, $25

    CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream

    If you want a cream solely targeted for the nighttime, you can’t go wrong with CeraVe’s Skin Renewing Night Cream. I’ve been using it for months and it’s a superstar product for being dermatologist-recommended and containing three essential ceramides.


    Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid, $100

    Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid

    Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream Moisturizer may be a splurge at $100 — but a mighty good one at that. Aside from its glam packaging, it contains hyaluronic acid, peptides, vitamins C and E, aloe vera, rosehip oil and a slew of other skin-hydrating ingredients.


    Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer with Ceramides, $60

    Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer with Ceramides

    If you’re searching for a velvety moisturizer, look no further than Drunk Elephant’s Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer. It targets dull skin, is infused with six African oils and has the most luscious texture you have to experience.


    First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration, $36

    First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration

    Meet my years-long favorite. First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream truly serves intense hydration. I’ve inspired a handful of loved ones to try it (my boyfriend included) and it’s especially suited for eczema and sensitive skin types.


    Glow Recipe Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream, $39

    Glow Recipe Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream

    Delicious smelling and equally heart-eyes-emoji on your skin, Glow Recipe’s Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream will instantly transport you to your favorite bakery where banana scones and pastries are fresh out of the oven.

    And, just like the bananas in your morning smoothie, the cream is rich in potassium and magnesium — turmeric, too — to fortify your skin’s appearance.


    ITEM Beauty by Addison Rae Overdew Clean Intensive Cream Moisturizer with Argan Oil, $20

    ITEM Beauty by Addison Rae Overdew Clean Intensive Cream Moisturizer with Argan Oil

    TikToker Addison Rae knew what she was doing when curating ITEM Beauty’s Intensive Cream Moisturizer for Dry Skin. We reviewed most products in her beauty line, but this one is a no-frills option that hydrates and is great for travel.



    Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream, $38

    Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream

    Laneige’s popular Lip Sleeping Mask has some competition with the brand’s Water Bank Moisture Cream. Hinting really strong spa vibes, it’s powered by antioxidants and extracts of super greens — artichoke, Brussel sprouts and lima beans — to deliver a smooth-feeling formula.

    And, if the idea of greens being in your skincare worries you, Laneige’s formula is pretty much fragrance-free.


    The best lotions for dry skin

    Our winner: Jergens Ultra Healing Dry Skin Moisturizer, $7.93 (originally $8.99)

    Jergens Ultra Healing Dry Skin Moisturizer

    Jergens’ Ultra Healing Dry Skin Moisturizer is the drugstore-sold bottle I reach for after every shower and it’s dynamite on my sensitive and dry skin. And, it’s less than $10.


    Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Glycolic Body Lotion, $25

    Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Glycolic Body Lotion

    A close second to Jergens is Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Glycolic Body Lotion. If the pretty pink packaging isn’t enough to sell you, its divine blend of AHAs, marula and shea buttles makes it effective and silky-smooth on your skin.


    The best primers for dry skin

    The winner: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer, $44

    Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer

    I never thought primers were necessary until Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer made its way atop my vanity. It can double as a moisturizer — it’s just that good.


    Anastasia Beverly Hills Mini Eye Primer, $13

    Anastasia Beverly Hills Mini Eye Primer

    If you want a hydrating eye primer that will cover veins and small imperfections, Anastasia Beverly Hills Mini Eye Primer is small but mighty at the job. Just note a little goes a long way with this product; it’s quite thick.


    Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Pore Minimizing Primer, $32

    Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Pore Minimizing Primer

    Benefit Cosmetics’ The POREfessional Pore Minimizing Primer deserves all the praise in the world for actually blurring pores ahead of applying makeup. And, it makes your makeup stay on all day.


    Coola Full Spectrum 360 Refreshing Water Mist Organic Face Sunscreen SPF 18, $36

    Coola Full Spectrum 360 Refreshing Water Mist Organic Face Sunscreen SPF 18

    It’s important to apply SPF daily, even if it’s just a spritz. Coola’s Full Spectrum 360 Refreshing Water Mist is the easiest way to do so — and a great refresher before makeup.


    The best face washes & cleansers for dry skin

    Our winner: Alpyn Beauty Creamy Bubbling Cleanser with Fruit Enzymes and AHAs, $36

    Alpyn Beauty Creamy Bubbling Cleanser with Fruit Enzymes and AHAs

    Enter my tried-and-true favorite cleanser that is accredited for transforming my breakout-prone skin into smooth bliss. Alpyn Beauty’s Creamy Bubbling Cleanser delivers the proper amount of foam, gently exfoliates (thanks to AHAs and papaya enzymes).

    Walk, don’t run to this less-than-$40 formula.


    CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, $14.99

    CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

    As a budget-friendly option, CeraVe’s Foaming Facial Cleanser takes the cake. It’s great on sensitive skin, specifically, and a great hydrator for dull and dry skin, too.

    Crabtree & Evelyn ‘Evelyn Rose’ Soft Touch Face Foam, $24

    Crabtree & Evelyn 'Evelyn Rose' Soft Touch Face Foam

    Crabtree & Evelyn’s Soft Touch Face Foam has notes of floral and a creamy consistency that’ll leave your skin refreshed without stripping your delicate skin. And, the brand’s Hydrating Glow Face Moisturizer is just as great.


    Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, $32

    Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser

    Want your skin to bounce? Drunk Elephant wasn’t fooling around with its Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser that has a well-textured consistency — that contains cantaloupe and glycerin for added moisture — to offer a revitalizing skin feel.


    Fresh Sugar Strawberry Exfoliating Face Wash, $33

    Fresh Sugar Strawberry Exfoliating Face Wash

    When my skin is feeling extra dull, I always pull out Fresh’s Sugar Strawberry Exfoliating Face Wash. It’s sweet-smelling and doesn’t strip my skin, though its subtle grit exfoliates away impurities like a charm.


    Goop GoopGlow Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator, $125

    Goop GoopGlow Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator

    Now, while the GoopGlow Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator is a splurge, it’s a tub of greatness. Notably, it combines elements of chemical and physical exfoliation to polish away roughness — aka a dry skin wonder.


    Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser, $26

    Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser

    Korres’ Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser is one you shouldn’t sleep on if you have dry skin. Containing rich and real Greek yogurt, I love using it because it gently cleanses, tones my complexion and even removes makeup.


    Tatcha The Rice Wash Skin-Softening Cleanser, $35

    Tatcha The Rice Wash Skin-Softening Cleanser

    Tatcha’s one ‘pass GO’ away from landing the skincare Monopoly. The Japanese beauty brand has exceptional, luxury-feeling products, with The Rice Wash Skin-Softening Cleanser packed with hyaluronic acid, Japanese algae and the brand’s signature Hadaasaei-3 to tap into more youthful skin.

    Not to mention, it always leaves my face fresh and glowy before using a moisturizer.


    The best hand creams for dry skin

    Our winner: Crabtree & Evelyn Harvest Hand Cream, $35

    Crabtree & Evelyn Harvest Hand Cream

    Though there’s only one hand cream on here, there’s a reason why it’s included. Crabtree & Evelyn’s Harvest Hand Cream lives on my nightstand and always makes my hands incredibly smooth, thanks to its blend of sunflower, chia and borage oils.


    The best toners for dry skin

    Our winner: Belif Aqua Bomb Hydrating Toner, $28

    Belif Aqua Bomb Hydrating Toner

    Let’s talk about refreshing. Belif’s Aqua Bomb Hydrating Toner always makes me feel like I took a dive into the ocean. The bottle says it “floods the skin with moisture,” and the brand practically took all the words out of my mouth.


    Caudalie Vinopure Natural Salicylic Acid Pore Minimizing Toner, $28

    Caudalie Vinopure Natural Salicylic Acid Pore Minimizing Toner

    I love Caudalie’s skincare products for always making my skin feel nurtured. Specifically, its Vinopure Natural Salicylic Acid Pore Minimizing Toner (a mouthful, but a good one) is versatile for most skin types and noticeably removes excess oil.


    Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner, $34

    Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner

    Sweet-smelling and pore-reducing, Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner will inspire you to have a seven-step skincare routine. It replenishes your skin before moisturizer in the yummiest way possible, while including hyaluronic acid and cactus water for a snazzy skin drink.


    Indie Lee COQ-10 Toner, $34

    Indie Lee COQ-10 Toner

    Indie Lee’s COQ-10 Toner is a hidden skincare gem that contains aloe vera and cucumber for a spa-like feel that reverses the dull feel of dry skin. And, it’s one my friends always steal from me when they visit.


    Korres Santorini Grape Velvet Skin Drink

    I mean, I want to travel to Santorini for a quick drink, but Korres’ Santorini Grape Velvet Skin Drink is the closest I’ll get these days. The best way to describe this modern-packaged treatment: it makes my skin feel awake without looking shiny.


    The best face oils & serums for dry skin

    Elaluz Beauty Oil

    I’ve been hearing about Elaluz’s Beauty Oil everywhere, and finally understood the hype when I’ve been using it for months. As an early riser, it makes my skin feel refreshed, likely because it’s 100% plant-based and contains eucalyptus and vitamins A and E.


    Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum, $62

    Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum

    As a top-three favorite vitamin C serum we tested, Biossance’s Squalane + Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum is a classic formula I always pick up. It’s one of the best for brightening and helping to erase dark spots, too.


    Caudalie Vinosource-Hydra SOS Intense Hydration Hyaluronic Acid Serum, $49

    Caudalie Vinosource-Hydra SOS Intense Hydration Hyaluronic Acid Serum

    Caudalie’s Vinsource Hyaluronic Acid Serum deserves all the praise because it’s the creamiest serum I’ve tested. It’s practically a moisturizer, but one that’s a tad more lightweight and nourishing toward sensitive areas, like the under eyes.


    Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum, $300

    Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum

    Before you say, “There’s no way I’m spending $300 on a serum,” it’s important to note that Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Hyaluronic Serum is ideal for people who want to take their skincare regimen to the next level. It’s packed with low and high molecular weighted H.A. to instantly boost the skin — a truly recommended splurge.


    Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, $72

    Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil

    Marula oil has wonderful anti-aging and hydrating properties, and I always feel refreshed when I use Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil. It’s rich in antioxidants and omegas 6 and 9 to target dryness and uneven texture, too.


    Farmacy Very Cherry Bright 15% Clean Vitamin C Serum with Acerola Cherry, $62

    Farmacy Very Cherry Bright 15% Clean Vitamin C Serum with Acerola Cherry

    Unique for its hidden burst of cherry, Farmacy’s Very Cherry Bright Vitamin C Serum is the best brightening serum for dry skin. It contains the “better” form of vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) and makes me feel awake.


    Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Treatment Serum, $45

    Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Treatment Serum

    Coming in hot is Glow Recipe’s Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Treatment Serum, our top vitamin C serum overall. Can you tell we adore vitamin C serums yet?

    It’s incredibly smooth, refreshing and just a bottle that deserves some attention on your bathroom counter.


    Tata Harper Superkind Fragrance-Free Bio-Barrier Serum, $130

    Tata Harper Superkind Fragrance-Free Bio-Barrier Serum

    As another splurge, Tata Harper’s Superkind Fragrance-Free Bio-Barrier Serum is especially great for dryness, dark circles and anti-aging. I love that it’s mostly botanical, vegan and ultra-hydrating — especially in the winter.


    The best body washes for dry skin

    Our winner: Nécessaire The Body Wash with Nicainamide, $25

    Nécessaire The Body Wash with Nicainamide

    I finally hopped on the Nécessaire bandwagon and found it to be a necessary endeavor. All puns aside, it’s a fantastic gel-oil cleanser for your skin that always leaves mine irritation-free and post-shower smooth.


    First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub with 10% AHA, $28

    First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub with 10% AHA

    If you’re looking for a body scrub for extra texture, consider First Aid Beauty’s KP Bump Eraser. It’s designed for rough patches and, for alleviating and preventing razor burn, I can’t recommend it enough.


    OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub, $38

    OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub

    What’s great about OUAI’s Scrub is that it’s equally performant for your scalp and body. It revolutionizes my shower experience for dolloping on my skin and then my hair for a two-in-one wash.


    The best face masks for dry skin

    Our winner: Caudalie Instant Detox Mask, $39

    Caudalie Instant Detox Mask

    If you haven’t seen this mask on TikTok, it’ll sell you — and, it’s as good as it looks.

    I’ve truly never met a mask that leaves my skin irresistibly smooth, refreshed and hydrated at once. For $39, it’s the product I recommend most.


    Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask, $38

    Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask

    Farmacy’s Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask always makes my skin glow, leaves it supple and looks great in my bathroom for a worthy, aesthetic skincare product to honor self-care days with.


    Sephora Collection Clean Charcoal Mask, $5.50

    Sephora Collection Clean Charcoal Mask

    For less than $10, you should seriously stock up on Sephora Collection’s Clean Charcoal Mask. It’s a fun nighttime activity to do with your friends and now, Sephora offers same-day delivery — what’s better than that?


    The best makeup removers for dry skin

    Our winner: Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm, $34

    Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm

    Whenever I want to take off my makeup in a pinch, I always resort to Farmacy’s Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm. It’s smooth and never leaves any residue when I wake up the next morning — a rarity these days.


    Drunk Elephant E-Rase Milki Micellar Water, $28

    Drunk Elephant E-Rase Milki Micellar Water

    Micellar water is another product I enjoy using to remove makeup and excess oils, with Drunk Elephant’s being my favorite. It doesn’t strip my skin and leave it red like others I’ve used. Not to mention, the bottle lasts for a long time.


    Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, $6.78 (originally $8.99)

    Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water

    Garnier’s Micellar Cleanser Water is an affordable option if you want a two-in-one cleanser and makeup remover. Plus, it’s handy for travel.


    The best lip balms for dry skin

    Our winner: Lano Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm, $17

    Lano Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm

    The Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm was the best lip balm for dry skin I reviewed and it’s a product worth having multiple of — one for your purse, your car and your desk. Seriously, incredible.


    Aerin Rose Lip Conditioner, $30

    Aerin Rose Lip Conditioner

    Aerin’s Rose Lip Conditioner taps into the floral scents of its perfumes (which I love — specifically, ‘Cedar Violet‘ and ‘Mediterranean Honeysuckle‘ scents). For $30, it may seem pricey for a lip balm, but it’s intensely hydrating, though a bit sticky.


    Bite Beauty Agave+ Weekly Vegan Lip Scrub, $24

    Bite Beauty Agave+ Weekly Vegan Lip Scrub

    I never thought of giving my lips some R&R, but Bite Beauty’s Agave+ Weekly Vegan Lip Scrub is deliciously good and effective. Plus, it makes an excellent stocking stuffer.


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