As much as we love cozying up with a warm beverage and donning our cutest sweaters, the arrival of colder temps can do a number on skin, especially if you experience dryness or redness year-round. However, incorporating the right face moisturizers into your skin-care routine can help minimize flaking and irritation, creating a healthy glow with or without makeup. And, thankfully, we had expert help finding out what to look for when it comes to the best moisturizer for all skin types, but specifically for those with dry skin.

“People prone to dry skin should look for moisturizers that contain ingredients that prevent water loss and repair the skin’s moisture barrier,” aesthetician (and founder of her own skin-care range) Skin-care expert and esthetician Renée Rouleau tells Allure. “This is important year-round, but especially during the harsh winter months when dry skin can be even more sensitive.” (For the record, these creams will work for not only sensitive skin but acne-prone skin, too.)

However, once you’ve found your go-to hydrator, you may find that making small adjustments to your daily routine — such as using all fragrance-free products or incorporating a shea butter or emollient that absorbs quickly — can make a world of difference. “If you struggle with redness or irritation, it’s important to be thoughtful about how you are cleansing your skin,” says New York City-based board-certified plastic surgeon Adam Kolker, MD, who recommends patients use “cool water or lukewarm water” to avoid exacerbating any dry patches or redness.

As for how to make the most of your product? Another expert tip is to layer them in order of lightest to heaviest in texture. “A serum and a cream have different functions, and therefore [different] molecule sizes,” explains New York City board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD. “A serum placed on top of a moisturizer will not allow the serum to be fully absorbed since the smaller molecules cannot penetrate the larger ones. Start the products with the lightest consistency like toner, followed by serums and ampoules. Next, are any prescription topical treatments, lotions, creams, and finally sunscreen.”

Ready to ramp up your hydration game this season? The below 17 editor- and dermatologist-favorited moisturizers for dry skin are a good place to start.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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