If the lack of humidity in the air, hot showers, and dry homes are doing a number on your skin, it’s no surprise you’re seeking out the best winter moisturizers to keep your face hydrated and soft. Meghan Feely, M.D., F.A.A.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New Jersey and New York City who serves as a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai’s Department of Dermatology, advises using products in the winter that contain ceramides and humectants. She explains in an interview with Bustle, “Ceramides are a component of our skin's lipid bilayer that makes the skin ‘waterproof,’ retaining moisture. Humectants, such as glycerin, attract moisture to our skin.”
Rebecca Baxt, M.D., M.B.A, F.A.A.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in New Jersey, outlines her simple strategy for choosing the best moisturizer for dry winter skin. Moisturizers generally come in four varieties: Lotions, typically found in a pump-top bottle, contain the most water in their formulas. They’re good choices for summer but often not moisturizing enough for winter. Creams, which often come in a tube or tub, are thicker than lotions due to their higher concentration of oil. Creams are often the best for winter skin, Dr. Baxt says to Bustle, but if a cream isn’t cutting it, move up to an ointment. They’re even thicker — sometimes they're petrolatum-based — and work extremely well as moisturizers, though not all of her patients enjoy the greasy feeling they leave behind. Finally, there are oils. “A lot of people use a plain oil like coconut, olive, or jojoba on their skin, but it can be messy,” Dr. Baxt adds.