The Ordinary's 6 Best Products For Dry Skin

As chosen by dermatologists.

The best The Ordinary skin care products to buy if you've got dry skin.
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If you’re not familiar, a quick glance at beauty brand The Ordinary’s products and ingredient labels might give you the idea that it’s a rather... well, ordinary line of skin care. But it’s reached cult status because it’s beloved by beauty aficionados and experts alike for having efficacious formulas that work for every kind of consumer. For those whose complexions need extra moisture, Bustle tapped dermatologists for their take on the best The Ordinary products for dry skin.

The Ordinary stands out as a skin care brand that’s simple and straightforward: Many of its serums and creams call out one or two star ingredients, and it’s these that do the work on your acne/dryness/hyperpigmentation/insert other skin concern here. There’s not much else to it — but that’s what makes it good. “It’s a unique skin care line in that it offers fuss-free, ingredient-focused products at highly affordable prices,” says Dr. Smita Ramanadham, M.D., a double board-certified plastic surgeon and skin care expert.

Because it prioritizes minimal active ingredients, it’s also well-tolerated, says Dr. Ava Shamban, M.D., a Los Angeles-based board-certified dermatologist and founder of SkinFive Medical Spas and The Box by Dr. Ava. “The Ordinary has captured some key combinations in their formulas with the best raw ingredients that are available, synergistic, and easy to understand,” she tells Bustle.

Within its extensive range are plenty of beauty routine staples that feature complexion-hydrating superstars (think hyaluronic acid and squalane) — read on for the six best The Ordinary products for dry skin, according to dermatologists.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

The Face Cream

For a simple but hydrating moisturizer, Shamban and Dr. Marisa Garshick, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist with MCDS Dermatology, both recommend this product since it has a slew of skin-plumping ingredients.

“This moisturizing cream uses hyaluronic acid and glycerin to help draw moisture in as well as ceramides and amino acids to help support the skin barrier and prevent moisture loss,” says Garshick, noting that this makes it especially beneficial for dry skin types. On top of that, it’s full of fatty acids, says Shamban, like linoleic and oleic acids, which keep your complexion strong and better able to retain hydration.

The Hydrating Serum

For a staple hyaluronic acid-spiked product, this is the one to snag. “It helps to boost moisture and hydrates the skin while also working to plump, leaving your complexion looking healthy and refreshed,” says Garshick of the serum. Besides the star HA in the formula, your skin also reaps the benefit of vitamin B5, aka panthenol — a humectant that draws in more moisture.

Pro tip: “Follow this with a moisturizing cream or lotion to help trap the hydration in and get the most benefit,” she tells Bustle.

The Moisture Boost

This oil-slash-serum hybrid is pure squalane, a renowned hydrator. “This is a great option for those with dry skin as squalane helps to moisturize without leaving you feeling greasy,” says Garshick. “It’s also non-comedogenic so can be used on all skin types.” Read: If you’re prone to breakouts, this baby won’t clog your pores and cause pimples.

The Cleanser

If you’ve got dry skin, you already know to look for a face wash that doesn’t make your complexion even more dehydrated. Enter: The Ordinary’s Squalane Cleanser, a pick from both Ramanadham and Shamban.

“This is a great non-irritating, non-comedogenic cleanser that will not dry out or strip your skin of its natural oils,” says Ramanadham. It’ll also multitask: “Squalane also acts as an antioxidant that will have an anti-aging effect over time,” she says. A win-win.

The Skin Protector

Dry skin types don’t just need moisture — protection is key, too, which is where this serum comes in. “Amino acids make up our DNA and proteins, and by adding this to your skin care routine, you’re adding in the building blocks for DNA and skin repair,” says Ramanadham. So it helps your skin heal after exposure to UV rays and free radicals (elements from the environment that wreak havoc on your skin and lead to premature aging), she explains. But thanks to the inclusion of vitamin B5 (panthenol), it’ll help you with hydration, too.

The Anti-Aging Buy

Another pure ingredient to stock up on? Straight rose hip seed oil. “This [ingredient] is rich in linoleic acid, which is an effective skin moisturizer and has anti-acne benefits,” says Ramanadham.

Fun fact: It also functions as a retinol alternative since it’s rich in vitamin A. “It brings the benefits of pro-vitamin A, which serves an important anti-aging role,” she tells Bustle, noting it’s great for dry skin types who are pregnant or breastfeeding that need other skin care options (since retinol and other vitamin A derivatives aren’t recommended when you’re pregnant).

Studies referenced:

Poljsak, B. (2012). Free Radicals and Extrinsic Skin Aging. Dermatology Research and Practice.

Solano, F. (2020). Metabolism and Functions of Amino Acids in the Skin. Adv Exp Med Biol.


Dr. Ava Shamban, M.D., a Los Angeles-based board-certified dermatologist and founder of SkinFive Medical Spas and The Box by Dr. Ava

Dr. Smita Ramanadham, M.D., a double board-certified plastic surgeon and skin care expert

Dr. Marisa Garshick, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist with MCDS Dermatology