Guide to Selecting Moisturizing Solutions for Your Skin

Disclaimer: This article is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not meant to be a replacement for qualified medical guidance, diagnosis, or care. Regarding any products described, no warranties of any sort are provided. The use of any products recommended in this article is at your own risk and independent judgment. Always ask your doctor or other skilled healthcare professional for advice.

Guide to Selecting Moisturizing Solutions for Your Skin

When the skin does not retain sufficient moisture, it becomes dry. Dry skin may happen as a result of various things, such as the use of harsh soaps, frequent bathing, certain medical conditions, and aging. People living in colder climates may also experience dry skin from the cold, dry winter air. [1] Most of the time, dry skin is seasonal, but there are also times when it needs to be treated long-term. 

The signs and symptoms of dry skin may also vary based on a person’s age, health status, living environment, skin tone, and sun exposure. Those who have dry skin may experience itchiness, slight to severe flaking skin, fine lines or cracks, reddish skin, and a feeling of skin tightness. [2] There are various treatments for dry skin, and most of them include lifestyle changes and home remedies. One of the most effective is the use of moisturizers.

If you are looking for the best moisturizing solutions to combat dry skin or if you are simply looking for a good moisturizer for your skin type, we are here to help you. In this post, we are giving you a guide to selecting moisturizing solutions for your skin. 

What are the Causes of Dry Skin?

woman with dry and itchy skin

Before we talk about moisturizing solutions, let us first learn more about dry skin and its causes. It is a no-brainer that the lack of moisture is the general cause of dry skin. But the question is, where does that lack of moisture come from? 

According to dermatologists, dry skin is caused by an impaired skin barrier and deficiency in the needed healthy fats in the top layer of the skin. Usually, the top layer of the skin is made up of dead cells and natural oils, which trap moisture to keep the skin soft and smooth. However, if there is not enough water in the top layer of cells, which can occur if the protective oils are diminished, it could lead to dry skin. [3]  

To be able to determine the best moisturizing solution for your skin, it is also important to learn about the cause of your dry skin. Below are some of the different causes of dry skin:


Fragrance can irritate dry skin or make it worse. That is why many dermatologists advise people to avoid using deodorants and skin-care products that are filled with fragrance. It is also a common source of allergic contact dermatitis but could take several exposures for the skin to react. But it is also possible to see a reaction the very first time. Therefore, when choosing skin-care products, it is better to pick ones that are fragrance-free. [3]


Soaps, detergents, and shampoos all subtract moisture from the skin and scalp as they are made to remove oil. Therefore, it is also important to choose face washes, body washes, and laundry detergents carefully. If possible, try to use moisturizing body washes instead of harsh bar soaps. Also, if you have dry skin, avoid using harsh detergents and opt for gentle laundry soaps.


Your risk for dry skin can also be affected by genetics. Based on research, dry skin can be inherited. If you have always had dry skin and notice that it runs in your family, it is important that you are diligent with daily moisturization. [3]

Hard Water

If your tap water contains a high concentration of minerals like calcium and magnesium, it is called hard water. Those minerals can leave a film on the skin that causes dryness, as they turn the oils on the skin into a thick substance that plugs glands and triggers conditions like acne and rosacea. It also prevents moisturizers from being absorbed into the skin. If this is the case, investing in a home filtration system can help. 

Acne Medications

While salicylic acid is great at treating acne, it may also cause dryness on the skin. Dryness is also a common side effect of retinol, as it loosens the connection between cells on the surface of the skin. Therefore, reducing the frequency of use of these products from every day to every other day might help in preventing your skin from being dry. [3]

Dry Air

Dry air, both indoors and outdoors, can also increase the symptoms of dry skin. Forced air, especially heat, can draw humidity levels down, making the skin feel dry and itchy. Therefore, using a humidifier can help restore moisture in the air at home. 

Zealous Handwashing

There are some people who always wash their hands, but it will not help the dryness as too much handwashing can lead to dry and cracked skin. However, it is difficult to control, particularly for those who work in industries that require frequent handwashing. To lessen its effect, using lukewarm water and avoiding the use of alcohol-based soaps may help. [3]

Long, Hot Showers

During cold months, it feels great to stand under steaming-hot water for a longer period. However, doing this may lead to skin issues, such as drying out the moisture in your skin. Therefore, try to limit showers to no more than five minutes, and keep the water temperature warm and not hot. 


Dry skin is a common issue as people get older. Adults around 40 or older are at an increased risk of experiencing dry skin, as the skin produces less oil. For women, it can also be due to hormone changes associated with menopause. Moisturizing daily is the best solution for this.

Medical Conditions

There are also medical conditions that make the skin more prone to dryness, such as eczema and psoriasis. But dry skin may also indicate something unrelated, such as malnutrition, hypothyroidism, and diabetes, particularly if there are inflamed areas, crusting, hyperpigmentation, and scaly patches on the skin. You can take those as signs to visit a doctor. [3]

What are Moisturizers?

What are the contents of Moisturizers

Skin moisturizers are among the top options when it comes to combating dry skin. They are responsible for rehydrating the top layer of skin cells and sealing in moisture. Moisturizers also come in different types, depending on the ingredients they contain. Below are some of the common ingredients found in moisturizers:

person getting some cream

  • Water: The majority of moisturizers are oil-in-water emulsions, which include lotions and creams. When you look at their ingredients list, you will often see water as the first one. When you apply moisturizer to your skin, some of the water evaporates, while some are absorbed by the skin. Also, when you apply an oily substance to your skin without resupplying it with water, either from the moisturizer or from another outside source, it is ineffective. [4]
  • Occlusives: The oily substances in moisturizers, such as petrolatum, are sometimes called occlusives as they block the evaporation of water. A lot of waxy or fatty substances can serve as occlusives. Some of the commonly used ones are lanolin, cetyl alcohol, mineral oil, lecithin oil, stearic acid, and paraffin. 
  • Humectants: These pull water into the stratum corneum both from the air and from deeper layers of the skin. But when the humidity is low, there is little water in the air, and most of the water comes from the inside out. Some of the most common humectants are honey, panthenol, sorbitol, glycerin, and urea. They are almost always used with occlusive ingredients as they can make the skin drier by pulling water. [4]
  • Emollients: These are what make the skin feel smooth when moisturizers are applied. Humectants also do double duty as emollients. But there are also some alcohols, such as octyldodecanol, which are great emollients.
  • Vitamins: Moisturizers usually contain vitamins A, C, and E. Topical retinoic acid is an example of vitamin A, and it helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles in the skin by triggering the production of collagen. Vitamin C, on the other hand, is often under the name ascorbic acid. Along with vitamin E, both of them have antioxidant properties. [4]
  • Menthol: There are moisturizers that are made for itch relief, and they often contain menthol. It provides a cooling sensation that seems to cancel out the itching sensation. 
  • Lactic Acid: Moisturizers that contain lactic acid are great for dry and cracking skin, as it makes the skin more flexible and softer. [4]

Moisturizers for Different Types of Skin

Moisturizers have hydrating effects that can keep the skin looking younger and in prime natural condition. However, using the wrong moisturizer for your skin type might lead to worse skin. When you pick a formula that is too heavy for your skin, it may lead to breakouts. When you pick one that is too light, you might end up facing dry skin and wrinkles. [5]

Since there are lots of options in the market today, it is quite challenging to pick the right moisturizing solution. But no worries, as we are here to help you. Read on to learn more about the right moisturizers for different types of skin.

Dry Skin

person applying moisturizer to her arm

Many people search for the best moisturizing solutions because of dry skin. As mentioned earlier, dry skin is often caused by harsh winter conditions and other factors. If you have dry skin, quenching your thirsty skin with the right kind of moisturizer is the key. 

For dry skin, it is better to choose moisturizers that are powerful and rich. These can be creams and gels that contain hydrating ingredients, such as lanolin, hyaluronate, shea butter, and ceramides. These can help your complexion glow, and your skin to smoothen. You can also use them day and night to ensure ultimate hydration. However, avoid products that contain alcohol and fragrances. [5]

Below are some product suggestions that might help you in choosing the right one for you:

  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizer: This product is for extra-dry skin that needs moisturization. It features a moisturizing gel formula that provides fast hydration to the skin, making it smooth and supple. It contains hyaluronic acid that attracts and locks in moisture. It claims to keep the skin hydrated for 48 hours.
  • CeraVe Body and Face Moisturizing Cream: This product contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides for longer skin hydration. It has a rich, velvety texture that leaves the skin feeling smooth. It is suitable for dry skin that can feel itchy and look flaky. It can also be used on sensitive skin. 
  • Vanicream Moisturizing Ointment: This ointment is made for dry skin. If you are experiencing dry and cracking skin and want a stronger moisturizer, this one might help. It can be used on the whole body, as well as on the face. It is also safe for sensitive skin. 

Oily Skin

woman with oily and acne-prone skin

Many people who have oily skin are afraid of using moisturizers as they believe that adding them to their routine will only make the oiliness worse. But this is actually wrong. Did you know that the skin often produces extra oil because of dryness? Therefore, moisturizing the skin may also help reduce oil, as long as you use the right kind. 

For people with oily skin, you can control it by picking lightweight moisturizers that are oil-free and non-greasy. It is also great to choose a product that has hyaluronic acid, to make sure that hydration is locked in while grease is removed. [5]

Below are some moisturizer recommendations for oily skin that might help you choose:

  • Natural Outcome Oily Skin Moisturizer: This skin moisturizer is used for balancing sebum oils while moisturizing the face at the same time for a smoother, matte complexion. It is an oil-free lotion that can be used day and night. It can quench the skin while removing unwanted oils at the same time.
  • Era Organics Tea Tree Oil Cream: This is a plant-based cream that is made for oily and acne-prone skin. It is safe as it contains no parabens or harsh chemicals. It is formulated to soothe and nourish oily and dry skin. It is gentle on the skin and great for those with acne and blemishes.
  • Dermalogica Clear Start Gel Moisturizer: This is a jelly moisturizer for oily skin. It reduces excess oil for soothed and nourished skin. It contains hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture, hydrating and brightening the skin. It leaves the skin feeling hydrated without the extra shine.

Combination Skin

person applying moisturizer on her face

For people who have combination skin, it is quite challenging to find the right moisturizing solution as you need to find a product that both takes care of the dry patches on your skin and removes oily spots too. Too much of either, and you will probably find yourself exacerbating your skin problems instead of solving them.

If you have combination skin, what you need to find is a lightweight moisturizer. Apply it more on dry areas on your skin, such as the cheeks and jawline, and less on the oily T-zone of your forehead and nose. [5] Below are some moisturizer recommendations for combination skin that might help you choose:

  • Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue Gel-Cream: This moisturizer gel cream is made for combination skin. It contains vitamin E and fruit water antioxidant complex. It can make the skin feel fresh and smooth. It can be applied to the face and neck every morning and night after cleansing.
  • Neutrogena Face and Neck Cream for Combination Skin: This face and neck cream moisturizes dry skin and control shine in oily areas, making it perfect for those with combination skin. It is lightweight, fragrance-free, and alcohol-free. It can also be used in the morning and at night, either alone or under makeup. 
  • Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion: This hydrating lotion is made specifically for combination and sensitive skin. It contains hyaluronic acid and powerful moisturizing ingredients for long-lasting hydration. It is hypoallergenic with no added fragrance to avoid irritation.

Sensitive Skin

woman with sensitive skin

It can be a hit or miss when you are looking for the right moisturizer for sensitive skin. Whether you suffer from allergies, eczema, or rosacea, people with sensitive skin should always opt for products that can calm sensitivity. To reduce your risk of irritation, pick moisturizers that are fragrance-free. Avoid those that use sunscreen ingredients other than titanium or zinc. Also, choosing cream moisturizers with natural ingredients is better. [5]

When you have sensitive skin, always patch-test new products to make sure that your skin will not have any negative reactions before applying them to bigger parts of your body. Below are some moisturizer recommendations for sensitive skin that might help you choose:

  • Burt’s Bees Sensitive Solutions Calming Day Lotion: This is a sensitive skin face moisturizer that gently leaves the skin smooth and hydrated. It is clinically proven to provide moisture without causing redness or irritation. It contains rice extracts and aloe vera. It is also fragrance-free and hypoallergenic.
  • Aveeno Calm + Restore Oat Gel Moisturizer: This gel moisturizer is made for sensitive and irritated, dry skin for instant hydration. It is fragrance-free, paraben-free, alcohol-free, dye-free, and tested on sensitive skin. It is also non-comedogenic and won’t clog pores.
  • Solimo Facial Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin: This facial moisturizer is fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and paraben-free, making it great for sensitive skin. It moisturizes the skin without clogging. It can be used both day and night. 

Aging Skin

woman applying anti-aging moisturizer on her face

When the skin often encounters drying and damaging situations daily, such as sun exposure, pollution, air conditioning, and bacteria, it can lead to premature aging, dark spots, and wrinkles over time. Luckily, there are also anti-aging moisturizers available out there that are used to fight the signs of aging. 

If you have aging skin, it is better to choose cream moisturizers that are rich. It is also great to use a night cream as the skin regenerates well while you sleep. [5] Below are some recommendations for anti-aging moisturizers:

  • L’Oréal Paris Skincare Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Moisturizer: This is an anti-aging face cream that claims to address multiple signs of aging skin in just a week, such as reducing wrinkles, re-firming contours, and brightening skin. It contains pro-retinol, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C, which can all reduce wrinkles and firm the skin. It can be used as either a day or night cream for the face and neck.
  • Kleem Organics Anti-Wrinkle Face and Neck Moisturizer: This is a firming and lifting moisturizer for the face and neck. It contains retinol, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E for collagen and elastin production to firm and lifts the skin. It is an anti-aging cream that reduces wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots. It also leaves the skin soft, smooth, and glowing without any oily or greasy feeling.
  • Naturium Plant Ceramide Rich Moisture Cream: This is a rich and non-greasy moisturizing cream that provides intense hydration and visibly plumps the skin. It is made from plant-derived ceramides that can combat dry skin. It is specifically used as an anti-aging cream to reduce wrinkles and fine lines.

In addition to these, there are also other types of moisturizers available in the market, such as tinted moisturizers that are made for those who need a moisturizer and some makeup coverage at the same time. There are also moisturizers that come with sun protection or SPF, which is great for those who spend a lot of time outdoors. 

Other Tips to Keep the Skin Hydrated and Moisturized

Tips to Keep the Skin Hydrated and Moisturized

In addition to using the right types of moisturizers for your skin, there are also other things that you can do to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized and prevent it from becoming dull and dry. Below are more skin moisturizing tips that you can follow to avoid dry skin:

woman with healthy-looking skin

  • Limit your exposure to water.

When taking a bath, you should limit your shower time to 10 minutes or less. Using warm and not hot water is also ideal. You should also try to bathe no more than once a day. [2]

  • Use gentle cleansers and allergen-free soap.

Using non-soap cleansing cream or shower gel also helps in keeping the skin moisturized. There are also fragrance-free moisturizing soaps that contain no alcohol or allergy-causing substances for handwashing. Every after you wash your hands, make sure that you apply a moisturizing cream while the skin is still damp.

  • Shave your skin with care.

Shaving can also dry the skin. If you plan to shave, make sure that you use a lubricating agent before you begin. Also, it is better to shave in the direction of hair growth unless it irritates your skin. Make sure that you use a sharp blade and rinse it with warm water after each stroke. Don’t forget to apply moisturizer after shaving. [2]

  • Cover as much skin as possible during cold or windy weather.

Harsh weather can be drying to the skin. Therefore, make sure that you wear hats, gloves, and scarves to protect your skin when you go out.

  • Wear gloves when doing certain chores.

To keep your hands from drying, protect them by wearing gloves when you use harsh household cleaners and when gardening. [2]

  • Always rinse and moisturize after swimming.

When you go swimming, especially in a heavily chlorinated pool, make sure that you rinse and moisturize your skin after to prevent it from becoming dry.

  • Always stay hydrated.

Drinking lots of water and avoiding caffeinated beverages also helps in keeping the tissues in your body, including your skin, well-hydrated and moisturized. [2]


Keeping your skin moisturized is one of the best ways to prevent suffering from dry and itchy skin. Learning about what products work best for your skin type can definitely help you in building the right beauty regimen easier. It also ensures that your skin gets the right nutrients that it needs to stay healthy and glowing. We hope this post helped you learn more about selecting moisturizing solutions for your skin.


[1] Harvard Health Publishing, E. (2020, September 21). 9 ways to banish dry skin. Harvard Health. Retrieved September 27, 2022, from

[2] Mayo Clinic, E. (2022, January 25). Dry skin. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved September 27, 2022, from

[3] Lawler, M. (2020, January 17). 10 surprising causes of Dry Skin. Retrieved September 27, 2022, from

[4] Harvard Health Publishing. (2019, May 29). Moisturizers: Do they work? Harvard Health. Retrieved September 27, 2022, from

[5] Brewer, T. (2019, June 7). The best moisturizers for different skin types. The Trend Spotter. Retrieved September 27, 2022, from