Come winter, skin that was once hydrated and dewy can turn flaky and tight as quickly as the weather. As air becomes drier and temperatures drop, the best skincare ingredients for dry skin come in the form of rich oils, emollient cleansers, and carefully-layered actives.

From skincare mainstays to effective botanicals, these are the 7 best skincare ingredients to keep dry skin at bay this season.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is the skincare hero of the moment, and for good reason. This skincare ingredient is ideal for dry skin, as it is a humectant, meaning it draws in moisture to plump up skin and give you that hydrated, dewy look. To truly get all the benefits of this powerhouse ingredient, layer your hyaluronic acid over damp skin and under a rich moisturizer. Otherwise, your HA might actually be drying you out.



Ceramides are a crucial component to maintaining moisturized skin. Comprising part of the skin barrier, they prevent it from losing moisture while also protecting you from pollution and dry air. While ceramides are produced naturally, they become depleted as we age. A diet rich in veggies, healthy fats, and plenty of water can help, as can using the right skincare products.


Squalane is one of the best skincare ingredients for dry skin due to its similarity to sebum, which are the oils that skin naturally secretes. Squalane absorbs easily, maintains moisture, and can even prevent skin from becoming dehydrated in your sleep.


Lactic Acid

Whlie using an exfoliating acid may seem counterintuitive for dry skin, increasing cell turnover is key in maintaining a radiant complexion. Lactic acid is great for dry skin as it's one of the gentler acids out there, and works to break down dead skin cells without causing irritation.



Chances are, you already have plenty of glycerin-packed products in your medicine cabinet. One of the most commonly used components in cosmetics, glycerin is one of the best skincare ingredients for dry skin because it retains moisture and can be safely added to nearly every step of your skincare routine.


Marula Oil

Derived from the marula tree, marula oil is a rising star of the skincare world. Rich in fatty acids, this skincare ingredient hydrates, contains anti-oxidants, and is anti-inflammatory, all without clogging pores. Use marula oil on its own or combined with other ingredients in a mask or moisturizer.


Sea Buckthorn

Perhaps the most obscure skincare ingredient on this list, sea buckthorn is especially effective at protecting skin from harsh, blustering weather, making it ideal for use in the winter months. Sea buckthorn oil is also heavier and more moisturizing than other face oils, so use it when you're feeling especially dry.