It doesn’t really matter what the groundhog said. It is still going to be winter for awhile longer, and we’re still going to have to suffer through the cold, windy days that suck every last drop of moisturizer from our complexions and give us a ghoulish cast. During the frigid months, moisturizer becomes your beauty BFF. Exfoliators are good at getting rid of dry, scaly skin, but moisturizers are what keeps your face hydrated. However, not all moisturizers are created equal. You may use one formula in the summer and fall, then find out that it quite isn’t rich enough to keep your skin nourished in the winter. That’s why I decided to test out a few facial moisturizers to see how good they were at keeping my skin hydrated.
Normally, my skin is on the oilier side but come winter, it can go from combination to scaly mess in a matter of days. All I need is the temperature to dip a few degrees, and I notice a difference in the dryness of my face. I also have sensitive skin that will go red and angry if it doesn’t like a new product. My usual warmer weather moisturizer wasn’t helping my dry skin, so I tried these formulas to see how good they are at nourishing dehydrated winter skin:
1. Oil-Free Moisturizer ($9.99, Neutrogena)
I generally like a moisturizer with SPF, because very few people, including me, are going to think about putting sunscreen on when there is snow outside, so that is a big positive with this one. The formula was very lightweight and absorbed quickly, without leaving any residue. However, I found that I had to use more than expected, since my skin seemed to drink it up, and still wanted more. I like the texture of this, so I think it would be a great daily moisturizer in warmer weather, but my face needs something a bit richer in winter.
2. Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion + ($26, Clinique)
Everyone raves about this moisturizer. It is practically a rule that it is featured on all must-have cult product lists, so is it worth the hype? I gave it a shot and was pleased. All I needed was a pea-sized amount to cover my whole face. It absorbed quickly and it definitely lives up to expectations. It’s meant for dry to very dry skin, so it makes a great winter makeup bag staple.
3. Intensive Instant Moisturizer ($22, Sephora)
With words like “intensive” and “instant” in the name, I was expecting big things from this moisturizer. The formula is rich but very fast-absorbing. I know some people don’t like jars because they don’t like dipping their fingers into them, but this one is worth getting a little scooper or using a Q-tip. It also gets points for packaging. This pretty pink jar is cute enough to display on your vanity, next to your lipsticks and nail polishes.
4. Rose Hydrating Gel Cream ($42, Fresh)
If you find some moisturizers too heavy or greasy, this gel is a good alternative. Not only is it infused with soothing rosewater, but it also smells like it too. There is absolutely no chemical smell about it. It smells as good as perfume. The moisturization it provides is as good as the smell. It seemed to absorb instantly, and one pump gives you plenty of product to cover your entire face.
5. SPF 15 Brightening Moisturizer ($24.99, Mineral Fusion)
If you like to use vegan beauty products, this is a good option. It gets points for sun protection and it also has a refreshing orange smell thanks to the Vitamin C and orange oil formula. Some people may not like the texture of it. It reminds me a bit of a clay mask, but it provides great moisture and absorbs fast enough that you forget about it. I actually like the feel of it, particularly on my forehead, where I notice greasy products the most.
6. Quench + Intense Moisturizer ($46, Osmosis MD)
This moisturizer had a very lightweight formula. It says to apply one to two pumps as needed, but I found one was plenty to cover my entire face. It’s pricey, but it would last a long time. It has a white grapefruit and bergamot scent, which is subtle enough that it won’t overpower your perfume. Another bonus: It has an anti-aging formula that helps rejuvenate skin.
It’s difficult to choose the best one of them all. I want to use most of them again. If I had to choose only one, I would choose the Sephora moisturizer because it offers you the best value for your money, and all you need is a bit to hydrate your entire face.