Dehydrated Skin Doesn’t Stand A Chance Against This Cast Of Moisture-Replenishing Face Creams

Glossy, hydrated skin awaits.
Suki Waterhouse

Combatting dry skin sounds like a simple fix, right? Your skin’s lacking moisture, so give it more. Although that’s an airtight game plan in theory, in practice, tackling the very thing that makes skin dry in the first place requires a bit more strategy.

First things first, there’s dry skin and then there’s dehydrated skin. Skin can be dry and dehydrated, but these two terms are in no way the same thing and they do not manifest in the same way either.

Dehydration could be contributing to your dry skin, but dehydration could also be the reason that your skin is oily (read: it’s overcompensating for the lack of moisture), whereas dry skin will tend to have very obvious signs such as discomfort, flaking, itchiness and redness.

Regardless of whether you have dry, dehydrated skin or both, marie claire has found a host of moisturisers that aim to replenish moisture, reinforce the skin’s natural moisture barrier and enhance long-lasting hydration using a combination of certified skin soothing ingredients…

2024’s top 3 best moisturisers for dry skin

  1. Embryolisse Skin Care Lait Creme Concentre, $37.60, Priceline
  2. Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance, $107.49, Adore Beauty
  3. Clinique Moisture Surge™ Intense 72-Hour Lipid Replenishing Hydrator, $62, Clinique

The best moisturiser for dry skin 2024


Embryolisse Skin Care Lait Creme Concentre

from $37.60 at Priceline

Best for: Multitasking

This six-in-one French pharmacy staple is about as multi-faceted as a moisturiser can get. It can be used as a face cream, a makeup primer, an express face mask, an emollient makeup remover, a soothing after-sun cream, and as after shave. A multi-hyphenate moisturiser, indeed.

Sizes: 75ml

Key features:

  • Six-in-one multipurpose formula
  • Hydrates and reinforces the skin’s natural moisture barrier for up to 24 hours
  • Enriched with shea butter, beeswax, aloe vera and soy proteins
  • Enhances radiance
  • Suitable for all skin types

Available at:


Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance

from $107.49 at Adore Beauty

Best for: Plumping fine lines

Pumped full of moisture-replenishers and barrier-reinforcing ingredients, this pick addresses moisture loss, as well as surface-level hydration for a more plump and youthful-looking complexion.

Sizes: 15ml / 50ml / 100ml / 150ml

Key features:

  • Contains BioReplenish Complex and prebiotic Chlorella Algae complex to reinforce the lipid barrier and enhance skin resilience
  • Hyaluronic acid, echinacea, centella asiatica and aloe vera all work to hydrate, replenish moisture levels and plump fine lines
  • Minimises dryness and dehydration
  • Addresses the first visible signs of ageing
  • Suitable for normal and dry skin types

Available at:


Clinique Moisture Surge™ Intense 72-Hour Lipid Replenishing Hydrator

from $62 at Clinique

Best for: Lightweight, long lasting hydration

Just because your skin is carving hydration doesn’t mean you need to slather on an uncomfortably thick moisturiser formula. Take this lightweight hydrator for example; it boasts a rich cream-gel consistency that’s absorbed quickly and leaves skin looking radiant and feeling hydrated for up to 72 hours after application.

Sizes: 15ml / 50ml / 75ml / 125ml

Key features:

  • Enriched with hyaluronic acid, barrier-strengthening lipids, soothing cica, activated aloe water and caffeine
  • Keeps skin hydrated for up to 72 hours
  • Soothes and comforts dry and dehydrated skin
  • Oil-free
  • Suitable for dry-combination, dry and very dry skin types

Available at:


Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Skin Barrier Moisturising Cream

from $50.59 at YesStyle

Best for: Strengthening skin

The skin’s natural moisture barrier plays a vital role in keeping the skin hydrated. The protective lipid layer ensures that the skin is resilient, whilst also minimising the potential for trans epidermal water loss, which is the key contributing factor to dehydrated skin. This cushiony cream contains a blend of Barrier Strengthening Solution, panthenol, and five types of ceramides to reinforce, support and strengthen said barrier to ensure maximum moisture retention and long-lasting hydration.

Sizes: 50ml

Key features:

  • Contains a blend of Barrier Strengthening Solution, panthenol, and five types of ceramides
  • Strengthens the skin’s natural lipid barrier
  • Helps with moisture retention, elasticity, texture and suppleness
  • Fast-absorbing
  • Suitable for dry and dehydrated skin

Available at:


Obagi Hydrate Facial Moisturiser

from $70 at Woolworths

Best for: Addressing dehydration in all skin types

Obagi has sought to address dehydration across the board with this universally beneficial formula that’s both lightweight enough for oily skin types and hydrating enough for dry skin types. The face cream utilises a mixture of Tara seed extract, shea butter and mango butter to moisturise and smooth skin, and minimise trans epidermal water loss.

Sizes: 48g

Key features:

  • Enriched with Tara seed extract, shea butter and mango butter
  • Moisturises and smooths
    Minimises trans epidermal water loss
  • Lightweight texture
  • Suitable for normal, combination, oily and dry skin types

Available at:


Murad Age Reform Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture

from $93.75 at Murad

Best for: Glass skin

If your dry skin has impeded you thus far from attaining the glass skin of your dreams, then it might be time to try this pick from Murad. Enhanced with Advanced Hyaluronic Acid Technology, shea butter and sunflower oil, this face cream doesn’t just deeply moisturise, it also helps to enhance comfort levels and the overall health of skin, leaving you with the dewy, smooth and plump complexion you’ve always dreamed about.

Sizes: 50ml

Key features:

  • Enriched with Advanced Hyaluronic Acid Technology, shea butter and sunflower oil
  • Deeply moisturises skin and replenishes moisture levels
  • Skin looks healthy and plump
  • Enhances dewy radiance
  • Smooths skin texture
  • Suitable for normal, combination and dry skin types

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What is the best moisturiser for extremely dry skin?

Dry skin is usually characterised by symptoms such as flaking, itchiness and redness, so a moisturiser that helps to soothe these aspects of dry skin is always best. Try looking for a face cream that is fragrance free and uses rich, nourishing and calming ingredients such as shea butter, aloe, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and cica extract.

What type of moisturiser is best for dehydrated skin?

Dehydration is a bit harder to spot than dry skin as it can manifest differently for different people. Some dehydrated skin overcompensates for the lack of moisture by producing more oil, while some skin types will experience dehydration as skin that feels tight and uncomfortable when there are no skin care products applied to it. The best moisturiser for dehydrated skin is a formula that helps to reinforce the skin’s natural lipid barrier, which in turn helps to enhance moisture retention and minimise potential trans epidermal water loss, which is usually a calling card of dehydrated skin. Ingredients that closely resemble naturally occurring lipids and amino acids are easily recognised by the skin and are better absorbed. Think: ceramides, squalane and some peptides.

Looking to save money on moisturiser for dry skin? Check out our coupon codes for MECCA, Sephora and more.

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Main image credit: @sukiwaterhouse

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