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Best face moisturizer for dry, sensitive skin? Look for these ingredients

6 mins

Andela Patrnogic

Understand the reason for your skin condition and how to find the best face moisturizer for dry sensitive skin so you can sport healthy, youthful, and supple skin.

It’s one thing to have either dry skin on face or sensitive skin, but a completely different ballgame when you have to deal with dry and sensitive skin together. 

As well as being dull and lifeless, dry, sensitive skin can be painful, itchy, and uncomfortable. 

The right face moisturizer can soothe your dry, sensitive skin condition and ensure your skin glows with health and vitality. 

When looking for the best face moisturizer for dry, sensitive skin, it’s essential to look for specific ingredients. At the same time, it’s critical to make sure the product does not contain harmful ingredients.

Here’s a look at what dry, sensitive skin is and how to choose a face moisturizer with the best ingredients to tackle dry, sensitive skin. 

Also, you’ll find the best face care routine to protect your skin and help you sport supple and moisturized skin.

Table of Contents:

  • What is dry skin?
  • What causes dry skin?
  • What is the connection between dry skin and sensitive skin?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of dry, sensitive skin?
  • Dermatologist recommendations for best face moisturizer for dry sensitive skin
  • Best face moisturizer for dry sensitive skin – best ingredients to buy
  • Ingredients to avoid when you have dry, sensitive skin
  • Face care routine for dry, sensitive skin

What is dry skin?

Dry skin is characterized by excessive oil and water loss, making the skin feel itchy, rough, or scaly. Anyone can be affected by dry skin at any age.

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What causes dry skin?

Dry skin can occur during winter when the cold, dry weather dries out the skin’s natural barrier and prevents it from keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized. 

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), dry skin is also caused by some medications and products that cause drying of the skin. 

Age is another factor that affects the skin, with people experiencing more dehydrated skin once they hit age 40.

Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in Mount Sinai Hospital’s department of dermatology, says:

 "Dry skin is essentially skin with low water content, usually associated with disruption of the skin barrier. That means loss of hydration, cracks between skin cells, and inflammation of the skin in severe cases. The dermis layer of the skin could be parched because of genes, cold, dry climate, over-cleansing, and even harsh skincare products."

What is the connection between dry skin and sensitive skin?

Dry skin and sensitive skin conditions often coexist. So, if you have dry skin, you are quite likely also to have sensitive skin. 

That is because very dry skin cannot protect nerve endings, leading to skin sensitivity. While dry skin is prone to sensitivity, sensitive skin too tends to have underlying dryness rather than oiliness. 

The problem becomes worse during dry or cold weather conditions.

What are the signs and symptoms of dry, sensitive skin?

  • Dehydration or the loss of moisture from the skin is one of the most obvious signs of dry skin. Signs of dehydration include itching, dryness, and fine lines.

  • Cracks in the skin develop as the skin dries out and shrinks.

  • Rough textured skin from moisture loss and as the skin begins to flake.

  • Wrinkled skin with a rough/loose texture can occur with age when losing natural oils and moisture is common.
    face cream, lotion for dry skin, moisturizing sensitive skin, moisturizing dry skin
  • Skin peeling occurs when excessively dry skin sheds an unusual number of skin cells.

  • Skin sensitivity occurs when the nerve endings remain unprotected by dry skin. As a result of this sensitivity, the skin can become reactive and prone to rashes.

  • Breakouts that look like small red bumps or acne might develop on the skin.

  • Itchiness and tightness occur, especially after cleansing the skin with harsh products.

  • Redness is common in people with sensitive skin and can occur due to harsh creams and soaps.

  • Stinging and burning are expected when applying harsh products – for example, products that contain alcohol.

Dermatologist recommendations for best face moisturizer for dry sensitive skin

  • If you suffer from dry, sensitive skin, it becomes doubly critical to use a face moisturizer as part of your skincare routine. The right face moisturizer will seal the moisture within your skin.

  • Rely on a luxuriously thick moisturizer to create a protective film on the skin and prevent drying. Heavier creams that contain emollients, humectants (moisturizing ingredients that draw water from the atmosphere to hydrate the skin), and occlusives are best for dry, sensitive skin.

  • Tackle sensitivity with a face moisturizer rich in soothing agents like aloe Vera, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides.

  • Natural ingredients like aloe vera gel, milk, buttermilk, cocoa butter, shea butter, and avocado are excellent for soothing dry, sensitive skin.

  • Study your skincare products' labels and ensure they have a healthy dose of the best ingredients for dry, sensitive skin.

Best face moisturizer for dry sensitive skin – best ingredients to buy

The best face moisturizer for dry sensitive skin is one that contains ingredients that:

  • Make the skin feel more comfortable
  • Lessen the risk of developing any skin infection
  • Prevents dry and sensitive skin conditions from worsening
  • Reduces skin sensitivity
  • Reduces the skin’s dryness.

Here are some of the best ingredients to look out for:

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Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by the body and is an essential component of the skin. Its primary function is to bind with water and keep the tissues well lubricated and moist.

Hyaluronic acid is also used in topical creams and serums. It is famously known to absorb as much as 1,000 times its weight in water, making it extremely important in skin moisture.

It drastically reduces fine lines and wrinkles when applied to the skin by acting like a sponge that soaks and locks in moisture. The result – skin feels soft, dewy, plump, and revitalized.

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant commonly used in face creams along with water and other humectants like urea and glycerin. It acts as a sponge that holds on to moisture, keeping your skin youthful and young. Allergic reactions to this ingredient are infrequent as the body produces it.

WOW Coconut Water Full Cream with Hyaluronic Acid provides deep hydration and nourishment. This thick cream contains pure coconut water rich in minerals, vitamins, and amino acids to deliver deep moisture to dry sensitive skin. The hyaluronic acid locks in water molecules and allows your skin to absorb all the beneficial nutrients from coconut water to give your skin a full and dewy look. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that hydrates and repairs the skin’s barrier function, so moisture is not lost.

wow skin science Coconut Water Full Face Cream With Hyaluronic Acid


WOW Hyaluronic Acid Water Gel with Vitamin B5 & E restores lost moisture to your dull, dehydrated, and tired skin. It banishes signs of aging like wrinkles, spots, dryness, and uneven skin tone. The gel delivers deep hydration to the epidermis, which is your skin’s natural moisture barrier, so that you can sport smooth, clear, firm, and radiant skin.

If you are looking for the best face moisturizer for dry sensitive skin, look for one that contains hyaluronic acid.


Glycerin acts as a humectant that helps the skin retain moisture. It is used in faced moisturizers and creams to relieve skin dryness by increasing hydration and refreshing its surface. Besides being a humectant, glycerin is also an excellent emollient that softens skin.

Shea butter

Shea butter has been a key ingredient in cosmetics for centuries. Thanks to its high concentration of fatty acids (like oleic, linoleic, stearic, and palmitic acids) and vitamins, it can be used to soften, soothe, condition, and tone your skin. Its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties improve the skin’s barrier. 

shea butter skin benefits

Unlike other butter, shea butter is an emollient that softens the skin without clogging the skin pores. The skin easily and quickly absorbs shea butter, making it the best butter for people who have dry, sensitive skin.

WOW Retinol Face Cream bursts with hyaluronic acid and Shea butter – two ingredients that help moisturize dry and sensitive skin. The nourishing cream with retinol and vitamin A also helps firm and restore tired or lifeless skin by enhancing the skin’s texture and appearance.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera gel can be your best friend if you suffer from dry, sensitive skin. Aloe gel has a very high moisture content that can hydrate your dry skin. The nutrient and vitamin-rich gel can soothe and nourish sensitive skin gently.

Look for face moisturizers that contain aloe vera gel – you can be sure to benefit from its healing and hydrating properties. 

aloe vera skin benefits, aloe vera gel, aloe vera benefits

One such product is WOW Aloe Vera Multi-Vitamin Face Cream. The cream boasts rich aloe vera extracts and vitamins A, B3, B5, C & E. Nourishing and hydrating moisture-rich extracts of aloe vera protect your skin against dryness. At the same time, Shea butter acts as a soothing and nourishing agent for sensitive skin. Moroccan argan and sweet almond oil nourish, moisturize, boost, and repair the skin.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an emollient that softens, moisturizes, and soothes irritated and dry skin. While this all-purpose ingredient is a fantastic moisturizer, it can also offer some relief from the itching caused by dry, sensitive skin.

On its own, Vitamin E is hard to spread on the skin. However, when added to creams, it is an excellent ingredient for dry skin that also provides a protective barrier on the skin.

Not only is Vitamin E good for treating dry skin, but it can also be used to prevent dry, scaly, rough, and itchy skin.

WOW Coconut Perfecting Cream with Vitamin E is enriched with skin-loving botanicals that protect your skin’s natural barrier while at the same time helping it fight off outside pollutants and irritants. 

coconut, coconut perfecting cream

This night cream is an excellent non-sticky and non-greasy formula that magically get absorbed into your skin. The coconut oil in the cream hydrates and brightens the skin, while hyaluronic acid helps your skin retain moisture. Vitamin E soothes and repairs dry, sensitive skin and tripeptides soften and protect.

Ingredients to avoid when you have dry, sensitive skin

If you suffer from dry, sensitive skin, avoid products that contain ingredients that could dry out or irritate the skin. 

Some ingredients to avoid include:

  • Fragrances can contain harsh chemicals. Instead, opt for fragrance-free products that have no additional scents added.

  • Sulfates can cause skin irritation.

  • Alcohol or denatured alcohol can dry out the skin.

  • Harsh exfoliants that are too abrasive can cause immediate skin inflammation. Opt for products that contain lactic acid, which is a safer option for sensitive skin, as it does not penetrate the skin as much as other acids.

Face care routine for dry, sensitive skin

Follow this five-step routine to take care of your dry, sensitive skin:

Step 1: Cleanse

Use a hydrating cleanser that does not harm the outer skin layer.

cleansing skin, towel for skin

Step 2: Tone

Use an alcohol-free toner for your sensitive skin to help restore its natural pH.

Step 3: Target

Bear in mind any specific skin conditions you might suffer from when using a serum.

Step 4: Moisturize

Use a thick, nourishing cream that will lock in hydration, fight dryness and sensitivity, and give your skin a youthful and dewy look. Check out WOW face moisturizers for all skin types.

Step 5: Protect

Harmful UV rays can cause your skin to become dry and sensitive. Protect your skin with sunscreen designed for dry, sensitive skin.

Dry, sensitive skin can be painful, itchy, and uncomfortable. Unfortunately, it is unavoidable as you grow older. 

Environmental conditions, harmful cosmetic products, and even the weather can cause or exacerbate the condition. 

A healthy skin care routine and the right face moisturizer can help alleviate the condition and leave your skin supple, nourished, and brimming with life.

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