Say goodbye to cracked, flaky and irritated skin this winter.
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A woman applying lotion to her arm on a designed background
Credit: Getty Images / Jordi Salas / Tuul & Bruno Morandi

For many of us, winter is the most dreaded season of the year—and for good reason. If we're not cooped up indoors, we're scraping ice from our cars' windshields. If we're not scraping ice, we're sweating under layers of clothing. And if we're not sweating, we're probably shivering as we battle the inevitable cold, flu or even COVID. Not even a bowl of hearty chili or chicken noodle soup can warm us up from the inside out.

But perhaps one of the most irritating winter symptoms of all is dry, cracked skin. Sometimes it seems like no matter how much water we drink, how much lip balm we apply and how many scarves we can wrap around our heads, there's just no protecting our epidermis from the damaging elements of snow, wind and dry temperatures. That is, until now.

We consulted three of New York City's most sought-after board-certified dermatologists, Robert Finney, M.D., of Entière Dermatology, Michelle Henry, M.D., of Skin & Aesthetic Surgery of Manhattan, and Ryan Turner, M.D., of Turner Dermatology, for their favorite skin-care products to combat excessive dryness and the resulting flakes, bumps and irritation. Some recommendations are brands you've probably heard of, and others are insider secrets.

Check out these six jars and tubes to add to your medicine cabinet so that you can incorporate them into your nightly regimen.

The Best Products for Dry Skin, According to Dermatologists

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+

This shea butter- and glycerin-based moisturizer guarantees 48 hours of lasting hydration and is safe for babies (2 weeks and up), children and adults. It's also suitable for body, face and hands with a nongreasy formula that is allergy-tested and intended for year-round use.

"This noncomedogenic moisturizer is one of my favorites, and it won't clog your pores," says Finney. "It's cheap, you can find it everywhere, and it's a little thicker, so it's great for cold weather. It also has niacinamide, which is great to fight inflammation and pigment on the skin, as well as prebiotics to help promote a healthy microbiome."

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ Intense Repair Moisturizing Cream
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Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer

Those with sensitive skin and a higher budget will find success with Alastin's fragrance- and oil-free blend of phytonutrients and botanicals to calm and soothe the skin.

"This product is really hydrating, yet noncomedogenic and, best of all, it has peptides that stimulate collagen and elastin production to help fight lines and wrinkles," raves Finney. "Unlike a lot of products that make claims, Alastin actually proved the efficacy of their patented peptides by showing the increased production of collagen and elastin via skin biopsies, before and after, using their product."

Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer
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Clinique Moisture Surge

Clinique is so much more than a brand associated with fruity fragrances in a '90s shopping mall. The company boasts an impressive line of moisturizing skin-care products, including this Moisture Surge gel-cream that prolongs its benefits for days.

"It contains hyaluronic acid and activated aloe water," shares Henry. "This allows for 100 hours of hydration, even after you wash your skin, as it improves the way your skin sources hydration."

Clinique Moisture Surge, 1.7 Ounces
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Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizing Cream with Squalane

Kiehl's face cream's mega-hydrator is squalene (a hydrocarbon found in fish oils) and—when paired with moisture-retaining glycerin—it makes a winning skin-care combo, leaving behind an incredibly nourishing and smooth surface that stands up to the most extreme climate conditions.

"It also contains glacial glycoproteins, which are plant extracts derived from deep seawater plants that exist in cold environments," says Henry. "As a result, the skin can utilize and harness their inherent properties to protect themselves from cold brutal air."

Ultra Facial Moisturizing Cream with Squalane
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CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

It's no surprise that dermatologist favorite CeraVe is part of this list of all-stars. The company's products are, perhaps, the most recommended by medical professionals when it comes to remedying dry skin.

"The standout ingredients include its three essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid and cholesterol," explains Turner. "Ceramides are naturally occurring and play a major part in the barrier function of the skin. Along with fatty acids and cholesterol, ceramides are part of the lipid bilayer creating a barrier on the skin to prevent permeability."

"Hyaluronic acid helps to retain the skin's natural moisture by holding on to water," he adds.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
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SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2

Not only does SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 combat dryness, but it also assists in slowing down the process of aging with science-backed ingredients that are so powerful, their award-winning ratio of 2:4:2 is part of the product's name.

"This is an excellent choice for a facial moisturizer," says Turner. "Its best features are a researched ratio of the essential lipids cholesterol, ceramides and fatty acids which are all naturally occurring in the body's epidermis. Epidermal lipids create a barrier against things like microorganisms and keep water and electrolytes locked in."

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 242 (1.6 fl. oz.)
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