Come winter, there’s one thing every skin-obsessed individual knows to be true: Moisture-boosting elixirs are essential. And the best serums for dry skin don’t just serve up an extra dose of hydration, but also deeply nourish and protect against the harsh elements, from whipping winds to sudden drops in temperature.
“Hydrating serums are useful because they bring hydration into the skin,” stresses New York City dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, M.D., of Schweiger Dermatology Group. Because healing dry skin calls for both humectants and emollients (that draw in moisture and lock in moisture respectively), a good humectant like hyaluronic acid, which holds 1,000 times its weight in water, will draw hydration to the skin to bouncier, glowier effect. With all that said, you can trust that there’s no time like the present to introduce a supercharged serum into your regimen as winter really puts complexions to the test.
“When the atmosphere is more arid, such as in wintertime, the dry air draws moisture out of our skin… so these barrier products prevent loss of moisture,” explains Nazarian. “Over time, as we age, our skin is less capable of drawing in and locking in moisture—so these skin habits are useful in the short-term seasonally and long-term because as we age, our skin weakens.” Below, 10 of the best serums for dry skin to help you lock in moisture all season long.
Drunk Elephant’s B-Hydra Intensive Hydration serum is an ultra-nourishing cocktail comprised of vitamin B5 and fruit ceramides to brighten and heal moisture-depleted skin.
To instantly jolt a weary complexion back to life, Dr. Barbara Sturm’s highly-concentrated, single dose ampoules team long- and short-chain hyaluronic molecules with her signature anti-inflammatory ingredient purslane.
SkinCeuticals’s sinks-right-in gel serum is a favorite for all skin types with its juicy concentration of hyaluronic acid and a heavy dose of hydrating b5 gel, which plumps the skin for a smoother, dewier complexion.
Making good on its promise of bringing skin “back to life,” Pai’s hydrating serum is designed specifically for more sensitive skin types and presents a gentle cocktail of hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, and antioxidant-rich berries, such as moisturizing coconut fruit extract, to keep skin hydrated without irritation.
To target signs of aging, Kate Somerville’s Quench Hydrating serum is laced with regenerating retinol, firming wheat germ, and skin barrier function-bolstering lipids for a plumper, more luminous skin.
To rebalance the skin microbiome, French drugstore favorite Talika’s moisturizing serum is spiked with prebiotics to promote a more diverse array of bacteria, in addition to hyaluronic acid and aloe vera.
The Japanese beauty-inspired brand’s latest buzzed-about elixir is the newest addition to The Dewy family: A milky serum that lifts impurities with lactic acid and quenches skin’s thirst with hyaluronic acid and sugarcane-derived squalane.
This hyaluronic acid formula has raked in thousands of Amazon review raves not only for its wallet-friendly price tag, but the radiant results it produces with help from antioxidant-rich vitamin c, protective vitamin e, and soothing aloe vera.
Moon Juice’s lightweight jelly hydrator teams hyaluronic acid with unique natural ingredients such as free radical-fighting reishi and healing tremella mushroom.
Given that dark circles become that much more notorious during the winter months—a 2011 study found that 82 percent of women believe they have dark circles in the winter versus 38 percent in summer—you can brighten and de-puff the under-eye area with a serum like Chanel’s smoothing Hydra Beauty Intense eye gel, which sinks right in thanks to its patented micro-droplet technology.