Growing up, I was always taught to lotion my face. My eyes would roll as I’d rub it all over my dry skin, and my mom spoke about why it was essential to stay hydrated. Her lessons began to take heart when I entered my 20s and learned the effects of dry skin: flakiness, eczema, and early signs of aging– wrinkles! I knew it was time to invest in quality hydrating products that would keep my skin moisturized and far from booking a botox appointment, which wasn’t an option on a college girl’s budget.
I began doing my research on YouTube. I watched hours of beauty gurus convincing me that this moisturizer was the moisturizer and desperately believing it. My hard-earned checks from serving were then spent on different moisturizers and serums I thought would fully heal my skin… and life. I learned quickly that finding key products that worked for my skin was difficult. Breakouts and damaged skin barriers cost me more than the actual products.
After many years of trial and error, I finally learned more about what works for me. The irony? Most of the products weren’t the ones that were trending on YouTube. Since then, I vowed that no dry-skinned human should be led to buy trending skin care products that will ultimately expire in their bathroom cabinet. I’ve spent too much time doing the “beauty lord’s” work for this to ever happen to anyone else.
That said, below, you’ll find my top favorite products that have kept my skin dewy, hydrated, and looking damn good.
Without a good serum underneath, we can’t achieve a hydrating finish that will make us look like we’ve been drinking our 9 daily cups of water. Let’s be honest: serums walked so moisturizers could run. They’re the jumpstarter to achieving moisturized skin. The role of a serum is to target critical areas in our skin that we may be struggling with. In this case, that’s hydration. A moisturizer alone might not be enough since we are working with skin prone to dryness.
Dr. Detmar, who was interviewed in Vogue Magazine, recommended a few hydrating ingredients in serums to look out for: glycerin, lactic acid, ceramides, urea, and more. However, hyaluronic acid is my favorite ingredient to achieve ultimate hydration. This ingredient goes deep within the skin barrier to help lock in moisturizer for a more dramatic, hydrating effect. Although serums can be multi-purpose, pure serums with only hyaluronic acids are worth purchasing.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Acid Serum
The Hyaluronic Acid Serum by Dr. Barbara Sturm is one of my favorite serums. I love how light the serum is, yet it still gives me instant hydrating results. Although the serum is expensive, this product is perfect for dry and sensitive skin. This product saved me when my skin was both dry and sensitive. Many hydrating serums can be very heavy, but this lightweight product is bound to be gentle on your pores. If you have the coin, put it in your cart and check out immediately.
CeraVe Hyaluronic Acid Serum
During my trial and error season, I learned that expensive doesn’t always mean results. I found many unique products in my local drugstore that gave my skin more satisfaction than most skincare products at Sephora. CeraVe’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum is an affordable healing product that soothes my soul and skin. The brand is predominantly known for its essential ceramides that protect your skin barrier that could be hindered if left dried. On top of its important qualities, it also has hyaluronic acid to seal it in the maximum moisture needed to hydrate the skin barrier.
I could instantly tell my skin barrier was getting stronger after only a few uses. This product always gives me the healthy glow that my skin craves. Outside of its multiple ceramides and hyaluronic acid combination, I never found this product overly greasy or heavy. The serum was a great healing property when my skin was most uncomfortable. I recommend using this product day and night, especially during the winter when dry skin calls for an extra moisture boost.
When we think of a good moisturizer, we think of hydration. However, a moisturizer can do more than provide an excellent glow to the skin. Moisturizers help protect the skin barrier from early signs of aging. Depending on the moisturizer you buy, they can also come with brightening ingredients and sunscreen for extra protection. Moisturizer is the icing on the cake. Locking in all the good ingredients from your serum will provide you with the comfort your skin seeks. Bottom line: your moisturizer is a vital step in your skincare routine.
Finding the perfect one for my skincare routine took me a while. There are many options in the beauty world. And trust me, not all moisturizers are created equal. I had to test thick, gel-like, and liquid consistencies to determine what worked for my skin. Not to be dramatic, but it was a full-time job, but the payoff of achieving hydrating skin was more than worth it. These moisturizers have become my go-to whenever my skin needs an extra boost.
Grown Alchemist Hydra Repair Day Cream
It took a lot of testing products and skin breakouts to learn that what I put on my skin mattered. I began to look into the toxic ingredients in beauty products and how they can significantly impact our skin and health. The ugly side of beauty wasn’t in my favorite magazine; it was right in my beauty cabinet. I immediately began searching for hydrating moisturizers that were clean and highly effective.
The Grown Alchemist is a clean-first beauty brand made with 100% natural ingredients, according to their website. I’m obsessed with their Hydra Repair Cream, made with camellia and rosehip oil. These ingredients gave my skin the instant glow that only happens when I’m under the sun. Although I was stunned by the instant hydration, I was also worried that my skin would become greasy due to the product’s heavy texture. I was relieved that the moisturizer sat on my skin effortlessly as my day continued. The product gave me a light halo effect and left all things greasy at the door.
Olay Regenerist Ultra Rich Hydrating Moisturizer
When I tell you I underestimated this powerful little moisturizer, I undermined this product. I didn’t think this moisturizer would give me the punch of hydration I sought. From the moment I worked the Olay Regenerist Moisturizer into my skin, it instantly gave me the comfort and glow I desperately sought. My skin was incredibly hydrated, but I knew the true test would begin as I continued my day. Time went on, and the moisturizer did precisely what it said it was going to do: hydrate, firm, and renew my skin.