The Best Winter Moisturisers for Very Dry Skin

ruth crilly skincare video best moisturisers

My forehead, for some reason, is as dry as a bone. This happened in my last pregnancy, too, so I’m not that surprised, but it’s so dry that few things can even touch it when it comes to moisturisation. Even layering a moisturising spritz (pah!) with a hydrating serum on top and then adding an oil and a moisturiser to seal the deal doesn’t seem to quite get to the root of the problem. Also: I don’t always have the time for that sort of rigmarole.

So I’ve been testing out the most potent moisturisers I can find – the sort of moisturisers that are still hanging about when you wake up in the morning, making your skin feel all juicy and plump. The ones that sit nicely beneath foundation, giving it a youthful little sheen and a cushiony finish. Thick, buttery barrier creams and sumptuous, gel-like hydrators – I’ve tested dozens of them and my forehead is now far less dry. Which means that the network of fine lines has diminished. Which means I look less like a hag who lives in the woods and more like a normal thirty-six year old.


Here are the best very-dry-skin moisturisers I’ve found from my testing sessions; great for this transition into the colder weather when all of our faces start to fall off. I’m not going to repeat what I’ve said in the video, but rest assured that there will be some individual moisturiser reviews coming up. I think that the Clinique Smart Moisturizer is especially impressive, with its oil-free formula and line-plumping effects and the Avene is a great budget buy. If you don’t want to watch the video then I’ve listed the products beneath the screen, but I think it’s well worth a look when you get a moment if you, like me, have a forehead that feels like a piece of writing parchment from the Tudor times.

Products Shown:

Darphin 8 Flower Oil Cream, £65:

Alpha-H Liquid Laser Balm, £56:

Skinceuticals 2:4:2 Triple Lipid Restore, £122:…

Creme de la Mer Moisturizing Cream:

Avene Tolerance Rich, £13.50:

Bioderma Hydrabio Rich, £14.50:

L’Oreal Revitalift Filler Renew Night* – same as my HA, but my pot was from France! £13.29:

Clinique Smart Night Custom Repair Moisturizer, £48: (comes in three types for different skin types, I have dry to combination)

L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream; £48:

*please note that I have been recently announced as being part of the new L’Oreal Beauty Squad, creating skincare content for the next year. Any work I do in relation to that role will be clearly marked “AD”, otherwise the inclusion of a product – as in this video – is purely editorial, unsponsored and unpaid.

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. December 5, 2016 / 10:41 am

    My skin isn’t as dry, but surprisingly dry for someone used to being combination/oily for all her life. The spritz/serum/oil/moisturizer combo is what i rely on in the evenings at the moment.

  2. Bev
    December 5, 2016 / 11:52 am

    The Omorovicza Rejuvenating Night Cream is DIVINE if you want buttery, unctuous moisturisation and a clean but bouncy and nourished face in the morning.

    • December 5, 2016 / 7:35 pm

      Ooooh, good call!! I must put that on the list x

      • Bev
        December 6, 2016 / 9:24 am

        It’s lovely :-)
        I’d also try a hydrocortisone cream on your forehead; I had a similar patch of dryness for months that no cream would shift. Even though it wasn’t itchy, so I didn’t think it was eczema, the mild steroid cleared it up in less than a week.

  3. Poorani
    December 5, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    Is that the Chanel nail polish you’re wearing? Looks beautiful.

  4. Claire L
    December 5, 2016 / 8:55 pm

    It’s probably seborrhoeic dermatitis, I get it on my forehead too. I use Moo Goo scalp cream to keep it in check, and best of all, it can be used on babies too!

  5. Shelby
    December 5, 2016 / 9:28 pm

    Ohhh there is a darphin rich cream (other than the 8 flower oil) that is fabulous for this! I think HydraCream Rich or something (in the US).

  6. December 5, 2016 / 9:47 pm

    I really like Weleda Skin Food for that “lardy” feeling. I also like Caudalie Premier Cru when I need something in the middle. Fresh Black Tea Sleeping Mask is a good middle one too. I’m always using oils with these though.

    • Emily Weant
      December 8, 2016 / 8:09 am

      I’m just now trying Welleda Skin Food. It’s very lardy but has great stuff in it. I can’t wait to see how my face will look after a few days as my skin is so dry.

  7. Liv
    December 6, 2016 / 12:05 am

    Love your videos Ruth, please feel free to waffle on forever…. When I want that plump greasy feel on my skin like I’ve just been “basted” I always use NIVEA in the blue tub. Honestly it works a treat and it’s so cheap! (Another lovely skincare brand to explore is TRILOGY).

  8. December 6, 2016 / 4:56 am

    Love the Avène and Bioderma ones for a good budget option! I also love love love La Roche Posay Toleriane Riche – it’s very moisturizing without feeling thick and heavy and perfect for sensitive skin as well. Totally agree with Erin above, I love to add an oil in when I really need a boost.

  9. Sharron
    December 6, 2016 / 8:29 pm

    Embryolisse Lait Creme concentrate is my go-to moisturiser for this time of year. Try it Ruth you won’t regret it I hope.

  10. Emily Weant
    December 8, 2016 / 8:06 am

    Have you ever used Welleda creams? I’ve been reading the reviews and am giving the Skin Food a try on my face at night. Very lardy. Welleda has all sorts of creams and they are reasonably priced and seem effective.

  11. Swati
    December 8, 2016 / 11:23 am

    Thanks for the post, will definitely be trying these out :)

  12. Jesseca
    December 13, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    Has anyone found the ingredients list for the Clinique moisturizer option? I can’t even find it on their website. Very annoying.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *