The air in the Hudson Valley is WAY more dry compared to Virginia. I never had dry skin before moving to New York - I very rarely used moisturizer up until recently. Since we move here, my skin gets so dry and flaky every November that I don’t even know what to do with myself! It’s honestly super embarrassing because it’s THAT dry and I feel like you can see it from a mile away - plus dry skin makes you look older so the struggle is real y’all!
That said, as I promised many times on Instagram, I’m sharing a ton of moisturizers that I have tried over the past few months and the method that has finally cured my SUPER dry skin! I hope this helps some of y’all out if you’re going through the same thing.
1. Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion - recommended*
This stuff works! It’s the best drugstore facial moisturizer I’ve ever tried and it wears really well under makeup! This Cetaphil Lotion is super affordable and Frugal February friendly y’all!
I discovered this product last year right after I had the flu. My nose was so running and chaffed my upper lip and the area around my nose so bad that it was constantly red, dry and flaky. If you’ve been following for me a while, then you have definitely seen me rave about this moisturizer. I will literally let gobs of this stuff sink into my face at the beginning of winter, but luckily it works fast and really the key factor here is that it wears SO well under makeup and doesn’t run.
I tried this last year, but wasn’t a fan. A few celebs have raved about it, but it didn’t seem to absorb well on my skin and it actually irritated it and make my face all red. It felt super oily too and didn’t wear well under makeup so I wouldn’t recommend this one if you have dry, sensitive skin.
This is essentially Walmart’s “off-brand” version of the Cetaphil moisturizer - super cheap if you’re on a budget (or doing Frugal February).
This seemed to work okay for a few days, but then it really began to irritate my skin (my skin is super sensitive in the winter if you haven’t caught on to that already) so I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with sensitive skin. It’s probably worth testing out if you have tougher skin that doesn’t get irritated easily because it does wears well under makeup!
4. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Moisturizer - recommended*
Okay, y’all I absolutely fell in LOVE with this moisturizer. It’s great for sensitive skin and it really does help with redness. I used up the entire jar pretty fast and will definitely be keeping in this my beauty bag.
It doesn’t wear well under makeup so I would recommend this as a night cream because it takes a while to absorb into your skin and is pretty thick. Seriously though, if you have sensitive, dry skin I would highly recommend adding this into your nightly routine! It’s a little more expensive, but the women at It Cosmetics know what they’re doing y’all - buy this moisturizer!
I actually used this moisturizer back in high school and college so I gave it another shot since the bottle says it’s for SUPER DRY skin. I have mixed feelings about this moisturizer.
For starters, it smells really weird, which really threw me for a loop because every time I put it on my face I sort of felt more dirty. I just couldn’t get used to the smell - it’s not necessarily a bad smell, it’s just a very strange scent - not for me. However, this moisturizer does wear well under makeup and it was super light.
I still felt like my skin was too sensitive for it and that it actually brought out the redness, but I’m planning to give it another shot in the summer when my skin isn’t quite as sensitive.
6. Tarte Double Duty Beauty Base Tape Hydrating Primer - recommended*
Not to sound like broken record, but if you follow me on Instagram then you know I’m pretty obsessed with Tarte right now!
This stuff is amazing! I actually use the Double Duty Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation on occasion too! The smell is great (v. important IMO), it’s super lightweight, absorbs into your skin quickly, excellent for sensitive skin and wears amazing under makeup! I use this on the daily and I’ve even included my routine in the details below!
7. Tarte Double Duty Beauty First Step Prep Moisture Reset Cream - recommended*
Super lightweight, smells amazing and highly recommended for your morning routine even if you have sensitive skin! I love this stuff and it’s become my go-to moisturizer in the mornings. It’s the first step in my skin routine each morning after I wash my face. I lather this stuff all over my face and neck.
It feels thick and dense in the jar, but I swear it’s ultra lightweight as soon as you spread it onto your face. It absorbs fast and it never irritates my skin. This stuff is GOLD you guys!
I’m neutral about this creme. There’s actually nothing bad about it, but I prefer Tarte’s moisturizer since they are vegan and absorb quickly. This creme is a great nighttime moisturizer, it doesn’t really have a scent and it felt lightweight, plus is was definitely hydrating! If you’re brand loyal to RoC or just want to switch things up, then this moisturizer is definitely recommended!
It’s more affordable than Tarte and It Cosmetics, but you still get quality skincare from a well-known beauty brand if you want to raise the bar and upgrade from your drugstore moisturizer.
As much as I love Tarte, I have to admit this is one of the best “foundations” I’ve ever tried. It’s actually just a tinted moisturizer and I was honestly skeptical because it says it’s “full-coverage” and so many tinted moisturizers are more like a thin veil, but this really does replace foundation y’all!
Highly recommend if you have dry/sensitive skin, although be careful around irritated acne/broken skin because the bottle says don’t apply overtop. It will irritate acne more if you try to use over a (sorry for the TMI) freshly popped zit.
I mean, what can I say? I love Tarte! This foundation isn’t full-coverage, but it’s lightweight and almost like a moisturizer because it’s so hydrating. It can get streaky if you try to apply it before letting your moisturizer absorb so definitely only use when you’re skin is feeling super dry or your moisturizer has set in - otherwise it will run.
MY DAILY SKIN ROUTINE
I’ve highlighted my recommend products above and even though I change it up a little bit each day depending on how my skin did through the night, here is my general morning routine - don’t forget to wash your face with a washcloth FIRST - the washcloth is key (a tip I learned from my friend Kali) because it will get all of the dirt/grime and prevent breakouts:
STEP ONE: Apply Tarte First Step Prep Moisturizer Reset Cream; let absorb
STEP TWO: Apply Tarte Hydrating Primer; let absorb
STEP THREE: Depending on how dry/hydrated my skin is when I wake up, I’ll apply the following:
If my skin is dry: I usually opt for the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation moisturizer. Sometimes I’ll even skip the Tarte moisturizer in steps one/two and go straight for this usually because it’s super hydrating and sometimes the combination of all three leaves my makeup runny/streaky.
If my skin is hydrated: I’ll opt for Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15! I love this full coverage foundation because it’s oil-free, vegan and really knocks it out of the park when it comes to foundation. It’s basically a giant blur tool in real life. However, be wary because this stuff is basically a clay foundation so it can be a little drying, which is why I only wear it when my skin is hydrated. I can’t wait to try it this summer when I have tougher, hydrated skin!
STEP FOUR: Sometimes I will apply a light power if my skin is very hydrated or I need some extra coverage. I love Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation. I also really, really love It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder - this is powder seriously amazing and offers FULL coverage - more than the Tarte one previously mentioned to be honest.
And that’s it! It’s rare that my skin gets super dry these days now that I’ve found products that work for me! I only wake up with super dry skin if I neglect it for a few days on accident. No more flaky, gross skin you all!!!
Other products to consider:
If you need more coverage, try Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Waterproof Concealer or Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer - I used this stuff for YEARS and honestly the only other concealer that comes close to comparison is the Tarte concealer linked above.
NEXT ON MY LIST TO TRY
All of that said, I still have ton of other products that I want to try out based on my experience with Tarte and ones that you all recommended! Here is the list of beauty products to come next - let me know if you have others you’d like me try out as well!
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