The Top Moisturizing Ingredients for Dry Skin

Just as different textures of products can offer different levels of results, so can different ingredients. Dry skin treatments, for instance, can provide benefits ranging from replenishing natural oils to trapping moisture within. It all comes down to the type of ingredients.

From humectants to occlusives, certain ingredients perform varying functions for the skin. While a Hyaluronic Acid and an Avocado Oil might both provide moisturizing benefits, how they do it can be very different.

To help you better understand what exactly the different plants and molecules are doing in your dry skin treatments, here are the top four moisturizing ingredients for dry skin.


This moisturizing oil is derived from olives and is known to be highly skin compatible — meaning it matches the weight and viscosity of your skin’s natural oils, making it easier for your skin to absorb it. squalane is a Kiehl’s signature ingredient and is found in our entire Ultra Facial line, as well as many other customer-favorite products. It’s a fantastic moisturizer that works for all skin types and is known to help strengthen and restore skin’s moisture barrier.

Find It In: Ultra Facial Cream

Hyaluronic Acid

Able to hold 1000x its weight in water, this molecule is one of the most widely used and trusted moisturizing ingredients around. It acts like a sponge to draw moisture into skin’s surface layers, expanding and plumping the skin to help reduce the appearance of fine lines as it hydrates.

Find It In: Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate


Extracted from the seeds of the Evening Primrose Flower — which blooms every other year — this oil is rich in Omega-6 fatty acids. It’s known to not only maintain skin’s hydration, but to also help enhance elasticity. This makes it a great anti-aging ingredient as well as moisturizing agent.

Find It In: Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil


Another extremely efficacious and popular hydrating compound, Glycerin is highly compatible with the skin, meaning it absorbs easily and works seamlessly with your natural moisture barrier. It’s a powerful humectant that is known to retain moisture and soften skin.

Find It In: Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum

Whether your skin is dry or dehydrated or both, using these hydrating ingredients will help you say goodbye to flakes, redness, and roughness.

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