12 Best Hydrating Face Serums for Dry Skin

These dermatologist-approved picks restore moisture with key ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

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12 Best Hydrating Face Serums for Dry Skin

Waking up to a parched, tight-feeling complexion is a woe that dry skin types are all too familiar with. While hydrating face washes and rich moisturizers for dry skin are one way to combat a thirsty complexion, the best hydrating serums for dry skin are an efficient way to flood your skin with much-needed moisture.

“Hydrating serums will benefit any skin type, and they should be incorporated in everyone’s at home routine,” explains Delcy Stoddard, a medical aesthetician at SkinSpirit. The best face serums for dry skin usually enlist humectant ingredients like hyaluronic acid that draw moisture into the skin. Others contain softening emollient ingredients like vitamin E oils, or skin barrier-strengthening ceramides that prevent trans-epidermal water loss (aka, when moisture evaporates from the surface of the skin). The best face serums contain high concentrations of these ingredients that quickly and effectively restore hydration in dry skin. Related Articles Beauty Features The Latest Beauty Executive Moves at Armani Beauty, Glowbar and More Beauty Kitsch's Dermaplaning Tools Are on Sale for Their Lowest Price Ever on Amazon

Most skin types feel more dehydrated than usual this time of year: When temperatures drop, skin tends to dry out. Colder air is inherently drier which in turn dries out your skin, but outdoor air isn’t the only challenge. Heaters and radiators zap the moisture out of the air and dry out your skin. All of this combined results in dry, stressed skin. To fight this, Lara Sprinkles, a medical aesthetician at SkinSpirit, suggests her clients apply a hydrating serum twice a day during the winter months to help boost hydration.

Another reason to incorporate one of the best serums for dry skin is to make harsher active ingredients like AHAs, vitamin C serums, and retinol products more tolerable: Combined with a hydrating face serum, your skin is less likely to feel stripped or flaky when using these exfoliating ingredients.

In order to find the best serums for dry skin, we spoke to aestheticians and dermatologists for their professional recommendations. We also tested launches from top brands to see how they held up. Read on for our favorite serums for dry skin.  

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Skinfix’s main mission is to protect and strengthen your skin’s barrier, and its efficacy in doing just that has earned the brand an army of fans. The Skinfix hashtag alone has over 145 million hits on TikTok. This serum is no exception. Loaded with good-for-your-skin ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peony root complex, and triple lipid complex, this sensitive skin-friendly serum moisturizes regardless of your skin type. The TikTok-famous product has also been clinically tested in a 28 day dermatologist-led trial and 93 percent of their participants agreed that their skin felt plumper and more refreshed. Pair with your favorite retinol for optimum benefits. What testers say: “After using this with the cream for two weeks, I’m seeing amazing improvements. My eczema was really bad and now my skin is getting moist and plump again. Recommend for dry skin!” Price upon publish date of this article: $50

Another dermatologist favorite, this serum is not only accessible, but it is also effective. Dr. Marisa Garshick, a board-certified dermatologist, mentions it as one of her favorites for keeping the skin hydrated. Hyaluronic acid, madecassoside (which supports a healthy skin barrier), and vitamin B5 team up to leave the skin soft, smooth, and plump. Dr. Garshick recommends using it by itself or using a moisturizer to help seal in the extra moisture boost.  What testers say: “I got it in a gift set last Christmas, and I’ve been using it ever since and even bought this one for my mom. It clears up acne quickly and hydrates the skin. It helps even out hyperpigmentation.” Price upon publish date of this article: $39.99

Korean skin care is known for prioritizing healthy skin and placing a heavy focus on hydration and Innisfree’s hyaluronic acid serum is one of the best hydrating face serum options you can find. Like other serums on this list, this one relies on hyaluronic acid, but unlike the others, this serum contains five different types of hyaluronic acid which allows the ingredient to penetrate deeper. Additionally, its fortified with green tea extracts to strengthen your barrier and drive hydration home.  What testers say: “I’ve been using this for almost a month now and I absolutely love it. I have oily/combo skin that has broken out with every moisturizer I’ve ever used so therefore I don’t use them. This substitutes amazingly for it.” Price upon publish date of this article: $30

Serums deliver an intense concentration of active skin care ingredients, and sensitive skin can have a hard time tolerating them. However, this serum hydrates even the most sensitive skin types. “Formulated with natural origin hyaluronic acid and Vichy’s volcanic water, this serum helps hydrate and plump skin without causing redness or irritation,” says Dr. Garshick. Beyond that, this hydrating serum for sensitive skin has been clinically proven to strengthen and repair the skin barrier.  What testers say: “This is the best serum I’ve ever used & I’ve purchased expensive ones in the past which don’t hold a candle to this one. It goes on sooo smooth and a little goes a long way. I have noticed within a week of use that my skin looks more supple.” Price upon publish date of this article: $39.99

12 Best Hydrating Face Serums for Dry Skin

Sheet Masks Using a hydrating serum on oily skin can feel counterintuitive, but oftentimes, that is exactly what your skin needs. Oily skin needs hydration just as much (if not more than) regular skin types due to the astringent qualities of many face washes for oily skin, and because many oily skin moisturizers go lightweight on hydration. Hyaluronic acid is one of the best ingredients for hydrating dry skin types, and this formula contains that along with more oily skin-friendly ingredients. Loaded with redness-fighting centella asiatica and cooling menthol, this face serum for dry skin will restore moisture and balance your skin without leaving you feeling slick or shiny. Apply in the morning after cleansing if you are prone to redness. What testers say: “I have sensitive, hyper-reactive, painfully dry/flaky skin. My bathroom cabinet is a graveyard of half-used bottles of fancy, super-specialized, esthetician-recommended products that did nothing or made matters worse. But this… this is THE best skin care product I’ve ever used. It’s hydrating without causing buildup and leaves me with a forehead like glass. 10/10 would bathe in this.” Price upon publish date of this article: $96