Best Cheap Moisturizers for Dry Skin


Dry skin is irritating, uncomfortable, as well as hassle to control. A high quality, effective moisturizer will save the day, and your skin.

There are many fantastic moisturizers for dry skin on the market with modest price tags. In this article, we will explore the key features to consider when buying a moisturizer for dry skin, as well as provide you with our list of the top ten best cheap moisturizers for dry skin in 2021.

Features to Consider in Cheap Moisturisers for Dry Skin

You’ve come to the right place for a comprehensive guide to the best cheap moisturizers for dry skin in 2021. Before we get into the product reviews, here’s a quick guide to choosing a moisturizer for dry skin:

Purpose of the Cream

When you start to shop for skin moisturizers take a look at the brand and product description. It will specify which skin type it is best suited for. Choose one that specifies “dry” or “very dry” skin. Dry skin moisturizers are formulated with a thicker consistency, deliver more emollient, and are richer in content. The purpose of dry skin moisturizers is different from skin moisturizers that combat oily skin.

SPF (For Day Creams)

When choosing a day cream, SPF is essential. The only exception to the rule is if you have a hard-and-fast habit of adding sunscreen to your daily skincare routine. However, it is a rule that not every person has a tendency to follow. It is especially true if your skin is sensitive to strong sunscreens.

As a result, consider a skin moisturizer that multitasks and is capable of doubling as a sunscreen. When choosing a day cream look for one with an SPF of at least 15. The higher the SPF the better.

Sun protection is crucial to keeping your skin healthy and moist. When dry skin gets damaged by the sun, the dryness is exaggerated and even more uncomfortable as any remaining moisture has been sucked away. Plus, SPF helps to keep you looking young and fresh, with fewer lines, wrinkles, discoloration, and dark spots.

Fragrance-Free Formula (for sensitive skin)

If you have sensitive skin fragrances and scents are bad news. Look for a moisturizer which specifies “fragrance-free” on the packaging. You want as few unnecessary ingredients as possible. It allows the nourishing, hydrating ingredients to work their magic.

Rich, Thick Consistency (for night creams)

For dry skin: a thick, rich consistency is going to prove the most beneficial, especially during the night when your skin naturally loses moisture. Thick, emollient creams are effective to gently massage into your skin before bed. It adds a layer of moisture and nourishment that your skin can absorb as you sleep.

Oil-Free Formula (for dry skin which tends to clog)

An oil-free formula is especially important for people with dry and oily skin. It is possible to experience both even when your skin is dry, rough, and flaky. The skin can still produce an oily and shiny presentation that is prone to clog your pores. If your skin matches this description, then look for a moisturizer with “oil-free” or “non-comedogenic” on the label.

For extra dry patches of skin which don’t fall prey to oiliness, you can add a spot-treatment layer of serum or oil to treat the dryness. There are numerous ways to approach dry and oily skin. The important thing to remember is oily skin needs moisture too. If you deprive the skin of moisture, your glands can actually go into overdrive and produce even more oil.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is an important skincare ingredient for people with dry skin. Hyaluronic acid helps the skin hold onto moisture and even helps to fight the damaging effects of UV rays. It is also a popular anti-aging ingredient as it often goes hand-in-hand with dry skin treatments. People generally experience drier skin as they age.

The 10 Best Cheap Moisturisers for Dry Skin 2021

Here are our choices for the top ten moisturizers for dry skin. Our reviews cover the features and performance of each product. We also quickly list out the pros and cons. It will help you decide which product is the best pick for you and your skin.

NOTE: Some of these moisturizers are for the body, some are for the face, and some are great for both face and body. We have also included a couple of serums as they are a vital skincare step for extremely dry, dehydrated skin.

1. L’oreal Hydra-Renewal Continuous Moisture Cream

Why we like it: We love L’oreal Hydra-Renewal Continuous Moisture Cream because it is versatile. You can use it as a day cream or night cream. It also works under makeup or by itself. While it is extremely hydrating, the formula is actually quite lightweight and more on the watery side as opposed to thick and greasy. The formula therefore works with makeup as it doesn’t produce too thick of a canvas. It also suits individuals that don’t want a shiny look or feel of thicker creams. Vitamin B is included in its ingredients in order to hydrate the skin and prevent moisture loss.

Editor’s Rating:

Key features/design:

  • Vitamin B5 for supporting dry skin and adding moisture.
  • Sold in a jar to control how much you use on a daily basis.
  • It is specifically created for dry and/or sensitive skin.

The cream performs well thanks to the lightweight yet hydrating formula. Some people prefer to use it as a morning moisturizer to layer beneath SPF and makeup. During nights the product can transition to layer with serums or eye creams. Regardless of the intended use the L’oreal Hydra-Renewal Continuous Moisture Cream will not cause makeup to break down or create an overly shiny look because of its light texture.

$6.50 p/jar

  • Useful during the day or night
  • Works great under makeup
  • Contains Vitamin B for preserving moisture
  • Dermatologist tested to ensure suitability for sensitive skin
  • Lightweight formula reduces greasiness while maintaining hydration
  • Potentially too greasy and heavy for people with dry and oily skin
  • Contains fragrance which is unsuitable for very sensitive skin
  • Doesn’t contain SPF (you’ll need to apply sunscreen separately)

2. Amara Organics Hyaluronic Acid Serum for Skin with Vitamin C & E

Why we like it: The Amara Organics Hyaluronic Skin product is a hydrating serum. As previously touched upon serums are really helpful for some dry skin types. Therefore, it can make an incredible addition to your moisturizing routine for dry skin. We love it because the product contains hyaluronic acid which creates a hydrating barrier and keeps moisture in the skin. We also like the fact the serum is organic, vegan-friendly, and doesn’t contain any fragrances. The anti-aging ingredients such as vitamins C & E give an extra boost. Great for layering with day and night creams for extra moisture.

Editor’s Rating:

Key features/design

  • Organic, cruelty-free, fragrance-free, vegan formula.
  • Mess-free pump bottle with cap for easy application.
  • Anti-aging ingredients included in formula.
  • Serum formula for layering with creams and moisturizers.
  • Designed to lock moisture into the skin and create a hydrating barrier (thanks to the hyaluronic acid).

The product can get smoothed onto your skin after cleaning and before you add skin moisturizer because it is a serum as opposed to cream or lotion. The serum adds an extra layer of hydration to dry, exposed skin. Hyaluronic acid creates a barrier of moisture and draws hydration into the skin, keeping it plump and comfy all day. Unfortunately, signs of aging such as wrinkles, dullness, and fine lines are often exaggerated for people with dry skin as the plumpness and elasticity are reduced by the lack of hydration and moisture. As a result, the addition of vitamin C & E in the product serves as a protective barrier against aging. The serum performs beautifully in the day and night.

$16 p/bottle

  • Hyaluronic acid for locking moisture into the skin
  • Helps with reducing fine lines and wrinkles with vitamins C & E
  • Organic, vegan, cruelty-free formula
  • Layers well underneath moisturizing creams and lotions
  • Cooling, smoothing serum texture
  • A little goes a long way with this product
  • Doesn’t contain SPF
  • More expensive than most products on the list

3. CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Why we like it: The CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion is versatile. It works for your face and body that suffers from dry skin. The product contains hyaluronic acid which is one of the most important ingredients for facial skin moisturizers. The formula is developed by professional dermatologists and provides a unique, lightweight solution. The product is capable of delivering 24/7 protection.

Editor’s Rating:

Key features/design

  • The formula contains three types of ceramides as well as hyaluronic acid.
  • Lightweight formula that works well day or night.
  • Oil free, and non-comedogenic product.
  • Skin moisturizer is very lightweight and non-irritating for sensitive skin.

The CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion is created by leading dermatologists. The lightweight formula hydrates the skin day and night. It helps to restore the protective skin barrier often lost due to dry skin. The formula contains three essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-11). It also has the highly desirable hyaluronic acid in its blend. Its ideal user is defined as someone with normal to moderate dry skin. It may not do enough for those with extremely dry or dehydrated skin.

$11 p/bottle

  • Product includes hyaluronic acid
  • Provides almost 24 hour coverage day or night
  • Serves as a protective skin barrier that is non-irritating
  • Fragrance-free product that is also oil-free and non-comedogenic
  • Gentle and easy to apply to face or body
  • Does not contain SPF (you’ll need to apply sunscreen separately)
  • Lightweight design may not do enough for extremely dry skin

4. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Face moisturizer Gel-Cream

Why we like it: It caters to dry skin that is also prone to oiliness and breakouts. The gel formula smooths onto the skin with a cooling effect. It also hydrates without leaving extra oil or grease. We also love the fact that it is fragrance-free and oil-free. Therefore, it is suitable for individuals with sensitive, dry and oily skin. The addition of hyaluronic acid caught our eye as it’s a wonder ingredient for dry skin.

Editor’s Rating:

Key features/design

  • Jar-style design makes it easy to use.
  • A gel-cream formula for hydration without oiliness.
  • Designed for layering with SPF creams and makeup.

The product absorbs into the skin easily without leaving a greasy or oil residue because of the gel-like texture. It is ideal for people with dry skin who also experience oiliness and breakouts. The gel-cream formula is cooling and smooth to apply to the skin. It also works well under makeup. Use during day or night.

$17 p/jar

  • Great for dry skin prone to oiliness
  • Absorbs quickly into the skin
  • Doesn’t leave oily or greasy residue
  • Oil-free product that is great for sensitive skin
  • Fragrance-free and non-comedogenic product
  • Hyaluronic acid for attracting and keeping moisture in the skin
  • Great for day and night usage (as long as an SPF is used with it during the day)
  • More expensive than other cheap, drugstore brand moisturizers
  • Small container for the price paid
  • Not ideal for very, very dry skin

5. Cetaphil Moisturising Cream for Very Dry, Sensitive Skin

Why we like it: Cetaphil is a very reliable brand when it comes to sensitive, dry skin. The cream is specified for the body yet it can also work wonders for very dry, sensitive faces. It is very rich and thick, but once it absorbs the skin is left hydrated while still feeling light. However, it is not the best skin moisturizer for skin which is dry and oily.

Editor’s Rating:

Key features/design

  • The jar is a great method for getting the right amount of cream each time.
  • Fragrance-free formula that is gentle on sensitive skin.
  • Designed to lock moisture into the skin and prevent moisture loss.
  • Suitable for the body and face (if your skin is extremely dry on the face).

While some people find the cream a little too rich to use on the face, others with very dry, dehydrated and rough skin find it ideal. It sinks into the skin after a short amount of time, leaving a moisturizing barrier to lock hydration into the skin. It works well for layering if being applied with makeup during the day. You can also layer the Cetaphil Moisturising Cream with oils and serums at night. We love the fragrance-free, sensitive formula which won’t irritate the most delicate of skin types.

$10 f/9 ounce package (also sold in other sizes)

  • Fragrance-free for sensitive skin
  • Helps skin to retain moisture
  • Great for the face as well as rough, dry areas such as elbows and hands
  • Affordable and easy to use
  • Doesn’t contain SPF
  • Too greasy for people with dry and acne-prone skin
  • Maybe too thick to use on the face for skin with dry and oily extremes
  • Does take a little while to completely sink in, which is problematic when using on hands during the day as it may leave greasy finger marks

6. Curel Ultra Healing Intensive Lotion

Why we like it: We like the Curel Ultra Healing Intensive Lotion because it is fragrance-free and contains nourishing ingredients like ceramide, oatmeal, and shea butter. The skin moisturizer is also super affordable and very highly rated by countless satisfied customers. It will thoroughly nourish dry, uncomfortable skin without clogging up the pores and creating an overload of grease or oil.

Editor’s Rating:

Key features/design

  • Comes in a handy, easy to use pump bottle.
  • Contains ceramide complex to help retain moisture.
  • Contains oatmeal extracts to calm dry, flaky, irritated skin.
  • The moisturizer is suitable for the body and face.
  • Clinically proven to restore moisture to very dry skin.

While the Curel Ultra Healing Intensive Lotion is not strictly marketed as a face product, it is gentle enough to use on that portion of your body. The formula is suitable for faces that are extremely dry, rough, flaky, and uncomfortable. Customers have attested to how great the moisturizer is for the face as well as the body. It doesn’t contain fragrance, which is a huge plus for dry, sensitive skin. In terms of oiliness or grease, it performs really well. The Curel Ultra Healing Intensive Lotion will hydrate the skin without leaving a layer of shine. It makes it great for layering beneath makeup during the day and using with oils and serums at night.

$8 p/bottle

  • Very affordable
  • Contains nourishing ingredients such as ceramides and oatmeal extracts
  • Pump bottle prevents mess and spills
  • Fragrance-free formula
  • Gentle on sensitive skin
  • Great for the body and face
  • Ideal for very dry, rough, and tight skin
  • Non-greasy, non-oily formula
  • Doesn’t contain SPF

7. Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer

Why we like it: Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer is great for the body, especially during the winter when elbows, knees, heels, and hands get extra scaly and rough. While the product is not designed for the face, there are many customers who rave about it as their go-to facial moisturizer. Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer is very affordable and super-rich – pumped with vitamins for healing and nourishing dry skin.

Editor’s Rating:

Key features/design

  • Pump bottle for mess-free usage and storage.
  • Designed for extra hydration deep into the layers of the skin.
  • Fragranced moisturizer that some people love, some people hate.
  • Contains vitamins for nourishing and healing dry, tired skin.
  • Designed for the body, however, some claim it works well on the face too.

We recommend the skin moisturizer for the body, as it does contain fragrance which isn’t the best ingredient for the face. The formula is rich and moisturizes, yet light and absorbent enough to avoid leaving greasy or oily residue. A blend of vitamins penetrates deep into the layers of the skin to hydrate and moisturize dry skin so it turns from dull to luminous. It is ideal for legs and arms to make them absolutely glow. If you intend to use for the face make sure you first do a patch test. The product does have fragrance and is potentially unsuitable for very sensitive facial skin.

$8 p/bottle

  • Affordable body moisturizer
  • Non-greasy formula is desired by some consumers
  • Contains Vitamins B5, C, and E for extra healing and nourishing
  • Penetrates deep into the skin to hold in moisture
  • Non-spill pump bottle is easy to take with you
  • Perfect for all over the body, targeting very dry patches such as elbows and knees
  • Contains fragrance
  • Not ideal for very sensitive skin

8. Eucerin Daily Protection Face Lotion SPF 30

Why we like it: We really like the moisturizer because it contains SPF 30 to protect dry faces from further UV damage. It is great for daytime use because it hydrates the face without creating too much extra oil or grease. Consequently, the Eucerin Daily Protection Face Lotion sits comfortably below makeup. It also smooths dry patches and keeps your skin comfortable. We recommend the lotion for faces which are dry, but not extremely flaky or rough.

Editor’s Rating:

Key features/design

  • Mess-free pump bottle with cap for easy use.
  • The product serves double duty as sunscreen with SPF 30 protection.
  • Tested for sensitive skin to deliver reliable results.
  • Designed for daytime use.

The cream performs really well for dry skin during the day. It’s not extremely rich or thick, so it works best for people with moderately dry skin. The Eucerin Daily Protection Face Lotion absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy layer. Then it locks moisture into the facial skin all day long. The lotion is also ideal for layers below makeup because it also includes sun protection.

$8 p/ bottle

  • Contains SPF 30 for sun protection
  • Light enough to layer under makeup
  • Rich enough to provide moisture to dry skin
  • Affordable product with great reputation
  • Fragrance-free for sensitive, dry skin
  • Non-comedogenic to keep pores unclogged
  • Not suitable for nighttime use
  • On the lighter side which may not be good enough for extremely rough skin

9. Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturiser for Sensitive Skin with SPF 15

Why we like it: While the Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer is technically geared toward sensitive skin, the properties of the formula work well toward dry skin too. We love the fact that it has SPF, a crucial component for daytime skin care. We also appreciate that the moisturizer is extremely gentle and non-irritating for all skin types.

Editor’s Rating:

Key features/design

  • Mess-free pump bottle for easy use.
  • Sensitive-friendly formula works well on all skin types.
  • Calms redness and irritated skin as well as hydrating dry patches.
  • Protects the skin from UV damage with SPF 15.

The moisturizer is technically designed for sensitive skin yet also works well for dry skin that is cracked, irritated, or uncomfortable. Many people experience sore, irritated skin during times of extreme dryness. The Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer will hydrate the skin while calming down redness and making your skin feel more comfortable. It is light enough due to the non-greasy formula, so you can layer it with richer products such as oils and serums during the day. The SPF 15 adds a protective layer to prevent your dryness from being exacerbated by sun exposure.

$14 p/bottle

  • Contains SPF 15 for sun protection
  • No mess pump bottle design
  • Calms irritated, dry skin
  • Light enough to layer with other oils and serums
  • Oil-free for dry and oily skin
  • Hypoallergenic product
  • Contains extract for soothing irritated skin
  • Not as thick or emollient as other moisturizers

10. St. Ives Renewing Collagen and Elastin moisturizer

Why we like it: The St. Ives Renewing Collagen and Elastin Moisturizer is incredibly affordable. It plumps dry skin with collagen and elastin, two ingredients crucial for revitalizing dry, dull skin. We are aware that the formula has gone through a change which has bothered consumers that liked the original formula which is why its rating is not quite as high. However, the skin moisturizer still impresses us with its gentle, moisturizing properties and low price.

Editor’s Rating:

Key features/design

  • Jar-style container with a screw-top lid for no-spill storage.
  • Collagen and elastin for anti-aging properties as well as hydration.
  • Safflower seed oil for reducing roughness and adding a youthful glow.
  • Designed for hydration without greasy or oily residue.

The facial cream is light yet hydrating. It makes it ideal for oily skin. The moisturizer absorbs and sinks into the skin after applying. As a result, it leaves the skin soft and comfortable without shininess or excess oil. Therefore, the formula compliments makeup with a soft, smooth canvas that doesn’t create oil which can corrode and smudge makeup. The product is gentle enough to use day or night, but do remember to layer an SPF over the top for daytime use. It is excellent for skin which is dry and prone to oiliness as well.

$6 p/jar

  • Collagen and elastin for plumping dull skin
  • Easy to use jar with a mess-free screw top
  • Very affordable type of facial skin moisturizer
  • Non-comedogenic to save pores from becoming blocked
  • Contains safflower oil which nourishes and moisturizes dry skin
  • Sits well under makeup as it creates a smooth base
  • Absorbs and sinks into the skin without leaving an oily layer
  • Doesn’t contain SPF
  • St. Ives recently updated the formula which some customers don’t like as much as the original