13 best face creams for winter

Boost moisture levels in dry, lacklustre winter skin with these creams for dehydrated complexions

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The Independent Online

Your usual moisturiser may not be enough in this cold snap, so pull out all the stops when it comes to nourishing winter skin with a hard-working hydrator. From Dermalogica Super Rich Repair for mature skin, and radiance-enhancing Bobbi Brown Extra Bright Advanced Moisture Cream, to inexpensive bathroom cabinet must-haves like Lotil Original Cream, we've tried and tested a huge range to find the best.

1. Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream Ultra-Rich: £24 for 50ml, timetospa.co.uk


This is a complexion-transforming, skin-enhancing miracle cream – a pot of  Pro-Collagen Marine Cream sells every 10 seconds and is arguably one of the ultimate moisturisers on the market. 11 years after the original launch, Team Elemis have come up with a richer, more intense version. A cocktail of high-performance ingredients – natural extracts, anti-oxidants and powerful actives –ensure this cream is staggeringly brilliant at increasing suppleness, firmness and elasticity and locking in moisture. I'm nearly at the bottom of my first pot and will definitely be investing in another.
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2. Kiehl's Ultra Face Cream: £24 for 50ml, kiehls.co.uk


Not one to shy away from giving their products a thorough testing, Kiehl's sent this cream to uncharted peaks in Greenland and across the frozen sea ice of the North Pole with arctic adventurer and polar guide Doug Stoup. On his return he told Kiehl's 'This formula helped my face feel moisturised under such extreme conditions...my skin feels so much healthier and hydrated the whole day”. An inexpensive, but high-performance product, if it works in the Arctic, it'll be good enough for a bracing British winter.
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3. Lancome Nutrix Royal Intense Restoring Lipid Enriched Cream, £39 for 50ml, feelunique.com


A cult classic from the 1930s, Nutrix was Lancome's first ever skin cream. Nutrix Royal is packed with Royal Jelly nutrients, which boosts the skin's lipid production. Intensely nourishing, it repairs ultra-dry skin, leaving it soothed and comfortable for 24 hours. If rough scaly skin is your nemesis, you'll love this for its soft and supple results.
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4. Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Jelly: £24.99, boots.com


If you don't like the weight and consistency of a thick rich cream, but you still need the hydration and anti-ageing benefits they provide, then you will love this unique jelly formula that provides instant and long-term locked-in moisture. Saturating the skin with fast-absorbing powerful  hydrators, the hydraluronic acid stimulates collagen production, leaving skin plumped-up and firm.
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5. Super Facialist Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Peaceful Skin Night Cream: £16.99 for 50ml, boots.com


I try not to look at prices until I've tried a product and decided whether or not it makes the Indy Best – but you can usually guess at the price bracket by the pot, box, scent and texture. So this one really surprised me. Beautiful packaging, a chunky, heavyweight dressing-table-worthy glass pot, and a beautifully soft rose-scented light gel-cream, all gave the impression of a high-end expensive brand - but it's actually surprisingly inexpensive. But most importantly, it works. Hyaluronic acid, rosehip, cucumber and willow all boost moisture, improve skin elasticity and work together to soften the early signs of ageing. I used it for around two weeks and my skin positively glowed the morning after.
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6. Bobbi Brown Extra Bright Advanced Moisture Cream: £63.50 for 50ml, bobbibrown.co.uk


If you need a brightening element to your moisturiser, this is the one for you. Skin-dulling dark spots, discolouration and unevenness can be visibly reduced with a brightener, but they can also dry-out the skin. This lightweight but ultra-moisturising cream, boosts moisture levels, strengthens the skin's protective barrier function and is also packed with anti-irritants to calm skin prone to flaring up.
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7. Grown Alchemist Regenerating Night Cream Neuro-Peptide & Violet Leaf Extract: £66 for 60ml, johnlewis.com

This high-performance cream is packed to the rafters with super skin savers including peptides, antioxidants, vitamins, hyaluronic acid and essential omega fatty acids, which blend together to reduce fine lines, boost hydration and soften and smooth dehydrated complexions. Use this each night and get the ultimate in beauty sleep.
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8. Murad Age Reform Hydro Dynamic Ultimate Moisture: £57.60 for 50ml, feelunique.com


Silky soft, luxurious and indulgent, this superb hydrator locks in moisture to relieve dry, dehydrated skin. It's ultra-rich but doesn't feel greasy or heavy and works well on sensitive skins too. The Collagen Support Complex also boost's skin's resilience and plumps up dry fine lines.
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9. Dermalogica Super Rich Repair: £62.20 for 50ml, dermalogica.co.uk


Chronically dry skin will drink up this potent hydrator in a flash. Seriously heavyweight with powerful collagen-producing peptides, free-radical defending antioxidants and replenishing shea butter and oil of evening primrose, this is the ultimate in nourishment and particularly brilliant for more mature skin.
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10. Jo Malone Vitamin E Moisturising Day Creme SPF 15: £52 for 50ml, jomalone.co.uk


If you like your cream with an SPF, then this is a great choice. It melts into the skin seamlessly and a little goes a very long way. Lightweight and easily absorbed – no mean feat for a heavy-duty rehydrator containing SPF.
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11. Embryolisse Lait Creme-Concentre: £20 for 75ml, love-makeup.co.uk


A make-up artist must-have, this ultra rich moisturiser is used by the pros as a primer, moisturiser and make-up remover. Rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins it's a great multi-tasker for dehydrated skin. (And the man in your life can use it too – it's perfect for reducing shaving irritation).
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12. Lotil Original Cream: £6.01 for 114ml, amazon.co.uk


A bathroom cabinet staple, Lotil Original Cream is one of the best hardworking,non-greasy, easily absorbed winter creams we tested. Powerful emollients nourish chapped, dehydrated and damaged skin, anti-bacterial ingredients prevent infection in cracked skin, it's a great post-shave soother, works as a soap replacement for excema-prone skin, and helps broken skin and cuts from stinging.
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13. Alpha AHA Essential Hydration Cream: £35 for 50ml, beautybay.com


This hard-working multi-tasker not only hydrates, but also revitalises lacklustre complexions, gives a good 24hours hydration, yet isn't rich or heavy, and works on minimising high colour and broken capillaries. And if that wasn't enough it also balances oil production. Great for combination skin that's susceptible to dry patches in winter.
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Kiehl's Ultra Face Cream has been to the North Pole and survived, Lancome Nutrix Royal is based on their original cult classic 1930s moisturiser formula, and survived. But for sheer luxury and skin-enhancing results go for Super Facialist Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Peaceful Skin at night and the unquestionably superb Elemis Pro- Collagen Marine Cream Ultra-Rich in the day.


IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing