Everyone and their mother knows that using a moisturizer is a must if you want healthy skin. But with so many moisturizers on the market, it’s hard to know which one you should use.
You may have heard that moisturizers can be divided into three groups: occlusive, emollient, and humectant. They each serve a different purpose. Knowing your individual skin type can help you decide which type of moisturizer is best for you.
If you have dry, damaged, or severely dehydrated skin, it is likely that an occlusive moisturizer would work best for you.
Occlusive moisturizers are the heavy-duty stuff. They are thick and form a physical barrier over your skin that prevents the loss of water and hydration and helps to lock in other products, like serums and treatments into your skin.
You might need an occlusive moisturizer during the winter months, or for a few weeks at a time. Others might need to use an occlusive moisturizer year-round because their skin is naturally dry.
Whatever your situation, if you’ve decided on an occlusive moisturizer, it can be hard to pick one. There are so many of them – from inexpensive products like petroleum jelly to high-end options that promise to replenish your skin in a multitude of ways.
So, what’s the best occlusive moisturizer for your skin? A good occlusive moisturizer locks in moisture without clogging your pores, contains skin-healing ingredients, and gives your skin a glowy but not greasy finish.
In this article, we will go over the top occlusive moisturizers we were able to find on the market.
Occlusive Moisturizer Buyer’s Guide
Before we dive in, let’s go over what makes an occlusive moisturizer stand out. Not all occlusive moisturizers are created equal, so it’s important to know what to look for when shopping for one.
We used these criteria to put together our list of best occlusive moisturizers:
There are a number of different occlusive ingredients that act in similar ways – by creating a protective layer on the skin that prevents the loss of water.
Some of the most common occlusive ingredients are:
- Petroleum and petrolatum
- Silicones, like dimethicone
- Shea butter
While they all work well, they are not created equal. For example, shea butter contains antioxidants which are also great for your skin. So not only do you get the occlusive benefits but you also get a dose of nutrients. This is not the case with petroleum, for example.
Other Active Ingredients
Many occlusive moisturizers come with additional active ingredients to enhance the effect they have on your skin. If you’re looking for an all-in-one product, look for an occlusive moisturizer with added ingredients that your skin may be needing.
Here are a few of these ingredients you might want to look for in your occlusive moisturizer:
- Hyaluronic acid – for hydration and pulling water into the skin
- Ceramides – to rebuild your skin’s natural protective layer
- Retinol – to fight fine lines and acne
- Antioxidants – to fight free radicals and protect your skin
- Peptides – to help firm up the skin
On the other hand, you might be looking for a simple occlusive to put over your other products to seal everything in. There are lots of options for you too.
Depending on what you want to get from your occlusive moisturizer, pay attention to the other ingredients in the cream to make sure it works for your purposes.
Most occlusive moisturizers are pretty heavy by nature, but that doesn’t mean they’re all thick and greasy!
These days, skincare technology allows occlusive moisturizers to come in a wide range of textures and finishes.
Some of them are heavier, while others are light and airy. Some are creamy, while others are oily. It depends on what your skin type is and how you plan on using the product.
If your skin is prone to oiliness, stick to lighter textures of occlusives. Some occlusive moisturizers even have added ingredients that give them a matte finish.
On the other hand, if your skin is really dry, and you only plan on using this product at night while you sleep, you may not care as much about having a shiny face.
We always want to keep the price in mind because everyone is on a different budget. While we always try to suggest the most high-quality products, we try to balance that with a reasonable price tag.
You’ll find that there are good occlusive creams in all different price ranges, and we did our best to include a good balance of them in our list.
Best Occlusive Moisturizers For Dry Skin
Here are the best occlusive moisturizers we’ve identified based on the factors above and actual user feedback.
|Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
|Powerful occlusive ingredients with a light and wearable texture perfect for daytime
|Elizabeth Arden Eight-Hour Skin Protectant Face Cream
|Cult favorite with simple ingredients that lock in moisture and soothe skin
|Vichy Aqualia Thermal Facial Moisturizer
|Rich occlusive with volcanic water that restores and tones the skin
|URIAGE Thermal Rich Water Cream
|Shea butter based occlusive with thermal water from teh Alps
|Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream
|Soft occlusive cream with powerful natural ingredients from Japan that give you a dewy look
|DRMTLGY Soothe and Recovery Cream
|Soothing occlusive cream featuring allantoin, for hydration, softness, and brightening
|CeraVe Healing Ointment
|Heavy occlusive cream with skin-friendly ingredients that is great for very dry and cracked skin
|Welmedix Fragile Skin Protective Ointment
|Hospital-level occlusive, ideal for damaged, burned, or extra-dry skin
|Alba Botanica Un-Petroleum Multi-Purpose Jelly
|All-natural occlusive with simple ingredients, a plant-based version of Vaseline
1. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
Featuring powerful occlusive ingredients like beeswax and petrolatum, this French beauty cream is perfect for softening the skin while locking in moisture.
It leaves the skin soft, plump, and moisturized. It’s no surprise that it has been a bestseller since the 1950s.
In addition to the occlusive ingredients, it also features aloe vera to soothe the skin, soy proteins to firm it up, and shea butter to nourish and protect.
The best thing about this ultra-hydrating cream is that, unlike many other occlusives, it doesn’t look too greasy or shiny on the skin. It can be worn during the day underneath your makeup and it won’t make you look like a “glazed donut.”
2. Elizabeth Arden Eight-Hour Skin Protectant Face Cream
This cream, first invented in the 1930s and used by Elizabeth Arden herself, has become a cult favorite.
Infused with powerful occlusives like petrolatum and dimethicone, this product has been loved by dermatologists, celeb makeup artists, and women all over the world.
It softens and soothes the skin, coating it in a rich protective layer that can fight even the worst cases of dry, patchy skin.
It tends to be best used at night because of its thick consistency, although those with very dry skin can get away with using it during the day too.
Users rave about how quickly this little cream starts to heal their skin, visibly reducing dryness and adding softness to their skin within hours after application.
3. Vichy Aqualia Thermal Facial Moisturizer
This rich Vichy moisturizing cream contains occlusives like shea butter and dimethicone.
It also packs insanely hydrating and healing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and volcanic water.
Vichy’s volcanic water is packed with minerals that help the skin regenerate and look more even.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one moisturizer that heals, nurtures, hydrates, and creates a protective layer to keep the moisture in – this is it.
This cream will add elasticity and suppleness to your skin and restore your natural moisture barrier.
We love that this cream is fragrance-free and dermatologist-tested to make it safe for sensitive skin. It’s non-comedogenic and won’t cause a reaction.
Despite its powerful moisture-locking capabilities, it is not a very heavy lotion. This Vichy cream has a lightweight texture that can be worn by all skin types without making you look too shiny.
4. URIAGE Thermal Rich Water Cream
This face lotion is made with shea butter and thermal water from the Alps. It helps replenish your skin’s moisture, protect the skin, repair the natural moisture barrier, and infuse it with healing minerals.
URIAGE products are often recommended by dermatologists because the ingredients are safe for the skin and well-tolerated by most skin types without any issues.
This URIAGE Water Cream is lighter than most occlusives and has the texture you would normally find in a lightweight lotion. It’s perfect for those looking for wearability combined with intense protection.
With it’s smooth texture, this cream spreads easily and absorbs into the skin, leaving a thin layer on the surface. Because of how light it is, it won’t make you look greasy, but it will still work to protect your skin and keep moisture inside.
This cream does have a light scent that is subtle, but noticeable. If you are looking for a product that is scent-free you might want to skip this one.
5. Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream
Looking for an occlusive that features natural ingredients that repair and invigorate your skin? This gorgeous lilac-purple cream by Tatcha will blow you away.
It’s a strong occlusive containing dimethicone, glycerin, and squalane. But what stands out about this cream is the other active ingredients sourced from nature: Japanese purple rice, Okinawa algae blend, hyaluronic acid, and other botanical extracts.
The result? A beautiful cream that glides onto your skin, treating it from the inside. Packed with antioxidants and humectants, this cream hydrates, moisturizes, and protects.
It leaves your skin feeling and looking fantastic for over eight hours. We also love the cute purple jar with a bow on top that’ll make your vanity look extra pretty.
Most users note an improvement of their skin texture, radiance, and plumpness. It does what it promises: gives you dewy skin that looks healthy and hydrated.
Although it’s one of the most expensive creams on our list, it’s definitely worth the cost if you can squeeze it into your budget. Plus, a little bit goes a long way, so it should last you a while.
6. DRMTLGY Soothe and Recovery Cream
DRMTLGY is a brand that makes medical-grade skincare products that have outstanding quality. Their Soothe and Recovery Cream doesn’t disappoint.
This cream has a medium texture, so it’s not as heavy as some of the other occlusives on the market, but it still does a great job of protecting and soothing the skin.
Formulated with dimethicone and glycerin as the occlusives, it also features skin-friendly ceramides, vitamin E, cactus extracts, and allantoin. Allantoin is a powerful ingredient that has been gaining popularity in the skincare industry.
It is an anti-inflammatory, mild exfoliant, and a hydrator. Combined with all the other great ingredients in this cream, it helps your skin become softer, smoother, and healthier while locking in moisture under a protective layer.
7. CeraVe Healing Ointment
With almost 50% of this ointment being pure petrolatum, it is one of the strongest occlusives on the market.
This ointment is thick, rich, and gooey. It’s similar to traditional Vaseline that your grandma might have in a jar somewhere.
This product is perfect for dry, flaky, chafed, and cracked skin. It is rich and hydrating and locks everything in to prevent the escape of moisture.
It’s great to put over other hydrating products like serums and creams to lock them in on your skin.
In addition to petrolatum, it contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which attract additional moisture and repair your skin’s natural moisture barrier.
This is a great ointment for those SOS situations when your skin is so dry it’s cracking. This baby will fix it.
8. Welmedix Fragile Skin Protective Ointment
This stuff is no joke! Welmedix created this hospital-grade protective ointment as the ultimate occlusive to soothe and repair dry, cracked and damaged skin.
It can be used for your face, body, and feet, and even as wound care for minor burns, cuts, and rashes.
It’s made with 42% petrolatum, and also contains soothing botanicals like calendula, coconut oil, and aloe vera to nourish and heal damaged skin.
If you’re struggling with serious dryness and irritation, this might be a perfect ointment for you. It’s similar to the CeraVe ointment we mentioned above but contains more soothing ingredients that can help with painful and broken skin.
9. Alba Botanica Un-Petroleum Multi-Purpose Jelly
Dubbed the natural version of petroleum jelly, this Alba Botanica product contains no petroleum.
Instead, it’s formulated with organic plant oils that have a similar occlusive consistency: castor seed oil, sunflower seed oil, and beeswax.
If you’re looking for something simple like Vaseline, but with all-natural ingredients – this is it. The Un-petroleum Jelly is thick and rich. It hydrates your skin, protects it, and seals it to prevent moisture from escaping.
Most people notice an immediate effect. This jelly softens the skin and repairs irritated or chafed skin. Many people use it for skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
But it’s also great for general skincare needs. It’s perfect for putting over your other products at the end of your skincare routine to lock in and protect it before you go to bed.
A lot of people also claim that this product helps their eyebrows grow thicker and healthier. The more you know!