Reader Recommendations

I love that I’m able to chat with you guys on Snapchat! I do my best to respond when I can and to read as many messages as possible… but I especially love it when you guys send me amazing recommendations. Whether it’s a new book or answering a question I have, it’s like having tens of thousands of best friends giving me great tips.

Earlier this week, I posted on Snapchat that my chin was basically RAW from being so dry. I think it was a combination of things, like wind, dryness, and rubbing against high collars on coats. My chin was so dry that it cracked. It was not only ugly but extremely painful!!! You guys sent some incredible recommendations over my way. I thought I’d round up the ones that I received most often:

ONE // Humidifier 

The most recommended “tip” was to get a humidifier for my bedroom. To be honest, I’ve meant to do this for years and think it’s finally time I bite the bullet. This humidifier is top-rated on Amazon, and a couple of girls sent me photos of the same brand.

TWO // Coconut Oil

This was THE most recommended product. I’ve never really bought into the whole “coconut oil cures everything” mindset, but after getting it sent to me probably 600 times, I think I’m willing to give it a try, ha. Make sure the coconut oil you use is virgin/unrefined/organic.

THREE // First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

After coconut oil, I got a lot of recommendations for First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. I thought I had a sample of it somewhere, but couldn’t find it, so I will be popping into Sephora the next time I’m out to pick some up. People were swearing that it has magical healing powers!

FOUR // Creme de la Mer Moisturizing Cream

A surprisingly high number of people also recommended this cream, but I have to admit that I would never be able to stomach forking over that much money for a moisturizer! Unless it will miraculously make my skin wrinkle-free overnight, I just could never do it.

FIVE // Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer Rich

The Glossier fan club came out in full force sharing their love for this super rich moisturizer.

SIX // CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

I think this was the most affordable product that was recommended over and over again. A lot of girls who had extremely dry skin from Accutane were swearing by this!

SEVEN // Oils

After those moisturizers (and not including just plain coconut oil), I also had a lot of tips to try facial oils. I think I had somewhere between 50 and 60 different oils recommended, so my guess is that just using an oil– regardless of brand– is likely helpful. I had a sample of this oil from Goop that I got from a press mailing. I kind of forgot I had it, but started to apply it under my regular moisturizer, and my skin was 50% better after 12 hours.

Anything else that didn’t make the cut that you highly recommend?

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Lacey Maurer

I use the Cerave moisturizing cream because I get some pretty bad dry skin patches. It works great. I also use their night cream which is nice and thick.


This is such a great list! I have been on the hunt for a new moisturizer so this came at the perfect time!
Carly, could you do an updated post on your skin care routine? Your skin always looks so flawless, I would love to know what you have been using!

Taylor |


Ok dry skin gal talking:
The CeraVe PM facial moisturizer is hands down my favorite drugstore product. It’s a total hidden gem! And
humidifiers are the BEST. The humidifier you linked to is pretty small though and seems better as a aromatherapy diffuser. If you want to something to help with dry skin I think a bigger water tank is a must (especially for the winter). I personally love my Vicks warm mist humidifier. It isn’t as cute but the larger tank makes a huge difference. Also no matter what humidifier you get make sure you clean it out every few weeks since mineral deposits will start to build up. It’s annoying but vinegar works best for cleaning, no joke!


I second the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream…I’ve been using it for a few years and it it great! I even got my husband hooked on it this winter when he started having some dry flakiness on his cheeks–it gets rid of dry patches within a few days!


Everything First Aid Beauty is amazing! I use the ultra repair hydrating serum and ultra repair cream every morning and night.


A friend who lives in the Austrian alps (who has amazing skin, even living in that environment) recently told me her secret was Avene Cold Cream. I had never heard of it but found some on Amazon and my skin looks so good now! It is super thick and sticky though so you can really only wear it at night, but it worked for me.


Applying oil before moisturizer does help, but what’s really great is applying an oil or Aquaphor over your moisturizer before you go to bed! It functions as an occlusive so your skin soaks up every bit of moisturizer you use.


I use coconut oil as a hydrating cleanser currently. It takes off my makeup in such a gentle way and leaves my skin feeling soft. For super dry skin you *have* to try SW Basics Cream. It’s only got 3 or 4 ingredients and has been amazing for my super dry winter skin. Best of all, you can buy it at Target!


SECONDED! i work in the healthy skincare industry and this is my no. 1 recommendation to dry skin these days. the s.w. basics cream is simple, affordable and works! i love using it on my cuticles too. i also love using manuka honey as a cleanser. so. nice.


This winter, I’ve had the driest, most irritating brow bone and I’ve found that exfoliating followed by a rich moisturizer (coconut oil, Glossier, even just a generic version of Aquaphor) is helpful! Dry skin feels awful, I hope yours gets better soon.



I’ve been using face oils for a few months and love them! I use Badger Balm oils – they’re organic, smell good, and are reasonably priced (around $15-20) – you can get them on Amazon or places like Whole Foods.


My skin is so dry I cannot live without Avene. It’s sold at my dermatologist’s office, but you can find it at their website too. I use their Clean-Ac moisturizer 2x per day, and their Clean-Ac cleansing cream as well as their Thermal Spring Water spray. Their sunscreen is nice too, but it changes the texture of my makeup so I’m not completely sold on that. But seriously, their moisturizer is absolutely amazing.


I just bought that same humidifier for my dorm room! It not only works great, it’s super easy to use, lasts way longer than it says it should (I get ~12 hours of use on intermittent mode), takes up no room, and has a beautiful array of colors! Hope you enjoy it too!


I’d HIGHLY recommend using sheet masks at night – you can honestly use them every night! My favorite this winter has been Dr. Jart’s Ceramidin – it has completely saved my skin.

Also, this might have been lumped in with facial oils, but using a facial serum morning and night before I put on my regular moisturizer has been a gamechanger. I’m a big fan of the Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching’s pricey (not as much as la Mer!) but the 1 oz. bottle has lasted me 2.5 months already, using morning and night, and I haven’t even used half of the bottle!


As a pharmacist I always recommend Aquaphor for really chapped, irritated skin. It’s super moisturizing and doesn’t contain any irritating ingredients like essential oils or fragrances and is noncomedogenic. Definitely would only use at night though because it is Vaseline texture. Also, CeraVe and Cetaphil make really great moisturizers that are gentle and non-irritating.

On a side note – in general I really love the Drunk Elephant line of products. Their formulas are backed by scientific evidence which makes the nerd in me happy and they don’t use any fragrances or irritating ingredients which makes my sensitive skin happy.


My skin gets dry like this every winter because I use retinols, so I’ve got a few tricks to prevent and to treat this problem. First, if you have dry prone skin and use a drying product, put it on on TOP of your moisturizer (per my dermatologist). That way you get the moisture first. I used the FAB ultra repair cream because it doesn’t burn when you put it on dry skin. Then my retinol, then I put on the cerave cream. Then if I have a cracked area, I put aquaphor on the cracked part, but only do this before bed unless you want to be greasy/shiny during the day. An oil was also recommended to me, so I tried kiehl’s midnight recovery oil and while it smells good, I didn’t notice a difference with the drying or any other part of my face.


Just watch out using coconut oil on your face – it’s definitely comedogenic and can cause breakouts. I swear by Avene, Drunk Elephant, FAB, and Aquaphor though! Aquaphor is the best for lips, since it’s an occlusive. I put it on before bed.
Also, make sure you’re applying moisturizer over your skin out of the shower right away – that’s what locks in the moisture. Just putting it over dry skin isn’t as effective!


Aquaphor! It is a miracle worker. Slather it on overnight and then dab it on periodically throughout the day.

Also, I really recommend the First Aid Ultra Repair SERUM. For very dry skin, a serum is more powerful than a cream. I’d put this on under the Aquaphor (or some other moisturizer) and wake up with new skin.


Be careful with the coconut oil on your face. It is, unfortunately, comedogenic and can clog pores or cause severe breakouts. I have a very oily yet dehydrated skin, and I cannot recommend using it on your face. For everything else, it worked fine, but oh boy the face… You can try olive oil instead, works just like coconut oil 😉


OMG can you please do a post like this but for anti-wrinkle creams/lotions? Apparently you are suppose to start using them in your late twenties, but I have no idea which ones are good!


Living in CO, I had to experiment with a lot of moisturizers. The air is so incredibly drying here that even though I did’t have dry skin before moving here I quickly developed it. I can’t use coconut oil on my face, but it is great for hands/body (makes my face break out). I have the FAB line (serum, intense moisturizer, and eye cream) and that works exceptionally well for everyday use (I have extremely sensitive skin and cannot use any products with gluten in them, so my options are limited). I really like the belief aqua bomb, serum, and moisturizing bomb so I sometimes rotate those through. The best and cheapest option I’ve found for dry chapped skin and sensitive skin is CerVe products. They are fantastic.


I too have heard so much about the La Mer products. I don’t mind indulging in my skin…after all, I have one shot at taking care of it. That being said, that is well over my price range for skincare. I don’t mind using something more expensive intermittently to treat L’Occitane’s Immortelle cream. I also invest in Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair serum and use it nightly. I swear by it. I also use plenty of low budget products mixed into my routine. I actually posted on my entire skin care regimen this week here! LINK;



Just use plain ole Vaseline. I rub it around my nose when I have a cold so I don’t get a red, cracked nose. I also have eczema and I slather it on my hands, legs, and elbows before I go to bed, put some mittens I made on my hands from old socks, and it works wonders. You could probably put a little Vaseline on your chin before bed for a night or two and it will be back to normal.

While I wouldn’t recommend it for your face, Eucerin is great for your body in the winter. The key is to moisturize twice a day at least and moisturize when you get out of the shower.


I have extremely dry, sensitive skin–especially in the winter! Just walking to my car from work can chap by cheeks, nose, and forehead. I swear by Cetaphil. It’s a gentle cleanser and the only one I can use. My mom has always recommended rosewater glycerin for my dry skin. You can get it as a toner from Bert’s Bees, and it helps hydrate and sooth dry, cracked skin. I hope this helps, from one fair-skinned girl to another! 🙂


You should pop in to your local Lush! The Oatifix face mask is full of soothing oats and hydrating organic mashed banana and is magical for dry skin. It also smells like cookie dough / banana pancakes. 🙂 There are tons of extra-hydrating moisturizers, too. You also might want to think about switching up your face wash when it’s dry. Maybe try Ultrabland which cleanses your skin without water. Or Angels on Bare Skin for something with a little scrub and a bit of moisture. 🙂


Love all these suggestions! I love derma e Anti-Wrinkle cream for bedtime. I can’t attest to the anti-wrinkle aspect, but the vitamins in the cream leave my skin feeling super soft. Bonus: it’s vegan and cruelty free!

I also love Hey Honey’s Good Morning Honey facial serum. It sits so well under foundation.


Rodan+Fields Redefine Overnight Restorative Cream is my go-to! It is less than half the price of La Mer, and one tub lasts me at least three months!

Gretchen Ahlers

Thanks for putting out other people’s recommendations! I would love to see more of these type posts.

Sara Beisel

Definitely add some essential oils to the coconut oil! My favorites are Rosehip, Eucalyptus, and Tea Tree. I do 1-2 drops of each in about 1/4 cup of coconut oil and it lasts me about a month of using it every night.

Hadassah S.

SUNDAY RILEY! I cannot recommend her oils enough. I use the UFO oil as I have very oily skin but if yours is drier the Luna oil might be a good pick. I saw a HUGE difference in my acne after only a few days of using it and I’m sure her oils for dry skin are just as good!


So needed this list! Living in a desert in winter means that my skin gets *super* dry. I will say that I use coconut oil on my skin (just a pea size amount), especially before makeup. You would think the makeup would slide right off, but I actually notice that it looks better when I moisturize with coconut oil first. I also use it in my hair because my skin isn’t the only thing that gets dry in the winter!

xo, Sofia


The Le Mer gel cream has been life changing for me. I have super sensitive skin and it doesn’t feel heavy. It lasts for awhile too!