Michelle is a contributing writer for Byrdie with nearly 10 years of experience in the beauty industry. Her writing has appeared on PopSugar, Hypebae, and more.
Updated Jan 16, 2020
The age-old beauty advice of drinking eight glasses of water a day for hydrated skin, hair, and nails never felt entirely helpful. Pretty much, water is the only beverage I drink (no coffee or soft drinks here) and my intake of h2O is akin to that of a camel—yet I’ve been battling dry everything my entire adulthood. From split ends to dry feet, I’m parched from head to toe.
Needless to say, my beauty routine requires ultra-hydrating products that deliver what they promise, and then some. Thankfully, during what has felt like a never-ending journey to find the very best thirst-quenching products, I’ve discovered some staples that have made dryness a thing of the past for me. Below, my top moisture-rich picks for every inch of your body.
Soothing Scalp Oil
I'd never even heard of a dry scalp—until I had it. A few Google searches confirmed tea tree oil was the ingredient I ought to incorporate into my routine. Cue this scalp oil from Eczema Honey, which features a unique pairing of essential oils (tea tree is one of them), aloe vera juice, and honey that is just what my dry, flaky scalp needed to survive (and thrive). I apply three pumps before bed ahead of wash days, and come morning when it's time to rinse, my hair looks cleansed and refreshed.
Caviar Anti-Aging Restructuring Bond Repair Masque
I straighten my hair a lot, which, of course inevitably causes damage in the long-run (re: dead ends, split ends, and everything in between). So, I lean on this hair mask for some help. The lush formula uses caviar bond-enforcing technology to mend breakage (and it masks the fact that heat hits my hair more than it should). Plus, a dime-sized amount is all I need to get the job done and it smells like citrus heaven.
Radiant Rani Illuminating Botanical Serum
Face serum are to dry skin what retinol is to fine lines. I only recently jumped on the face serum bandwagon, in part because most of the ones I tried made my skin feel greasy (which, to me, feels just as uncomfortable as dryness). I recently incorporated this illuminating facial serum into my nighttime routine and I can do nothing but wonder what the hell I was waiting for. A blend of Ayurvedic herbs along with two grams of saffron make up this potent, lightweight serum that absorbs into my skin and never feels greasy.
Fountain of Truth
Magic Wand: Sculpting Eye Roller
My dehydrated under-eyes often result in caked-up concealer—and it sucks. This gem is like a magic wand. For me, a quick roll results in de-puffing (thanks to caffeine extract), hydrated (from the veggie-derived squalene), and smooth (because of the green tea and pomegranate extracts). Also, the metal ball applicator is a nice, cold pick-me-up on those mornings I'd rather stay in bed (re: every morning).
Hydra Biome Probiotic Superdose Face Mask
Here's a secret: I envy those with an oily t-zone. I know, I know, the grass is always greener, but hear me out. My oily friends often complain about having to powder their forehead, nose, and chin every other hour—but the inconvenience sounds like cake-free makeup heaven to me. Since I can't change my skin type, this face mask is the next best thing. It features hyaluronic acid to plump and soften, along with real Greek yogurt to soothe the red dry patches I have around the crevices of my nose. My skin drinks it up.
Nightly Lip Treatment
Dry lips have always been the bane of my existence, but it's been something I've been able to control with a general dose of lip balm. However, when winter weather strikes, I'm forced to up my hydration game. This nightly lip treatment is the perfect addition. You can apply it just to your lips, but it's really meant for your lips and the surrounding skin (laugh lines included). It's incredibly smoothing, courtesy of shea butter and sesame seed extract, and I refuse to go to sleep without it.
Rodan + Fields
Active Hydration Body Replenish
Body butters are naturally thicker in consistency, and as a result, I find I have to apply less, less often. Admittedly, this one is pricier than I hoped it would be (I try to reserve it for days I'm feeling extra dry), but it's worth every pretty penny. The formula contains glycerin (to prevent skin dehydration) and hyaluronic acid (to lock in moisture). The result: soft, nourished skin.
Elbows and Knees
It should be no surprise to you that my dry skin calls for a product specifically meant to target my elbows and knees—the parts of the body that are prone to dehydration time and time again. I find a balm works best on such stubborn areas, and this coconut offering from Kopari is my absolute favorite (and smells incredible).
Handscreen SPF 40
The germaphobe in me has me washing my hands upwards of 20 times a day—which, in turn, leaves me with dry hands. This hand cream is lightweight and never greasy (I can apply in the car and not worry about my hands slipping off the steering wheel), and boasts a nourishing, antioxidant-rich formula. What's more, it contains sun protection—so, I’m preventing wrinkles while hydrating.
Olive & June
Olive & June makes my absolute favorite cuticle pen. It has a sponge tip, so I can apply it while I'm on the go, and it makes a week-old manicure look fresh. It's made with cactus flower and lemon verbena, so it's especially good for those who often face inflammation and redness along their cuticles.
Foot Works Maximum Strength Cracked Heel Cream
There came a time a few summers ago when I decided my cracked heels weren't going to be a buzz-kill on my beach outings anymore. So, I made it my mission to find products not only treat it, but also prevent it from returning. In addition to the $9 tool I discovered on Amazon (which I use weekly), I always follow up with a foot cream. When I read the words "Maximum Strength" in its name, I knew this one by Avon was for me. It's made a repeat appearance in my routine because it packs such a powerful punch. I rub it on my feet at night and lock in the moisture by throwing on some socks (a tip I learned from Khloé Kardashian years ago). By morning, my heels are crack-free.