As it cools down again, the facial cream becomes a skin care product, an insulating layer that hydrates and prevents breakouts. Just apply it and you’ll look better, says Ranella Hirsch, a Boston dermatologist, about the instant smoothing and delicious effects of the rich cream. Yet the prospect of spraying a robust formula often reminds us of the cold creams our grandmothers had on their bedside tables – thick lips filled with mineral oil. This product, as Dr. Hirsch said, was skin-repellent and treated only one skin type: super-dry skin.

SHARE YOUR IDEAS

Which moisturizing cream for the winter do you prefer? Take part in the discussion below.

Today, says Dr. Hirsch, we have a better understanding of the moisture barrier – the skin’s protective outer layer – and how to keep it supple with more refined ingredients for each skin type. Now you can find products that label everything from weightless hyaluronic acid to non-greasy shea butter. But how can you find among lotions, balms and gels the one that is ultra-moist, but whose texture can be worn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? My decision was to test a Bunch-50 to be exact. I have combination skin (dry cheeks, oily nose) and I am a runner, so my face is often hit by wind and snow, which can cause it to rub. I think the strong smell is the most important trick (although I appreciate the subtle botanical aromas). During my tests I followed Dr. Hirsch’s advice to apply the creams correctly (many of her patients don’t do that, she says): To retain moisture, she says, it should be applied to damp skin, ideally within a minute after washing your face. (Also handy: take the humidity out of the humidifier and avoid long hot showers – I’m working on it).

Here are eight rich but easily digestible creams that have exceeded my expectations and will help you through the depths of winter.

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F. Martin Ramin/Wall Street Journal

Best general ointment for cheap skates

Vanicrem Moisturizing ointment

Once you have tried this intensely healing ointment, which is excellent for face and body, you will never go back to the sticky alternatives. It absorbs incredibly easily in dry areas without leaving a greasy feeling. Starting at $8, vanicream.com.

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F. Martin Ramin/Wall Street Journal

Best for sun worshippers

Drunken Elephant Umbra Shire Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

If your day cream contains an SPF, you don’t have to think about it – but you can spend a lot of brain energy looking for minerals that work without leaving a lime residue. This miracle of zinc is infused with marula and raspberry oil, so it subtly absorbs.$34, drunkelephant.com.

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F. Martin Ramin/Wall Street Journal

Best for lighters

Goopgenes All-in-one Nourishing Facial Cream

It is a 10-step antiviral routine performed in a single touch. Ceramides, squalene and herbs (lime caviar, chisandra fruit and illipsis oil) help to firm, soften and lighten the skin, while the lightly gelled texture leaves a pinkish, non-greasy finish. $95, goop.com.

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F. Martin Ramin/Wall Street Journal

Best for sensitive types

Dr. Rogers Repair cream

Most mild creams work to soften and heal. This dermatological product has an elegant, soufflé-like texture and is ideal for softening the skin without causing breakage. The fragrance-free formula, rich in vitamin B3, has a pH of 5.36 (similar to that of the skin) and can also be used as an eye cream. $72, doctorrogers.com.

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F. Martin Ramin/Wall Street Journal

Best for Sport

Josh Rosbrook Vital Balm Cream

When you are skiing or doing other intensive outdoor activities, you need a protective layer that does not trap sweat. This healing balm with a mysterious blue infusion is very pure, so that the skin underneath can breathe. If you rub it between your fingers, it softens into an easy-to-absorb cream and has a herbaceous scent. Focus on the main areas most exposed to the wind: the top of your cheeks, nose and chin. 45, joshrosebrook.com

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F. Martin Ramin/Wall Street Journal

The best for all lovers of natural products

Cloudy red flower cream, regenerating facial humidifier

It’s expensive, but it’s filled with rose hips, mayonnaise mushrooms and wild blackberries, all cold-pressed and steam-distilled to maintain their strength. Click it and your skin will be smooth and supple. $138, redflower.com.

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F. Martin Ramin/Wall Street Journal

Best for shy cream

La Roche Posay Tolerian Double Repair Facial Moisturiser

If you find too much cream, but not enough fine lotion, this oil-free hybrid can find the right balance: It’s perfect for make-up and, according to my husband, for shaving (he borrowed it and never returned it). 20 bucks, Laroche Posey. We are.

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F. Martin Ramin/Wall Street Journal

Better for sleeping

Triple Lipid Dermatosefacial Rehabilitation 2:4:2

Dr. Hirsch is not one to push anything, but even she thinks this high-tech cream works like magic. Their patented blend of ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids mimics the ratio that they believe exists naturally in the skin’s moisture barrier. Apply in the evening when the body recovers naturally. $128, skinceuticals.com.

The Wall Street Journal is not paid for by retailers who appear in its articles as selling merchandise. The shops mentioned are often not the only ones.

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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