Look for butters, but also look for key hydrating ingredients:
Humectants: According to King, humectants are “low molecular weight substances that bind water into the stratum corneum. They need to be used along with the other components in order to retain the water content.” Look for hyaluronic acid and glycerin.
Emollients: Emollients help repair the skin barrier and improve skin’s overall texture and appearance, according to King. Look for cholesterol, squalene, fatty acids, fatty alcohols, and ceramides.
Occlusives: “Occlusives are oils and waxes which form an inert layer on the skin and physically block transepidermal water loss,” says King. Look for petrolatum, beeswax, mineral oil, silicones, lanolin, and zinc oxide.