Why You Need a Gel Moisturizer

Trust us, your summer skin will be eternally grateful.

So you know when you moisturize your legs and then go to the bar and three 'Yoncé songs later your gams have turned into a shea butter slip 'n' slide that causes you to either: (a) attempt to shower them in the bar bathroom sink (#flawless), or (b) strategically “Single Ladies” dance your way out of the crowd to avoid any accidental slimy leg contact? Maybe? Either way, now picture that on your face. Welcome to summer moisturizing, everybody. It's a greasy, greasy world. 
 
Despite summer's increasing humidity (and the fright we’ve surely just induced), your skin still needs its daily dose of hydration. While your typical rich face moisturizers worked well during the dry winter months, come June they tend to just linger heavily on your face, mocking you and your soon-to-be melting makeup. The solution? A gel moisturizer. The water-based lotions sent from above are lightweight, refreshing and actually absorb into your skin on those inevitable hot, muggy days. But don't just take it from us; we rounded up some of the beauty biz's finest to weigh in on how, why, and the best picks to get you appropriately ready for this gel-ly. 
 

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On why gel moisturizers are EVERYTHING:

"For anyone with oily or combination skin, gel moisturizers are your everything year-round—and especially for summer. The obvious reason comes to mind: Gels offer hydration with no greasiness (because even oily skin can get parched and flaky; just think what happens after a day at the beach or post-flight). But I also find that gels make excellent multitaskers. My skin is the classical combination type (and now that I’m into my third trimester of pregnancy, I know to expect skin fluxes every day), so I like to take a mix-and-match approach to skin care and always keep a few gels in rotation. Storing them in the fridge means I can pull one out and use it as a cool de-puffing mask (lifesaver after a rocky night of sleep) or an instant sunburn soother on face, neck, shoulders, anywhere (even on husbands)."

 

On the best gels for moms-to-be:

"PSA for moms-to-be: steer clear of anything with retinol, vitamin A, salicylic acid, and beta hydroxy acid. Some newer products, like Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, have hyaluronic acid as a main ingredient (it functions like a magnet for moisture), so they even work well for dry types." 

 

On favorite products & their multipurpose uses:

"My other gel go-tos are anti-inflammatory-, antioxidant-infused rose formulas: Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Revitalizing Gel-Lotion and By Terry Hydradiance Dailycare Hydra-Comfort Aqua Balm. I’m obsessed with how they smell, feel and glide on. And I always carry Jo Malone Vitamin E Gel in my bag. It’s a balm-gel hybrid and is superb for dry patches, lips and cuticles. Plus if I need a midday glow boost, I pat a little over makeup, on cheekbones and on temples. Easy!"

 


 

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On gels compared to other moisturizers:


"Gel moisturizes are typically lighter in texture and feel really fresh on the skin. Packed with hyaluronic acid and a higher water content, most gel moisturizers are formulated sans oils so they deliver an instant boost of hydration without the weight. Where creams tend to be more cushiony, gels are airy-er. Some feel like a thicker version of a serum. Most gel moisturizers leave a dewy, fresh-faced glow." 

 

On what skin types they're best for: 


"Oily and acne prone skin types do really well with gel moisturizers because they're generally not oil-based, unlike many lotions and creams." 

 

On favorite products:


"I have two favorites: a high/low mash-up. I'm a huge fan of Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra-Gel because it's formulated with mega anti-agers like ginseng and bamboo sap. If you're looking for a drugstore find, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is a nice option. I especially love that it comes in two formulations: normal and extra dry." 

 


 

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On the benefits of gel moisturizers:

"Gel moisturizers are the perfect solution for people who don't like the tacky feel of general moisturizers, or for people with combination oily and normal skin.”

 

On how it feels:


"The texture [of gel moisturizers] is extremely lightweight and often has an evanescent cooling effect. They aren’t formulated with the oils and creams that many moisturizers contain. Instead, they might contain light humectants, such as hyaluronic acid." 

 

On what skin types they're best for: 

"These gels are best for people who want a light layer of moisturizer and protection. Summer tends to be more humid and many people prefer these very lightweight gels. Also, acne patients prefer gels that might contain alcohol, as that may help to prevent breakouts." 

 

On favorite products:  

"[My favorite gel moisturizers are] NeoCutis BioGel Bio-restorative Hydrogel, SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, and SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel." 
 

—Naomi Nachmani

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