shop gel and oil-based moisturizers for summer

Why You Need to Switch Up Your Moisturizer Before Summer Starts

Celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau gives us the hydration 411.

By: Valeriya Chupinina

You can feel it in the air—temperatures rising, breezy tops replacing long coats, and the reintroduction of frosé at every bar you visit. Summer’s here, ready for you to enjoy. Unfortunately, this seasonal change is often accompanied by an increase in oil production and plenty of sweat, resulting in an unwelcome layer of grease. As opposed to winter, when you were attempting to pack your skin with ultra-moisturizing creams, the summer skin-care routine is all about keeping things lightweight. Switching to a gel or oil-based moisturizer is the move, and to get the 411 on why, we called up celebrity aesthetician Renée Rouleau. Check out her advice for revamping your skin-care routine below.

Why should you switch out your moisturizer in the summer?

“During the summer humidity levels are high, which means moisture is being retained in the skin, and osmosis (moisture being drawn out of the skin into the air) is not occurring like it does during the dry winter months. Therefore, the skin doesn’t require as much topical intervention from a moisturizer to retain the moisture in the top layers of the skin. If a heavier moisturizer is used, then it’s more likely to feel like it’s ‘sitting’ on the skin because the skin doesn’t need as many emollients.”

What are the skin-care benefits of a gel versus an oil-based moisturizer?

“A gel will be water-based, so it will be better for skin types that require water versus oil. All skin types need water, but dry skin types require moisturizers with oil. Ultimately, you’ll want to choose the right type of moisturizer for your skin type.

“Moisturizers are comprised of emollients and hydrators, or humectants. Emollients keep moisture in the skin, and hydrators attract water to the skin. All moisturizers contain a mixture of both, but the percentage of each can vary. If you have oily or combination skin, you probably make enough of your own oil, a natural emollient. This means you should opt for a lighter lotion, like my Sheer Moisture Lotion that contains more humectants and fewer emollients. If you don’t produce oil, then you need a richer cream, such as my Glow Enhancing Creme with more emollients. These will act as a seal and protect the skin from water loss.”




Youth to the People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream, $48

Don’t be mistaken; this moisturizer might label itself as a cream, but it’s more of a gel-cream hybrid. It’s super lightweight, chock-full of antioxidants, and there’s a good dose of spinach (yes, spinach) to keep you protected against sun damage.

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel, $39

If a soothing, cooling way to moisturize your skin this summer is what you had in mind, then Dr. Jart has your back. The aqua minerals in this gel help direct water flow into your skin, showing visible firmness and plumpness from day one.

Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer, $52

A probiotic gel that’ll reduce oiliness and keep skin healthy through the summer months? Sign us up.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, $28

Clinique’s team of dermatologists have revamped and perfected their classic moisturizer for oily skin. The refreshing, oil-free formula combines all-day hydration with skin-strengthening ingredients so skin looks younger longer and feels fresh and comfortable.

Laneige Water Bank Hydrating Gel, $35

Lock in moisture without the excess oil production. Six hydrating ionized minerals—zinc, potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, and manganese—pack in hydration and leave you looking like a dewy summer goddess.

Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer, $30

Panax ginseng and coffee bean extract wake up skin and leave dullness behind. Smooth, hydrating, and refreshed skin is beckoning.

Tata Harper Hyaluronic Gel Moisturizer, $116

This natural, antioxidant-rich moisturizer has over 14 plumping ingredients to keep your skin soft and hydrated. Think baby-smooth skin all summer long.



NOTO Deep Serum, $50

A lightweight, restorative serum that doubles as a moisturizer. Use it during the morning and evening to benefit from its multitude of vitamins and hero ingredients including rosehip, grapefruit, green coffee, and wild carrot oil.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Deep Moisture Balm, $30

This moisturizing facial balm helps build skin’s barrier function for extra protection against environmental stressors and adds radiance. The creamy texture is soft, smooth, and ultra-hydrating.

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Antioxidant Face Oil, $72

Made with 100 percent virgin marula oil, this product helps reverse the signs of aging and hydrates deeply after sinking into your skin.

Elemis Superfood Facial Oil, $55

Added broccoli, radish, and flaxseed make this a one-of-a-kind facial oil that’s also lightweight, non-greasy, and absorbs easily.

SK-II Facial Treatment Oil, $150

This oil-based moisturizer gives skin intense hydration, but without the greasy feel we all hate. SK-II’s added signature pitera ingredient is a must-have for less visible wrinkles, a brighter glow, and smoother texture.

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, $44

Pai’s hero product is sold out 75 percent of the time, and for good reason. Omegas 3, 6, 7, and 9 and antioxidants heal and protect skin against pollution and environmental stressors. Rosehip is also one of the most luxurious and hydrating oils you can find.

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