H2O isn't just for rehydrating post-workout—these water-based products practically guarantee complexion perfection
You're Going to Love These Water-Based Beauty Products
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You know drinking 6-8 glasses of water keeps your body hydrated, but did you know the ingredient is just as important in keeping your skin healthy? That's why we've been seeing H2O pop up as a key element in all kinds of new beauty products. And it has benefits beyond just moisture: "It can be a great anti-inflammatory," says Elizabeth Tanzi, clinical professor of dermatology at the George Washington Medical Center. "You can calm your irritated skin if you choose products with thermal or mineral water." And since they tend to be lighter, these formulas are perfect for people with oily, sensitive, or acne-prone skin, she adds. "It helps offset heavy moisturizing ingredients that can feel too thick and clog pores." Ahead, we've uncovered our faves.
Photo: Corbis Images
Boost Your Bedtime Ritual
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Believe it or not, your body is at its most active at night, working overtime to restore and repair your skin cells. That's why you'll want to slather on the featherweight Vichy Aqua Thermale Night Spa ($28; vichyusa.com) before bed; it locks in hydration overnight so you wake up with a supple, glowy complexion. (Then check out these 10 P.M. Skincare Products That Work While You Sleep.)
Wipe Away Makeup
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There's a reason the micellar water (AKA cleanser-makeup remover hybrids) craze kicked off: These gentle liquids quickly remove dirt and oil from your skin, no rinsing required. Simple Skincare—the brand at the forefront of the trend—has streamlined the process even more, packing the same formula into easy-to-use Micellar Makeup Remover Wipes ($6; target.com).
Photo: Simple Skincare
Brighten Skin with Sake
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Think of Boscia Sake Treatment Water ($46; sephora.com) as a supercharged drink for your skin. It's infused with sake—an ingredient chock-full of feel-good vitamins and minerals—to hydrate while fading dark spots and hyperpigmentation. (Supercharge Your Beauty Products with Healthy Boosters.)
Revive Your Eyes
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Dryness around your undereye area can make you look more tired than you actually are. The quick fix: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream ($19, neutrogena.com), which contains hyaluronic acid—a super-ingredient that can hold 1,000 times its weight in water! Leave it in the fridge, then apply when your eyes need a quick de-puff.
Go On a Cleanse
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Try a Lighter Moisturizer
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If regular face creams are usually too thick for you, try Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb ($38, sephora.com). The weightless gel texture practically melts into skin, and contains lady's mantle extract to instantly soothe and reduce the appearance of pores.
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Consider Decleor Paris Aurabsolu Refreshing Mist ($42; decleorusa.com) your new on-the-go, gym bag staple. One spritz of this blend—featuring mint flower water and eight different essential oils, like rosemary and lemongrass—is like an instant refresher, lending your skin a dewy and radiant glow. (And click here for No-Spill Gym Bag Beauty Products.)
Give Your Skin Some Balance
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The perfect prep step to moisturizer: Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Nourishing Facial Water ($13; burtsbees.com), which uses water-attracting clary sage to prime your skin for following hits of hydration. Use it like a toner, dabbing the liquid onto a cotton pad and gently sweeping it over dry, cleansed skin.
Photo: Burt's Bees
Refresh Your Face
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If there were ever a beauty product as refreshing as cucumber water, it'd be Amarte Aqua Veil Pure Hydration Serum ($57; amarteskincare.com). It's jam-packed with antioxidant-rich botanicals like cooling cucumber and anti-inflammatory elderberry—all housed in one sheer, silky formula.
Clear Up Your Acne
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For sensitive types who suffer from acne flare-ups, listen up. Eau Thermale Avène Cleanance Expert ($26, aveneusa.com) uses naturally derived ingredients to effectively zap blackheads, oil, and pimple-inducing bacteria—without any irritating aftermath.