10 of the Best Gel Moisturizers for Oily Skin
Why You Should Try a Gel Moisturizer
Gels are no longer just for your hair. Skin-care gels, namely gel moisturizers, continue to grow in popularity—and for good reason. Unlike traditional moisturizers, gels are water-based. They contain none, or few of, the heavy oils that make creams, well, creamy, explains Mona Gohara, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. That means the moisture they deliver isn't as intense or rich, though, make no mistake, they're still hydrating; many rely on ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin to pull water to and lock it in the skin. (Related: The Beauty Junkie's Guide to Using a Ton of Skin-Care Products Without Ruining Your Skin)
You might think of gel moisturizers as a go-to choice in the summer or for those with oily skin, but truth be told, they work for just about every skin type and for year-round moisture. Consider making a gel formula a part of your a.m. routine. "They're wonderful to use in the morning because they're light and absorb easily," says Dr. Gohara, making them the perfect skin-care product to apply pre-workout or to prep your skin pre-makeup. Check out 10 of the best gel moisturizers to buy now.
MAKE Succulent Gel
True to its name, this non-sticky moisturizer contains cactus extracts; rich in antioxidants, cactus also has anti-inflammatory effects. Couple that with other soothing ingredients such as chamomile and calendula, and you've got yourself a choice product for both hydration and to calm an irritated or sensitive complexion.
Dr. Jart Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel
This pulls double duty, helping your skin absorb more water while also preventing it from evaporating. It also contains a complex of skin-loving minerals (sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium), which help improve water absorption and keep water flowing in between cells. The bottom line: It's super hydrating, but still totally featherlight.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
Hyaluronic acid is the star here; the ingredient can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water, so think of it as a sponge for your dry skin cells. This formula absorbs lightening fast and leaves your complexion feeling super smooth and soft. Oh, and a version of this fan favorite is now available for body, too.
Dermadoctor Lucky Bamboo Jukyeom 9x Water Gel
You probably have never heard of Jukyeom 9x (we certainly hadn't), but it's actually a traditional Korean skincare remedy that's been used for centuries; the roasted bamboo salt crystals were created by monks almost 1000 years ago. But they've always been used as an ingestible...until now. Rich in electrolytes and minerals, they deliver light hydration in this K-beauty inspired newbie.
Dermalogica Calm Water Gel
As anyone with sensitive skin will tell you, redness, irritation, and dehydration are common complaints. Happily, this gel addresses all three of those issues. With a special kind of hyaluronic acid technology that works on multiple different layers of the skin, it increases hydration by an impressive 109.4 percent right away. Still, because it turns into a more of a fluid as soon as it hits your skin, you'll barely even feel it.
MUN Aman Protect + Revive Moisturizer
If you find standard gel moisturizers not quite hydrating enough for you, try this hybrid gel-cream. It does contain a few oils, namely antioxidant-rich prickly pear seed oil (which is sustainably sourced from a Moroccan women's co-op). Still, it has the lightweight feel of gel, making it a great option in between seasons, too.
MyChelle Dermaceuticals Bio-Firm Hydrogel Concentrate
Not only does this contain two percent hyaluronic acid to help hydrate and plump skin (and minimize the look of fine lines in the process), it also touts plant stem cells and a unique flower bulb extract for an added anti-aging boost. Sign us up.
Laneige Water Bank Hydrating Gel
The extra-cooling feel makes it ideal for hot days from May through September (though you can definitely use it year-round). Hydro-ionized mineral water—a.k.a. H2O with moisture-maximizing minerals that can penetrate into the skin—helps to replenish and trap moisture.
Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream for Dry Skin
Locked in moisture for 24 hours? Check. Antioxidant protection from sun and pollution? Check. A delightfully featherweight texture? Check. Oh, and let's not forget to mention that it's the most affordable one in our round-up.
Murad Nutrient-Rich Water Gel
Five vitamins, five minerals, and five different peptides work together to strengthen the skin's barrier. Translation: less water loss. Plus, this oil-free hydrator also features a special hydration-release technology, to boost moisture retention not only as soon as you apply it, but for up to five days afterwards, too.