There’s just nothing like sweet summer. But with this wonderful season comes not-so-wonderful hot, muggy weather, and it might just be too hard for our pretty little pores to slather on a thick, creamy moisturizer! It’s a bad idea (seriously, don’t do that), but adding a decent moisturizer gel into our summer skin care routine is the best way to hydrate without making our faces look like an oil slick. Each of these formulations of lightweight gel promises to leave your skin clean, hydrated and sparkling without any sticky residue or film. You may also use some of them for a dewy, illuminated feel, over or under the makeup. So maybe warm, thick moisturizers aren’t the thing for your skin or maybe you’re only in the mood for a lighter formula due to the beautiful heat and humidity of summer. Regardless, with the range of top-rated choices that we have for you, you are sure to find one that fits the needs of your skin.
Here are the best water-gel moisturizers that will hydrate the skin to the fullest and lie comfortably.
Origins GinZing Oil-Free Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer
Origins’ GinZing Oil-Free Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer deeply hydrates the complexion thanks to ingredients such as glycerin and niacinamide which are both extremely soothing to the skin. This also contains — you know this — ginseng, which squeezes energy into the skin to keep it moist and plump.
Laneige Water Bank Hydro Gel
Like a breath of fresh, cold air on the face, Laneige’s Water Bank Hydro Gel is that, and it’s so lightweight that it feels like nothing. Infused with extracts of nourishing kale, watercress, and beet, it hydrates the skin profoundly, making it healthier, cleaner, and more relaxed after one usage only.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Youthquake Hydra-full Retexturizing Gel Crème Moisturizer
The Youthquake Hydra-full Retexturizing Gel Crème Moisturizer by Marc Jacobs goes town on dry, dehydrated skin but never feels the slightest bit greasy or hard. Formulated with exfoliating pineapple enzymes and hydrated sodium hyaluronate, it removes bumpy texture, boosts moisture and leaves behind a subtle but visible glow that lasts for hours — no highlighter needed.
Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Cooling Gel
When you scoop it out of the bottle, Clarins’ Hydra-Essentiel Cooling Gel looks just like a sorbet, but slides over the skin like a bouncy, watery gel. It absorbs immediately, without any sticky residue, leaving skin smooth and moisturised.
Dermalogica Calm Water Gel
Calm Water Gel dermalogica has a satin texture that takes a few minutes of massaging to melt fully into the skin. Upon application it feels cool — calming irritated spots — and leaves the skin heavily moisturised. Owing to its wealth (it’s a little thicker than your regular gel), it may be better to use this one before bed.
Biossance Squalane and Probiotic Gel Moisturizer
The Squalane and Probiotic Gel Moisturizer from Biossance blends right in with your skin routine at night. Before bed, our tester massaged the silky formula into her face, and woke up with plumped, moisturized skin and refreshed teint. If you want to use it in the Morning, that’s perfectly perfect, it doesn’t leave any greasy residue, so it lies comfortably under your makeup.
Dr. Brandt Hydro Biotic Recovery Sleeping Mask
Though it looks like a green jelly in the bottle, like a potion, Dr. Brandt’s Hydro Biotic Recovery Sleeping Mask sweeps over your nose. This moisturizer saved her skin for our tester, who was breaking out, taking down inflammation and redness while leaving it bouncy and moisturizing.