My already dry skin is in constant need of extra moisture from the first day of winter through the last. To quench it, gel-cream moisturizers provide substantial hydration without feeling heavy on your skin, says Naissan Wesley, MD, a board-certified dermatologist.
“Gel-cream moisturizers have a fun, soothing, sometimes cooling texture that is not quite a gel and not quite a cream,” says Dr. Wesley. “Gel-creams are also lightweight and easy to layer if you need to apply extra hydration during those particularly dry months.”
As long as gel-creams don’t have any irritating additives, they can help protect your skin barrier and soothe inflamed skin. And whether you have super dry skin or oily skin, a gel-cream moisturizer could work for you.
“Any skin type can benefit from gel-cream moisturizers for protection and hydration,” says Dr. Wesley. “Gel-cream textures, as long as they do not contain ingredients that cause drying, are particularly soothing to inflamed, burning skin, like in rosacea, for sunburn, or after certain laser procedures. In combination with the right ingredients, they can also be applied to oily acne-prone skin without making it feel too oily or greasy.”
The best gel-cream moisturizers
1. Touch in Sol Pretty Filter Waterful Glow Cream, $38
This is the moisturizer that turned me on to gel-cream moisturizers. My skin feels instantly hydrated when I put it on and I look incredibly dewy (instead of greasy). It’s packed with hyaluronic acid to provide intense moisture and hydrolyzed collagen to help restore plumpness and firmness. Whenever I try another moisturizer, this one pulls me right back.
Shop now: Touch in Sol Pretty Filter Waterful Glow Cream, $38
2. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel-Cream, $15
The first time I tried the Neutrogena Hydro Boost it was in the gel formula and I returned it the next day. It just wasn’t moisturizing enough for my dry skin. The gel-cream formula looks to provide the added moisture of a cream while maintaining the lightweight texture of a gel. The star ingredient is hyaluronic acid to quench extra-dry skin.
Shop now: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel-Cream, $15
3. Summer Fridays Cloud Dew Oil-Free Gel Cream Moisturizer, $42
A recent launch from Summer Fridays lives up to its name. Cloud Dew melts into your skin the second you put it on, leaving behind silky soft texture. It contains three types of hyaluronic acid ceramides for plumping hydration.
Shop now: Summer Fridays Cloud Dew Oil-Free Gel Cream Moisturizer, $42
4. Arbonne Bio-Hydria Gel Cream, $24
Dr. Wesley, who works with Arbonne, loves this gel-cream from the line. “With sustainably sourced edulis cellular water (an ingredient derived from a succulent plant, so it attracts water) and aloe vera, this gel-cream is hydrating in a soothing lightweight formula that is also non-comedogenic,” she says. “The unique gel-cream leaves skin with a healthy glow without feeling or looking greasy or oily; it’s one of my favorites.”
Shop now: Arbonne Bio-Hydria Gel Cream, $24
5. Kinship Supermello Hydrating Gel Cream Moisturizer, $24
Supermello from Kinship is an extremely nourishing and hydrating gel-cream moisturizer. It’s made with hyaluronic acid to keeps skin hydrated, plump, and dewy; marshmallow root, a super hydrating antioxidant and anti-inflammatory; and coconut water, which contains amino acids to soften and protect the skin.
Shop now: Kinship Supermello Hydrating Gel Cream Moisturizer, $24