The All-in-One Guide to Water-Based Gel Moisturizers


There are so many different types of moisturizers out there, suitable for different types of skin. One of the best options for sensitive, oily or combination skin is a water-based moisturizer. While helping to improve the moisture of the skin, the water-based element won’t block the pores. It remains light, helping to reduce the number of bacteria that grow in the pores and the amount of acne that forms.

Gel-based moisturizing creams are popular. In fact, water-based gel moisturizers are perfect for all types of skin. Even dry skin can benefit from the extra hydration and the softness of the lotion. With water-based, you can reduce the irritation in some dry skin conditions.

But what do you need to know about the moisturizing creams? How do you use them when you have them? Here’s your all-in-one guide to water-based gel moisturizers to make the most of them.

The Power of Hyaluronic Acid

Most gel moisturizers will include hyaluronic acid. While you may be alarmed at the use of the word acid, it’s nothing to fear. In fact, it’s good for the skin and helps to regulate the natural moisture levels. It’s something that you want to see in your beauty products in a small amount. However, you don’t need many other acids and most gel moisturizers will keep the acids to a minimum.

Hyaluronic acid helps to keep the skin looking and feeling young. It rejuvenates the cells and supports the production of collagen. It can also help to repair some of the damage from UV rays (although this is definitely not a reason to skip the sunscreen!) and will help to improve the elasticity. Fine lines, wrinkles and even stretch marks can become a thing of the past.

Why Stick to Water-Based Options for Oily and Combination Skin

If you have either oily or combination skin, you want to look at water-based moisturizing creams more than anything else. The water-based options get rid of the oil, which just reacts with your natural oils and causes more problems.

While your skin needs hydration, it doesn’t need excess oils. It’s harder for your skin to absorb the absorb the extra oils, leading to your pores becoming blocked and irritated. You end up with dirt getting blocked by the oils and bacteria starts to grow. This leads to more irritation and acne on a daily basis.

Oily skin is the worst, but combination skin has its moments. But with combination skin, you also must deal with the dry patches, right? Well yes, but the natural oils in the oily patches become useful when you use the water-based options. By getting rid of extra oils, you make your skin need the extra natural oils in the dry patches, helping to soothe the irritation in the dry patches.

Can Dry Skin Benefit from Water-Based Gel Moisturizers?

There is an issue of dry skin being more irritated through the use of water-based gel moisturizers. This will depend on the type of moisturizer you buy, and we’ll go into the best options later in this article.

But what is the problem if the water-based options lock in the moisture? Surely that should be good. Well, it can be for the deeper layers, but not for the top layer of your skin. When you opt for water-based, you can find the top layer of skin dries very quickly. No residue or oils are left, which can leave the skin feeling harsh and dry still. This can cause some irritation if you have some dry skin conditions.

If you get a gel moisturizer that lasts on the top layers of the skin a little more, you can find you reverse the problems. Gel creams tend to be beneficial, as the cream remains in the top layer. You can also use an overnight cream that will take a little longer to work its way through the layers.

Not all gel moisturizers are suitable for sensitive skin, even the water-based ones. This can be due to the way the skin can be left irritated afterward. The best option for your sensitive skin is a cream that’s suitable for overnight. You’ll want something that has plenty of vitamins and antioxidants that help to repair the damage to the skin.

Add the Moisture without the Oil

The great thing about water-based gel moisturizers is that you add the moisture without adding any extra oils to the skin. All you need is a basic gel moisturizer for this benefit. Most of them will state that they are oil-free, further promoting the fact that they are perfect for skin that is acne prone and naturally oily.

The water is the key ingredient, with the gel helping to push the water through the pores and add to the lower layers of the skin. Without the oil, you will also find that the moisturizing cream dries quickly and leaves your skin feeling fresh and day-ready.

By getting rid of the oil, you lose the residue that can be left behind. There’s also the lack of heavy feeling that oils can leave behind. By reducing the oil, you don’t end up with a mixture of your natural oil production, leading to excess oils and your skin looking greasy. Your pores remain clear, helping to reduce the amount of blockage that leads to bacteria buildup. It’s this bacteria that leads to the acne forming on the face.

There is a downside to basic gel moisturizers, though. The water locks into the layers of the skin and not on the surface. This can cause some problems for those with dry skin conditions.

It is possible to get a water-based gel cream moisturizer. This is a mixture of both gel and cream that helps to leave that moist layer on the top. You get a natural shine that can help to protect against the extra dry feeling within your skin condition. The gel-cream options are perfect for those with excessively dry skin.

Brighten the Pigments in the Skin

You can get a brightening gel moisturizer that is also water-based. While this offers the same practical benefits of gel moisturizers, it also helps to brighten the skin. The type of moisturizer is best for those with either oily skin or normal skin. Due to the lack of oils and the locking within the layers of skin, it can leave some dry skin conditions irritated and feel worse.

Brightening gel moisturizing creams have light-reflecting pigments. While hydrating the skin, they make the pigments in your skin look brighter and healthier, without actually changing anything on a permanent basis. You look like your skin is more luxurious, which is excellent when you’re going out or you have a special date.

Some of the moisturizing creams are excellent for daytime use. They’re designed to keep your face looking radiant, so you don’t need to rely on as much makeup.

Tone Your Skin Daily

Alternatively, you can look into getting a water-based gel toner. While this is technically a moisturizer and works just like a basic option, it also helps to create more suppleness to the skin. The botanical ingredients will also help to soften the skin and reduce inflammation and redness.

There are no acids included in these treatments, so you apply directly with your hands. You can put the mixture directly onto the skin without worry of bleaching or damage.

Toning moisturizing gels are excellent for oily, combination and dry skin. Due to the botanicals, the creams help to reduce the redness of skin conditions and lock in the moisture throughout all layers. The only type of skin that it may not be suitable for is sensitive skin. However, this would depend on the reason for the sensitivity.

Opt for Overnight Moisturizing

When you want a night cream that is suitable for any skin type, you want to look for an overnight mask gel moisturizer. Again, it’s water-based, helping to eliminate the oils on your skin. However, it’s slightly thicker than the basic daytime moisturizing gel. It will soak in throughout the night, making sure your skin constantly remains hydrated and helping to repair the skin throughout the night.

This is one of those treatments to put on after the rest of your nighttime routine. The gel will lock all other products in, helping them continue their efforts as you sleep.

Because of the water-based, moisturizing benefits, these types of gels will work for all types of skins. The lack of oils prevents naturally oily skin from getting worse, but the locking benefits and deeper hydration will help to improve the health of the dry skin. Irritated skin is also protected, as the other products are locked in and work more effectively overnight.

Reduce the Redness with a Cooling Gel

Look out for water-based gel moisturizers that have a cooling element to them. These are perfect for sensitive and dry skin, as they help to reduce redness and inflammation. The cooling element helps to keep the skin temperature down and get rid of the heat coming from patches or damage to your skin. This cooling element can also be helpful if you suffer from sunburn, although you may want to apply with a cotton ball if the sunburn is that bad.

Cooling gels can be excellent for oily skin. Without the extra oils and because they soak in quickly, your skin is left feeling soft and moisturized. There’s no need to worry about mixing with the natural oils, while the hydration helps to tame some of the natural oil production.

You can also look at getting a calming gel instead of a cooling gel. You’ll get many of the same benefits. This can feel a little thicker during application, but you’ll still get the light feeling when the gel has fully soaked into your skin.

Using Your Water-Based Gel Moisturizers

Like any other type of moisturizing cream, you want to use a water-based gel moisturizer as part of your regular beauty or skincare routine. It’s best to use the gels twice a day, whether you use the same one for day and night or opt for something different for the two times of the day. Opting for a different option will help to get the most benefits since you make sure you have a quick-dry option for the day and one that rejuvenates the skin overnight.

Start your routine by cleansing your skin with a cleanser that is suitable for your skin type. A water-based cleanser tends to be the best for oily skin, but you may want to use a gel-based option for dry skin. Whatever you use needs to get into your pores and fully clean your skin to help get rid of the dirt and sweat from the day.

After this, you can use a toner to help improve the suppleness of the skin. This can help to reduce the fine lines and wrinkles while improving your pigmentation and brighten dark spots.

There are other products that you can use. If you’re going to sleep, you may want to use a night cream; something that helps to add more collagen to help reduce the signs of aging. Otherwise, it’s time to layer on the moisturizing cream. Use this on the patted dry skin to help improve the ability for it to soak into the skin and leave the pores unblocked.

The only thing that goes on top of your moisturizer in terms of liquids is a sunscreen. This helps to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Whether it’s summer or winter, you will need to use the sunscreen daily. The only time you don’t need it is when you’re going to bed! Now you can apply your makeup if you’re going out.

Your routine with a gel moisturizer is minimal, giving you more time for other things.

Picking Your Water-Based Gel Moisturizer

Now you know why you need a gel moisturizer, it’s time to pick one. The basic gel moisturizer is an excellent place to start. You can develop your feel for it and make sure it works for your skin. From there, you can upgrade to one that tones the skin and opts for an overnight one during your nightly routine.

Of course, if you have sensitive or dry skin, you’ll want to consider a gel-cream. This is slightly thicker without too many added oils. You’ll get the longer lasting effects on the upper layer of the skin. A cooling gel moisturizer can also be beneficial. It helps to reduce the irritation and pain of the skin, while also reducing inflammation and redness. This is also perfect for those with rosacea since it’s possible to keep the redness of the condition to a minimum.

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