Best Water Based Moisturizers In 2020
Does oily, weighted-down skin feel synonymous with a good daily moisturizer? Good moisturization is an essential part of your skin routine, but for those with combination or acne-prone skin, it’s tough to find a product that leaves skin nourished and supple without feeling like you’re wearing a face full of cream.
Enter the new crop of water-based moisturizers! These new, light-weight formulas are wonder creams (or, more likely, gels) for any girl tired of looking more shiny than dewy.
What are Water Based Moisturizers?
A water based moisturizer is a cream or gel that uses water instead of the traditional oils found in moisturizers. Moisturizers with a water base are ideal for skin types that are prone to oiliness or oily patches because they sit on the skin lightly and often include oil-fighting substances that keep skin from producing excess oil.
Therefore, instead of adding oil to an already oily complexion, these products add the hydration skin needs to look plump and healthy while reducing the production of oil that makes skin look greasy.
Do I Need a Moisturizer if I Have Oily Skin?
Many women who are prone to oily skin simply skip moisturizing because, well, why put cream on top of oil? However, the idea that moisturizers can only benefit dry skin is a common misconception even amongst beauty gurus.
Moisturizers don’t just work to hydrate parched skin; they also smooth the texture of skin to reduce the appearance of imperfections and prepare the skin with an even base upon which to apply make-up.
If you’re using additional skin care steps, such as a vitamin serum or anti-aging products, a moisturizer creates an even consistency across skin for the product to absorb into.
It can also increase other beauty products ability to sink into skin and therefore enhances their effectiveness. In short, a good moisturizer can act as a “boost” for other products, which will in turn increase your skin’s overall appearance.
Even if you aren’t planning on using any additional products on top of moisturizer, a hydrating skin will enhance the appearance of skin texture and help it to appear more supple and smooth.
Oily and combination skin can suffer from dull patches that can’t be treated with oil-reducing products alone (which might, in fact, make dead skin look even worse), a moisturizer can be helpful in reducing an uneven texture that appears as unhealthy skin.
Finally, many water based moisturizers are non-comedogenic, which means that they won’t clog pores. Finding a water based moisturizer that also includes oil fighting properties can go a long way towards reducing the appearance of large pores.
How Do I Wear a Water Based Moisturizer?
Water based moisturizers are one of the simplest products to incorporate into your skin care routine. After using the cleanser of your choice and a toner, smooth you water based moisturizer over skin in an even layer—and, remember, don’t forget to apply a layer to your neck.
Often over-looked, the skin on your neck is thinner and dryer than the skin on your face, so even if you are prone to oiliness, this area most likely needs a bit more moisture than your face. Making sure to apply a water based moisturizer to the neck will prevent aging in the area where the skin is most prone to it.
What Changes You’ll Notice After Using a Water Based Moisturizer
The biggest change those prone to oily skin will notice is that you feel the need to wash your face less. This is because the pore is clearing properties in a water-based moisturizer that “sop up” excess oil will leave your skin feeling lighter and help your make up to stay put instead of migrating along with oil.
Reducing the number of times you wash your face has a positive cyclical effect on oily skin. This is because every time you wash your face, skin gets dried out and is prompted to produce more oil.
So, if you feel the need to wash your skin less, ultimately your skin will begin to produce less oil in an attempt to replace the natural oils that cleansers have stripped.
How Do I Choose a Water Based Moisturizer?
One of the advantages of adding a moisturizer to your routine is the additional benefits many moisturizers include, such as anti-aging antioxidants or vitamins.
This is especially useful for those with oily skin who don’t want to add yet another layer to their routine that can make skin feel heavy. It’s also ideal for those of us who are simply in a hurry and like a good multi-tasker!
Some different properties to consider when choosing a water-based moisturizer to make sure you have the product that’s working the best for your individual skin include:
How long do you want to moisturize for?
Many water-based moisturizers work for a specific period—some last for 6 hours while the benefits of others can stretch out for an entire 48 hours. Depending on when you next plan to use the product and how long you’d like it to last, you should consider the product’s duration.
Are you looking for additional protection from the environment?
If you spend a lot of time outside or live in a city, look for a product that is rich in antioxidants and includes an SPF.
Are you looking for a product to prevent aging?
Wrinkles plus oily skin are an especially difficult problem, but a water based moisturizer infused with age fighters is a good option.
Are you looking to brighten skin or even its texture?
Look for a product that incorporates added vitamins such as E or C to smooth and brighten skin. Also, consider a water-based moisturizer with a skin refining ingredient such as glycolic acid.
Side Effects of Water Based Moisturizers
Those with sensitive skin may find a water based moisturizer irritating, especially if applied to cracked or dry skin. To reduce the likelihood that your moisturizer causes irritation, make sure to check the label for additional dyes, perfumes or alcohol.
We love the variety of water-based moisturizers on the market today. As you can see from our round-up, there are amazing options for those looking to protect skin from the environment, prevent aging, go plant-based or simply reduce an oily appearance.
Our favorite moisturizer in the group has to be Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel because its affordable price point delivers the feather light moisture of high-end products while also delivering a huge dose of moisture to parched skin.
The combination of olive extract and purified hyaluronic acid do an excellent job of both producing more moisture and holding in the moisture skin already has. We also love that it can be combined with other products in the same line to increase hydration around eyes or to boost moisture before bed.
This product, previously available only in Asia, is so light it’s easy to layer under sunscreen and foundation without looking thick or greasy.
Additionally, the gel-based formula dries quickly, so no is standing around and fanning your face before applying make-up—plus, the gel formula is fun to use!
For an additional spa-like experience, try popping this light blue gel in the fridge for a few minutes before applying. It will additionally de-puff skin and create a pleasant cooling sensation.