Our hot and humid weather may be the reason why we’re less likely to suffer from extremely dry skin, but it also means that heavy, oily products feel can uncomfortable on our faces. Thank goodness for gel-cream moisturisers then. These are able to retain our skin’s moisture without leaving behind that slick, greasy sensation.
In case you didn’t know, there’s a difference between our skin’s oil and water balance that makes it possible for someone with oily skin to also have dehydrated skin. This is why you still need to apply a moisturiser even if you have an oily skin type! Read more about dehydrated skin and the suitable products for this skin concern.
What are gel-cream moisturisers?
Gel-cream moisturisers usually have a water-based formula and offer a cooling effect on the skin. It typically feels lightweight, gentle, and is loved especially by those who have acne-prone and sensitive skin. If you’re looking to try some of the best gel-cream moisturisers in the market, read on as Daily Vanity recommend the ones you should consider investing in.
The best gel-cream moisturisers to try
1. Innisfree Jeju Orchid Gel Cream
Innisfree’s Jeju Orchid Gel Cream has a soothing, anti-ageing formula that impressively evens your skin tone while alleviating the appearance of wrinkles and feeling of dryness. This fragrant, lightweight gel-cream also boosts firmness through its shape-memory property that aims to restore your skin’s youthful bounce, mirroring the vitality of Jeju Island’s beautiful orchids.
Those with normal or combination skin types should look to adding this highly-raved product into your shopping list as it is infused with hyaluronic acid specially extracted from Jeju green beans as well as beta-glucan – both of which hydrate our skin to perfection. Just apply a few layers on your skin before lightly patting the area and you’re good to go!
2. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream
If you prefer your creams fragrance-free, look no further than Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream. One of the most popular gel-cream moisturisers, it is a scentless alternative that hydrates just as well. The beauty of this product lies in the fact that it was developed to work hand-in-hand with your skin’s natural lipids. This reduces excess oil and leaves your oily or combination skin feeling like a soft dream.
Generously imbued with natural, plant-based extracts like Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Antarcticine, and Cucumber Fruit Extract, its oil-free formula is uniquely designed to retain your skin’s moisture and protect against arid environments. This gel-cream’s smooth texture also allows for easy application and swift absorption, rewarding your skin with a matte and rebalanced finished.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream (50ml) retails online at Tangs for SGD52.
3. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
In case you haven’t picked up on it, hyaluronic acid is undoubtedly a champ at hydration (it’s even found naturally in your skin). This vital ingredient also happens to be in Neutrogena’s award-winning and best-selling Hydro Boost Water Gel, which many have added to their daily skincare regimens.
Together with its non-comedogenic properties (no clogged pores!), this gel cream’s alcohol-free formula helps control sebum production all day long while serving up hydration. As with all other gel creams which are purely water-based, those with oily skin don’t have to worry because this product will be absorbed into your skin the moment you apply it.
4. Glow Recipe Watermelon Pink Juice Oil-Free Moisturizer
Get a load of Glow Recipe’s fresh, fruity goodness with their Watermelon Pink Juice Moisturizer. As part of their aesthetically-pleasing Watermelon series, Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Pink Juice Oil-Free Moisturizer commits to bringing dry and rough skin back to life, granting all skin types with a renewed complexion.
Jam-packed with vitamins and amino acids extracted from their main ingredient, watermelon, this product protects against free radical damage, treating dullness while seamlessly removing any dark spots. Just like how a slice of watermelon cools you down on a hot day, the fruit extract used hydrates your skin with long-lasting moisture.
Its 100% oil-free jelly formula is also plant-powered with antioxidant abundant jasmine and peony extracts to brighten and calm your skin. Aside from being vegan and Leaping Bunny Certified cruelty-free, the aroma exuded by this product is kept to a minimum, providing you with just enough sweetness that lasts throughout the day.
Glow Recipe Watermelon Pink Juice Oil-Free Moisturizer retails online at Sephora for SGD60 (60ml) and SGD32 (25ml).
5. THE FACE SHOP Chia Seed Hydro Cream
If you were a fan of the South Korean skincare giant’s popular Chia Seed Cream, here’s an upgraded version with added vitamin B12 that vows to immediately quench your skin upon application. Vitamin B12 also nourishes your complexion, repairing any damaged or exhausted tissues that diminish your skin’s natural bounce and shine.
Suitable for all types of skin, especially those with sensitive skin, this velvety formula is also doused with chia seed extracts that are known to absorb up to 15 times its size in moisture. Talk about a skincare super seed.
THE FACE SHOP’s Chia Seed Hydro Cream retails on THE FACE SHOP Singapore for SGD43 (50ml).
6. Holika Holika Aloe Soothing Essence 80% Moist Cream
Holika Holika’s Aloe Soothing Essence 80% Moist Cream has been dubbed as a hot summer skincare essential by plenty of South Koreans. With its bouncy, water-like consistency that’s easily absorbed into the skin, the instant hydration it provides certainly proves that it’s worthy of the title. Free from mineral oil and parabens that can cause irritation, this gel-cream is suitable for all skin types.
We’re sure you know about the natural, cooling benefits of aloe vera. Besides that, it also protects against environmental aggressors like UV rays, pollution, and temperature changes. To top it off, aloe vera also boasts antibacterial properties that treat and repair damaged cells, reinforcing your skin’s natural barrier while leaving your complexion baby soft and blemish-free.
This multi-beneficial gel-cream is also richly infused with minerals such as ectonin, which reduces inflammation in acne-prone and sensitive skin types. Herbal extracts supplement your skin’s moisture-retention levels too.
Holika Holika Aloe Soothing Essence 80% Moist Cream retails at Lookfantastic for SGD46.50 (100ml).
7. BONABELLA Teatree Calming Moisturizer
One of the most underrated gel-cream moisturisers around, Bonabella’s Teatree Calming Moisturizer has certainly been making waves in the skincare industry for its soothing and hydrating properties.
Curious about its highly praised formula? For starters, it contains triple hyaluronic acid for added hydration and it’s certified hypoallergenic, which means it won’t irritate the skin. There’s also antibacterial tea tree leaf extract, which is blended with Houttuynia Cordata extract to create a powerful, skin-clearing mixture that soothes tired skin while providing an intense moisturising effect.
Aside from the relaxing fragrance of the formula, the cream also comes with a mini spatula to ensure optimal hygiene and fuss-free application.
8. ATOPALM Real Barrier Aqua Soothing Gel Cream
Stock up on your summer skincare must-haves with Atopalm’s clinically-tested Real Barrier Aqua Soothing Gel Cream. Developed by rising South Korean skincare brand, Atopalm, this gel-cream will solve all your heat flushes, breakouts, excess oil, and premature ageing woes with a single application. Labelled as the perfect rescue for overheated skin, you can rely on this gel-cream for some after-sun care.
This all-in-one hydrator contains five different forms of hyaluronic acids measured at optimal amounts to bring every layer of your skin the best hydration possible. Aside from this combo, the formula is also infused with special ingredients like centella asiatica and panthenol, which calm irritated tissues. Madecassoside adds moisture while allantoin soothes the skin.
The cherry on top is definitely the dual ceramides, which support the strength of your skin’s hydration barrier, effectively sealing in moisture for prolonged periods of time without leaving any greasy residue.
ATOPALM’s Real Barrier Aqua Soothing Gel Cream retails at YesStyle for SGD55.72 (50ml).
9. Bioderma Hydrabio Gel-Crème
If the usual gel-cream jars are too bulky for your liking, we’ve got good news. Bioderma’s Hydrabio Gel-Creme comes in a dainty, portable tube packaging, making moisturising less of a hassle. Marketed as safe for use for normal to combination skin types as well as dehydrated skin, this gel-cream not only serves as a convenient hydrator but it also works as a great makeup base.
Tinged with a light fragrance, this gel-cream was birthed in ecobiological laboratories using the patented complex Aquagenium™ for more targeted skin penetration. By stimulating aquaporin (little water channels) production, it actively primes your skin’s natural hydrating system and increases its retention capacities.
The added salicylic acid takes care of dead skin cells and rebalances its surface, while vitamin E protects your skin against oxidative stress and age-accelerating aggressors, bringing out the best in your complexion.
10. Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator
Clinique houses a slew of dermatologist-recommended skincare products, so it’s no surprise that their gel-creams are highly sought after as well. Right off the bat, this luxurious essential is suitable for all skin types and can be used as a 5-minute face mask or applied liberally under or over makeup whenever your skin needs a pick-me-up.
This versatile gel cream leverages on its innovative Auto-Replenishing Technology, which is infused with caffeine to aid in the creation of your skin’s own internal water source. This means your skin will learn to regularly rehydrate itself up to 72 hours! Sounds too good to be true? Well, its non-greasy formula has been tested and proven to withstand even facial cleansing, so you’ll probably enjoy twice as much hydration at your day’s end than you’ve ever had before.
Hyaluronic acid’s plumping power, as well as activated aloe water’s refreshing touch, seals in moisture to awaken that dewy glow. The absence of harsh irritants like denatured alcohol also ensures long-term protection from dryness, so be sure to give this multi-tasking hydrator a go. Your skin will thank you for it.
Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator retails online at Sephora for SGD19 (15ml), SGD47 (30ml), and SGD77 (50ml)
11. LANEIGE Water Bank Moisture Cream EX
Skincare experts at Laneige have done the research. The result? A carefully crafted moisturiser built to last around the clock. The Water Bank Moisture Cream utilises the brand’s reputable Moisture Biogene technology to fortify your skin’s natural moisture reserves, replenishing any water loss throughout your day.
Free of parabens, this gel-cream is loaded with olive squalane extracts and hyaluronic acid. Squalane oil, being lightweight and non-comedogenic, has been proven to be a great hydrator that is even safe for acne-prone and oily skin. These powerful ingredients nourish your skin while strengthening its defences against stress and harsh environments.
LANEIGE Water Bank Moisture Cream EX retails online at Sephora for SGD52 (50ml).
12. L’Occitane Aqua Reotier Ultra Thirst-Quenching Gel Moisturizer
Harnessed from the natural water springs of the Provence mountains, luxurious Réotier water is paired with hyaluronic acid in this refreshing gel-cream. Recommended for those with normal to combination skin types who desire a healthy glow, L’Occitane’s take on gel-cream moisturisers definitely lives up to its name of being a thirst-quencher (for your skin of course).
Its non-oily, organic formula contains micro-bubbles that are automatically released after application, rejuvenating your skin’s surface and restoring its natural firmness. French Réotier water is also filled with copious amounts of minerals and calcium, which strengthen your skin’s hydration barriers to keep you moisturised for hours on end.
L’Occitane’s Aqua Reotier Ultra Thirst-Quenching Gel Moisturizer online at L’Occitane Singapore for SGD55 (50ml).
13. Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel
Murad’s Nutrient-Charged Water Gel boasts an airy formula that evens your skin tone and increases moisture retention for up to five days. This clinically-tested product is suitable for all skin types as well, so don’t hesitate to add it on your shelf.
Get rid of dry patches as well as pesky fine lines and wrinkles with this product’s immaculate blend of minerals, vitamins and peptides. We know that various aggressors such as emotional stress, fatigue, dehydration, and pollution all contribute towards tearing down your skin’s natural barrier, which results in undesirable tightness, redness or dryness.
Fortunately, all these can be warded off with this superior combination of nutrients which also support the rebuilding of your skin’s barrier, locking in moisture in under 30 minutes. Expertly formulated without gluten and animal-derived ingredients, you can provide your complexion with some much-needed rejuvenation with this unmatched skincare gem.
Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel (50ml) retails online at Lookfantastic for SGD90.
14. Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream
Cult-favourite skincare brand, Fresh, has come up with a hydrating gel-cream that has won the hearts of many skincare enthusiasts. Normal, combination, dry, and sensitive skin types are welcomed to try out this soft gel-cream, which is lushly infused with moisture-attracting hyaluronic acids and time-release hydro-patches that form a protective layer.
Further supplemented with organic essences like angelica leaf extracts, rosewater, rose flower oil, and vitamin E, this hydrator is sure to make your skincare holy grail list as it diminishes dullness and uneven texture. Feel free to apply this liberally too, as its lightweight texture is buildable and does not leave any greasy trace in humid weather.
Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream retails online at Sephora for SGD70 (50ml).
Suitable for normal, combination, and oily skin types, Clarins’ Hydra-Essential Cooling Gel is fitted with clarifying ingredients such as organic leaf of life extract. It boosts your skin’s natural hyaluronic acid production and hydration capacity, leaving you with a matte, shine-free radiance.
Be the source of gel-lousy and envy with this gel-cream’s top-of-the-line recipe that’s certified to keep your skin perfectly hydrated and protected from pollutants no matter the circumstances.
Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Cooling Gel retails online at Clarins Singapore for SGD82 (50ml) and at all Clarins counters
16. Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer
Probiotics aren’t strictly for yoghurts! They’re awesome skincare fighters too. Bioassance’s Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer is a weightless, 100% plant-powered hydrator that leverages on probiotic technology to restore your skin’s health and luminescence.
Their probiotic formula reverses the dreadful effects of daytime stressors, rebalancing your complexion and even solving hyperpigmentation issues. Additionally, squalane ups moisture retention while preventing and relieving skin irritation. According to research, the other golden benefits of said ingredient is that it contains age-rewinding and detoxifying properties. With regular use, it also boosts collagen production.
Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer retails online at Sephora for SGD76 (50ml).
17. Tatcha The Water Cream
Known for its excellent oil-balancing abilities, Tatcha’s highly-raved Water Cream provides endless hydration for all skin types, especially those with oily skin. It’s also dermatologist-tested, non-comedogenic, and cruelty-free, which are all pluses!
The star of its water-burst formula is the Japanese wild rose, a crucial ingredient in traditional eastern medicine, which not only noticeably minimises the appearance of pores, but also delivers a pleasant floral scent while leaving skin feeling smooth and soft to the touch. Another key ingredient is the Japanese leopard lily, which promotes natural skin turnover and revitalises any dull spots.
This product is also thoughtfully infused with Hadasei-3, an age-rewinding combination of Japanese superfoods like green tea, rice, and algae, to bring back your skin’s active bounce. Not to mention, the subtle sprinkling of 23-karat gold dust in the gel totally brings that healthy radiance up a notch. Simply apply a pearl-sized dosage onto your face, neck and décolletage in light, upward strokes.
Tatcha The Water Cream retails at Sephora for SGD101 (50ml).
18. Tata Harper Hyaluronic Gel Moisturizer
Hand-picked and formulated straight from their local farms in Vermont, Tata Harper’s products are the perfect balance of green and purifying skincare. Their gentle Hyaluronic Gel Moisturizer’s ultra-lightweight formula is fit for daily use and works best on oily and uneven skin types.
Manufactured with Gel Water Technology, its organic formula is enriched with chia seed water, marsh samphire, and tremella mushroom, which work to provide and retain moisture while you’re on the go. Complete with an endless source of powerful antioxidants, this air-soft hydrator vows to combat age-accelerating free radicals while evening out your skin tone.
Tata Harper Hyaluronic Gel Moisturizer retails online at Sephora for SGD157 (50ml).
19. Estee Lauder DayWear Matte Oil-Control Anti-Oxidant Moisture Gel Creme
With Estee Lauder’s widely endorsed take on gel creams, we’re saying goodbye to shine and hello to matte. Give yourself a confidence boost with this summer sine qua non, ideal for oily skin types. By the way, it’s dermatologist-certified too!
You can toss aside your oil blotters with this one because its lightweight formula ensures all-day oil control and shine reduction. Moreover, it claims to alleviate the appearance of pores and has anti-ageing properties. When applying this product, be careful to avoid your eye area and leave it to the last step of your skincare routine.
Estee Lauder DayWear Matte Oil-Control Anti-Oxidant Moisture Gel Creme retails online at Zalora for SGD79 (50ml).
20. Shiseido Essential Energy Moisturizing Gel Cream
Have you noticed that your regular products and treatments aren’t as effective as before? Or are you concerned about early signs of ageing and dullness? If you nodded to either or both of these questions, don’t worry. The experts at Shiseido have got your back. Unlike other products which mainly focus on ingredients, Shiseido has concocted a science-y product aimed at reprogramming our skin’s neurosensory system instead, essentially making it as good as new.
Featuring ReNeura Technology, which optimises your skin’s responses to skincare enhancers, this dewy gel-cream is quickly absorbed into your skin cells, granting you hydration as it counters any subtle or severe signs of ageing. Did we mention that it is dermatologist-tested and non-comedogenic as well?
If that doesn’t tempt you, then maybe its uplifting floral fragrance or pretty packaging will. It comes in 64 unique shapes and different graphic designs! After all, it’s only proper that we end of this list on a high note with such a tactile and visually appealing gel-cream.
Shiseido Essential Energy Moisturizing Gel Cream retails online at Sephora for SGD80 (50ml) and at all department store counters.