9 Best Water Based Gel Moisturizers 2023

SKIN CARE REVIEWS

01.12.21DISCLAIMER
Best bet. The Carrot & Stick skincare bundle worth up to $240 for $88. Details below

No matter the skin type, condition, or concern, moisturizing is an essential step in every skin care routine. Best when applied to clean skin, moisturizers work to nourish and hydrate the skin which plays a huge role in its appearance and health. While some people can incorporate moisture easily into their routine, for others, skin conditions, weather conditions, or particularly tricky skin types can make finding the best moisturizer a struggle. A great medium for those having difficulty finding a moisturizer that hydrates without weighing the skin down, clogging pores, or causing too much stress is a gel moisturizer. These water-based moisturizers are loved for their ability to provide all the benefits of a moisturizer with the properties you love in a gel.

The best gel moisturizers are known for their watery textures and ability to absorb quickly into the skin. They are versatile enough to work well across skin types and although they may feel lightweight, they have the uncanny ability to seriously hydrate the skin. These water-based formulas help to carry the active ingredients inside gel moisturizers deep into the skin providing hydration and nourishment with ease. Here are the 11 best gel moisturizers for every skin type.

Best Water Based Get Moisturizers – The List

BEST OVERALL

Best Overall – Carrot & Stick The Water Gel Moisturizer

Best bet. The Carrot & Stick skincare bundle worth up to $240 for $88. Select 3 products, including our favorite Carrot & Stick The Water Gel Moisturizer. Use code DERM20 for 20% off. Offer applies to first shipment.

Best Gel Moisturizer for Dry Skin – Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream

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Best Gel Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin – Dermalogica Calm Water Gel

Best Gel Moisturizer for Anti-Aging – Dior Multi Perfection Cream

Best Gel Moisturizer for Normal Skin – Clinique Moisture Surge

Best Gel Moisturizer for Makeup Primer – Bobbi Brown Hydrating Gel Cream

Best Gel Moisturizer Luxury – La Mer the Moisturizing Cool Gel Cream

Best Gel Moisturizer for Daily Use – Amorepacific Moisture Bound

Best Gel Moisturizer for Calming Skin – Lancome Hydra Zen Anti-Stress Gel

Best Water Based Get Moisturizers – Our 12 Picks

BEST OVERALL

Best Overall – Carrot & Stick The Water Gel Moisturizer

This lightweight antioxidant formula is a hydrating powerhouse that leaves skin feeling remarkably smooth and radiant. Overflowing with potent plant proteins, vitamins, peptides, and amino-collagen. 

Best Gel Moisturizer for Dry Skin – Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream
Most people with dry skin tend to rely on rich, creamy, moisturizers to hydrate the skin, but there are gel moisturizers like the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud that are developed to hydrate chronically dry skin. This gel moisturizer is formulated with 30% hyaluronic acid which is a popular ingredient in moisturizers for its superior ability to attract and retain moisture and ceramides which work to boost the skin’s hydration levels. These ingredients work together inside the Peter Thomas Roth gel moisturizer to improve the appearance and the health of the skin.

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Best Gel Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin – Dermalogica Calm Water Gel
Sensitive skin needs moisture as much as any other skin type but finding one that can help soothe the irritation that commonly accompanies sensitivity is key. The Dermalogica Calm Water Gel is a gel moisturizer that works to hydrate and soothe sensitive skin. This gel moisturizer is formulated with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and apple fruit extract. Glycerin is used inside the Dermalogica gel moisturizer to combat dryness while cactus pear extract provides the soothing benefits to calm sensitive skin. Together they provide the Dermalogica Calm Water Gel with the ability to hydrate, lock in moisture, and improve the appearance of the skin.

Best Gel Moisturizer for Anti-Aging – Dior Multi Perfection Cream
Dry skin is a key factor in the premature aging of the skin. The best gel moisturizer for those with mature skin or concerns about premature aging will have a number of anti-aging benefits along with hydrating properties. The Dior Multi Perfection Cream is a gel moisturizer that works to hydrate the skin while improving the appearance of the most common signs of age. This gel moisturizer focuses on the main concerns of aging skin including firming, plumping, and smoothing to provide a healthier more youthful appearance to the skin.

Best Gel Moisturizer for Normal Skin – Clinique Moisture Surge
One of the most well-known gel moisturizers is Clinique’s Moisture Surge gel moisturizer. This gel moisturizer is loved for the instant hydration it’s able to provide to the skin. What’s most interesting about this gel moisturizer is that it is created with an auto-replenishing technology that supports the skin’s natural ability to replenish itself. This combined with a hyaluronic base allows the Clinique gel moisturizer to provide continuous moisture to the skin over the course of 72 hours. The Clinique Moisture Surge gel moisturizer is designed to be a supplement to any skin care routine, used whenever skin needs an extra dose of moisture.

Best Gel Moisturizer for Makeup Primer – Bobbi Brown Hydrating Gel Cream
A great attribute of gel moisturizers is, with the right ingredients, they can double as a makeup primer. The best gel moisturizer to apply underneath a makeup application is the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Gel Cream. This is a lightweight gel moisturizer that delivers just the right amount of moisture to hydrate the skin and prep it for applying foundation. It is formulated with mineral water and tropical grass extract to help hydrate the skin and retain moisture. It also has antioxidant vitamin E, which provides this gel moisturizer with environmental protection as well. The Bobbi Brown Hydrating Gel Cream is best used before makeup or after cleansing the skin.

Best Gel Moisturizer Luxury – La Mer the Moisturizing Cool Gel Cream
Most widely known as the cream of the crop for moisturizers, of course, La Mer has a gel moisturizer in their line up as well. The La Mer Moisturizing Cool Gel Cream is an ultra lightweight gel moisturizer that offers nourishment to dry, dull skin. It is formulated with the proprietary Miracle Broth that is infused throughout La Mer products along with micro oil gel capsules to provide cooling and calming benefits to the skin. The La Mer gel moisturizer also includes lime tea, an antioxidant that works to defend the skin against environmental free radicals. This gel moisturizer comes with quite the price tag but is loved throughout the skin care space for its powerful benefits.

Best Gel Moisturizer for Daily Use – Amorepacific Moisture Bound
The Amorepacific Moisture Bound is a daily gel moisturizer that is packed full of ingredients that provide a number of benefits to the skin. It is infused with additives like bamboo sap which helps to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, ginger root extract to revitalize the skin, and amino acids to help rejuvenate the complexion. The Amorepacific gel moisturizer helps to reverse the effects of dry skin as a soothing moisturizer that hydrates without clogging pores.

Best Gel Moisturizer for Calming Skin – Lancome Hydra Zen Anti-Stress Gel
When skin is chronically dry, some effects can include redness, flaking, and other irritations. For skin that is affected by dryness, a great gel moisturizer is the Lancome Hydra Zen Anti-Stress Gel. This is a calming gel moisturizer that works to hydrate and soothe the skin, helping to heal and become more comfortable. When used consistently, the Lancome Hydra Zen Anti-Stress Gel can greatly improve the texture, appearance, and health of dry, irritated skin.

Best Water-Based Gel Moisturizers: The Bottom Line

What’s the best water-based gel moisturizer? 

Overall, we suggest Carrot & Stick The Water Gel Moisturizer.

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Carrot & Stick

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