These Water-Based Moisturisers Are Like a Glass of Water for Your Skin
Moisturiser is a year-round must, but for some, the standard rich, balm-like versions that surface every winter are simply too think or heavy to wear all day. That's where a water-based cream comes in. These types of moisturisers are still hydrating, but in a lightweight and comfortable way. They moisturise without making your skin look super shiny or congested in that way some oil- and silicone-heavy moisturisers can. In fact, if you have really oily skin, some of them may even help mattify your complexion. It just depends on the ones you use, which is why we've assembled a list of effective water-based options fit for any skin type. These 9 products are sure to keep your skin hydrated and healthy all winter long.
The Tidal moisturiser by Sunday Riley is a fan favourite (in fact, many members of the Byrdie team can attest to its greatness). It has two forms of hyaluronic acid and tamarind extract to drench skin in hydration, plus papaya enzymes to smooth, exfoliate, and brighten. It's perfect for anyone looking to diminish dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
If you're someone who likes their daily moisturiser to have SPF protection (you know, to save yourself some product and time), then we recommend trying this all-in-one moisturiser, makeup primer, and SPF hybrid from 3Lab. It will prep your skin before makeup, keep it moisturised throughout the day, and even protect it from harmful UV rays.
This cute, honeycomb-shaped glass jar houses a fan-favorite water cream from Farmacy. It features myriad hydrating ingredients, including honey, hyaluronic acid, cupuaçu butter, and fermented soy, to soften, moisturise, and reduce the skin's water loss.
Tatcha's Water Cream is a Byrdie favourite, thanks to its silky texture and hydrating formula (its fresh floral scent doesn't hurt, either). Like everything else from the brand, it's luxurious and effective. Just be wary if you try to avoid silicone in your skincare products, because this is formulated with various silicone derivatives.
Koh Gen Do's water gel utilises the same spring water found in its other products to hydrate and soothe the complexion. It also has jojoba seed oil, olive squalane, and shea butter to moisturise, with japonica juice and rosemary leaf extract to condition the skin. We like using it to prep our skin for makeup, as the texture is almost nonexistent once the product sinks in.
One of our favourite French pharmacy brands, La Roche-Posay offers this gentle, water-based daily moisturiser. It's free of preservatives, fragrance, and parabens because it was formulated for sensitive skin. (Pro tip: Use this one if you have oily skin. The hydration is lightweight and imparts a matte finish to keep skin from looking shiny.)
Here's another French moisturiser for you. Clarins's water-based gel uses succulent extract to balance and hydrate skin in spite of temperature changes, indoor and outdoor pollutants, and environmental stress. It even has beautyberry essence to brighten skin.
We're also fans of this Shiseido gel cream, which has ashitaba, a green plant that supports the cell's mitochondria in its energy production to revive and regenerate skin. It even targets fine lines, which is why it's a good lightweight moisturiser to travel with. It boosts radiance and hydration so that we don't look as jet-lagged as we feel.
Although this Peter Thomas Roth pick is formulated with various forms of silicone-derived ingredients such as cyclopentasiloxane and dimethicone, it's worth mentioning for its supremely hydrating hyaluronic acid content. (If you're wondering, there is a reason some of us avoid silicone in our skincare products.) It's concentrated at 30% along with ceramides to lock in lightweight moisture. We like using it in summer when our other moisturisers feel too heavy.
Now that you have your water-based moisturiser all set, read up on the best water-based foundations for the oil-averse.