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  • Writer's pictureAnjana Rajbhandary

Best moisturizer for summer

Light moisturizing for summer

With summer around the corner, some people may notice having oilier skin. Your skin tends to be drier in the winter because humidity levels decrease. Similarly, increased temperature and humidity can cause your skin to produce more oil.

Dermatologists recommend that regardless of your skin type, it’s helpful to use a lightweight or gel moisturizer in the summer to avoid clogged pores while hydrating the skin. Moisturizers are considered to be an important step in any skincare routine. Read on to find the right one for your skin type.

Important ingredients in moisturizers

A moisturizer should have three main ingredients: humectant, emollient and occlusive.

  • Humectants attract water and moisture into the skin. Examples of these include hyaluronic acid and glycerin.

  • Emollients soften the skin texture by restoring the skin barrier. Colloidal oatmeal and shea butter are both emollients.

  • Occlusives create a barrier on the skin to lock in moisture and maybe things like oils or waxes.

According to the weather and your skin type, it’s important to moisturize your skin to keep it hydrated and healthy. Remember to also wear sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.

Summer moisturizer FAQ

How can I tell if a moisturizer is oil-free?

A. Check the ingredients list on the moisturizer label. If the first ingredient is water, it's a water-based moisturizer. If the first ingredient is oil, it's an oil-based moisturizer.

Do I have to wear moisturizer in the summer?

A. Yes — summer heat can dehydrate your skin, so it's still important to moisturize your skin in the summer.

Q. Are gel and cream moisturizers different?

A. Yes, gel moisturizers are usually oil-free and have a watery, light texture. They can hydrate without clogging your pores. Cream moisturizers tend to have a heavier texture for extra hydration in the winter.

Best moisturizers for the summer

Best for normal skin

Embryolisse Hydra-Cream Light: available at Revolve and Amazon This lightweight cream has white water lily and hyaluronic acid to give your skin lasting hydration. It's also free of parabens, phthalates and sulfates.

Best for dry skin

Dermalogica Calm Water Gel Moisturizer: available at Dermalogica, LovelySkin and Sephora This gel moisturizer with hyaluronic acid and glycerin is specifically made to hydrate and soothe dry skin. It has cactus pear to relieve sensitivity and irritation.

Best for combination skin

Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel: available at Murad, Sephora and Ulta Beauty This lightweight, oil-free gel moisturizer has vitamin B3 to prevent dryness and copper for a healthy-looking skin tone. It can help your skin retain moisture for up to 5 days.

Best for oily skin

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Dream Hydrating Moisturizer: available at Sephora, LovelySkin and SkinStore This light cream can lock in hydration for up to 72 hours without your skin feeling greasy. It contains hydrolyzed silk that makes your skin feel smooth and supple.

Best for sensitive skin

Kiehl's Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream: available at Ulta Beauty and Sephora Infused with concentrated calendula serum, this lightweight cream helps to reduce redness and sensitivity. It also gives you dewy-looking and radiant skin.

Best for mature skin

Estée Lauder Revitalizing Supreme+ Global Anti-Aging Crème: available at Amazon and Sephora This cream has moringa extract, which can help skin improve its natural regeneration and cellular potential. With its pro-collagen technology, it also helps increase elastin production to give you firm and supple skin.

Best for eczema

Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer: available at Amazon and LovelySkin If your skin is prone to eczema, this daily moisturizer rich in hyaluronic acid and five different ceramides can keep your skin hydrated without causing any irritation. It's free of dyes, fragrances and parabens.

Best for dark spots

OLE HENRIKSEN Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer: available at Amazon and Sephora This oil-free moisturizer is rich in multi-fruit acids and antioxidants to prevent dryness, dullness and uneven texture. Regular use also results in reduced dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Best for acne-prone skin

La Roche-Posay Effaclar MAT Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer: available at LovelySkin, Ulta Beauty and Amazon This oil-free face moisturizer targets excess oil production and tightens pores to prevent blemishes. It works well for those with acne-prone skin because it contains lipohydroxy acid that refines skin texture.

Best tinted moisturizer

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream: available at Ulta Beauty, Sephora and LovelySkin This is a multitasking tinted gel moisturizer with hyaluronic acid to hydrate your skin while protecting it from the sun with SPF 30. It provides a natural, radiant finish and is available in 20 shades.

Best mattifying moisturizer

Caudalie Vinopure Skin Perfecting Mattifying Fluid: available at Sephora, LovelySkin and SkinStore This hydrating and mattifying moisturizer keeps your skin looking less oily by reducing sebum production. It's also suitable for those with blemishes.

Best clean moisturizer

belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb: available at Amazon, Sephora and Ulta Beauty This lightweight gel moisturizer provides you with all-day hydration for a healthy glow. It has ceramides to help retain water and glycerin to maintain the skin's moisture level. It's free of all sulfates, parabens and phthalates.

Best splurge moisturizer

Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream Light: available at Sephora and SpaceNK If you're willing to spend a little more, this lightweight moisturizer has purslane extract to stimulate skin health and rejuvenation. It also has hyaluronic acid to provide intense moisture.

Best budget moisturizer

Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Oil-Free Moisture: available at Ulta Beauty and Amazon This affordable, water-based moisturizer absorbs quickly, eliminates dryness and prevents your skin from looking greasy. It provides lasting hydration without clogging your pores.

Best moisturizer with SPF

Origins A Perfect World SPF 40 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea: available at Amazon, Sephora and Ulta Beauty This oil-free antioxidant-rich moisturizer can hydrate, brighten and strengthen the skin's barrier. It has SPF 40 to protect you from the sun and white tea to protect you from free radicals.


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