8 Water-Based Moisturizers for Combination Skin
There’s a common misconception that moisturizers are only meant for dry skin. The truth is that all skin types can benefit from using a moisturizer. But before you slather on any old cream or lotion, it’s important to assess your skin type. If you have combination skin, a lighter gel or water-based formula is recommended. These products can help hydrate and nourish the skin without that heavy feeling. Need help picking a water-based moisturizer for your combination skin? Ahead, we rounded up some of our favorites that you should try, ASAP.
What Is Combination Skin?
Before we get into our best gel-based and water-based moisturizers for combination skin, it’s important to know what the visible signs of combination skin are to help determine whether you have it. Combination skin is exactly what it sounds like — having skin that is both oily and dry. Typically, the T-zone (nose, forehead, chin) is the part of the face that’s oily, with dryness appearing on the cheeks, jaw area and along the hairline. If this sounds like your skin, know that you’re not the only one dealing with this skin type. In fact, according to board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant Dhaval Bhanusali, M.D., combination skin is the most common skin type seen amongst his patients. Luckily, there’s no shortage of moisturizers out there to choose from. Below, find some of our faves.
This oil-free hydrating gel is formulated with vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid — an ingredient known to hold up to 1000x its weight in water — to help skin retain moisture. The result? Skin that looks supple and smooth. Use it daily as your oil-free moisturizer.
This water-light gel-cream formula boasts hyaluronic acid, goji berry, vitamins C and E and pomegranate to help strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier and provide parched skin with much-needed hydration. The non-greasy formula is suited for all skin types in need of a burst of hydration and a more youthful look day after day. We also like the Garnier SkinActive Water Rose 24H Moisture Cream.
For combination skin that is hydrated, fresh and visibly mattified, look no further than this fast-absorbing moisturizer from L'Oréal Paris. Specifically developed for normal to oily skin, the water-based formula combines aloe water and hyaluronic acid to provide dual-action results.
The Calendula Water Cream offers a lightweight, hydrating finish that’s so good it feels like you stole the formula from your nearest spa. It contains micronized calendula petals and calendula flower extract to visibly even out skin tone and smooth fine lines.
Minéral 89 — which is formulated with a combination of 89% of Vichy’s exclusive Mineralizing Thermal Water and hyaluronic acid — helps fortify skin and protect it against external aggressors, while delivering a boost of hydration for a healthy-looking glow. Best of all, the formula is suitable for all skin types because it’s free of parabens, silicones, fragrances, colorants and alcohol.
It’s no surprise that this formula has a cult following — it’s gentle, hydrating and cooling. The Biossance Gel Moisturizer also has probiotics, ginger extract and red seaweed to help calm irritation and brighten dullness.
Dew Your Thing is a great option for acne-prone and combination skin types because it’s grease-free and absorbs quickly, leaving you with a soft, supple canvas — perfect for pairing under makeup.
This thirst-quenching formula from Mario Badescu is one of our favorites because it melts into the skin for a plumped, moisturized effect. In fact, it sinks in so well that you can easily layer sunscreen and makeup over top with no pilling in sight.
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn