Here’s What You Should Know About Water-Based Skin Care

by StyleCaster .
Feb 13, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. ET

We all know proper water intake is significant for optimal health, but did you know it can significantly boost the effectiveness of your beauty routine too? Whether you are dry, combo or oily skin type, experts consistently plead with patients to hydrate properly. Thankfully, the major onslaught of water-based products is making it that much easier to say au revoir to dry, flaky skin. We talked with board-certified NYC dermatologist Dr. Melissa Levin to break down the new trend and tell us what it means, how it works and which products truly deliver.

What does it mean?

“Water-based products simply mean that the formula uses water as a medium to deliver ingredients,” says Levin. “These products contain little oil, but are rich in hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin.” Since water is the ultimate hydrator, this means you’ll get the benefits from active ingredients and a bonus punch of moisture. If you struggle with oily skin, Levin suggests water-based formulations are ideal due to the lack of synthetic oils, which can clog pores.

How does it work?

Levin clarifies that a product with a water-based formula does not mean the product penetrates deeper into the layers of our skin. “Penetration to the skin relies on a number of different factors,” Levin says. “Water-based formulas use modern polymers to give a jelly-like consistency, which allows the product to hold much more water than typically found in creams or lotions.” In other words, the high percentage of water in the product is used as a vessel to better distribute other active ingredients.

How do I find it?

One easy way to spot a water-based product is the texture. These types of products tend to be lightweight, bouncy and gel-like. When you rub the formula into your skin, it will appear to dissolve into water within seconds. Another tip for spotting a water-based product is a large concentration of mega-moisturizer hyaluronic acid. “Gel moisturizers are typically chock-full of hyaluronic acid, which is one of the most powerful and effective humectants that holds 1,000 times its weight in water,” shares Levin.

If you’re ready to pack on the moisture, especially during these cold winter months, water-based products are available at all price points and in various formulas. Ahead are 13 you’re sure to love.


Originally posted on StyleCaster.

1 /13: Belif The True Cream — Aqua Bomb

1/13 :Belif The True Cream — Aqua Bomb

This cooling, antioxidant-rich moisturizer helps refresh and soothe skin irritation.

Belif The True Cream — Aqua Bomb, $38 at Sephora

2 /13: Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator

2/13 :Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator

This unique formula helps awaken skin’s internal hydration system to keep moisture locked in even after you cleanse.

Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, $39 at Clinique

3 /13: Dermalogica Calm Water Gel

3/13 :Dermalogica Calm Water Gel

When dry skin needs a boost, this lightweight formula uses hyaluronic acid and fruit extracts to balance and repair.

Calm Water Gel, $48 at Dermalogica

4 /13: Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Hydro Sooth Eye Gel

4/13 :Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Hydro Sooth Eye Gel

This melting formula, infused with Belgium hot spring water and Himalayan pink salt, is like an espresso for tired eyes.

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Hydro Sooth Eye Gel, $42 at Sephora

5 /13: GlamGlow WaterBurst Hydrated Glow Moisturizer

5/13 :GlamGlow WaterBurst Hydrated Glow Moisturizer

Rub a dollop of this pearly blue hydrator onto your face and watch it transform into droplets before it completely absorbs into skin.

GlamGlow WaterBurst Hydrated Glow Moisturizer, $49 at Sephora

6 /13: Laneige Water Bank Essence

6/13 :Laneige Water Bank Essence

If you’re suffering from rough, dry patches, this serumlike product is loaded with mineral water and essential minerals to keep skin touchably smooth.

Laneige Water Bank Essence, $36 at Sephora

7 /13: L'Oréal Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Oily Skin

7/13 :L'Oréal Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Oily Skin

This lightweight liquid is über-hydrating and absorbs quickly into skin without clogging pores.

Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Oily Skin, $18 at L’Oréal Paris

8 /13: Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel

8/13 :Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel

An oil-free gel full of peptides, vitamins and minerals to strengthen and repair your skin’s barrier.

Nutrient-Charged Water Gel, $60 at Murad

9 /13: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream

9/13 :Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream

This budget-friendly option has a blend of hyaluronic acid and olive extract to moisturize and revitalize skin.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream, $20 at Ulta

10 /13: Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Moisturizer

10/13 :Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Moisturizer

Infused with the most mineral-rich thermal water on the planet, this cream helps combat signs of aging, diminish the appearance of hyperpigmentation and improve texture and tone.

Hungarian Thermal Water Moisturizer, $58 at Peter Thomas Roth

11 /13: Simple Hydrating Booster

11/13 :Simple Hydrating Booster

A few drops of this lightweight formula will brighten and rejuvenate your complexion.

Simple Hydrating Booster, $9 at Target

12 /13: Tatcha The Water Cream

12/13 :Tatcha The Water Cream

A silky cream infused with wild rose, green tea and mozuku algae literally melts into skin and delivers an instant glow.

The Water Cream, $68 at Tatcha

13 /13: Vichy Minéral 89

13/13 :Vichy Minéral 89

A booster chock-full of hyaluronic acid and 89 percent mineral water to quench thirsty skin.

Vichy Minéral 89, $30 at Dermstore