There’s a common misconception that moisturizers are only meant for dry skin. The truth is that all skin types can benefit from using moisturizers. But before you slather on any ol’ cream or lotion, it’s important to assess your skin type. If you have combination skin, a lighter, gel- or water-based moisturizer is recommended. These products can help hydrate and nourish the skin without that heavy feeling.  Need help picking a gel- or water-based moisturizer for your combination skin? We share 25 of our favorites from the L’Oreal portfolio of brands, below.

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 how it sounds — having skin that is both oily and dry. Typically, the T-zone (nose, forehead, chin) is the part of the face that’s oily-looking, 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 consultant, Dhaval Bhanusali, MD, combination skin is the most common skin type seen amongst his patients.Luckily, there’s no shortage of moisturizers out there to choose from.

Best Water Based Moisturizers for Combination Skin

Garnier Moisture Bomb The Antioxidant Super Moisturizer

This water-light gel-cream formula boasts hyaluronic acid as well as 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 eager for a burst of hydration and a more youthful look day after day.

L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Normal/Oily Skin

For combination skin that is hydrated, fresh and visibly mattified, look no further than this fast-absorbing moisturizer by 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. This product boasts instant and continuous hydration and can help you achieve skin that looks fresh and mattified.

SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel

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.

Vichy Minéral 89

Minéral 89 — which is formulated with a combination of 89 percent of Vichy’s exclusive Mineralizing Thermal Water and hyaluronic acid — helps to 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.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream

Formulated with a refreshing texture, this oil-free gel-cream contains imperata cylindrica root extract and antarcticine to intensely hydrate and condition skin while providing long-lasting moisture. It also has an instant cooling effect upon application.

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Lancôme Énergie de Vie Day Cream

This water-infused moisturizing cream helps nurture and hydrate skin. Thanks to its cooling effect upon application, skin will feel fresh and energized after use.

Urban Decay Cosmetics Rehab Makeup Prep Hot Springs Hydrating Gel

Applying makeup to rough, dry skin never goes well. To create a clean, moisturized canvas turn to a hydrating gel moisturizer that’s made for prepping the skin before makeup, like Urban Decay’s Rehab Makeup Prep Hot Springs Hydrating Gel. Enhanced with encapsulated water sourced from a hot spring, this low-alkaline moisturizer preps the skin for a seamless makeup application.

La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Light Moisturizer

Treat your parched combination skin to La Roche-Posay’s Hydraphase Intense Light Moisturizer. Powered by hyaluronic acid and the brand’s beloved Thermal Spring Water, this formula helps the skin retain moisture all day with its light and non-greasy texture. The results will leave you with skin that’s visibly plumped, softer and more radiant.

Biotherm Aquasource Gel

Gel moisturizers that have an ability to deliver a surge of cooling relief to your skin will leave you feeling refreshed for the day. This is why we’re big fans of Biotherm’s Aquasource Gel. The lightweight texture not only provides continuous hydration but helps soothe skin, as well.

Giorgio Armani Crema Nera Essential Defense Fluid

If you’re on the hunt for a water-based moisturizer that also tackles anti-aging concerns, look no further than Giorgio Armani’s Crema Nera Essential Defense Fluid. As an added bonus, it’s formulated with SPF 14 to provide protection against harmful UV rays.

Biotherm Aquasource Night Spa

We’ve already boasted about the hydrating power of Biotherm’s Aquasource Gel, so you can imagine that the brand’s nighttime gel is just as effective. Designed to replenish and hydrate your skin overnight, all you need to do is lather on this gel-based moisturizer before bed and you’ll wake to a fresh-looking complexion.

Lancôme Réergie Lift Multi-Action Ultra Moisturizer

On top of managing combination skin, you may also begin to notice signs of aging such as sagging skin and dark spots. Fortunately, Lancôme has a formula that works to relieve these signs of maturing skin while also giving your skin the hydration it’s been thirsting for.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Mineral Water Gel

All combination skin is not created equal — you may have skin that leans on the drier side. For that, we recommend a gel moisturizer that is designed for dry skin such as Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal Mineral Water Gel. This moisturizing gel is formulated with Vichy Mineralizing Water and can keep your skin looking fresh and radiant.

YSL Top Secrets Moisturizing Prep Lotion

Looking for a water-based, lightweight moisturizer that also preps your skin for makeup application? The YSL Top Secrets Moisturizing Prep Lotion will do just that. The gentle, luxe formula will help give your skin an extra hydration boost while keeping your makeup smooth.

Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream

Formulated with Hydro Ionized Mineral Water and Biogen technology, Laneige’s Water Bank Moisture Cream delivers long-lasting hydration with a fast-absorbing, light-weight feel. Olive squalane and glasswort extracts also help strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier to retain optimal moisture levels throughout the day.


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