How To Determine If A Gel Or Cream Moisturizer Is Right For You

No matter how many products are in your skincare routine, moisturizer should always be one of them. It's used to relieve dryness, prevent signs of aging, and give the skin a healthy glow. Moisturizers do this by adding water to the top layers of skin and locking it in by creating a barrier between your face and your environment. All moisturizers can be applied the with the same method, but which formula you choose depends on your skin's needs.


They should be the second step in your skincare routine after cleansing your face, because moisturizing is more effective when the skin is slightly damp, according to Healthline. This means you should use it at least twice a day — morning and night — and after showering. You only need to apply about a pea-sized amount. Gently rub the moisturizer into your skin with circular motions and use any extra on your neck and décolletage. Before adding a moisturizer to your skincare routine, you need to know which kind is the best for your skin type. The most significant factor that differentiates different formulas is if they include oil or only water as a top ingredient.

Benefits of gel moisturizers

Gel moisturizers are water-based, making them perfect for oily skin types. They usually don't contain oil, so they're also great for acne-prone skin. Everyday Health explains that gel moisturizer draws moisture from deeper layers of the skin and traps it at the surface. Since it is mainly made of water, it feels very light and hydrating, unlike cream moisturizers which will feel too thick for people with oily skin.


Even though the skin may feel very oily, it needs moisturizer every day to prevent the oil glands from overproducing. Then you'd end up with even greasier skin and be more likely for acne to worsen. Gel moisturizer is also beneficial for all skin types to use during the summer when it's hot out. It absorbs quickly, so you won't have to spend all day walking around feeling a layer of residue on your face from a rich cream or ointment.

Who should use cream-based moisturizers?

Cream moisturizers are the opposite of gel. They're made with more than just water as the base, making them feel thick and rich on the skin. Hutton Klien Dermatology explains that they usually have a 50-50 ratio of oil and water. Including oil adds tons of hydration to the skin and keeps it locked in all day by creating a barrier. Cream moisturizer is so thick that it is stored in a tub rather than a bottle with a pump dispenser. The high percentage of oil in the formula makes this type of moisturizer great at keeping your skin looking plump and hydrated all day.


People with dry skin types will benefit the most from cream moisturizers. This is also better for your skincare routine if you suffer from sensitive skin, eczema, or psoriasis. However, in the cold winter months, people that are combination or oily can relieve their chapped skin with this moisturizer.