With climates as humid and clammy as Singapore’s, it might be tempting to skip the moisturiser all together, but that may actually cause your skin to produce more sebum, which leads to dullness, clogged pores and breakouts. Whether you have oily, dry or combination skin, a gel-based moisturiser is a good compromise. Opt for any of these super light formulas that seriously pack a punch, while leaving your skin feeling fresh, supple and bare.
We kick start this list with one of our favourites: the Laneige gel cream that promises to keep skin hydrated and supple all day. It’s perfect for all skin types, especially oily and combination skin, as it doesn’t have a sticky or oily residue after application. Instead, the gel cream and all its infused natural moisturising agents will be quickly absorbed into skin to reveal a smooth and radiant complexion after prolonged use.
Available at Zalora.
Apart from its anti-pollution and anti-oxidant benefits, this all-in-one cream’s star power is the intense hydration it provides. Specially created in Japan, for Asian skin (which is oilier, yet loses more moisture), the texture of the moisturiser is rich like a cream, but spreads out into a refreshing, watery gel that delivers up to six hours of continuous hydration. It also helps to lightly mattify skin, and even skin tone. The formula is is perfect for day use, for round-the-clock hydration. It’s also suitable for sensitive skin thanks to the infusion of the naturally soothing, anti-irritating, and softening Avène Thermal Spring Water.
For night time, go for the Hydrance Aqua-Gel Night Hydrating Sleeping Mask ($69.90). It deeply moisturises skin and soothes irritation, so you wake up to luminous and radiant skin.
Avène products retails in Watsons, Guardian, and Unity stores islandwide.
Formulated without parabens, phthalates and fragrances, the Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly is a simple but reliable staple to fall back on. It promises 24-hour hydration and protection for pollution, an important concern for us city-dwellers.
There’s also an option to customise your moisturiser. Clinique recently came out with a custom-blend hydration system that allows you to combine your favourite moisturiser with a serum that targets a skin concern of your choice.
Everything’s packaged in a three-step-assembly pump bottle, adding a touch of DIY fun.
Available at Clinique counters and Sephora.
Formulated especially for warmer climates, this weightless, oil-free gel cream is designed to deliver 24-hour moisture while actually reducing your skin’s temperature by 2.8 degree Celsius – all in a single application. So cooling. It also has a unique blend of herbs, achieve improved skin elasticity, minimised pores and reduced skin sensitivity.
Available at Tangs.
This crowd favourite features one of skincare’s most loved and oldest ingredients – the rose. Known to sooth and nourish skin (while smelling amazing), this moisturiser contains both rosewater and rose flower oil to help refine skin texture and hydrate dry skin. It also contains other natural goodies like cucumber extract to calm and cool irritated skin, and hyaluronic acid to maintain moisture while restoring suppleness.
Available at Sephora and Fresh stores.
A long-time favourite, no gel moisturiser list would be complete without this baby. It owes its popularity to a quickly-absorbed formula that contains proteins from Antarctic sea glaciers that help your skin naturally balance out its own moisture levels without overproducing oil, while extracts from desert plants help skin retain moisture and protect it from dryness. Finally, nourishing vitamin E and cucumber extract soothe visible irritation and reportedly keeps skin hydrated for an impressive 24 hours.
Available at Kiehl’s stores.
Turn up the radiance and get a powerful dose of hydration with this lightweight and oil-free moisturizer, fortified with boosters like ginseng and coffee bean that help to instantly refresh and revitalise dull and tired skin. Known for its antioxidant and age-fighting properties, we love how the coffee bean is the active ingredient in this formula, while ginseng extract works alongside to enhance skin’s vitality.
Available at Origins counters and Sephora.
This gel-type moisturiser is amazing for days when the sidewalks are hot enough to fry eggs. Infused with allatoin and protulaca extracts, the Aqua Soothing Gel Cream can lower your skin temperature by up to 4 degrees Celsius. On top of that, it’s also mineral oil-free and mildly-acidic, which means it can gently exfoliate dead skin to reveal a more radiant and even complexion. Oh, and did we mention that the gel cream also boasts two types of hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate your skin from within? Talk about over-achieving.
Achieve refined skin and smaller pores over time with this ultra lightweight moisturiser, thanks to ingredients like glycolic acid and vitamin C. This is especially helpful if you have oilier skin as it also contains activated charcoal to help absorb excess oil and impurities while detoxifying, and is infused with willowherb to help calm and reduce inflammation.
Available at Sephora.
This cult favourite needs no introduction. Known for its powerful moisturising, wrinkle reducing and line filling properties and its ability to soothe and calm sensitive skin thanks to its patented Miracle Broth, the original formula might have been a bit too heavy for our humid climate. Thankfully, the brand came up with this ultra lightweight gel, offering the same blend of wonderful marine ingredients that will improve your skin tone and texture over time – suitable for all skin types.
Available at all La Mer counters.
You read that right, probiotics aren’t just in your yoghurt. With a formula derived 100% from plants, this moisturiser features a unique probiotic technology that helps to support skin barrier functions (hence reducing water loss) and improve overall health, while the squalane helps to reduce irritation and retain moisture. Reviews claim it does wonders for hyper pigmentation as well.
Packed with powerful hyaluronic acid, this drugstore classic delivers all-day moisture at pocket-friendly prices. Despite its lightweight texture, the gel is instantly absorbed into the skin and acts almost like a cream, given how smooth and supple dry skin feels after application. It also contains olive extract to form a sort of natural moisture shield for your skin, protecting against excessive moisture loss while strengthening barrier function.
Available at Watsons and Guardian.
Perfect for skin that needs a detox after a heavy weekend or is exposed to more polluted conditions, this gel cream is packed with a patented blend of antioxidants and anti-pollutants that help fight against free radicals while helping to boost circulation and deliver a powerful boost of oxygen into your cells. Radiant, refreshed skin and less sensitive skin? Yes, please.
Available at Philosophy counters and Sephora.
Formulated with a blend of complex minerals to maintain moisture balance and circulation; water from Belgian hot springs that help remove impurities from pores and provide soothing, antibacterial benefits while supporting natural cell regeneration and plant extracts to tighten skin, we understand why this powerful moisturiser is so popular in Korea. The lightweight gel even instantly cools and refreshes your skin upon application, making it absolutely perfect for our year-round clammy clime.
Available at Sephora.