Hydration is key to healthy, smooth looking skin. Skin can look dull and wrinkly when it is dehydrated. Think of a raisin for example. It is a dehydrated grape and how does it look? Shrivelled up. Your skin is no different. If you place a raisin in water, it will soak up the water and have a smoother looking surface. Why? It’s called osmosis but it is essentially because it is hydrated and plump due to the absorbed water content. It’s just science. And science is what you should be thinking about when it comes to your skin.
Let’s not get sucked in by trends, brands and prices and assume that a well known label with a crazy price tag is obviously going to do more for your skin that a budget alternative. Price doesn’t equal quality or results. That being said, where there is an opportunity to make money with a new trend you can guarantee every brand will fire out an amazing new product that claims to bring miraculous results.
So what do we have? Neutrogena Hydroboost, Simple Skin Quench, Simply Pure Leave on Water Mask, Garnier Skin Active Water Jelly, Moisture Bomb and Moisture Rescue, Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench, Vichy Aqualia Thermal Gel Creme, L’Occitaine Ultra Thirst, Mizon Water Volume Cream, Clinque Moisture Surge, Sunday Riley Tidal Cream to name but a few! However, not all creams, gels and serums are created equal.
Let’s do a quick blitz to help make my point…
I won’t go in to detail on Neutrogena Hydroboost, Simple Skin Quench and Simply Pure Water Mask – you can check out my blog review for more details on them and find out what is and isn’t recommended. Vichy 89 review is also a good option and can be read about here.
However from the above list Garnier Skin Active Moisture Bomb contains fragrance and less than 1% sodium hyaluronate. Linalool (fragrance) is higher up the list than sodium hyaluronate. Sigh.
Garnier Moisture Rescue contains alcohol denat and fragrance, but no sodium hyaluronate (it has glycerin instead, just as good if not better humectant). I can’t find the ingredients for the Garnier Water Jelly anywhere!
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench ingredients look amazing. I am super keen to try that. Sodium hyaluronate high up, a tonne of other amazing ingredients like all the ceramides with no alcohol or fragrance! Hallelujah for how it looks on paper.
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Gel Creme contains alcohol and glycerin. L’Occitaine Ultra Thirst starts off well with a lot of humectants and then ruins it by having 6 fragrance ingredients and blue dye. Mizon Water Volume Cream has essentials oils and dyes and Clinque Moisture Surge contains sodium hyaluronate, lots of other amazing ingedients, no alcohol or fragrance but does contain dyes.
Sunday Riley Tidal Gel Cream has a bunch of good humectants and other likely beneficial extracts…and fragrance! You see my point? They are not created equal. At all.
From the whole list of these gel, cream, serums, I would recommend Neutrogena Hydroboost, Simple Skin Quench and Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench.
I want to recommend Clinque but it has a pink dye in it and synthetic colourings can cause irritation. It is at the bottom of the list so it’s not horrendous (Psst, Aldi’s Lacura Moisture Boost Gel is an amazing dupe for Clinque at about a fifth of the price).
If you are simply looking for a lightweight gel/moisturiser to add hydration find something with glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, sodium PCA or marine extracts. Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid are basic ingredients and are included in a lot of budget products so you don’t need to pay a fortune. You can also buy HA on it’s own if you don’t want it in a gel creme – The Ordinary and Inkey List are good budget options.