Light Gel Moisturisers for Oily Summer Skin

Do you have oily or combination skin (like me) that can sometimes feel tight and dry on the surface? I hate it when my face feels like that! It’s my constant mission to find nice, light moisturisers that help to hydrate my skin without overloading it with oils. I mean, oils are good, but some of us have plenty of them already, thank you very much! Especially in the summer!

I’ve pulled together a little selection of fresh, light moisturisers that help the skin to stay hydrated but that don’t add excess oil. These would work on all dehydrated skin, but I particularly like them in that time of the month when my skin feels grubby and greasy. They seem to tighten and freshen without adding any heavy layers of product, so perfect for an extra moisture-boost below a tinted moisturiser or BB Cream.

If you have very dry skin then you may find that some of these don’t cut the mustard – the Darphin and Suqqu have extremely nice textures and are a bit more hefty, but they are still a lightweight option when it comes to moisturisers. If you need something instantly effective on very dry skin, take a look at Carita’s Lagoon Cream, Jo Malone’s Vitamin E, Lierac’s Hydra Chrono or the Super Hyper Hydrator. My testers with chronically dry skin give these a huge seal of approval, and I have had great results with them on my dry patches. They all give instant relief to very dry skin without being greasy in the slightest.

On with the video then – I give a very brief review of each hydrating gel or jelly – the Astalift isn’t strictly a moisturiser, it’s more of a “serum in a semi-solid state”, but it was far too pretty and satisfyingly wobbly not to include. Enjoy!

Video Link:

Astalift Jelly: usually £71 but FeelUnique do a trial size (15ml) for £21, if you are desperate to try..


Clinique Moisture Surge:

Clarins Hydra Quench:

Darphin Hydraskin Light:

Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel:

Heal Gel:

Lubatti Gorgeous Orange Moisturiser:

Blink Brow Bar Rose Gel:

Suqqu Bounce Barrier Gel Cream:

Sunglasses are from Carrera, a few years back now.

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  1. Han
    August 7, 2012 / 7:26 am

    Hi, great video…just a quick question though, since none of these have an SPF, can you use them as well as sun protection, e.g. I use the suqqu face protector with SPF 50 – would I be able to use one of these as well? And which would you apply first? Thanks

    • Ruth
      August 7, 2012 / 11:45 am

      Yes, you could do, apply the gel first. Though the SPF will probably have it’s own moisturising benefits.. x

  2. Kim
    August 7, 2012 / 8:47 am

    Great video, really helpful! (especially if we ever see warm weather again :P) I was just wondering, why do you think the Clinique 3-step program is so bad? Just curious.. Xx

    • Ruth
      August 7, 2012 / 11:44 am

      Just nasty soap, nasty bottle of alcohol and mediocre moisturiser. I love loads of their skincare, but I wish they’d scrap the 3-step. It works well for some people, I suppose, but they have MUCH better products that are far kinder. x

      • Christina Covarrubias
        August 8, 2012 / 10:16 pm


  3. daniel
    August 7, 2012 / 8:52 am

    I saw you have my favourite little Miracle there, Heal Gel- now i have heard and have seen a few snippets on line that they are about to Launch a full skin care line !!I can only imagine that if its like the Heal gel it will be a total cult in no time :) im so excited

  4. August 7, 2012 / 9:25 am

    Another great video! I’m glad you did this one because I have oily skin, made even more so by the hot summer weather. I’ve been skipping moisturizer lately, but I noticed that my skin is very oily but getting dehydrated so I really need to find a nice, light moisturizer. I LOVE gel moisturizers, and some of these look really, really great! That Astalift one (though really a serum) looks insane! I saw the Pixiwoo sisters feature that one too–so interesting!

  5. Hannah
    August 7, 2012 / 10:13 am

    for slightly drier skin the Clinique moisture surge intense is wonderful for dry patches too!

  6. August 7, 2012 / 10:48 am

    Dear Ruth! what a great post! I used to use gel creams a lot before, but have somehow let them be for years, perhaps my skin type has changed with age, and just become dehydrated, and not so oily.. perhaps I’ll try one of these before autumn kicks in. I actually just did a post on a reader question on my blog concerning combination skin and how to best care for it, with a special focus on the daily regimen! Have a look here: Have a great day!

  7. Emma
    August 7, 2012 / 11:47 am

    I really love the Clarins Daily Energizer gel cream and SPF15 fluid in the orange jar/bottle for this sort of thing too :)

  8. selma
    August 7, 2012 / 12:55 pm

    Decleor’s Hydra Floral emulsion is amazing for combination skin. I use their neroli oil under the moisturiser and it’s great. No breakshouts, yet no dryness!

  9. Ginger
    August 7, 2012 / 1:34 pm

    I have recently discovered your blog and youtube videos, and enjoying them so much. It’s great to find someone as beautiful as yourself and as knowledgable as you are about skin care. Especially since we have similar skin types. I do have a question though, what do you think about oils of oily skin and what would you recommend?

    • Ruth
      August 9, 2012 / 6:18 pm

      I tend to stay clear when my skin is oily, but Melvita do a good balancing one and so do Dr Hauschka! x

  10. Rachel
    August 7, 2012 / 3:51 pm

    Ruth, if you are a fan of gel texture products, I think you would love these jellies from Taiwanese brand Naruko – There are day and night versions. I’ve tried the Rose and Narcissus formula and both were great. I know how you like your rose products and they have a great rose line!

    Another gel product I love is Laneige’s sleeping pack – I recently discovered that it works even better as a super hydrating gel mask. I leave it on for 30-40 mins and then rinse off before applying skincare. It leaves you skin amazingly soft and plump.

    I have dry and sensitive skin and they have not given me any issues. I follow up the jellies with John Master’s Argan Oil and it’s works beautifully.

    • Ruth
      August 7, 2012 / 8:34 pm

      Thanks Rachel, I shall look into these! x

  11. Jackie
    August 7, 2012 / 4:55 pm

    Great review, you should try khiels yerba Mate lotion, it is amazing! Not only it helps with the first wrinkles, it brightens the skin and is so light, so perfect!

  12. Binita
    August 7, 2012 / 11:36 pm

    Hi Ruth, your timing for this post is impeccable, since I was looking something for dehydrated skin! xx

  13. Simone
    August 8, 2012 / 11:57 am

    I love this type of moisturizer. I’ll definitely have to try some of these. At the moment I’m really liking the Shiseido pureness gel-cream at the moment. Just curious if you’ve tried the Shiseido skincare and what you think of it?

    • Ruth
      August 8, 2012 / 4:54 pm

      I used to use quite a lot of Shiseido when I was first modelling, but haven’t in a while! I must get back into it! x

  14. Sophiabencks
    August 8, 2012 / 5:49 pm

    These cream-gel formulas fit my skin-type exactly. I’ve been a long-time fan of Darphin’s Hydraskin Light for a few years now, and I use it every day – occasionally I use the Clinique Moisture Surge as it was free in a magazine a couple of months ago – it’s good but Darphin is wonderful.
    Great post!

    • Ruth
      August 9, 2012 / 6:17 pm

      Thank you! x

  15. Vero
    August 9, 2012 / 8:38 am
  16. Gaya
    August 12, 2012 / 2:31 pm

    Hey Ruth! Did you try Caudalies’s Vinosource moisturizing sorbet? I have the one for sensitive skin and the texture is brilliant (not really a cream nor a mousse but something in between). It sinks right into the skin and moisturizes it really well without adding oil. I thought it might fall into this category of moisturizer that you like. The serum in this range is quite brilliant too (like a patch of moisture), I use it alone at night when my skin feels dehydrated. :)

    • Ruth
      August 12, 2012 / 10:49 pm

      Yes, just didn’t pop it in because it’s not so much of a gel! It is lovely though x

  17. Wes
    August 15, 2012 / 6:29 pm

    Have you tried Sisley’s Tropical Resins Complex? It is so luxurious and of course expensive, like all things Sisley. I think you would love it, it also has a mattifying agent to reduce shine. Perfect for this guy’s combination skin. I love your blog/vlog btw, even though I can’t use the makeup haha.

    • Ruth
      August 16, 2012 / 7:03 pm

      Thank Wes, I shall add that to the ever-growing list! x

  18. lu
    September 5, 2012 / 2:35 pm

    Hi Ruth, I am so glad I have discovered your blog beginning of this year. So far thanks to your reviews I got Nia24 cream, Suti oil, Pai cleanser, Nars TM, Alpha H LG and mask,Strivectin SD eye concentrate, Manuka cleanser, Caudalie products just to name a few….love them all. At the moment when I have some spare time I am trying to read through all of your archives looking for some inspiration ;))

    Anyway I have got a question for you, I need some good quality moisturiser, with antioxidants would be good or brightening one, i have got some favourites so far Clarins daily energizer, Clarins Hydraquench, Lierac Hydro-chrono , Lierac mesolift cream and like also the look of Institut Esthederm Hydra system Aqua difufusion( altough the price is a bit steep). My skin is normal-combination prone to spots in chin area. Please could you help me to decide? And also regarding serums- which one is in your opinion better? Caudalie brightening serum or Lierac concentre mesolift?

    Thanks xx

    • Ruth
      December 27, 2012 / 3:21 pm

      OK, well…I can’t imagine that the Clarins is packed full of antioxidants, to be honest with you! If you had some pennies to spare I’d recommend one of the Skinceuticals treatments like Phloretin or Ferulic. I have been using the Institut Esthederm Vitamin C range and it’s absolutely brilliant, but also steep! The Elemental Herbology moisturiser that I talked about a while back is great and not TOO dear, it also has AHAs and so might help on the breakout side a little… Hope that helps xx

  19. chara876
    October 25, 2012 / 3:26 pm

    I am 36 with combination skin that occasionally breaks out, so I was looking for something that moisturizes without adding a bunch of extra oil. My wife (who is SO beautiful and also has combination skin) recommended the Lady Soma Renew Serum that she uses. This really works! My skin is feeling and looking better. I am so satisfied that I have recommended it to family and friends, something I rarely do. My wife always gets mistaken for someone who is at least 10 years younger than she really is. I imagine that is due to her taking good care of her skin and good genetics, but I must say that I think the hyaluronic acid in the Lady Soma Renew Serum helps to keep her (and me) moisturized and to keep the fine lines at bay.

  20. January 12, 2013 / 6:12 am

    I have combination and sensitive skin. It’s been hard to find a skin product for me. Recently I’ve been looking for a cream to use for both during the day and night. I have tried the Made from Earth Vitamin C Moisturizer one for a week and am absolutely in love with this. And its organic without chemicals! When I put it on, it feels light and refreshing with no scent.

    It has the perfect amount of moisturizer so my face feels hydrated and I don’t need to constantly reapply nor wiping oil off my face. I have not found any other product fits my skin so well and I’ll stick with this one for a while!

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