The Best Gel Moisturisers To Cool & Hydrate The Skin
The Best Gel Moisturisers To Cool & Hydrate The Skin

The Best Gel Moisturisers To Cool & Hydrate The Skin

Lightweight and cooling, gel creams flood your complexion with moisture, while absorbing fast with zero greasiness. In short, they’re the ideal skincare swap to make at this time of year. Here are some of our favourites…

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Hydrate & Calm CBD Gel Cream, £34.75 (was £57.95) | Aurelia

Best For: Rosacea
Why We Love It: If you suffer with redness or inflammation, this is a godsend. The cool, gel-like texture instantly takes down feelings of tightness – so expect to get through it at lightning speed. Containing CBD oil, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, it’s a hydration hero, but you’ll also see smoother, suppler skin alongside better glow. Bouncy in texture, it’s satisfying to apply and absorbs fast with zero greasy residue, leaving behind a great base for make-up to adhere to.

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Hydrance Aqua-Gel Moisturiser, £21 | Avène

Best For: Sensitive Skin
Why We Love It: French pharmacy brand Avène is a saviour for sensitive skin types, and this moisturiser gets our vote every time. Containing 75% thermal spring water, think of it as a quenching drink for parched complexions, while the unique Cohederm complex is designed to restore elasticity and smoothness. The best bit? The gel-cream formula means zero stickiness or residue, so you can apply make-up straight over the top without the risk of it piling. It can also be used as an overnight mask – just use a thicker layer.

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Moisture Surge, £29 (was £39) | Clinique

Best For: A Lightweight Feel
Why We Love It: Moisture Surge is a cult classic, but it’s recently had a makeover. It now comes with an even lighter texture for longer-lasting moisture. Aloe vera, hyaluronic acid and anti-redness cica combine to zap up any dryness and keep skin smooth and free from irritation, and it works just as well on dry elbows, shins and ragged cuticles as it does on your face. We love the plumped-up effect it gives skin.

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Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Gel Moisturiser, £32.50 | Laneige

Best For: Instant Hydration
Why We Love It: Fresh and cooling, this gel cream is one of our all-time favourites. Its primary goal is to hydrate without any filler ingredients. Full of hyaluronic acid and deep sea algae, it penetrates deep down into the skin’s dermis for instant hydration. The result? Healthier, more even-looking skin with minimal redness. You’ll feel relief the minute you apply it – especially if you’re prone to dryness.

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Hydrogel Cream, £25 | Honest Beauty

Best For: All Skin Types
Why We Love It: Everyone can benefit from using this crowd-pleasing softening cream. It’s full of nourishing ingredients like squalane and hyaluronic acid, so you’ll find skin immediately looks more hydrated and luminous – which explains why it’s often sold out. A little goes a long way, so use it sparingly and keep it in the fridge for an extra cooling hit.

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Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream, £48 | Kiehl’s

Best For: Breakout-Prone Skin
Why We Love It: If you’re prone to oiliness, but still want to hydrate your skin, this Kiehl’s cream is the answer. Oil free, it’s been designed with greasy skin types in mind, and uses amino acids to reduce the sebum levels in our skin, while still delivering some much-needed moisture. The gel texture is so lightweight that, as you apply it, you’ll find it melts into the skin with zero shine – the almost mattifying finish even comes with a cooling sensation, so you get the best of both of worlds.

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Hydro Boost Gel Cream, £8.66 (was £12.99) | Neutrogena

Best For: Those On A Budget
Why We Love It: This is easily one of the best creams we’ve ever tried under £10. It has a light texture that’s perfect for combination skin, yet it still feels deeply hydrating. Non-comedogenic, you never have to worry about it clogging up your pores, while the high levels of hyaluronic acid saturate skin with hydration that lasts. It’s also clinically proven to work, with studies showing regular use can rebuild damaged skin barriers for a more resilient and toned complexion. No wonder this is one of the bestselling beauty products in the US.

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Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel Cream, £40 | REN

Best For: Brightening & Protecting 

Why We Love It: It’s impossible to find a bad review for this vitamin C cream. Often recommended by industry pros, it promises to boost glow and even skin tone within just a few uses. Thanks to ingredients like magnesium, glycerine and fruit oils, you can expect skin to feel soft and refreshed – and never irritated, which can be common with vitamin C formulas. It works well for all skin types, but especially those prone to sensitivities and breakouts. We love the dewy finish it leaves behind. 

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Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturiser, £40 | Biossance

Best For: Smoothing Uneven Tone
Why We Love It: This is one of the more expensive options, but it’s worth it if you’re looking to tackle numerous issues at once. Using probiotics, plant-derived squalane and red seaweed, it gradually smooths uneven skin tone, brightens dark spots and reduces redness. Of course, it delivers a decent dose of hydration too – the rich gel texture feels luxuriously decadent. We recommend using it at night to wake up with plumped, moisturised and refreshed-looking skin but it also sits comfortably underneath make-up – just apply it in light layers to prevent pilling.

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