All moisturisers are not equal at this time of year.
It’s an oft-misunderstood fact that despite temperatures rising to sticky and sweltering and our complexion regularly responding with a glowy – okay fine, oily – slick, beneath the surface, skin can be distinctly dehydrated.
“One of the less obvious challenges for skin in summer is dehydration,” says Linda Sharrem, skincare trainer at Caci.
“Our skin can be oilier but still lose water with not only the heat, but those summer goodies and parties!”
It means skin won’t react as it normally would, can be prone to breakouts, look dull and fine lines and wrinkles can be more prominent. Its protective barrier can also be compromised.
Sharrem says we should keep consistently moisturising in the morning and night regardless of how hot it is, but consider a seasonal texture switch from a rich moisturiser to lighter, water-based gel one.
“Change your skincare regime to address the summer elements, adding in antioxidant-rich and tyrosinase inhibitor (pigmentation) serums, and more summer-appropriate moisturisers, lighter, water-based ones featuring Hyaluronic Acid rather than oils. We don’t want to use winter specific skincare as it can cause congestion and block pores.”
Thankfully a new-wave of sorbet-like cooling gel-cream textures free of thick, cloying butters and oils rise to the demands of summer skin. They are light and refreshing to apply, absorb quickly and won’t feel greasy or look overly shiny when your skin heats up.
What’s more, loaded with quenching Hyaluronic Acid, a powerful humectant which helps regulate moisture levels, they’re like a tall drink of water for skin that’s seen an excess of sun.
They also make a great base for makeup and wont cause foundation to go on patchy or pill.
Gel moisturisers work well for most skin types but typically their absence of oil and light feel makes them extremely compatible with oily and combination skin, not just in summer, but all year round.
Meet five of the best gel moisturisers:
Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, $79
Potentially the most well-known of them all, Clinique’s lightweight pink gel is the perfect daily product for anyone that doesnt like the feel of regular moisturiser, including many men we know.
Syrene Aqua Intense Cream Gel, $110
A slightly more nourishing version perfect for evening use, Syrene’s cream contains seaweed extract to increase elasticity and native NZ Kawakawa to soothe and calm troubled skin.
La Mer Moisturising Cool Gel Cream, $545
Want to dial up the luxe factor? This contains the brand’s famous algae extract Miracle Broth that heals and speeds skin’s renewal process, but in a much lighter formula than the original Crème De La Mer.
Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel, $119
This cools upon application and absorbs beautifully with no residue and contains a number of vitamins, minerals and peptides to strengthen the skin’s barrier and maintain its plump, youthful-looking appearance.
Kiehl’s Calendula Water Cream, $72
Inspired by Kiehl’s best-selling soothing Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner, this water cream is perfect for anyone prone to redness because it contains concentrated calendula to even skin tone and boost radiance, while gently calming flushing or irritation.