Having skin that's adequately hydrated is key for maintaining a strong and healthy skin barrier. Traditionally, getting that hydration meant you had to use heavy, occlusive creams—which of course made things complicated for those with oily skin (who, BTW, need moisture too) or anyone who didn't like the feel of a thick, goopy product greasing up their face. Now, though, there are plenty of lightweight formulas that get the job done without greasing up your face.
"The biggest mistake is choosing the wrong moisturizer for your skin type," says Purvisha Patel, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Germantown, Tennessee. "Oily skin generally will need a lighter moisturizer such as a gel or lotion to prevent clogging of pores and acne."
If you're looking for a moisturizer that feels lightweight but is actually hydrating enough to protect your skin from the cold winter air and dry indoor air from heaters, we've got the three best options below.
3 best lightweight winter moisturizers
“CeraVe PM is a great lightweight moisturizer,” says Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Miami. That’s because the formula feels light-as-a-feather, but is packed with nourishing ingredients like hydrating hyaluronic acid, soothing and oil-regulating niacinamide, and strengthening ceramides.
For Shirley Chi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Southern California, this moisturizer is a go-to. She says it’s so good it’s better than any of the luxury moisturizers out there. “It’s rich enough to be moisturizing, but it’s not super heavy feeling,” she says. “It doesn’t feel like you’re clogging your pores.”
This one is another favorite of Dr. Woolery-Lloyd. It has a gel-cream formula, allowing it to feel cloud-like and sink into the skin super fast while still giving your skin the hydration it needs. It’s made with glycerin and hyaluronic acids, two water-loving ingredients that your skin will drink up.
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