Friday, May 30, 2014

Roundup: Water-based Moisturizers for Combination-Oily Skin

There's no denying I love beauty oils for the face, but really, in this heat there's no way I can slather oil and just not feel uncomfortable. So as far as facial moisturizers go, I always rely on water-based alternatives. Here are some that I've used and accumulated over the last couple of months. Some I've been using for years (Celeteque Water-based Moisturizer is a favorite) while some I've discovered abroad (hello, Innisfree!).

If you have sensitive and combi/oily skin, I hope you find this quick roundup of my tried and tested water-based moisturizers useful:

1. Celeteque Dermoscience Facial Moisturizer - around Php 150

The most affordable and lightweight water-based moisturizer out there, with its aloe vera, provitamin B5, and glycerin ingredients. I've been using it for years under BB Cream, foundation, sunscreen, etc. For some reason BB cream breaks me out (whether drugstore or high-end brands, results are always the same) so I use this as a "barrier" to protect my skin. It's very, very lightweight and easy to apply (no drag!), plus whatever you apply on top of it just glides smoothly. It's a winner and readily available in Watsons or any supermarket/drugstore. The only caveat: it contains silicones.

2. Sebamed Clear Face Care Gel - around Php 600-700

Sebamed is known to create products that protect the acid mantle of the skin, formulating all to have a pH level of 5.5. I purchased this last year when I was breaking out and honestly found it expensive for the size, I think it was around P600-700 for a small 50ml tube. Specifically formulated for acne-prone skin, its formula is free from oils and emulsifiers and mostly uses aloe vera as a base. Also contains allantoin to alleviate irritations, panthenol to heal skin lesions, and hyaluronic acid to keep skin supple. The pH level of 5.5 is said to inhibit the growth of bacteria.

This feels "heavier" than Celeteque's and is sort of thicker (as far as gel-based moisturizers go) and feels slightly sticky. Great when used one its own, but "balls" up when you top it with liquid or cream makeup. FYI, this does not contain silicones and has a "tightening effect" on the skin as it dries.

3. Neutrogena HydroBoost Gel SPF 30 - P830

Of course the perfect moisturizer should contain SPF, and Neutrogena is the first to create one specifically for our hot weather. The gel is blue-hued and does contain silicone to help lock in moisture, also leaves a bit of a sheen on my skin after absorption. Would love this even more if it were unscented.

4. The Face Shop Chia Seed Sebum Control Moisture Cream - Php 1200~

You can readily deduce that I was attracted to the Chia Seed ingredient and the attractive green-themed packaging (the box is equally cute). Chia Seeds are known to carry moisture 10x their own weight, and this is supposedly the science behind this product -- to lock in moisture and keep skin hydrated for hours. It contains 100% organic non-GMO Chia Seed sap in lieu of water, and is made without parabens, benzophenone, sulfates, mineral oil, animal sourced ingredients, triethanolamine, and artificial coloring. I won't go as far as saying it's 100% natural as fragrance (though very refreshing) is one of the ingredients and could be an irritant for some.

A spatula is also packed in the box for hygienic purposes. FYI, it's in a clear gel form and not cream (as in the product name) and rests comfortably on the skin without make it oily.

5. Holika Holika Aqua Max Sebum Control Moisture Cream - P695

If your skin is more on the combi-dry side, you'll love this. It's a little bit richer than the rest and is almost similar to Neutrogena's HydroBoost. Used this in Korea and it really kept my skin moisturized in the very chilly 0-degree weather. It features white beads that "burst" upon application thus releasing more moisture (this is probably the most fun part, tee-hee).

6. Innisfree The Minimum Ampoule Essence

Formulated specifically for sensitive skin, it contains 99% natural extracts specifically Medacassoside that supposedly heals and treats blemishes. More like a serum than a gel moisturizer, the formulation is more fluid and alleviates redness. In true Innisfree fashion, it does not contain the 10 known additives: parabens, mineral oil, animal sourced ingredients, alchohol, acryl amide, silicon oil, formaldehyde, dioxin, colorants, and fragrance. I would hoard this next time I go back to Korea. It's lightweight and is easy to spread on the skin, plus it can be used as a night treatment, too.

The bottomline:

While all these products are well and good and have worked on my sensitive and sometimes intolerant skin, if you're in a pinch take the Celeteque Dermoscience Facial Moisturizer (it's cheap and it works!) or the Neutrogena HydroBoost Gel SPF 30 (because SPF is very important!).

If you can spend a bit more on a product with natural ingredients, take the Innisfree The Minimum Ampoule Essence (your sensitive skin will love this and it can double duty as a night treatment) or the The Face Shop Chia Seed Sebum Control Moisture Cream.

Have you transitioned to water-based moisturizers for summer? 
Please share your faves with me below :)


  1. Nice list! I will check out Celeteque & Neutrogena for my next moisturizers. :)

  2. Thanks! Love how these drugstore brands are cheap yet do the job well :)

  3. Celeteque is always a mainstay for me, but I've started to explore other things. I'm going to check out some of these!

  4. Hi Ate Kira. How much is the exfoliating gel?

  5. Thanks! Agree, Celeteque talaga is a mainstay, it's skin-friendly, affordable, and readily available in stores :)

  6. Hi, Bhelle! Regular price is P299 :)

  7. I used Celeteque before but my derma told me not to use moisturizers kasi super duper oily na ang face ko... Pero love love love Celeteque

  8. Not to go against your derma, but even if I have oily skin I still use gel moisturizers, not lang cream because it's so heavy and warm on the face. I think you still need moisturizers otherwise your skin will produce more oil to compensate, it's just knowing which is the RIGHT moisturizer for your skin type. Glad to know you use Celeteque also :)

  9. Yun nga eh. I know pag cream, feeling ko nalulusaw yung face ko pag mainit. I wondered also why I had to stop it. Siguro I have to check other brands din to see if it would fit my face. I haven't seen my derma for months! Hahahah!

  10. great roundup! I have the celeteque one and I love how it feels so cool on the skin. :) the neutrogena one looks interesting though, I'll check it out soon! :)

  11. I agree, Celeteque has been a longtime favorite :)

  12. Rea Lynne Lopez AguinaldoJune 28, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    On a recent trip to Korea I got myself a Chia Seed Moisture-holding seed cream and was given samples for the Chia Seed Sebum Control Moisture Cream, still finishing my Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream pot so I have yet to find out if both products will do wonders to my skin.

    Also, last week a MUA used Celeteque on me and I was won over! Affordable and awesome!

  13. Hi, @Rea Lynne Lopez Aguinaldo! Yes, Celeteque is my brand of choice as it definitely is the cheapest. As for the Chia Seed Cream moisturizers, what brand was it? Will be heading back to Korea on December :)

  14. Hi Kira! I'm looking for snake brand's cooling powder. Apparently, Watsons I went in makati didn't have it. Where else should I try looking for it?

  15. Hi, Min! I know it's only available in Watsons stores. You might want to check other branches?

  16. Thank you, Kira! I will check them out soon :)