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.
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 :)