Five Moisturizing Gel-Creams For Summer: Dr. Jart+, Klairs, Belif, Paula's Choice, Iope

Five moisturizing gel-creams for summer

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Intro
At a glance

My selection of moisturizing gel-creams for the warm season!

Are you one of those people who tend to set their moisturizer aside when temperatures start to rise? Or on the contrary, are you the kind who loves to dive into the delicious sherbet textures of moisturizing gel-creams, perfect to lightly moisturize your skin during the summer months? I think you can guess where I fit in! Here is my selection of moisturizing gel-creams for the summer! 😉

I got a message the other day on my Instagram account from someone who asked, “I know you’re not really into moisturizers and you prefer serums, but could you tell me what you think about the cream X from Y?”. I was a little confused, I must admit!

I don’t know if I gave that impression, but just in case, let me clear up this misunderstanding right away: I love moisturizers!

However, I must admit, I don’t expect incredible results from them. For me, a moisturizer is not really a treatment, it has more of a protection role in a routine! It’s the last protective layer that will “seal in” what I’ve applied underneath.

But the thing I particularly appreciate about moisturizers is the sensorial experience they can provide! They are a pleasurable product for me.

That’s why their texture is so important to me! In summer, for example, I like the light and silky textures of the gel-creams, which melt on the skin like a delicious frozen dessert!

Obviously, I have more cool textures to try since I resumed using products that contain silicones, that’s for sure!

For a long time, I avoided them, convinced that these ingredients were not safe for my acne-prone skin, that they were like plastic and that they would suffocate my skin! 😬🤪

And then, the more I learned about them, the more I realized that there was a lot of misinformation circulating about silicones! (Lately, I read this article about them, and it’s very interesting, if you want to know more about them)

Indeed, by their very nature (= they form a kind of mesh on the skin, a bit like a fishing net), silicones let the interesting ingredients pass through while forming a “breathable” film on the skin (assuming the skin breathes, which is not the case, it has no lungs!). Most silicones are also non-comedogenic.

From now on, even if I avoid buying a skincare product that contains a lot of silicones because it’s not necessarily the ingredient I’m looking for first in a skincare product, if there’s a little in my moisturizer, I don’t mind at all. They provide great textures, which are lighter and more enjoyable, so I’m not going to deprive myself anymore!

And I can guarantee you that since I started using them again (about a year ago), I haven’t had more breakouts than usual! So…

Not all the moisturizers I use contain them, but it’s no longer a concern for me if I see them in a list of ingredients.

For today’s selection, I’ve chosen gel-cream textures, which are perfect for daytime use because they leave the skin moisturized, fresh but not sticky!

Here are five moisturizing gel-creams that I recently tried and that are perfect for summer. I tried considering all skin types, from dry to oily; there’s something for everyone!

Skincare How I build my skincare routine Building a skincare routine tailor-made for your skin, your needs, your desires, and your budget… Not an easy task. In this article, I explain in detail how I do it! Read more

Dr. Jart+Vital Hydra Solution Water Cream:

∎ Description:
“The latest line in their skin-soothing collection, Dr. Jart+’s Vital Hydra Biome Water Cream ends any dew-drought with its instantly cooling and hydrating formula.
It has an ultra-lightweight, fluid texture that thirsty cells gulp down, granting an incredible 30 hours of continued hydration. Helping the good bacteria essential for your skin’s health to thrive, patented Jartbiome technology is brimming with fermented prebiotics (beneficial microbes) to support the skin’s moisture barrier. With not one but three types of hyaluronic acid, this intensely hydrating formula draws in and clings to moisture. Last but not least, the Hydra-Nutrition 2X booster propels your skin’s moisture levels to dewy heights.”

∎ For who:
For combo to dry, dehydrated skin.

∎ Size:
50ml

∎ Made In:
South Korea

∎ Packaging:
A light blue plastic jar that looks refreshing just by looking at it!

∎ Texture:
It’s water-cream, a typical Korean texture! On application, these textures (which are often gel-creams), also called “quick break”, break into water droplets on the skin, allowing a real wave of freshness. Perfect for sunny days!

∎ Fragrance:
A very light and fresh scent.

∎ Key skincare ingredients in the formula:
– Prebiotics to help balance the skin’s microbiome,
– 3 forms of hyaluronic acids to deeply moisturize the skin,
– niacinamide, a star skincare ingredient in cosmetics (anti-ageing, brightening, soothing, purifying…),
– and repairing anti-aging adenosine.

∎ Complete ingredient list:
Aqua, Propanediol, Glycerin, Streptococcus Thermophilus Ferment, Phenyl Trimethicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprate, Pentylene Glycol, Raffinose, DNA, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Vinyl Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hydroxyacetophenone, Tromethamine, Dimethiconol, Glyceryl Glucoside, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cellulose Gum, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Adenosine, Sorbitan Isostearate, Disodium EDTA, Malachite Extract, Glycine, Proline, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Fruit Oil, Perfume, Limonene, Tremella Fuciformis Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Fructose, Tocopherol, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate.

∎ Formulated without:
– dyes,
– alcohol.

∎ My experience:
If you’re looking for something natural, this one won’t be for you! Here, what matters is above all the sensorial experience and the result 😉
The moisturizing effect is intense, even if the texture feels very lightweight. For me and my combination skin, it’s a little too much, it tends to make my skin look too shiny during the day. I think it’s a product that will be more suitable for dry (or very dehydrated) skin. I also find it very soothing, and really, it’s great to use when it’s hot! But for me, rather as a night cream 😉

∎ Price:
$41

∎ Shop for this product:
Dr. Jart+Vital Hydra Solution Water Cream

Klairs Fundamental Water Gel Cream (gifted in PR):

∎ Description:
“This gel-cream is a moisturizer with a gel-type texture. As Klairs Fundamental Line, it provides the fulfills the ‘basics’ in your moisturizing skincare. It contains Jeju Green Tea Water and Panthenol to provide moisture and deep hydration with a light finish. Recommended for all skins and seasons.”

∎ For who:
All skin types that need hydration.

∎ Size:
70ml

∎ Made In:
South Korea

∎ Packaging:
A very minimalist plastic jar. I find it pretty but not really practical given the very liquid texture of this product. It’s difficult to pick up the product without spilling it. A pump bottle would have been much more suitable!

∎ Texture:
An extremely liquid gel-cream. It looks more like an emulsion than a gel. It’s not at all unpleasant to use but it’s a bit surprising at first 😉

∎ Fragrance:
It’s fragrance-free.

∎ Key skincare ingredients in the formula:
– Green tea: anti-oxidant, purifying, soothing,
– Phytosphingosine: a precursor ingredient of ceramides, very repairing,
Centella Asiatica and mugwort: soothing and anti-oxidant,
– moisturizing ingredients: glycerin, jojoba,
– soothing ingredients: panthenol and rosemary…

∎ Complete ingredient list:
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Aqua (Water), Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Panthenol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Hibiscus Esculentus Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Phytosphingosine, Caproyl Sphingosine, Tocopherol, Glyceryl Glucoside, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Trehalose, Jojoba Esters, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane.

∎ Formulated without:
– alcohol,
– mineral oil,
– fragrance,
– dyes.

∎ My experience:
Like all the products in this Fundamental range by Klairs, the formula is really good, full of good skincare ingredients and very complete!
It really does the job: it hydrates my skin deeply and for a long time. I also appreciate the fact that it contains antioxidant ingredients, it’s always a must (for antioxidants: the more the better 😉 ).
On the other hand, for me at the moment, it’s a bit too “moisturizing” for a daytime use. It’s very hot and humid at the moment in Dubai, so I quickly look like a disco ball!
However, I use it as a night cream, and I like it a lot! It allows me to compensate for the drying effect of tretinoin without being too heavy for the season! I will probably “re-discover” it as a day cream this fall 🙂
The only negative point is its jar packaging which isn’t very practical to use. It feels a bit like an accident waiting to happen (if I manage to finish it without spilling it in my sink, it’ll be a miracle!). On the other hand, I appreciate that it’s big (70ml) 😉

∎ Prices:
Between $27 and $39 depending on the retailers.

∎ Shop for this product:
Klairs Fundamental Water Gel Cream

Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb (limited edition Aloe Vera):

∎ Description:
“A cooling, lightweight gel-cream that soothes irritated skin with aloe vera and delivers instant hydration for dry, sensitive skin types.”

∎ For who:
All skin types who need hydration.

∎ Size:
Between 50 and 75ml.

∎ Made In:
South Korea

∎ Packaging:
A white plastic jar with a black and green cap.

∎ Texture:
A true gel-cream sherbet texture that melts deliciously on the skin. It’s very fresh and pleasant to use!

∎ Fragrance:
A fresh and aromatic fragrance (it contains essential oils).

∎ Key skincare ingredients in the formula:
– Moisturizing ingredients: Glycerin, ceramides, squalane…
– soothing ingredients: aloe vera, oat, calendula, horsetail, nettle leaves, panthenol…
– antioxidant ingredients: lady’s mantle, malachite.

∎ Complete ingredient list:
Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Methyl Trimethicone, Alcohol Denat.., Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PEG/PPG/Polybutylene Glycol-8/5/3 Glycerin, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Stellaria Media (Chickweed) Extract+, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract+, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract+, Nepeta Cataria Extract+, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract+, Baptisia Tinctoria Root Extract+, Alchemilla Vulgaris Leaf Extract, Equisetum Arvense Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf Extract, Malachite Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Flower Extract, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Panthenol, Ceramide NP, Cholesterol, Butylene Glycol, PEG-150, Squalane, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Dextrin, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dimethiconol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, C14-22 Alcohols, Polysorbate 60, Triethylhexanoin, Arachidyl Glucoside, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sorbitan Isostearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Carbomer, Trisodium EDTA, Tromethamine, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Ferula Galbaniflua (Galbanum) Resin Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil**, Citral, Limonene, Linalool.

∎ Formulated without:
– dyes,
– mineral oil.

∎ My experience:
This gel-cream is a variation of the famous Aqua Bomb, which has been a Belif best-seller for years. For summer, the brand launched this Aloe Vera edition. I was able to compare the two lists of ingredients side by side and they are really similar. Basically, this limited edition version contains Aloe Vera for an added soothing effect. But in terms of feeling on the skin and hydration, I think the two versions similar!
I totally understand why this product is a bestseller; it’s very pleasant to use, it’s super fresh, and it does the job! The skin feels moisturized and refreshed right away and throughout the day. Despite containing alcohol and essential oils in the formula, my skin tolerates it without any issue, and I even find it soothing. In short, Aqua Bomb deserves its cult favorite status!

∎ Price:
Between $38 and $40 depending on the retailers.

∎ Shop for this product:
Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb (limited edition Aloe Vera)

Paula’s Choice Water-Infusing Electrolyte Moisturizer:

∎ Description:
“This refreshing electrolyte-charged formula replenishes thirsty skin’s water content for lasting, weightless hydration and an instant plump, dewy look.”

∎ For who:
All skin types who need hydration.

∎ Format:
50ml

∎ Made In:
USA

∎ Packaging:
A light blue-grey plastic tube with a snap-on cap (which I don’t like, by the way, I prefer screw caps!).

∎ Texture:
A balm that looks thick at first but literally melts on the skin and turns into a very light fluid! It’s a “water-cream” as we saw above with Dr Jart+’s gel-cream 😉 The texture “breaks” and releases its watery phase when applied to the skin. It feels very fresh and nice to use!

∎ Fragrance:
It’s fragrance-free but still smells like a little fermented yeast or fermented cereal. I don’t dislike it!

∎ Key skincare ingredients in the formula:
– moisturizing ingredients: Glycerin, minerals (the famous electrolytes), squalane, ceramides, fatty acids derived from olives…
– antioxidant ingredients: niacinamide, apple, kiwi, mangosteen, cherry and coffee extracts,
– soothing ingredients: bisabolol, brown seaweed extracts.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Isohexadecane, Potassium Pca, Magnesium Pca, Calcium Pca, Ethylhexyl Olivate, Polyglyceryl-4 Olivate, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Laminaria Saccharina (Brown Algae) Extract, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Biotin/Folic Acid/Cyanocobalamin/Niacinamide/Pantothenic Acid/Pyridoxine/Riboflavin/Thiamine/Yeast Polypeptides, Garcinia Mangostana (Mangosteen) Peel Extract, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Fruit Extract, Squalane, Ceramide EOP, Ceramide AP, Ceramide NP, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Acetyl Hexapeptide-37, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Tocopherol, Creatine, Bisabolol, Sorbitol, Inositol, Xylitol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Levulinate, Behenyl Behenate, Tribehenin, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

∎ Formulated without:
– alcohol,
– mineral oil,
– fragrance,
– dye.

∎ My experience:
I love this product! Funny thing is, I almost didn’t try it. I don’t know why, I wasn’t inspired by it. I didn’t even order it, I got it as a gift when I placed an order at Paula’s Choice US website a few months ago. I got it and put it in a corner of my skincare cabinet right away. But all my skincare addict friends who influence me a lot were raving about it so I thought I’d give it a chance at the end! Great idea!
This gel-cream is perfect at the moment, it moisturizes without being sticky; its texture is a pleasure to use and my skin is super comfortable and soothed for the day!
I know that on Paula’s Choice website, it is described as a night cream, but it’s not, it’s a day and night product. Its formula is super complete too; in short, I’m obsessed with it!

∎ Price:
From $35 to $41 depending on the retailers.

∎ Shop for this product:
Paula’s Choice Water-Infusing Electrolyte Moisturizer

Iope Derma Repair Cica Gel Cream:

∎ Description:
“Fresh and moist cica gel cream containing madecassoside, panthenol, and cypress extract which are effective ingredients for treating rough, damaged skin, suitable for use on acne skin.”

∎ For who:
For dehydrated combo to oily skin, sensitive and acne-prone skin.

∎ Size:
50ml

∎ Made In:
South Korea

∎ Packaging:
A light blue tube with a white (screw!) cap.

∎ Texture:
A light creamy gel, which is absorbed quickly without feeling sticky.

∎ Fragrance:
Fragrance-free.

∎ Key skincare ingredients in the formula:
It’s a simple and rather short formula.
It contains mainly soothing ingredients (Centella Asiatica, Panthenol, allantoin, cypress extract) and moisturizing ingredients (squalane, betaine, glycerin).

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Purified Water, Propanediol, Betaine, Panthenol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, 1,2-Hexanediol, Squalane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, C12-16 Alcohols, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Palmitic Acid, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Cross Polymer, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Allantoin, Tromethamine, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Caprylate, Disodium EDTA, Glycerine, Sorbitan Isostearate, Madecassoside, Chamaecyparis Obtusa Leaf Extract, Glucose, Tocopherol

∎ Formulated without:
– alcohol,
– silicone,
– mineral oil,
– fragrance,
– dye.

∎ My experience:
I bought this product in Korea because I had the opportunity to try the classic cream version of this product, which I found super soothing but a bit rich for summer. Iope is a bit complicated to find outside Korea! It’s a shame because these are interesting products; Iope is under the umbrella of AmorePacific, the Korean L’Oréal, and it’s one of their brands that is a rather innovative and with effective and cutting-edge products.
It’s typically the product I choose when my skin is irritated and can’t tolerate anything. The great thing about it is that the texture is super lightweight, it’s absorbed right away and doesn’t make me look shiny during the day. It’s clearly not the most sensorial product I’ve selected, but I appreciate having it on hand for those days when my skin looks like crap! It’s really super soothing, and it’s perfect for when I have a breakout.
It’s more suitable for oily skin, if you have drier skin, it may not be the best for you, I suspect.

∎ Price:
Between $29 and $49 depending on the retailers.

∎ Shop for this product:
Iope Derma Repair Cica Gel Cream

In conclusion:

I think that if I had to choose a favourite gel-cream, it would probably be between the one from Paula’s Choice and the Belif, which I find particularly enjoyable at the moment!

But I think the Klairs will be perfect as soon as the temperatures start to go down a bit! At the moment, I still enjoy it very much as a night cream for a deep but not “heavy” hydration.

Did you know any of these products? And do you have a favorite gel-cream for the summer? 😉

Comments (6)

  1. Love your feedback! Can you review the products from The Ordinary? They have so many products and it’s confusing on what each item is really used for and along with what. I love your evaluation because you’re honest, knowledgeable, and you explain how it’s used.

  2. Hi Bonnie,

    I stumbled upon your blog whilst researching for a new skincare routine for hot/humid weather. I’ve just moved to Dubai from the UK so a lot of my current products doesn’t suit the onslaught of 24h AC interspersed with extreme humidity. I love your detailed and science-based review. The fact that you are also in Dubai is a real bonus as I’ve been scouring my usual UK sites for international shipping but also other sites like yesstyle to see where I can get my mitts on these new products 🙂

    I have oily, acne-prone skin and was wondering if moisturiser is essential if I already use a toner, niacinamide serum, face mist and sunscreen in the AM? In Dubai heat, my face just gets so sticky and I am literally a disco ball an hour after I do my morning routine.

    So glad to have found your website, the reviews are super helpful!

    • Hi Tida and welcome to Dubai! 😀
      You can totally skip your moisturizer, especially if you’re using a serum and a suncreen already. I’m sticking to mine because I’m currently adjusting my skin to tretinoine, which has made my skin drier than our desert 😉
      About the websites that ship internationally, please go have a look at a website called “Aramex Shop & Ship” and thank me later 😉

      1

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