sign up for our newsletter to get free sample alerts

15 Dreamiest Water Lotions for Lighter-Than-Air Hydration

Hydrate your skin without suffocating it with these water-based moisturizers
Photo 1/16
In the beauty world, the hottest hydration ingredient of the moment is good ol' H2O. Water lotions, creams and gel moisturizers use, you guessed it, water (along with other lightweight hydrators such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin and dimethicone) instead of oils to deeply quench parched skin, leaving it soft and supple, but never greasy. "They absorb more easily than thicker moisturizers, making them choice for anyone with oily skin or who simply doesn't like the feeling of heavy creams," explains Dr. Michele Farber of Schweiger Dermatology in New York City. They're also a perfect addition to your summer skin care lineup; using one pre-makeup can help prevent mid-day meltdown when temps and humidity levels start to rise, she adds.

Another plus: These water-based formulas also feel pleasantly refreshing. "As the water evaporates from the skin, it creates a cooling effect," explains cosmetic chemist Perry Romanowski. Applying onto your freshly washed complexion is the best way to seal in moisture, so slather these on immediately post-cleansing. And if you're a dry-skinned kinda girl who prefers more traditional moisturizing methods, try layering one of these lighter products over any oil-based lotion or cream -- the water-based formula will lock in the richer moisturizer, maximizing the effects, explains Farber. Try the 15 options ahead for the ultimate in heavenly hydration.

Image via Getty

Photo 2/16
Tatcha The Water Cream, $68
This bouncy, pudding-like formula soaks into skin in seconds, thanks to water-burst technology that "breaks" upon application to deliver the hydrating H2O. An extensive list of Japanese skin-care ingredients -- pore-tightening Japanese Wild Rose, oil-controlling Japanese Leopard Lily and a trio of anti-aging green tea, rice, and algae -- make this more than just a basic moisturizer. Need further proof of just how good it is? It sold out in Sephora twice within the first month that it launched. (We're also suckers for the gorgeous blue packaging.)

Buy now

Part of this Korean brand's "Water Bank" collection (four products, one of which is sold every 15 seconds!), this features hydro-ionized mineral water, packed with six essential minerals to both hydrate and nourish the skin. And not only do you get the instant hit of hydration, there are also natural moisturizing factors and skin-barrier-strengthening olive squalane to prevent future moisture loss and keep skin supple all day long. Plus, the fragrance is almost as refreshing as cream itself.

Buy now

Lusciously thick (we're talking "turn the jar upside down and it won't drip out" thick), yet not even slightly goopy, this gel moisturizer is perfect for anyone who wants the feel of a thicker cream without the sticky side effects. Loaded with antioxidants like goji berry and pomegranate to ward off free radicals caused by exposure to sun and pollution, it's not only like a big drink of water for your skin, but a superfood smoothie, too.

Buy now

Bounce creams are the latest K-beauty trend to try (so-called since the jelly-like consistency "bounces" back when touched), and most are also water-based, like this one. But it's not just plain old tap water; this uses uncontaminated glacial water from Chile (which has the same atomic structure as the water naturally found in your skin), plus mineral-rich Polynesian lagoon water.

Buy now

Full Site | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy
© 2022 Total Beauty Media, Inc. All rights reserved.