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I always complain that most gel, oil-free and lightweight moisturiser formulas do not work for my skin! As someone who leans more dry, I need something that will allow my skin to breathe during the summer that isn't going to leave it feeling parched in the heat within a few hours of application. These are the formulas that get the balance perfect, for me...

First up is a holiday favourite of mine: the Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream* | £35. This is a great gel-cream with a water base packed full of humectants to pull hydration into your skin, like the titular hyaluronic acid in a variety of molecular weights (to deliver water to multiple layers of the skin), polyglutamic acid and the ever-trustworthy glycerin. There are also also antioxidant-rich plant extracts and oils to help protect the skin from environmental damage, such as turmeric. I think the oil-based ingredients like squalane, fatty alcohol, jojoba oil and plum oil are what help this still leave my skin soft and moisturised, despite the lightweight, melting texture. You also get the added benefit of niacinamide in this formula to help prevent discolouration, boost ceramide production (strengthening the skin barrier) and help control oil production in the skin. This feels so light on my skin but still leaves it dewy, juicy and moisturised after use! 

Next is a product I used throughout my travels in Southeast Asia, because I love the texture and it contains my go-to AM active, so cuts out the need for a separate serum. The Sunday Riley CEO Afterglow Vitamin C Brightening Cream* | £60. This is a slightly richer gel-cream than the Glow Recipe formula, so if you don't like the idea of something that water-based; this is for you, because it still melts right in, isn't at all heavy and will give your skin a lovely, fresh glow. This moisturiser features an oil-based Vitamin C derivative (Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate), which has antioxidant and skin-brightening benefits. There are other plant oils in here too for that soft skin feel, glycerin to pull in hydration and occlusives to seal it in. If your skin usually craves richer creams, this is your perfect summer-friendly alternative. 

A product I loved a few years back and recently opened a new pot of is the Honest Beauty Hydrogel Cream* | £25. This is a really simple formula that's fragrance-free and I think would work for most skin types, including sensitive. This looks like a cream but has a very fluffy texture and melts down very easily into something water-based once applied to the skin. It's formulated with squalane, to replenish lost oils in the skin, and glycerin to pack in the water-based hydration, alongside Vitamin E (a fat-soluble antioxidant), soothing Sodium PCA and jojoba esters, a more lightweight take on jojoba oil. It's not as dewy as the other two moisturisers I've covered so far, which is why it could work for more normal and combination skin types too. It's very simple but it hydrates and softens the skin effectively without adding too much.

Next is another favourite from my recent travels (I tended to put this on after showering to go out in the evening, as it's another one-step hero): the Ole Henriksen Strength Trainer Peptide Boost Moisturiser* | £42. This looks more gel-like but don't be fooled: it has just about everything in here that your skin needs. This is contains glycerin, peptides to hydrate and plump the skin (as well as potentially boosting up collagen production), replenishing amino acids and moisturising, nourishing ingredients like mango butter. There's topical collagen in here to condition the skin, plus ceramides to top up your skin's natural lipid barrier and niacinamide, as a bonus multi-use active with all the benefits we discussed earlier. This is easily absorbed, it's not too rich, but it still feels substantial on the skin. I love that it packs so much into a single step and it's enough to keep my skin soft, moisturised and happy all day long.

I also love Tatcha's the Dewy Skin Cream* | £65 | which has a melting cream texture not dissimilar to the Sunday Riley formula. It has a kind of richness to it but it's really readily-absorbed by my skin, so it works really well as a dewy-finish product to use under my makeup during the summer months. It's packed full of hyaluronic acid to attract water, but also a blend of antioxidant botanicals, squalane, Vitamin E and occlusives to seal everything in. This isn't an active moisturiser as such, it's really all about that gorgeous finish it gives my skin and that lightweight feel that still somehow has body. 

Finally, we have the Beauty Pie Youthbomb Biologic Collagen Peptide Cream* | £44 (for members). This is a gel-cream that leans a little more towards the former, which melts in but leaves a hydrated, dewy finish on the skin. For it's moisturising, hydrating base, we have shea butter, jojoba butter, meadowfoam seed oil and glycerin. As our actives, we have peptides, which we discussed have hydrating, plumping and possibly even collagen-boosting benefits, plus niacinamide again, because it truly does cover off so many bases for a skincare routine. This is a really great multi-active, lightweight formula that packs a lot into a single step without overwhelming the skin.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your favourite moisturisers for summer?

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