I confess I was initially snippy about the craze for jelly-textured moisturisers, mainly because I felt I’d been here before. The first wave of moisture gels invariably combined silicone that peeled off the face with high levels of alcohol that stripped it dry. I couldn’t see the point in taking what was essentially a crap serum and calling it a moisturiser when both products are already perfectly fit for purpose. But as I began playing with the new generation of jellies, I quite literally softened.
These Korean-skincare inspired jellies are much better and finer-textured, and while they’re unlikely to enter my own routine permanently, they do answer the prayers of many an oily or combination person. They’re also terrific for women experiencing the hot flashes, rosacea and increased oiliness so common in menopause, because they apply water-soluble hydrating ingredients without any grease, and feel cool and weightless – a tall glass of iced water for the more mature face, if you will. Shiseido’s excellent Waso Clear Mega Hydrating Cream (£32, 50ml), for example – designed for millennials, but adored by my friends for its instantly cooling, plumping and smoothing effect and enduringly moist finish. Clinique, well known for its excellent gel-textured Moisture Surge franchise, has recently extended the idea to Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly (£31 – great value for a whopping 125ml). This has a cooling, jelly-to-liquid texture and contains hyaluronic acid (as every product here does) to help retain water. Oily and hormonal skins (at either end of the generational spectrum) should enjoy wearing it applied straight over serum, before makeup.
The best bargain jelly I’ve found is Garnier’s Skinactive 3 in 1 Hydrating Aloe Water Jelly (£12.99, 150ml). As a moisturiser, the gel smoothes away to nothing. For a quick hydrating face mask, layer on more thickly and leave for a while. In either case, skin is left plumper and perkier. My favourite of all was, annoyingly, the dearest – but only because it seemed to offer increased hydration to parched skins such as mine. Murad’s Nutrient-Charged Water Gel (£50, 50ml) has a sublime texture – light, non-greasy, pleasantly chilling and comforting – and offered such a lasting hit of moisture that I finally think I’m ready for this jelly.
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