I Switched to Gel Skincare, and My Skin Has Never Looked So Good

Having combination skin can be a real minefield when it comes to picking your skincare. Should you seek out products that dial down the oiliness or alleviate the dryness? If you focus on one, will you exacerbate the other? Luckily, last winter, it seemed that I finally found my skincare groove. My face was hydrated and plump, and any oiliness was under control. My technique? Light layers of serums and creams—and even nighttime oils when needed—to lock in hydration. But then spring and summer rolled around, and I was back to square one. The oilier parts of my skin were getting out-of-control shiny, and I found myself having to blot every couple of hours no matter which products I applied. And despite the increased oil levels, my skin also felt tight as it adjusted to a warmer climate.

Honestly, I felt like I just couldn't win, but that was when I began to notice a rise in the popularity of gel and jelly-textured skincare on TikTok. With no other tricks up my sleeve, I thought I’d try to incorporate this lighter texture into my routine too, and guess what: I've been totally converted. It turns out that while some social media beauty trends are just fads, switching to gel skincare is the real deal. In fact, even skincare experts are big fans of making the swap.


(Image credit: @keeksreid)

"The advantage of gels is that they can be very hydrating and quickly absorbed, so they're perfect for layering," says Justine Hextall, FRCP, consultant dermatologist. "There is so much interest in actives, and as such, several products may need to be applied. Gel works well for this."

With the hotter weather in the UK and the continued use of face masks, you might find your oil-based products clogging your pores, leading to breakouts. "Using a lightweight gel that is non-greasy helps to hydrate and protect the skin barrier, reducing dryness and irritation under a mask without being comedogenic," says Hextall. And in the cooler months, when dryness is more of a concern, she suggests layering gel formulas with a non-gel moisturiser to lock in hydration.


(Image credit: @keeksreid)

While most skin types can benefit from gel-textured skincare, Hextall advises you check the ingredient list. "If the gel is alcohol-based, then a sensitive skin type will find that astringent irritating. If a gel contains hydrating humectants, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, or ceramides, then it will be soothing to most skin types."

So if this has piqued your interest, then keep scrolling to discover the best gel skincare products.

Gel Cleansers

Gel Moisturisers & SPF

Gel Eye Creams

Gel Toners & Masks