Is gel the new skincare trend? Here’s everything you need to know

A skincare trend can be transient in nature but not when it has to do with textures of formulas like gel or cream based beauty bottles. If you are someone who grudgingly slather moisturisers while despising their greasy after effect or have experimented with oils only to end up with breakouts–your skin type is likely combination to oily. The good news is that the booming gel-based moisturisers on beauty shelves are everything you could wish for. Ahead, we spoke to leading skin experts on everything you might want to know about gel being the new skincare trend.

What’s the difference between gel and cream moisturisers?

“Traditional moisturisers are emulsions, a mixture of water and oil held together by a compound called an emulsifier. The water and oil would separate like salad dressing without the emulsifier. Gels are water-based formulas that contain a thickener to give them a creamy consistency,” explains Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, NYC Board Certified Dermatologist. He reaffirms that gels can come in various textures and offer as much hydration as traditional emulsion formulations depending on their ingredients.

Gel moisturisers are becoming the best sellers for most brands as customers appreciate the sensorial aspect that leaves no sticky tell-tale signs of applications. “Gel formulations are lighter in consistency than some other skincare formulations and vehicles such as ointments. They are especially a favourite during hot and humid months. They have a more cooling effect than other formulations,” adds Cincinnati-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Mona Mislankar, MD, FAAD.

Who should switch to gels in skincare?

It’s potent enough to hydrate but at the same time lightweight to not leave a sticky trail. Hydration or moisturisation is the one step you tend to skip when you have oily skin, but it’s to be remembered that even oily skin can get dehydrated. “People who have acne-prone skin or are more prone to blocking up pores prefer gel-based moisturisers. Gels give quick hydration. They are not sticky, and they hydrate the skin deeply,” says Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, Aesthetic Physician & Founder of ISAAC. If you are looking for a no-fuss quick fix to hydration, switch to gels.

Who should avoid gel textures?

Alcohol-based gel textures can be drying for those with sensitive or dry skin. “Although they can temporarily feel like they are adding extra hydration, they often cause extra irritation and dryness, so I often recommend those with dry or sensitive skin stick to cream or ointment-based vehicles,” says Dr Mona Mislankar. Dr Gupta seconds that those with dehydrated skin, should stick to the oil-based formulation provided as gels also tend to evaporate quickly.

Where does it figure in the skincare routine?

In a nutshell, it’s a replacement for your conventional moisturiser. “Gels offer a unique, modern texture that many consumers prefer since they are light and can easily be layered under other products,” adds Dr Zeichner.

This article first appeared in Vogue


  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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