Gel skin care products are one of the best kept secrets of the Korean beauty market. But they’re finally getting their day in the sun, and for good reason.
Here, we’re compiling the reasons you should definitely consider switching out some of your faves for gel products and some of the best products to make the switch with!
First, here’s why you should switch to gel skin care:
1. Hydration! Hydration! Hydration!
Because most gel creams and gel products are water based, they deliver and instant hit of hydration. Hydration is at the very foundation of the Korean beauty routine. It is the key to getting that glow all the Korean stars sport. Plus, when your skin is fatigued or dehydrated, it can make you look more tired. Gel products can be that instant hit of moisture that takes your skin from tired to healthy in one go.
2. No more oily finish
Gel products have been a longtime secret solution for those with oily skin because they tend to reduce excess shine from oil. Plus, you don’t need to worry about any gross residue or peeling since these products tend to be water-based and formulated to deliver instant hydration rather than dry out your skin. Gel products make for the perfect base to your everyday glowy or matte-finished look, without the extra oily shine.
3. Cool down and plump up
Since Mother Nature has decided that spring is no longer a thing here in New York City, we’re switching to our gel products early this season. When it’s hot and humid out, the last thing that you want to do is layer oil product after cream product on your skin, especially since you have to follow up with your sunscreen on top of it. But don’t forgo your routine when it’s hot out! Gel products have a soothing and cooling effect when applied, which makes them great for accommodating for the extra sweat and oil that tends to sit on our skin in the summer months.
4. No excess wait time.
Skin care products are most effective when you allow them to fully sink into your skin before moving to the next step. But this process can be tedious, especially if you’re going through a full ten step routine and you woke up late and are rushing out the door. Gels are absorbed easily and quickly into the skin to reduce this wait time and the overall time it takes to finish your routine.
Typically, beauty products that aren’t water-based will contain some type of oil which takes longer to absorb into the skin and has a greater tendency to slip off throughout the day. This makes gels a great option for not only getting you out the door faster, but for staying on longer throughout the day (especially under makeup).
So, where should you start?
Gel products in skin care aren’t exactly breaking news, which is lucky for us because it means there’s a breadth of products that are tried and true for you to delve into with summer right around the corner.
Exfoliating feels like a chore at the best of times. But it doesn’t need to be. The Dr. G Peeling Gel is a superstar Korean product and for good reason. You get to see the dead skin cells on your face literally roll away. Plus, it contains great anti-inflammatory, soothing ingredients, like honey, black willow, and hollyhock flower, which can do wonders for your skin if you stayed out in the summer sun just a little too long. It also contains vitamins C and E to brighten up and hydrate the skin, for beautiful and glowing skin.
Creams are the biggest thing that get overlooked in the summer. I’m guilty of it, too. The last thing I want to do when I wake up and it’s boiling outside is layer something heavy on my skin and then wait for it to absorb before moving on. It just won’t happen.
Instead, opt for something like the Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel or the Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream. These gel creams absorb super easily and contain skin-soothing ingredients like aloe and snail mucin for treating any sensitive skin that crops up over the summer due to overexposure to the elements. They’re also super hydrating so you don’t have to compromise comfort for moisture. Plus, all these don’t need to be reserved for the summer (the Missha cream is my go-to all year long)!
Sunblock is essential always, but especially in the summer when we tend to spend a little more time outside. But sunscreens can feel overly oily and heavy on the skin, exactly when you want the opposite.
So, opt for a gel sunscreen instead. The Acwell Aqua Capsule Sun Control Gel Spa 35/PA++ and Dr. Oracle A-Thera Sunblock SPF 50 are great non-greasy, non-white cast leaving options for the summer months and all year round. The Dr. Oracle sunscreen is somewhat of a cream/gel hybrid, but it’s really light and especially great if you’re prone to breakouts and acne, since it comes directly from the brand’s acne line.
Treatment steps are basically the easiest ones to skip. But you don’t have to sacrifice them to make sure your skin is comfortable if they have gel formulas.
If you suffer from acne, then you need to pick up the Acwell Anti Mark Gel Cream. This is a godsend for brown spots, acne scars, and other forms of pigmentation that might appear from overexposure to the sun. It uses niacinamide and licorice root to brighten up these areas and aloe vera to calm the skin. And unlike other acne treatments, it’s not drying, so it won’t add another skin concern to your list.
The Missha Geum Sul First Essence Booster and the Easydew Repair Control Active Serum are two other serum options that can do wonders for your skin. The Missha booster uses mainly fermented ingredients, like ginseng water and cherry blossom, to brighten and strengthen the skin. And if that wasn’t enough, it amps up the luxury with actual gold flakes.
The Easydew serum is going to be your new all-in-one essential. It helps to lift wrinkles, even out pigmentation, and lighten acne scars. Its star ingredient? Medical grade EGF, a cell-regeneration protein to make sure you’re getting the best skin possible from the cells up. It’s also packed with caffeine, ceramides, sodium hyaluronate, and argan and macadamia oils to pamper your skin for a healthy glow.
The Nutrinature Ultra Moist Gel Oil is another personal favorite. Don’t let the “oil” in the name scare you. This product has a gel texture and absorbs easily, but has all the moisture benefits of a facial oil. It’s formulated with jojoba seed, shea butter, and fatty acids to moisturize and soften the skin, as well as hydrate and lock in moisture. Plus, it’s vegan and safe for sensitive skin!
Masks are a godsend in the summer because they are super cooling and hydrating on the skin, especially if you throw them in the fridge before use! Thank You Farmer’s Back to Relax Soothing Gel Mask is just the thing you need to add into your routine for the summer. It’s famous for cooling and calming the skin.
It also leaves an instant plumping effect in its wake, so your skin can feel and look incredible! The ingredient list boasts glycerin, hyaluronic acid, centella extract, and licorice extract. All of these are great ingredients for delivering a hit of moisture and hydration, as well as being super soothing to lift any redness and irritation you might have.
The Bottom Line
Gel products aren’t exactly new, but if you’re not using them yet, you definitely should be! Summer is rearing its head early this year, and with summer comes the ugly pair of dehydration and skipping skin care steps due to the intense heat. Converting to gel products is an easy way to cut routine time and make sure that your skin is getting all the TLC it needs without feeling heavy or greasy.