SKIN | Gel-cream moisturisers, from cheap to heaps

za deep hydration lasting moisture gel, belif aqua bomb, sunday riley tidal brightening enzyme water cream, neutrogena hydroboost gel-cream moisturisers

It’s January 5 and at some point I might write about my 2016 favourites but right now I just owe my blog some kind of attention and these moisturisers are already photographed so let me write about them instead. Gel-cream moisturisers, to be specific. A real category, or a made-up descriptor to make an age-old formula sound novel and new? I don’t particularly care—all I care about is that this is the texture my skin likes best. Lightweight but not fleeting, cooling and non-greasy.

I’ve been trying to list product prices consistently (often I forget) and talk about products from cheap to less cheap, because I’m aware I’m probably not the only person trying to save money in 2017. Spend all the money you like on beauty; I’m not going to suggest that people “should” spend less. It’s just handy to know that you can get good shit at all price points.

gel cream moisturisers: neutrogena hydroboost gel cream

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream*, $29.99 (ish)

I wrote about this range way back when it first came out in New Zealand (over two years ago!) but the gel-cream is a recent addition. It’s a thicker formula than the original water gel, a kind of meet-me-in-the-middle between the water gel and the night concentrate, minus the annoying hydrating beads. I have the same gripe as I did with the others in the range (fragrance and dye) but it is a pleasantly simple, smooth and hydrating moisturiser at a decent price point for New Zealanders.

gel-cream moisturisers: za deep hydration lasting moisture gel

Za Deep Hydration Lasting Moisture Gel, $31 (ish)

Za appears to have disappeared from the Farmers and Life Pharmacy websites but I swear I’ve seen it recently in stores so I’ll still write about it. This moisturiser is lighter than the aforementioned Neutrogena, very fast-absorbing, and makes for a good base for makeup.

gel-cream moisturisers: belif the true cream aqua bomb

Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb, $38 USD

This is my favourite of the bunch so far, which is a shame because it’s also a fair bit pricier and significantly harder to get in New Zealand. Korean brands like Belif are dominating the skincare landscape at the moment and I get it, I get it. Super fast-absorbing, super nice-feeling, no gross fragrance, no film left behind on my face or my hands. This tub came in a set with some silly essence and toner that aren’t worth the bother, but I’ll be repurchasing the gel-cream for sure.

gel cream moisturisers: sunday riley tidal brightening enzyme moisture cream

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream, $65 USD

Excessively expensive, impossible to buy off the shelf in New Zealand (it contains something that’s banned here, I don’t recall what, I might look into it later) and probably not worth the effort—sorry, Sunday Riley! I really like Sunday Riley products and the Sunday Riley ethos but unfortunately committing to a SR routine would be like if I had an all-Aesop bathroom—a champagne lifestyle with a lemonade budget, or whatever the line is. This may be the creme de la creme of gel-cream moisturisers, with brightening enzymes to boot, but I can barely bring myself to put it on my face given the cost.

What’s your pick of the gel-cream moisturisers available? Have I missed anything essential?

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  • I love that Za one! I keep meaning to replace it, I was so sad when I finished mine.

  • UntitledMandyMooreProject

    Belif Aqua Bomb is my current moisturizer of choice and I love it, but to be honest I was really, really hoping you’d be like “This Neutrogena gel cream is basically the same! And so much cheaper!” But alas, not so much.

    • Ahh I wish it was too!

  • anjaok

    What do you think about the Clinique ones?

    • Moisture Surge is GREAT for very sensitive skin but because of its price I wouldn’t leap to recommend it. It’s useful if you need to patch test first and need something that’s available on counter/to sample!