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Best Water Based Facial Moisturizers [Review] in 2022

Last Updated on November 30, 2021
Check out the results fast – here are our review winners

Looking for light, fast-absorbing hydration?

Then you’ll love water-based moisturizers. I’ve just spent a few hours searching the web to find the best water based moisturizer, comparing several products and hundreds of reviews so you get moisturizers that are highly rated.

We all know that using moisturizer in your skincare routine can be complicated with so many different options. If you have oily skin, suffer from acne, or simply want a lighter, daily moisturizer that doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy, a water-based moisturizer could be for you.

Here’s where it gets good.

I’ve made sure that every product on this list contains the most hydrating properties as well as good formulas that help to moisturize your skin whilst having water as a first ingredient. How to apply moisturizer?

I’d say all of the products on here are worth a shot, but you won’t want to miss number 2 for daily skin hydration, with a clean formula full of the good stuff.

Here’s a tip- If you have acne, check out ingredients like salicylic acid and niacinamide to help treat your acne better. Why not make your own oil free moisturizer?

Stay tuned for the rest!

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Review of the Best Water Based Moisturizer for Face


CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

This is my all-time favorite best water based facial moisturizer to use in skincare.

The Cerave moisturizer comes in the option of a cream or a lotion, making it ideal for all skin types but the cream, especially for dry skin that needs cooling hydration. The Cerave is perfect if you want a calm gentle daily moisturizer leaving behind a soft complexion, and can be used for your face or your body, so you can save your coins.

This moisturizer comes with hyaluronic acid which provides intense hydration and maintains the skin’s moisture levels. It has hyaluronic acid and is oil free. This in turn contributes to the barrier function of the skin, so you get a healthy glow and reduced fine lines. in this water cream gel moisturizer.

But that’s not all.

The best part about Cerave is that it has essential ceramides that are found in the skin and in the lipid barrier. That means you know you can trust what’s in the product, knowing it has exactly what your skin needs to maintain and restore the barrier. This is particularly useful since most dry skin is caused by a lack of ceramides in the skin.

Whether you have sensitive, or oily, acne-prone skin, the Cerave rich cream moisturizer is a gamechanger. It contains everything your skin needs to be healthy and is fragrance-free and paraben-free. It also has the National Eczema Association (NEA) seal of approval making it safe to use for those with extremely dry or sensitive skin.

Check out the 5-star reviews!

  • Fragrance-free and paraben-free
  • Suitable for all skin types, face, and body
  • Contains essential ceramides
  • Contains hyaluronic acid
  • Strange smell

Latest deal: CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion


Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Moisturizer

Treat yourself to the Neutrogena Hydro boost gel for your next facial moisturizer.

The Neutrogena hydro gel provides an easily absorbed hydration that has hyaluronic acid for a boost of moisture. It’s light enough that you can wear it daily without leaving behind a greasy residue, but will still lock in moisture and hydrate for a smooth skin finish.

This gel moisturizer is ideal for keeping your face super hydrated. The hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the skin and works with water to trap moisture in the skin’s barrier. This means that although it is a lightweight formula, it performs double duty in richness and relieving intense dryness for a long time so you won’t even know it’s there.

But that’s not the best part.

The Neutrogena gel is very good for people with sensitive skin, as it has a clean formula. That means no nasties such as fragrance, dye, or oil and it has been tested by dermatologists too. Plus a non-comedogenic formula means it won’t clog your pores despite the richness, meaning no breakouts.

Whether you’re looking for the best face moisturizer water based for your next favorite day cream to wear under makeup, the Neutrogena gel boost is your next go -to. Easy to slip on with all-day lock-in hydration and essential hyaluronic acid we’ll be taking this everywhere.

Have you added this one to your basket yet?


  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Lightweight, rich gel formula
  • Fragrance free and dye free
  • Non comedogenic
  • Heavy packaging

Latest deal: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Moisturizer


La Roche Posay Moisturizer

Looking for the best moisturizer under makeup for oily skin? Look no further.

La Roche Posay is ideal if you wantcalm, oil-free, everyday hydration. I’m talking about moisture with a light, non-greasy feel that you can wear under your makeup. It comes in the Effaclar Mat range specially formulated for oily skin types that need a matte finish and smaller pores.

I love that this moisturizer has been dermatologically tested to keep shine at bay, including mattifying the skin and refining pores. It contains Sebulyse Technology, so you can say goodbye to excess oil, whilst hydrating your skin.

But wait let me tell you about this.

A great feature of this is that it doesn’t contain oil, and it’s water-based providing lightweight moisture that leaves your skin nourished. It’s perfect if you have blemish-prone skin and clogged pores. This moisturizer will help to tighten your pores after cleansing, to prevent breakouts.

What more can I say? La Roche Posay brand is known to be a leading skincare brand that provides all the right ingredients in their products so you can keep your skin hydrated. It is a calm hydrating gel cream or gel moisturizer that promises to reduce texture to deliver a good even base for makeup and hydrated skin. It’s a winner!

Click on the blue button below to take a look for yourself!

  • Oil-free and non-comedogenic
  • Sebulyse Technology for excess oil
  • Great base for makeup
  • Mattifies skin and refines pores
  • Slightly pricier

Latest deal: La Roche Posay Moisturizer


L'Oreal Collagen Face Moisturizer

If you’re looking for a dermatologically tested moisturizer that has water as a first ingredient,, then this one is for you.

The L’Oreal Paris Collagen Face Moisturizer is a lightweight water based moisturizer that is perfect for mature skin. To replenish the skin and reduce texture, it has a variety of good ingredients in it and collagen so you can reach for this every day and night.

One of the unique things that I love about this L’Oréal Paris Collagen cream, is that it is lightweight and non greasy so it can hydrate your skin and give it that glow without over-moisturizing or clogging your pores. Whether you have combination skin or oily skin that quickly gets shiny, this one will do the job.

Now, wait until you hear this.

This moisturizer is perfect for those who don’t want a shiny face or a rich moisturizer. This water based moisturizer reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, working by plumping the skin to create a firm lift.

With these ingredients, you can expect plump skin and moisture for hours. It’s great for sensitive skin too. Try out this quick-absorbing moisturizer for quick, visible results and an anti aging formula that you can use daily or nightly.

It’s worth being on here.


  • Reduce appearance of wrinkles
  • Non-greasy
  • Collagen
  • Visible, quick results
  • Has fragrance

Latest deal: L’Oreal Collagen Face Moisturizer


Cetaphil Moisturizing cream

If you’re looking for a moisturizer that does it all, stop here.

The Cetaphil Moisturizing cream is ideal if you want moisture with a light, non-greasy feel. It’s perfect for those who have damaged their skin’s natural barrier, for example in sunburn, or who have very dry, sensitive skin.

I love that the Cetaphil cream has an all-in-one approach, meaning you can use this for your body and your face. It gives extra hydration to those dry parts such as elbows and knees that can sometimes become cracked and painful.

But wait let me tell you about this.

An extremely important feature of the Cetaphil is that it is fragrance-free and paraben-free, so it won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts. This makes it great if you have sensitive skin as well. No wonder it is recommended by dermatologists!

What more can I say? Cetaphil is a strong hydrating cream that promises to deliver 24-hour relief from dry skin and restore the skin’s barrier. From the over 50,000 five-star reviews, I’d say it does the job pretty well. Enriched with sweet almond oil and vitamin E, A clean formula your skin will love, and value for money, it’s a winner!

Click on the blue button below to take a look for yourself!

  • Paraben and fragrance-free
  • Suitable for body and face
  • 24-hour relief from dry skin
  • Clinically tested for sensitive skin
  • Some people prefer pump container

Latest deal: Cetaphil Moisturizing cream

The Best Water-Based Face Moisturizer- A Buyer’s Guide

What is a good water based moisturizer? If you’re on this page, chances are you’ve tried a variety of moisturizers. You may have noticed that to get a fast-absorbing, hydrating but lightweight, you need to opt for a water cream.

A water cream or gel moisturizer will have water as a first ingredient, and will usually be oil free, so if you have combination skin or oily skin, you’ll love an oil free moisturizer. Even better if you can get a water gel that is hydrating with ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

Water based moisturizers or a water based gel with thermal water or just water as a first ingredient is the best thing you can do, regardless of your skin type. Skin care is all about keeping your skin hydrated for hours and smooth, reducing texture to highlight your beauty.

Its like a big drink of water for your skin!



How do I know if my moisturizer is water based?

It’s as easy as checking the label. The first ingredient should be “Aqua” or Water, and there shouldn’t be any oil. Most moisturizers are either oil based or water based.

Are water based moisturizer creams better?

An oil free moisturizer or water gel is going to be ideal for combination skin or oily skin. It may not provide enough hydration for a thirsty complexion such as dry skin.

What are the best water cream or gel moisturizer?

Aside from the water moisturizers in this list, many love the Sunday riley tidal brightening enzyme water cream, the tachta water cream or tatcha the water cream, peter thomas roth water drench hyaluronic acid. Both the peter thomas roth water drench hyaluronic acid and the tatcha the water cream are good types of water gel cream as they are oil free.


Final thoughts

A good water cream can be cooling and calm, leaving your skin soft without making it greasy or clogging pores, especially with thermal water.

If you’re ready for that rich glow to hydrate and smooth out your complexion, check out the water based moisturizers in this buyer’s guide!


jess rowley

Jess Rowley

Cheif Editor & Nail Technician Expert


Jess Rowley, a veteran nail tech, has been studying beauty over the last 11 years and has completed the nail technology program in California. Watching the latest trends in beauty, Jess searches for the highest quality products that make your nails feel loved.