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Home>Blog>The Best Drugstore Gel Moisturizers

The Best Drugstore Gel Moisturizers

MIRA BEAUTY • updated Dec 1, 2020
The Best Drugstore Gel Moisturizers

Give your skin a boost of luxury and lightweight texture

You can’t go wrong with the best drugstore gel moisturizers. These lightweight, water-based products feel refreshing and soothing from the moment you apply them - and effortlessly absorb into the skin for a major surge of hydration and radiance. Those with oily or combination skin especially love drugstore gel moisturizers - and the way they create glowing skin without making you look overly greasy. However, you need to pick the right products to achieve your most healthy, hydrated complexion. While some gel moisturizers may feel sticky or not provide enough moisture for your skin type, there are countless drugstore options that let you reach complexion perfection on a budget. From all the Neutrogena favorites that got you through your teenage years to the anti-aging Olay product that you’ve had your eye on, these are the best drugstore gel moisturizers that you need in your skincare routine!

Hydro Boost Gel-Cream by Neutrogena, $15

Hydro Boost Gel-Cream by Neutrogena
Source: Neutrogena

“I am so in love with this Neutrogena moisturizer!!! I have noticed a decrease in my acne flare ups as well as a brighter complexion. I also LOVE how this feels when applied, since it’s a gel that is very refreshing and cool.” Indulge in a tall glass of water for your face with this gel moisturizer by Neutrogena. It absorbs effortlessly into your skin the way that gels do, but has all the long-lasting power of a cream to intensely moisturize with Hyaluronic Acid and Olive Extract. Even the most thirsty skin gets a serious glow up with the powerhouse ingredient that is Hyaluronic Acid - the natural substance that holds 1000 times its own weight in moisture, and fights off everything from dryness and dullness to fine lines and chronic breakouts. From the lightweight, water-like texture that will never irritate your skin to 48-hour hydration that’s perfect for winter - Hydro Boost will always live up to its name.

Water Rose 24H Moisture Gel by Garnier, $15

Water Rose 24H Moisture Gel by Garnier
Source: Garnier

This Garnier essential is proof that the best drugstore gel moisturizers don’t need to be A) super expensive and B) wrapped up fancy packaging. Water Rose may look simple on the outside - in a pink bottle rather than an illuminating glass case - but it’s a top-rated moisturizer that’s guaranteed to give you petal-soft skin. Formulated with Rose Water and Hyaluronic Acid that 97% of MIRA BEAUTY guests agree is extremely hydrating, your complexion will always be ready to glow - regardless of skin type. Some are under the false impression that those with oily skin don’t need moisturizer, but this couldn’t be less true… especially in the colder months. In fact, going without this crucial skincare product can cause your skin to overcompensate for the lack of moisture by producing even more oil, leading to breakouts and greasiness. No, thank you. Water Rose 24 Hour Moisture Gel is one of the best moisturizers for your winter skincare routine that seals moisture into oily or combination skin without clogging pores. And since it’s only $15… you can stock up on your new favorite moisturizer and use it for every season.

Watermelon Super Fresh Gel Moisturizer by Yes To, $13

Watermelon Super Fresh Gel Moisturizer by Yes To
Source: Yes To

Are you ready for a watermelon sugar high? And we’re not just talking about the Harry Styles song, but this lightweight and ultra-refreshing gel moisturizer by Yes To. The beloved summer fruit is also ideal for quenching dry or dull winter skin - as it’s rich in Lycopene and Vitamin C to deeply hydrate and leave your face feeling soft. Even the most oily or combination skin will feel like they’re on a cloud with this sweet-smelling moisturizer, which follows you through the seasons for a boost of moisture and majorly sweet skin.

Hydraluminous Water Surge Gel Cream by no7, $18

Hydraluminous Water Surge Gel Cream by no7
Source: No7

The brand may be called no7, but this is the #1 drugstore gel moisturizer you need for your parched skin. Hydraluminous is every bit as glow-inducing and hydrating as it sounds, locking in moisture for 72 hours and providing the radiant and recharged complexion you deserve. At under $20. This water-like formula is powered by HydraDrench Complex - using naturally-derived plant hydrators to moisturize - as the Pollution Shield Technology protects against pollution particles and prevents skin damage and dullness. You’ll also receive a strong antioxidant blend of Vitamin C, Mulberry, and Vitamin E for even more luminosity!

Aloe 99% Soothing Gel by Holika Holika, $9

Aloe 99% Soothing Gel by Holika Holika
Source: Holika Holika

Get yourself one of the best drugstore gel moisturizers that looks adorable on your bedside table, and soothes even the most stressed skin with one of your favorite ingredients: aloe! This product by Holika Holika isn’t just shaped like an aloe leaf, it also contains 99% pure aloe vera leaf juice from Jeju Island - making it half moisturizer, and half medicine. Those with sensitive or acne-prone skin will love the way it calms down inflammation and restores your natural glow, without causing further irritation or making you look too greasy. And while the cute packaging may remind you of the adorable products from another favorite K-beauty brand, Glow Recipe, moisturizers from Holika Holika are half the price and 100% of the quality. Give your skin a luminous glow and soothing sensation with one of our favorite drugstore gel moisturizers!

Age Defying Advanced Hydrating Gel Moisturizer With Hyaluronic Acid by Olay, $20

Age Defying Advanced Hydrating Gel Moisturizer With Hyaluronic Acid by Olay
Source: Olay

Olay, all day. Age Defying Advanced Hydrating Gel Moisturizer features everybody’s favorite natural ingredient, Hyaluronic Acid, to provide 24 hours of lightweight hydration and a subtle glow. No strobing effects that could be mistaken for translucent highlighter - just a healthy radiance that lets you illuminate from the inside out. Thanks, Hyaluronic Acid! This drugstore gel moisturizer also gets a little help from B3 Vitamins that replenish and recharge the skin’s natural moisture barrier, without clogging pores in the process. 100% of MIRA guests agree that this Olay moisturizer is anti-aging, brightening, and lightweight - while 92% say it’s extremely hydrating.

African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Hydrating Gelee Moisturizer by SheaMoisture, $13

African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Hydrating Gelee Moisturizer by SheaMoisture
Source: SheaMoisture

Those with oily skin understand the power of Bamboo Charcoal all too well, as this exfoliating ingredient can extract blackheads and impurities like a dream. But don’t think that it’s only for intense skincare products, as Charcoal also has a place in your lightweight gel moisturizer! It works alongside African Black Soap to clarify and gently hydrate oily skin - eliminating adult acne and creating a smooth, refreshed canvas. Say goodbye to blemishes and blackheads as your skin’s moisture levels increase and you discover the beauty of SheaMoisture - your new favorite drugstore makeup and skin care brand!

Skin Nourishment Hydrating Gel Cream by Burt’s Bees, $18

Skin Nourishment Hydrating Gel Cream by Burt’s Bees
Source: Burt's Bees

You’ve had the world-famous Burt’s Bees lip balm in your gym bag since middle school, and that’s how you know you can trust them to provide the best drugstore gel moisturizers, ever. Skin Nourishing Hydrating Gel Cream is formulated with Royal Jelly, essential amino acids and naturally sourced Vitamins A, B2 and E to give your naturally gorgeous skin - free of dryness, dullness, and creasing. It’s even been clinically proven to reduce the first signs of wrinkles and fine lines - making this gel moisturizer one of the best for your 20’s preventative anti-aging routine. Your most healthy and “lit from within” glow awaits, courtesy of these natural ingredients from Burt’s Bees.

Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream by Versed, $15

Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream by Versed
Source: Versed

Gel textures are often associated with the summertime, as the warmer temperatures call for lightweight moisturizers that won’t make you feel too greasy. But the struggle is real year-round for those with oily or combination skin, and Dew Point by Versed leaves you with a dewy (not oily!) glow that you didn’t even know was possible. Sodium Hyaluronate brings in and retains moisture for a soft and supple complexion, while antioxidants soothe, calm inflammation, and protect against free radicals. Basically all the things you would ever want in a gel moisturizer. Become well-Versed (pun intended) in the power of drugstore gel moisturizers with this affordable favorite that you’ll never want to stop using.  

Morning Burst Hydrating Gel Moisturizer by Clean & Clear, $6

Morning Burst Hydrating Gel Moisturizer by Clean & Clear
Source: Clean & Clear

“This stuff! I have super dry skin as well but this stuff has been my saving grace.” A $6 gel moisturizer that calms down our stressed skin and leaves a refreshing burst of hydration? Don’t mind if we do. This AM essential by Clean & Clear is formulated with water and a unique blend of cucumber and green mango extracts - 100% pure ingredients to leave your skin feeling, well, Clean & Clear. It’s not just one of the best drugstore gel moisturizers you’ll ever find, but also the most affordable… and the ideal beginner product for tweens or teenagers dealing with ultra-oily skin. Relive your youth and restore your natural radiance with Morning Burst!

Bright Boost™ Brightening Gel Moisturizing Face Cream with Neoglucosamine by Neutrogena, $20

 Bright Boost™ Brightening Gel Moisturizing Face Cream with Neoglucosamine by Neutrogena
Source: Neutrogena

You shouldn’t have to choose between a drugstore gel moisturizer that either brightens or hydrates - and Neutrogena is always here with the best skincare products that “do both.” Neoglucosamine is an exclusive ingredient by the brand, a superior amino sugar that resurfaces, evens tone, and hydrates to deliver a brightness boost unlike any other nutrient - in just 1 week! Seriously, as much as we love our Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid, even the most dull skin will be amazed at the illuminating effects of Neoglucosamine. Bright Boost™ is a gel moisturizer that boosts surface cell turnover by 10x - and includes AHA, PHA, and Mandelic Acids in addition to Neoglucosamine to gently exfoliate and reveal your most radiant complexion. The gel texture feels refreshing as you apply, with 98% of our community saying this moisturizer feels lightweight on the skin, and 95% agree that it leaves you looking bright and beautiful.


Shop all the best drugstore gel moisturizers on MIRA.

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