Eight gel skincare to add to your layering routine (they're perfect for oily skin!)

Layering skincare has its benefits, but how does one pull it off on super oily skin? I know - it sounds heavy, thick, and icky factoring in the humid climate and our overactive oil glands, but it is possible! The key lies in using gel-type skincare.

Unlike traditional creams, gel formulas are usually water-based and more lightweight. This allows for the product to get absorbed by the skin quickly, and doesn’t leave any sticky residue. Gel formulations aren’t just for moisturizers either - you can choose this option even for your facial cleansers, sunscreen, and masks. While you don't necessarily need to have a multiple step regimen, using gel products can make wearing skincare more comfortable for oily-skinned gals as well as those who don't like the feeling of heavy skincare. Need some recos? Here are some of our favorite gel products for different budgets!

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50 PA++++ (P420 at leading drugstores)

We just keep raving about this sunscreen, and with good reason! It's so lightweight, feels cool on the skin, and dries to a powdery matte finish that allows it to double as primer. There's also no white cast, so it won’t give that dreaded espasol look alone or under makeup.

Neutrogena Fine Fairness Gel Cream (P872 at leading drugstores)

This fast-absorbing moisturizer prevents excessive melanin production and makes skin fairer with regular use. It also has a concentrated amount of hyaluronic acid to keep skin moisturized.

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In Her Element Rose Gel Serum Moisturizer (P895 at inherelement.ph)

This double-duty product is a moisturizer and serum rolled into one. It’s unbelievably light that it feels like nothing on the skin, yet the results are obvious. It hydrates and brightens the skin, smooths pores and lines, and fades dark spots thanks to aloe leaf juice, phyto collagen, daisy flower extract, and vitamin C. It also contains rose distillate which adds a mild rose scent as well as antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

Olay White Radiance Light Perfecting Essence (P1,299 at leading department stores)

A new product from Olay, this silky essence has light-reflecting ingredients to make skin instantly brighter and smoother. It’s also packed with niacinamide and other brightening ingredients to reduce dark spots and even out the skin tone while keeping it hydrated. It’s recommended to use two pumps of this both morning and at night to see results in four weeks.

23.5N Oriental Beauty Tea Balancing Gel Mask (P1,450 at Beauty Bar)

This Taiwanese brand is a failry new player in the local scene, and boasts of products that are free from parabens, fragrance, and artificial coloring. This wash-off tea mask not only has a soothing scent, but also clears pores and helps absorb sebum while still being hydrating. Just apply a generous amount, leave it on for twenty minutes, wait for it to dry a bit, then rinse.

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Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharge Concentrate (P2,850 at Clinique and Rustan’s)

The Moisture Surge Line was developed for dry skin, but to be honest, it works for oily skin as well! This concentrate hydrates the skin for up to 24 hours with hyaluronic acid and aloe water. Although pricey, you only need a small amount for your entire face. This can serve as an essence or a moisturizer that the skin absorbs in a snap.

Estée Lauder Advance Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix (P4,300 at Estée Lauder and Rustan’s)

This all-in-one lightweight eye cream is the perfect partner to the cult-favorite Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II. It promises 24-hour moisture with its concentrated dose of hyaluronic acid, yet is absorbed quickly by the skin. It targets all eye concerns such as anti-aging, fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. Our peepers look more supple and well-rested!

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Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate (P4,550 at Rustan’s)

It’s not called double serum for nothing: this bottle actually has two separate serums that come out in the same pump! Together, they make skin brighter, smoother, and firmer with a blend of potent plant extracts. Despite containing two separate gel serums, the product is easily spreadable and absorbs quickly, plus it has a light, pleasant floral scent.


With all these lightweight options, there’s no excuse to not have a good routine no matter how hot the weather! If you've been skipping out on skincare steps because you find it uncomfortable, it may just be a matter of finding the right formula for you. Give gel a try!

Have you ever skipped skincare steps because they felt too heavy? What are your favorite gel skincare products?