I’ve always struggled to find beauty products that work in the summer. Because, as I’ve said time and time again, my skin is not easy to manage: Oily, acne-prone, and sensitive, it’s high maintenance all year round, but especially so in the New York City heat. I’m not necessarily alone in that, however, as dermatological research has found that breakouts are more common amid the warmer seasons, while higher levels of humidity contribute to excess oil production in the skin. Thus, the combination of the aforementioned factors makes for the perfect pimple storm, deeming many of my go-to skin care products far too thick to use until fall.
I assumed this summer I’d just swap my moisturizer for a hydrating serum and call it a season. But since I’m a recent chemical exfoliant convert, I found I needed more hydration than a simple serum could provide. Desperate, I turned to a gel-based moisturizer, because Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, M.D., double board-certified dermatologist at Mudgil Dermatology, had suggested their consistency for skin types like mine (aka oily and prone to breakouts). More specifically, I started using the Laneige Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Gel Moisturizer — and my skin has never been happier.
Read on for everything to know about Laneige’s hydrating gel, and why it will be my go-to for lightweight hydration from here on out.
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- Price: $40
- Best for: Hydration
- Your rating: 5/5
- Brand: Laneige
- What we like: Moisturizing yet lightweight; doesn’t clog pores or leave a greasy film
- What we don’t like: On the pricier side
What Is The Laneige Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Gel Moisturizer?
Formulated with Laneige proprietary “blue” hyaluronic acid (more on that below), mint leaf extract, forest yeast extract, and fermented deep sea algae, the brand’s Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Gel Moisturizer is a lightweight gel that provides skin-quenching hydration without any of the side effects associated with a thicker moisturizer. Translation? No clogged pores, no greasy residue, and no excess oil production: just soft, supple, and happily moisturized skin.
The reasons listed above are also why skin care experts universally suggest gel-based products for individuals who struggle with more finicky complexions. “Gel moisturizers are great for all skin types, especially those with acne-prone skin,” Mudgil says, noting that gels also have the benefit of containing no additional oil. The Laneige gel is unique, however, because it also contains minuscule “cream” beads that melt immediately upon contact with the skin. That makes application not only immediately hydrating, but cooling and refreshing, which Mudgil asserts also comes from the mint leaf extract. This helps soothe my skin when it’s aggravated, which is always a welcome bonus.
How Does It Work?
As for how I came upon this hydrating gel in particular? Well, to be honest, I was largely influenced by Sydney Sweeney, who had introduced me to the blue hyaluronic acid-infused Water Bank collection this spring (NBD). But really, I was fascinated by the brand’s “blue” hyaluronic acid, which is essentially the hyaluronic acid you know and love but specifically designed for optimal and faster absorption in the skin via a 10-step “micro-filtration process.” Intrigued, I queried Mudgil on the technology (as in asked him to explain it to me like I was 5 years old).
“The formulation and manufacturing mechanism for this particular hyaluronic acid allows for a smaller particle size, hence better absorption and a faster onset of action,” Mudgil explains. It’s helpful to think of it like sifting sand: Obviously, the larger chunks of sand (or your skin care product) will struggle more to make it through the sifter (your skin), while the microscopic pieces will travel through with no problem at all. Such is the case with hyaluronic acid molecules; the smaller they are in size, the easier it is for them to pass through the epidermis and settle into the skin.
Then, once the hyaluronic acid is in your skin, it’s a moisturizing powerhouse, Mudgil continues. “Hyaluronic acid can attract up to 1,000 times its weight in water, so it functions quite well in a gel as it doesn't require any added emollient or emulsifier.” So hyaluronic acid absorbs and maintains moisture all on its own.
Caring for skin that’s oily and acne-prone — yet simultaneously sensitive — is no easy feat... especially in the humidity. At times, it’s felt impossible to find products that adequately moisturize my skin without either irritating it or clogging my pores. Hydrating serums were my only choice for years, but now that I’ve upgraded my skin care routine to include consistent exfoliation, I needed something stronger that wouldn’t ultimately break me out.
Fortunately, I found my match in the Laneige moisturizing gel. My skin is softer and more supple than ever, even in especially hot and humid weather.
Absolutely. It’s $40 per jar, but the Laneige formula is so potent I’ve found I use significantly less product than I do with others — all you need is the size of a pea, if that, and you have plenty to spread around your face. In my opinion, the cost is worth it since it lasts so long.
If your skin is anything like mine — or even if you’re just looking for a lightweight moisturizer — I could not recommend the Laneige Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Gel enough. It wears well under makeup, provides all-day hydration, and doesn’t prompt breakouts in angry, finicky skin. This gel has undoubtedly earned a spot in my beauty cabinet forevermore.
Yang, J., Yang, H., Xu, A., & He, L. (2020). A Review of Advancement on Influencing Factors of Acne: An Emphasis on Environment Characteristics. Frontiers in public health, 8, 450. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.00450
Cunliffe, W. J., Burton, J. L., & Shuster, S. (1970). The effect of local temperature variations on the sebum excretion rate. The British journal of dermatology, 83(6), 650–654. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2133.1970.tb15759.x
Papakonstantinou E, Roth M, Karakiulakis G. Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Jul 1;4(3):253-8. doi: 10.4161/derm.21923. PMID: 23467280; PMCID: PMC3583886.