Benefits of a Water-Based Moisturizer

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We're gearing up for a March 12th launch of our brand new Hydrating Gel and I can't wait to add this new product to our line. I developed it at the request of the Master Aestheticians at Luna Aesthetics & Spa. My facialist, Cat, has been especially excited about this product because she said she wasn't aware of a clean beauty formulation of a water-based moisturizer.

I've already written a bit about the Hydrating Gel here, but I'm excited to go into more detail about the key benefits and who does really well with this kind of product.

As a quick review, a hydrator is a product containing primarily (or only) water-based ingredients designed to up the water content in skin. Most of the water we consume doesn't make it all the way to skin's surface, and many people are surprised to learn that 80% of people have dehydrated skin (regardless of skin type). Dehydrated skin can be pale, rough, dull, slow to heal, and show many more fine lines and wrinkles than normal.

Bright Body Benefits of Water Based Moisturizer

On the other hand, a moisturizer is a product containing primarily (or only) oil-based ingredients designed to balance OR increase the oil content in skin. Depending on the specific oils used in the formula, some moisturizers are designed specifically to help oily skin balance its natural sebum production, while others are meant to help dry skin by adding oils to the skin.

So given the semantics and the technicalities, you might be wondering - isn't the phrase "water-based moisturizer" an oxymoron? Why, yes! You are correct. By definition, anything water-based is a hydrator. However, since not many people are aware of the difference between hydration and moisture, the phrase exists to help with marketing and consumer understanding.

Now that's off my chest, let's get into some of the key benefits of water-based moisturizers:

1. Acts as a nutrient-rich makeup primer.

Bright Body Benefits of Water Based Moisturizer Makeup Primer

If you happen to be a makeup wearer, you probably know all about the primers available on the market. Most mainstream primers are heavy on the silicones, which fill pores and create a barrier on top of skin to create a smooth foundation for makeup. However, silicones are hard to totally remove from skin (and hair, for that matter) and are therefore more likely to clog pores. In general, silicones are an inexpensive filler ingredient used to create a slick product feel. Silicone-based makeup primers act as a barrier but don't actually benefit the skin in any way.

The Bright Body alternative to silicones in our upcoming Hydrating Gel is a fatty alcohol called Alkyl Benzoate. Fatty alcohols act like a lightweight, fast-absorbing oil and have some of the "slickness" of a silicone, while actually penetrating deeper layers of skin for lasting benefits.

So how does a (well-formulated) water-based moisturizer work as a primer to create a smooth base for makeup? It's simple. They (1) plump skin by increasing water content held at the skin's surface, (2) reduce many fine lines and wrinkles where makeup likes to settle (3) are fast-absorbing so that you can apply makeup quickly thereafter (4) allow for smooth, non-greasy makeup application, even for oil-based foundation products, and (5) provide a glowy tone to skin which shows even through makeup.

2. Provide a lightweight moisturizer for the warmer months when we're naturally oilier.

Bright Body Benefits of Water Based Moisturizer Lightweight Moisturizer for Warm Months

As we're (finally) heading toward warmer temps, our skin adjusts. I notice that in the mid-spring, my skin is usually the oiliest it is all year. The shift from dry winter to rainy & wet spring usually confuses the hell out of my face (and my body, for that matter). I get a little oilier and sweatier than usual in springtime, and once the weather is consistently warmer by the time summer officially rolls in, my body has adjusted and all is kosher again. During the warmer months when most people find that their skin is naturally producing more oil on its own, a water-based moisturizer is an excellent choice.

Our Bright Body Hydrating Gel features soothing plant-based hydrosols, hyaluronic acid, and a lightweight fatty alcohol - all designed to nourish skin from the inside out without feeling heavy or thick.

3. Ideal for oilier skin types who don't need to add much oil-based moisture to their routine. 

Bright Body Benefits of a Water Based Moisturizer for Oily Skin

If you've got oilier skin in general and struggle to manage your skin's natural sebum production, a water-based moisturizer could be your very best friend. However, not all water-based moisturizers are created equal. Many contain drying alcohol and clogging silicones that might actually exacerbate your oily skin concerns even more. You can trust that our Bright Body Hydrating Gel is loaded with just the good stuff, no BS. Even for super sensitive oily skin prone to breakouts, a water-based moisturizer is very unlikely to clog pores.

4. Effective way to reduce visible signs of aging. 

Bright Body Benefits of a Water Based Moisturizer Reduce Signs of Aging

If you don't know yet already, I really don't like the term "anti-aging." If you're curious why, check out this blog post. TL;DR - the phrase "anti-aging" tells us that we should be fighting a natural, unavoidable process that disproportionately affects women and women of color.

The term "anti-aging" is really a shorthand in the skincare industry for answering yes to these questions: is it antioxidant? is it anti-inflammatory? is it moisturizing? is it hydrating?

Phew, now that's off my chest, let's get to it - how does a water-based moisturizer help with signs of aging? Well, of course it depends on the ingredients in the formula! But I can assure you that the ingredients in our upcoming Hydrating Gel are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hydration powerhouses. Helichrysum, calendula, and rose hydrosols address all three properties, while hyaluronic acid is a miracle worker for attracting & binding moisture to skin for a plump and glowy complexion. Many of the finer lines and wrinkles on your face might not be due to aging, but rather to dehydrated skin! Simply adding in a water-based moisturizer (with the right ingredients, of course) can reduce some of those visible signs of skin aging.


Those are some of the biggest benefits of water-based moisturizers like our Hydrating Gel. If you want to be in-the-know for when we release it, sign up for our newsletter below and follow us on Instagram!


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