11 Summer Moisturizers That Won't Make You Sweat Your Face Off

Call us fickle. But those hyper-rich moisturizers that we absolutely swear by during the winter months? Like cashmere sweaters and our favorite over-the-knee boots, they’re starting to feel stifling now that the weather has warmed up. Forget that we may have spent a small fortune on a fancy cream — our skin feels straight-up sticky in it. In fact, the whole idea of using moisturizer can seem counterintuitive as we do our best to mattify our complexions. Do we even need to hydrate at all when the weather turns sweat-tastic?

Annie Chiu, MD, a Redondo Beach-based dermatologist and dermatology staff member at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A., says yes. “Those with oily skin may think they want to skip a moisturizer during humid weather, but this may actually cause your body’s own oil glands to become more active,” she says. And that’s just the start. The right moisturizer can actually help curtail all sorts of warm-weather skin woes: soothe heat-triggered rosacea, patch dry skin sans shiny afterglow, and control uneven pigmentation, which “can be more prominent in the summer because of increased outdoor activity and UV exposure,” Dr. Chiu says. To help you nail down a non-greasy moisturizer, no matter your skin type, we asked Dr. Chiu for her best tips, ahead.

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Yes, this liquid gel feels incredibly lightweight, absorbs quickly, and plays well with makeup. But the 24-karat-gold-infused formula’s greatest trick is even more remarkable: It leaves a slightly glowy finish on oily skin that reads as a glimmer, not a shimmer. (Two letters make a difference!)

Tatcha Pore Perfecting Water Gel Moisturizer, $68, available at Tatcha.
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June-through-August highlighting can be a slippery slope — overdo the illuminator and you'll look like one of those metallic War Boys in Mad Max: Fury Road. Thanks to finely milled pearls, this hydrator blurs out bigger pores and subtly illuminates.

GlamGlow GlowStarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer, $49, available at GlamGlow.
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— PAID —

Any moisturizer can moisturize. But not any moisturizer can replace your sunscreen. This new Micro-Sculpting Cream from Olay sinks right into your skin, is never greasy, and offers broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection. Plus, the formula's peptides and hint of sheen make skin look plump and glowy right away. Basically, it's everything you want (and need!) in a summertime cream.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Moisturizer SPF 30, $28.99, available at Olay.
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This lightweight emulsion hydrates with hyaluronic acid, fights free radicals (and oncoming sun spots) with antioxidants, and absorbs to a soft, matte finish.

Avène PhysioLift Day Smoothing Emulsion, $46, available at Avène.
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“Those with dry skin will still need a richer night moisturizer during the summer months,” says Dr. Chiu. “Look for fast-absorbing formulas that won’t leave the skin feeling too greasy or heavy.” This peptide-rich pressed serum is one of our new favorite ways to hydrate when it's hot. Its gelatinous consistency is sneakily travel-friendly (no liquid to spill — or relinquish to TSA) and melts into our skin faster than you can say, "It's less than 3 ounces."

Perricone MD Re:Firm, $155, available at Perricone MD.
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“Heat, wind, increased sun exposure, or even just increased physical activity can all worsen signs of rosacea, like redness and inflammation,” notes Dr. Chiu. Her solution? “A lightweight, soothing formula with fortifying, calming ingredients like B5 vitamin, niacinamide, and ceramides,” she says. Our skin basically guzzles this cooling gel blend of hydrating ceramides and B5.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel, $52, available at Sephora.
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Those with combination skin rave about this gel’s ability to balance out their complexions without playing up shine. Among its star ingredients are anti-inflammatory red microalgae and copper, an element that aids in the production of collagen and elastin.

Algenist Splash Absolute Hydration Replenishing Gel Moisturizer, $58, available at Algenist.
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Made for those who want a one-and-done hydrator that also acts as a makeup primer and SPF, this lightweight moisturizer blends to nothing and doesn't run interference on makeup.

La Prairie Cellular Swiss UV Protection Veil Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50, $185, available at La Prairie.
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“A lightweight facial oil is great to replenish the skin’s moisture throughout the day, ” says Dr. Chiu. She adds that you can apply a few drops on top of makeup for a midday quench. This unique formula, which combines water from the Dead Sea with a blend of fruit and seed oils, goes on smooth and dry, not slick.

Ahava Dead Sea Crystal Osmoter X6, $74, available at Ahava.
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When patted onto your skin, this refreshing moisturizer feels just like cool water. If, that is, your water was spiked with powerful antioxidants that help even your skin tone.

Dr. Jart+ Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer, $36, available at Sephora.
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This sheer fluid combines ultra-hydrating squalane with flaxseed powder to moisturize and mattify.

Caudalíe Vinosource Moisturizing Mattifying Fluid, $39, available at Nordstrom.
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For congested skin — dullness, blackheads, or whiteheads all count — Dr. Chiu suggests an oil-free gel or lotion. The delicate tint in this daily moisturizer works to color-correct acne marks, while salicylic acid helps fade them for good.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Correct & Cover Pink Grapefruit Moisturize, $9, available at Target.
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