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Half the fun of becoming a skin-care junkie is testing all the new trends — buzzy ingredients (snail mucin, anyone?), 12-step routines, and luxe textures.
The new trendy texture that’s taking over the skin-care aisle? Jelly. These dewy, lightweight formulas are super satisfying to touch and come in a rainbow of pretty colors — and even better, they have actual skin benefits, too. From cleansers to gel moisturizers and masks, there’s a range of jelly skin-care products to touch and try. Get the scoop from dermatologists about jelly in your beauty routine, plus plenty of jelly skin-care product recs.
Jelly skin-care products lie somewhere between a gel and cream. The hybrid texture can range from a thick pudding, such as in a moisturizer, to a hydrogel, as in a gel sheet mask. While, traditionally, gels have been alcohol-based, these jelly products are water-based, so they aren’t drying to the skin, says Naissan O. Wesley, M.D., a dermatologist at Skin Care and Laser Physicians of Beverly Hills. In fact, they’re humectant and hydrophilic, which is a fancy way of saying they attract and retain hydration in the skin. Providing moisture to the skin can protect the skin barrier or soothe inflamed skin from a burn, rosacea, or after laser treatment, for example, says Dr. Wesley.
“Jelly products are very lightweight and extremely hydrating, which can be great for all skin types, but especially suitable for combination or oily skin,” says Bertha Baum, M.D., a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon in Florida. Acne-prone complexions may find jelly skin care to be the best of both worlds as the oil-free emollients used are non-greasy and won’t clog pores, yet can calm the redness associated with breakouts, she explains. (Psst…This is the best skin-care routine for oily skin.)
While the gels are water-based, they can suspend other ingredients in the jiggly texture, including charcoal, acids, active botanicals, or vitamins, says Dr. Baum. A common addition is hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring sugar in your skin that attracts water, or vitamins such as B3 or B5, to protect the skin’s moisture barrier, adds Dr. Wesley.
Jelly beauty products have a soothing, sometimes cooling texture — plus, they’re fun to use! Here, some satisfying jelly skin-care products to try.
The Best Jelly Skin-Care Products
Neutrogena Bright Boost Overnight Recovery Cream
Even if you’re diligent with sunscreen, the beaming summer sun may have left you with dryness, dark spots, or just an over dull complexion when the leaves change color. A nighttime moisturizer can do the heavy lifting while you sleep to bring your skin back to its bright, smooth state. The gel-cream formula is oil- and alcohol-free and non-comedogenic, making it a great choice for combination, oily, or acne-prone skin.
Earth to Skin Honey Royal Jelly Calming Eye Cream
This luxe-feeling eye cream is packed with royal jelly, a substance that bees produce to feed the queen bee, that’s hydrating and anti-aging. The jelly texture won’t cause your concealer to crease and feels cooling on the skin. And for queens on a budget, it’s under $10 a tube 🙌. (Related: Why Royal Jelly Deserves a Spot in Your Skin-Care Routine)
Versed Doctor’s Visit Instant Resurfacing Mask
You’re going to want to dive into the middle of this sunny jar of yellow goo. The mask has a trio of AHA/BHA acids — glycolic, lactic, and salicylic — plus pineapple and papaya enzymes to slough off dead skin cells, minimize pores, and brighten your complexion. The exfoliating treatment works in two minutes; use once a week to boost your glow. (See: Everything to Know About At-Home Chemical Peels)
Pacifica Banana Jelly Body Glow Gel
This gel body moisturizer is infused with banana, chia seed oil, and vitamin E and is perfect for members of the lotion-hating club. The super lightweight formula has a hint of shimmer to give your dry husk of a winter bod a radiant finish. (Related: Why You Should Use Vitamin E On Your Skin)
Aveeno Calm Restore Oat Gel Moisturizer
“My favorite gel product at the moment is this moisturizer,” says Dr. Baum. “My favorite part is that it is fragrance-, paraben-, alcohol-, dye-, and phthalate-free, non-comedogenic, and hypoallergenic which makes this product great for any skin type.” Although it’s formulated for sensitive skin, any skin type can use it for hydration or to replenish the skin barrier, she adds.
Huda Beauty Water Jelly Hydrating Face Primer
Winky Lux Watermelon Jelly Lip Stain
If the skin-care aisle were an Instagram account, this lip balm would be categorized as #oddlysatisfying. The pH-activated ingredients tint your lips the perfect shade of light pink, its jelly texture glides on without being sticky, and the vitamin E-based formula leaves a juicy shine. (If your lips are always parched, also check out lip oils.)
Bliss Drench and Quench Cream-to-Water Daily Moisturizer
Now, this is what you call a thirst trap. More than 10,000 micro-droplets converge to create this moisturizer with vitamin C to brighten and chamomile to soothe redness and irritation. The airy gel-cream instantly sinks into the skin to hydrate without that greasy feeling. (See also: 10 of the Best Gel Moisturizers for Oily Skin)
Bioré Daily Brightening Jelly Cleanser
This jelly face wash is a one-two punch for smoother, healthier skin. Little wax beads exfoliate, while Yuzu lemon and ginseng brighten your complexion. The paraben-free, oil-free formula is dermatologist tested and non-comedogenic meaning it won’t clog your pores and is a good pick for oily or acne-prone skin.
Shiseido WASO: Fresh Jelly Essence
You may have heard of essences as part of the K-beauty lineup. They’re like a primer for your moisturizer, hydrating your skin so it can better absorb all the hardworking products that come next. This essence is especially cool; it starts as a gel, then transforms into a water when it’s smoothed over your face for a dewy finish.
Yes to Watermelon Super Fresh Jelly Mask
A mask in a squeeze tube? Say no more, fam. The thick jelly formula infuses skin with hydration and is gentle enough to be used a few times per week — pop in the fridge for a few minutes before applying for a chilly zing. The pretty Millennial-pink tint and watermelon scent ups the fun factor even more.
Arbonne RE9 Advanced Prepwork Gel Eye Masks
Stayed up too late scrolling TikToks or feeling a bit hungover? Nothing is better in the early morning on swollen, puffy, and tired eyes than a gel under-eye patch. “I like the humectant properties of these hydrogel eye masks,” says Dr. Wesley. “They can be used at room temperature, but I like to put them in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes before using for an extra treat especially after a long day.” (Related: Ashley Graham Loves These $15 Rose Quartz Gel Eye Masks to Prep Her Skin)