The 13 Best Lightweight Moisturizers, According to Marie Claire Editors

Bring on the humidity.

model with glowing skin after using a lightweight moisturizer
(Image credit: Getty Images/Lorenzo Palizzolo)

Rich and creamy moisturizers have their time and place—and that’s by no means during the summer months. On the contrary, hotter temperatures and unbearable humidity signal the need for one of the best lightweight moisturizers. Featherweight formulas, silky textures, and SPF-packed hydrators should be front and center, especially if your skin falls on the oily or acne-prone end of the spectrum. "Increased temperatures and elevated humidity tempt skin to pump out more skin oils,” says board-certified dermatologist and founder of DERMAdoctor Dr. Audrey Kunin. “Applying a heavy moisturizer in these conditions creates a perfect storm to smother pores and increase the risk for breakouts,”

To keep your skin clear, glowy, and, of course, hydrated, swapping out your thick cream for a lighter gel cream should be top priority. To scoop up one of the best lightweight moisturizers before summer is in full swing, keep scrolling. The Marie Claire editors have tirelessly tried dozens of formulas in search of the top 13. 

What to Look For in a Lightweight Moisturizer

  • Ingredients 

A lightweight moisturizer will feel thinner on the skin, but it shouldn’t need to sacrifice hydration. Your formula should still feature emollients and humectants like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides. A handful of moisturizers also have SPF to provide added protection from the summer sun. 

  • Texture 

The ideal feel of your product is always subjective, but as a rule of thumb steer clear from “rich creams” or “emollients.” You want to look for gels, water creams, or in some cases, an uber-hydrating serum that can double as a moisturizer. 

The Best Lightweight Moisturizers