(Main Squeeze)

10 Lightweight Moisturizers Destined To Become Summer Skin Care Staples

Ditch the heavy creams.

the best lightweight moisturizers
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Join TZR editors for Main Squeeze, the series dedicated to sharing beloved beauty products — be they bold, effective, or simply fun — that make our week just a little bit better. Ahead, Team TZR spotlights their favorite lightweight moisturizers of the moment.

You wouldn’t wear an outfit consisting of a parka, wool sweater, trousers, and ankle boots on an 85-degree summer day, so why cover your face with a layer of decadent face cream? While rich hydrators are essential in the colder months when the air is extra dry and stripping, the warmer weather calls for one of the best lightweight moisturizers. These products might feel like nothing at all, but they’re still just as effective at providing skin with long-lasting hydration for a smooth, plump complexion.

While switching up your skin care products for each season is a common practice, these lightweight hydrators can also be used year-round for oily, combination, and acne-prone skin types who find rich, thick creams clog their pores and exacerbate breakouts. Even better, many of today’s top formulas also double as treatments, addressing common concerns like fine lines, wrinkles, engorged pores, dullness, and more. If you need help parsing through all of the options, TZR editors have a few suggestion to help ease your choice.

Keep reading to discover the lightweight moisturizers that are just as effective as heavy creams.

"Although it may be called the "Ultra Facial Cream", it's actually a lightweight formula that isn't thick or feels sticky after application, even on a hot summer day. It does the job replenishing the moisture in my skin, and true to its name, leaves my face looking like I just had the most relaxing and rejuvenating facial." – Kathy Lee, editor in chief, TZR

“Typically I steer clear of gel moisturizers because I find they make my skin drier after the initial hydration has worn off. However, this gel-cream hybrid from Dieux Skin is unlike any other I’ve tried. My skin soaks it up and it leaves me with a smooth, glowy complexion. My makeup even goes on better and doesn’t oxidize or pill.” – Erin Lukas, deputy beauty editor, TZR

“I've been experiencing somewhat of a skin care crisis this year, so because of that, I've refreshed my routine to include only the essentials. And this gentle face cream from Dr. Barbara Sturm definitely meets my criteria. One of its active ingredients is hyaluronic acid, so my face always feels super fresh after I use it in the morning and before bed. While I wasn't expecting this, after three-ish weeks of consistent weeks, I noticed my acne breakouts weren't as inflamed and irritated — perhaps that's the butterfly bush flower extract in action.” – Meguire Hennes, fashion news writer, TZR

“I used to think that the thicker the moisturizer the more hydrating it must be, but boy was I wrong. Avène's Xeracalm moisturizing balm is lightweight yet one of the most hydrating formulas I've tried, packed with dermatologist-approved ingredients such as silymarin, niacinamide, and Avène Thermal Spring Water. When I wake up after a night of sleep with this soothing balm slathered on my face, my skin is soft, smooth, and plump. It's been a game-changer for my dry, rosacea-prone skin, helping to restore my barrier to a healthy state.” – Rebecca Iloulian, director, newsletter revenue and marketing

"My skin is prone to breakouts and clogging, so thick, ultra-creamy moisturizers are a no-go for me. This moisturizer has been a godsend in that it hydrates and soothes my skin without sitting heavy on it. It also has a lovely cooling effect that calms redness and leaves my skin looking glowy and supple. It's a must during the hot summer months when my complexion gets sweaty and oily." — Angela Melero, executive editor, TZR

“If you haven't experienced the joy of a water-based moisturizer in the summertime, trust me, you're missing out. Every May, like clockwork, I find that my winter moisturizer often feels heavy and makes my already-oily skin more greasy. So last year, my dermatologist recommended The Inky List Omega Water Cream and now, I barely reach for anything else. It's incredibly cooling (a must for those 80-degree days), affordable, cruelty-free, and suitable for all skin types. What more could I want?” – Hennes

“I swear by all of Tatcha's skin care products, especially The Water Cream. This lightweight formula works wonders on my textured skin, giving it a smooth, glowy appearance. And if you have a slightly oily T-zone like myself, it'll help reduce shine, too." — Kelsey Stewart, associate fashion editor, TZR

“It's wild how much of an immediate difference this Youth To The People moisturizer makes while still feeling so remarkably light on the skin. Within minutes, I notice a softer texture, an easier base for makeup, and a mild plumping effect, but my face doesn't feel overly slick or shellacked with product. In fact, you only need a small amount of it to reap all those benefits, too. It has all the results of a thick, winter-friendly moisturizer, but suitable for all skin types year-round." – Amanda Ross, beauty editor, TZR

“Despite its lightweight texture, this Renée Rouleau moisturizer packs a serious punch of hydration. It’s quickly become one of my all-time favorite moisturizers because it’s also formulated with ingredients like marine algae and niacinamide which help fend off visible signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and dullness.” – Lukas