The Differences Between Gel vs Cream Moisturiser

What’s the difference between gel and cream moisturiser? Discover the unique benefits of gel vs cream moisturiser and why both formulas belong in your skincare kit.

Darlings, keeping your skin moisturised is extremely important for overall skin health. Moisturising your skin is a science; sometimes your skin requires an intense surge of moisture, and sometimes it experiences concerns such as uneven skin tone, texture and redness that can be targeted with moisturiser.

In this guide, discover the differences between gel vs cream moisturiser and learn the different moments that you should be reaching for a rich face cream vs a silky gel moisturiser to instantly boost the look of your complexion.

Magic Cream and Magic Water Cream still life

What’s the Difference Between Gel vs Cream Moisturiser?

The most notable difference between gel and cream moisturiser is that gels are thinner in texture and feel lighter on the skin, whereas creams are richer and feel more indulgent. Both formulas deliver moisture and supercharged skincare benefits that aim to leave the skin feeling deeply hydrated, so choosing your formula largely comes down to how you like your moisturiser to feel on the skin and how it interacts with your skin type.

When applied, gel moisturisers generally feel more lightweight than face creams and can absorb into the skin more quickly; this can mitigate the sticky feeling that some creams can have. If you prefer a barely there feel from your moisturiser, a gel formula may be the perfect choice for you. On the other hand, cream formulas feel more nourishing to apply and can create a skin-like barrier that helps the skin to feel plumper and softer, as well as priming the face for makeup.

Tilbury Tip: There is a place for both gel and cream moisturiser formulas in your skincare routine, darlings! The power of layering is so important; Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream layers perfectly with not only your skincare but your makeup too. It has such an incredible and cloud-like, water-break texture that glides on and hydrates all day – it never pills, rolls, or slides, so your skin and makeup will always look better! I flit between Charlotte’s Magic Cream and Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream depending on how my skin is feeling and the type of canvas I want to create.

Discover the Magic Moisturisers You Need for Immediate Skin Revival

Darlings, Charlotte’s Magic Cream and Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream work in hydration harmony to give your skin the ultimate skin revival! Both moisturisers are expertly formulated to lift the look of the complexion and provide powerful skincare benefits that help every skin type to look and feel its best.

Your skin is complex and its needs change daily. Sometimes skin feels dry or oily depending on environmental conditions, and other times it feels dehydrated due to external factors such as the weather, lack of sleep, or not drinking enough water. Listen to your skin, darlings, and apply the magical moisturiser that’s perfect for your current skin concerns and wishes.

Magic Water Cream model application

The Differences Between Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream and Charlotte’s Magic Cream

Discover the differences between my gel and cream moisturisers. Both magical formulas can be used by everyone, everywhere to give the skin an immediate skin revival. Once you’ve learned the key differences between these two skin-saving formulas, you can decide what your skin is thirsting for at any given time.

Learn the benefits of my magic moisturisers then choose your favourite formula to add to your skincare routine. I recommend switching between the two formulas depending on the occasion, season, and how your skin feels, or even layering the two for a double dose of moisture-rich magic!

Water Cream model shot

Charlotte's Magic Water Cream

Texture: Bouncy Gel-Cream

Skin Wish: Drench

Finish: Fresh Water Glow

Skin Type: Dehydrated, Oily

Key Ingredients: Waterlocking Fusion Technology™, Niacinamide, Biopeptide Complex

Fragrance: Fragrance Free

Climate: Heat and Humidity

Magic Cream model shot

Charlotte's Magic Cream

Texture: Rich Cream

Skin Wish: Revive

Finish: Plump Glow

Skin Type: Tired, Dry, Dull

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C and E, Bionymph Peptide

Fragrance: Lightly Fragranced

Climate: Cold and Dry

  1. Charlotte's Magic Water Cream gel moisturiser with a silky, lightweight texture

    Charlotte's Magic Water Cream

    Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream is an ultra-lightweight gel moisturiser with a bouncy texture. It drenches the skin with 100-hour hydration* and gives it a dewy, glass-like, fresh water glow. This gel moisturiser is best applied to dehydrated skin and oily skin types and is infused with Waterlocking Fusion Technology™ to deliver 100-hour hydration*, niacinamide to refine the appearance of pores and a biopeptide complex that smooths and evens the look of skin tone and texture. Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream is unscented and suitable for fragrance-free skincare lovers and is suited to hot and humid climates due to its lightweight texture and hydrating properties.

    Discover more about Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream

    Shop Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream

  2. Charlotte's Magic Cream award-winning cream moisturiser with a rich, luxurious texture

    Charlotte's Magic Cream

    Charlotte’s Magic Cream is a rich face cream with a luxuriant, nourishing texture. It revives the look of skin to create a smoother, plumper-looking canvas and gives it a lit-from-within plump glow. This award-winning face cream is best applied to tired-looking, dull skin and dry skin types. It’s powered by a Magic 8 Matrix featuring hydrating hyaluronic acid, brightening vitamins C and E, and smoothing-effect bionymph peptide. Charlotte’s Magic Cream has a light, rosy scent that feels luxurious and calming and is suited to cold, dry climates thanks to the deep nourishment that it gives the skin.

    Discover the story of Charlotte’s Magic Cream

    Shop Charlotte’s Magic Cream

Gel vs Cream Moisturiser for Every Skin Type

It’s important to learn about your skin so that you can use the perfect products that will get you the glowing results that you’re looking for from your skincare routine! I recommend using my Pro Skin Analysis Tool* to get a better idea of your skin type and skin concerns, then following an immediate skin revival routine that’s tailored to you.

Remember, darlings, while we all have a certain skin type, the needs of your skin can change daily. Every skin type can become dehydrated, develop dry patches, or experience unwanted redness or skin texture. As these concerns arise, you should adapt your skincare routine as necessary.

Tilbury Tip: How hydrated is your skin, darlings? Use my innovative new tech tool to get a live reading that detects how dehydrated looking your skin is currently, then discover the perfect moisturiser to give your skin the drink of water it needs!

How Hydrated Is Your Skin?

Gel vs Cream Moisturizer for Your Skin

Gel vs Cream Moisturiser still life

Combination Skin

For those with combination skin, you will be very familiar with just how much skin type can vary. Some days, excess oils are here to stay, and on other days skin feels flaky and dry. Assess which moisturiser is going to benefit your skin in the current moment and don’t be afraid to be flexible with your skincare routine.

Tilbury Tip: You can apply both Charlotte’s Magic Cream and Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream for customised hydration. Simply apply Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream everywhere your skin appears dehydrated, then apply Charlotte’s Magic Cream in any dry spots – you can even layer the two if you feel your skin needs that extra dose of moisture.

Dehydrated Skin

When skin is dehydrated, I recommend reaching for Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream to flood it with healthy hydration. I created this gel moisturiser for thirsty skin in need of a magical moisture boost. We are all a part of generation dehydration, darlings, and this magic moisturiser is the secret to drenching the complexion with hydrating skincare ingredients that help to lift and revive its appearance.

Dry Skin

Moisturise dry skin with Charlotte’s Magic Cream to give it an immediate skin revival! This award-winning, globally loved face cream is a nourishing formula that helps skin to look smoother, plumper, and lit from within. Its instant-turnaround effects are perfect for hydrating and nourishing dryness on the face, working to create a gorgeous, silky-soft canvas that makeup will glide onto.

Tilbury Tip: Darlings, did you know that dry skin and dehydrated skin are different? Skin can even be both dry and dehydrated at the same time! Discover more here

Normal Skin

People with normal skin types have no notable skin concerns, however, they may still experience oiliness or dry patches from time to time. When skin feels normal, reach for the magic moisturiser that you feel suits your personal skin wish: for an ultra-light, dewy feel then choose a gel moisturiser, or for a rich, nourishing feel choose a cream.

Oily Skin

Gel moisturisers are often favoured by oily skin types thanks to their lightweight texture. Their watery, gel-like consistency is significantly thinner than a face cream and therefore is less likely to clog pores and in turn helps to prevent breakouts. These formulas are generally water-based rather than oil-based which also helps to decrease excess oil and avoids creating a greasy look and feel on the skin. Oily skin can also become dehydrated, so it’s important to use hydrating skincare products that help to provide oil control.

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Author Details

Charlotte Tilbury

Founder, President, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty

With over 30 years experience, Charlotte Tilbury MBE is the world's number 1 makeup artist and British beauty entrepreneur. Charlotte established Charlotte Tilbury Beauty in 2013, which is now a record-breaking beauty brand that has won over 400 awards.

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