Six Lightweight Moisturizing Serums for Summer (and All Skin Types)

Year-round ways to moisturize without the weight.

(Originally published on, August 2022)

The arrival of sunshine, long days, and a warm breeze can sometimes turn elaborate skincare routines into an afterthought. Layering multiple products can feel wholly unnecessary in the oppressive heat and humidity and it’s easy to forget that skin needs don’t necessarily change overnight — even if the weather does. Hydration and moisture should still be top priority when approaching the summer months, but making the transition isn’t always the most intuitive.

Obvious steps might include shelving your go-to moisturizer from the dead of winter or ditching a luxe balm that’s your occlusive holy grail, but a replacement plan with seasonally appropriate skincare is still needed. Incorporating innovative, expert formulated, and lightweight options is the answer and provides a happy medium that will tend to your skin’s moisture needs without feeling like a blanket in the heat. 

These serums give the freedom of choosing to use as little or as much product as you like while not having to worry about your makeup sliding off. Here are six top contenders to make the weather less taxing on your skin and that will leave you feeling super comfortable and moisturized.

Summer Fridays Dream Oasis Deep Hydration Serum

In the humidity, it can feel like dehydrated skin is suddenly no longer parched, but that’s likely not the case. For those in need of deep moisture, Summer Fridays Dream Oasis Deep Hydration Serum is your summer version of a rich moisturizer, without the weight. This jelly-serum is fragrance-free and has classic gentle moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe, colloidal oatmeal, and chamomile.

Pholk Beauty Featherlight Cucumber SkinNectar

On a scorching day, just the thought of cucumber provides immediate relief. Pholk Beauty took this concept and bottled it along with lightweight hemp seed oil, infused honeysuckle petals, and clary sage and geranium essential oils. The formula is focused on providing a clarifying effect for oily and combination skin still in need of some moisture and balance in the heat.

Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum

In the aftermath of long, summer days (and even with SPF protection), some inflammation and irritation can occur as a result of being exposed to the elements. Restoring moisture is a step in the right direction to begin the repair process and soothe an unsettled complexion. Glow Recipe’s Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum is a helpful aid in restoration and provides relief with avocado butter and extract, allantoin, niacinamide, and turmeric.

Becalia Botanicals Prickly Pear Facial Oil

Face oils are often thought of as being rich and greasy on the surface, but some have a subtle consistency and finish. Becalia Botanicals’ blend of prickly pear, argan, pomegranate, and rosehip oils is a synergistic and balanced formula for a summer face oil. It doesn’t linger on the surface, has antioxidant and calming properties, and encourages cell renewal. Use a few drops on your fingertips, and press into your skin, day or night, for moisture without any residue.

Innisfree Intensive Hydrating Serum With Green Tea

This gel serum combines Jeju green tea extract and green tea seed oil to create a water-like consistency that will glide onto freshly cleansed skin and be immediately absorbed. It does the heavy lifting of imparting moisture without feeling like a mask and has been shown to reduce texture in the skin with regular use. This can take the place of richer consistencies when looking for something akin to the feeling of splashing water on your face.

Keys Soulcare Promise Serum with Niacinamide 

A brightening formula with Traditional Chinese Medicine-inspired snow mushroom, niacinamide, and zinc PCA — this serum is geared towards providing skin with the hydration it needs, while balancing and keeping oil production at bay. It’s designed for all skin types, but is especially beneficial for oily types who are in search of an ideal ally that will address any dryness while also minimizing shine.

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