Jun 22, 2023

12 best hydrating skincare products, according to experts

Skin doctors will tell you that a well-hydrated complexion is healthy and youthful-looking. And for this reason, it's why these 12 hydrating skincare products have topped our Beauty Awards list. Whether you’re looking for a daily moisturiser for your skin type – dry, oily or even sensitive, or a thirst-quenching serum to imbue skin with intense moisture, there's something here to address your skin concern.

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Why it won: Imbuing your skin with intense moisture courtesy of its iconic cell-recharging Miracle Broth, the La Mer The Advanced Treatment Lotion is the first step, after cleansing, to getting skin soft and supple. And to ensure that this hydration lasts all day, its Active Liquid Hydrogel texture delivers a boost of liquid energy.

"A thick lotion that dries quickly. My skin was more moisturised, plumped and its texture felt smooth. Would recommend it for users with normal to dry skin." – Dr Rachel Ho, medical director, La Clinic

Why it won: Enriched with 97 per cent pure hyaluronic acid, the IllumiaSkin Hyarum Skin Booster gives parched skin an instant shot of hydration, perfectly soothing and comforting dry or sensitive skin. But that's not all. It also helps restore skin's glow and minimise the appearance of pigmentation too.

"It did a superb job. My skin looked smoother and clearer (less breakouts) and felt deeply moisturised. I looked less tired as well. And while the texture looked viscous and sticky, once applied, it was absorbed in a flash with zero residue and stickiness. It's a fabulous product for pre-makeup prep." – Letty Seah, associate beauty editor

Why it won: One serum, two benefits. The Bio-Essence Bio-Vlift Face Lifting Serum pulls double duty as it increases skin's moisture levels while improving skin's resilience and firming sagging skin with the use of black orchid essence. Plus, it also delivers instant results, lifting the face for a much-desired V-shape in just 15 minutes too.

"It offered instant hydration and absorbed into my skin fast. I also noticed a depuffing effect after massaging it into my skin. I also tried applying the product just on my chin and along the jawline. My face definitely looked visibly more lifted and sharper. Even my mum noticed a difference." – Letty Seah,associate beauty editor

Why it won: A wallet-friendly option to rescue dry, dehydrated and sensitive skin. The Cetaphil Optimal Hydration 48H Activation Serum infuses skin with intense hydration thanks to an exclusive HydroSensitiv complex together with blue daisy, hyaluronic acid and sunflower seed oil to restore skin's texture and health.

"I was pleasantly surprised by this serum. I didn't think I would like it as much as I did. My skin felt so hydrated that I didn't need to follow up with a moisturiser. Plus, it also helped quell the redness on my cheeks." – Letty Seah, associate beauty editor

Why it won: This Sulwhasoo Essential Comfort Firming Cream not only hydrates the skin and strengthens its moisture barrier, but also firms the skin for a supple and bouncy complexion. The key lies in the use of a potent blend of antioxidant-rich goji berries, black beans and arrowroot as well as five traditional Korean herbs.

"I didn't expect the product to work well, but honestly, it was one of the best moisturisers. It was hydrating but not oily. And it didn't cause me to break out. In fact, my face was glowing after." – Letty Seah, associate beauty editor

Why it won: Deeply hydrating, the Epion Skin – Hydrate: Anti-Oxidant Moisturiser imbues skin with intense hydration thanks to the use of pro-vitamin B5, centella asiatica, ruscus aculeatus and calendula extracts. At the same time, it helps restore skin's moisture barrier while enhancing its optimal function to bring skin back to a healthy state once more.

"Skin felt moisturised – just right, without being too heavy or occlusive, and suitable for all skin types." – Dr Rachel Ho, medical director, La Clinic

Why it won: With the use of acacia protein and green tea water, the AHC PHA Mattifying Gel Cream keeps combination-oily skin hydrated while keeping shine and excess sebum at bay. Plus, its refreshing texture is perfect in combating Singapore's heat and humidity too.

"It didn't promote greasiness on the skin, yet gave deep hydration and made my skin look less shiny. It's great for those with sensitive or oily skins. Plus, it's also ideal to use before makeup application if you’re looking for a matte finish." – Mary Victor, makeup artist and body neutrality advocate

Why it won: Made with hyaluronic acid and Avene's signature Thermal Spring Water, the Avene Tolerance Hydra-10 Hydrating Fluid is a biomimetic moisturiser that restores and preserves the balance of skin's microbiome for a healthy complexion. Plus, its gentle fragrance- and preservative-free formula is suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive of skins too.

"While the texture was slightly on the thicker side, it was still light enough to be absorbed quite quickly. My skin felt deeply hydrated throughout the day. Even after cleansing it at night, my skin still felt soft." – Mary Victor, makeup artist and body neutrality advocate

Why it won: The fresh and lightweight texture of the Banila Co Dear Hydration Water Barrier Cream makes it easy to get skin healthy and hydrated. And it's all thanks to the combination of ceramide, pink cactus water and pink hydra biome that strengthens and revitalises skin while delivering moisture so it hydrates from deep within.

"One of the best instant hydration products I’ve tried. It's did exactly what it said and is suitable for both oily and dry skins. It's also perfect for achieving that dewy makeup look." – Mary Victor, makeup artist and body neutrality advocate

Why it won: Infused with Rose de Mai water along with an alga tensing blend that creates an instant tightening effect and chrysanthellum indicum extract to reduce puffiness, the Chantecaille Rose De Mai Eye Lift is the answer to a smooth and supple eye area. Plus, it also comes with a cooling Zamac applicator that doubles up as massage tool to enhance micro-circulation to erase signs of fatigue.

"I really liked how this felt on my skin, and the ease of application made it easy to incorporate into my nightly routine. It was refreshing and cooling, and had a lovely scent too." – Preeti (@preetipls), content creator

Why it won: A soothing and pampering weekly treat for your skin. The Elan Bio-Cellulose Regenerative Mask is infused with a carefully curated blend of actives, including codium tomentosum extract, soy isoflavones and centella asiatica leaf extract, to restore and regenerate the skin. In addition, the use of bio-cellulose, a magnet for hydration, plumping it from within, for a smooth and supple complexion.

"The mask was drenched with a generous amount of serum, but not to the point that it was dripping. It adhered well – didn't even drop even though I was walking around with it on, and felt comfortable on my skin. After one use, it managed to significantly quell my redness and illuminate my complexion." – Letty Seah, associate beauty editor

Why it won: With a few easy swipes, the Bifesta Micellar Cleansing Water Moist easily removes traces of stubborn makeup. Most of all, it doesn't strip the skin of its natural moisture, which can leave skin dry and irritated. Instead, it even boosts skin's hydration thanks to the use of adsorbent amino acid and penetrating hyaluronic acid.

"Removed my makeup very well. I’ve used bottles of this, and I love how it deeply cleaned away makeup, even stubborn waterproof makeup too." – Anda (@Andathesea_), content creator

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