Skip to main content

Your Guide To Product Textures & Why They’re Important

Your Guide To Product Textures & Why They’re Important

We're all aware of the many types of textures in our skincare products, but how does each one actually act on different skin types? And how do you pick which one works best for your skin? Each texture has its own particular set of benefits and is formulated to deliver specific results. You may be surprised to learn that almost all textures can be modified or layered to work with all different skin types, and many have multifunctional benefits that you should consider adding into your daily routine. Here’s our guide to each type of formula, how it works, and how you can make it work for you.


Ranging from moisturizing stick formulas, balm-to-lotions, cleansing balms, or face and body balms, pressed formulas act as a barrier and form a seal on the skin. Pressed formulas are on the denser side of the texture spectrum. They’re ideal when you want to lock in moisture for a long period of time, when you have easily dehydrated skin that loses water quickly, or when you are exposed to the elements, such as surfing, skiing, and sun tanning. Balms also make excellent cleansers because their dense texture grabs onto dirt and oil and pulls it off skin. Eve Lom’s Cleansing Balm uses aromatics, oils and waxes to dissolve makeup and dirt very effectively and leave your skin feeling fresh. PCA Skin Silkcoat Balm contains Silk Protein and Antioxidants to provide deep moisture for dry and mature skin types, as well as skin in harsh or colder climates. 


Whipped formulas are all about that cushiony, moisturizing, sensory experience we expect from creams. These textures offer light to medium hydration and sink into the skin quickly, but leave behind softness and hydration and that little bit of glow. Their high water content mixed with hydrating actives give creams more ability to truly penetrate skin, delivering moisture and nutrients to deeper layers of the dermis. Whipped or cream formulas are ideal for all skin types, however drier skin types should look for richer creams formulated to hydrate longer, and oilier skin types should look for lighter, water-based creams. Formulas that incorporate antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and ceramides are ideal because these actives can really penetrate skin effectively in a whipped formula. Elemis Peptide4 Adaptive Day Cream has a soft mousse texture that balances combination skin through the day. Valmont Moisturizing With A Cream visibly rehydrates and refreshes all skin types, offering a visibly plumped appearance.


Gel formulas have a light, water-based consistency that hydrate skin and are quickly absorbed without occluding skin or blocking pores. Their weightless textures make gel formulas a good match for oily, acne-prone, or combination skin, because these skin types need equal amounts of hydration as their drier counterparts, but usually can’t tolerate heavier formulas. Gel formulas are also ideal for normal to drier skin types in hot or humid climates, delivering moisture, water-soluble actives, and deep hydrators without feeling too sticky or heavy. If your skin is on the drier side, gel formulas are ideal layered under heavier moisturizers for an intense hydration boost. Phyto-C B5 Gel is a lightweight bestseller formulated with high doses of hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate all skin types. Cellcosmet Activator Gel is a hero product designed to be applied before your moisturizer, to prime skin for added moisture, boosting radiance and glow.