Make some space on your shelfie for these wobbling pots of skincare magic, because jelly is no longer just something to be served with ice cream.
Like all good beauty trends with their roots in the K-beauty boom, jelly-textured elixirs have been steadily infiltrating the skincare market around the world – and with good reason too.
Not quite a gel, not quite a cream; the latest sensorial skincare craze is lightweight, long-wearing and features a texture that strikes the perfect balance between the kind of weird and supremely satisfying – what’s not to love?
With ‘glass skin’ accounting for the majority of all Google’s beauty searches last year, it’s obvious that looking dewy, hydrated and glowing comes as a top priority for any skincare devotee right now, and following the rise (and rise) of hyaluronic acid, our faces seem primed and ready for featherweight formulas, fit for the skin to drink up.
From masks to cleansers, hair products to makeup, the big names in beauty are adding gelatinous products (and an undeniably high Insta-factor), to brand portfolios. But skincare is where the sheer genius of the texture really shines.
Jellies, gel-hybrids and hydrogels are not only popular for the sensorial experience of using them, but the consistency also lends itself to containing active ingredients and keeping them stable.
Historically, alcohol has been a prime ingredient in gel moisturisers, making them less hydrating and, potentially, even moisture-wicking. But before you’re forced to conjure up memories of the gloopy gel products of our youth, know that this new class of Gen Z jelly has been super-charged to provide real skin benefits.
Tubs of Vaseline, these are not.
Rather, they’re sophisticatedly formulated semi-solids that are brimming with buzzy ingredients like peptides, charcoal, and Vitamin C. The latest iterations of waterbased jelly solutions have a three-pronged attack: they cool the skin, hydrate it, and leave it feeling silky smooth, not sticky.
Less rich than their creamy or oily cousins, best-of-both-world jellies are ideal for problematic skin struck down by blackheads or acne but they’re also well-suited to women experiencing the hot flashes and rosacea that menopause can bring.
Think a fresh-from-the-fridge, cooling serving of jelly – for your face.
Scroll on if you're ready for some jelly (soz, we had to!)
Jelly For Breakfast
To supercharge your day with hydration from the start, wash off the night with GLOSSIER’S MILKY JELLY CLEANSER – a creamy, pH-balanced gel that means business when it comes to removing makeup and oil, yet leaves the face feeling healthy and soft, never tight.
Hypoallergenic, vegan, and non-foaming, apply to dry or damp skin, massage in, and use a face cloth to remove.
Milky Jelly Cleanser, €12, Glossier - SHOP
For a similarly thorough cleanse minus any stripping, try the new gel update on the OG of cult-cleansing balms, EMMA HARDIE’S MORINGA LIGHT CLEANSING GEL.
Despite the lightweight texture, it boasts a cocktail of skin-boosting heavyweights – with moringa seed extract, wild sea fennel and Vitamin E for balancing and reconditioning.
Morninga Light Cleansing Gel, €47, Emma Harding - SHOP
FOr ALL-DAY BOUNCE
If you often find that by the time lunch rolls around, your thirsty skin has fully absorbed your AM dose of moisture, try SHISEIDO’S WASO CLEAR MEGA HYDRATING CREAM.
Formulated with whole carrot cells to help skin hold onto moisture, the clear cream has an instantly cooling, plumping effect and hydration that lasts.
WASO Clear Mega Hydrating Cream, €47, Shiseido - SHOP
For a great, all-around summer moisturiser that measures up on the weightless hydration front, opt for CLINIQUE'S DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT HYDRATING JELLY. The oil-free, water-based gel works to lock in hydration thanks to its use of sodium hyaluronate and glycerin.
With a fast-absorbing texture, it leaves skin just as bouncy as its jelly texture and perfectly prepped for makeup too.
Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly, €42, Clinique - SHOP
BIG JELLY ENERGY
Taking only three short minutes from application to removal, DIOR’S GLOW BETTER FRESH JELLY MASK, peel-scrub hybrid employs both physical (apricot kernel particles) and chemical exfoliation (alpha-hydroxy acid) to slough away dead skin at a cellular level.
It's one super-quick way to give your skin a perky, post-facial glow.
Glow Better Fresh Jelly Mask, €58.50, Dior - SHOP
Creepiness-aside, your face will thank you after one of these masks. Applying the DR JART+ RUBBER MASK HYDRATION LOVER takes two steps.
First, smooth on the jelly-like, hydrating serum, then layer the blue rubber mask on top. This prevents the active ingredients from evaporating and helps all the goodness to penetrate deep into the skin.
Rubber Mask Hydration Lover™, €10.50, Dr. Jart - SHOP