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We’re so lucky to live in a world of skincare choice. There are moisturizers for almost every skin type and concern. Sometimes those with oily/combination skin (or those afraid of breakouts) do not use moisturizer because they believe that their skin has “too much oil” already. True, some moisturizers feel too heavy and some do cause breakouts. Yet even the oiliest skin can use a little lovely moisture to keep it looking moisturized and nourished. This skin type should consider gel moisturizers –they add enough moisture and life without looking or feeling heavy.

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One gel moisturizer that I invested in is NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Mask ($39/ 2.6 oz.)(available at Nordstrom,, and other NARS retailers). The tube is a large 2.6 ounces, which is generous for a department store moisturizer. This light, softly scented gel moisturizer can be used several different ways. First, it can be used applied liberally as an overnight treatment. Second, it can be used as a mask for a 5-minute pick-me-up, then tissued off. Third, the way that I’ve been using it is as a nice light daily moisturizer.

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This gel is absorbed very quickly, and reminds me very much of the former Chanel Hydramax serum in its moisturizing and revitalizing effect. According to Nars, the product has “NARS exclusive Light Reflecting Complex™ designed to restore skin’s youthful radiance and reflect light like a prism.” I must admit this does make my skin look hydrated and youthful.

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It’s like a little moisturizing infusion before I add my makeup for the day. Because it’s so light, it doesn’t make my face feel weighed down. The large, travel-friendly tube is a nice way to refresh after a flight.

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Those with very dry skin or those who want more moisture in a gel formula might want to explore either NARS Skin Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer or Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Cream (Liz loves both of these). I’ve been enjoying the NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Mask over the past several months–that light bit of moisture in the morning has been a nice way to add some life (and, thank heavens, no breakouts!). The product comes out of the tube white and applies clear.

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Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

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Bottom line–those looking for a light, effective moisturizer that doesn’t feel heavy or oily should give  NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Mask a look. Although it may sound counter-intuitive that oily/combination skin needs moisture, you may find that adding a moisturizer not only improves skin, but helps the skin not become too stressed and product more oil. Gel moisturizers are a wonderful way to get some nourishment without using a heavier cream.

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