Concentrate, Balm and Foam: Your Glossy Guide To Skincare Textures

There was nothing quite like the unbridled joy of dipping your finger into sweet, buttery cake mix as a child. In fact, it was almost mood-enhancing. A combination of ingredients that when whipped together, form a light, velvety and utterly perfect concoction. skincare textures

Years later, it’s the same sensory experience that still totally gets us. But instead of a perfectly whipped dessert, it’s pretty pots of goodness that perform sheer miracles on our skin – be it our limbs or our complexions. You see, texture just makes the experience of applying skincare that bit more indulgent. Balmy, silken, oily or jelly-like, every consistency is whipped up to form a delicious mixture specially designed to assist your skin in absorbing its active ingredients and increasing its efficiency.

We have face creams that are so akin to the consistency of fluffy strawberry mousse it’s unreal and soft-set, bouncy serums that are so like jelly they might as well be served with a side of ice cream. When it comes down to it, choosing the right texture to facilitate what your complexion and body needs is pretty vital – just like baking the perfect cake,  it’s all about getting the ingredients and consistency completely right.

Have a little look through our Glossy texture encyclopedia and pick one that’s right for you…

More lightweight than a face cream, lotions offer up an ideal consistency for layering multiple products. They’re quick absorbing and tend to have a lower percentage of oil content (if they contain oil), so work wonders during the summer months when the air is a little more humid.
We love: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+, £30

A rich, silken and indulgent way to restore your skins moisture levels back to normality. For dry or sensitive skin, oils work a dream as a night treatment – it’s lipid, rich and slowly absorbs into the skin to cure even the most parched of complexions.
We love: Margaret Dabs Intensive Foot Oil, £22 and Pixi Rose Oil Blend, £26

Lighter than a moisturiser, serums are packed with active ingredients and can travel that bit deeper down into the skin than your daily face cream, thanks to the tiny size of the molecules they contain. The super speedy absorption also means you can layer products over the top and ergo, gain double the effect on the skin.
Dr Weil Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Advanced Face Serum, £49

With a formula that’s pretty indistinguishable next to little droplets of rain water, concentrates (also known as essences) neatly fill that little gap you have in your beauty routine between cleansing and applying your serum. The water-like consistency may be one of the best things about them, because the molecular structure means they are able to courier a higher concentration of vitamins, minerals and nutrients than any of your creams, deep down into your skin. What’s more, they have the ability to super-charge your existing skincare routine.
We love: Kiko Cosmetics Pure Clean Essence, £7

With a texture akin to whipped angel delight, the creamy and thick consistency of moose is surprisingly fluffy and airy at the same time. This means that when it comes to things like tan, the formula will dry even quicker!
We love: St. Moriz Professional Medium Self Tanning Mousse, £4.99

The thicker consistency means they’re great to layer over your serums, concentrates and lotions, as while they don’t penetrate the skin as deeply as the aforementioned, they do create a barrier that helps to prevent any further moisture loss.
We love: Kiehl’s Ultra Face Cream, £24.50

The rough texture of exfoliators ensure that when applied in circular motions to your complexion, the tiny beads work to slough away any dead skin cells, leaving you with a fresh and smooth complexion.
We love: Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator, £16.50

This is like giving your complexion a refreshing shower. Micellar waters are formed of tiny oil molecules suspending in water and, with the help of a cotton pad, will wipe away ALL of the day’s impurities in one fell swoop. Oh, and they’re a hit with sensitive skin too.
We love: Vichy Purete Thermale 3-in-1 Calming Micellar Cleansing Solution, £12

The super light and airy texture makes foaming cleansers great for oily skin, but you need to be careful they don’t dry it out too much. But watch out for sulfates, as they’ll be far too harsh – opt for a foaming wash that’s still incredibly gentle.
We love: Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser, £20

This could literally be served as desert at a children’s party – the texture is so bouncy and springy, yet instantly melts into your skin and disappears, leaving no residue in its path.
We love: Shiseido WASO Fresh Jelly Lotion, £24

If your skin is on the oily side or you suffer from blemishes, gel textures are the one for you. The light-weight consistency offers up oil-free hydration which works a particular dream during the hotter months.
We love: HealGel Intensive, £37.50

The super rich consistency of balms are perfect for dry skin, as they’re ultra-soothing and hydrating, while keeping any irritation at bay.
We love: Hero Beauty Babe Balm, £28



Writer and expert

January box sold out! Pre-order our February box for just £7* using code: NEWYOU