Actives, acids, or active ingredients are made to target specific problem areas, from acne marks to hyperpigmentation, that your average face wash-and-moisturizer combo can't fix. But because they're so potent, they’re highly reactive. 

Retinols, for one, don’t mesh well with AHAs and BHAs, and other strong ingredients. If you have this vitamin A in your P.M. routine, mixing it with moisturizers that contain chemical exfoliants (glycolic acid, salicylic acid, etc.) can throw your skin out of whack. 


As the saying goes, opposites attract—and this applies to skincare. Actives like retinols are best paired with no-fuss moisturizers that only get one job done, and that’s simply to hydrate. Try these gentle moisturizers below:

1. Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer 

P229, available at Watsons

This non-sticky lotion is fragrance-free, dye-free, oil-free, and harsh chemical-free, so you're pretty much safe from unwanted irritations! 

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2. Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion 

P344/118 mL, available at Watsons

Cetaphil's ultra-gentle formula targets common sensitive skin issues like eczema and rosacea

3. Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream

P1,750/50mL, available in all Kiehl's branches

Got oily skin? Try this clear gel moisturizer that immediately sinks into the skin for a matte but smooth finish. 


4. Celeteque Dermo Science Hydration Facial Moisturizer

P250/100mL, available at Watsons

For a water-based gel moisturizer that won't hurt your suweldo, this drugstore find containing aloe vera provides light, nonsticky hydration.


5. The Face Shop Dr.Belmeur Daily Repair Moisturizer

P1,060, available online

This low-irritant item has a slightly thicker cream consistency compared to gels so it's perfect for ladies who deal with dry patches on the skin. 

6. Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion 

P685/170 mL, available at Watsons

As retinols can be drying, you'll be needing all the hydration you can get. This popular Japanese lotion contains four types of hyaluronic acid to give you that bouncy, "glass" skin (Ed's note: Though it has the word "acid" in it, hyaluronic acid doesn't work to exfoliate the skin like glycolic, salicylic and other AHAs and BHAs. It's essentially a hydrating ingredient that's mild and light so it won't counter the effects of retinol.) It's alcohol- and fragrance-free so it'll mesh well with your potent serums. 


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