Skip to main content

Stephanie's New Favorite Non-Greasy Face Cream

It's intensely hydrating but not heavy or slick.
Aesop Mandarin Facial Hydrating Cream, $49, available at Barneys.

Aesop Mandarin Facial Hydrating Cream, $49, available at Barneys.

There's a certain time of year in New York City when the winter's arid dryness suddenly subsides, giving way to dank humidity. It's something I'd never really experienced until I lived here, and it usually occurs sometime in April. From a beauty perspective, there are pros and cons to excess humidity, especially if you have combination skin. Sure, it helps all of those dry patches suddenly fade away — but it also means any moisturizing products you slather on tend to just... sit there. Skin's own oil production increases as it gets warmer out anyway, so the last thing you want is a heavy face cream. That's where this Aesop bad boy comes in.

I tried it recently on a whim, plucking it from my beauty-editor/hoarder stash of skin products when the daytime moisturizer I'd been using ran out. Typically, I expect creams that come in jars to be extra thick and almost pudding-like. Which this one is — at first. Scoop out a nickel-size blob and smooth it over your face, and you'll be covered in a thin (but definitely apparent) layer of white goop. But fear not: a mere 20 or 30 seconds later, and it completely disappears. And I mean completely. There's no trace of greasiness or slickness, no filmy weirdness left behind. But what is left behind is comfortably hydrated skin that feels soft and looks ever-so-slightly dewy — but I promise, not the oil-slick kind of dewy. 

The secret is the formula's main ingredient, hazel seed oil (sure?) which apparently has a superior ability to absorb into the skin rapidly with minimal residue. A blend of citrus oils also lends a nice, earthy-but-fancy scent that's not too strong, thankfully. I've been using it mostly for daytime (with a separate sunscreen, of course!), but I could see this making a solid addition to a pared-down nighttime routine as well.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Aesop Mandarin Facial Hydrating Cream, $49, available at Barneys.

Homepage photo: @cultbeauty/Instagram

Please note: Occasionally, we use affiliate links on our site. This in no way affects our editorial decision-making.

Sign up for our daily newsletter and get the latest industry news in your inbox every day.