Is Simple Light Hydrating Moisturiser good for oily and dry skin?
£3

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser review: Simply brilliant

20th June 2023 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber
Verdict

For some reason – and we’re yet to get a definitive answer – people seem to turn their noses up at Simple skincare. Some even claim that the brand has been criticised by dermatologists but we haven’t found a single reputable source that explains a) why that could be, or b) which dermatologists have said this.

Instead, in our experience we can barely fault the Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser.

Over the course of our six-week Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser review, our skin looked calm and less red and irritated. Usually, as the day goes on and our skin is exposed to pollution, dirt, the sun and more, it has a tendency to become flushed, and oily.

While testing the Simple moisturiser this redness and excess oil almost vanished. The cream never felt heavy on our skin and it played well with all of our other products, including our SPF.

We were a bit nervous about the fact it contains some ingredients that have been linked to causing breakouts but our blemishes looked better while using this moisturiser, not worse. It’s also cheap and a little goes a long way.

What’s more, the brand is vegan, cruelty-free, and even PETA-approved. It’s an almost perfect moisturiser that only sits behind the Purito Deep Sea Water Cream as the best moisturiser we’ve ever used.

So, is Simple moisturiser good? We’d go as far as to say it’s great.

Pros
  • Calms redness
  • Balances oiliness and dryness
  • Cheap
Cons
  • Some ingredients have been linked to breakouts
Where to Buy
Boots £3.80
Amazon £2.50
Sephora £2.99
Prices are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

In our Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser review, we discover if there is a catch to buying such a cheap moisturiser 


If you’re of a certain age, you will remember when Simple was one of the very few skincare brands available in the UK.

It was one of the first brands to go all-in when it came to minimal, vegan, and cruelty-free formulas and its products are designed to be suitable for sensitive skin types.

This means they’re typically free of harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances, and dyes.

Over the years, the Simple range has expanded to cover every step of a basic skincare routine and today it sells cleansers, toners, serums, masks, and eye-care treatments.

For some reason, however, the brand is not given much credit.

During our major skincare group test on TikTok, people regularly moan about Simple products being on the best moisturiser list because they’re “boring”, or not good enough.

Others point to dermatologists warning people against using Simple products, but we’re yet to find a reputable source to confirm this (if you have one, please share!)

So in order to put the range to the test and see why it’s developed such a strong anti-movement, we thought we’d review the Simple Light Hydrating Moisturiser first.

It’s one of the brand’s bestselling moisturisers, and – as our Simple Light Hydrating Moisturiser review proves – punches well above its weight in terms of performance and impact. Keep reading to find out why.


Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser Review

Simple Light Hydrating Moisturisermamabella | mamabella

The Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser sits within the wider Simple Kind to Skin range

The Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser sits within the wider Simple Kind to Skin range. The products in this collection, as the name suggests, are all suitable for even the most sensitive skin and have been tested to cause minimal irritation.

Alongside the Hydrating Light Moisturiser are:

  • Simple Kind to Skin Protecting Light Moisturiser with SPF 15 – this is similar to the Hydrating Light Moisturiser but comes with added protection from the sun
  • Simple Kind to Skin Vital Vitamin Day Cream SPF 15 – this cream contains vitamins including Vitamin E and Pro-Vitamin B5 alongside SPF
  • Simple Kind to Skin Vital Vitamin Night Cream – a thicker version of the day cream, without SPF
  • Simple Kind to Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser – a thicker version of the Hydrating Light Moisturiser
  • Simple Kind to Skin Calming Moisturiser with Hemp Seed Oil – a cream designed to help calm redness, making it great for eczema and rosacea

All of these products cost in the £3-£7 range, making them highly affordable.


Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser: At A Glance

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser ReviewSimple

What is Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser? The Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser is a lightweight moisturiser that has an almost lotion-like consistency. It’s designed to hydrate the skin without weighing it down, making it suitable for warmer months, wearing on holiday and if you have oily skin.

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser price: £4 (125ml)

How to use Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser: Massage a small amount of the Simple moisturiser in circular motions across your face and neck. 

When to use Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser: Gentle enough to be used AM and PM after your cleanser, toner, and serums, but before SPF in the morning. People with really sensitive or irritated skin can also use the moisturiser in place of a cream cleanser.

Who should use Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser? Suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive skin.

Where to buy: Boots | Amazon | Sephora

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser alternatives: The Inkey List Omega Water Cream (£9.99); Versed Dew Point Moisturising Gel Cream (£13.50)

 

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How we tested the Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser

For our Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser review, we spent six weeks applying it to cleansed skin, morning and night.

In the morning, we applied it after our cleanser, toner, and serums. We then added the Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Watery Gel – what we consider to be the best sunscreen for face in the UK. In the evening, we used the Simple moisturiser as the final step in our skincare routine.

Throughout the testing period, we noted how hydrated our skin looked and felt, if the cream calmed redness or made irritation worse, if it helped balance our skin type, and if it caused breakouts.

FURTHER READING: How we test skincare to see if it lives up to its claims 


How to use Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser

The Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser feels like a lotion so a little goes a long way. It also absorbs quickly so don’t rub it in your palms too much before applying it to your face.

The steps we then follow are:

  • Cleanse your face
  • Sweep a hydrating toner over your skin – you could even pair it with the Simple Soothing Toner to maximise the calming effect
  • Apply your serums and treatments
  • While your skin is damp, massage the Simple moisturiser into your face and neck in circular motions

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser Performance

Simple Light hydrating Moisturiser consistencymamabella

In our hydration test, the Simple Light Hydrating Moisturiser increased our skin’s hydration levels by 6.6 points (23.5%) after five minutes. This is almost double the average percentage increase of all the skincare we’ve tested, which currently sits at 12.9%

This moisturiser is lightweight, meaning you don’t need a lot of it to cover your face and neck.

In our hydration test, the Simple Light Hydrating Moisturiser increased our skin’s hydration levels by 6.6 points (23.5%) after five minutes. This is almost double the average percentage increase of all the skincare we’ve tested, which currently sits at 12.9%.

This isn’t the highest increase but it is one of the highest scores for such a cheap product.

We have sensitive, combination/oily skin and by mid-afternoon, our skin usually looks red and shiny. After two weeks of using the Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser, this shininess and redness noticeably improved and by the end of our six-week review, it had almost vanished.

Our skin felt more balanced and the only time it looked and felt greasy was when we were due on our period. You can read more about this in our How your skin and hair changes at every stage of your menstrual cycle – and what to do about it guide.

This moisturiser also made our skin look plumper. We didn’t notice much of a difference in our fine lines and wrinkles, but the skin on our cheeks definitely looked healthier and more youthful,

Buy now from Charlotte Tibury

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser review video

In our TikTok video below, we test the hydration levels of the Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser after five minutes. We need to retest the moisturiser after an hour to check how well it maintains the impressive, initial hydration jump.

@victoria_woolly_web Simple is an OG skincare brand for me in the UK (as I’m sure it is for others in other countries) yet I’ve been sleeping on it, it seems! This lotion is niiiice. Thanks to a few of you for this request, originally suggested by @yare.srg 🙏🏻 It absorbs well and feels super light. The hydration coupled with the consistency seems like it would be good for both dry and oily skin (but if anyone can confirm then please do!) As with all my videos, this isn’t scientifically accurate and nor is it meant to be. My skin type will be different to all of yours and products will react differently as a result. It’s meant to be used as a guide/to be semi interesting. I’m not trying to get anyone to buy anything (or not buy anything), it just is what it is ☺️ #hydration #simple #simplelotion #simplehydrating #lotion #bestlotion #bestmoisturizer #bestmoisturiser #DidYouYawn #moisturizerviral #moisturiser_for_dryskin #moisturiserforoilyskin #mosituriserfordryskin @simpleskincare @simpleskincareuk ♬ Iced Coffee – Arthur Hill


Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser Formula

The Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser has a relatively minimal formula, compared to many other skincare products we’ve tried but the standout ingredients are:

  • Glycerin: Coming in second in the ingredients list after water, which is the most abundant ingredient in almost all cosmetics, is glycerin. Glycerin is what’s known as a humectant. It’s found naturally in the skin and helps to boost the skin’s natural hydration levels.
  • Panthenol: Another humectant that helps draw moisture into the lower layers of the skin and provides hydration that lasts.
  • Tocopherol: This is another name for Vitamin E.
  • Urea: A natural moisturising factor found in the human body that is said to have moisturising “superpowers.”
  • Lactic acid: This is a gentle skin exfoliator as well as moisturiser.
  • Allantoin: Naturally soothes the skin

There are a couple of ingredients that may cause issues. The main ones being: Paraffinum Liquidum, Cetyl Palmitate, and Cetyl Alcohol. It also contains silicone.

Each of these ingredients has either been surrounded by some controversy in the past or has been linked with causing breakouts. In particular, Cetyl Palmitate and Cetyl Alcohol can both originate from coconut oil, which is renowned for causing clogged pores.

Silicone isn’t bad for the skin, per se, but it does create an occlusive barrier – along with Paraffinum Liquidum. This is great for moisturising and locking in hydration, making it particularly great for dry and irritated skin, but it can also cause any dead skin cells, makeup, or other build-up that haven’t been removed properly to become trapped underneath this layer.


Is Simple moisturiser good?

Is Simple Moisturiser good?mamabella | mamabella

Over the course of our six-week Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser review, our skin looked calm and less red and irritated

For some reason – and we’re yet to get a definitive answer – people seem to turn their noses up at Simple skincare. Some even claim that the brand has been criticised by dermatologists but we haven’t found a single reputable source that explains a) why that could be, or b) which dermatologists have said this.

Instead, in our experience we can barely fault the Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser.

Over the course of our six-week Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser review, our skin looked calm and less red and irritated. Usually, as the day goes on and our skin is exposed to pollution, dirt, the sun and more, it has a tendency to become flushed, and oily.

While testing the Simple moisturiser this redness and excess oil almost vanished. The cream never felt heavy on our skin and it played well with all of our other products, including our SPF.

We were a bit nervous about the fact it contains some ingredients that have been linked to causing breakouts but our blemishes looked better while using this moisturiser, not worse. It’s also cheap and a little goes a long way.

What’s more, the brand is vegan, cruelty-free, and even PETA-approved. It’s an almost perfect moisturiser that only sits behind the Purito Deep Sea Water Cream as the best moisturiser we’ve ever used.

So, is Simple moisturiser good? We’d go as far as to say it’s great.


Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser Ingredients

The following list of ingredients is taken from the INCI Decoder website. You can hover over each ingredient to find out more about it.

The numbers next to each ingredient represent its Irritation Rating (the number to the left of the comma), and then Comedogenic Rating (to the right of the comma).

Both ratings are scored out of five and the higher the number, the higher the chance of it causing irritation, or comedones (spots). Green means it has a low rating so is less likely to cause problems. Yellow and red numbers represent high ratings and are more likely to cause problems.

Aqua solv, Glycerin sii|h 0 0, Paraffinum Liquidum emo|solv 0 02, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate emu, Dimethicone emo 0 1, Cetyl Palmitate emo 0 0, Cetyl Alcohol emo|vc 2 2, Panthenol so|h 0 0, Phenoxyethanol pres, Caprylyl Glycol h|emo, Carbomer vc 0 1, Potassium Hydroxide buff, Tocopheryl Acetate aox 0 0, Bisabolol so, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer vc, Disodium EDTA chel, Pantolactone h, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil so|emo, Potassium Carbonate buff, Pentylene Glycol solv|h, Urea sii|h, Lactic Acid exf|h|buff, Sodium Lactate buff|h, Serine sii, Sorbitol h 0 0, Sodium Chloride vc, Allantoin so 0 0

Hover the mouse / tap over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.

 


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