Guys. GUYS. I have found my summer savior product: First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Oil-Free Mattifying Gel. It's basically the solution to all of your sweaty summer beauty woes, no matter what your skin type. For those with dry, sensitive skin like me, it hydrates without irritating. For those with oily skin, it's oil-free and helps to remove excess oils and make pores seem smaller. And whether your skin is dry or oily, you're sure to appreciate the matte finish that it lends to both bare and made-up skin in the summer.
Possibly the worst part of summer is trying to figure out how to adjust your makeup so that it's not sliding off your face by midday. It doesn't even matter if your skin type is dry or oily; everyone is in the same sweaty boat come July. As someone with perpetually dry skin, even I struggle with too-shiny makeup in the summer. It's annoying because I spend all year stocking up on foundation, concealer, and BB cream that promises dewy, luminous skin and then as soon as it gets hot and humid for a few months, my trusty makeup betrays me. Suddenly dewy becomes sweaty and luminous becomes shiny. It's a small but important difference.
First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Oil-Free Mattifying Gel, $37, Sephora
Unfortunately, I can't switch to matte-finish makeup for the summer because my dry skin still needs some hydration (plus, that would be crazy for my budget). Instead, I look for other solutions to rely on, like blotting papers or primers. Which is why I was so hyped to discover this First Aid gem.
Of course, that's what the product promises. But does it deliver? Intrigued by the idea of finally achieving hydrated but matte skin in the summer, I put the FAB Mattifying Gel to the test.
Here's how it went down. On the morning of a typically hot, humid day I washed my face and then applied the gel to bare, dry skin. I was curious to see if it would give enough hydration on its own without moisturizer (although you can layer it over a serum if you want). For the record: I would pair it with moisturizer in the winter, but for now it goes on smoothly, absorbs almost immediately, and provides a nice, even base for my makeup.
Once the gel was dry I went ahead and applied my usual hydrating BB cream. The thing about this BB cream (and most BB creams, really) is that it delivers a dewy finish immediately upon application. This is great in the winter but I don't love it in the summer. By noon, my face is usually all shiny and greasy — especially my T-zone. If I have the audacity to wear highlighter in addition to BB cream, I look like a melting disco ball. Is this what strobing is? I'm guessing no.
However, on the day that I wore the FAB Mattifying Gel, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my face was still mostly matte by noon and my makeup was still completely intact. The afternoon passed, and then the evening was over and my makeup was still going strong. Yes, there was still a definite glow from my BB cream, but it wasn't sliding all over the place and my T-zone wasn't egregiously shiny. Finally, instead of looking sweaty I looked like I was simply glowing.
I imagine that if you struggle with particularly oily skin, you could pair this gel with matte-finish makeup for a truly matte look that lasts all day. Someone with dry skin like me might want to use it in addition to their regular moisturizer or serum, but those with oily skin might find they get enough hydration with this gel alone.
I also love that, in line of what I've come to expect from First Aid Beauty products, this gel is made with a lot of excellent, naturally-derived ingredients that are suitable for sensitive skin. Natural ingredients like salicornia herbacea and lecithin are rich in antioxidants, control sebum, and minimize the appearance of pores. Plus there's no irritants like parabens, sulfates, alcohol, or fragrance.
Final verdict? This product is a necessary makeup bag staple in the summer (and possibly even year-round). It's primer, moisturizer, and skin-care all in one tube. If you're looking for something to provide hydration and oil-control while keeping your makeup matte all day long, try First Aid Beauty's Mattifying Gel.
Images: Kelly Dougher; Giphy