June 20, 2019

Trader Joe’s Ultra Hydrating Gel Moisturizer Review & Swatches

5 stars out of 5

It’s Summer! Summer means gel moisturizer and Trader Joe’s Ultra Hydrating Gel Moisturizer ($8.99) is my new favorite. Yes, Trader Joe’s has moisturizer and a slew of other beauty offerings lately like cleansing oil, facial masks, and lip scrubs!

I’m a bit of a Trader Joe’s junkie so, whether it’s new food or new beauty I’m typically all over as soon as it launches. I saw this Ultra Hydrating Gel Moisturizer on Instagram towards the middle of May and found it in stores at the end of May. It’s not on the new end cap section though! It’s already tucked in with Trader Joe’s regular beauty items so, if you’re looking for it and can’t find it check away from the new items.

I tend to embrace gel moisturizers in the Summer. I like how light they are, how easily they absorb, and how they smooth and hydrate but aren’t as heavy as some of my daily moisturizers that I use in the Winter. So, this release comes at a really great time.

This is a pretty good formulation of hydrating ingredients such as water, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, squalane, aloe, and sunflower oil. It contains no harmful alcohol nor any fragrance (it smells sort of subtly earthy but there is not artificial fragrance here). There are two downsides one of which is it does contain dimethicone which may be an issue if your skin can’t stand cons and secondly, it comes in a jar packaging!

Aside from that, it’s formulated quite well. The texture is a a thicker gel but it absorbs easily and it leaves skin hydrated but not sticky, tacky, nor dewy. I’d say most any skin type will benefit from this formula including oily skin that’s prone to shine. The formula wears well under makeup and it retains moisture quite nicely but didn’t leave me feeling like it was drawing too much moisture to my skin as some gel moisturizers have been known to do! I mean, I wouldn’t mind that but since this is a Summer time moisturizer for me I like the lightweight moisture it provides and love the fact it isn’t too heavy, rich, or overly moisturizing. It provides just the right amount of hydration without overdoing things!

All in all, quite a nice find! The jar packaging isn’t fabulous but hey, sometimes you gotta deal! A 2.5 oz jar is $8.99 and it’s available now at Trader Joe’s.

Tried it?

Do share!

Trader Joe’s Ultra Hydrating Gel Moisturizer is a new lightweight gel moisturizer that’s $8.99 for a 2.5 oz jar. This is formulated with a host of hydrating ingreidents such as sunflower oil, squalane, aloe, glycerin, etc…! It’s not thick but absorbs easily into skin and should be suitable for most skin types as it isn’t tacky, sticky, dewy, or too crazy hydrating. I felt it provided nice, lightweight moisture that’s ideal for Summer wearing!



  • Affordable.
  • No fragrance nor alcohol.
  • Lightly hydrating, retains moisture, but not overly, moisturizing making it ideal for warm, humid weather wear.


  • Contains dimethicone.
  • Jar packaging.


Trader Joe’s Ultra Hydrating Gel Moisturizer is a great pick if you need a lightweight moisturizer for Summer!

I purchased this item.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Jackie

    I use it but I find that it stings/ burns the sensitive parts of my face for a few minutes after I put it on. All in all though the positives outweigh the negatives.

    • Isabella Muse

      really? Are you normally sensitive? Thankfully no stings/burning for me! Maybe it’s the coconut? It has coconut oil I think and that sometimes doesn’t agree with my skin!

      • Jackie

        I also had this problem with the myriad water gel moisturizer. I was hoping this was just a fluke though! I’ve never had sensitivity issues before I actually have very oily skin and that’s why I love this formulation so much because it is not heavy

  • Charlotte

    I really wish this didn’t contain dimethicone. Its getting harder and harder to build an AM routine because everything has gd dimethicone in it these days. My skin can tolerate dimethicone okay, but I can’t layer products with it on top of one another, or else everything starts to pill and slide off my face (and my ride-or-die SPF has dimethicone, so that means my AM moisturizer must be formulated without).

    • Isabella Muse

      I know! It seems so many facial primers and moisturizers contain dimethicone! It depends with me as some products will layer for me fine that contain dimethicone! Others not so much! This thankfully layered well ;-D

  • Hollie

    YESS!!! I am so going to try this. I’ve heard whisperings that all of TJ’s beauty/skincare is made by “someone we usually pay a lot more for” and I’ve always looked at it but never just tossed it in my cart.

    I am a TJ’s hOr.

      • Hollie

        It’s different makers for different things, I haven’t cracked this one yet.

        Compare the ingredients in the TJ’s Rose toner and the Herbivore one… Burt’s Bee’s cleansing oil… their hydrating serum and Skinceuticals… it’s rarely exact but usually 90-95% similar

        Some they hide better than others, like they don’t even try to mask the shaving cream is made by Alba Botanica.

  • Christina Rodriguez

    This sounds really promising! Have you ever tried either garnier skinactive moisture bomb gel cream or the neutrogena hydro boost gel cream? I was wondering how they are in comparison with the TJ’s. Love your reviews and all of the helpful info on your site!

    • Isabella Muse

      yup! This is thicker, has more of silicone-like texture! Less hydrating than those two as well! Aw thank you very very much <3!

  • Randi Macdonald

    I haven’t tried any of TJ’s skin/body products. I should check them out. Btw, have you ever talked about your curly hair care routine? I thought I read somewhere you have curly hair. Maybe I’m wrong. Do you follow the curly girl hair method?

    • Isabella Muse

      Oh do it. Some of the stuff is good ;-D I dunno if I classify as curly! I’m more wavy…! I never really discussed my entire routine but I have spoke about products I like using in the past! What’s the curly girl hair method do share!

      • Randi Macdonald

        Its an entire method regarding shampooing, what products to use and avoid, putting products in wet hair in the shower, using a microfiber towel, rice water rinses, cutting hair when its dry, etc. There are tons of before/afters on YT, people who started the method. Some of the pics are amazing. Be careful, you’ll go down a rabbit hole watching the videos.

        • Isabella Muse

          LOL I never heard of it! But I’m not much of a hair fanatic either! I’ll go have a quick peek hehe!

          • Janine

            The curly girl method is a great philosophy that even straight-haired people can find good advice from. For instance, conditioner washing is a good idea for people of almost any hair texture, except maybe people with super-straight, super-fine hair. (My own hair benefits greatly from CO-washing and I have type 1cFii virgin hair, that is, straight-ish hair with a few typically Caucasian bends, skinny individual hair strands and a normal density of hair.) They also tell you to reduce or eliminate friction and chemical damage to hair so it will grow whole. Ever since I started following that regimen, my hair has grown six inches longer than it ever could before, and way silkier.

  • Mary

    So glad to see you try this one. I stumbled onto it last week, and so far, I love it! It’s great when I’m in a hurry in the morning and just want to get out the door instead of doing the whole multi-step Korean skin care routine.

    As always, Muse, your review is right on target! This little jar’s a bargain to me, too.