Review: Glossier Priming Moisturizer Balance

Where to purchase: On the Glossier Website HERE

Price: £23

Volume: 50ml

Made in: the USA

What is it?: An oil-control gel cream

Brand Description: Glossier describes this as a lightweight gel-cream moisturiser which aims to balance the oil on the skin without drying it out + without leaving a powder-like finish. It also aims to reduce the look of pores and reduce shine WHILE hydrating the skin and protecting the skin’s barrier.

Do I agree?: I agree with most of the above statement. I like that this product was developed with oily skin in mind (trying to reduce the look and feel of greasiness). I like gel-cream formulas more than cream-cream formulas.

Supposedly Good for: Oily to Combo skins.

What I think: Definitely agree this suits Oily-Combo skins as this is a gel and not only a lightweight gel, but also a gel that aims to reduce sebum. So I wouldn’t recommend to dry skins.


Vegan?: Yes

Cruelty Free?: Yes

Packaging: A pump tube with a cap – I like this type of packaging a lot! (Reminds me of the L’Oreal Fragrance Free Moisturiser in a tube – HERE). I think it effectively gets a lot of product out and the cap of course keeps things from spilling/accidental pumping of the product while in one’s purse.

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Directions: ”Massage onto skin after cleansing AM and PM as part of your daily routine” – (From the Glossier Website)

How I use it: I used this in the AM as a light moisturiser before SPF (if my SPF is more of a matte finish and not dewy). And in the PM I used this as a first moisturiser before a thicker moisturiser (as this doesn’t provide too many emollients to the skin, but it does provide some hydration).

(I do think SOLELY using this product could dry the skin simply due to the sebum-controlling ingredients, so I think pairing this with another moisturiser in the PM meant I could still get the Skincare benefits from this product without drying out the skin + also getting some more oils/occlusives from another moisturiser. And I think that combo together really helped make a more even textured, anti-shine and pore-improving combo!).


Key Ingredients: Apple Fruit Extract – Moisturiser, Mildly Exfoliating, Antibacterial + Humectant. . Marine Extract (Skin-protecting + Anti-ageing Abilities). Helps protect the skin from dryness + redness + also helps promote smoother skin. / Niacinamide – Improves the look of pores. / Willow Bark Extract (Witch Hazel) – Aims to reduce oil production (can be drying if over-done). / Bamboo Extract (Skin Conditioning).

Full Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Propanediol, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Pentylene Glycol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Niacinamide, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Extract, Dimethicone, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Squalane, Hydroxyacetophenone, Isononyl Isononanoate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Citrate/Lactate/Linoleate/Oleate, Potassium Hydroxide, Carbomer, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Tocopherol, Polyglyceryl-3 Caprate, Polyglyceryl-4 Cocoate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sodium Salicylate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

NOTE: The Incidecoder have a full ingredient breakdown HERE

My Thoughts: There are a lot of ingredients in here that aim to reduce excess sebum, improve the look of pores and also provide the skin with hydration.

Video Swatch:

  • As you can see, this definitely has a gel-like yet slightly creamy texture.
  • It sinks into the skin, it doesn’t sit on top, suffocating the skin.
  • It’s easy to spread and doesn’t rub/tug on the skin.
  • As you can see, the finish is NOT Oily/Shiny


As you can see, it looks like a cream, but once you spread the product out, it does become translucent-transparent.


This definitely has that gel-like finish.


Do you see how it doesn’t look too thick or heavy? It doesn’t look opaque (full of emollients), it looks more on the gel/hydrating side?


Fragrance?: No added fragrance – This also doesn’t smell strongly of anything.

Good Under Makeup?: Yes! This is a primer, so yes it works very well under foundation.

How long have I been using this?: 2-3 Months (I just finished it).

The Effect?: Relatively Hydrated, prepped and primed skin (for makeup). This doesn’t provide me with too many emollients or moisture, so I did have to pair this with a thicker cream at night, just so I can get a whole balance between water and oil. This product did help with oil-control. I do find that my skin doesn’t get as shiny in the T-Zone!

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What I like:

  • I love gel-type consistency (great for oily-combo skins, or those in hot/humid weather).
  • No fragrance / Essential oils (+ no strong smell)
  • Relatively Hydrating
  • Love the tube pump packaging with a cap
  • Great Under makeup
  • Fine under SPF
  • I can use this as an AM Moisturiser due to the thickness
  • Not sticky or tacky
  • Layers just fine
  • Didn’t irritate my skin
  • Appearance of pores improved over time

What I don’t like:

  • Due to Willow Bark etc, this product can also be potentially drying (like the Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner HERE) – so using on alternative days/ pairing with a moisturiser can help those with dehydrated skins.
  • Not the most moisturising formula (I had to pair this with another moisturiser in the PM)

Overall Rating and Conclusion: 3.9/5 – This was an overall good gel moisturiser! I do think it’s more suited for me during the hot/humid months (especially as an AM Moisturiser), but during the winter I do require some more oils, some more emulsive properties. I do think it’s more better suited as a primer during the winter months rather than my sole moisturiser. I like the skin-beneficial ingredients added in here (particularly the Niacinamide) but this still didn’t intensely hydrate or moisturise my skin. Love the packaging and I want all my creams like this. Great to travel + easy to use + Hygienic. I think what I would do is use this as my AM Moisturiser + then the Glossier Moisturising Priming Cream in the PM (Review HERE).

  • I do think SOLELY using this product could dry the skin simply due to the sebum-controlling ingredients, so I think pairing this with another moisturiser in the PM meant I could still get the Skincare benefits from this product without drying out the skin + also getting some more oils/occlusives from another moisturiser. And I think that combo together really helped make a more even textured, anti-shine and pore-improving combo!

Would I repurchase?: As a makeup primer + as a Moisturiser to use in the summer – yes I would. I think for people who need oil control when applying makeup, this is a good product to help reduce sebum, make foundation sit better on oily skin.

Dupe?: A similar texture is the Curel Moisturising Milk (HERE) or the COSRX Honey Sleeping Mask (Review HERE).

My Skin Type: I am acne prone and have slightly dehydrated combo skin. My skin is usually tight where the cheeks and eye area is and the outer parts of my face. My T zone is oily. My skin isn’t a fan of thick/heavy formulas so I opt for lightweight formulas to prevent it from clogging up. My skin doesn’t like essential oils either and I try to avoid fragrance when I can.

Disclaimer: I am a skincare enthusiast and not a skin expert. I am not qualified to give out dermatological advice. This type of advice should only be given by a medical practitioner. Upon trying / using any of the reviewed products on the blog, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings and please seek medical advice if needed.

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2 thoughts on “Review: Glossier Priming Moisturizer Balance

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