Let me clarify the question a bit. When I mean water-based products, I mean ones that have water as the first ingredient, or second/third if the ingredients preceding water are water-soluble and/or are easily miscible with water (i.e butylene glycol).
Therefore, all other products that don’t fulfill the above-mentioned prerequisites are considered oil-based. This includes products that have silicones as the first few ingredients; not just traditional “oils” like olive or mineral oil.
Finally, in order to standardize the comparisons a bit more, think of only products you’ve tried where the primary or main ingredients are the same. For example, if you’ve tried both the nonaqueous Paula’s Choice RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum and the water-based FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5, which likely contain similar amounts of retinol and have received similar review scores too, which one was more effective for you?
Keep in mind that this discussion is not meant to muse upon the mechanisms of why group A is more effective than group B, though you can certainly share your rationalizations! If you are curious about some of my rationalizations in terms of silicones, consider reading through this discussion on “entrapment” and the entailing comments. THIS discussion is meant more for me to correlate whether or not my personal experiences line up with yours.
So yeah, if you’ve found that water-based products are more effective than their oil-based counterparts (that feature the same primary non-vehicular beneficial ingredients such as retinol, niacinamide, or L-ascorbic acid, etc.), please list the specific products names down below and let me know your experience. If you haven’t experienced this phenomenon, please inform me of that as well.
Thanks and I hope you guys understand my question!