There's a common misconception in beauty land that isn't doing oily skin types any favors: If you're one of too many people with oily skin who is afraid moisturizer will leave you feeling greasy or make you break out, you need to try one of the best moisturizers for oily skin ASAP.
I like to believe this myth started like this. At some point, some really mean person spread a vicious rumor that moisturizer is bad for oily skin — that it will only add more sebum to pores, clog pores, and cause pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. This same mean person seemed to simultaneously suggest that using the most drying products around (those that contain alcohol and any and every other chemical known to create Sahara-like conditions on your skin) was the only solution to getting rid of acne.
Lies. All lies.
Oily skin types have excess sebum that, yes, must be kept under control to prevent breakouts. But attacking your skin with harsh chemicals and not adding a drop of moisture to replenish the essential oils you've lost only sends a message to your body to produce even more sebum — which, of course, results in oilier skin and even acne.
While it's true that you have to be careful about the moisturizers you're using — because ingredients like mineral oil and petrolatum are probably going to clog your pores — investing in a few great moisturizers for oily skin is a super smart way to keep skin soft, healthy, balanced, and acne free in the long run.
1. This Holy Grail Korean Gel-Cream That Seals Moisture In Without The Grease
This lightweight gel-cream is a favorite amongst those with oily skin types because it minimizes the appearance of large pores and helps sap away excess sebum without causing dryness, flakiness, or irritation. Generally speaking, gel moisturizers are more refreshing and soothing for oily skin and they won't make you feel like you have a layer of product on your face. This goodie has amazing ingredients like antioxidant malachite, oat husk, which attracts moisture, and plantin, which seals moisture into your skin without making it greasy.
2. An Oil-Free Moisturizer That Primes & Mattifies The Skin
There's nothing worse than applying moisturizer to oily skin and having it leave behind a slick, greasy residue. This oil-free facial moisturizer is designed especially for oily and acne-prone skin and it contains ingredients like glycerin and dimethicone that help make skin look more matte, while refining pores so that they look tighter and smaller. Reviewers call this "the best" lotion they've used and say a pea-size amount is all that's needed to soften skin, keep oils at bay, and create a matte canvas perfect for makeup application.
3. A Moisturizer With Alpha Hydroxy Acids That Fade Acne Scars
Alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid are often used to treat acne and fade post acne scars, which makes the A.H.A. and Ceramide Moisturizer the perfect non-greasy and lightweight moisturizing lotion for oily skin. It helps exfoliate dry skin cells that can clog pores, as well as provide a treatment that reduces the appearance of acne scars and inflammation. Reviewers with both acne and dry spots say this moisturizer perfectly addresses both concerns without compromising on either problem.
4. This Non-Greasy Moisturizer With SPF 20 & Blue Algae Extract
Every skin type needs broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection — and this face moisturizer with SPF 20 is specifically designed for oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin because it contains ingredients like blue algae extract, a source of vitamin E that reduces inflammation and redness, as well as the anti-irritant sea parsley. One reviewer who says her skin was super dry as a result of taking Accutane raves about this moisturizer's ability to effectively hydrate without ever leaving her skin feeling greasy.
5. This Healing Moisturizer With Tea Tree Oil & Salicylic Acid For Oily, Acne Prone Skin
This incredibly healing moisturizer might not be oil-free, but it's formulated with light, naturally hydrating oils that won't clog your pores and will help keep your skin smooth and healthy. Tea tree oil and salicylic acid break through dead skin cells to clear out pores, reduce inflammation, and treat acne while oils rich in fatty acids soothe the skin and willow bark helps to even tone and fade post-acne marks.
6. A Refreshing Lotion With Omega Fatty Acids For Irritated Oily Skin
Red, irritated, and congested oily skin needs a therapeutic moisturizer like this light, hydrating lotion that provides nutrients, oxygen, and moisture to instantly calm stressed-out oily skin. It contains Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, aloe vera, jojoba, and shea butter to moisturize dry spots, as well as white willow bark, a naturally occurring form of salicylic acid that prevents new breakouts and helps regulate oil production.
7. A Cream-Gel Rich In Vitamin E & Dead Sea Minerals
This luxurious cream-gel moisturizer for oily and combination skin contains dead sea minerals and vitamin E, which combine to increase moisture levels and strengthen skin's elasticity. Reviewers with both oily and dry spots say this is one moisturizer that really can address both issues — it controls shine on the T-Zone, nourishes dry cheeks, and contains no irritating fragrances that can wreak havoc if you have sensitive skin.
8. A Hypo-Allergenic Gel Moisturizer That's Perfect For Acne Prone Skin
This hypo-allergenic gel moisturizer provides light hydration that won't feel greasy after application. Green tea soothes the skin while Centella Asiatica extract helps calm inflammation and redness and heal breakouts, making this a great choice for acne prone skin. Instead of using heavy oils, this formula moisturizes skin with aloe vera and hyaluronic acid, so even the oiliest of skin types will love it.
9. An Oil-Free Lotion That Smoothes, Soothes & Retains Moisture
This oil-free facial lotion for oily and combination skin is a triple threat that relies on sodium PCA amino acids to moisturize skin, aloe vera and chamomile to calm irritated and red skin, and the goodness of glycerin to help retain moisture and promote a smoother, healthier looking complexion. Reviewers say this helps eliminate dry patches and flakes and leaves skin matte, but soft.
10. A Moisturizer With Botanicals To Lightly Hydrate
The key killer ingredients in this oil-free moisturizer include a blend of botanicals that lightly moisturize and balance skin. Reviewers say this lotion absorbs and makes skin feel like silk — without leaving a residue behind. It's also gentle on sensitive skin and can be used twice daily without fear of irritation.
11. A Non-Oily Hydrating Lotion With SPF 30
Described by reviewers as the least "sunscreeny" moisturizer with broad-spectrum SPF, this lightweight, non-oily lotion delivers all of the sun protection your face needs, but without a drop of greasy residue. It has added antioxidants to protect against free-radical damage and aloe vera to help provide a matte finish — as well as the distinction of having earned the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation.
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