The 4 Best Natural Moisturizers For Oily Skin

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What does natural really mean? In the beauty industry, the meaning couldn't be more vague, thanks to a lack of government-enforced guidelines as to what constitutes a natural beauty product. Any brand can slap the word '"natural" on a label, even if the product only contains one "natural" ingredient but is otherwise packed with chemicals. That means, if you're looking to transition to a cleaner beauty routine, you're going to have to get familiar with ingredients. In this article, you'll learn what to look for (and what to avoid) on your quest for the best natural moisturizers for oily skin.

It's first important to note that not all chemicals are bad. For example, even the most natural beauty products still might need preservatives to keep them from producing bacteria or expiring quickly (read more about Herbivore Botanicals' recent issue for an example). To keep things simple, there are a few primary ingredients to avoid: synthetic dyes and fragrance, sulfates, formaldehyde, and anything you have a known allergy to. Researchers are torn on whether parabens and phthalates are truly bad for you, but if you're being extra careful, might as well avoid them, too. Last, if a product has been certified organic by the USDA, the Soil Association, or ECOCERT — or is NSF- or EWG-certified — you can probably trust it.

Now — onto moisturizers for oily skin. Ideally, you'll want the formula to be oil-free, so it doesn't exacerbate greasiness. You'll also want to make sure it's non-comedogenic, which means it won't clog your pores, and if it product says it's mattifying, that's also a good sign.

But don't worry about having to start reading the fine print on every moisturizer at the drugstore, because I've done all the leg work for you. Check out the handy guide below for the four of the best natural moisturizers for oily skin, below.

1. The Overall Best Natural Moisturizer For Oily Skin

Avalon Organics Intense Defense with Vitamin C Oil-Free Moisturizer

$10

Amazon

Considering the price, formula, and reviews, the Avalon Organics Intense Defense Oil-Free Moisturizer is the overall best natural moisturizer for oily skin you can get. Most natural beauty products tend to be on the pricier side, but not this one — and the ingredients list pretty impressive. It contains vitamin C, which can help even out skin tone and texture, as well as aloe juice and other plant-sourced extracts, like lemon, white tea, and chamomile. Vitamin C is also great for making skin look brighter, and because it's so rich in antioxidants, it can help keep skin protected from environmental aggressors, like free radicals, too. Many of the ingredients are organic, and it doesn't contain any parabens, sulfates, GMOs, phthalates, or synthetic dyes or fragrances. It's also cruelty-free and vegan, and certified-safe by the NSF.

2. Best For Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

Naturopathica Rosemary Oil-Reducing Moisturizer

$55

Amazon

If it weren't for its high price tag, Naturopathica's Rosemary Oil-Reducing Moisturizer might have snagged the top spot. But if you have oily, acne-prone skin and you're having a hard time finding a natural moisturizer to help keep breakouts at bay — this stuff is worth the splurge. With a near-perfect, 4.8-star Amazon rating and organic certification from ECOCERT, this lightweight moisturizer works to mattify skin, absorb oil, and decongest pores. It contains two ingredients that are naturally antiseptic — rosemary and alpine willow — as well as aloe vera and hyaluronic acid to keep skin moisturized.

Like all of Naturopathica's products, the Rosemary Oil-Reducing Moisturizer is free of synthetic fragrances, parabens, silicones, formaldehyde, petroleum-derivatives, anything animal-derived, and other common potential irritants.

"I have tried everything for my oily and acne prone skin," shares one reviewer. "After many years, I decided to bite the bullet and see an esthetician and she uses this product on my face. I was so excited when I saw that I could order it from amazon! A little goes a long way so it lasts a very long time. I notice the that it helps balance the skin which is what I need. Can’t recommend enough!"

3. Best For Sensitive, Oily Skin

Pai Skincare Organic Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream Moisturizer

$60

Amazon

Pai is known for making clean, effective products with sensitive skin in mind. Their Organic Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream Moisturizer was formulated to fight breakouts and balance excess oil production while still being gentle enough for those with reaction-prone skin. Their entire line is certified organic by The Soil Association — think of it as the UK's USDA — and it's vegan and Leaping Bunny cruelty-free, too.

Though this formula does contain some oils, it's non-comedogenic, non-greasy, and mattifying, so it's still a great choice for oily skin. In fact, the organic thistle oil in the formula can actually help unclog pores, while geranium oil has a calming effect that redness- and eczema-prone skin types will appreciate. You won't find any artificial fragrances, sulfates, parabens, alcohol, formaldehyde, phenoxyethanol, or even propylene glycol, which some sensitive skin types are allergic to, in this formula.

4. Best Natural Night Cream For Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

The Body Shop Tea Tree Night Lotion

$16

Amazon

If your oily skin is acne-prone, this might be just the night cream you've been looking for. It's actually a lotion, which tend to be lighter than creams, and it has a lightweight, gel-like texture. Though it might not banish existing cystic zits overnight, The Body Shop's Tea Tree Night Lotion does work to prevent future breakouts by controlling excess oil production. Its hero ingredient, tea tree, also helps fade unwanted scars and encourage an overall clearer, more even-looking complexion.

The Body Shop is committed to sustainable and eco-friendly production processes, and they also believe in sourcing fair-trade ingredients from local communities whenever possible (for example, their tea tree comes from The Kenya Organic Oil Farmers’ Association). The night lotion's formula is vegan, cruelty-free, and doesn't contain any parabens, sulfates, phthalates, gluten, or GMOs.

"I will never be without this product," one fan writes. "Mainly I love it for what it is doing for my skin. I have a [sic] oily complexion with large pores. The pores have almost completely closed, blemishes are a thing of the past, and my face feels so smooth."

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