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Best Face Moisturizers For Oily Skin

How Do I Know If My Skin Is Dry Or Dehydrated

Face moisturizer for winter (dry, oily, mature, sensitive, combination skin)| Dr Dray

One of the best ways to see if you need an oil-free moisturizer is to check whether you skin is dry or dehydratedtwo concepts that are often mixed up, according to celebrity skin expert and founder of Artisan of Skin, Sharlena Hassani.

“When deciding between an oil-free moisturizer or moisturizer with oil its important to choose one based off your skin type and what you are treating on the skin,” she says. “If you have dry skin, your skin is producing less oil or sebum, which is the natural oil produced by your body to lubricate the skin as well as act as a barrier of protection. Dehydrated skin, however, means theres a lack of water, not oil.” For the latter, you can supplement with an oil-freeyet still hydratingmoisturizer.

Sharlena Hassani is a licensed esthetician and owner of Artisan of Skin Medical Spa in Beverly Hills.

Sarah Akram is a licensed celebrity master esthetician and founder of Sarah Akram Skincare inVirginia.

Best Overall: Skinceuticals Daily Moisture

Why We Like It: Algae and botanical extracts balance oil production to restore hydration and sebum levels without a greasy finish.

Its Worth Noting: It may leave the skin with a white cast, so its best used under makeup as a primer.

We named this SkinCeuticals our best overall because it targets oil control without neglecting to hydrate oily skin. Hydration is important for all skin types, says board-certified dermatologist Melanie Palm, MD, who recommends this moisturizer for oily skin. Its a daily moisturizer that hydrates without leaving a greasy residue, she explains, and notes that the lightweight consistency can be layered under makeup and sunscreen.

While many moisturizers for oily skin include niacinamide and exfoliators like salicylic acid, this one takes a more botanical approach. Red and brown sea algae hydrates skin while botanical extracts like cinnamon, ginger, and licorice reduce the appearance of enlarged pores.

Price at time of publication: $66

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Sea Algae, Botanical Extracts

When To Use Moisturizers In Your Skin Care Routine

If youve got an elaborate skin care routine with toners, exfoliants, and serums galore, the order in which you apply your products matters.

Usually, moisturizer goes on last, Minars says. Especially when you have an active ingredient in a topical med or a serum you dont want the moisturizer to block penetration.

The exception, he explains, is when youre using a serum or topical medication that is slightly irritating, then putting the moisturizer on first might help slow the absorption of the serum or med, letting you use it without irritation.

BUT if your moisturizer doesnt contain SPF, then your SPF should technically go last. SPF always, besties.

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Skinmedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer

  • Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, tocopherol , tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate
  • Pros: lightweight, a little goes a long way, noncomedogenic
  • Cons: pricier than other similar options

Although this moisturizer is more of a splurge, its price point is for good reason. If you often feel as though your skin is greasy, this formula from SkinMedica is designed to be super sheer.

Its made with hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and E to stave off pollutants in the environment .

The brand recommends applying the moisturizer twice per day after cleansing, toning, and acne treatments for optimal results.

Skinbetter Sciences Alpharet Overnight Cream

The 12 Best Drugstore Moisturizers for Oily Skin of 2020

For oily skin, this AlphaRet Overnight Cream is a winner, says Marnie Nussbaum, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. It is an encapsulated retinol, which minimizes potential irritation and inflammation typically associated with retinoids, she explains. It also contains 10 percent glycolic acid to assist in exfoliation, unclog pores, and help with fine lines and wrinkles.

Both retinoids and glycolic acid work double duty to decrease excess sebum and minimize fine lines, Dr. Nussbaum says. Sebum, by the way, is an oily, waxy substance produced by your sebaceous glands. When your skin is oily, it churns out an excess amount of the fat-like molecules that make up sebum, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. This Skinbetter moisturizer can keep those issues at bay while also helping you tap into the fountain of youth.


Want more? Check out our list of the best night creams for every skin type.


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Yes Oily Skin Needs Moisturizer

There are many possible reasons your skin is oily. The list includes stress, humidity, your genes, and fluctuating hormone levels, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Of course, oily skin can clog pores, leading to breakouts. You may think the last thing you need is a face moisturizer because it seems like it would exacerbate this problem, but nothing could be further from the truth. What you do need, however, is the best moisturizer for oily skinone thats specifically formulated for your needs.

Many of my patients who deal with oily skin are hesitant to use a moisturizer because they think they need to dry out their oily skin, says Joel Schlessinger, MD, a dermatologist in Omaha, Nebraska. By skipping moisturizer, youre allowing your oily skin to become too dry, which kicks your oil glands into overdrive and produce even more oil.

Choosing the right moisturizer will help your skin stay hydrated and balanced. The key? Avoid moisturizers with heavy oils like olive oil, soybean oil, coconut oil, argan oil, and lanolin, which may clog pores. When looking for moisturizers for oily skin, it is best to choose ones that are noncomedogenic and dont cause an increased amount of sebum and acne, advises New York City dermatologist Michele S. Green, MD. Pairing your moisturizers with a facial tools like ice globes are an effective way to prevent acne.


How To Choose A Moisturizer For Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, youre most likely to benefit from using lighter moisturizers that are water-based.

Certain ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin are a good choice for oily skin because they are known for being lightweight yet moisturizing. But theres a wide variety of moisturizers to choose from, even when youve nailed down your skin care goals.

When shopping, consider the following:

  • Other skin issues you may experience, like acne or redness. You may want to steer clear from ingredients that clog pores or cause breakouts.
  • If youre sensitive to certain ingredients. If youre unsure, you can always perform a patch test. You can apply the product to your hand or inner wrist to see how your skin reacts.
  • How much you want to spend on a moisturizer. If a specific formula works well for you, youll probably continue buying it, so you may want to consider price point.

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Skinceuticals Daily Moisture Uses Botanical Ingredients To Hydrate And Restore Moisture To Oily Skin

Lacey is a professional writer living in Southern California. She specializes in fitness, nutrition and various health topics. She not only has a passion for healthy living, but she also practices what she preaches with her longtime vegan diet. Her work has been featured in Health, Simply Recipes, VeryWell Fit, and more. Lacey graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She is also host of Guide to Vegan, a blog focused on a plant-based lifestyle.

Rich Scherr is an updates strategist and fact checker for Dotdash Meredith brands, including Health and Verywell. He is a seasoned financial and technology journalist who served as editor-in-chief of the Potomac Tech Wire for nearly two decades, and is a regular contributor to the sports pages of The Baltimore Sun. He has also been a news editor for America Online and has contributed to the Associated Press and The Washington Post.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the bestproducts. Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. Learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Dermstore / Walmart

We spoke with dermatologists and reviewed moisturizers from the top brands for the right ingredients to control sebum, fight acne-causing bacteria, and minimize pores. Moisturizers for oily skin exist at all price points, though they average in the $20-$36 range.

Top Moisturizers For Oily Skin For 2022

Best Moisturizers for Oily Skin?

From cult-status to derm-approved to best-reviewed, here are the 15 best moisturizers for oily skin.

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Take Our Word For It#

This article was written by Kat de Naoum, who has over 10 years of commerce-writing experience. Kat is also the commerce editor-at-large at Thomas-Xometry, the leading U.S. online platform for supplier discovery and product sourcing. For this article, Kat researched dozens of moisturizers for oily skin, considering factors such as consistency, ingredients, features, size, and value. She also spoke to Y. Claire Chang, MD, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City.

What Step Is Moisturizing In A Skin

Dr. Hartman also insists that you should apply a moisturizer every day once in the morning and once in the evening, especially during colder, dryer months. And if you like to incorporate a plethora of other products into your routine, you should apply your serum first, then your moisturizer, then an oil and your sunscreen in the morning. At night, it should go after a serum or a retinol.

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Eltamds Am Therapy Facial Moisturizer Is Our Top Pick For Its Non

Kat is a writer, editor, SEO specialist, author, and mother based in the UK. Starting out in 2000 as a reporter for the local paper, Kat has written for many publications, and, as an advocate for female empowerment, loves to write about women’s issues and help fellow mothers feel supported and less alone. Kat first started writing for Meredith in 2019 and has contributed to InStyle, Real Simple, Southern Living, Shape, Better Homes & Gardens, Parents, and Parenting. She has written for many other magazines and media outlets including Bust, Mother & Baby, Expert Reviews, Women’s World, First For Women, and Yours. Highlights: * Founder of Little Words Limited, a company dedicated to providing all the latest SEO and digital training for women writers * Commerce Editor-at-Large at Thomas-Xometry * Author of YA novel and signed to literary agent * Work has appeared in InStyle, Real Simple, Southern Living, Shape, Better Homes & Gardens, Parents, and Parenting

Shani Darden Skin Care Weightless Oil

12 Best Moisturizers for Oily, Acne

Best Moisturizer for Acne-Prone and Oily Skin

  • Size: 1.7 fl oz
  • Type of moisturizer: Lightweight cream
  • Special ingredients: Sodium hyaluronate, collagen, and red algae extract

She may be a tad bit biased, but Darden recommends her brands Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer for oily skin. Its an oil-free, fast-absorbing moisturizer that provides weightless hydration without clogging pores or causing breakouts, says Darden. Its formulated with sodium hyaluronate , which helps skin attract and retain moisture, leaving it plumper and smoother. It also features hydrolyzed collagen, which works to plump skin and restore suppleness, along with red algae extract, which is rich in nutrients that help replenish and soften skin.

Hydrated, more plump, softer skin that wont cause breakouts? What possibly more could you ask from a daily moisturizer?

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Eltamd Am Therapy Face Moisturizer

Who its for: People who want a dermatologist-approved moisturizer for oily skin that’s safe for sensitive skin and works to improve skin tone.

Who it isnt for: People who prefer a moisturizer with a thick consistency.

The EltaMD AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer is a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer that brightens dull skin and improves its overall texture. It contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin without clogging the pores, and it stimulates the skin’s natural hydration so that it doesn’t overproduce oilgiving you adequate moisture without any greasy or oily ingredients.

Though technically a cream, this product has a lightweight, lotion-like consistency. The product also helps the epidermis absorb and retain moisture and has nourishing ingredients, like vitamin B3 , antioxidants, and willow bark extract, to name a few. We love that this lightweight moisturizer goes onto the skin evenly and dries quickly.

Price at time of publish: $39

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, dimethicone, vitamin C
  • Size: 1.7 ounces

Best Budget: Cetaphil Gentle Clear Mattifying Acne Moisturizer


Why We Like It: The gentle formula is suitable for oily, sensitive skin and those with a weakened skin barrier, who may experience stinging or burning when using certain products

Its Worth Noting: Includes dimethicone, a type of silicone that helps minimize large pores, but this effect usually isnt long-lasting.

This budget-friendly pick is powered by many of the same active ingredients as other moisturizers at higher price points. The key player is salicylic acid, a type of beta hydroxy acid that unclogs pores, removes dead skin cells, and reduces skin inflammation. The result is fewer breakouts and smooth, exfoliated skin.

Prebiotics help strengthen a weakened skin barrier, which can be the culprit of many skin issues, such as excessive oiliness and sensitivity. A strong skin barrier not only protects against environmental stressors but also reduces water loss , which can help restore the balance of water and sebum in oily skin.

Price at time of publication: $10

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Prebiotics, Licorice Root Extract

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Best Overall: Youth To The People Superfood Air

  • Not the best for sensitive skin

Olehenriksen’s entire balance line is a dream for oily skin, including this moisturizer. The formula helps to clear pores while balancing the complexion. Salicylic acid helps to loosen pore-clogging dead skin cells while a blend of botanicals like green tea, algae, and moss extracts helps to absorb excess oil. Worried about a shiny finish? Alpine Willow extracts have you covered they deeply nourish the skin without adding a sheen.

The 15 Best Drugstore Moisturizers For Oily Skin Of 2022

Dermatologist’s Best Moisturizers for Oily Skin with Affordable, Drugstore Options | Dr. Sam Ellis

Our best overall pick is the Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Absorbing Moisturizer

Look, we totally get itif you happen to be dealing with the plight that is perpetually oily skin, moisturizing is likely the last thing you want to do. After all, your goal is to remove excess oil, not add more, right? Breaking news, though: Oily skin still needs moisture, and if you skip moisturizer, it’s believed that your oil glands may potentially go into overdrive, producing more oil. As Alanis so eloquently said, isnt it ironic?

“Many of those with oily skin do not realize that they still need to moisturize to help with the overall health, texture, and appearance of their skin,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein. “Not to mention that many moisturizers contain sunscreen, antioxidants, and anti-pollutants for an extra-protective barrier. For oily skin, and especially those who are acne-prone, its important to look for moisturizers labeled as oil-free or non-comedogenic. The bottom line: You need to use a moisturizer regularly, no matter your skin type. The nuance lies in finding the right formula for you, particularly if you have an oily complexion.

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Friendly Reminder To Always Patch

Anytime youre using a new-to-you skin care product, its a good idea to do a little patch test first. You can do this by applying a small amount of the product somewhere like the back of your wrist or inner forearm before you apply more to a larger area. If you dont see any irritation after 24 hours. Youre good to go.

This helps you make sure you wont have an allergic reaction. Plus, if your skin simply hates the product, its better to find out on a small area of skin first instead of your entire face.

Kiehls Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream

Discomfort is a hallmark of a dysfunctional skin barrierso for immediate relief, consider this new take on Kiehls best-selling Ultra Facial Cream. Its balm-to-cream formula is proven to improve skin-barrier function in an hour, due to the combination of colloidal oatmeal and beta-glucan, which research has shown can accelerate barrier recovery by promoting epidermal cell growth.

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Best Overall Moisturizer For Oily Skin

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Cetaphil Pro Dermacontrol Oil Absorbing Moisturizer With Spf 30

11 Best Water

Oily skin needs protection from the sun, too, and this lightweight, noncomedogenic Cetaphil PRO moisturizer offers hydration combined with broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection. It uses micro-pearl technology to absorb surface oil, reduce shine, and leave a matte finish, says Dr. King. And shes not the only one who loves it: More than 11,000 Amazon reviewers gave five stars to this multitasking formulation, which has been shown to provide ample moisture to skin thats been dried out from acne products. Another popular Amazon product in this categorya $12 acne gel with over 12,000 perfect ratings.



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