10 of the best moisturizers for oily skin


If you have oily skin, you may be familiar with the shiny T-zone and the acne breakouts that come with it. It may seem like adding a moisturizer to your skin care routine is counterintuitive, but it’s actually one of the most important steps even if you have excess oil.

If you frequently use products to fight acne and rashes, they can actually deprive the skin of necessary oils. This can cause your face to overcompensate by producing more sebum, which can also lead to dryness and irritation along the way.

As with other skin types and conditions, not everyone’s oily skin concerns are created equal. In choosing our picks for the best moisturizers, we took into account:

  • active ingredients
  • product volume
  • oil-free options

We also took into account common skin conditions that coincide with oily skin, such as acne.

Price guide

  • $ = less than $ 25
  • $$ = $ 25 to $ 50
  • $$$ = over $ 50

Best overall

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream

  • Price: $
  • Key Ingredients: water, glycerin, dimethicone

Dermatologists often recommend Neutrogena because the company tends to be transparent in its ingredient lists.

The benchmark pharmacy brand also prioritizes safety in product testing and constantly updates its products with well-documented additives.

Hydro Boost Gel-Cream is a great option for those with oily skin, as it manages to hydrate the skin without feeling heavy.

Made with Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin to lock in moisture, this gel-cream is oil-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free to keep sensitive skin at bay while helping prevent further breakouts.

Best anti-aging formula

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Moisturizing Hydrating

  • Price: $$$
  • Key Ingredients: hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed silk (a derivative of silk that leaves the skin soft), pentavitin (an ingredient that hydrates and hydrates the skin)

While this product from Peter Thomas Roth is a bit more expensive than the other options on this list, this moisturizer has taken us to ‘cloudy cream’.

As the name suggests, this cream is lightweight while retaining great moisturizing power thanks to its 30 percent concentration of hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that helps retain moisture and fight fine lines and wrinkles.

It’s also a great option for fighting the signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. This is thanks to ceramides, which are a type of lipid or fatty acid that is found naturally in skin cells. Ceramides make up about 50 percent of the outer layer of your skin and work to lock in moisture.

This cream also contains elderberry, which contains antioxidants to help your skin stay young.

Best for acne

Clear Improvement Origins Moisturizer

  • Price: $$
  • Key Ingredients: salicylic acid, bamboo charcoal (a natural ‘dirt magnet’ that cleans pores), witch hazel extract (a toning ingredient)

If you suffer from acne often, you are definitely not alone. It makes sense to look for skin care products that can prevent breakouts, which is why Origins Clear Enhancement Moisturizer is a good option.

The formula contains salicylic acid, which can exfoliate your skin and help keep pores clear.

This paraben and oil free moisturizer also contains bamboo charcoal, a natural exfoliant that can help soak up dirt and cleanse clogged pores.

In combination with salicylic acid, this moisturizer keeps skin fresh, hydrated and plump.

Best vegan formula

Yes to Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturizer

  • Price: $
  • Key Ingredients: tomato extract, watermelon extract, lycopene

If you prefer to use natural products with organic ingredients, this budget-friendly drugstore find is for you. It contains natural additives, like tomatoes, watermelon, and red tea, as well as antioxidants and sebum absorbers to fight acne-causing oil.

The formula even contains lycopene, most commonly found in red fruits and vegetables, which contains antioxidants to detoxify free radicals.

Best fragrance-free formula

BeautyStat Universal Pro-Bio Moisture Boost Cream

  • Price: $$
  • Key Ingredients: hyaluronic acid, ganoderma (a fungus extract that helps reduce signs of aging), bifida extract (a probiotic that helps heal, soothe and protect the skin)

This BeautyStat fragrance-free moisturizer is a great buy if you’re looking to avoid the irritants found in artificial fragrances.

This product helps the skin stay smooth and supple with soothing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides and probiotics. This helpful ingredient has been shown to help balance your microbiome, which can help reduce skin issues like dryness, acne, and wrinkles.

The formula is even considered safe for all skin types, plus it’s cruelty-free and dermatologist approved.

Best nighttime moisturizer

CeraVe PM Moisturizing Face Lotion

  • Price: $
  • Key Ingredients: hyaluronic acid, niacinamide (an ingredient that helps calm the skin), glycerin

Night is the best time to promote skin health. In the evening, focus on repairing the damage done throughout the day by applying thicker products to lock in moisture.

CeraVe is an affordable brand commonly touted by dermatologists for its gentle formulas and transparent ingredients.

This oil-free night lotion aims to hydrate your skin while you sleep.

The formula includes Multivesicular Emulsion (MVE) technology, which slowly releases key ingredients over time to absorb into the skin to hydrate, repair, restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier. There are also ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

Best lightweight moisturizer

SkinMedica ultra-transparent moisturizer

  • Price: $$$
  • Key Ingredients: hyaluronic acid, tocopherol (a natural form of vitamin E), tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (a form of vitamin C)

While this moisturizer is more of a splurge, its price is for good reason. If you often feel like your skin is oily, this formula from SkinMedica is super transparent.

It’s packed with the ever-important hyaluronic acid, along with vitamins C and E for avoid pollutants in the environment.

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

Best tinted moisturizer

Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer

  • Price: $$
  • Key Ingredients: water, glycerin, stearic acid (a fatty acid which can protect the skin surface against water loss)

If you wear makeup regularly, the idea of ​​layering foundation with moisturizer probably sounds less appealing, especially if oily skin is an issue.

Fortunately, this tinted moisturizer is a multi-use product: it covers rashes, redness, and acne scars, and also works to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. with vitamins C and E. Best of all, the formula protects the skin with an SPF 20.

It also contains chamomile, which can help soothe sensitive skin.

The lightweight formula is vegan, oil-free, and dermatologist tested. It contains vitamins E, A and C, as well as mineral pigments that help soften the skin.

Best moisturizer with SPF

Cetaphil Pro Oil Absorbent Moisturizer

  • Price: $
  • Key Ingredients: avobenzone (a water soluble that absorbs UV rays), octocrylene (another ingredient that protects the skin from sun damage), glycerin

This affordable moisturizer from Cetaphil does it all. It helps reduce sebum and shine while managing to hydrate and protect the skin with SPF 30.

A great option for oily and sensitive skin, this lightweight moisturizer is fragrance-free and works to absorb surface oil and provide a mattifying effect.

It has also been clinically tested and is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, which means it won’t irritate the skin or clog pores.

Best cheap buy

CeraVe moisturizer

  • Price: $
  • Key Ingredients: ceramides, hylauronic acid

This moisturizer will give you the most bang for your buck, as it can be used on the face, hands, and body to prevent acne and dryness. Its gentle formula can even help relieve eczema.

Suitable for all skin types, this rich yet gentle cream is allergy tested, fragrance and paraben free. It works to maintain the essential skin barrier without leaving you greasy.

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