Yes, there are great moisturisers for oily skin types that help reduce shine, greasiness, and enlarged pores. Here are the ones to grab ASAP.
I believe it’s time to burst the myth surrounding moisturisers and oily skin and acne-prone skin. Some people with oily skin types are still hesitant to use moisturisers, and dare I say, sunscreen on their faces, especially people with dark skin tones, because they are scared to turn their faces into full frying pans.
Truth be told, there are great moisturisers for oily skin on the market that are hugely beneficial to their skin health. The secret is in finding a formula that works to nourish, hydrate, and restore your oily skin health, whilst helping minimise excessive shine and greasiness.
You may wonder how a moisturiser can actually benefit people with oily skin types. If so, how to pick the right one for your face. Not to worry – I’ve done the hard work for you. Scroll down to find out more, and discover some of the best dermatologist-approved moisturisers for oily skin on the market right now.
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Which Moisturiser is Best for Oily Skin?
To fast track your search for the right moisturiser for your oily skin, below is the list of some the best science-backed, dermatologist-recommended gems that have huge fans list for their affordable price tags and their ability to cut down shine, restore skin health, or minimise the appearance of pores.
1. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturiser
The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturiser is one of those rare beauty products that have reached cult status for its ability to work wonders for all skin types. The water gel formulation effortlessly glides on your oily skin to deeply hydrate and nourish it without leaving a sticky or heavy residue on the skin.
This gender neutral gel cream is also ideal for introducing the men in your life to a product that they may actually fall in love with and add to their daily skincare routine.
2. CeraVe PM Facial Moisturising Lotion
CeraVe PM Facial Moisturising Lotion is a really lightweight oil-free moisturiser that absorbs quickly into the skin. It has those really good hydrating and sebum-controlling ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide.
This moisturiser boasts Cerave multivesicular emulsion technology, which is essentially the slow release of moisturising ingredients over time. So your skin is constantly being supported when you are wearing a moisturiser like this. This product works well for adults with oily skin and for teenagers who are beginning to adopt a lightweight skincare routine.
3. La Roche-Posay Effaclar MAT
La Roche-Posay Effaclar MAT is great for daytime, especially for those who feel like their oily skin gets worse over the course of the day. This is one of the most mattifying moisturisers on the market due to the inclusion of La Roche-Posay’s subulyse technology, which helps mattify the skin and minimise the appearance of pores.
A type of zinc in the formula is another powerful ingredient that further helps reduce shine and allows the moisturiser to beautifully sit underneath your makeup. Its creamy texture takes a few minutes to absorb into the skin. So don’t freak out if you have oily skin, just let the moisturiser dry out to reveal its super mattifying effects.
4. Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Lotion
Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Lotion has a really beautiful gel cream texture that works wonders for people with mature oily skin, combination skin, and those with a disrupted skin’s barrier.
Maybe you overdid it with your retinol cream or you use too much glycolic acid and your skin feels stingy or tight but it is still oily, then consider giving this one a try. Its combination of hyaluronic acid with nourishing nutri-peptides and lipids will deeply hydrate your skin and gradually help restore the health of your skin’s barrier.
5. Cetaphil Gentle Clear Mattifying Blemish Face Moisturiser
Cetaphil Gentle Clear Mattifying Blemish Face Moisturiser is a wonderful product for people with oily skin who are seeking to address increased skin texture or the appearance of blackheads.
The formula is enriched with salicylic acid that penetrates the pores to break up debris, clear up early signs of acne and smoothen skin texture. It can also help minimise the appearance of pores.
6. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Pink Grapefruit Facial Moisturiser
Say hello to the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Pink Grapefruit Facial Moisturiser if you’re struggling with acne-prone and/or oily skin. This lightweight non-comedogenic formula contains pore-cleansing ingredient salicylic acid at 0.5% that helps dislodge skin impurities and prevent breakouts.
Don’t just go berserk with it as it may end up drying up your skin. The other point to bear in mind is that it contains fragrance, which is not overpowering in any shape or form, but it can be off-putting for those who prefer fragrance-free moisturiser.
7. Bolden Spf 30 Brightening Moisturiser
Who doesn’t like a flawless complexion free from dark marks and hyperpigmentation? Well, this is where Bolden Spf 30 Brightening Moisturiser comes into play. This hybrid sunscreen and moisturiser boasts powerful Vitamin C together with sun ray filters that help shield your oily skin from damaging sun rays and fade dark spots for a more radiant skin.
The sulphate, phthalate and paraben-free moisturiser contains squalene, an ingredient that is helpful to improve the skin cells renewal process and safflower oil that helps strengthen the skin’s barrier.
8. EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturiser
Antioxidants rich and niacinamide containing EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturiser supports your skin’s cells renewal process, boosts skin radiance, and evens out skin tone.
This lightweight evening lotion contains rice protein peptides that encourage collagen production, helping to improve skin elasticity and moisture retention. Apply it before bedtime and wake up to a plum, soft, and rejuvenated skin the next morning.
9. Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisturiser
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisturiser is a hydrating powerhouse for your skin. The oil-free moisturising formula contains 30% hyaluronic acid that helps trap and convert water from the atmosphere into a deeply hydrating source for your skin.
The fragrance-free cream is packed with ceramides that lock in moisture beyond your skin surface, helping to restore your skin’s barrier function. Antioxidant rich elderberry helps your skin combat the first signs of ageing for a healthier-looking complexion.
10. Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream
Give a big hug to your skin with Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream. This darling moisturiser is so lightweight that you will barely notice it as it sinks into your skin to protect it from environmental damage and leaves you with a fabulous glow.
Vitamin C in the cream formula works wonders to brighten your complexion, smoothen the look of fine lines, and shield your face from pollutants. The fast-absorbing cream enriched with exopolysaccharide helps regulate your skin’s natural oil production to minimise excessive shine.
How Do I Know If I Have Oily Skin?
Most people know if they have an oily skin type based on how their skin looks and how their skin feels. People with oily skin can feel as if their facial skin is sticky or greasy, or as if there’s a heavy film on their skin.
Also, those who notice an increased shine on the forehead, nose, or chin tend to have an oilier skin type. This will even be noticeable on some of the photographs that they take for their face.
People with oily skin can exhibit enlarged pores or more visible pores, and they will often feel the need to reach for blotting papers or mattifying powders on a regular basis just to control the shine on their faces over the course of the day (source: 1, 2, 3).
So these can be some signs that you have oily skin. These may be some of the reasons why those with oily skin are hesitant to use moisturisers, because they already feel like there’s this buildup on the skin like a residue obstructing the top layers of their skin.
So why would they, therefore, want to add something like a moisturiser that adds to heaviness, or that they’re worried about will increase their oiliness?
Do I Need a Moisturiser If I’m Oily?
Now here’s the deal: not all people with oily skin types or acne are well moisturised. Even if your skin is oily, it can still be dehydrated, meaning that it has enough oil but it lacks water Source: 4).
An oily skin that is dehydrated will look shiny or greasy, but it will feel tight or dry. Also, people with oily but dehydrated skin will often have accentuation of skin markings. So fine lines might be more pronounced or the pores might be more obvious.
This is because although the surface of the skin has oil on it, the upper layers of the skin lack water. Water is the necessary substance that plumps the skin to make it look hydrated and more importantly makes it feel and look supple, soft, and radiant. In a nutshell, someone with oily skin may need a moisturiser if his/her face is oily but dehydrated.
Secondly, if your skin barrier is disrupted, for example if you’ve used too many retinoids or AHA, BHA, and PHA chemical exfoliants and your skin is itchy or tight or red or stinging, you may be releasing more oil to your skin’s surface, making it look oilier.
In this particular case, a moisturiser may help restore your skin’s protective barrier and restore your skin health. This may eventually lead to the release of less oil on your skin surface, as a well formulated moisturiser for oily skin might gradually help you balance sebum production.
Another point worth mentioning is that not all people with oily skin may automatically need a moisturiser, which is not the case for sunscreen that remains a must to shield your skin from harmful sun rays irrespective of your skin type and colour. If your skin is oily and well hydrated and your skin barrier is intact, does not hurt or sting, and you never find yourself reaching for a moisturiser or craving it, then you may not need one.
However, remember that if your skin is oily and dehydrated or oily and irritated, then a moisturiser for oily skin might be a great addition to your skincare routine.
How to Choose a Moisturiser for Oily Skin
When browsing beauty counters to pick a moisturiser for your oily skin, keep in mind that there are three types of moisturising ingredients that form part of a well formulated moisturiser: emollients, humectants, and occlusives.
Emollients essentially smooth the skin. Occlusives help trap water into the surface of the skin, and humectants draw water into the surface of the skin.
So if your skin is dehydrated, meaning that it is lacking water, then you really do want to look for moisturisers that have humectants and occlusives that are going to draw water to the surface of the skin and then trap it there.
But, some occlusives can feel heavy, sticky or greasy on the skin. So the type of occlusive that is in the moisturiser is important as well as the amount.
Moisturiser Ingredients and Formula
Also, although oil production and oil release to the skin is predominantly predicted by your genetics and your hormones, there are skincare ingredients that have been shown to somehow reduce oil production such as niacinamide. This can be an ingredient worth looking for when shopping around for a moisturiser for oily skin.
Salicylic acid for unclogging congested skin together with other exfoliating ingredients are also found on the ingredients list of moisturisers designed for oily and acne-prone skin. To boost skin hydration, ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and polyglutamic acid are added to formulas.
Having said that, it is really important to keep in mind that with skincare, you can’t just rely on an ingredients list to understand how the product is going to work with you on your skin or even just how the product will look or feel in general.
This is because the overall formulation is so important, and so many skincare companies have actually designed their own proprietary oil controlling formulations.
So, I would rely both on the product packaging and the ingredients list to figure out whether a specific moisturiser will work well for oily skin types.
What to Look For on a Moisturiser Packaging
When you check out product packaging, look for information that specifically refers to oily skin, or that use the terms “oil-free” and “mattifying”. Find out if a moisturiser is a gel cream or has a lightweight, fast-absorbing formula. These wordings may potentially indicate that the moisturiser is formulated with oily skin in mind (source: 5).