The Best Moisturizers for Oily Skin, According to Dermatologists
Contrary to popular belief, an oily skin type doesn’t mean your skin needs less hydration—it’s often the opposite. See, when our skin is void of moisture, it overcompensates by creating more oils to remedy the situation. NYC dermatologist, Dr. Joshua Zeichner explains, “It’s a myth that oily skin does not need a moisturizer. In fact, I have many patients who are oily or even acne-prone but complain that their skin is dry.” But not every single moisturizer will benefit an oily complexion. He adds that it’s important to find a lightweight formula that won’t block your pores. I.e. let your skin breatheee.
Lisa Guidi, esthetician, founder and owner of Erase Spa in NYC also recommends staying away from alcohol-based products (like those tear-causing, skin-stinging toners of our teens). “They tend to strip the skin of it’s natural PH and that creates more oil—believe it or not,” she says.
To find the best moisturizer for oily skin, we went right to the experts: Dr. Zeichner, Guidi and three other skin pros for their go-to picks. Here are 16 products you can buy from the comfort of your own home.
1. Olay CC Cream Tone Correcting Moisturizer
Best Tinted Moisturizer for Oily SkinThis super affordable pick comes to us from Dr. Orit Markowitz, Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. She loves the tinted moisturizer for daytime use—especially if you have rosacea and acne. “It contains niacinamide, an ingredient known to constrict blood vessels and minimizes daily redness, and its lightweight formula helps moisturize even the oiliest skin types.” Plus, it includes a dermatologist’s favorite ingredient: SPF, as well as iron oxide, which Dr. Markowitz says helps to prevent skin damage from blue light exposure.
2. Eucerine Redness Relief Night Cream
Best Anti-Inflammatory Moisturizer for Oily Skin“This is one of my favorite moisturizers for sensitive, oily skin types,” says Dr. Markowitz. “It contains licorice root extract, a known anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and overall soothing ingredient.” Plus, it’s even ideal for sensitive skin types, due to its lack of irritating fragrances and dyes.
3. L'Occitane Aqua Réotier Ultra Thirst-Quenching Gel
Best Gel Moisturizer for Oily SkinDr. Orit Markowitz also recommends this lightweight gel moisturizer for its non-greasy feel. “This product has multiple humectants (a natural skin protein that draws moisture to the skin’s surface). It also contains a high calcium content, which helps retain moisture without clogging pores,” she explains.
4. Cetaphil PRO Oil Absorbing Moisturizer
Best Oil-Absorbing Moisturizer for Oily SkinCetaphil isn’t just dermatologist recommended, it’s also dermatologist developed and tested. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Sperling of Sperling Dermatology loves this acne-banishing moisturizer for four reasons: “cheap, over-the-counter, has SPF and helps control oils!”
5. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Mattifying Moisturizer
Best Matte Moisturizer for Oily SkinAnother one of Sperling’s picks? This mattifying moisturizer, which helps to eliminate shine and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores (often the result of too much sebum pooling in naturally oily areas like the T-zone). It’s formulated with micro-exfoliating lipo-hydroxy acid, which helps to absorb shine before it starts while smoothing the skin’s texture, making it an ideal base for makeup. It’s even suitable for sensitive skin.
7. HERLA Kakadu Plum Hydrating Antioxidant Multivitamin Cream
Best Antioxidant Moisturizer for Oily SkinNYC dermatologist Dr. Hadley King recommends this multivitamin moisturizer to her patients with oily skin. “Vitamins B3, B5 and B6 strengthen the skin barrier and increase the skin's water content, while avocado butter and argan oil nourish and moisturize the skin while maintaining a lightweight, non-comedogenic formulation,” she says. “And it’s rich in Kakadu plum, as well as other botanicals that have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that hydrate, nourish and protect the skin without being too heavy.”
8. Carter+Jane's The Everything Oil
Best Moisturizing Face Oil for Oily SkinThis face oil has a long list of beneficial ingredients including cold pressed, organic prickly pear seed oil, organic avocado oil, organic sweet almond oil and organic aloe vera. Dr. King notes, “These ingredients both hydrate and moisturize in addition to having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.” Plus, it's vegan, organic and cruelty-free and formulated without water, alcohol or silicone, which are often irritating to sensitive skin types. “A face oil may sound counterintuitive for oily skin, but this formulation absorbs extremely quickly, does not leave an oily residue and is non-comedogenic,” explains Dr. King. “And prickly pear seed oil has one of the highest concentrations of unsaturated fatty acids of any plant oil, which may help moderate oil production.”
Buy It ($128)