How to Choose the Right Moisturizer for Oily Skin

Choosing the right moisturizer for oily skin can be a daunting task. Many people with oily skin shy away from moisturizers, fearing that they will make their skin greasier. However, the right moisturizer can balance oil production, keep your skin hydrated, and even reduce the appearance of pores. In this guide, we will explore how to choose the right moisturizer for oily skinOpens in a new tab. and highlight some top products to consider.

The Importance of Moisturizing Oily Skin

Moisturizing oily skinOpens in a new tab. is crucial for maintaining a healthy complexion. When your skin is well-hydrated, it is less likely to produce excess oil. Depriving your skin of moisture can lead to an overproduction of sebum as your skin tries to compensate for the lack of hydration. A good moisturizer helps to balance your skin’s oil production, reduce shine, and keep it looking fresh and healthy.

Common Myths About Moisturizing Oily Skin

There are several misconceptions about moisturizing oily skin:

  • Myth: Moisturizers make oily skin oilier.
  • Truth: The right moisturizer can help balance oil production.
  • Myth: Oily skin doesn’t need moisturizer.
  • Truth: All skin types need hydration to maintain a healthy barrier.
  • Myth: Thick creams are the only effective moisturizers.
  • Truth: Lightweight, gel-based moisturizers can be just as effective without feeling heavy.

Characteristics of the Right Moisturizer for Oily Skin

A suitable moisturizer for oily skin should have specific characteristics to address the unique needs of this skin type. Look for products that are:

  • Lightweight: Avoid heavy creams that can feel greasy.
  • Oil-Free: Choose formulations that do not contain added oils.
  • Non-Comedogenic: Ensure the product won’t clog your pores.

Ingredients to Look For

Certain ingredients are particularly beneficial for oily skin. Here are some of the best:

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a powerful hydrating ingredient that draws moisture into the skin without adding oil. It helps to keep your skin plump and hydrated.


Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, helps to regulate oil production, reduce inflammation, and improve the overall texture of the skin. It is a versatile ingredient that benefits oily skin.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that penetrates deep into the pores to exfoliate and remove excess oil and dead skin cells. It helps to prevent and treat acne while keeping the skin clear.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is known for its soothing and hydrating properties. It helps to calm irritated skin and provide moisture without clogging pores.

Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce sebum production and soothe the skin. It is beneficial for managing oily and acne-prone skinOpens in a new tab..

Ingredients to Avoid

Certain ingredients can exacerbate oily skin issues. Here are some to avoid:

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil can clog pores and lead to breakouts. It is best to avoid products containing this ingredient if you have oily skin.


Petrolatum, also known as petroleum jelly, creates a heavy barrier on the skin that can trap oil and bacteria, leading to clogged pores and acne.


While silicones can create a smooth finish, they can also trap oil and dirt in your pores. Opt for silicone-free formulations if you have oily skin.

How to Choose the Right Moisturizer for Oily Skin

Selecting the right moisturizer involves considering your specific skin concerns and reading product labels carefully.

Consider Your Skin Concerns

Identify your primary skin concerns, such as acne, large pores, or shine. Choose a moisturizer that addresses these issues while providing adequate hydration.

Opt for Non-Comedogenic Products

Non-comedogenic products are specifically formulated to avoid clogging pores. This is crucial for preventing breakouts and maintaining clear skin.

Check the Label for Key Ingredients

Look for beneficial ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and aloe vera. Avoid ingredients that can clog pores or add unnecessary oil to your skin.

Choose the Right Formulation

Gel-based moisturizers are often ideal for oily skin. They provide hydration without the heavy, greasy feel of cream-based products. Water-based formulations are also a good choice.

Top 10 Best Moisturizers for Oily Skin

Here are ten of the best moisturizers specifically formulated for oily skin:

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

This lightweight, oil-free gel provides intense hydration with hyaluronic acid. It absorbs quickly and leaves the skin feeling fresh and hydrated.

Cetaphil Oil Control Moisturizer

Cetaphil’s moisturizer controls oil and shine while providing SPF protection. It is lightweight and non-comedogenic

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat

Formulated with sebulyse technology, this moisturizer targets oil production and mattifies the skin. It helps to refine pores and provides a matte finish.

Paula’s Choice Clear Oil-Free Moisturizer

This lightweight moisturizer contains niacinamide and antioxidants to hydrate, soothe, and balance oily skin. It helps to minimize pores and reduce shine.

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM

CeraVe’s PM lotion is formulated with ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid to provide lightweight hydration while restoring the skin’s natural barrier.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

This affordable moisturizer contains multiple amino acids, dermal lipids, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin without feeling greasy. It supports the skin’s natural barrier function.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream

This oil-free gel cream provides long-lasting hydration while reducing shine. It contains imperata cylindrica root extract and antarcticine to keep the skin fresh and balanced.

Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly

Clinique’s lightweight, water-jelly formula hydrates and repairs the skin barrier without adding oil. It provides 24-hour hydration and is non-comedogenic.

Boscia Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer

Boscia’s moisturizer contains green tea extract to balance oil production and soothe the skin. It provides lightweight hydration and has antioxidant properties.

Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion

This oil-free lotion contains retinol and queen of meadow extract to refine texture, reduce oiliness, and keep the skin clear. It is suitable for oily and acne-prone skin.

How to Incorporate Moisturizer into Your Skincare Routine

Using moisturizer correctly can enhance your skincare routine and improve your skin’s health.

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying Moisturizer

  1. Cleanse: Start with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and impurities.
  2. Tone: Apply toner to balance the skin’s pH and prepare it for moisturizer.
  3. Apply Serum: Use a serum with active ingredients targeting your specific skin concerns.
  4. Moisturize: Apply a pea-sized amount of moisturizer to your face and neck, using gentle upward strokes.
  5. Protect: During the day, follow with a broad-spectrum SPF to protect your skin from UV damage.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid these common mistakes to get the most out of your moisturizer:

  • Skipping Moisturizer: Not using a moisturizer can lead to increased oil production.
  • Using Too Much Product: Overloading your skin with moisturizer can lead to clogged pores.
  • Choosing the Wrong Formula: Heavy, oil-based moisturizers can exacerbate oily skin issues.

DIY Moisturizer Recipes for Oily Skin

For those who prefer natural skincare solutions, here are some DIY moisturizer recipes:

Aloe Vera and Jojoba Oil Moisturizer

  • Ingredients: 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel, 1 teaspoon jojoba oil.
  • Instructions: Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Apply to your face after cleansing and toning.

Green Tea and Aloe Vera Moisturizer

  • Ingredients: 1/4 cup brewed green tea (cooled), 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel.
  • Instructions: Combine ingredients and mix well. Store in a small container and apply as needed.

Hyaluronic Acid and Cucumber Gel Moisturizer

  • Ingredients: 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel, 1 teaspoon hyaluronic acid powder, 1 tablespoon cucumber juice.
  • Instructions: Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Apply to your face after cleansing and toning.


Can I use a moisturizer if I have oily skin?

Yes, using a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer is essential for maintaining hydration and balancing oilOpens in a new tab. production in oily skin.

What type of moisturizer is best for oily skin?

Gel-based, water-based, and oil-free moisturizers are best for oily skin. Look for formulations with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and aloe vera.

Should I use a moisturizer with SPF for oily skin?

Yes, using a moisturizer with SPF can protect your skin from UV damage while providing hydration. Choose an oil-free, non-comedogenic formula.

How often should I moisturize if I have oily skin?

Moisturize twice daily—once in the morning and once at night after cleansing and toning.

Can using moisturizer reduces oil production?

Yes, using the right moisturizer can help balance oil production and reduce the skin’s tendency to produce excess sebum.

Are natural moisturizers effective for oily skin?

Yes, natural moisturizers with ingredients like aloe vera, green tea extract, and jojoba oil can be effective for oily skin.


Choosing the right moisturizer for oily skin is essential for maintaining a balanced and healthy complexion. By selecting lightweight, non-comedogenic products with beneficial ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, you can keep your skin hydrated without adding excess oil. Remember to incorporate your moisturizer into a comprehensive skincare routine and avoid common mistakes to achieve the best results. With the right approach, your oily skin can look and feel its best.

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