When you have oily skin, it might seem counter intuitive to slather on a face moisturizer. But dermatologists say it’s an important step in everyone’s skincare routine. Forgoing it only leads to dehydration, which skin combats by producing even more oil, says Dr. Candace Spann, a board-certified dermatologist in Las Vegas.
Instead, just cherry pick the right products. “Avoid highly emollient ingredients, like shea butter, which is typically too heavy. Instead look for moisturizers with essential fatty acids such as jojoba oil and evening primrose oil, which are highly beneficial for acne-prone skin. Ingredients like niacinamide can also help reduce redness, diminish breakouts, and improve the skin’s barrier function,” explains Spann.
From affordable drugstore favorites like Neutrogena gel to newer and more natural options, dermatologists say these are the best moisturizers for oily, acne-prone skin and open pores. For best results, use a moisturizer with SPF designed for oily skin during the day and another after cleansing your face before bed.
15 Best Moisturizers for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin
Yes, you need a moisturizer.
Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30
A lightweight and soothing moisturizer that uses micropearl technology to absorb surface oil to reduce shine, says Dr. Sapna Palep, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. It also has broad spectrum UV protection, meaning it guards against both UVA and UVB rays.
Resist Super Light Wrinkle Defense Lotion SPF 30
This lightweight and lightly tinted mineral-only formula is packed with antioxidants and resveratrol to zap shine and soothe inflammed acne-prone skin, says Dr. Gretchen Frieling, a board-certified dermatopathologist in Boston.
PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion
If you’re using any products to combat acne, try CeraVe PM before bed to help repair the skin and reduce any sensitivities acne products are notorious for, says Dr. Erum Ilyas, a board-certified dermatologist in Philadelphia.
Oil-Free Daily Sensitive Skin Face Moisturizer
If your skin is oily, but sensitive, try this old standby by Neutrogena. It’s lightweight and oil-free, so it won’t feel greasy or heavy and is easily tolerated by all skin types, says Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
Effaclar Mat Anti-Shine Face Moisturizer for Oily Skin
This moisturizer harnesses the power of Sebulyse technology, which absorbs oil and tightens pores, as well as lip-hydroxy acid to reduce shine and smooth the skin’s natural texture, says Dr. Marie Hayag, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Anti-Aging Night Face Cream
Retinol helps mitigate the production of sebum, leading to fewer clogged pores, says Dr. Janelle Vega, a board-certified dermatologist in Miami. As a bonus, it also works to reduce both fine lines and deeper wrinkles.
Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30
A great non-comedogenic pick for daytime wear, since the lightweight formula includes an effective broad spectrum sunscreen, says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
If your skin is both oily and flaky, look for a product that can balance the skin and make it less reactive, says Ilyas. This one does just that, plus brightens and smooths, without overdrying or causing further irritation.
Hydro Boost Hydrating Water Gel Face Moisturizer
This gel moisturizer is loaded with hyaluronic acid, which effectively moisturizes without spurring oil production that leads to greasiness, says Dr. Shari Sperling, a board-certified dermatologist in New Jersey.
Deep Moisture Night Cream With Glycerin & Shea Butter
If you’re looking for a night cream, try this one, which is loaded with vitamin D3 to balance the skin’s oil production, says Dr. Gary Goldenberg, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
Because it’s water-based, this formula is incredibly lightweight and instantly absorbs on contact to provide immediate hydration without any added greasiness, says Dr. Craig Kraffert, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dermstore.com.
Renewal Lite Facial Lotion
If skin is constantly stripped and trying to fix itself, oil production skyrockets, says Dr. Carl, CEO and founder of Episciences, Inc. This lotion works to repair and balance moisture levels to promote healthier skin that won’t overproduce oil.
REFINE RX Pore Refiner
A powerful lotion that balances the oily T-zone area and helps shrink large, open pores to mattify skin, says Dr. Julio Gallo, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon in Miami.
Hydrating B5 Moisture-Enhancing Gel
This lightweight gel serum contains hyaluronic acid, as well as Vitamin B5—two ingredients that are great for light hydration without clogging pores, says Dr. Naissan O. Wesley, a board-certified dermatologist and Arbonne Scientific Advisor.