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If your skin type is oily AF, it’s natural to feel a little nervy picking up a new moisturizer — will it just add more oil and shine?

Your nerves are valid. If your skin shines bright like a diamond, there are some things to keep in mind before slathering your face in a new-to-you product.

For starters, it’s best to only reach for options that are lightweight, oil-free, and — even better — ones that are noncomedogenic (that’s skin care lingo for “products that avoid clogging your pores and help keep acne at bay”).

There’s also plenty of other ingredients that are helpful for different oily skin needs. Keep reading to get those deets, learn more about safely hydrating oily skin, and check out our roundup of the best moisturizers for oily skin.

P.S. We chatted with a couple of board-certified derms for all the science-y stuff. You’re welcome.

When putting together our roster, we took the following criteria into account:

  • Moisturizing ingredients. As promised, we dug into details with derms. Mamelak recommends that people with oily skin look for moisturizers with humectants — like hyaluronic acid (HA)and glycerin — because they attract and bind water without feeling overbearing on the skin. Every product below has a humectant as one of its star ingredients.
  • Other ingredients. We’re only obsessed with the best of lightweight, oil-free options and we *especially* love noncomedogenic options — though not every product on our list is considered noncomedogenic (we call that out if that’s the case). We also looked for products with other ingredients that can help you reach your #SkinGoals — like vitamin E, vitamin C, niacinamide, and ceramides.
  • Reviews. Sure, a brand can say it has amazing products, but only real customers know how well they actually work for their oily skin. We checked reviews to make sure we only included G.O.A.T picks.
  • Vetted products only. We put all of the products we considered through a thorough vetting process checking for unsupported health claims, shady business practices, and lawsuits involving a company’s products. We also made sure the main ingredients in each product actually do what the brand says they do. Only products that passed that vetting process made the list below.

Best moisturizer for oily, acne-prone skin

Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30

  • Price: $
  • Standout ingredients: glycerin, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), hydroxypalmitoyl sphinganine (ceramides), panthenol (vitamin B5), zinc gluconate; Avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene (sunscreen)
  • Size: 4-ounce (oz.) bottle
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes

This moisturizer is hella lightweight and works to soak up excess oil and promises to leave a matte finish. It’s also hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, making it a nice choice for those with allergies or skin sensitivities.

It uses our fave ingredients, including glycerin, tocopheryl acetate (a form of vitamin E), and hydroxypalmitoyl sphinganine (a ceramide) to moisturize — while panthenol (aka vitamin B5) and zinc gluconate help soothe your skin. Zinc gluconate is also known for helping get rid of acne. Talk about a powerhouse!

Google reviewers say their oily faces love this one, saying it fits into their skin routine nicely without leaving a white trace behind.

Plus, it’s nice to multitask where we can in life. This moisturizer counts as your always important SPF.

Best moisturizer for oily skin with SPF

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

  • Price: $$
  • Standout ingredients: zinc oxide, octinoxate (sunscreen); hyaluronic acid, niacinamide (vitamin B3), lactic acid, vitamin E
  • Size: 1.7-oz bottle
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes

Dr. Todd Minars, a board-certified dermatologist in Hollywood, Florida, say he personally uses the EltaMD product line, from its SPFs to lotions. “EltaMD leans a bit more into aesthetics with its formulas compared to its more general competition, but it still utilizes the same core ingredients [like] hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.”

This pick does indeed include all-star ingredients hyaluronic acid and niacinamide (vitamin B3). Hyaluronic acid is known for being very hydrating and a bad B at reducing fine lines and wrinkles, while niacinamide gets props for moisturizing, smoothing out wrinkles, reducing acne- or rosacea-induced irritation, and — the reason we’re all here — curbing oil production.

It also contains vitamin E to fight free radicals and lactic acid for gentle exfoliation, revealing glowy AF skin. And like the Cetaphil moisturizer, this one includes SPF too, which we love.

Minars does point out one drawback, which is the Benji’s. “EltaMD consistently costs over $15/ounce whereas the others cost around $1–2/ounce.”

Best moisturizer for oily skin with vitamin C

SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer

  • Price: $$$
  • Standout ingredients: hyaluronic acid, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (vitamin C), vitamin E
  • Size: 2-oz tube
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes

This more high end option is lightweight and has fan fave vitamin E. It’s loaded with vitamin C, which works with vitamin E to offset free radicals from the environment. It’s also known for reducing and protecting from new UV damage. Plus, you know it has that HA, baby.

This one’s also been around for years, making it a trusted staple. One Derm Store reviewer points out she’s been using this moisturizer faithfully for over 15 years!

Best moisturizer for oily skin with natural ingredients

Tatcha The Water Cream Moisturizer

  • Price: $$$
  • Standout ingredients: hyaluronic acid, Japanese botanicals, Hadasei-3
  • Size: 1.7-oz jar
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes

This one is a water cream (sounds weird, but stay with us).

It’s oil-free, anti-aging (or as we like to say, pro-aging), and made of skin-enhancing Japanese nutrients and potent botanicals. The brand says that Japanese wild rose works to tighten pores and smooth texture, while Japanese Leopard Lily helps manage excess oil while also clarifying skin by pushing natural skin turnover.

It has Tatcha’s special trademarked ingredient called Hadasei-3, made of green tea (a well-known and loved anti-inflammatory and antioxidant), algae (also known for fighting oxidative stress) and rice (another surprising anti-aging ingredient). The combo is supposed to help you score a youthful radiance.

This water cream has over 13,000 Google reviews, the majority of which are WOWed.

Best moisturizing serum for oily skin

Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel

  • Price: $$$
  • Standout ingredients: hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5
  • Size: 1-oz bottle
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes

Mamelak points to this simple gel for oily skin, saying it helps lock in moisture and protect your skin’s barrier. It’s also ideal for oily and acne-prone skin types.

This oil-free gel pairs vitamin B5 with hyaluronic acid, which makes it a badass duo for hydrating your beautiful face. The brand says the serum can be used solo or paired with a daily moisturizer for those who want an extra boost of hydration.

It’s also free of parabens, alcohol, dye, and fragrance.

The biggest downside? This B is priceyyyy.

Best budget moisturizer for oily skin

CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

  • Price: $
  • Standout ingredients: glycerin, hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, ceramides
  • Size: 1-oz bottle
  • Oil-free: No
  • Noncomedogenic: yes

CeraVe is one of those brands you see all over “best of” lists and TikTok, but you’re always left thinking, “Can a product this cheap really be that good??” We’re here to clear the air.

Mamelak points out that this CeraVe serum has the same main ingredients (HA and vitamin B5) as our (much pricier) Skinceuticals pick, but also includes ceramides to strengthen your skin barrier even more. 💪💪

Minars is a fan of CeraVe products overall, saying they’re largely supported by dermatologists thanks to their consistent performance for the majority of patients. Plus, they’re widely available and affordable by volume. The only downside is that this one isn’t considered oil free — though it is noncomedogenic.

Reviewers say it’s super lightweight and leaves their skin soft, but not greasy.

This serum is also made without parabens or fragrances.

Best anti-aging moisturizer for oily skin

Revision Skincare Hydrating Serum

  • Price: $$$
  • Standout ingredients: glycerin, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, fruit and lentil extracts, honey extract, kelp extract, peptides
  • Size: 1-oz bottle
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: no

Mamelak points to this serum as a helpful pick for oily-skin babes, saying it’s a lightweight, oil-free water-based moisturizer that has HA, vitamin E, and peptides (amino acids that are suuuper hydrating, helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles).

It also has different fruit extracts — including apple, pomegranate, and watermelon (which all have major anti-aging potential) — for added hydration and antioxidant benefits. To top it off, it also has honey and kelp extract, which are supposed to help hydrate and condition the skin.

This serum is light enough to layer it with other moisturizers you may be using already, BTW.

Yes, this one falls at the top of our price guide, so it’s a splurge pick. Google reviewers are pretty much obsessed, loving how light and nonsticky it is and saying it absorbs nicely into their oily skin.

Best drugstore moisturizer for oily skin

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

  • Price: $$
  • Standout ingredients: glycerin, hyaluronic acid
  • Size: 1.7-oz jar
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes

Noncomedogenic, oil-free, and budget-friendly, this water gel is made with two oily skin goodies — glycerin and hyaluronic acid — and is supposed to offer legit hydration.

You can wear it solo or even use it under your makeup as a primer (heck YES for multitasking).

This pick has over *drum roll, please* 30,000 Google reviews. The bulk of reviewers love this hydrating gel, praising it for going on smoothly, absorbing quickly, and not leaving that icky greasy feeling.

Best moisturizer for combination skin

First Aid Skin Rescue Daily Face Cream

  • Price: $
  • Standout ingredients: glycerin, ceramides, squalane, licorice root extract, white tea
  • Size: 2-oz tube
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes

This affordable lotion is lightweight and hydrates without clogging those precious pores of yours. That makes it ideal for people with dry patches and an oily T-zone.

It uses ceramides and squalane to help hydrate and smooth out your skin. It also uses a blend of white tea, licorice root, and feverfew extracts, which all have anti-inflammatory properties that can help battle environmental stressors.

Google reviewers are overall happy, pointing out its light, nonsticky formula as a win. They also say it’s a game changer for oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin.

This pick is gluten-free and cruelty-free too, BTW.

Best moisturizer for oily, redness-prone skin

Boscia Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer

  • Price: $$
  • Standout ingredients: glycerin, hyaluronic acid, green tea, burdock root extract, algae extract
  • Size: 1.7-oz bottle
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: no

This lightweight moisturizer is soothing to redness-prone skin. It pairs HA with badass antioxidant Japanese green tea for hydration, reduced oil production, and reduced inflammation. The brand also uses burdock root, which it says helps absorb excess oil and prevent shine — perfect for wearing under your makeup.

This pick is also vegan and made without:

  • chemical preservatives
  • artificial fragrances and colors
  • parabens and sulfates

Reviewers rave about how well this product mattifies their shiny skin while still providing A+ hydration. Some reviewers say it takes some getting used to, but they recommend pushing through any rough patches.

Best night moisturizer for oily skin

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisturizer

  • Price: $$$
  • Standout ingredients: glycerin, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, vitamin E, silk, Pentavitin
  • Size: 1.7-oz jar
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes

Alcohol-free, fragrance-free, and oil-free, this higher-end cream is loved for how well it hydrates and plumps. But why is the “cloud” term tossed in here? Because it’s also supposed to be a fluffy, light, soft formula.

On top of a whopping 30 percent concentration of HA, this bad boy is loaded with all kinds of goodies like glycerin, ceramides, and vitamin E — basically hydration heaven. It also has hydrolyzed silk, which the brand says leaves your skin feeling soft and, well, silky.

Plus, it uses Pentavitin, a formula that the brand says helps offer up to 72 hours of hydration — even after cleansing.

There’s a lot of hype around this pick with Google reviewers, with many saying it’s the perfect addition to their nighttime skin care routine. Most of them simply love the texture of this formula.

Best shine control moisturizer for oily skin

La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat Anti-Shine Face Moisturizer for Oily Skin

  • Price: $$
  • Standout ingredients: glycerin, salicylic acid, lipo-hydroxy acid, silica
  • Size: 1.35-oz tube
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes

Noncomedogenic, fragrance-free, paraben-free, this moisturizer is designed to minimize oil and improve the look of pores.

This pick also has salicylic acid and lipo-hydroxy acid (a derivative of salicylic acid) to help exfoliate, reduce the size of pores, and clear up acne. The addition of silica helps absorb any extra oil that could lead to shininess, giving you a matte finish.

It’s supposed to be safe for sensitive skin too, BTW — and people go wild for this stuff. Reviewers call this their “one and only.” Aww. 💖

When it comes to oily skin (or any skin type, really), you have a lot to think about. Here’s what to keep in mind as you shop:

Go for a humectant

Mamelak says that there are three groups of moisturizers that deliver hydration in different ways:

  • Occlusive agents. Vaseline, petroleum jelly, silicone, and heavy oils. Mamelak says these work by creating a barrier on the surface, ultimately lowering the amount of water that evaporates from the skin. “Occlusives tend to be a bit too heavy for oily and acne-prone skin, but are suitable for post-procedure healing such as after chemical peels or laser skin resurfacing.”
  • Emollients. These ingredients are helpful for treating dry, flaky skin, Mamelak says. “People living with severe xerosis (rough, dry skin), psoriasis, or eczema use emollients because they help restore and repair the skin barrier,” he says.
  • Humectants. These ingredients attract and bind water, moisturizing the skin without being overbearing. “A lightweight, noncomedogenic, humectant moisturizer is best for oily skin,” he says. Plus, noncomedogenic products won’t clog pores. Ding ding, we have our winner, folks.

Like we mentioned earlier, two popular humectants are hyaluronic acid and glycerin.

These ingredients keep the skin barrier intact and help lock in moisture. Mamelak says he often recommends hyaluronic acid-based moisturizers for oily skin: “HA is a humectant that can hydrate the skin without the use of a heavy or thick feeling emollient that can feel more like a residue on the skin.”

Look for other ingredients to reach your #SkinGoals

Along with grabbing a lightweight, oil-free, and preferably noncomedogenic option, it’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for those beloved ingredients we mentioned earlier:

  • Vitamin A. Often used in the form of retinol, this guy boosts collagen production, helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps reduce signs of UV damage and can help clear away acne.
  • Vitamin B5. Also called panthenol, vitamin B5 is an excellent moisturizer. It also restores your skin barrier and can help prevent skin irritation.
  • Vitamin C and vitamin E. These antioxidants help protect skin and fight environmental damage. They also enhance each other’s benefits when used together. How sweet. :’)
  • Ceramides. These lovelies strengthen your skin barrier and help lock moisture into your skin.

But consider avoiding some others

Minars reminds us to ditch fragrance if we can. “I always recommend that patients avoid fragrances and added colors with any of their skin care products,” he says. “I believe the cleaner the better and I like to keep my products as simple as I can.”

The others to avoid include the regular suspects, he says:

  • parabens
  • mineral oil
  • alcohols (especially for those with dry skin or acne), and petroleum products (unless you have severe issues, otherwise, Minars says it’s usually overkill for a whole-body moisturizer).

Choose your price range

We asked Minars if higher price indicates higher quality when it comes to moisturizers. “Not really,” he says. “You don’t need to splurge on specialty items. This is even more true for whole-body moisturizers. Facial products are the one area that can have some exceptions but not enough to get worked up about or go into credit card debt to acquire.”

As long as the moisturizer has the ingredients you want (and doesn’t have the ones you don’t want), price shouldn’t be a huge factor in your decision.

That means you can start with a budget option and see how it works for you. If it’s not doing what you want it to do, you can start looking at pricier options.

“One of the most important steps to your routine, both morning and night, is your moisturizer,” Mamelak explains.

Got it. So, twice daily. Plus, he says facial moisturizers should be applied immediately after cleansing, “to replenish the natural oils that are stripped during the cleansing process. Apply your moisturizer to slightly damp skin both morning and evening.”

The 2-or-3-minute rule. Minars points out that showers can really dry us out and if you apply your face and body moisturizers shortly after leaving the bath (2 or 3 minutes after it), you’ll be able to retain much more of the moisture in your skin.

Friendly reminder to always patch-test products

Anytime you’re using a new-to-you skin care product, it’s a good idea to do a little patch test first. You can do this by applying a small amount of the product somewhere like the back of your wrist or inner forearm before you apply more to a larger area.

This helps you make sure you won’t have an allergic reaction. Plus, if your skin simply hates the product, it’s better to find out on a small area of skin first instead of your entire face.

Those of us with oily skin should keep our eyes open for lightweight, oil-free, and noncomedogenic moisturizers. There’s a ton of options out there at varying price points in varying types (gels, creams, lotions, etc.).

Make sure yours has positive reviews, includes some skin care fave ingredients we mentioned throughout, and stay away from oil-based ones with added fragrances and alcohols.

Remember patch tests help us avoid allergic reactions, people! Happy hydrating.