We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission Here’s our process.

Greatist only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.

If your skin type is oily AF, it’s natural to feel a little nervous 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 are 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 sciencey stuff. You’re welcome.

Wait… should I use a moisturizer if I have oily skin?

Dr. Adam Mamelak, a board certified dermatologist in Austin, Texas says it’s often thought that people with oily skin should skip moisturizing, but this is dead wrong.

“Applying a moisturizer is still recommended,” he says. “Keeping the skin hydrated stops the signal telling the body to produce sebum. So, when you put on moisturizer it can help quiet your body’s response and decrease the amount of sebum that is produced.”

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 retinol, 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 and surveyed Team Greatist 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.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $20
  • $$ = $25–$40
  • $$$ = over $40

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
  • SPF: SPF 30

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!

Reviewers say their oily faces love this one, saying it fits into their skin routine nicely without leaving a white trace behind. Some say it isn’t the best for that fully matte look, though.

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

Pros

  • contains hydrating, soothing, antioxidant, and anti-acne ingredients
  • affordable
  • SPF 30
  • reviewers with acne-prone skin looove it
  • fragrance- and essential oil-free

Cons

  • not the best for achieving a matte look

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
  • SPF: 46

Dr. Todd Minars, a board certified dermatologist in Hollywood, Florida, says 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.”

Pros

  • contains hydrating and antioxidant ingredients & ingredients that reduce signs of aging
  • SPF 46
  • dermatologist fave
  • fragrance- and essential oil-free

Cons

  • expensive

Best anti-aging moisturizer for oily skin

SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer

  • Price: $$$
  • Standout ingredients: hyaluronic acid, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (vitamin C), vitamin E, panthenol
  • Size: 2-oz. tube
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes
  • SPF: no

This higher-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 — a huge factor in reducing signs of premature aging. 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, and others praise it for how well it hydrates without that full-coverage feeling. It’s also supposed to be amazing for wearing under makeup.

Pros

  • contains hydrating, soothing, and antioxidant ingredients
  • fragrance- and essential oil-free
  • great for wearing under makeup

Cons

  • doesn’t contain SPF
  • expensive

Best natural moisturizer for oily skin

Tatcha The Water Cream Moisturizer

  • Price: $$$
  • Standout ingredients: hyaluronic acid, glycerin, Japanese botanicals, Hadasei-3
  • Size: 1.7-oz. jar
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes
  • SPF: no

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 clarifying skin by encouraging 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.

The majority of reviewers are absolutely WOWed by this cream. They say it’s super moisturizing without feeling greasy or causing breakouts. A few Accutane users sing its praises, too.

Pros

  • contains hydrating and antioxidant ingredients, plus ingredients that reduce signs of aging
  • hydrating without feeling greasy

Cons

  • expensive
  • no SPF
  • contains fragrance and alcohol, which can cause irritation for some people

Best moisturizing serum for oily skin

Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel

  • Price: $$$
  • Standout ingredients: hyaluronic acid, panthenol
  • Size: 1-oz. bottle
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes
  • SPF: no

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 soothing vitamin B5 (also called panthenol) 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. But TBH, sometimes a serum is all it takes for us oily folks to feel hydrated (though you’ll still need to top it off with SPF).

It’s also free of parabens, alcohol, dye, and fragrance. The biggest downside? This B is priceyyyy.

Pros

  • contains hydrating ingredients in lightweight formula
  • dermatologist fave
  • fragrance- and essential oil-free

Cons

  • expensive
  • doesn’t contain SPF

Best budget moisturizer for oily skin

CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

  • Price: $
  • Standout ingredients: hyaluronic acid, glycerin, panthenol, ceramides
  • Size: 1-oz. bottle
  • Oil-free: no
  • Noncomedogenic: yes
  • SPF: no

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.

Pros

  • contains hydrating and soothing ingredients in lightweight formula
  • affordable
  • fragrance- and essential oil-free

Cons

  • doesn’t contain SPF

Best water-based 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
  • SPF: no

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* 84,000 Amazon reviews. The bulk of reviewers love this hydrating gel, praising it for going on smoothly, absorbing quickly, and not leaving that icky greasy feeling.

Pros

  • contains hydrating ingredients in lightweight formula
  • affordable
  • works well under makeup

Cons

  • contains fragrance
  • doesn’t contain SPF

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
  • SPF: no

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.

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. But some peeps report a burning sensation after applying.

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

Pros

  • contains hydrating and soothing ingredients
  • affordable
  • fragrance- and essential-oil free

Cons

  • some reviewers report a burning sensation
  • doesn’t contain SPF

Best night moisturizer for oily skin

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisturizer

  • Price: $$$
  • Standout ingredients: hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, vitamin E, silk, Pentavitin
  • Size: 1.7-oz. jar
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes
  • SPF: no

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 reviewers, with many saying it’s the ideal addition to their nighttime skin care routine. Most of them simply love the texture of this formula.

Pros

  • contains hydrating and antioxidant ingredients
  • fragrance- and essential oil-free

Cons

  • expensive
  • doesn’t contain SPF
  • some reviewers report counterfeit products on Amazon

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
  • SPF: no

Noncomedogenic and 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 appearance 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.

People go wild for this stuff. Reviewers call this their “one and only.” Aww. They also say it works wonders if you’re trying to get rid of blackheads.

One of our editors tried this one and says it’s got the perfect lightweight feel to it and is great for daytime use. She says it might not be quite moisturizing enough for the wintertime, tho.

Pros

  • contains hydrating and anti-acne ingredients
  • leaves a matte finish

Cons

  • contains fragrance and alcohol, which can cause irritation
  • doesn’t contain SPF
  • might not be hydrating enough for winter months

Best men’s moisturizer for oily skin

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Moisturizer

  • Price: $$
  • Standout ingredients: glycerin, vitamin E, salicylic acid, pseudoalteromonas ferment extract
  • Size: 1.7 oz.
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes
  • SPF: no

We’ll say this until the end of time, but there’s no real difference between “men’s products” and “women’s products.” Every product on this list can be used on any sex or gender. But we get it — some men are just not into browsing the aisles of Sephora and prefer products with low-key packaging and subtler scents. This Kiehl’s moisturizer is just that.

This cooling cream has all the goodies needed for a good oily-skin moisturizer, like glycerin and vitamin E for hydration and antioxidant benefits. Salicylic acid is also helpful for managing and preventing breakouts and keeping that shine to a minimum.

Another ingredient — pseudoalteromonas ferment extract — can help hydrate, increase firmness, and improve skin texture.

Reviewers adore this cream. They love how light and fresh it feels after applying, that it doesn’t cause breakouts, and that it doesn’t have an overbearing scent.

Pros

  • contains hydrating, antioxidant, and anti-acne ingredients
  • feels cool when applied
  • no scent
  • fragrance- and essential oil-free

Cons

  • doesn’t contain SPF

Best tinted moisturizer for oily skin

Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40

  • Price: $$$
  • Standout ingredients: hyaluronic acid, squalane, niacinamide, aloe, bisabolol
  • Size: 1 oz.
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes
  • SPF: SPF 40

Ilia’s makeup products are some of our faves (um the Color Block Lipstick is unreal) and this skin tint is no exception. It blew up on TikTok as the perf solution for the no-makeup makeup look — and after peeping the ingredients, it’s obvious why people love it.

HA, squalane, and niacinamide are your hydration queens in this formula, but niacinamide is also known for reducing acne, brightening skin, reducing premature signs of aging, and slowin’ down oil production. It has aloe and bisabolol (both anti-inflammatory ingredients) to soothe any irritation too.

To top it off, it has SPF 40.

This is another Team Greatist fave. It truly gives you that “my skin, but better” coverage, covering imperfections without feeling heavy. Expect tons of compliments every time you wear it. The best part? It’s good to your skin. <3

Some don’t like the smell, but that’s prob because it doesn’t contain any masking fragrances.

Pros

  • contains hydrating, soothing, anti-acne ingredients and ingredients that reduce premature signs of aging
  • provides light to medium coverage
  • contains SPF 40
  • fragrance- and essential oil-free

Cons

  • expensive
  • some reviewers don’t like the smell

Best drugstore moisturizer for oily skin

La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Matte Face Moisturizer for Oily Skin

  • Price: $
  • Standout ingredients: hyaluronic acid, glycerin, niacinamide, ceramides, silica
  • Size: 2.5 oz.
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes
  • SPF: no

This newer moisturizer from La Roche Posay is like the younger sister to the mega-popular Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer.

It contains similar ingredients (like glycerin, niacinamide, and ceramides), but has HA instead of dimethicone (an emollient that leaves your skin feeling soft as hell, but has a heavier feel to it than HA). It also has added silica to absorb up excess oil.

Reviewers love that La Roche Posay added this to its lineup. They say it leaves an ideal matte finish, but with a healthy glow. Everyone also loves that the bottle is bigger than most moisturizers, so it lasts you a while.

Pros

  • contains hydrating ingredients and ingredients the reduce premature signs of aging
  • affordable
  • available at Walgreens
  • bigger bottle
  • fragrance- and essential oil-free

Cons

  • doesn’t contain SPF
  • might not be hydrating enough for winter months

Best retinol moisturizer for oily skin

Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion

  • Price: $$$
  • Standout ingredients: hyaluronic acid, glycerin, squalane, vitamin E, panthenol, retinol
  • Size: 1.7 oz.
  • Oil-free: yes
  • Noncomedogenic: yes
  • SPF: no

Retinol isn’t all hype. The ingredient has proven itself as a legit way to reduce acne and signs of aging. So ya, basically everyone loves her.

This lotion from Murad is marketed for peeps with acne, but it can also be used for anyone trying to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. And the addition of panthenol (vitamin B5) helps reduce the chances of irritation from the retinol.

Reviewers love the lightweight hydration it provides and say it helps control breakouts. Peeps also appreciate that it’s still suitable for folks with sensitive skin.

Pros

  • contains hydrating, soothing, antioxidant, and anti-acne ingredients and ingredients that reduce premature signs of aging
  • fragrance- and essential oil-free

Cons

  • expensive
  • doesn’t contain SPF

ProductPriceMain benefitMain ingredientsOil-freeNoncomedogenicSPF

Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30
$shine and acne controlglycerin, vitamin E, ceramides, panthenol, zinc gluconateyesyesSPF 30

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
$$brighteninghyaluronic acid, niacinamide lactic acid, vitamin EyesyesSPF 46

SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer
$$$reduce signs of aginghyaluronic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, panthenolyesyesno

Tatcha The Water Cream Moisturizer
$$$reduce signs of aginghyaluronic acid, glycerin, Japanese botanicals, Hadasei-3yesyesno
Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel$$$extra lightweight hydrationhyaluronic acid, vitamin B5yesyesno

CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum
$extra lightweight hydrationhyaluronic acid, glycerin, vitamin B5, ceramidesnoyesno

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
$lightweight hydrationglycerin, hyaluronic acidyesyesno

First Aid Skin Rescue Daily Face Cream
$soothing hydratingglycerin, ceramides, squalane, licorice root extract, white teayesyesno

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisturizer
$$$lightweight hydrationhyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, vitamin E, silk, Pentavitinyesyesno

La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat Anti-Shine Face Moisturizer for Oily Skin
$$leaves a matte finishglycerin, salicylic acid, lipo-hydroxy acid, silicayesyesno

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Moisturizer
$$acne and shine controlglycerin, vitamin E, salicylic acid, pseudoalteromonas ferment extractyesyesno

Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
$$$light to medium coveragehyaluronic acid, squalane, niacinamide, aloe, bisabololyesyesSPF 40

La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Matte Face Moisturizer for Oily Skin
$shine controlhyaluronic acid, glycerin, niacinamide, ceramides, silicayesyesno


Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion
$$$acne control, reduces signs of aginghyaluronic acid, glycerin, squalane, vitamin E, panthenol, retinolyesyesno

Bestie, we know you’re frustrated by your oily skin. But you should know that having oilier skin also usually means you have thicker skin and are less prone to wrinkles, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association.

Still, add a little bacteria and inflammation, and oily skin can quickly turn into annoying acne and breakouts.

So what causes oily skin? Unfortunately, there isn’t just one answer — there are a few factors that play a role:

  • Using the wrong skin care products. Peeps with oily skin often think they gotta strip TF out of their face, but that actually leads to increased sebum production. So, stick with gentler products (that means no alcohol and fewer actives, though it’s still okay to use exfoliants occasionally) and don’t forget to moisturize. 🙂
  • Climate and season. Sebum production picks up in spring and summer, and you’re also more likely to produce more oil if you live in a humid climate.
  • Hormones. Males are more likely to have oilier skin because they have higher testosterone levels. Increased progesterone (which happens during ovulation) and elevated androgens (like during puberty or in certain conditions) play a role too. These factors tend to affect people less as they age, since hormones chill out a bit as you get older.
  • Large pores. The larger the pores, the more oil they produce. Thanks, skin. (Retinoids can help with this.)
  • Day-to-day factors. Touching your face with your hands, sleeping in your makeup, and not cleansing daily or after exercise can make oily skin harder to manage.

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.

As 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 dryness, otherwise, Minars says it’s usually overkill for a whole-body moisturizer).

Choose your price range

We asked Minars if a 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.

When to use moisturizers in your skin care routine

If you’ve got an elaborate skin care routine with toners, exfoliants, and serums galore, the order in which you apply your products matters.

“Usually, moisturizer goes on last,” Minars says. “Especially when you have an active ingredient in a topical med or a serum — you don’t want the moisturizer to block penetration.”

The exception, he explains, is when you’re using a serum or topical medication that is slightly irritating, then putting the moisturizer on first might help slow the absorption of the serum or med, letting you use it without irritation.

BUT if your moisturizer doesn’t contain SPF, then your SPF should technically go last. SPF always, besties.

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. If you don’t see any irritation after 24 hours. You’re good to go.

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.

Want more oily skin care routine tips?

Check out our full guide with tips from TikTok’s fave dermatologist, Dr. Muneeb Shah, here.

Oily skin can be managed in a bunch of ways and isn’t something to be too concerned about, but it’s totally understandable if you’re feeling frustrated by it.

If your oily skin is starting to interfere with your day-to-day life, it might be a good idea to make an appointment with a dermatologist to get some pointers for creating your very own skin care routine. A derm might also recommend prescriptions like spironolactone, isotretinoin, oral contraceptives, or topical retinoids — especially if you’re also dealing with acne.

Which type of moisturizer is best for oily skin?

Mamelak recommends looking for moisturizers with humectants, which are ingredients that attract and bind water. Humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin are known for being hydrating AF without leaving behind that thick, greasy feeling.

Also, make sure you’re looking for noncomedogenic and oil-free formulas whenever possible.

Which moisturizer is best for oily and acne prone skin?

The same rules apply to oil and acne-prone skin as just oily skin, but you should pay extra attention to whether formulas are considered noncomedogenic and oil-free.

Is moisturizing good for oily skin?

Sure is! Basically, if your skin isn’t well-hydrated, your body produces more sebum (aka oil) in an effort to keep it hydrated on its own.

If you use a good moisturizer regularly (especially one with the right ingredients), your body will slow down sebum production and bring your oiliness down a notch.

Is salicylic acid good for oily skin?

Hell yeah, it is!

Research on the ingredient shows that it’s not only an excellent acne-fighter, it also helps reduce sebum production. So it can truly work wonders for some peeps with oily, acne-prone skin.

Our process and why you should trust us

We consulted with two board certified dermatologists to get tips for choosing the best moisturizers for oily skin and dug into the latest research to pick the products above.

Before writing about those products, we put them all through a thorough vetting process that checks for unsupported health claims, shady business practices, and lawsuits concerning a company’s products. We also checked that the main ingredients in each product are evidence-based and actually do what the company says they do.

After wrapping up our recommendations and tips, we sent this entire article to a third medical professional specializing in dermatology (in this case, Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP, for review).

So basically, you can feel good knowing that we put in WORK to get you these recommendations.

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 and includes some skin care fave ingredients we mentioned throughout — especially hyaluronic acid and glycerin.

Happy hydrating, ppl!