As if having oily skin wasn't hard enough to manage on its own, where shine shows up, acne is usually soon to follow. Piecing together a targeted regimen to keep oily, acne-prone skin in check can be complicated, but it all starts with finding a solid moisturizer. But you do need to be choosey on your hunt for the best moisturizers for oily, acne-prone skin to ensure you aren't using anything that contains pore-clogging ingredients that might make breakouts worse.
As a general rule of thumb, you'll want to look for a moisturizer with a lightweight, oil-free formula that's noncomedogenic. More specifically, you can look for key ingredients that target oil and acne-causing bacteria, like salicylic acid. SA is popular for treating acne because of its ability to cut through oil and clear out pores of any dirt and dead skin that can lead to breakouts.
Other useful ingredients to look for include willow herb extract, pomegranate extract, and witch hazel, as they all contain natural astringent properties that work to tighten and decongest pores. Then, there are moisturizers that contain mattifying ingredients like zinc and silica, which help balance oily skin by regulating sebum production. Mattifying moisturizers will be especially good for anyone who tends to get shiny throughout the day.
Check out five of the best moisturizers for oily, acne-prone skin, below.
1. Best Affordable Moisturizer For Oily, Acne-Prone Skin
For a moisturizer and acne treatment in one, you can't go wrong with this budget-friendly drugstore pick. Clean & Clear's Dual Action Moisturizer uses 0.5 percent salicylic acid to keep pores free of acne-causing oil and dead skin, though the lower concentration will help prevent dryness or peeling from occurring. The formula, which includes glycerin to moisturize, is designed to be used up to three times daily. But because it's formulated with acne medication, you should start by applying a thin layer only at night, and gradually increase to twice a day after a few weeks if no dryness occurs.
2. Best Mattifying Moisturizer For Oily, Acne-Prone Skin
For a more traditional moisturizing formula, La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Mat Face Moisturizer has a light, creamy texture that makes it suitable to use in the evening and in the morning (even under makeup). While glycerin and La Roche-Posay's thermal spring water moisturize and soothe skin, the brand has combined several mattifying ingredients to keep you shine-free. Leading the charge is the brand's Sebulyse technology, an anti-sebum ingredient that's said to be more powerful than zinc when it comes to absorbing excess oil while reducing the appearance of enlarged, congested pores. Perlite and silica are also included in the formula to help keep your skin matte, plus lipo-hydroxy acid, a gentle derivative of salicylic acid that helps prevent acne.
3. Best Gel Moisturizer For Oily, Acne-Prone Skin
Another moisturizer that helps fight acne, Korres' Pomegranate Moisturizing & Balancing Cream-Gel doubles down on the hydrating and skin-clearing ingredients. To combat oily skin, Korres combines pomegranate extract and alpine willowherb extract, which help temporarily tighten pores and reduce excess oil. Pomegranate extract also provides antioxidant protection and is loaded with vitamins A, C, and E to help skin's overall appearance (think an even, brighter complexion). Salicylic acid helps keep skin clear, while ingredients like glycerin, jojoba seed oil, and hyaluronic acid ensure skin stays hydrated — all within a lightweight, gel formula.
4. Best Moisturizer With SPF For Oily, Acne-Prone Skin
If you're on the hunt for a moisturizer with SPF sans tint, Differin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30 was developed just for oily and acne-prone skin types. Differin pairs lightweight hydrators and UVA/UVB protection with micropearl technology to soothe and protect skin while also absorbing excess oil for a matte finish. Just as important, the moisturizer is lightweight with a non-greasy finish, and it's non-comedogenic, oil-free, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic, so it won't exacerbate oil production or cause irritation if your skin's more sensitive.
5. Best Tinted Moisturizer For Oily, Acne-Prone Skin
Tinted moisturizer is a great swap for heavier foundation when you have oily or acne-prone skin (especially in the summer months). Not only does it provide your daily moisturizer, SPF, and coverage in one, but BareMinerals' Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream is also lightweight, non-comedogenic, and mineral oil-free, so it won't clog pores or make skin greasy. The BareMinerals formula is even a great choice for sensitive skin because it's fragrance-free and gets its SPF 30 from mineral sunscreen that sits on skin and reflects the sun's rays instead of being absorbed. Marine botanicals, squalane, and coconut alkanes keep skin hydrated, while mineral electrolytes help replenish skin.
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