7 Best Moisturizers for Oily Skin To Buy In 2023

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Finding the right moisturizer for oily skin can seem counterintuitive. However, skipping moisturizer can actually lead to even more oil as the skin tries to compensate for dryness. The key is to find a formula that hydrates while controlling shine and excess sebum.

Here, we explore the 7 best moisturizers that are well-suited for oily skin types.

7 Best Moisturizers for Oily Skin

1. Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture

Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Moisture is a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer that provides lasting hydration without adding shine.

Key Ingredients:

  • Glycerin for hydration
  • Oil-free formula
Non-comedogenic, won’t clog poresMay not be hydrating enough for some

2. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer

This moisturizer from La Roche-Posay is specifically formulated to target oiliness and minimize the appearance of pores.

Key Ingredients:

  • Sebulyse Technology for a mattifying effect
  • Lipo-Hydroxy Acid to refine skin texture
Reduces the look of poresSome may find the mattifying effect too drying
Oil-free and non-comedogenic

3. Cetaphil PRO Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30

Cetaphil’s moisturizer is excellent for oily skin that also needs protection from the sun’s rays.

Key Ingredients:

  • Micropearl technology to absorb surface oil
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30
Dual-action, hydrates and protectsSPF scent may not be appealing to all
Non-greasy formula

4. Paula’s Choice SKIN BALANCING Invisible Finish Moisture Gel

Paula’s Choice offers a gel-based formula that hydrates while creating a smooth, matte finish perfect for oily skin.

Key Ingredients:

  • Niacinamide to minimize pore appearance
  • Antioxidants for skin repair
Lightweight gel texturePricier than some drugstore brands
Contains antioxidants

5. Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 45 PA++++

Murad’s moisturizer not only controls oil and shine but also offers high SPF protection.

Key Ingredients:

  • Avocado and African Yellow Wood Bark extracts for oil-control
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 45
Very high SPF protectionCan be heavy for extremely oily skin
Reduces surface shine

6. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

Clinique’s gel moisturizer is a cult favorite, delivering lightweight hydration without the oiliness.

Key Ingredients:

  • Hyaluronic acid for hydration
  • Silica to absorb oiliness
Oil-free formulaMight require additional hydration in winter for some
Allergy-tested and fragrance-free

7. The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

This moisturizer from The Ordinary provides non-greasy hydration and is packed with ingredients naturally found in the skin.

Key Ingredients:

  • Amino acids, Glycerin, Hyaluronic acid
Very affordablePackaging is not as convenient as a pump
Non-greasy formula

Important Note:
“Even if your skin is oily, don’t skip on hydration. Opt for lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizers that support the skin’s natural barrier and help regulate oil production.”

Frequently Asked Questions About Moisturizer for Oily Skin

Why do I need a moisturizer if I have oily skin?

Using a moisturizer can help balance your skin’s natural oil production. Skipping it can actually cause your skin to produce more oil as it tries to compensate for the lack of moisture.

Can a moisturizer make my oily skin worse?

Not if you choose the right one. Look for moisturizers that are oil-free, non-comedogenic, and specifically designed for oily skin to ensure they provide hydration without adding extra oil.

What ingredients should I look for in a moisturizer for oily skin?

Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, niacinamide, and salicylic acid can be beneficial for oily skin, as they offer hydration, pore refinement, and can help control excess sebum.

How do I apply moisturizer to oily skin?

Apply a pea-sized amount to clean, damp skin. This helps lock in moisture without using too much product, which can make the skin feel greasy.

What’s the difference between a gel moisturizer and a cream for oily skin?

Gel moisturizers typically have a water base and are lighter and less greasy, which is ideal for oily skin. Creams are thicker and may be better suited for dry or combination skin.

Is it possible to over-moisturize oily skin?

Yes, using too much moisturizer or applying it too frequently can lead to clogged pores and increased oiliness. Use just enough product to cover your skin lightly and evenly.

Are there natural moisturizers for oily skin?

Yes, natural ingredients like aloe vera and tea tree oil can be effective for oily skin as they provide light hydration and can have a mattifying effect.

Should I use a moisturizer with SPF if I have oily skin?

Absolutely. Protecting your skin from the sun is important, regardless of skin type. Look for oil-free and non-comedogenic options with SPF.

Can I use moisturizer if I’m also using acne medication?

Yes, but choose a non-comedogenic moisturizer that doesn’t interfere with your acne treatment. Some acne medications can be drying, so a moisturizer can help balance this effect.

How can I prevent my moisturizer from causing breakouts?

Choose a moisturizer that is oil-free, non-comedogenic, and possibly contains acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid. Also, ensure you’re applying it to clean skin.

What should I do if a moisturizer causes irritation or breakouts?

Stop using the product immediately and switch to a moisturizer that’s formulated for sensitive or acne-prone skin. If the problem persists, consult a dermatologist.

Remember, even oily skin needs moisture. The right moisturizer won’t add to oiliness and can improve your skin’s overall health and appearance.


Oily skin needs a careful balance of hydration without adding extra shine or pore-clogging ingredients. The products listed here offer solutions that moisturize while managing sebum production, providing a matte finish, and in some cases, protecting the skin from the sun. Remember, the goal is to maintain skin health without contributing to excess oiliness, and these moisturizers strike that balance perfectly.

Always perform a patch test with a new product to ensure it’s compatible with your skin, and consult a dermatologist if you have specific concerns or questions about your skincare routine. With the right product, oily skin can retain its luster without the unwanted shine.

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