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20 Moisturizers For Oily Skin That’ll Keep Your Complexion Balanced & Happy

11_Best_Moisturizers_for_Oily_Skin_Header11_Best_Moisturizers_for_Oily_Skin_Header

We get it—adding moisture to oily skin seems counterintuitive. If our skin feels on the slick side, why on earth would we want to slather lotion on top? Just because skin is oily doesn’t mean it’s hydrated. (Yes, skincare is confusing sometimes.) “Oily skin can still experience water loss and when there’s too much water loss, it will want to produce more oil,” explains Aziel Rodgers, LA-based esthetician and lead facialist at The Things We Do. The usual culprits for water loss are over-drying cleansers and serums that strip the skin of its essential moisture levels. 

If that sounds like you, chances are you’re in need of hydration. A good rule of thumb is to look for lightweight hydrators like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and green tea. But if you’re in need of more guidance, we’ve rounded up our picks for the best moisturizers for oily skin so you can find the perfect one–or ones–in no time.


About the Expert:

Aziel Rodgers is a Los Angeles-based esthetician with a focus on age management and anti-inflammatory skincare. With a celeb-studded clientele, she has built a fan base with her therapeutic facials.

GLOW RECIPE Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream
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GLOW RECIPE Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream

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Best Lightweight Moisturizer:

Don’t be fooled by the rich-sounding name, the soufflé-like texture is light on the skin. This non-comedogenic (magic word!) moisturizer replenishes your skin’s hydration levels without the risk of clogging pores. How? A trio of yummy ingredients that could easily be in your morning smoothie: Banana, chia seed, and turmeric. Together, they help to soothe inflammation, improve the skin barrier, and gently refine pores. You could say this moisturizer is an actual glow recipe.

MURAD Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream
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MURAD Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream

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Best For Wrinkle Prevention:

Hydrated skin isn’t just happy skin, it keeps wrinkles at bay. When the skin loses too much water, fine lines can become more noticeable and prematurely set in. That’s where retinol comes in. As we age, our collagen production and cell turnover rates begin to slow down, but adding retinol can help speed it back up. While some retinols (and their prescription-strength cousins, retinoids) are notoriously harsh, this formula from MURAD contains a gentle, time-released form that minimizes irritation. It’s also packed with niacinamide, which will help to strengthen that protective barrier. “Just be mindful of needing to apply SPF every day when using any actives,” adds Rodgers. So keep this cream in your p.m. routine—and don’t forget sunscreen!

H2O+ Hydration Oasis Refreshing Gel Moisturizer
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H2O+ Hydration Oasis Refreshing Gel Moisturizer

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Best Gel Moisturizer:

When choosing the best moisturizer for oily skin, gel textures are the gold standard. “Gel moisturizers are typically oil-free, water-based, and absorb more quickly compared to creams,” says Rodgers. This gel contains hyaluronic acid, which is well-known for its hydrating properties. Acting like a sponge, hyaluronic acid attracts water to your skin and can even hold up to 1,000 times its molecular weight in water. In layman's terms, it’s a big ol’ glass of water for your skin. The best part? This formula also contains ceramides, lipids, and amino acids to fortify your skin’s outermost layer (aka skin barrier) by locking moisture underneath. Your skin will stay plump, dewy, and hydrated for hours.

MURAD Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | PA+++
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MURAD MURAD Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 PA+++ 1.7 oz

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Best With SPF:

Moisture + SPF = yes, please! Hydration and sun protection are both so important for daily skincare. If you can find both in one product, like in this lightweight moisturizer, then it's even easier to get your daily dose of SPF 30—the derm-recommended minimum. This 2-in-1 moisturizing sunscreen also contains vitamin C to help brighten up skin and fade the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Plus, antioxidant-rich ginkgo biloba leaf extract adds an extra layer of protection by helping to shield skin from environmental aggressors like pollution. 

IT COSMETICS Confidence in a Gel Lotion Moisturizer
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IT COSMETICS Confidence in a Gel Lotion Moisturizer

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Best Long Lasting Moisturizer:

Another gel moisturizer FTW—and this one checks all our boxes. It’s lightweight, keeps skin moisturized for the long haul (up to 72 hours!), and soaks into skin immediately. Here’s where it gets interesting: The unique formula starts as a refreshing gel that instantly transforms upon application into a water-like liquid that feels totally weightless. Ceramides and cactus flower help to soften the appearance of fine lines and boost overall glow, creating the perfect canvas for makeup. Plus, it’s clinically and allergy tested to be safe for all skin types.

TATCHA The Water Cream
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TATCHA The Water Cream

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Best All-Natural:

Oily skin types, this one was made for you—literally. This cream is specifically designed with oily, acne-prone skin types in mind! Since TATCHA is known for their time-tested formulas and Japanese botanicals, it’s only natural that this water cream boasts an impressive ingredient list. Antioxidant-rich green tea, rice, algae, wild rose, and leopard lily combine to balance and nourish the skin. Bonus points: The luxe texture feels so satisfying. It’s a treat for the skin and the senses. 

DERMEDICINE ADVANCED SKINCARE Weightless Face Moisturizer SPF 25
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DERMEDICINE ADVANCED SKINCARE Weightless Face Moisturizer SPF 25

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Best With Antioxidants:

You can never have too much sunscreen, which is exactly why we love having this moisturizer and SPF combo in our rotation. Sun protection has come a long way over the years and this next-level hydrator is proof: It’s non-greasy, reef-safe, and absorbs lightning fast—making it ideal for oily skin. The gentle formula contains zinc oxide, which blocks UV rays without irritating the skin. Add in anti-aging grape stem cells and a potent blend of antioxidants and you’ve got a sunscreen you’ll actually enjoy wearing every day.

BELIF The True Cream - Moisturizing Bomb
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BELIF The True Cream - Moisturizing Bomb

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Best For Daytime Wear:

Despite having ‘bomb’ in the name, there’s nothing heavy about this moisturizer. The uniquely light texture packs in the hydration without feeling the least bit heavy, making it perfect for daytime or wearing underneath your foundation. The derm-tested formula is proven to retain moisture levels in the skin for up to 26 hours (!), so you can rest easy knowing you’ll be hydrated all day and night.

DUFT&DOFT Hydra Soother Balancing Radiance Cream
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DUFT&DOFT Hydra Soother Balancing Radiance Cream

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Best Water-Based Formula:

Hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, bamboo water extract—do we have your attention yet? The water-based gel cream hydrates, plumps fine lines, and helps to improve the skin’s texture over time, so you can keep on being the radiant, dewy creature you are. Oh, and no surprise breakouts here— the oil-free formula won’t clog pores. Win-win. 

YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream
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YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream

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Best Plant-Based:

Superfoods aren’t just for your salad bowl, they are just as nutritious for your skin. If you’re all about keeping things natural, this oily-skin friendly moisturizer is right up your alley. The light-as-air cream gets an antioxidant boost from leafy greens including kale, green tea, and alfalfa. Add hyaluronic acid and a healthy dose of vitamins (like C, E, and K) and you’ve got yourself a guaranteed glow-up. 

SUNDAY RILEY U.F.O. Ultra Clarifying Acne Treatment Face Oil
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SUNDAY RILEY U.F.O. Ultra Clarifying Acne Treatment Face Oil

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Best Oil Formula:

Oil for acne-prone skin? Yep. They might get a bad rep, but there are plenty of oils that are actually beneficial for oily and combo skin types. This non-greasy oil gets its clarifying abilities from tea tree and black cumin seed oils—both are known to reduce bacteria and support clear, healthy skin. To balance out the powerful acne-fighting oils, a blend of milk thistle, cucumber seed oil, chamomile, and neroli moisturize and soothe irritation. It can be used as an all-over treatment or as a spot-treatment, by applying to the areas most prone to breakouts. 

PURLISSE BEAUTY Watermelon Energizing Aqua Balm
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PURLISSE BEAUTY Watermelon Energizing Aqua Balm

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Best For Collagen Stimulation:

Get your summer watermelon fix even in winter with this lightweight balm. The refreshing gel texture is slightly cooling (and feels a-maz-ing) and delivers a serious burst of moisture, without leaving behind a sticky, greasy residue. Besides being incredibly hydrating, watermelon is loaded with skin benefits. It helps stimulate collagen, retains moisture, brightens, calms inflammation, and files your taxes. We kid—but the point is, watermelon is paradise for oily skin.

KATE SOMERVILLE® Wrinkle Warrior Hydration Gel
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KATE SOMERVILLE® Wrinkle Warrior Hydration Gel

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Best Anti-Aging:

From celeb skincare guru Kate Somerville, this moisturizer is the holy grail of hyaluronic acid with not just one, but *three* different molecular sizes of hyaluronic acid. Why is this important? The lower molecular weights are able to penetrate deeper and deliver a wider spectrum of hydration. Because of this, the formula doesn’t need to rely on heavier ingredients that might be unfriendly to oilier skin types. If that wasn’t enough to get you on board, it’s also clinically proven to help to improve elasticity over time. 

SUR.MEDIC+ Azulene Soothing Cream
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SUR.MEDIC+ Azulene Soothing Cream

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Best For Sensitive Skin:

If you’ve got oily and sensitive skin, you’re not alone. When our skin barrier is compromised by harsh ingredients, overexposure to sun, or rough physical exfoliation, it’s best to opt for a moisturizer that will calm that angry skin back into its happy place. With soothing cica (also referred to as centella asiatica) and calming guaiazulene (a natural anti-inflammatory compound), this cream will help heal irritation and restore balance.

JUMISO Have a Good Cream
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JUMISO Have a Good Cream

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Best For Acne Scars:

Sometimes, active breakouts are just the beginning of the acne headache for oily skin. Once the wounds have gone their course, acne scars take their place and take much longer to leave. The headlining ingredient in this non-greasy moisturizer is snail mucin (don’t worry, no snails harmed here!), which helps fade scarring and hyperpigmentation, moisturizes, and firms up skin in one fell swoop.

SKYN ICELAND Pure Cloud Cream
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SKYN ICELAND Pure Cloud Cream

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Best Whipped Moisturizer:

You know how whipped cream cheese is easier to spread on a bagel? (Hang with us here.) The same goes for your moisturizer. Point in case: this whipped, fluffy-as-a-cloud cream that easily glides on and soaks into skin—all without leaving behind a greasy residue. As oily skin types know by now, that is a non-negotiable. Sensitive skin? It’s also specifically formulated to provide gentle, calming hydration in extreme conditions—from the dead of winter to the dog days of summer. 

PURLISSE BEAUTY Matcha Green Tea Antioxidant Priming Moisturizer
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PURLISSE BEAUTY Matcha Green Tea Antioxidant Priming Moisturizer

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Best Moisturizer + Primer:

Green tea is chock full of antioxidants, anti-microbial properties, and is even known to reduce sebum levels (thanks to high levels of polyphenols), making this matcha-based moisturizer a dream come true for oily skin. When it comes to getting your a.m. skincare game in shape, this gentle cream will soothe, smooth, and prep your skin for makeup. Talk about being well-rounded!

Best For Current Breakouts:

Trouble with your T-zone? We’ve got your solution. The BELIF Problem Solution Moisturizer is made with natural white willow bark and tea tree oil to soothe inflammation and reduce breakouts as it hydrates. Gentle enough to use on even the most sensitive skin, this lightweight moisturizer is great for anyone looking for an option that helps (rather than hurts) acne-prone skin.

 ITEM BEAUTY Lite Sauce Balancing Gel Moisturizer For Oily & Combo Skin
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ITEM BEAUTY Lite Sauce Balancing Gel Moisturizer For Oily & Combo Skin

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Best For Combination Skin:

This IPSY-exclusive targets clogged pores and hydrates without feeling heavy or weighing you down. Since it’s made with glycerin, tiger grass extract, and ceramides, it will help restore balance to your skin and repair your moisture barrier, which is necessary if you’re stripping your skin of excess oils. Plus, this product is phthalate-, paraben-, and cruelty-free. It’s even derm-tested to be safe for sensitive skin. 

DERMALOGICA Oil Clearing Matte Moisturizer SPF 15
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DERMALOGICA Oil Clearing Matte Moisturizer spf 15

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Best Matte Finish:

True skincare experts know: SPF should be included in just about everything you use. It’s the easiest way to protect your skin from future harsh lines and wrinkles. This oil-clearing moisturizer even dries matte for a shine-free finish. It specifically targets oil-prone areas like the nose and forehead and since it’s made from licorice and birch and willow, your skin will be soothed, hydrated, and protected against free radicals all day long.

Want moisturizers, lotions, serums, and more that target your specific skin concerns? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

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About the author
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Brittany Leitner
Brittany is an award winning beauty, health, and lifestyle writer and author of the poetry book "23 Emotions." She has eight years of experience writing for brands like Elite Daily, The. Dr. Oz Show, Shape, Stylecaster, Bustle, and more.
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Article Last Updated August 5, 2021 12:00 AM