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16 Best Moisturizers for Oily Skin 2023

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We asked dermatologists and estheticians about the best moisturizers for oily skin, including the best lightweight moisturizer, the best with SPF, and the best for mature skin from Neutrogena, Dermalogica, La Roche Posay, CeraVe, and more

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B E S T I N C L A S S UPDATED MAR. 31, 2023
The 13 Very Best Moisturizers
for Oily Skin
By Tembe Denton-Hurst Additional Reporting By Jenna Milliner-Waddell and Lori Keong
Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers
In this article
Best overall
Best lightweight
Best for acne-prone skin
Best for mature skin
Best for nighttime
Best mattifying
Best with SPF
When your face is overproducing natural oils, it can seem counterintuitive to
reach for a moisturizer. But, in fact, your oily skin could just be a cry
for hydration. “Sometimes your glands produce more oil than normal because
it’s dehydrated,” says Vanessa Marc, celebrity aesthetician and owner
of Vanessa Marc Spa. So, in other words, “You should still use a
daily moisturizer,” says CareMount Medical dermatologist Melanie A.
Warycha. To find the best on the market for oily skin types, we consulted
Warycha, Marc, and six other experts, including Shamara Bondaroff, founder

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16 Best Moisturizers for Oily Skin 2023

  • 1.  THE CUT  VULTURE  THE STRATEGIST   CURBED  GRUB STREET  MAGAZINE  Subscribe  Sign In Menu Search Menu BEST IN CLASS The 16 Very Best Moisturizers for Oily Skin LEAVE A COMMENT Search P O P U L A R N O W :  Advent Calendars  Holiday Gift Ideas  Artificial Christmas Trees Best in Class Skip article list  The 7 Very Best Turntables  The 14 Very Best Slippers for Men  The 10 Very Best Travel Pillows  The 13 Very Best Food-Storage Containers 
  • 2. The 15 Very Best Fanny Packs  The 6 Very Best Baby Swings  The 8 Very Best Milk Frothers  The 13 Very Best Vacuums  The Very Best Pillows for Side Sleepers  The 10 Very Best Beard Trimmers  The 10 Very Best Standing Desks  The 19 Very Best Linen Sheets  The 17 Very Best Shampoos for Color-Treated Hair  The 18 Very Best Work Bags for Women  The 22 Very Best Bedsheets  12 of the Very Best Air Fryers  32 of the Very Best Planners
  • 3.  The 11 Very Best Cooling Sheets  The 19 Very Best Pajamas for Women  11 of the Very Best Microwave Ovens  The 8 Very Best Hair Dryers  The 13 Very Best Ankle Boots for Women  The 10 Very Best Cat Trees  The 15 Best Winter Boots for Women  The 12 Very Best Space Heaters  The 9 Very Best Blow-dryer Brushes  The 9 Very Best Humidifiers  The 15 Very Best Chelsea Boots for Women  The 10 Very Best Down Pillows 
  • 4. The 14 Very Best Pieces of Rolling Luggage  The 20 Very Best Jeans for Women  The Very Best Gym Shorts for Men  10 of the Very Best Cookware Sets  The 11 Very Best Silk Pillowcases  The Very Best Slippers for Women  The Very Best Electric Foot Massagers  The 14 Very Best Weekend Bags  The 12 Very Best Pillows for Neck Pain  The 18 Very Best Sunscreens  13 of the Very Best Espresso Makers  The Very Best Toiletry Bottles  The 6 Very Best Baby Sound Machines
  • 5.  The 12 Very Best Travel Mugs  The 8 Very Best Fondue Pots  The Very Best Carry-on Luggage  13 of the Best Roller Skates for Every Type of Skater  18 of the Very Best Men’s Socks  18 of the Very Best Hair Masks  The 13 Very Best Gloves for Women  The Very Best Electric Cargo Bikes B E S T I N C L A S S UPDATED MAR. 31, 2023 The 13 Very Best Moisturizers for Oily Skin By Tembe Denton-Hurst Additional Reporting By Jenna Milliner-Waddell and Lori Keong
  • 6. Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers In this article Best overall Best lightweight Best for acne-prone skin Best for mature skin Best for nighttime Best mattifying Best with SPF When your face is overproducing natural oils, it can seem counterintuitive to reach for a moisturizer. But, in fact, your oily skin could just be a cry for hydration. “Sometimes your glands produce more oil than normal because it’s dehydrated,” says Vanessa Marc, celebrity aesthetician and owner of Vanessa Marc Spa. So, in other words, “You should still use a daily moisturizer,” says CareMount Medical dermatologist Melanie A. Warycha. To find the best on the market for oily skin types, we consulted Warycha, Marc, and six other experts, including Shamara Bondaroff, founder
  • 7. of SB Skin, who has this additional tip to keep in mind: Don’t excessively clean your face or use a harsh toner, either. “Stripping your skin will only cause it to produce more oil,” she notes. The options below manage to hydrate with mostly oil-free ingredients and don’t feel heavy or greasy either (one pick is even approved by a dermatologist’s 14-year-old son). What we’re looking for Ingredients Consistency Price Best overall moisturizer for oily skin
  • 8. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel $23 now 13% off $20 Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid | Consistency: Gel-cream | Price: 1.7 ounces (Approx. $11/ounce) Both Warycha and Hadley King, clinical instructor of dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, recommend Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Water Gel for oily skin types — though it’s been recommended by experts countless other times for dry skin types, the rosacea-prone, and even pregnant women, too. Derms love this stuff. Tone Dermatology founder Dr. Caroline Robinson describes it as “lightweight yet nourishing,” and I would agree. It’s the kind of moisturizer you tell everyone to use, because regardless of skin concern, it’ll probably work for you too. In addition to the Hydro Boost being noncomedogenic, alcohol- and oil- free, it also contains glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which, King explains, “are both humectants, so they can hydrate the skin without the need for emollients that may feel too heavy for oily skin.” It’s also a favorite of Dr. Kenneth Howe, a cosmetic dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology, who adds, “Its lightweight gel formulation goes well with oily skin,” and it also happens to be a personal favorite of his 14-year-old son. $20 AT AMAZON $20 AT TARGET Best lightweight moisturizer for oily skin
  • 9. SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer $48 $60 now 20% off Ingredients: THD ascorbate (vitamin C), vitamin E, hyaluronic acid | Consistency: Lightweight cream | Price: 2 ounces (Approx. $27/ounce) Alabama-based dermatologist Corey L. Hartman’s patients keep coming back to this moisturizer. “It’s a crowd favorite, and even though it has been around for years it continues to excel,” he says. The allure is in the ingredients. Packed with vitamin E and C (both of which neutralize free radicals in the environment) and hyaluronic acid (an oily skin staple), it moisturizes while still being incredibly lightweight. $48 AT AMAZON $60 AT DERMSTORE Best (less expensive) lightweight moisturizer for oily skin
  • 10. Cerave Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum $23 now 30% off $16 Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, vitamin B5 | Consistency: Serum | Price: 1 ounce (Approx. $16/ounce) Not your traditional moisturizer, but this serum is another favorite of Howe’s and one he says can be used alone as a light moisturizer. Not only does it contain hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5, which he says “has a calming, anti-
  • 11. inflammatory effect on the skin,” but it also contains ceramides — the ingredient that makes this moisturizer-esque. Howe explains that ceramides are the fatty component on the outer layers of our skin, or, the “‘mortar’ in the brick and mortar composition of the epidermis.” All of these ingredients combined allow this to constitute “more of a full-service moisturizer” than a serum in Howe’s eyes. $16 AT AMAZON Best splurge-y lightweight moisturizers for oily skin Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel $90 Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5 | Consistency: Serum | Price: 1 ounce (Approx. $83/ounce) Brooklyn-based oculofacial plastic surgeon and founder of epi.logic Skincare Dr. Chaneve Jeanniton also likes hyaluronic acid for oily skin. “Hyaluronic acid is an easy choice for oily skin because it won’t clog pores or leave a heavy residue but it still provides an impactful amount of moisture,” she says, adding that a serum with hyaluronic acid is often enough to keep
  • 12. skin hydrated and balanced. She likes this hydrating gel from Skinceuticals in particular, which contains hyaluronic acid and B5, the two ingredients working together to fortify the skin’s barrier and lock moisture into the skin. She also likes the Collagen Renew Growth Factor Serum from her own line, which uses growth factors, hyaluronic acid and peptides to keep skin hydrated, smooth and firm. $90 AT SKINCEUTICALS $90 AT DERMSTORE Best cream moisturizer for oily skin
  • 13. Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Acid Cloud Cream $54 Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid | Consistency: Lightweight cream | Price: 1.7 ounces (Approx. $31/ounce) Warycha also likes this creamy hyaluronic-acid moisturizer from Peter Thomas Roth that goes on like a whipped soufflé. It’s oil-free, noncomedogenic, and flush in moisture-locking ceramides and antioxidants (so your skin will look plump and brightened, but not greasy).
  • 14. $54 AT AMAZON $54 AT DERMSTORE Best less-expensive cream moisturizer for oily skin First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Oil Control Moisturizer $28 $38 now 26% off
  • 15. Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid | Consistency: Lightweight cream | Price: 1.7 ounces (Approx. $18/ounce) “My friend with a very oily forehead says this is the only product that helped her with sebum production,” says aesthetician and product developer Sydney Utendahl of the First Aid Beauty Oil Control moisturizer. Its hero ingredient is hyaluronic acid, and it also contains shine-controlling properties that help to reduce oiliness over time. $28 AT AMAZON $38 AT DERMSTORE Best mattifying moisturizer for oily skin
  • 16. La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat Anti-Shine Face Moisturizer for Oily Skin $36 Ingredients: Lipho-hydroxy acid | Consistency: Lightweight cream | Price: 2 ounces (Approx. $14/ounce) Here’s another oil-free and noncomedogenic moisturizer, this one notable for its light matte finish. King says this Effaclar Mat moisturizer from La Roche- Posay uses “sebulyse technology” to target excess oil, “the brand’s proprietary new anti-sebum ingredient.” (Sebum, by the way, is the substance secreted by
  • 17. your body’s oil-producing glands.) She also credits its matte effect to the micro-exfoliating lipo-hydroxy acid, microspheres, and perlite that “absorb humidity and sebum.” Dr. Corey L. Hartman, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology, is also a fan: “It gives a nice finish in a lightweight formula that restores the barrier without increasing oiliness,” he says. $36 AT AMAZON $36 AT LA ROCHE-POSAY Best less-expensive mattifying moisturizer for oily skin Etude SoonJung 10 Free Moist Emulsion $17 Ingredients: Panthenol and madecassoside | Consistency: Lightweight cream | Price: 4.37 ounces (Approx.: $3.80/ounce) Utendahl also recommends this moisturizer from Etude’s SoonJung line. All of the products in the collection are mild and have a low pH, meaning they have a pH between 1 and 6. For reference, most skin has a pH between 4.75
  • 18. and 5.75. Products with a high pH (above 8) can disrupt the skin’s acid mantle, which can cause inflammation, flakiness, dryness, and redness. In addition to having a low pH, this moisturizer has lots of humectants, which helps skin to retain moisture. “The finish is pretty matte, but without having that clay mask–like feel,” says Utendahl. $17 AT AMAZON $20 AT SOKO GLAM Best nighttime moisturizer for oily skin
  • 19. CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM $50 now 52% off $24 for 2 Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, ceramides | Consistency: Lightweight cream | Price: 3 ounces (Approx. $4/ounce) “A hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid tends to provide enough moisture, but if more moisture is needed, a lightweight, oil-free, non-comedogenic lotion is the next step up,” says Jeanniton, who recommends this oil-free, PM moisturizer from Cerave, which she says ticks all the boxes. “It’s a great drugstore find,” she says. She likes that it offers hydration without heaviness, noting that oily skin doesn’t need a thick, heavy moisturizer with lots of emollients. “It has skin barrier strengthening ceramides, hydrating hyaluronic acid and soothing niacinamide,” she says of the formula, which work together to moisturize skin without clogging pores. $24 FOR 2 AT AMAZON $21 AT ULTA BEAUTY Best moisturizer for mature oily skin
  • 20. Nuori Bio-Catalyst Day $110 Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, squalane, shea butter, jojoba oil | Consistency: Rich cream | Price: 1.7 ounces (Approx. $109/ounce) Like the rest of our experts, Bondaroff recommends avoiding heavy oils, but for mature skin specifically she recommends looking for something to “help control oil, clear breakouts and reduce signs of aging,” and likes that this Nuori Bio-Catalyst day cream is “packed with so many active ingredients” — oddly enough one of them is an oil. While the recommendation for oily skin is typically to avoid more oils, the jojoba oil in this formula is lightweight enough
  • 21. that it won’t make you any oiler, according to Dr. David Colbert, the lead dermatologist at New York Dermatology Group. This moisturizer also has hyaluronic acid, an oily-skin-care staple, and squalane, which according to the brand, resembles sebum and “prevents moisture loss, and provides a shield from environmental damage without clogging pores and creating a weighty after-feel.” Squalane is also a humectant, and according to Howe, “Oily- skinned patients need humectants more than oils in their moisturizer.” Bondaroff also recommends Nouri’s Infinite Bio-Fusion Serum for mature skin as a natural retinol alternative.