Guide to Moisturizers for Acne-Prone Skin

Moisturizing acne-prone skin may seem counterintuitive. For people suffering from a bad acne breakout, their concern is focused on drying out the pesky pimples, not moisturizing their already oily skin. But everyone needs to hydrate because everyone needs it. Moisturizers can help the skin barrier remain healthy. Plus, if you are using acne treatments for your skin, you have to provide extra hydration that will combat any drying effect that your treatments create, without causing more breakouts.

For people struggling with oily skin, stick to a formula that is lighter than creams. Considering the viscosity is important. Creams are generally thicker than lotions, gels, and serums, and it may not be great for super oily and acne-prone skin.

Look for gentle hydration moisturizers with lipids and hyaluronic acid. Of course, you have to pick a moisturizer that is not oil-based – keep it oil-free as much as possible. It’s also better to prefer a face moisturizer that contains acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide that can help keep skin clear.

Your moisturizer must also be fragrance-free to prevent further irritation. Any fragrance it has must come from natural ingredients. It must be noncomedogenic, so it won’t include any heavy ingredients that will likely clog your pores. Also, you may want to load up on SPF with a face sunscreen, so you can achieve hydration with sun protection as well.

With these preferences in mind, check out some of the best moisturizers for acne-prone skin:

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
The Body Shop Tea Tree Mattifying Lotion
Aveeno Clear Complexion Salicylic Acid Acne-fighting Daily Face Moisturizer
Differin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer with Sunscreen
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
Garnier SkinActive 3-in-1 Face Moisturizer with Green Tea

 

1. The Body Shop Tea Tree Mattifying Lotion

Created for acne-prone skin, The Body Shop Tea Tree Mattifying Lotion does a great job in treating blemishes and oily skin. It’s made of pure vegan, organic tea tree oil, which has natural antimicrobial and inflammatory properties that can calm the redness and disinfect clogged pores. It tackles excess oil and visibly reduces the appearance of blemishes to reveal a clearer looking skin. Because it’s a mattifying formula, it helps reduce shine in oily skin. This moisturizer is paraben-free and gluten-free. Plus, it’s super affordable.

2. Aveeno Clear Complexion Salicylic Acid Acne-fighting Daily Face Moisturizer

Aveeno Clear Complexion Salicylic Acid Acne-fighting Daily Face Moisturizer harnesses the power of Active Naturals Total Soy Complex and salicylic acid to help clear up blemishes due to acne and improve your complexion. This oil-free formula is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. It combines glycerin and dimethicone with salicylic acid to reduce oil and exfoliate the skin without causing irritation.

3. Differin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer with Sunscreen

If you have acne, you may already know the brand Differin for their adapalene gel, which uses a prescription-strength retinoid in an over-the-counter treatment to target acne below the skin surface. To counteract the drying effect, this moisturizer goes hand-in-hand with acne-clearing treatments. It’s formulated with Oleosome technology to contain sunscreen filters for minimal irritation while providing significant hydration. This means you can get the most out of your sunscreen without upsetting the skin with the heavy feeling of typical sunscreen. This formula is oil-free, noncomedogenic, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free. The sunscreen content offers SPF 30 protection against UVA/UVB rays. Anyone with an oily face can benefit from this moisturizer.

4. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

For dry yet oily skin, La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer is a great option. This moisturizer is formulated to restore the skin’s natural protective barrier, and it even includes prebiotics. Recent studies have shown that a balanced microbiome can play an important role in keeping acne at bay. This is a pro-good bacteria moisturizer that works well for anyone prone to acne breakouts. It provides up to 48-hour hydration, and its soft, oil-free texture is easily absorbable.

5. Garnier SkinActive 3-in-1 Face Moisturizer with Green Tea

This Garnier SkinActive 3-in-1 Face Moisturizer is specially formulated for oily skin, and it absorbs easily so it will not feel greasy. It’s made of 96% naturally-derived ingredients. It made with green tea and didn’t come with parabens, mineral oils, silicones, or dyes. This face moisturizer is actually a 3-in-1 product: a mattifier, a night cream, and a facial mask. This formula is fast-absorbing and non-greasy. After just one use, you can notice the mattified effect.

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Neutrogena Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Face Moisturizer Gel-Cream
Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Glycerin Face Moisturizer & Neck Cream
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Facial Moisturizer with Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment Medicine
RoC Multi Correxion 5-in-1 Anti-Aging Daily Face Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Paulas Choice CLEAR Oil-Free Moisturizer

 

6. Neutrogena Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Face Moisturizer Gel-Cream

You will leave your skin feeling fresh after putting Neutrogena Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Face Moisturizer Gel-Cream on your face. By the way, you will see a couple more Neutrogena products on this list, because they really make great skin products. This non-greasy gel moisturizer is formulated with hyaluronic acid, which is a hydrating compound that is naturally found in the skin. This product is popular among all skin types for a reason: it feels light, refreshing, and hydrating from the skin. The formula works to draw moisture to the skin and keep it plump and dewy. It’s oil-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free. It relieves intense dryness by providing a long-lasting moisturizing power that works up to 12 hours.

7. Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Glycerin Face Moisturizer & Neck Cream

Perfect for combination skin, the Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Glycerin Face Moisturizer & Neck Cream works by moisturizing dry skin and controlling oily areas, like your T-zone. This is an oil-, alcohol- and fragrance-free formula that is quickly absorbable, and it’s noncomedogenic so it won’t clog your pores. It’s a lightweight moisturizer that is specially formulated to control oil for a natural matte finish and leave skin feeling soft and smooth. You can use it morning and night, alone or under makeup.

8. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Facial Moisturizer with Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment Medicine

This Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Facial Moisturizer is grapefruit-scented and recommended for acne-prone skin since it’s formulated with salicylic acid to help clear acne breakouts. It’s lightweight, oil-free, and won’t clog your pores. Plus, the pink grapefruit scent is amazing! This facial moisturizer is naturally derived from grapefruit extract, so the scent is natural. The dual-action formula combines the oil-free hydration with powerful acne medicine. It will also leave your skin feeling refreshed.

9. RoC Multi Correxion 5-in-1 Anti-Aging Daily Face Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Looking for a great SPF moisturizer for oily skin? The RoC Multi Correxion 5-in-1 Anti-Aging Daily Face Moisturizer may be something you’re looking for. It hydrates your skin, fights multiple signs of aging, and protects your skin from the sun with SPF 30. The sunscreen content helps protect skin from UVA and UVB rays, which contributes to premature aging. It combats signs of aging such as discoloration, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, loss of radiance, loss of firmness and elasticity, and unevenness of skin tone. It truly works to reveal a more youthful and more radiant you.

10. Paula’s Choice CLEAR Oil-Free Moisturizer

Paula’s Choice CLEAR Oil-Free Moisturizer is an excellent nighttime skincare must-have. It’s an ultimate multitasker due to its mix of calming, hydrating, and skin-protecting ingredients. It’s formulated to deliver hydration and moisture without adding oil or shine. It’s specifically created for acne-prone types, making it great for blemish-prone skin. The pumpkin seed and blueberry extracts work to calm the redness that usually occurs with acne, and the ceramides and niacinamide help strengthen the skin’s barrier. Use it as a final night cream step in your bedtime skincare routine to hydrate your face as you sleep.