Top Moisturizers for Oily Skin 2020

Building a beauty routine that suits your skin type is always a bit of a challenge. Which moisturizer you use, the choice of cleansers, how often you should apply, it all depends on your skin type and goals. Today we’re here to talk all about oily skin and why it’s important to keep your face well moisturized. And to help you choose, we’ve rounded up 12 of the best moisturizers for oily skin. Alternatively, you can check our top recommendations of moisturizers for dry skin and acne-prone skin.

Moisturizers for Oily Skin

Does my oily skin even need moisturizing?

You know the basics — but here’s a quick reminder of what we have discussed on the blog so far. Moisturizers are typically mixtures of oil and water (or emulsions). But since both of these substances do not mix readily, you need binding agents (or emulsifiers) to bind the formula into a homogeneous mixture. Add to this, a raft of other additives, such as preservatives, stabilizers, fragrances, colorants and active ingredients. Together, these form the core of your moisturizer.

Moisturizers for Oily Skin

Agreeably, moisturizers are mixtures of oil and water. And from what we have gathered; there are two types of emulsions: water in oil (w/o) and oil in water (o/w). The choice of an emulsion depends on your skin type.

For those with oily skin, the preferred formulation would be an oil in water emulsion. In such preparations, since the oil is surrounded by water, it not only absorbs into the skin easily, but also leaves no greasy residue behind.

Moisturizers for Oily Skin

Whenever you’re given the choice, opt for lightweight, gel-type, or water-based products. Similarly, avoid emollients such as shea butter and lanolin.

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Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer

Korean-beauty brand 

Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer

Why we love it?

This water based moisturizer makes a great addition to summer routine. The formula focuses on hydrators such as hylauronic acid, aloe vera and succulent extracts. Aside from that, it is also enriched with a several other botanical extracts to help soothe and hydrate the skin. From china berry, to turmeric, aloe vera, to jojoba seed and all the way down to the famous, cactus extract. Texture wise, it reminds me of aloe vera gel, absorbs quickly into the skin and hydrates without feeling sticky or tacky.
Shop here: Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer, Amazon.

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion

Why we love it?

It’s a non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, oil-free, and fragrance-free moisturizer. Using gentle ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides, this moisturizer helps keep your skin hydrated for 24 hours while still being lightweight on skin. The SPF 30 is an added bonus.
Shop here: CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, Amazon

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture

Why we love it?

No frills or additions, just a simple moisturizer with SPF that keeps your skin hydrated all day. Overall, it has a lightweight, sheer texture in a hypoallergenic formula.
Shop here: Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer

Cosrx Oil-Free Ultra Moisturizing Lotion

Korean-beauty brand 

Why we love it?

This calming and hydrating lotion has a very light texture, and feels almost like a primer. It is formulated with 70% birch tree sap, which in K-beauty industry, is revered for its numerous skin-healing properties. As a moisturizer, it is intensely hydrating, non-irritating, non greasy and does not cause breakouts. With its quintessential translucent gel-like texture, this can very well be used alone as your summer moisturizer. For winter however, you might need to top it off with a face oil of your choice, or rosehip oil, to lock in the moisture. 
Shop here: Cosrx Oil Free Moisturizing Lotion

Tonymoly The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream

Korean-beauty brand 

Tonymoly The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream

Why we love it?

The Korean phrase Chok Chok translates to “moist” and is often used to describe super hydrated, luminous skin. Aside from its gel-cream texture, what makes this K-beauty product stand out, is that it is made with fermented green tea extract. The addition of catechins, especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) provides an overall soothing effect and helps with acne and inflammation.
Shop here: TonyMoly Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream

Moisturizers for oily skin Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream

Why we love it?

The latest addition to the Hydro-Boost family, this gel-cream has impressed us with its oil, dye, and fragrance-free formula. It combines the comfort of a gel, with the mattifying and moisturizing benefits of a cream. The formula is abundant in hyaluronic acid and glycerin (as humectants), while the dimethicone keeps the moisture locked in. This should keep your skin hydrated all morning. But make sure you don’t skip the SPF!
Shop here: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream

If you don’t mind shelling out a few dollars more, then you can check out the following moisturizers:

Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly

Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly

Why we love it?

Clinique skincare line has always hit or miss for me, but this one makes an exception. Though I’m still torn between whether it fits in the serum category or qualifies fully as a moisturizer. It has a thin, light, gel-like texture that absorbs quickly without a tacky finish. The packaging is also practical and hygienic because it uses a pump. Overall, it works good for oily skin that can not handle the heaviness of creamier alternatives.
Shop here: Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly

Derma E Hydrating Night Cream

Derma E Hydrating Day Cream

Why we love it?

This lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer from Derma E has an airy, whipped cream texture. With an affordable price point and a formula enriched with powerful humectants such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin and aloe vera, it goes the extra mile as far as hydration is concerned. Aside from all the hydrating ingredients, it also contains allantoin, fatty acids and trace amounts of vitamins A, B, C and E. Overall, this is a good option for combination to oily skin types who seek cruelty-free, vegan alternatives.
Shop here: Derma E Hydrating Night Cream or here.

Aesop In Two Minds Facial Hydrator

Aesop In Two Minds Facial Hydrator

Why we love it?

Here’s another great option, if you have combination skin. This milky lotion from Aesop has an unbelievably lightweight texture and absorbs readily into the skin. On the formula front, it combines the antioxidant-rich witch hazel with the skin soothing and calming benefits of sandalwood. The fact that it uses a pump dispenser makes it a travel friendly option.
Shop here: Aesop In Two Minds

Now before you start asking, but isn’t witch hazel an astringent and a known irritant? Let me tell you one thing. That stands true for most witch hazel based toners that contain plenty of alcohol. However, if used in considerable proportions, and in alcohol-free formulations, it can work its magic and elevate the quality of the product.

Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb 

Korean-beauty brand 

Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb

Why we love it?

Here’s another cult-favorite K-beauty product that has garnered a lot of attention ever since it made its debut at Sephora. This aqua colored, ‘gel-cream’ moisturizer has a similar texture to Laneige sleeping mask. Not only does it leave your skin feeling refreshed, it also absorbs into the skin quickly, without feeling greasy. Overall, it makes a good choice for oily skin types during the summer season. My only concern with the formulation lies in the fact that it contains denatured alcohol. For the uninitiated, denatured alcohols will dry out your skin over time. Therefore, I hope the brand takes note of this and reformulates it without the alcohol.
Shop here: Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat

Why we love it?

This light, non-greasy moisturizer works best for day time summer wear. It is formulated keeping in mind the needs of combination skin type, that is prone to acne. All in all, it gives you a good dose of hydration with a mattifying effect. The combination of this together with the Effaclar duo, works really well to control breakouts. However, if your skin is oily within 2-3 hours of cleansing, then this wouldn’t be the product of choice for you.
Shop here: Effaclar Mat Moisturizer, Amazon

Moisturizers for Oily Skin:
Other notable mentions

  • Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 PA++: This is for those of you who have major oil control issues. Texture wise, it is one of the thickest formulas on my list today, but absorbs readily upon application. However, considering the steep price tag, I would recommend you use this to target the problem areas.
  • Indie Lee’s Active Oil Free Moisturiser: This is an oil-free, vitamin C based moisturizer that helps re-balance, sooth and condition your skin.

In the end, your skincare routine will work best if you custom built it to your skin type, concerns and sensitives and it’s always best to consult your dermatologist.

Are you using any of these moisturizers? Let me know in the comments below. Additionally, you could also click here to read some of the most common skincare mistakes we all make in our routines.

Moisturizers for Oily Skin
love,
Sahar x

3 Comments

  1. 26th July 2020 / 3:32 pm

    These are great recommendations, I deal with acne and are always trying to figure out products that work our for me. I will use this as a guide thank you!

  2. Kimberlie
    26th July 2020 / 4:21 pm

    I didn’t realize there were so many quality options of moisturizers for oily skin. I love your tips to avoid the ingredients she and lanolin.

  3. Lily
    26th July 2020 / 9:43 pm

    Great suggestions! I’ve had trouble finding a good moisturizer since many of them are just so heavy and oily feeling, just pick one from this list.

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