What’s the Best Moisturizer For Oily Skin?

Cynthia Bailey, MD|November 7, 2011

waterAs a Dermatologist I'm often asked if you need to moisturize oily skin.  The answer is usually yes! That's because skin moisture is actually water, not oil.  So, yes, it's possible to have oily skin that needs a moisturizer too. The purpose of a moisturizer is to trap water. Your natural oils can do that but they’re not produced as quickly after washing as you need.  Applying the right moisturizer can help do the job but you need to find one that traps water without leaving a heavy oily feel on your skin. Skin that has adequate trapped water is considered hydrated. Moisturizers traditionally work by utilizing an oil to trap water, which when applied right after washing the skin with water will trap the water by sealing over the skin and preventing evaporation.  The oil glands don’t coat the skin fast enough after washing to act as your moisturizing oil!  The dilemma is that using oil containing moisturizers will feel heavy on your skin later in the day once your oil glands are coating you with your own oil.  To moisturize your skin without adding oil you need to find a moisturizer with one or more of the non-oil ingredients that are capable of trapping water, and apply it immediately after washing your skin. The best skin care product ingredients to hydrate your skin without adding oil are:

  • hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate)
  • glycerin
  • squalane
  • alpha hydroxy acids.

These ingredients are especially great for oily skin moisturizing, but all skin type benefits from them too.  They hold water in the skin without using oil to do it. Instead they use the natural water binding capacity of the ingredients themselves.  They’re that brilliant bridge between science and nature that I love so much in well thought-out skin care! Products with these ingredients are my first choice for hydrating oily skin.  For my dermatology patients with oily skin, the facial moisturizers I specifically rely on are:

Click on the blue links to purchase these products or read more about them.

Replenix CF Cream and Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy - Replenix Power of Three Cream,

both contain hyaluronic acid

Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy


Replenix CF Cream

Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily to Normal Skin

hydrating with glycerin and squalane

Glycolic Acid Anti-Aging Face Cream 15%

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