The Best Moisturizer For Oily Skin, Acne-Prone Skin, And More
Like cleansers and sunscreen, a face moisturizer is an everyday essential for all complexions—not just dry ones. Moisturizers provide, well, moisture, but the right one can also repair skin’s barrier function, restore firmness, soften texture, smooth fine lines, and so much more.
With so many formulas to choose from (lightweight gel? facial oil? skin cream?), it can be overwhelming to know which is right for your skin. We break down the different types of moisturizers–and how to apply them–below.
HOW TO USE MOISTURIZER
Let’s start with the basics. Everyone can benefit from moisturizing twice a day: once during your morning skincare routine and once again before bedtime. Depending on your preferences, you may choose to use the same formula twice or opt for something thicker at nighttime, since skin loses water overnight.
Moisturizers should be one of the last steps in your routine, applied after serums and treatments but before sunscreen and facial oil, if applicable. Warm up a peanut-size amount of formula in your hands and gently smooth into the skin, moving in circular motions to allow the product to fully absorb. Be careful not to pull or tug at the skin. If following up with SPF or makeup, give the formula a few minutes to sink in first.
THE BEST MOISTURIZER FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE
Not all moisturizers are formulated the same and, depending on your skin type, concerns, and goals, some may work better for you than others. Find the right match for your skin below.
Oily skin genetically produces excess sebum (a waxy substance that keeps skin moisturized) so it may seem counterintuitive to add even more moisture, especially if you’re prone to greasiness and shine. But while oily skin isn’t ever dry (lacking oil), it can be dehydrated (lacking water). And that’s more common than you think, especially because oily skin tends to gravitate towards formulas that sop up excess sebum, like the clays in our Purifying Mask. (That’s why we always recommend rehydrating after masking or using a facial peel.)
When skin is dehydrated, it signals the body to produce even more sebum to make up for the loss in moisture, which can clog pores and cause acne. To find the perfect balance, moisturize using a lightweight gel formula that focuses on hydration, such as our Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream. It uses sodium hyaluronate (which has similar properties to hyaluronic acid, holding 1,000 times its weight in water) and aloe leaf juice to hydrate skin without weighing it down.
Dry skin genetically produces less sebum, which means these parched complexions are always looking for moisture, moisture, moisture. If you’re dry, use a moisturizer that’s thicker in nature and filled with skin-nourishing oils like jojoba, squalane (found in our Rich Moisture Cream), and black currant seed oil. If you’re really dry, you can follow up with a facial oil afterward.
Remember: Skin can be dry and dehydrated. If you find your moisturizer isn’t doing enough for you, add a drop or two of the Hyaluronic Acid Serum Booster to your moisturizer before applying. Got parched elbows or knees? Moisturize below the chin using the Keep It Supple Body Oil.
Dry in some areas, oily in another…having combination skin can be a bit of a conundrum when it comes to moisturizer. One option is to multi-moisturize by applying lighter formulas on oily areas and rich lotions or balms on dry spots. If that seems a bit too complicated for you, opt for a hybrid product like our Antioxidant Oil-Serum. It’s both hydrating and moisturizing, delivering the best of both worlds in one single bottle.
Acneic skin can also be dry, oily, or a combination of both. Choose the type that works best for your moisture and hydration needs while also looking out for the term “non-comedogenic.” That means the formula is proven to not to clog pores, something breakout-prone complexions definitely want to avoid.
Dew Point is non-comedogenic. Some non-comedogenic ingredients that are also moisturizing include tea tree oil, squalane, and the rosehip oil in our Hydrating Plumping Mask.
Our skin produces less oil as we grow older, causing an uptick in dryness that makes fine lines and wrinkles more apparent. This lack of moisture also weakens skin’s barrier, allowing outside intruders like pollution and UV rays to cause oxidative stress (a.k.a. damage).
To support aging skin, add a night cream into your routine. Our skin goes into repair mode overnight, releasing growth hormones that stimulate collagen production and shed off old skin cells. A night cream, such as the Recovery Mode Advanced Night Cream, can help support these functions while also remedying moisture loss, softening fine lines, smoothing crepey texture.
Don’t forget about the rest of your body, too. The Retinol Body Lotion softens dryness while also firming skin and repairing age spots.
DULL SKIN + UNEVEN TONE
Good to know: Dullness is a common byproduct of dehydration. If quenching skin’s thirst isn’t livening things up (or maybe you’re also focused on hyperpigmentation and uneven tone), opt for a vitamin C moisturizer that can brighten and moisturize skin at the same time. Give our Weekend Glow Daily Brightening Moisturizer a try for both a well-rounded glow and moisture barrier support. With 2.5% vitamin C, you’ll see visible results without irritation—a common side effect of traditional vitamin C.
Shop moisturizers below. Looking for a face wash, too? Read our cleanser guide.