Moisturizing Oily Skin

By Susie

  • It's just as important to moisturize oily skin as it is to moisturize dry skin
  • Oily skin requires moisturizers that help absorb surface oil while hydrating
  • Look for moisturizers that are noncomedogenic and contain hyaluronic acid, ceramides and niacinamides

These days, I’m grateful I have oily skin. I spent much of my youth hating on my oily skin and trying to dry my skin out because I thought doing that was the best way to fight acne. Had I not had oily skin, all those efforts would’ve made me look like a raisin by now. Especially with my skin elasticity still intact as confirmed by an expert, I’m truly growing to appreciate and love my oily skin.         

In taking care of my oily skin through the years, I have learned that two things should be the main focus.  First is the obvious cleansing.  If you have oily skin, it’s especially important to make sure your skin is well-cleansed and free from dirt and other debris to prevent any buildup that can lead to acne.  The second part which is not as intuitive, is that it’s just as important to moisturize oily skin, as it is to moisturize dry skin. It might be a scary thought to layer on any products that can enhance shine on oily skin, but proper skin hydration is key to maintaining healthy skin in any type of complexion. Through trial and error, I have learned that oily skin requires certain types of moisturizers that can help absorb surface oil while still hydrating the skin.

Dr. Yoon says, in general, most oily skin is complex in that it can be oily and lack moisture at the same time. While dry skin lacks oil, dehydrated skin lacks water content. Therefore, it is important to avoid oily moisturizers if you have oily skin but at the same time, extremely important that you use water-based hydrating moisturizers daily.   

In the mornings I keep it pretty simple. After I wash my face and put on a vitamin C serum, I use a moisturizer with SPF. Sun protection is a vital part to any skincare routine but especially important when you are using exfoliants and retinoids (which a lot of oily skinned people use) which make skin more sensitive to sun exposure.

The key words to look for in a sunscreen for oily skin are: fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, and noncomedogenic. Same general rule applies to moisturizers for oil skin as well.  I try to stick to formulas that are free of anything that can be irritating to the skin and noncomedogenic is essential in preventing pores from clogging.

At night, I like to use a moisturizer that is a bit richer so that when I wake up in the morning and wash my face, I still can feel the hydration on my skin. Skin goes into recovery mode while we sleep, and using a nourishing moisturizer can boost the process. I love hyaluronic acid as a main ingredient in my moisturizers. It retains 1,000 times its weight in water so it hydrates the skin without being too emollient which can be heavy for oily skin. Other ingredients to look for are ceramides and niacinamides. This combination repairs the skin’s barrier which helps to regulate your pores and reduce excess oil production leaving your skin in a more balanced state.

If you haven’t been moisturizing as part of your skincare routine thinking that it will make your face oilier, it’s never too late to start. Find a good sunscreen, in addition to a solid moisturizer and the end result will be a well-hydrated, oil-controlled complexion that’s less likely to give you any problems. If you put in some time to figure out the proper way to take care of your unique blend of oily skin, I'm sure you'll come to embrace and celebrate it like me.