OK, we know, we know. It seems like common sense would tell us that if we have oily, acne prone skin, we shouldn’t be slathering on the moisturizer. But the reality of the situation is quite the opposite—a life without moisturizer means skin that’s thirsty AF, and oily skin that’s thirsty AF responds by overproducing oil, which is a great way to get more breakouts.
That’s called a vicious cycle, and there’s no reason to engage in the whole causality situation (which came first, the oily skin or the acne?) when you can take a more proactive approach by finding the best moisturizer for acne-prone skin instead.
These seven picks are on the top of our list right now for fighting breakouts and keeping shine at bay—and some even come complete with anti-aging ingredients, lightweight skin-perfecting coverage, or major SPF defense, which gives you all the more reason to add them to your skin-care lineup post-haste. Get into it.
Originally published July 2016. Updated August 2017.
Major moisture—and SPF 15—are hidden in Context Oil-Free Daily Moisturizer's lightweight formula, which combines shea butter and manuka honey to condition the skin with potent vitamins and antioxidants that minimize pores and prevent premature aging.
A longtime drugstore stalwart, Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 15 with feverfew extract is excellent for all skin types, from the sensitive and redness-prone to oily, easily irritated acne skin. It's essentially a salve for all that ails you.
For a perfect canvas and lightweight hydration, choose Clinique Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer, which works like a primer to smooth away flaws and "retouch" skin. It's mattifying but not drying and so lightweight you can pat it over makeup as a touch-up throughout the day.
Keep it natural and non-pore-clogging with Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer. This aloe-rich formula leaves skin looking calm, healthy, and completely under control thanks to organic fruit extracts and nourishing algae-based nutrients.
The gel-cream moisturizer of your lightweight hydration dreams, Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion is a smoothing oil-free formula plumps the skin to prevent dehydration while keeping oil and shine to a minimum.