The Best Moisturizers for Acne-Prone Skin, According to Our EditorsJuly 19, 2023
If you have acne-prone or oily skin, finding a moisturizer that doesn’t cause breakouts or make your skin look extra shiny can be a tricky feat. To keep your skin hydrated and balanced and keep acne from acting up, it’s essential to look for formulas that are non-comedogenic, lightweight and grease-free. To help you find a great moisturizer for acne-prone skin, we rounded up 22 of our favorites, ahead.
Why It's Important to Use the Right Moisturizer If You Have Acne-Prone Skin
Before we dive into the best moisturizers for acne-prone skin, it’s important to know why acne usually happens in the first place. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), acne is caused by many factors. When overactive oil glands produce too much oil, the sebum can mix with dead skin cells, dirt and debris on the skin’s surface and plug pores. Other factors include your genes, hormones and stress levels. While there’s not much you can do about your genetics, choosing the right products formulated for your skin type is a good way to keep breakouts at bay.
22 Best Moisturizers for Acne-Prone Skin
Formulated with 2% salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and Vichy’s proprietary mineral-rich thermal water, this moisturizer helps minimize the look of pores, blackheads and other blemishes. Meanwhile, its airy, non-greasy texture leaves skin hydrated without exacerbating shine. The best part, however, is that the formula helps refine the look of skin texture in as little as one week.
Intended for combination to oily skin types, this water-based moisturizer glides on smoothly with a lightweight, non-greasy feel. Powered by azelaic acid, hyaluronic acid and licorice root, the formula eases redness and helps minimize the look of pores.
Refine and tighten the appearance of pores with La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Face Moisturizer. The featherweight lotion gently exfoliates using lipo-hydroxy acid, a derivative of the anti-acne powerhouse ingredient salicylic acid. Plus, it has a light, matte finish, making it an ideal choice to use before applying makeup.
If you can’t stand the feel of thick, heavy or greasy-feeling moisturizers, this weightless gel might be your perfect match. The water-based formula is fragrance-free, non-comedogenic and infused with lightweight hydrators, including ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.
We love this moisturizer for its plush, gel-like texture and the fact that it won't clog skin. Ideal for sensitive and acne-prone complexions, it delivers a boost of lightweight hydration that will keep your skin soft and supple without excess shine.
This green-tinted lotion instantly reduces the appearance of redness, then blends out into an invisible cream, leaving skin looking and feeling soothed. It’s best suited for those looking to combat visible irritation, dry skin and skin sensitivity.
The SkinCeuticals Phyto A+ Brightening Treatment improves the look of skin’s brightness, smoothness and clarity over time, while also minimizing excess redness and oil. Inside, you’ll find a combination of skin-balancing ingredients like alpha arbutin, azelaic acid and a soothing botanical blend.
Because acne-fighting ingredients are notorious for their drying effects, it’s essential to add hydration back into skin. Reach for an oil-free, non-comedogenic formula like Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream. Unlike most hydrating creams that leave behind a greasy residue, this oil-free gel-cream has a refreshing texture that intensely hydrates and conditions the skin.
Soothe and refresh oily and combination skin types with this bouncy gel moisturizer. Enhanced with salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid and amino acids, it hydrates and plumps skin without a greasy or shiny look.
This moisturizer is non-comedogenic and oil-free, so it won’t clog pores or trigger breakouts. We love this option because it’s formulated with SPF 30 to keep your skin protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays (the sun can exacerbate acne). At the same time, it keeps your complexion feeling hydrated, thanks to ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. We recommend using this product after cleansing with the CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser.
Part serum, part moisturizer, the Vichy Minéral 89 has a lightweight feel that plumps skin and helps strengthen its moisture barrier overtime. It’s accepted by the National Eczema Association and is a great pick for those with sensitive, blemish-prone skin.
Rev up your morning skincare routine with this lightweight moisturizer and its cooling, refreshing scent. Formulated with caffeine and vitamin C, it hydrates without feeling greasy and can double as a soothing aftershave.
This lightweight gel formula by Biossance works to calm redness and minimize pores, making it a solid choice if you have blemish-prone skin. It also contains squalane and probiotics to hydrate and balance the skin.
Who doesn’t want a glass-skin finish? This water-based gel helps even out skin and increase luminosity while also minimizing the look of redness, pores and breakouts. You’ll find hyaluronic acid, licorice, peach extract and a pre- and postbiotic complex in the ingredients — what you won’t find are fragrances, dyes, silicones, parabens or mineral oils.
Pick up this product for a primer, moisturizer and color corrector in one. The subtle green tint helps to cancel out redness on medium to medium-deep skin tones, while the soothing formula helps relieve dry, red, post-blemish skin.
A lightweight, non-comedogenic formula, this moisturizer works to calm the look of irritation and redness while restoring the skin’s moisture barrier. It’s both fragrance- and oil-free, which minimizes risk of clogged pores.
Help tackle existing blemishes and prevent new ones from forming with this dual-action moisturizer. A combination of retinol, sulfur and NovoRetin, an ingredient the brand claims to boost the effects of retinol, helps skin appear smooth and clear.
Infused with bakuchiol (a plant-based alternative to retinol) and a ceramide complex, this moisturizer helps soothe and nourish sensitive and blemish-prone skin. Plus, it features redness-reducing ingredients to even out skin’s tone.
Look to this moisturizer to help reduce the look of breakouts and dark spots. Tea tree, niacinamide and licorice extract help to brighten and clarify, and reviewers rave about its non-greasy, residue-free feel.
Packed with nutrients, this moisturizer focuses on improving the look of skin’s tone, texture and firmness simultaneously. The antioxidant-packed formula also helps to minimize shine and the appearance of large pores.
This moisturizer is gentle, gel-like and packed with soothing, antioxidant-rich ingredients, making it the perfect pick for acne-prone skin. As a bonus, it’s cruelty-free, non-comedogenic and vegan.
Reap the benefits of this deeply hydrating cream without excess stickiness or shine. The fragrance-free and USA-made formula comforts skin with a combo of hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, rosehip seed oil and borage seed oil.