Best Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin Types

Finding the perfect moisturizer is hard—especially if you have oily acne-prone skin. But rest assured that there's the best moisturizer for acne for you. You might think of skipping the step, but any board-certified dermatologist would agree that moisturizing is an essential step for all skin types. Yes, even if you've got yourself some greasy skin.

It may seem a little counterintuitive to moisturize especially if you have oily acne-prone skin because of the excess sebum. But skipping this crucial step may leave you plagued with flaky, red dry patches or more breakouts instead, worsening your breakouts. On the other hand, the same moisturizer helps soothe and, in turn, prevent acne.

Which moisturizer is best for acne prone skin?

What Is A Moisturizer?

Simply put, a moisturizer is are a category of skincare product that's both protective and nourishing. It's meant to hydrate your skin and also help retain moisture.

The huge caveat here is getting a soothing mix that can be properly into your skincare routine, especially if it's a noncomedogenic moisturizer. You'd think it's a little early, but even acne-prone teenagers will need the best moisturizers to maintain a healthy skin barrier. If you have acne-prone skin and regularly use topical acne-treatment products, you run a risk of damaging your skin barrier.

This is especially true if the acne products include key ingredients such as salicylic acid (works to unclog pores) and benzoyl peroxide (fights acne-causing bacteria). Like everything, there's a correct way to apply the best moisturizers. After cleansing and toning, the acne treatments go on first, then top that up with the moisturizer, then sunscreen, and finally, you can do your makeup if you choose.

What Should You Look Out for In The Best Moisturizers for Acne-Prone Skin?

  • Noncomedogenic or oil-free formula that's less likely to clog your pores, which is great for any skin type but particularly oily acne-prone skin
  • Lightweight formula
  • Non-greasy formula
  • Active ingredients that help treat acne such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid
  • A clean formula that's free of toxic ingredients that are harmful to both you and the environment

1. Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer -Best Overall

Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer, Blemish & Oil Controlling...
  • WHAT IT IS: A lightweight moisturizer that targets blemishes to restore a healthy, balanced, and clear complexion
  • BENEFITS: Best for oily, uneven, or blemish prone skin
  • INGREDIENT: 41 High-performing ingredients. This blemish blocking formula moisturizes with 9 sources to balance oil, 15 sources to reduce...
  • 100% NATURAL: 100% natural, nontoxic, and free from all fillers, synthetics, artificial colors and fragrances. Our non-toxic products will...
  • MADE FRESH IN VERMONT: Buying direct from Tata Harper guarantees the most farm fresh, authenticated product online. No outsourcing. No...

If you're dealing with angry cysts, blackheads, or whiteheads, then here's a face moisturizer formula that's 100% natural. This formulation gives you a non-toxic moisturizer that's free from all fillers, artificial colors, parabens, synthetics, and fragrance-free. This is a favorite pick among many skincare enthusiasts.

Now you don't really need to choose between your health and great performance for that perfect glowy skin. This natural blend is made using a blend of 41 high-performing ingredients and clarifying minerals such as copper, zinc, and magnesium. These ingredients reduce inflammation and prevent excess sebum and dead skin cells from clogging pores.


  • Lightweight moisturizer targeting blemishes for a healthy, balanced, and clear skin
  • Works best for uneven, oily, or blemish-prone skin
  • 41 high-performing ingredients that include 9 ingredients to balance oil, 15 ingredients to reduce blemishes, and 17 ingredients to soothe redness
  • An all-natural and non-toxic formulation that's free from fillers, artificial colors, synthetics, and fragrances
  • Oil-free moisturizer


  • Relatively pricey

2. Youth To The People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Vegan Cream

Youth To The People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream - Hyaluronic...
  • A lightweight, air-whipped gel moisture cream that instantly restores, balances and conditions.
  • Featuring hyaluronic acid and a custom superfoods blend of kale, spinach, green tea, alfalfa, vitamins C, E, K.
  • Friendly for all skin types, best for combo/oily. Lightweight gel cream texture absorbs quickly, making it a great makeup primer.
  • Clean, 100% vegan formula. Proprietary cold-pressed plant extracts harnesses powerful antioxidants & phytonutrients from pure, effective...
  • No parabens, phthalates, sulfates, phthalates, dimethicone, or mineral oil. USA made and supplied in recyclable packaging. No animal...

Don't be fooled by its fluffy, light-as-air texture; this natural face moisturizer is insanely hydrating. It's one of the best moisturizers that give you a good combo of all-natural and organic superfoods, such as kale, spinach, green tea, and hyaluronic acid. Moisturizers for acne need non-irritant humectants that draw moisture to your skin without that greasy feeling.


  • Lightweight, air-whipped gel-cream that instantly balances, conditions and restores
  • Contains hyaluronic acid
  • Contains custom superfoods such as kale, spinach, green tea, vitamins (C, E, K) and alfalfa
  • Works with all skin types and is best for combination skin
  • A lightweight gel-cream texture that's absorbed quickly
  • Great makeup primer
  • Clean and 100% vegan from pure and effective ingredients
  • Proprietary cold-pressed plant extracts to harness powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients
  • No parabens, phthalates, dimethicone, sulfates, or mineral oil
  • Recyclable packaging


  • Relatively pricey

3. La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer for Face,...
  • This mattifying moisturizer for oily skin targets excess oil to mattify skin and refine pores. Formulated with micro-exfoliating LHAs...
  • Mattifying moisturizer visibly reduces the look of pores, pore minimizer. Sebulyse technology provides dual action targeting by reducing...
  • Face moisturizer for oily skin smooths skin texture. Excellent base for make-up. Dermatologist tested, paraben free, non comedogenic, oil...
  • 4 week consumer test results showed 96% felt skin was immediately mattified and less oily, 94% felt skin texture was refined
  • Formulated with Lipo Hydroxy Acid (LHA) with exfoliating and skin renewing properties, Perlite to absorb excess oil for matte finish, Silica...

On days when your oily skin just won't quit it, just reach for your La Roche Posay Effaclar Mattifying oil-free moisturizer. Not only does this help balance oil production, but it also helps tighten pores and control your shine.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat moisturizer is perfect for oily skin since it hydrates and improves the look of visible pores and minimizes oil with the matte finish. This oil-free face moisturizer is one of the best moisturizers for oily skin. It uses Sebulyse Technology to target excess oil in its dual-action: mattifying skin while also refining pores to provide daily hydration. For those who wear makeup, it's an excellent base for makeup.


  • Mattifying face moisturizer that's great for oily skin since it targets excess oil and reduces the visibility of large pores
  • Dual-action oil-free face moisturizer that helps reduce shine and the appearance of large pores with Sebulyse technology
  • Smoothens the skin texture using lipo-hydroxy acid
  • Creates an excellent base for makeup
  • Soothes oily skin with mineral-rich La-Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water
  • Suitable for people with sensitive skin
  • Non-comedogenic formulation
  • Dermatologist- approved and allergy-tested


  • It doesn't work best for dry skin

4. The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors HA

The Ordinary moisturizing factors HA power is the perfect balance of a clinical oil-free moisturizer at a crazy affordable drugstore price. Its hydrating formula mainly consists of dermal lipids, amino acids, and hyaluronic acid.

For all the skincare enthusiasts, here's the good stuff. It contains 11 amino acids, Alpha/Beta/Gamma fatty acids, phospholipids, triglycerides, sodium PCA, glycerin, ceramide precursors, urea, sterols and sterol esters and saccharides. With this fragrance-free formula, you get immediate hydration with lasting results.

Its non-greasy hydration formula acts as a direct topical supplement to the natural moisturizing factor components. It might seem like a bare-bones formula, but it's just suitable for sensitive skin types, and it works its magic just right.


  • Works great for dry, normal, combination, oily, and sensitive skin
  • Simple formulation that works even for all skin types
  • Vegan, cruelty-free, and oil-, silicone-, nuts-, gluten-, fragrance-free and alcohol-free
  • Non-toxic formulation without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates
  • Reasonably affordable


  • Might not work for dehydrated skin

5. Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisturizer

Peter Thomas Roth | Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream | Hydrating...
  • Skin Friendly Ingredients
  • Help To Boost Your Appearance
  • Keep It Smooth And Radiant

With a title reading "Water Drench cream," you might expect that Peter Thomas Roth Cream hydrating moisturizer is heavy or greasy, but it's actually the opposite. This hydrating face cream contains 30% hyaluronic acid to give you plump skin instantly.

With the weightlessly fluffy-light Hyaluronic Acid Complex water cream, you get three molecular sizes with Pentavitin®; you get up to 72 hours of hydration—even after cleansing. With this formulation, you get one of the best moisturizers for acne that is both natural and non-toxic.


  • Works well for normal, dry, oily and combination
  • It addresses skincare concerns such as dryness, fine lines and wrinkles, and uneven texture
  • 30% Hyaluronic acid complex that helps give you a plump look
  • Contains Pentavitin that gives up to 72 hours of hydration even after cleansing
  • Leaves you a silky, hydrated and more youthful-looking complexion and skin tone


  • Relatively pricey

6. Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly Gel

Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly Gel 4.2 Oz Unisex, 4.2...
  • Unique water-jelly texture feels fresh, penetrates quickly.
  • Oil-free formula is non-sticky, leaves no residue.
  • An unbelievably lightweight, water-jelly that delivers 24-hour hydration repair plus pollution protection.
  • Skin type: Dry

If you are a skincare guru, then you must know by now that Clinique leads the pack when it comes to customizable skincare, especially for oily skin. The Dramatically Different hydrating jelly is a water-light serum that assures you of 24-hour hydration.

It's not only unbelievably lightweight, but it's also oil-free to deliver hydration repair, plus it protects you from pollution. The Clean Shield Technology™ locks in the moisture and filters out pollution for 24 hours.

Its water-jelly formula is not greasy or sticky, doesn't leave a residue, and penetrates quickly for a refreshing feeling. In addition, it strengthens your skin's moisture barrier, creating a smooth, healthy skin glow.


  • Works well for normal, oily, combination and sensitive skin
  • Formulated without Parabens and Phthalates
  • Board-certified dermatologist-developed formulation
  • Allergy-, fragrance-, and oil-free formulation
  • Makes your skin less vulnerable to pollution


  • Relatively pricey

7. Farmacy Daily Greens Gel Face Moisturizer

Farmacy Daily Greens Oil Free Gel Face Moisturizer - Daily Facial...
  • Lightweight Hydration: Daily Greens face moisturizer for women and men provides water-light hydration. Powerful moisture magnets hyaluronic...
  • Controls Shine and Clears Pores: The hyaluronic acid moisturizer contains a blend of phytonutrients, including purifying moringa (sourced...
  • Calms Skin: A lightweight, refreshing formula of kale, cucumber, and eucalyptus help the facial moisturizer soothe minor skin irritations.
  • How to Use: The gel moisturizer for dry skin can be used morning or night (ideally both). Just gently apply to a clean face and be sure to...
  • The Farmacy Way: Our goal is simple. We want to bring out the best version of your radiant self with the best possible, naturally derived...

If you're on the hunt for the best moisturizers for acne, this moringa and papaya Farmacy oil-free gel formula is another all-natural option by Farmacy. This clarifying face cream is lightweight and packed with 4 types of hydrating hyaluronic acid components. In addition, the papaya extract is a great exfoliant that gives your skin a dewy glow that's not in the slightest bit greasy.

With its oil-free gel formula, you can now say goodbye to that infuriating shine by layering your daily dose of greens. It packs up a good amount of refreshing botanical extracts with moisturizing acids to give your skin a natural glow.


  • Works great for normal, oily and combination
  • It works for skincare concerns such as enlarged pores, oiliness and dryness
  • Contains Moringa seed extract and Moringa water to support and visibly refreshes your skin
  • Contains Papaya extract, which gently exfoliates to reveal a youthful, fresh complexion
  • Contains Willowherb and Niacinamide that helps reduce the shine and the look on enlarged pores
  • Contains Hyaluronic Acid (4 types) and Polyglutamic acid that acts as a powerful moisture magnet
  • Vegan, cruelty-, and gluten-free
  • Comes in recyclable packaging
  • Made with gentle and naturally-derived ingredients


  • Packaged in jars, therefore, increasing the chance of getting compromised ingredients or vitamins

8. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Gel-Cream Face Moisturizer

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Face Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid for Extra...
  • Packaging may vary: 1.7-ounce jar of Neutrogena Hydro Boost Daily gel-cream face moisturizer with hyaluronic acid instantly quenches...
  • The unique facial moisturizing gel-cream absorbs quickly, like a gel, but has the long-lasting, intense moisturizing power of a cream, for...
  • Gel cream for dry skin is formulated with hyaluronic acid, a hydrator recognized by dermatologists found naturally in the skin that binds to...
  • From a dermatologist-recommended brand, daily hydrating face moisturizer features a non-comedogenic formula that won't clog pores. Its...
  • Designed with the Earth in mind. We've removed the window and plastic tray from this carton for easier recycling.

The Neutrogena Hydro-boost is designed with sensitive skin in mind. Its gentle formula is noncomedogenic, so you can rest assured that it won't clog pores. It's also fragrance- and oil-free.

This lightweight gel cream contains Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and dimethicone, giving you the ultimate moisturizing effect best suited for dry and oily skin types alike. With its lightweight formula, it absorbs quickly into your skin. Neutrogena's Hydro Boost is a cult favorite that you can trust for glowing skin with thousands of positive reviews.


  • Contains Hyaluronic acid
  • Works well for dry and oily skin
  • Quite affordable
  • Super lightweight hydration formulation
  • Non-comedogenic formulation that doesn't clog pores


  • It's not recommended for people with severely dry skin or if you live in the colder or drier climates and are looking for significant hydration
  • Doesn't have a natural formulation
  • Relatively pricey

How to Choose Your Best Moisturizer for Acne-prone skin?

A) Is It Non-Comedogenic?

Always read the label carefully since the 2 most important phrases you should be looking for on the moisturizer are 'oil-free and 'non-comedogenic,' especially if you have acne-prone skin. If they are, you can confidently moisturize, knowing that the ingredients won't clog pores or make your acne any worse.

B) Does It Contain Humectants?

Moisturizing is all about hydrating and keeping in the moisture, so you must look for water-based moisturizers with effective humectants such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid since they draw water to keep it moisturized. But, more importantly, always ensure that they don't have occlusive properties, leading to clogged pores by forming a protective coat on your skin's surface and worsening your acne.

C) What Texture?

 If you have drier towards combination skin that's acne-prone, then opt for a moisturizing water cream. If you have oily skin with more oil to deal with, then you should opt for a lightweight lotion or gel which feels light and isn't too thick or heavy.

D) Does It Have A Broad Spectrum SPF?

 Sun damage and exposure are a foe to acne-prone skin. Many clean moisturizers for acne-prone skin also contain a broad spectrum SPF. A facial moisturizing lotion SPF should also contain fragrance-free, non-irritating sunscreens to help reduce blemishes and dark marks after the pimples are gone.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Moisturizer for Acne

1. What's the difference between Hydrating and moisturizing?

Hydration basically means the process of water absorption to deliver moisture to the skin's cells. Moisturizing, on the other hand, uses emollients formulated to lubricate, moisturize and protect. Essentially, moisturizing is the locking in of the moisture to build and then strengthen the skin's natural protective barrier. The significant difference between hydrating and moisturizing is not in the products used but in the process. Both nourish and strengthen your skin, but just do it differently.

2. What ingredients irritate acne-prone skin?

  • Comedogenic ingredients such as coconut oil
  • Acetylated Lanolin
  • Algae extract
  • Stearic acid
  • Benzaldehyde
  • Isopropyl Palmitate
  • Lauroyl Lysine
  • D & C Red
  • Lauric acid

3. Should you switch up moisturizers based on the season?

No one shoe fits in skincare. Some people do well with just one moisturizer that they can do consistently all year long. While others will need to adjust their moisturizers, depending on their skin type, the climate they're in, and how their skin reacts throughout the seasons.

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