It might sound counterintuitive, but oily skin does still needs to be moisturized. On the one hand, it’s less prone to drying since the sebum keeps it naturally nourished. But moisturizers pack lots of nutrients, in addition to shielding the skin from things like UV rays and environmental toxins — things that can age the skin by causing fine lines, wrinkles, and sunspots.
The best moisturizers can also help control oil levels and prevent shine, especially when matched with a good cleansing and toning regimen. And, while you might think your skin is plenty hydrated, it’s also likely acne-prone because of the excess sebum. The cleanser and toner will help manage this production, and a moisturizer will ensure that skin stays hydrated. (The great irony of many oily skinned guys is that they then end up with excessively dry, irritated skin because they manage the matter irresponsibly.)
So get yourself a good cleanser and a reliable toner, and then peruse this list of our favorite moisturizers for oily skin. It’ll complete the trifecta, and should have you on the way to balanced, matte, blemish-free skin soon.
PCA Skin Rebalance
PCA’s hydrator is much more than an oil-balancing act. It’s aloe- and antioxidant-packed, nourishing enough to wear as a night cream. It actively repairs the damage your skin absorbs every day (think toxins and pollution in the air, sun damage, stress and more). PCA deploys primrose oil to calm and minimize irritation, as well as Vitamin B5 to keep your complexion smooth and clear.
Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator Moisturizer
If you’re anticipating a photo-op in your day, then Oil Eliminator might save you from unleashing any mattifying Instagram filters. It soaks up any excess oil for up to 24 hours after application, preventing you from turning into a bike reflector. It hydrates like any other moisturizer, too — or perhaps even better than the others, thanks to a non-comedogenic formula that prevents clogged pores.
Clinique for Men Oil Free SPF 21 Moisturizer
A moisturizer that halts UV rays, absorbs fast, and adds no additional oil to the canvas. Clinique’s hydrator is a cult favorite among the grooming-obsessed, and it’s a good pick for oily-skinned types at the height of summer, when you need to shield your skin from the sun but hate slathering on a thick layer of sunblock. Your skin will breathe easy, you won’t accumulate any grime (though we can’t speak for the heat and your sweat patterns) and you won’t be doubly punished with pesky pimples as a result.
COOLA SPF 30 Sunscreen Moisturizer
Foremost a sunscreen, this lightweight, whipped lotion absorbs quickly into skin, and it also feels more like a moisturizer than a sunblock. In addition to thwarting UV rays, it’s also rich with antioxidants to prevent pollution damage to skin. Our advice: Keep it on hand for beach days or picnics in the park, whenever you’ll be directly exposed to sun for hours on end. It’ll hardly feel like you’re wearing anything, and when the photos pop up in your social feed, nobody will see any excess shine on your brow, either.
Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42
If you’re hyperactive about shielding skin from the sun, then stock up on Shiseido’s SPF 42 moisturizing lotion. It’s a lightweight daily hydrator with the added benefit fighting off urban pollution (city dwellers, take note of these antioxidant benefits). And it’s a triple threat in that it also balances the skin’s oil levels. So, when you add all that up, it seems like a no brainer.
Dermalogica Calm Water Gel
While Dermalogica’s gel moisturizer is effective on dry and sensitive skin, it’s also fitting on oily skin as an overnight hydrator. Hyaluronic acid preserves moisture levels, while cactus-pear extract preserves moisture levels in the skin. If your bedtime regimen is particularly rigorous — with cleansers, toners, masks, shave creams and the like — then this soothing gel is a good way to wake up feeling restored and looking refreshed.
L:a Bruket Facial Cream Light
A lightweight cream that hydrates skin without clogging pores and accumulating buildup. L:a Bruket’s blend packs all kinds of soothing ingredients, from chamomile to cucumber, and green tea to eucalyptus and lavender oil. If you aren’t separatist about your daytime hydrator and night cream, then this is a solid middle ground that pairs well with toners to keep oily skin balanced and clarified.