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Moisturiser for oily skin that will remedy excess shininess

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Because non-greasy, non pore-clogging moisturisers DO exist

The best moisturiser for oily skin may seem counter-intuitive, but believe it or not, oily skin can still get dehydrated. Not all moisturisers target the same thing, and you’ll need a completely different set of ingredients to someone with dry or flaky skin.

Fortunately, once you’re clued up on the ingredients to look for, finding the right cream for your skin type is nowhere near as hard as you might think.

But, first thing’s first, you need to know a bit more about why your skin is the way it is. We spoke to consultant dermatologist Dr Sharon Wong to get the low down on oily skin, from causes to treatments.

Why do you get oily skin in the first place?

Oily skin is caused by an excess in the production of sebum, which can lead to blemishes and acne.

‘This is mainly a genetic trait, but is also heavily influenced by hormone changes that increase the mount of male hormones, known as androgens, in the system – such as during puberty or polycystic ovary syndrome,’ Dr Wong explains.

‘Androgens stimulate the grease glands in the skin, resulting in excess production of sebum.’

There are various other external factors that may worsen oily skin, including the use of products which disturb the oil balance in the skin.

How to treat oily skin

Diet and oily skin

We’re sure you’re already well aware of the impact that sugar has on your skin (aka ‘sugar face‘), so it’s well worth taking a look at your diet if your skin is particularly congested

‘Cutting out refined sugars, highly processed foods and saturated fats can help to reduce sebum production in some individuals,’ Doctor Wong explains.

As well as processed foods, some people notice a link between eating dairy and acne severity.

Master your oily skincare routine

While you might already know about the best acne treatments for oily skin, but you need to be selective with the rest of your skincare as well.

‘Wash your face twice a day, in the morning and evening only, and ensure all make-up is removed before going to bed ‘ Dr Wong advises. ‘Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), such as salicylic acid in face washes, can help to cut through grease but also effectively unclogs your pores and ensures a deep cleanse.’

Be sure you don’t over-wash your skin to try and remedy excess oil, though. ‘Oily skin has nothing to do with poor hygiene, so washing more frequently is not necessary – if anything, this will dry out your skin and trigger more sebum production.’

She also stresses that you don’t need a toner: ‘many contain alcohols which can damage the barrier function of the skin, making it more sensitive and irritated.’

Exfoliate – but don’t over-do it

Naturally you want to buff away old skin cells and clarify your pores where possible, but it’s important not to go over the top with face-scrubbing.

‘Exfoliation encourages healthy skin turnover,’ Dr Wong says. ‘It also helps remove surface dead skin cells and prevent blocking of pores, but again, being over-aggressive with exfoliation can leave your skin sensitive or cause breakouts.’

To minimise irritation, avoid face scrubs with harsh particles. Instead opt for a cleanser containing – you guessed it – salicylic acid, which will help gently slough away dead skin cells and purify your pores.


Another way to combat oiliness is so use a retinol on the reg.

‘Using a retinoid (Vitamin A) product at night and having regular chemical peels – such as glycolic acid, lactic acid or salicylic acid peels – can reduce oiliness of the skin and prevent acne breakouts,’ advises Dr Wong.

Before applying your night cream, we recommend using Murad’s recent release, the Retinol Youth Renewal Serum, as unlike a lot of retinoids it’s not too harsh on the skin.

Shop now: Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum for £65 from Fabled

Moisturiser is key

Although your skin is overdoing it on the grease front, it still needs some hydration to maintain the skin barrier’s health. ‘Many anti-acne products dry out skin, so it is important to rehydrate it to prevent overproduction of sebum to combat the dryness,’ Dr Wong says.

So what should you look for when buying oily skin friendly products? ‘Avoid heavy moisturisers and opt for oil-free creams or serums instead.’

With that in mind, we’ve sourced different types moisturiser for oily skin below for you to add into your skincare routine now.

moisturiser for oily skin

The best moisturiser for oily skin and open pores

The Ordinary is one of the biggest skincare brands on the market (and Instagram) at the moment; not only is their skincare high performance and good quality, but their prices are bank balance friendly. Pretty much everything is under a tenner. Their Natural Moisturizing Factors is  oil-free, alcohol-free and silicone-free, making it the perfect moisturiser for oily skin as it won’t clog up pores and make them more visible.

Shop now: The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA for

Can you buy moisturiser for oily skin with SPF?

It can be a real struggle to find a moisturiser with a good SPF that’s simultaneously not too greasy or heavy – as SPF notoriously is. Fortunately, there are a few carefully formulated moisturisers that benefit oily skin and protect from the damaging effects of the sun.

Dermalogica is well known as a brand that caters for the needs of oily-skinned people, and their Mattifying SPF 30 lotion works to mop up excess oil, while also shielding against sun damage. So, no more oily sunscreen problems.

Shop now: Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF 30 for £42.50 from

What about tinted moisturiser for oily skin?

There’s been many a debate over the years as to whether or not foundation is bad for acne, so you may have chosen to go without in a bid to help clear up your skin. But be aware that it is possible to buy the best foundation for oily skin, too.

‘Avoid heavy foundation and look for key words like matte-effect, oil free and non-comedogenic (not pore-clogging) when choosing your make-up,’ says Dr Wong.

A tinted moisturiser or BB cream will provide lightweight coverage, if you feel self conscious about your skin, without the heaviness of foundation. We recommend Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions BB Cream, which is oil free and has the added benefit of SPF 40. But what’s particularly great about this BB is that it’s both mattifying and buildable, meaning you can cover your blemishes

Shop now: Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions BB Cream SPF40

‘Oil control blotting paper or pads can be helpful on-the-go for those greasy areas that may break through in the middle of the day,’ Dr Wong adds.

Ready to shop skincare? Scroll through our round up of moisturiser for oily skin, and wave good bye to your shiny skin woes.

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