11 Moisturizers That’ll Keep Oily Skin Shine-Free

aimee simeon
·4 min read

There's a fine line between a dewy just-left-hot-yoga glow and seeing your own reflection in the middle of your forehead. For people with oily skin, the latter situation is a reality — which can make smoothing on moisturizer in the morning feel like fanning a flame. But, according to the pros, oily skin types need moisturizer too. And skipping this vital skincare step? Well, it can end up doing more harm than good.

"Those with oily skin may think they want to skip a moisturizer, but this may actually cause your body's own oil glands to become more active," says dermatologist Annie Chiu, MD. Instead of eschewing moisturizer, which can actually make your skin oilier, as a result, it's all about using the right formula that will leave skin balanced and healthy (not greasy or congested).

Ahead, we rounded up our favorite oily-skin-friendly hydrating heroes — all of which more than lives up to the grease-fighting challenge.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

<h3>Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream</h3><br>True to the name, Sunday Riley's gel moisturizer is like a tall glass of water for your skin. <br><br><strong>Sunday Riley</strong> Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sephora.com%2Fproduct%2Ftidal-brightening-enzyme-water-cream-P406938%23donotlink" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sephora" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sephora</a>

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream


True to the name, Sunday Riley's gel moisturizer is like a tall glass of water for your skin.

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream, $, available at Sephora
<h3>Farmacy Daily Greens Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer with Moringa and Papaya</h3><br>This clean green cream contains papaya and moringa extract to help brighten your complexion while also keeping it clear.<br><br><strong>Farmacy</strong> Daily Greens Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer with Moringa and, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sephora.com%2Fca%2Fen%2Fproduct%2Ffarmacy-daily-greens-oil-free-gel-moisturizer-with-moringa-papaya-P458209%3Ficid2%3Dproducts%2520grid%3Ap458209%3Aproduct" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sephora" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sephora</a>

Farmacy Daily Greens Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer with Moringa and Papaya


This clean green cream contains papaya and moringa extract to help brighten your complexion while also keeping it clear.

Farmacy Daily Greens Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer with Moringa and, $, available at Sephora
<h3>Glossier Priming Moisturizer Balance</h3><br>For a dose of mattifying moisture, we love Glossier's <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/06/9847938/glossier-priming-moisturizer-balance-gel-cream-review" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:newest addition to the Priming Moisturizer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">newest addition to the Priming Moisturizer</a> family. In addition to wearing well under makeup, it also boasts clarifying benefits — thanks to ingredients like bamboo, niacinamide, and willow bark extract.<br><br><br><strong>Glossier</strong> Priming Moisturizer Balance, $, available at <a href="https://glossier.79ic8e.net/em7E6" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Glossier" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Glossier</a>

Glossier Priming Moisturizer Balance


For a dose of mattifying moisture, we love Glossier's newest addition to the Priming Moisturizer family. In addition to wearing well under makeup, it also boasts clarifying benefits — thanks to ingredients like bamboo, niacinamide, and willow bark extract.


Glossier Priming Moisturizer Balance, $, available at Glossier
<h3>Tula Dew Your Thing Oil-Free Gel Cream<br></h3><br>Probiotics, fermented rice water, and organic prickly pear extract are among the hero ingredients in this thirst-quenching gel cream.<br><br><strong>Tula</strong> Dew Your Thing Oil Free Gel Cream, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ulta.com%2Fdew-your-thing-oil-free-gel-cream%3FproductId%3DxlsImpprod18731031" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Ulta Beauty" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Ulta Beauty</a>

Tula Dew Your Thing Oil-Free Gel Cream


Probiotics, fermented rice water, and organic prickly pear extract are among the hero ingredients in this thirst-quenching gel cream.

Tula Dew Your Thing Oil Free Gel Cream, $, available at Ulta Beauty
<h3>Tatcha The Water Cream</h3><br>While this <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/tatcha-water-cream-moisturizer-review" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:bestselling cream" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">bestselling cream</a> is luxe (read: pricey), it's also a game-changing (read: sworn-by) solution for oily complexions — with oil-curbing powers that also deliver on skin-plumping hydration and a natural glow that makes highlighter optional.<br><br><strong>Tatcha</strong> The Water Cream, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sephora.com%2Fproduct%2Fthe-water-cream-P418218" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sephora" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sephora</a>

Tatcha The Water Cream


While this bestselling cream is luxe (read: pricey), it's also a game-changing (read: sworn-by) solution for oily complexions — with oil-curbing powers that also deliver on skin-plumping hydration and a natural glow that makes highlighter optional.

Tatcha The Water Cream, $, available at Sephora
<h3>Glow Recipe Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream<br></h3><br>A scoop of this lightweight moisturizer is almost as decadent as an actual banana soufflé — except this one makes your skin look better. In the good-enough-to-eat recipe, you'll also find magnesium and cica to calm and rebalance stressed-out skin.<br><br><strong>Glow Recipe</strong> Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream , $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sephora.com%2Fproduct%2Fglow-recipe-banana-souffle-moisture-cream-P453223" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sephora" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sephora</a>

Glow Recipe Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream


A scoop of this lightweight moisturizer is almost as decadent as an actual banana soufflé — except this one makes your skin look better. In the good-enough-to-eat recipe, you'll also find magnesium and cica to calm and rebalance stressed-out skin.

Glow Recipe Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream , $, available at Sephora
<h3>Murad Oil and Pore Control Mattifier Broad Spectrum SPF 45<br></h3><br>Sunscreen, while necessary, feels like a chore to put on sometimes, which is why we opt for moisturizers that nourish <em>and</em> protect. This lightweight, oil-free formula helps to fend off oil and blur enlarged pores and provides SPF 45 — so you can rest assured that your T-zone won't peek through come lunchtime, <em>and</em> your skin is safe in the sun (no matter the season). <br><br><strong>Murad</strong> Oil and Pore Control Mattifier Broad Spectrum SPF 45 | PA++++, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.murad.com%2Fproduct%2Foil-and-pore-control-mattifier-spf-45%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Murad" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Murad</a>

Murad Oil and Pore Control Mattifier Broad Spectrum SPF 45


Sunscreen, while necessary, feels like a chore to put on sometimes, which is why we opt for moisturizers that nourish and protect. This lightweight, oil-free formula helps to fend off oil and blur enlarged pores and provides SPF 45 — so you can rest assured that your T-zone won't peek through come lunchtime, and your skin is safe in the sun (no matter the season).

Murad Oil and Pore Control Mattifier Broad Spectrum SPF 45 | PA++++, $, available at Murad
<h3>Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream Light<br></h3><br>Inside this sleek white jar is a whipped face cream with hyaluronic acid, ginger, and antioxidants to moisturize and calm irritation. This cream is also designed to absorb quickly into skin and leave behind a satin finish, so no greasy, sticky, oily feeling over here.<br><br><strong>Dr. Barbara Sturm</strong> Face Cream Light, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Ffave.co%2F2OpbVXC" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sephora" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sephora</a>

Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream Light


Inside this sleek white jar is a whipped face cream with hyaluronic acid, ginger, and antioxidants to moisturize and calm irritation. This cream is also designed to absorb quickly into skin and leave behind a satin finish, so no greasy, sticky, oily feeling over here.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream Light, $, available at Sephora
<h3>Ghost Democracy Lightweight Daily Face Moisturizer<br></h3><br>Your skin care shouldn't play games with you, and this formula from Ghost Democracy is no-BS: oil-free, fragrance-free, and quick-absorbing, and perfect for oily-skinned folks who need effectiveness without the potentially irritating frills.<br><br><strong>Ghost Democracy</strong> Clean Lightweight Daily Face Moisturizer, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ghostdemocracy.com%2Fproducts%2Fclean-lightweight-daily-face-moisturizer" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Verishop" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Verishop</a>

Ghost Democracy Lightweight Daily Face Moisturizer


Your skin care shouldn't play games with you, and this formula from Ghost Democracy is no-BS: oil-free, fragrance-free, and quick-absorbing, and perfect for oily-skinned folks who need effectiveness without the potentially irritating frills.

Ghost Democracy Clean Lightweight Daily Face Moisturizer, $, available at Verishop
<h3>Differin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer With Sunscreen<br></h3><br>If your skin is oily, yet acne-prone, you aren't immune to dry patches — especially if you're using a topical retinoid or adapalene gel to treat your acne. In that case, moisture is key. This dermatologist-tested bottle by Differin melts down to a matte finish to keep shine at bay and contains SPF 30 to protect skin and prevent scarring and pigmentation. <br><br><strong>Differin</strong> Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ulta.com%2Foil-absorbing-moisturizer-spf-30%3FproductId%3DxlsImpprod17521011" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Ulta Beauty" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Ulta Beauty</a>

Differin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer With Sunscreen


If your skin is oily, yet acne-prone, you aren't immune to dry patches — especially if you're using a topical retinoid or adapalene gel to treat your acne. In that case, moisture is key. This dermatologist-tested bottle by Differin melts down to a matte finish to keep shine at bay and contains SPF 30 to protect skin and prevent scarring and pigmentation.

Differin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30, $, available at Ulta Beauty
<h3>Origins GinZing Oil-Free Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer<br></h3><br>Consider this cult-favorite formula an espresso shot for your face. It's packed with coffee and ginseng to revive and energize tired skin, but it's also oil-free and won't make your face feel tacky.<br><br><strong>Origins</strong> GinZing™ Oil- Free Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sephora.com%2Fproduct%2Fginzing-energy-boosting-gel-moisturizer-P444044%3FskuId%3D2264117%26icid2%3Dproducts%2520grid%3Ap444044%3Aproduct" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sephora" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sephora</a>

Origins GinZing Oil-Free Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer


Consider this cult-favorite formula an espresso shot for your face. It's packed with coffee and ginseng to revive and energize tired skin, but it's also oil-free and won't make your face feel tacky.

Origins GinZing™ Oil- Free Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer, $, available at Sephora

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