Best Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin: Dermatologist Picks

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When you notice you have breakouts more often than not, you need to change the products you use, including your moisturizer. It’s times such as this you reach for a moisturizer tailored for acne-prone skin.

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when pores are clogged by different skin factors. The most common is sebum. However, dirt, dead skin cells, makeup residue, grease from products, and bacteria make a convoluted substance that rises on the face.

These bumps and swells differ on the case. Nonetheless, they are a hindrance to smooth and clear skin. Moreover, you have to change products to suit your current skin condition. This becomes a task. If you experience constant acne on your face, a solution is best.

Having a good skincare routine starts the process of getting clear and smooth skin. Therefore, your moisturizer needs to suit the condition of your face. As a result, I have gathered the best moisturizers for acne-prone skin.

These products would help you get that smooth and oil-controlled skin you want. They are gathered based on expert research and recommendations and sales data metrics on e-commerce stores.

1. Best Overall Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin

Paula’s Choice CLEAR Oil-Free Moisturizer

This stands out due to its mattifying and antioxidant properties to remove excess oil (sebum) on your face while balancing the moisture on your skin. The formula is enriching and helps to minimize your pores to preserve hydration on your skin.

Additionally, the moisturizer does not add shine to your skin, but it removes blemishes and leaves a non-greasy finish. It contains ceramides, niacinamide, and blueberry to hydrate and lock the moisture in your skin by creating a coat of smooth protection thanks to niacinamide.

You can apply the non-comedogenic moisturizer on your face twice a day – in your morning and nighttime routine – to control the oil on your skin.

2. Best Drugstore Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin

Differin Oil-Absorbing Moisturizer

This effective moisturizer and sunscreen gently soothe your skin and reduces redness and increase the moisture in your skin. It also contains a sunscreen SPF of 30 to protect your skin from sun damage.

Furthermore, the moisturizer is lightweight and slips through your skin with ease. Its oil-controlling formula does not clog your pores, rather it regulates oil secretion and balances your skin moisture, thereby reducing breakouts.

This is a highly effective drugstore moisturizer for those with serious acne breakouts.

3. Best Moisturizer for Oily Acne-Prone Skin

Eau Thermale Avene TriAcneal DAY Mattifying Lotion

This moisturizer creatively stops your skin from overproducing oil by closing the pores but without clogging to cause more breakouts. The formula contains essential nutrients to enrich your skin and keep your skin in on-the-clock protection.

The moisturizer also intensely hydrates your skin, keeping buildups from clogging the skin. It is non-comedogenic and invigorating. You would see changes in a short period and get your hydrated skin texture result almost immediately.

You can apply the moisturizer on your jawline too to improve a balanced texture on your face.

4. Best Moisturizer for Combination Acne-Prone Skin

PCA Skin Clearskin Lightweight Moisturizer

This moisturizer contains antioxidants to soothe and calm the irritation on your skin. It also helps to reduce skin oil by balancing the natural oil to keep your skin in a restive moisture state. Moreover, it is rich in hydrating components that keep your skin settled all the time.

Additionally, it has a deep reach on the skin. It digs deep into your dermis layer to enrich and protect your skin. You can use it to control the oil part of your skin and hydrate the dry parts.

5. Best Moisturizer for Sensitive Acne-Prone Skin

Cetaphil Face Moisturizer

Containing BHA and salicylic acid, this moisturizer clears the skin of dead skin cells and residue before hydrating with botanicals and prebiotic complex to improve the skin’s look. It soothes redness and irritation on the skin and improves your skin tone in one take.

It is highly potent in keeping the skin in a relaxed state. This reduces the likelihood of your skin breaking out. In addition, it is gentle on your skin, making sure it does not come in contact with harmful chemicals and aggressors.

6. Best Moisturizer for Dry Acne-Prone Skin

Dermalogica Skin Soothing Hydrating Lotion

This moisturizer equips your skin with the necessary hydration for a long-lasting period. It also provides relief to the skin, keeping it cool and nourished after long or short-term dehydration. The moisturizer is also lightweight; it slips into the skin in no time.

Besides, it is skin-plumping. It fills the cracks caused by dryness on your skin and controls oil production on the surface of the skin. If your dryness is caused by acne, this relieving moisturizer would put everything back in its regular place.

7. Best Nighttime Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin

[CRAZY SKIN] Skin Repair Trouble Care Sleeping Cream

Built to function while you sleep, this moisturizer containing a high dose of salicylic acid gently sloughs off dead skin cells while you sleep. This, in turn, improves your skin tone and texture. Furthermore, the moisturizer balances your pH level, giving you the adequate moisture needed to maintain healthy skin.

Moreover, this strengthens the skin barrier, thereby, allowing your skin to protect itself against external aggressors. You can use the moisturizer if you want brightened and smooth skin. Plus, it is hydrating and delicate to the skin while you rest.

8. Best Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin In the Summer

Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer

With this moisturizer’s salicylic acid and soy complex formula, it provides a total clear on your skin oil, residues, and grease lodged in your pores. The moisturizer is richly enhancing and exfoliating. It removes blemishes and spots on the skin while preventing breakouts.

Naturally, it controls oil in your skin, keeping it balanced and soft-textured. It is as a result non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. The moisturizer, furthermore, evens your skin tone, bringing out your radiant skin as it sloughs off dead skin cells.

You can use the gentle and fast-absorbing moisturizer to keep your skin in an oil-controlled state during humid temperatures like the summer.

9. Best Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin in the Winter

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisturizer

Providing up to 72 hours of hydration to your skin, this moisturizer keeps you in a hydrated loop. The moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid to provide the needed water shot deep into your skin.

Moreover, it has skin regenerative properties to prevent aging signs from rising. Additionally, the potent formula keeps your skin silky smooth in dry climates.

10. Best Gel Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Hydrating Gel Face Moisturizer

Containing essential nutrients gotten from cucumber and green mango, this gel formula keeps your skin in a moisturized state for a long period. The formula also replenishes decreased hydration on the skin, retaining your skin glow.

In addition, the moisturizer is ultra-lightweight and non-greasy on the skin. The formula slips easily into the skin pores and the dermis layer of the skin. With this, it relieves the skin from within with its intense hydrating effect.

You can use this moisturizer because it is non-comedogenic and gentle on the skin.

11. Best Water-Based Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Facial Moisturizer 

This is a simple formula with salicylic acid to improve skin oil control. It also contains pink grapefruit to clear acne breakouts and treat them appropriately. The formula is lightweight and quick-absorbing. Your skin feels refreshed in a matter of minutes.

Additionally, it does not have a greasy finish. Rather it smoothens and textures your skin surface, giving it a natural glow. You can use it for your acne treatment to reduce breakouts, spots, and excess oil in your pores.

12. Best Vegan Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin

Era Organics Tea Tree Oil Face Cream 

With this cream moisturizer for the face, your skin stays nourished and moist. The cream formula contains essential nutrients to improve and restore the balance of your skin.

Furthermore, it contains natural ingredients such as tea tree, pomegranate seed oil, dandelion root, and goldenseal to protect the skin. In addition, it has salicylic acid to clear and treat your pores and blemishes.

You can use the cream for extreme breakouts like cystic acne, blackheads, and also redness of the skin. The cream is nourishing and protective. It balances the oil on your face to prevent further breakouts.

13. Best Pore-Minimizing Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Oil-Free Mattifying Gel: Daily Moisturizer

First Aid’s Beauty Skin Rescue provides a mattifying solution to shrink your pores by first reducing excess oil and then balancing skin moisture to maintain tight pores. Consequently, the moisturizer is lightweight so it slips into your skin with ease.

Over time, your skin gets its restored state back after using the moisturizer. Not only your skin texture but your sebum is controlled. This reduces the breakouts on your face.

14. Best Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin Over 40

Vichy Normaderm PhytoAction Acne Control Daily Moisturizer

This formula is essential in maintaining sebum in your skin. Making an effective blend for reducing aging signs, the moisturizer contains 2% salicylic acid to clear your pores; hyaluronic acid to plump your skin; vitamin C to brighten and act as an antioxidant to protect your skin from free radicals.

Furthermore, the formula is essential in restoring your smooth and firm skin, removing blemishes and blackheads lodged in your pores. You can use this moisturizer in your morning and nighttime routine to maintain healthy skin.

15. Best Tinted Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin

Paula’s Choice RESIST Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense Matte Tinted Face Moisturizer 

Containing essential minerals and lightweight ingredients to promote safe skin, this moisturizer mattifies your skin surface and balances the sebum on your skin. The moisturizer also contains SPF to enrich your skin and protect it against UV radiation.

It also helps to keep your skin renewed and firm; therefore, it is the perfect moisturizer as an anti-aging shield. You can use this moisturizer to brighten and even out your skin tone. Moreover, the tint gives you a natural glow on your face.

How to Pick Moisturizer for Your Acne-Prone Skin

1. Ingredients

When you have an acne-prone skin type, you should go for products with ingredients trusted to treat your skin issue. Ingredients to look out for in an acne-prone skin moisturizer include:

  • Hyaluronic acid: This helps to provide the water needed for hydration and maintaining moisture balance on the skin.
  • Salicylic acid: This ingredient helps to slough off dead skin cells to improve skin look.
  • Niacinamide: Helps to strengthen the skin barrier and promote smooth skin.
  • Tea tree extract: An antioxidant-rich component that soothes your skin.
  • Retiniods: This is a vitamin A derivative that treats your skin issues such as acne.

You can have other ingredients good for controlling sebum and hydrating your skin to prevent it from piling unwanted particles in your pores.

2. Skin type

You still have to pay attention to your skin type. While most acne-prone skins fall under oily skin, few have dry skin, sensitive, or combination skin.

Furthermore, some may be experiencing breakouts due to hormonal changes or other factors. But it does not mean their skin is naturally oily. For such a case, pick an acne-prone moisturizer for your original skin type and texture.

If you have sensitive skin, go for a moisturizer with enough soothing ingredients and antioxidants. Dry skins should choose intense hydrating formulas, and oily skins should pick mattifying moisturizers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need moisturizer for your acne-prone skin?

Yes, you do. Moisturizers are essential products needed in your regular skincare to provide hydration, which works to protect your skin barrier. Acne-prone skins need moisturizers to reduce the breakouts and blemishes caused by acne scars.

If you are using a moisturizer, you should pick one suited for your skin condition to have a better chance of keeping a healthy and balanced skincare routine.

Will moisturizers for acne-prone skins work for you?

Yes, they will. You can use tested and trusted moisturizers for your acne if they contain reliable and proven ingredients.

However, it would be wise to stay away from thick creams that could clog your pores or moisturizers with unnecessary ingredients that are more of a hindrance to your skin. Thick cremes and oils, for example, are not needed for acne-prone skin.

When should you see a dermatologist?

When your acne is not reducing. See a dermatologist when topical and OTC products are not working. You might be experiencing severe acne, which needs medication or in-office treatments.

If moisturizers and other products such as serums do not work, get a consultation from a medical expert to prescribe the next step to you.


There are special skin conditions to take cognizance of when getting your moisturizer. If you have breakouts more than often, you are acne-prone skin, which means you need to get moisturizers fit for your skin type.

However, acne skins also have sub-categories. It’s not that difficult to know them. All you have to do is take note of your features. Nonetheless, I would recommend standout outs such as Paula’s Choice CLEAR Oil-Free Moisturizer and Differin Moisturizer Gel due to their versatility in treating and maintaining your acne-prone face.

Cetaphil Face Moisturizer is also a great option if you want to clean your pores and maintain a sebum balance without harming your skin. Nonetheless, this recommendation won’t do much if you are not picking products suitable for your skin and type of acne.

Knowing how to choose the right product is an art, and when you do, you are bound to get good results. Moreover, your skin should be dying for some TLC. So help get back its tone, by getting the moisturizer suitable for acne-prone skin.

Thanks for reading.

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