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Are you looking for an effective moisturizer that will keep your skin hydrated without contributing to breakouts? Here is our guide to the best drugstore moisturizers for acne.
Do Moisturizers Help with Acne?
A moisturizer isn’t going to directly treat acne. Chemical exfoliants, acne treatments (both topical and oral), and masks targeting clogged pores are best for proactively tackling breakouts. However, a moisturizer is crucial for supporting the skin as you work towards clearing your breakouts. A moisturizer hydrates the skin, and hydrated skin is better able to fight inflammation. Additionally, since many acne treatments dry out the skin, a moisturizer will work to counteract that dryness. When looking for the best moisturizer for acne-prone skin, you’ll want to seek out lightweight and non-comedogenic formulas.
1. Clear Oil-Free Moisturizer
Paula's Choice Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization
Paula’s Choice Clear Oil-Free Moisturizer
This moisturizer is perfect for those with acne-prone skin, because it is lightweight, non-greasy, oil-free, and doesn’t clog pores or lead to more breakouts.
Skin types: Normal, Oily and Combination
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals:
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums and treatments, apply the moisturizer over your face, neck, and chest.
It can be difficult for those with acne-prone skin to find a suitable moisturizer, but this option delivers hydration without contributing to breakouts. It also contains ingredients that soothe the skin, helping to eliminate any irritation.
No SPF for daytime use
This moisturizer contains niacinamide, which helps to minimize pores, eliminate redness, and even skin tone. It also contains antioxidants that soothe the skin, and ceramides that strengthen the skin’s surface.
Many people with oily or acne-prone skin worry about using sunscreens, because they often feel thick and greasy. However, this SPF moisturizer is an excellent choice for these skin types, because it protects the skin but doesn’t feel greasy or clog pores. It also contains antioxidants and hydrators that calm the skin.
Contains chemical sunscreen, which may irritate sensitive skin
This lightweight SPF moisturizer contains antioxidants and replenishing ingredients that calm and hydrate the skin without contributing to shine, including vitamin E, grape seed extract, green tea, and oat extract.
This product is one of the overall best La Roche-Posay moisturizers. It contains niacinamide, which helps soothe and reduce redness, as well as ceramides, which strengthen and hydrate the skin. Additionally, this moisturizer is non-comedogenic, meaning it contains ingredients that are not likely to clog pores. This makes this moisturizer excellent for acne-prone skin.
May not be moisturizing enough for super dry skin
In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, this moisturizer contains prebiotics, which the brand says help restore the skin, and glycerin, which moisturizes.
This moisturizer is great for oily skin, because it contains a variety of shine-reducing ingredients. It uses the brand’s Sebulyse technology, which helps mattify excess oil and reduce the appearance of pores. Additionally, it contains perlite and silica, which absorb excess oil to cut down on shine.
This moisturizer also contains a small amount of lipo-hydroxy acid, a chemical exfoliator that gently exfoliates the skin.
While this moisturizer is marketed towards sensitive skin, the lightweight and gentle formula is great for normal to oily skin. The water-based moisturizer is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores, and also does not feel heavy or greasy on the skin.
This moisturizer is non-comedogenic, meaning it doesn’t contain ingredients known to clog pores. This makes it a suitable choice for those prone to acne. One of the key moisturizing ingredients in this moisturizer is glycerin, a humectant that keeps the skin hydrated.
What is the best drugstore moisturizer for combination acne-prone skin?
Two of the best drugstore moisturizers for combination skin that is prone to breakouts are the Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Moisturizer and the Paula’s Choice Clear Oil-Free Moisturizer. These oil-free moisturizers are formulated with this skin type in mind, and don’t contain ingredients known to clog pores.
What is the best drugstore moisturizer for oily acne-prone skin?
All of the moisturizers recommended on this list are suitable for oily skin that is prone to acne. For those with particularly oily skin looking for an option that will help cut down on shine, check out the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Mattifying Moisturizer for Oily Skin. This non-comedogenic and oil-free moisturizer contains ingredients that absorb excess oil to give the skin a more matte finish.
Do moisturizers make acne worse?
Everyone needs to moisturize their skin on a daily basis in order to keep the skin hydrated, healthy, and balanced. However, not all moisturizers are suitable for acne-prone skin, as there are some formulas that contain ingredients that are known to clog pores, which can lead to breakouts. That’s why it is key for those prone to breakouts to seek out formulas that will work for their skin. The best moisturizers for acne tend to be lightweight and non-comedogenic (meaning they don’t contain ingredients known to clog pores).
The Bottom Line
Finding the right moisturizer for skin that is prone to breakouts can be a challenge, but there are some excellent options on the market – including many you can find at the drugstore. If you’re looking for a moisturizer that is suitable for acne-prone skin, try any of our recommended products to maintain a healthy and hydrated complexion.
About the author
Kyra is a content writer based in Los Angeles, CA. She works in the health and wellness sphere, and covers everything from beauty to skincare to fitness. She has been passionate about skincare since she was a teenager, and loves uncovering the absolute best routines and products available to help people reach their skin goals.