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If you have skin that is prone to breakouts, finding a great moisturizer is crucial for maintaining skin health. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best moisturizers for acne.
Do Moisturizers Help with Acne?
A moisturizer won’t directly help clear up blemishes, but it is essential for maintaining optimal skin health and supporting the skin as you treat your breakouts. Skin that is adequately hydrated is far better equipped to battle inflammation, which means a moisturizer may indirectly help with the treatment and prevention of breakouts. Since many acne fighting topical products can be drying, a moisturizer will help counteract that dryness.
It’s important to ensure you’re using a moisturizer that won’t clog pores and make breakouts worse. Lightweight, non-comedogenic formulas are particularly suitable for acne-prone skin.
1. Tolérance Extrême Emulsion
Avène Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization
Avène Tolérance Extrême Emulsion
This gentle and fragrance-free moisturizer contains six simple but effective ingredients that soothe and moisturize the skin without leaving behind a greasy feeling.
Skin types: Normal, Oily, Combination and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals:
How to use: After cleansing and applying any serums or treatments, apply the moisturizer to the face, neck, and chest. Follow up with sunscreen during the day.
This lightweight, oil-free moisturizer is perfect for combination, oily, and sensitive skin types. Two key ingredients are the Avène thermal spring water, which soothes and softens the skin, and squalane, which hydrates and acts as an antioxidant.
May not be moisturizing enough for drier skin types
In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, this gentle moisturizer contains glycerin and capric triglyceride, which both further help hydrate the skin.
Avène Thermal Spring Water, Squalane, Behenyl Alcohol, Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Sodium Acrylates C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Water
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 moisturizer for oily acne-prone skin?
There are many great moisturizers on this list that work for oily skin that is prone to breakouts. Check out the Avène Tolérance Extrême Emulsion, the Paula’s Choice Clear Oil-Free Moisturizer, the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Mattifying Moisturizer for Oily Skin, and the Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Moisturizer. If you want a moisturizer with SPF in it for daytime use, try the Paula’s Choice Clear Ultra-Light Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 30+.
What is the best moisturizer for sensitive acne-prone skin?
If you have sensitive acne-prone skin, check out the Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Moisturizer, the Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion, or the Avène Tolérance Extrême Emulsion. These moisturizers are specifically formulated with sensitive skin in mind, and won’t cause any irritation. They are also free of ingredients that are known to clog pores and contribute to breakouts.
What is the best drugstore moisturizer for acne?
You can find great acneic skin-friendly moisturizers at the drugstore, including the Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Moisturizer, the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Mattifying Moisturizer for Oily Skin, and the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer.
The Bottom Line
For those prone to breakouts, finding a suitable moisturizer that hydrates and maintains skin health without clogging pores is essential. If you have acne-prone skin, consider adding one of our recommended moisturizers to your skincare routine.
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.