Moisturizer Makes My Face Oily – What To Do?

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Many people have a regular beauty routine. Steps like cleansing, lotions, and serums are regular tools that keep your face healthy, hydrating, and glowing. But if you’re prone to oily skin, that might be easier said than done. We’ve all heard of applying moisturizer daily for well-balanced skin, but some people find that moisturizer makes their face oily. Dermatologists and beauty experts agree on some handy tricks to try if you’re one of the unfortunate people that can’t enjoy the benefits of a moisturizer.

Moisturizer should not leave your face oily – if it does, you’re using the wrong product. Aim for one that leaves you with a healthy, hydrated feeling. While this can take a bit of trial and error, consider:

  1. Avoid ointments and creams. These are moisturizing but also thick and can leave skin greasy. Water-based lotions are the best choice for oily skin types.
  2. Use an alternative, such as aloe vera gel. It’s light and absorbs quickly. This leaves skin lubricated without staying on the surface long enough to be bothersome.
  3. Consider exfoliating instead. Over-moisturizing is real and can make skin oily. You might need an exfoliant to combat dull, dead skin.
  4. Pick a moisturizer with glycolic or salicylic acid if you’re happy with your routine, but want to eliminate a shiny face.
  5. Switch to a serum. Ones with hyaluronic acid are ideal for oily skin – they add hydration but leave a minimal residue.

Read more to learn more about each of these five points. By the end, you’ll be an expert on how to keep your oily skin glowing – but only in a good way. We’ll also discuss why moisturizer gives your skin that sweaty-looking shine and what to do. Finally, we’ll cover some natural options for improving your skin’s health without relying only on moisturizers.

A beautiful young woman applying moisturizer to her skin in the bathroom at home, Moisturizer Makes My Face Oily - What To Do?

What To Do When Moisturizer Makes Your Face Oily

1. What Kind Of Moisturizer Is Good For Oily Skin?

Typical moisturizers come in lotions, creams, and ointments. Creams and ointments can be oil-based. This is great for dry skin but the worst option if your skin is already oily.

Double-check any products you already use. Make sure that they are water-based lotions rather than oil-based. And one last hint – only add moisturizer immediately after cleansing. Moisturizers tend to lock in whatever is on the skin’s surface – including oil.

For oily skin types, this Cetaphil lotion is recommended by dermatologists. It also combines sunscreen and moisturizer, keeping your skin healthy without adding extra, pore-clogging products:

Click here to see this oil-absorbing moisturizer on Amazon.

2. Use A Moisturizer Alternative

There are options besides the traditional lotions. Alternative choices can leave your skin moist without the same heavy, smothering sensation that lotion sometimes brings. Oils such as almond, coconut, or jojoba are common choices.

For oily skin, aloe vera gel is an ideal choice. It absorbs quickly into the skin, sealing in moisture.

Click here to see this aloe vera on Amazon.

3. Exfoliate Instead

Sometimes, the cause of dull skin is actually that the top layer of cells is dead. In this case, moisturizing daily makes the problem worse. By adding moisturizer, the dead cells temporarily plump up. This leads you to believe that moisturizer did the trick – for now. When the effect of the moisturizer fades away, you still have that dead layer left behind.

The only way to actually fix the problem is by regular exfoliation. When you reveal the healthy, glowing skin underneath, you may realize that you never needed the moisturizer at all. Just remember that over-exfoliation can do more harm than good. Start only using a few times a week, building up to more frequent use only if needed. Learn more about exfoliating too often here.

Click here to see this exfoliant on Amazon.

4. How Can You Keep Your Face Moisturized But Not Oily?

Some people like keeping moisturizers as part of their regular routine. Everybody is different and for some, moisturizing every day is a key to balanced skin. However, some people find that their face gets an oily shine when they moisturize. If you’re one, you might be convinced that you’ll have to pick one or the other. Clear, ungreasy skin or moisturized skin – what do you do?

Lucky for you, it’s possible to have both! Simply be sure to pick a moisturizer (water-based, remember!) that also contains salicylic or glycolic acid. The acid will keep that oily sheen to a minimum while the moisturizer does its job.

Click here to see this moisturizer on Amazon.

5. Switch To A Serum

Serums are products that come after cleanser and toner. With a serum in your routine, you may be able to cut back on how much moisturizer you use. You may also find that the right serum complements your moisturizer, meaning you won’t have to pick one or the other.

If you still use moisturizer, apply it at the end – after the serum. Moisturizer should be one of the last things you put on your face. The only product that follows is sunscreen, if it’s not part of the moisturizer. For more help on your routine, see: How Long Should I Leave Cleanser On My Face?

Hyaluronic acid is a great serum for oily skin. It hydrates but also leaves less residue behind than other serums. This keeps your pores from clogging or leaving your skin with a dull finish. This blend adds vitamin c into the mix, which brightens the skin.

Click here to see this serum on Amazon.

How Do You Naturally Hydrate Oily Skin?

Maybe you’re looking for a more natural solution for your skin. You want hydration but don’t want to add yet another product to your face. Perhaps you’re oily but sensitive and just tired of trying to find something your skin doesn’t react to. Maybe you just don’t want yet another chemical. So how can you naturally hydrate oily skin and have great results?

Here are some lifestyle changes and natural choices that can help:

  • Eat healthy fatty foods. Particularly, foods high in omega 3s like avocado, salmon, and olive oil are great for hydration. They make the skin more able to keep moisture inside.
  • While omega 3s are great for all skin, oily skin specifically benefits from linoleic acid. Studies have found that oily, acne-prone skin tends to be deficient in this acid. Where to find it? Most nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils, along with eggs.
  • Sleep with a humidifier.
  • Avoid too-hot showers, which strip your skin of natural oils. This can encourage your skin to produce more oil. The skin believes it needs to replace the oil, overstimulating your body’s production.
  • Drink more water. Obviously, when your body is hydrated, that has benefits for your skin as well.
  • And while you’re drinking all that water, add some lemon slices. This offers a detoxing effect.
  • It’s important to know what not to drink as well. Avoid alcohol, which dehydrates the body. This leaves skin blotchy and bloated.
  • One more “do” for your diet – drink more milk. Early studies indicate that phospholipids, a fat in milk, might improve the skin’s natural barrier action.

In Summary…

Moisturizer can be tricky for those with naturally oily or acne-prone skin. But a few basic guidelines can help you find a moisturizer that gives you a healthy, hydrated glow without leaving a greasy sheen.

Always cleanse your face before adding any moisturizer. Moisturizers tend to lock in whatever is on the skin’s surface, including oil. Be sure to pick a water-based lotion instead of thick, oil-based cream or ointment. If your moisturized skin tends to be shiny, pick one that has glycolic or salicylic acid.

Or, consider skipping the lotion altogether. Instead, find an alternative suitable for oily skin like aloe vera gel. Don’t forget to exfoliate regularly, which may actually reduce the need for moisturizers. And finally, try using a serum in addition to or rather than a lotion – particularly one with hyaluronic acid.

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