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  3. 10 Best Moisturisers for Oily Skin 2023 | UK Reviewed by Dermatologist
  • 10 Best Moisturisers for Oily Skin 2023 | UK Reviewed by Dermatologist 1
  • 10 Best Moisturisers for Oily Skin 2023 | UK Reviewed by Dermatologist 2
  • 10 Best Moisturisers for Oily Skin 2023 | UK Reviewed by Dermatologist 3
  • 10 Best Moisturisers for Oily Skin 2023 | UK Reviewed by Dermatologist 4
  • 10 Best Moisturisers for Oily Skin 2023 | UK Reviewed by Dermatologist 5

10 Best Moisturisers for Oily Skin 2023 | UK Reviewed by Dermatologist

Oily skin happens when the sebaceous glands make too much sebum, which can lead to a shiny or greasy appearance, clogged or open pores, and acne. However, sebum is also vital for keeping the skin healthy, as it protects and hydrates the skin. A well-chosen skincare routine can help to get oily skin under control, whilst respecting and working with the skin's natural defences.


Oily skin still gets dehydrated and the right face moisturiser can help restore balance. We've created this buying guide including a list of our top ten products for those with oily, combination-oily, and acne-prone skin. We've included drugstore options, as well as those with and without SPF, from brands such as Clinique, Kiehl's, and La Roche-Posay, all available from Amazon, eBay, John Lewis and Boots. 

Last updated 14/07/2023
Felipe Partarrieu
Expert
Dermatologist
Felipe Partarrieu

Felipe Partarrieu is a dermatologist, who is GMC registered with a full licence to practise in the UK. Specialising in cosmeceuticals, facial skin care, and hair disorders, we worked with Felipe to bring you top quality information to help you make informed buying decisions and understand more about what goes onto your skin.

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Table of Contents

With Specialist Consultation From Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu

With Specialist Consultation From Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu

Felipe Partarrieu is a final year dermatology resident, who is GMC registered with a full licence to practise in the UK. Specialising in cosmeceuticals, facial skin care, and hair disorders, we worked with Felipe to bring you top quality information to help you make informed buying decisions and understand more about what goes onto your skin.

How to Choose a Moisturiser for Oily Skin in the UK – Buying Guide

It can be hard to find one for oily skin that doesn't cause breakouts or greasiness, but fear not! If you're on the hunt for a moisturiser that leaves you looking marvellously matte, our buying guide is full of tips that will help you to snap up the right one.

1

Look for Beneficial Ingredients That Don't Exacerbate Oiliness

Product packaging and advertising can promise the world when it comes to 'perfect' skin, but it's the ingredient list you should be paying attention to. As we detail below, the active ingredients in your moisturiser can make or (literally) break the happiness of your skin.

Keep Skin Clean and Retain Moisture With Hyaluronic Acid

Keep Skin Clean and Retain Moisture With Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is very much the magic 'moisturising' ingredient of a moisturiser. Our cells create this acid naturally to maintain bodily moisture levels, but it declines over time due to ageing and environmental factors which cause dullness, fine lines and sensitivity.


Being a humectant, it is a substance used to retain moisture and it's a pretty good one at that! One gram of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six litres of water, and due to this ability has an incredible plumping effect on the skin. HA can smooth fine lines, making skin look younger and healthier but doesn't clog pores.

Felipe Partarrieu
Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu

Hyaluronic acid (HA) can bind moisture in up to 1000 times its own weight when topically applied, making your skin appear plumper, dewier, and more hydrated after each use. It also helps the skin heal after injury. 


However, HA molecules come in different sizes: the bigger the molecule, the more water it binds, but the less it penetrates through the epidermis, hence only offering hydration at the very surface of the skin. This explains why topical HA will never be as effective as an injectable HA filler for replacing lost volume. For maximum surface hydration, look for a product that contains HA molecules in a variety of sizes.

Even out Skin Tone and Reduce Blemishes With Niacinamide and Salicylic Acid

Even out Skin Tone and Reduce Blemishes With Niacinamide and Salicylic Acid

Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, helps to regulate oil production and prevents skin congestion which can result in blemishes. It also absorbs sebum and can protect the skin's barrier guarding against water loss and dehydration, which can affect all types of skin.


Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) which works by exfoliating the skin's surface and penetrating the pores, clearing out blackheads and whiteheads. This BHA is effective in stopping acne in its tracks due to its antibacterial qualities and its ability to unclog pores.

Felipe Partarrieu
Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu

Niacinamide and salicylic acid represents a great combination of active ingredients as they have an additive effect, meaning they offer similar benefits but work in slightly different ways


Their anti-blemish effects are due to their regulating properties over sebum production: Salicylic acid, being fat-soluble, can reach the sebaceous gland and directly decrease sebum production, whereas Niacinamide changes the composition of surface sebum, which leads to an improved skin texture. 


As added benefits, both of these active ingredients have anti-ageing properties and offer some level of UV protection.

Avoid Mineral Oils and Silicones, and Instead Look for Botanical Ingredients

Avoid Mineral Oils and Silicones, and Instead Look for Botanical Ingredients

Mineral oil is derived from petroleum and is widely used in beauty products, but it can be too heavy and suffocating for oily skin. Silicones are often used in moisturisers because of their soft velvety finish and conditioning properties. However they can sometimes be irritating to those with sensitive skin or acne.


Skincare products are becoming increasingly more plant-based, for environmental impact and wellness reasons, so it's now possible to avoid synthetics completely. Turning to botanical ingredients can avoid skin reactions and breakouts which are always a risk with their synthetic counterparts.

Felipe Partarrieu
Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu

Mineral oil is a highly refined petrolatum derivative used in several moisturisers. Many studies have shown it has a relatively low comedogenicity score compared to other substances. However, due to its occlusive nature, it can trap other ingredients onto the skin, potentially leading to clogged pores.


Therefore, people with acne-prone skin should proceed with caution. For those of you who wear make-up, avoidance of silicone-based products decreases the possibility of 'rolling' (products not getting absorbed and just bunching up over the skin). Plant-derived oils, in general, do not clog pores, they nourish the skin and do not cause breakouts.

2

Pick the Perfect Consistency For Your Skin With a Gel, Serum, Cream or Liquid

Pick the Perfect Consistency For Your Skin With a Gel, Serum, Cream or Liquid

Choosing what form you would like your moisturiser to take is a personal preference largely decided by what you have used before and what has worked for you. A water-based gel can be perfect for an overloaded complexion, as can the right oil-free serum or cream.


Combination skin, which can experience dry patches and oiliness would benefit from a lightweight lotion, cream or serum, providing the skin with the barrier it needs without excess moisture. For particularly oily skin, a liquid, gel or a lighter serum would be an ideal match for daily use.

Felipe Partarrieu
Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu

The election of a moisturising formula (or vehicle) depends on the skin type and personal preference. In principle, the less oily the formula, the more tolerable it is and constant use is higher


Gels and serums are water-based formulations that leave out occlusive moisturising ingredients such as petrolatum or mineral oil that keep water from evaporating. They also contain fewer thickening agents, giving them a pleasant consistency texture on the skin.

3

Consider a Moisturiser With SPF 5 or Higher to Control Breakouts and Acne

Consider a Moisturiser With SPF 5 or Higher to Control Breakouts and Acne

It's important to try to use an SPF during the day, especially in the warmer months. However, high factor lotions can lie heavily on the skin, causing congestion. Oily skin is often happiest without being smothered under many layers of lotion and makeup, so it's a good idea to choose a light moisturiser with an SPF of 30 or lower.


There is a myth that the sun 'dries up' spots and acne, but in reality, the heat is irritating to oily skin and can, in fact make it worse. Protection from the sun can do wonders for controlling breakouts or acne, and our research has included some excellent options to keep you safe from UV rays whilst balancing your skin.

Felipe Partarrieu
Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu

The fact that moisturisers can offer UV protection does not replace the need for the daily application of broad-spectrum sunscreen. That's because the level of UV protection a moisturiser might offer will never be as high as the one offered by a purposedly-formulated sunscreen cream or lotion.


There are sunscreens formulated in water-based lotions or that include anti-blemish ingredients (such as salicylic acid) that are ideal for people with acne-prone skin.

4

Choose a Moisturiser Specifically for Oily Skin

Choose a Moisturiser Specifically for Oily Skin

There are lots of products out there which may appear to be especially for oilier skin, but on closer reading are actually for all skin types. It's important to read product specifications to determine if the product is specially formulated for oily skin so it's best equipped for the task.


Look for moisturisers described as 'oil-free' or for 'oilier skin' or 'combination/oily skin' from brands such as La Roche-Posay and Kiehl's, who are experts in helping skin of this type to reach its potential. Many of these products are also suitable for acne, however it's best to consult a medical professional before treating more established skin conditions.

Felipe Partarrieu
Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu

Many products nowadays are labelled as 'oil-free' or 'for oily skin' and, if properly chosen, can offer a lot of benefits to people with oilier complexions.


However, the industry is not always as strict as it should be. Ingredients such as glyceryl tribehenate, lanolin, waxes, petrolatum and squalene do not have the word 'oil' in their name but have an oil-like effect on the skin so they shouldn't be included in an 'oil-free' formulation


Therefore, it's advisable to read the ingredients list before purchasing an 'oil-free' product. Fatty acids, fatty alcohols, sterols, and silicones are considered acceptable in oil-free preparations.

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Top 10 Best Moisturisers for Oily Skin in the UK

Now you know the important things to look for here is our carefully researched list of the ultimate moisturisers for oily skin in the UK.
Popularity
Products
Image
Price
Click to purchase
Key features
1

Origins

Original Skin Matte Moisturiser With Willowherb

Origins Original Skin Matte Moisturiser With Willowherb 1枚目

£28.00

Mid

Hydrating Gel Moisturiser for Makeup Ready Skin

2

Dermalogica

Active Moist Facial Moisturiser

Dermalogica Active Moist Facial Moisturiser 1枚目

£35.00

High Mid

An Oil-Free Lightweight Moisturiser With Silk Amino Acids

3

ESPA

24-Hour Balancing Moisturiser

ESPA 24-Hour Balancing Moisturiser 1枚目

£32.99

High Mid

The Ideal Moisturiser for Combo Skin and an Oily T-Zone

4

Kiehl's

Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion

Kiehl's  Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion 1枚目

£29.50

High Mid

Help Skin to Restore Its Moisture Balance

5

REN

Clarimatte T-Zone Balancing Gel Cream

REN Clarimatte T-Zone Balancing Gel Cream 1枚目

£24.00

Mid

A Mattifying Fluid from Combination to Oily Skin

6

Clinique

Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel Combination to Oily Skin

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel  1枚目

£15.45

Low Mid

Moisturising Yet Refreshing Gel from a Known Skin Expert

7

Caudalie

Vinopure Blemish Control Infusion Serum

Caudalie Vinopure Blemish Control Infusion Serum 1枚目

£26.40

Mid

A Lightweight Serum That Helps Reduce the Appearance of Blemishes

8

La Roche-Posay

Effaclar MAT

La Roche-Posay Effaclar MAT 1枚目

£15.99

Low Mid

A Soothing Moisturiser That Neutralises Persistent Shine

9

Cetaphil

Pro Oily Skin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30

Cetaphil Pro Oily Skin  1枚目

£31.99

High Mid

A Proven Formula to Absorb Oil and Reduce Shine

10

Avène

Cleanance Expert Moisturiser

Avène Cleanance Expert Moisturiser 1枚目

£14.99

Low Mid

Curb Blemish Prone Skin With the Help of Thermal Spring Water

If you don't see the product you're looking for, you can request that it be listed.
No.1

OriginsOriginal Skin Matte Moisturiser With Willowherb

Original Skin Matte Moisturiser With Willowherb Image 1
Source:boots.com
Reference price
£28.00
Mid
Reference price
£28.00
Mid

Hydrating Gel Moisturiser for Makeup Ready Skin

An oil-free luxury moisturiser which is perfect for priming skin before applying makeup, or for going bare. Pink rock rose and willowherb helps refine skin tone, minimise pores and control shine.


Origins skincare harnesses the power of plants without using potential irritants such as parabens, mineral oil or petroleum. Instead of the usual chemical suspects, this exquisite product is enriched with cruelty-free honey and beeswax.

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No.2

DermalogicaActive Moist Facial Moisturiser

Reference price
£35.00
High Mid

An Oil-Free Lightweight Moisturiser With Silk Amino Acids

Dermalogica skincare products focus on avoiding irritants and ingredients that would cause skin breakouts, and this product is formulated without artificial fragrances or colours.


This oil-free lightweight moisturiser is perfect for those with oily, combination or sensitive skin. Silk amino acids and plant extracts improve skin texture and balance moisture. It absorbs without a trace and creates an invisible barrier to lock in moisture. 

No.3

ESPA24-Hour Balancing Moisturiser

24-Hour Balancing Moisturiser Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£32.99
High Mid
Reference price
£32.99
High Mid

The Ideal Moisturiser for Combo Skin and an Oily T-Zone

A lovely luxury product from the ESPA range, this gentle moisturiser balances and clarifies combination skin and oily t-zones. White thyme, lavender and chamomile soothe, while Irish moss helps to moisturise and protect.


Excellent for balancing oil in changeable skin without clogging pores, while creating a light dewy glow. Keeps skin looking and feeling clean and clear with a relaxing, herbal scent.

No.4

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion

Reference price
£29.50
High Mid

Help Skin to Restore Its Moisture Balance

This moisturising lotion from the old New York apothecary truly gets the job done. Imperata Cylindrica root extract, antarcticine and vitamin E work together to retain moisture, protect and reduce shine.


Non-comedogenic, paraben-free, fragrance and oil-free, this product ticks all of the boxes for even the oiliest of skin, all year round. It helps visably reduce oil on the skin's surface and leaves a non-greasy, shine-free appearance.

No.5

RENClarimatte T-Zone Balancing Gel Cream

Reference price
£24.00
Mid

A Mattifying Fluid from Combination to Oily Skin

A minimalist gel which focuses on helping the skin to feel clean, clear and balanced. Glucomannan from Konjac Root disperses oiliness, Mayblossom purifies the skin, Bisabolol and Blue Cypress calm.


REN uses only 100% plant and mineral derived active ingredients, and is free from all synthetics. This botanical approach can really be felt in the quality of the skin over time, as it feels healthier from the inside.

No.6

CliniqueDramatically Different Moisturising Gel Combination to Oily Skin

Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel  Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£15.45
Low Mid
Reference price
£15.45
Low Mid

Moisturising Yet Refreshing Gel from a Known Skin Expert

Want to know that you're in really good hands with a worldwide skincare brand? Clinique's Dramatically Different may be the one for you. Specialists in moisture, this skincare line was developed with dermatologists and acts as a barrier to external nasties.


Oily skin gets all of the hydration it needs whilst staying fresh and matte. It intensely softens and soothes skin, instantly absorbs and is also fragrance free, to help those with sensitive skin. 

No.7

CaudalieVinopure Blemish Control Infusion Serum

Reference price
£26.40
Mid

A Lightweight Serum That Helps Reduce the Appearance of Blemishes

This serum makes it clear why French skincare is known for its ability to create effortless beauty! It lives up to its description of being a skin-perfecting serum while giving a luxurious boost.


Natural salicylic acid, grape-seed polyphenols and organic essential oils are perfect for getting rid of blemishes and tightening pores. This one is for those who veer towards having combination skin or pimples.

No.8

La Roche-PosayEffaclar MAT

Effaclar MAT Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£15.99
Low Mid
Reference price
£15.99
Low Mid

A Soothing Moisturiser That Neutralises Persistent Shine

The main thing this magic moisturiser has to boast is its ability to completely get rid of shine, even on the oiliest skin. Equally though, for those with combination skin it combats dry patches too.


Its Sebulyse Technology mattifies and refines pores, and it retains an oil-free texture with Perlite. It feels a little like something you might get from a pharmacy but really does the job for shiny skin. Unfortunately however, it does not offer SPF protection.

No.9

CetaphilPro Oily Skin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30

Pro Oily Skin  Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£31.99
High Mid
Reference price
£31.99
High Mid

A Proven Formula to Absorb Oil and Reduce Shine

A seriously good moisturiser for those with very oily complexions or those who struggle with breakouts. Clinically proven to absorb and reduce oil, it minimises shine and sufficiently hydrates and soothes.


It can be difficult to find a top-quality moisturiser with an SPF which isn't too heavy, especially for oily skin. Luckily we've found Cetaphil PRO, which does it all whilst protecting from UV rays. However, if you have sensitive skin, you may want to give this one a miss as it may slightly sting skin when applied. 

No.10

AvèneCleanance Expert Moisturiser

Cleanance Expert Moisturiser Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£14.99
Low Mid
Reference price
£14.99
Low Mid

Curb Blemish Prone Skin With the Help of Thermal Spring Water

An unbeatable cream in its price range for oilier skin types and is formulated to help reduce the production of sebum, whilst helping calm blemishes and soothing and hydrating skin. IT can also be used alongside topical skin creams.


Although excellent for those on a small budget, it does contain some synthetic ingredients and isn't as botanically-based as other options. Which can maybe be expected for its cheaper price, but it's still a great contender.

Even More Beauty Products to Help Your Skin Reach Its Potential

Even More Beauty Products to Help Your Skin Reach Its Potential

For great skin it's important to take care in every step of your beauty routine, whether that includes cleansing, washing with facial soap, toning, applying makeup or simply going barefaced. Check out our other articles for more specially tailored tips and advice on skincare and beauty.

Summary

All skin needs a bit of love and a good routine, and oily skin still needs to be hydrated and balanced. Hopefully our tips will have helped you in finding your perfect moisturiser to put your best face forward.


Author: Melanie McPhail

Top 5 Moisturisers for Oily Skin

No. 1: OriginsOriginal Skin Matte Moisturiser With Willowherb

No. 2: DermalogicaActive Moist Facial Moisturiser

No. 3: ESPA24-Hour Balancing Moisturiser

No. 4: Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion

No. 5: RENClarimatte T-Zone Balancing Gel Cream

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The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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