The 10 Best Moisturizers For Oily Skin in 2022, Tested and Reviewed

Tatcha The Water Cream Oil-Free Pore Minimizing Primer Moisturizer leaves your skin looking glowy, not greasy.

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Moisturizers For Oily Skin


Although it may seem counterintuitive to use a moisturizer when you struggle with oily skin, it is a vital step that shouldn’t be skipped. Oftentimes, oily skin can be a huge indicator that you actually need more moisture. Zeroing in on a moisturizer that is specially formulated for oily skin isn’t the easiest process, though. With countless creams, gels, and lotions to choose from, selecting a moisturizer that doesn’t work for oily skin is an all-too-common mishap.

To take out the guesswork, we identified 29 top-rated moisturizers for oily skin, and recruited a team of testers who have oily skin to try out each one. Using advanced technology to measure skin’s hydration levels, our testers analyzed each moisturizer based on its absorption, oiliness, texture, and overall appearance. In the end we narrowed the pool down to 10 impressive picks. Coming out on top is Tatcha The Water Cream Oil-Free Pore Minimizing Moisturizer. Thanks to its lightweight formula, silky texture, and oil-free appearance on the skin, it was a clear winner among our testers.

Below, find the 10 best moisturizers for oily skin, according to InSyle testers.

Best Overall: Tatcha The Water Cream

Tatcha The Water Cream


What We Love: It moisturizes skin without leaving a greasy feeling.

What We Don’t Love: The packaging is a bit bulky, which makes it hard to travel with.

Blending Japanese botanicals with clinically tested ingredients, Tatcha The Water Cream Oil-Free Pore Minimizing Moisturizer magically mattifies skin even on the oiliest of days, so you no longer have to worry about a shiny T-zone when using this. Formulated with Japanese leopard lily and wild rose, these botanicals control excess oil, promote a balanced and hydrated skin barrier, and tighten skin for a supple and bouncy appearance.

A small dollop of the luxe moisturizer is enough to fully hydrate your face, neck, and decolletage. “The water cream texture instantly melts into my skin, plumping all of my fine lines,” our tester says. While there’s a lot to love about this pick, the packaging is a bit bulky, so you’ll either have to decant it or choose another cream to take with you on trips.

Price at time of publish: $69

Size: 1.7 fl oz.|Key Ingredients: Japanese wild rose, Japanese leopard lily | Scented: No

Best Gel: Basebutter Balancing Gel Facial Moisturizer

Basebutter balancing gel facial moisturizer


What We Love: It reduces oiliness throughout the day thanks to the inclusion of aloe leaf juice.

What We Don’t Love: It has a medicinal smell.

This gel moisturizer will leave your skin with a greaseless glow. Basebutter Balancing Gel Facial Moisturizer tames oily skin by reducing shine and oil production throughout the day. “It hydrates my skin and boosts elasticity, but doesn’t leave me looking shiny,” says our tester. With nutrient-rich ingredients like aloe leaf juice, primrose oil, almond oil, and shea butter, this gel keeps your complexion balanced and smooth. “I love that my skin feels awake and taught upon application,” our tester adds. Plus, it’s non-comedogenic, so you won’t have to worry about breakouts when using this moisturizer. The one downside is that it has a slight medicinal smell, but it dissipates pretty quickly once applied.

Price at time of publish: $29

Size: 2 fl oz.|Key Ingredients: Aloe leaf juice, Shea butter, Primrose oil, Almond oil | Scented: Yes

Best Plumping: Shani Darden Skin Care Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer

Shani Darden Skin Care Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer


What We Love: It plumps your skin while leaving you shine free.

What We Don’t Love: If you have combination skin, this product may not be hydrating enough for your dry spots.

Like botox in a bottle, Shani Darden Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer rejuvenates and plumps skin without leaving your face looking like an oil spill. The non-greasy concoction magically awakens your skin, restoring any loss of firmness. Our tester loves the lightweight formula and how easily it applies. “This feather-light moisturizer firms up my skin, sculpting my face,” she says. “My skin feels nourished and looks noticeably smoother.” In addition to making skin supple, sodium hyaluronate (a derivative of hyaluronic acid) helps the skin retain moisture, too. Personally, this is one of my favorite moisturizers and I find that it works great to keep my skin hydrated underneath makeup.

Price at time of publish: $48

Size: 2.5 fl oz.|Key Ingredients: Red algae extract, Sodium hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed collagen|Scented: No

Best Mattifying: Caudalie Vinopure Moisturizing Mattifying Fluid

Caudalie Vinopure Moisturizing Mattifying Fluid


What We Love: It’s especially great for those with acne-prone skin.

What We Don’t Love: It’s not as hydrating as other picks on this list.

Say goodbye to an oily T-zone with this lightweight moisturizer. Caudalie Vinopure Oil Control is perfect for those who hate the feeling of heavy products — the weightless formula melts into skin almost immediately and leaves you with a beautiful matte finish. “This gel moisturizer feels like water on the skin,” our tester explains. “It leaves my complexion oil-free and completely matte.” Formulated with grape seed polyphenols, this moisturizer also reduces the appearance of pores and blackheads, which is a great bonus in our book. The one setback is that this moisturizer is not as hydrating as some of our other picks, so if you need more hydration you should try incorporating a face oil on top of this.

Price at time of publish: $35

Size: 1.35 fl oz.|Key Ingredients: Grape seed polyphenols, Silica powder, Java tea extract, Olive squalene|Scented: No

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Matte Moisturizer

best moisturizers for oily skin


What We Love: It dries down fully matte, making unwanted shine disappear.

What We Don’t Love: It will pill under makeup if you don’t wait for it to fully dry.

For those that struggle with acne, the last thing you want is a moisturizer to further irritate your skin. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Matte Face Moisturizer absorbs excess oil, while also strengthening the skin barrier. As a brand, La Roche-Posay makes great products for those with sensitive and acne-prone skin, so it’s no surprise that this formula is a favorite among our testers. “The gel-cream has a nice texture and consistency,” our tester notes. “It absorbs quickly but has enough heft.” Formulated with perlite — a mineral that absorbs excess oil — this moisturizer works to control sebum (a fancy word for oil production). “Shockingly, my skin is left with a nice matte finish almost immediately,” our tester adds. It also works great as a primer, but be sure to let the product fully absorb before applying any makeup to avoid pilling.

Price at time of publish: $20

Size: 2.56 fl oz.|Key Ingredients: Niacinamide, Perlite|Scented: No

Best for Sensitive Skin: innisfree Green Tea Seed Intensive Hydrating Cream Face Moisturizer

innisfree Green Tea Seed Intensive Hydrating Cream Face Moisturizer


What We Love: Rich in antioxidants and amino acids, this moisturizer leaves your skin looking radiant and shine free.

What We Don’t Love: We wish it came with a pump dispenser to make things more hygenic.

If you have sensitive skin, finding a good moisturizer can be a nightmare — it can take a lot of trial and error to find a product that doesn’t cause any irritation, redness, or breakouts. Luckily, innisfree Green Tea Seed Intensive Hydrating Cream Face Moisturizer is an all around great option. The gentle formula, which features green tea, strengthens the skin’s barrier and deeply hydrates. “It immediately absorbs into my skin, and I was engulfed by a relaxing green tea scent,” says our tester. “My skin looks hydrated and dewy, but not greasy which is hard to accomplish.”

Though scents can sometimes cause adverse reactions for those with sensitive skin, this one is light enough that it won’t; plus, it makes applying the cream feel like a sensorial spa experience. A little bit goes a long way, too, so the moisturizer will last you a long time. Our tester does wish this product came with a pump to make it more hygienic, but just make sure to wash your hands before dipping into the jar to avoid any bacteria contamination.

Price at time of publish: $24

Size: 1.69 fl oz.|Key Ingredients: Green tea extract, Panthenol|Scented: No

Best for Enlarged Pores: Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel

Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel


What We Love: It’s made with niacinamide to help minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines.

What We Don’t Love: The texture is similar to a silicone primer, so it won’t provide intense hydration.

You can’t magically get rid of pores — but this product does help minimize their appearance. Formulated with niacinamide to reduce the look of pores and even out discoloration, Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel glides over the skin to deliver optimal hydration and an even complexion. “After application, my fine lines and pores look significantly reduced,” our tester says. “It feels, smells, and looks beautiful — with a price tag that makes it feel like a total steal!” This nourishing formulation absorbs excess oil and helps tame any shine, too. After only one application, our tester was amazed by the drastic results, noticing her pores (or lack thereof) and the resulting supple, matte complexion.

Price at time of publish: $33

Size: 2 fl oz.|Key Ingredients: Niacinamide, Green tea leaf extract|Scented: No

Best for Combination Skin: SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2


What We Love: It evens out your skin, giving you lasting hydration while also diminishing unwanted shine.

What We Don’t Love: It takes a while for the formula to fully absorb into the skin.

It’s no secret that SkinCeuticals knows a thing or two about skincare. But when it comes to cult-favorite products, their Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 has maintained that status for years. The formulation works to hydrate skin, while getting rid of any unwanted shine. “I think that if you really struggle with combination skin, this would be a great purchase and definitely worth the price because it evens out skin so well,” our tester says. “It made both my dry and oily [spots] look even, which is not an easy feat.” Using two percent ceramides, four percent cholesterol, and two percent fatty acids, this moisturizer works to turn back time and restore your skin to its best self. Your skin will not only feel moisturized and plump, but it will also look radiant and supple.

Price at time of publish: $136

Size: 1.6 fl oz.|Key Ingredients: Vitamin E, Essential oils, Lipids|Scented: No

Best Lightweight: Mele Plump It Up Nourishing Facial Cream

mele Plump It Up Nourishing Facial Cream


What We Love: It was formulated by dermatologists of color who understand the needs of melanin rich skin. 

What We Don’t Love: There is a light floral fragrance that may aggravate sensitive skin.

Leave the heavier moisturizers for those with dry skin. Those of us with oily skin fare better with lightweight options — and this one from Mele is one of the best. The Plump It Up Nourishing Facial Cream’s light, cloud-like texture is pillow-soft, works to control oil throughout the day, and aids in correcting imperfections, like fine lines and wrinkles. “The product absorbed well and didn’t feel heavy on my skin,” notes our tester. “I feel hydrated and refreshed, but not greasy or shiny,” she adds. Plus, the product is co-formulated by dermatologists of color, keeping the needs of melanin-rich skin top of mind.

Price at time of publish: $9 (originally $10)

Size:1.35  fl oz.|Key Ingredients: Niacinamide, Vitamin B |Scented: Yes

Best Sustainable: Tata Harper Water-Lock Moisturizer

Tata Harper Water-Lock Moisturizer


What We Love: The refillable packaging reduces your overall waste.

What We Don’t Love: The refill only contains about a month’s worth of product, so you’ll have to restock often.

Tata Harper is having a moment — and one of our favorite products from the brand is the Water-Lock Moisturizer. We love it not only for its natural ingredients (like pomegranate spheres, orange blossom peptides, and macro hyaluronic acid), but also for its environmentally friendly packaging. It feels delightfully cushiony on the skin, and won’t leave you looking like an oily mess. “It melts into my skin immediately without leaving a film,” our tester explains. “I also love that you can reuse the jar and buy refills of the moisturizer itself; that alone makes this worth the value to me,” she says.

Price at time of publish: $68

: 1.7 fl oz.|Key Ingredients:  Pomegranate spheres, Orange blossom peptides, Macro hyaluronic acid|Scented: No

Other Options You Might Like

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer

La Roche-Posay is known for its affordable yet effective products that can be easily found at most stores. We liked how quickly this moisturizer absorbed into the skin — our tester says it feels lightweight and isn’t noticeable on the skin. It also worked as advertised, mattifying the skin and removing any excess oil. The brand’s similar Toleriane moisturizer, which made our list, received slightly better scores because the tester for the Effaclar thinks this version was almost too mattifying. “My face does feel a little tight,” she said upon testing it. For anyone with extremely oily skin, though, that might be a huge plus. 

Cetaphil Pro Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30

A handy drugstore pick, Cetaphil makes excellent bare-bones products, like this no-fuss moisturizer, which will do exactly what it’s supposed to — no more, no less. “The product reduced oil while adding a significant amount of hydration and moisture,” says the tester. It even has SPF 30 for anyone who loves a good all-in-one product. But its greatest asset is also its biggest weakness — it won’t plump your skin or give you that coveted glow; it simply just reduces shine and oily while also keeping your skin hydrated and protected from the sun (I mean, that’s nothing to scoff at, though, in our opinion). The tester even went as far as to say, “My skin looked a bit dull.” This would be an excellent pick for anyone who wants something simple that does the job well and can be easily layered with other products, like a Vitamin-C serum for extra glow.

Summer Fridays Cloud Dew Oil-Free Gel Cream Moisturizer

The creator of one of our favorite face masks, Summer Fridays impressed us with this oil-free gel-cream moisturizer. With three different types of hyaluronic acid and ceramides, the moisturizer noticeably hydrates and plumps the skin. The infused pineapple enzyme softens, smooths, and evens out skin tone, while the addition of amino acids will provide protection from environmental stressors. And even though it’s jam-packed with moisturizing ingredients, it won’t leave you looking overly shiny. “My face appeared less oily while still remaining glowy,” says our tester. The absorption speed gave us pause, though. While the tester describes it as absorbing “pretty easily”, she thought it still “left a slight residue.” It redeemed itself eventually, however. “As I waited more time it dried up nicely,” she added. For anyone who doesn’t aim for speed with their skincare routine, you might appreciate the more decadent texture that absorbs slowly and surely.

Our Testing Process

To begin, we researched the top rated moisturizers for oily skin. After conducting some online investigation, we were able to come up with a list of 29 top-reviewed moisturizers. Using advanced technology, our testers measured their skin’s moisture levels before and after use, noting any significant changes. Then, our testers rated each of the 29 moisturizers on a scale of 1 to 5 for four important categories: Feel, absorption, oiliness, and overall appearance. Once all the testers provided their notes and feedback, we were able to pull together the results and narrow down the list to the 10 best moisturizers for oily skin.

What to Keep in Mind


Moisturizers come in a variety of textures. There are gels, lotions, balms, oils, and more. For those that struggle with greasy-looking skin, you want to opt for something lightweight because a heavy, thick cream will only amplify your oil concerns. As Edwin Batista, Director of Education at Dr. Hauschka skincare, notes, “Finding moisturizers that balance out your skin’s own natural oil production while imparting necessary moisture production is ideal.” Gels, often water-based, are great for oily and acne-prone skin, which is why we love Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisturizer. But, if you need some more intense hydration or have combination skin, lightweight creams or lotions may be a better fit (like SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 ).


When looking for moisturizers, products that contain niacinamide (like Mele Plump It Up Nourishing Facial Cream) and hyaluronic acid (like Tata Harper Water-Lock Moisturizer), work to slow down oil production. Niacinamide is great for absorbing any excess oil on the surface of the skin, but doesn’t deplete your skin of hydration; while hyaluronic acid regulates sebum production, but still helps to maintain your skin’s natural hydration levels.

Your Questions, Answered

Can I skip moisturizer and just use sunscreen if I have oily skin?

According to Batista, both a moisturizer and sunscreen are necessary steps in your skincare regimen. “Moisturizers provide benefits that protect your skin’s moisture barrier, creating a cocoon that insulates humectants on the skin and prevents the environment from drying your skin out,” he explains. “Sunscreen, on the other hand, is intended to provide UVA and UVB blockers, preventing harmful rays from penetrating the skin."

Batista advises that while both are crucial, it is possible to use hybrid products that both moisturize and protect your skin from the sun. But he notes that you shouldn’t be using a dual product at night as it can block your pores and lead to breakouts.

How much moisturizer should I use on oily skin?

As a general rule, a walnut size amount of moisturizer is enough for your face, neck and décolleté,” says Batista. “The best method to ensure you are always applying the right amount of moisturizer is to place a pea-size amount along the forehead, cheeks, neck, and décolleté.”

Are gel moisturizers good for oily skin?

Batista explains that finding a moisturizer that helps balance your skin’s own natural oil production is super important. Gel moisturizers are great for oily skin because they are lightweight in nature and help regulate natural oil production, while still hydrating your skin barrier.

What Is InStyle Picks?

Did you notice the InStyle Picks seal of approval at the top of this story? That means our team of testers has reviewed every product on this list using a unique methodology to ensure it's really worth your time, money, and attention. We may get samples for free to try but we never promise positive (or any!) coverage in exchange. Put simply: InStyle picks are products we love, and we've put them to the test to be sure you will too.

Why Shop With Us

Amanda Rosenthal is a commerce writer for InStyle. Amanda has experience researching and testing different skincare products and has tried tons of different moisturizers. With additional knowledge and research from Edwin Batista and personally having oily skin, she rounded up the top picks for this story. Amanda has tried out a multitude of moisturizers including ones from this story like the Shani Darden Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer and the Tata Harper Water-Lock.

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