The 15 Best Moisturizers For Acne-Prone Skin Of 2020

by Ramona Sinha
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Acne makes our skin feel oily and greasy. And you might be wondering if you need a moisturizer. You need one, especially if using acne medication containing salicylic acid, isotretinoin, adapalene, and benzoyl peroxide. This is because acne medication dries out your skin, and using a moisturizer calms it. Moreover, when the skin is dry, it tends to produce more oil to prevent dryness. This can cause further breakouts and worsen your condition. If you do not know which moisturizer may suit your skin, we have compiled a list of the 15 best moisturizers for acne-prone skin. Take a look.

ProductsCheck Price
ACURE Incredibly Clear Mattifying MoisturizerCheck Price
Aveeno Clear ComplexionCheck Price
Best Drugstore Option: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne MoisturizerCheck Price
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Face MoisturizerCheck Price
Bioderma Sébium Pore RefinerCheck Price
Murad Skin Perfecting LotionCheck Price
Proactiv Green Tea MoisturizerCheck Price
LAVO Daily Moisturizer CreamCheck Price
Vichy Normaderm Anti-Blemish CareCheck Price
Majestic Pure Tea Tree Oil Face CreamCheck Price

15 Best Moisturizers For Acne-Prone Skin

1. ACURE Incredibly Clear Mattifying Moisturizer

The Incredibly Clear Mattifying Moisturizer by Acure claims to give you incredibly clear skin with regular use. It is meant for combination, oily, and acne-prone skin types. It contains charcoal that detoxifies your skin by drawing all impurities and lemon extracts that brighten the skin. It also contains willow bark extracts and salicylic acid that exfoliate the skin gently and keep the skin pores clean. This formula includes lilac extracts that support skin healing. These ingredients can be drying, so to balance things out, it also contains argan oil that rejuvenates the skin.

Pros

  • 100% vegan
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Unpleasant fragrance

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2. Aveeno Clear Complexion

This gentle moisturizer contains salicylic acid (0.5%) and Soy complex. It claims to improve your skin’s overall appearance, reduce blemishes, and even out the skin texture, making your skin soft and smooth. It is lightweight and fast-absorbing and does not feel heavy on your skin. However, it contains artificial fragrance, which is an irritant. Therefore, if you have sensitive skin and are intolerant to synthetic fragrances, do not use it as it might cause breakouts. 

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Contains artificial fragrance

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3. Best Drugstore Option: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Moisturizer

The Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Facial Moisturizer is formulated with salicylic acid (0.5% derived from pink grapefruit), a BHA used widely in acne medications. It has a lightweight texture and gets absorbed quickly to moisturize your skin. It also helps prevent emerging breakouts without making the skin feel greasy. It is infused with pink grapefruit extract and contains a mild pink grapefruit fragrance.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Non-greasy
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Lightweight
  • Pleasant fragrance

Cons

None

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4. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Face Moisturizer

If you need a lightweight and oil-free moisturizer for day-long wear, you can count on this product. The Effaclar Mat moisturizer by La Roche-Posay is made with Sebulyse Technology and contains zinc pidolate that neutralizes the shine on your skin. It targets excess oil production and mattifies the skin. It also refines the skin pores and delivers the daily hydration that your skin needs. You can also wear this moisturizer under your makeup.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Lightweight
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Contains salicylic acid

Cons

  • Contains artificial fragrance
  • Contains PEG
  • Contains alcohol denat

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5. Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner

If you have large and visible pores, this pore-refining moisturizer can help. It spreads easily on your skin and has a powder-like effect. It contains silica powder and anti-reflection particles that refine the appearance of your pores and provide a matte finish. The moisturizer contains salicylic acid that has an exfoliating effect and controls breakouts.

Pros

  • Oil-control
  • Does not cause irritation
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • Contains mineral oil
  • Contains artificial fragrance
  • Contains PEG

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6. Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion

This product is developed by doctors and delivers shine-free and blemish-free skin. It contains panthenol and honey extracts that keep the skin hydrated. It also contains arnica and Queen of Meadow extracts to refine the skin texture and make it smooth and healthy.

Pros

  • Lightweight formula
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • Oxybenzone-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Expensive for the quantity.

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7. Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer

 

This lightweight moisturizer is a powerful combination of botanical extracts and antioxidants that immediately soothes dry and irritated skin. It contains soothing green tea extracts that fight free radicals and calm the skin, while the hyaluronic acid keeps the skin moisturized. It includes other minerals that keep the skin nourished and healthy.

Note: This moisturizer is a part of the 3-step acne care system by the brand.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Lightweight
  • Dermatologist-developed
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • Contain parabens

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8. LAVO Daily Moisturizer Cream

This moisturizer cream is for combination, oily, and sensitive skin types, which are prone to acne. It contains botanical extracts like rosemary, sage, ginseng, aloe vera, hazelnut along with vitamins A, B, C, and D, azulene (derived from chamomile), and hyaluronic acid. This powerful blend of ingredients refines and tones the skin pores, keeps the skin hydrated, soothes irritation, renews the skin, and calms inflammation. Azulene forms a protective layer on your skin to prevent bacteria and dirt accumulation. It also has anti-aging benefits.

Pros

  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Quick absorption
  • Non-greasy
  • Non-sticky
  • Non-scented
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • May feel heavy on the skin.

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9. Vichy Normaderm Anti-Blemish Care

This anti-blemish treatment by Vichy targets all types of blemishes, including those left behind by acne. It claims to minimize blemishes, spots, refine the pores, reduce shine, and improve dull complexion. It is a 24-hour hydration formula and can be used under makeup.

Pros

  • Patented technology
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Non-sticky
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Contains alcohol denat
  • Contains PEG
  • Contains artificial fragrance

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10. Majestic Pure Tea Tree Oil Face Cream

If you have dry and acne-prone skin, this is the best moisturizer for you. This is a therapeutic-grade face cream for dry and acne-prone skin that contains 5% tea tree oil, a potent acne fighter. The tea tree oil is of the finest quality and is 100% pure. This face cream also contains ceramides 1, 3, and 6 that protect your skin barrier, help retain moisture, and, shield your skin from environmental aggressors like pollution or irritants.

Note: This cream contains pure tea tree oil. A patch test is recommended.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • 100% pure tea tree oil
  • Contains ceramides
  • Cruelty-free
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • Contains petrolatum

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11. Clean & Clear Essentials Dual Action Facial Moisturizer

This is part moisturizer and part acne treatment and is the last step of the 3-step routine for acne-control by Clean and Clear. This dual-action moisturizer contains 0.5% salicylic acid and prevents acne and pimples. This oil-free formula keeps the skin soft and smooth. It not only targets the existing pimples but also prevents future breakouts.

Pros

  • Non-drying
  • Oil-free
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Contains artificial fragrance

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12. Best Lightweight Moisturizer:  boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer

If you want a moisturizer that will keep the skin hydrated without irritating it or feeling heavy, try this product. This moisturizer is ultra-lightweight and contains extracts of Queen of the Night Cactus. It gets absorbed quickly and delivers instant hydration to your skin. It can be used under makeup instead of a primer. This cream is beneficial, especially for dry skin. It also contains aloe vera extracts that calm the skin down and trap moisture.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Contains peptide complex

Cons

None

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13. Best Overall: First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Oil-Free Mattifying Gel

This gel moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated without making it oily. It has a unique water-break texture. It feels like an instant burst of moisture on your skin and then disappears quickly. It contains salicornia herbacea that hydrates the skin and ceramide 3 that protects the skin barrier making it plump and youthful. It reduces sebum and acne and refreshes the skin pores.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Lanolin-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • Oxybenzone-free
  • Hydroquinone-free
  • Triclorocarbon-free
  • Ethanol-free
  • Allergy-tested
  • Gluten-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Nut-free
  • Nano-free
  • Vegan

Cons

None

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14. Paula’s Choice CLEAR Oil-Free Moisturizer

This product is suitable for oily, acne, and blemish-prone skin. The moisturizer contains skin-repairing peptides and ceramides, pore-refining niacinamide, and skin-soothing pumpkin and blueberry extracts. These ingredients moisturize your skin and reduce redness and irritation caused by acne breakouts.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free
  • Lint-free
  • Science-backed formula
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • May feel a bit sticky.

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15. Best For Sensitive Acne-Prone Skin:  Avéne Eau Thermale TriAcnéal DAY

This is a daily moisturizer for acne-prone skin.  It is a mattifying formula. It contains glyceryl laurate that reduces excess sebum and oil, diolenyl that reduces blemishes, and PCC enzyme derived from papaya plant that exfoliates the skin gently without causing irritation. It also contains the Avéne thermal spring water that calms irritation and soothes the skin.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

None

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Before you jump to shopping, here are a few things to remember while choosing your moisturizer.

How To Pick The Right Moisturizer For Acne-Prone Skin

  • Read The Label: Check for terms like ‘oil-free’ and ‘non-comedogenic.’ Such moisturizers will not clog your skin pores and worsen the condition. Stay away from products that contain alcohol denat or denatured alcohol.
  • Check The Texture: If you have dry and acne-prone skin, go for a moisturizing cream. If you have oily and acne-prone skin, pick lightweight, water-based moisturizing lotions or gel-based moisturizers.
  • Check For SPF: Sun exposure aggravates acne. Try to pick a moisturizer with SPF (unless you want to apply the moisturizer at night). Otherwise, you can use a separate sunscreen lotion.

Always apply moisturizer right after washing your face. Damp skin can absorb and retain moisture and the ingredients in the moisturizer better. You can apply moisturizer whenever your skin feels dry. After you start using acne-friendly moisturizers, you can expect to see results within a month or two. Go ahead and pick a moisturizer that you think is best for you.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

Can moisturizers cause breakouts?

If you are using the right one, no. If you are using oil-based and heavy creams, they might congest the skin pores, worsening your condition.

How to clear up acne fast?

Visit a dermatologist and use proper acne medication that might include oral antibiotics and topical creams. Also, follow a proper skin care routine and use products meant for acne-prone skin.

What helps sensitive acne-prone skin?

Stay away from harsh exfoliants. Always use a gentle cleanser and never use too many acne treatments at the same time. Consult a dermatologist and follow the treatment options suggested by them.

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Ramona Sinha

Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.
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