9 Best Water-Based Moisturizers For Oily Skin In 2023

Hydrate your skin without risking acne or excess shine with these water-based moisturizers.

Reviewed by Vanessa HuertaVanessa Huerta, Licensed Esthetician
By Kirtana DivakarKirtana Divakar  • 
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If you hate to apply a moisturizer on your face, you probably have oily skin. Who would want to make their oily skin even greasier by using a moisturizer? Wait! Choosing the best water-based moisturizer for your oily skin can do the trick for you. Oily skin is a result of excess secretion of sebum. A good moisturizer specifically made for this skin type helps you manage this condition. But how does a water-based moisturizer differ from a regular moisturizer? How does it benefit your skin?

Water-based moisturizers are non-sticky and gentle. The quick-absorbing formulas can influence sebum secretion and prevent clogged pores, breakouts, and acne. Also, they replenish the skin, improve moisture, and keep oiliness in check. These moisturizers contain natural extracts only and are devoid of harmful chemicals.  Vanessa Huerta, a cosmetic chemist with 20 years of experience, explains, “While oily skin still needs essential fatty oils included in a skin care routine, a water-based gel moisturizer will leave you with a lighter finish and optimal hydration.”

Top Picks

Top 9 Water-Based Moisturizers For Oily Skin – Reviews In 2023

Best Non-Comedogenic:Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel


Give your oily skin the hydration it deserves with this Neutrogena Hydro Boost water-based gel moisturizer. The water magnets and skin conditioners present in this gel work together to strengthen the moisture barrier. This product contains purified hyaluronic acid, which attracts and locks moisture into the skin. It is also formulated with glycerin, which hydrates and rejuvenates your skin, making them soft and plump from within. With its unique progressive release system, this formula seals in moisture for up to 24 hours, preventing dryness. Click on the video to find out the benefits of Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel and the right way of using it.

  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Long-lasting effect
  • Provides 2x hydration
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Temporarily relieves irritation due to rashes and eczema


  • Might not treat acne
  • Doesn’t provide SPF protection

protip_icon Remember
Sunscreen is essential, especially if you have acne. Pair your moisturizer with a strong SPF every time you step out.

Why It’s Worth Buying: This product has made it to our top favorite list with more than 72,958 rave reviews on Amazon.
Price at the time of publication: $15.9

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Oil-Free Moisturizer

Image: Alba

Does your skin feel extremely shiny and greasy after applying a moisturizing cream? Here is a water-based lotion for oily skin by Alba Botanica to solve this problem. With antioxidant-rich ingredients like green tea, papaya, Gotu kola, cucumber, and aloe vera extracts, it repairs skin damage, boosts collagen production, and keeps your skin healthy. Hyaluronic acid facilitates hydration to prevent acne, breakouts, and dryness. It also tones down oiliness, reduces the appearance of pores, and delivers an even-toned, smooth, and radiant complexion to your skin.


  • Oil-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Soothing effect
  • Free of synthetic scents


  • The consistency might be slightly sticky.

Why It’s Worth Buying: This product has received 5,376 reviews from customers on Amazon, indicating its popularity and reliability.
Price at the time of publication: $16.39

L’Oreal Paris Hydra Genius Water-Based Cream

Image: L’Oreal

Are you looking for a mild water-based cream for oily skin? If yes, you should consider this one by L’Oreal Paris. This formula contains pure aloe water and 3 types of hyaluronic acid, which hydrates your skin for up to 72 hours. This revitalizing cream will amaze you by lending you a matte finish with a radiant glow that you always wanted for your skin! It also contains vitamins C and E, which repairs and rejuvenates dull, damaged skin while fighting against acne and breakouts. Watch an honest review of the Loreal Paris Hydra-Genius Water Based Cream.


  • Oil-free
  • Lightweight
  • Reduces sheen
  • Refreshing effect
  • Non-greasy formula
  • Rich in amino acids and antioxidants
  • Delivers plump, fresh, and healthy skin


  • Some may find the scent overpowering.

Why It’s Worth Buying: A whopping 7,350 reviews on Amazon make it obvious that users genuinely love this product.
Price at the time of publication: $18.54

Best Hypoallergenic:Palmer’s Coconut Water Facial Moisturizer

This one stands tall as one of the best moisturizers for oily skin on our list. It is enriched with coconut water and papaya enzymes, which infuses antioxidants into your skin and rehydrates it for a soft, silky, and nourished finish. The formula also includes hyaluronic acid, which acts as an excellent hydrating agent to boost moisture and radiance all day. Besides this, it also contains aloe juice, sunflower seed oil, and shea butter to attract and lock in extra moisture for an extended period. This moisturizer helps prevent acne, spots, blemishes, and breakouts while unclogging the pores. Click on the video to find out the benefits of the Palmer’s Coconut Water Facial Moisturizer.

  • No GMOs
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Works on all skin types
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and dyes


  • The consistency might be too watery.

protip_icon Pro Tip
If you have oily skin, always cleanse and use a toner before applying your water-based moisturizer.

Why It’s Worth Buying: With over 4,372 Amazon acclaimed reviews, this product is sure to find a place in everyone’s shopping bag.
Price at the time of publication: $43.43

Tatcha 一 The Water Cream

Image: Tatcha

This Tatcha water-based moisturizer for your face is what you need for hydration and nourishment. The blend of Japanese wild rose and leopard lily will tighten your pores, smoothen your skin, to give you flawless skin you longed for. This formula also includes green tea, rice, and algae to help your skin look oil-free and glowing. This water-based cream hydrates and clarifies your skin by enhancing natural skin turnover. If you’re looking for a moisturizer to not only hydrate your skin but to also repair it,  this Tatcha water-based moisturizer has got your back.


  • Purifies skin
  • Fights aging
  • Non-greasy formula
  • Diminishes acne scars
  • Deeply delivers treatment benefits


  • May not be suitable for dry skin
Why It’s Worth Buying: With 2,615 positive reviews on Amazon, this product has become a bestseller.
Price at the time of publication: $123.0

Natural Outcome Oily Skin Moisturizer

Image: NaturalOutcome

Don’t miss out on this vegan gel-type moisturizer for oily skin, which comes with many skin benefits! This skin care formula containing watermelon and aloe vera gel will leave you stunned with its amazing hydrating and healing properties. This mattifying moisturizer helps in cell regeneration, slows down aging, and gives you an oil-free look. This water-based lotion for oily skin infused with lime and apple extract is all you need for your skin to look glowing, young, and radiant.


  • Oil-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Fights aging
  • Lightweight formula
  • Sulfate, paraben, and dye-free


  • Might not reduce the sheen on the skin
Price at the time of publication: $16.95

Klairs Fundamental Water Gel Cream

Image: Klairs

Are you looking for a deeply nourishing face moisturizer? If yes, this one from Klairs is one of the best water-based products for oily skin. This formula, with its advanced liposomes, directly penetrates your skin and delivers hydration and nourishment. The key ingredients green tea, panthenol, and hyaluronic acid reduce inflammation and help retain moisture. The delicate mix of jojoba extracts, rosemary leaves, and cica will not just give you a fresh look but will repair and rejuvenate your skin.


  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Deeply nourishing
  • Refreshing effect
  • Non-greasy formula
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Suitable for all skin types


  • Consistency might be a little watery

Price at the time of publication: $31

Best Sebum Control:Good Vibes Orange Refreshing Face Gel

Good Vibes Orange Refreshing Face Gel Image: Good Vibes

The Good Vibes Orange Refreshing Face Gel is an amazing lightweight moisturizer that nourishes without clogging your pores. It is suitable for normal to oily skin types, and effectively regulates oil production. It enhances skin tone, texture, and elasticity. The formula is enriched with antioxidants like vitamin C, which fight free radicals and help delay the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It gently removes dead skin cells, brightens your skin, repairs damage, and leaves you with soft, supple, and radiantly-glowing skin.

  • Lightweight
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Offers anti-aging benefits
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Cruelty-free



Price at the time of publication: $11.19

Florencia Sage And Citrus Lightweight Moisturizer

Image: Florencia

Do you worry about your skin looking dull and oily? This Florencia sage and citrus natural water-based moisturizer for oily skin will help your skin balance the oil production and give you a radiant glow. The key ingredients lemon bioflavonoid, sage extracts, and vitamins C and E will purify your skin, diminish acne scars, and protect your skin from damage due to exposure to pollutants. It also contains vitamin A and aloe vera extract to improve elasticity and hydrate parched skin. This water-based face moisturizer for oily skin protects your skin from further breakouts and helps clarify your complexion.


  • Oil-free
  • Lightweight
  • Alcohol-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-sticky formula
  • Long-lasting hydration


  • Might not be suitable for sensitive skin
Price at the time of publication: $39

Now that you’ve taken a look at the 9 best water-based moisturizers for oily skin, learn more about how to select the right one with the help of our buying guide. The following are a few essential factors to consider before choosing such a product.

How To  Choose A Water-Based Moisturizer For Oily Skin

  • Ingredients

Ingredients are a crucial factor in skin care. Oily skin requires hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, retinol, glycerin, etc., to control excess sebum generation. For dry and combination skin, products with ceramides, antioxidants, and niacinamide work the best as they lock inadequate moisture to the skin. To treat and pamper your sensitive skin, look for products formulated with aloe vera, calendula, chamomile honey, green tea, or shea butter extracts.

  • Formula

When choosing a water-based moisturizer for oily skin, opt for an oil-free and non-comedogenic formula. It is helpful as they don’t clog your pores and thus, prevents acne and breakouts. They also ensure a mess-free finish without any product buildup or residue.

  • One that tones down the shine

Many moisturizers leave behind a white cast that may not complement your complexion. Hence, it is essential to use a water-based moisturizer with sebum-controlling components such as hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.

  • SPF formulation

Who doesn’t love an added benefit! Sunscreen is a crucial skin care step as it shields your skin against harmful UV rays from the sun. We suggest that you purchase a water-based moisturizer with at least 30 SPF with UVA/UVB protection to guard your skin from sun damage.

Water-based moisturizers are best suited for oily skin because their watery consistency offers hydration to this skin type. However, choosing the best water-based moisturizers for oily skin is tricky. But this article has a list of products that you can choose from. These moisturizers have a non-sticky and gentle formula that absorbs quickly and prevents breakouts, acne, and clogged pores. They are enriched with natural extracts and are devoid of harsh chemicals. These products replenish moisture in your skin and keep the oiliness in check. Consider the ingredients and formula, and ensure the product offers SPF protection while choosing the best water-based moisturizers for oily skin.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Kirtana Divakar is a skin and hair care enthusiast who is passionate about recommending the most reliable and safe products to her readers. She has curated this comprehensive list of the best water-based moisturizers for oily skin. These products are gentle, control oil production, and help maintain well-nourished skin. She has also included each product’s specifications and a detailed buying guide to help you pick the right moisturizer for your skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of moisturizer is better for oily skin – gel or cream?

Gel moisturizers are most suitable for oily skin due to their lightweight and water-based formulas. Thick cream moisturizer might clog pores and cause breakouts in oily skin.

When do you use a water-based moisturizer – morning or night?

There is no specific time to use a water-based moisturizer. You can use it in the morning, or at night, as a part of your skin care regime.

Is salicylic acid good for oily skin?

Yes, salicylic acid is great for oily skin. Water-based moisturizers containing salicylic acid can fight acne and breakouts while controlling sebum production.

How can I apply a water-based moisturizer?

Prepare your skin with a lightweight facial oil before applying a water-based moisturizer. Take four to five drops of the moisturizer on your palm. Apply it gently on your face without rubbing too much. If you need to go out, do not forget to pair the moisturizer with an efficient sunscreen.

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