5 Reasons To Use Oil Free Moisturizer

5 Reasons To Use Oil Free Moisturizer

Moisturizing is one of the cornerstones of a well-rounded, effective skincare regimen. It doesn’t matter what your skin type is, what your complexion concerns are, or what the environmental factors are where you live — hydration is crucial for skin health. But choosing the right moisturizer for your individual skin type and concerns can be challenging with so many options available to you.

“Oil-free moisturizers can be especially helpful for those with oily skin, but they really work well for all skin types.”

  • Shani Darden, esthetician

To make that decision a little bit easier, I’m here to talk to you about oil-free moisturizers. There are many benefits of swapping out a heavy, pore-clogging moisturizer for something with a more lightweight formulation. So let’s talk about the top five reasons to switch to an oil-free moisturizer and what skin types or situations warrant oil-free moisturizers in general.

What Is an Oil-Free Moisturizer?

Instinctively, oil might feel like an important part of your moisturizer. And in some ways, it is. Oils act as what’s known as an occlusive. But occlusives aren’t the end-all, be-all of hydration, and they aren’t what makes a moisturizer a moisturizer. 

Lotions generally skip the occlusives for two other elements: humectants, which attract and bind water molecules to your skin, and emollients which are lipids that fill in the cracks left when your cells dry out.

Humectants are great for all skin types, and emollients are excellent for helping to soothe symptoms of certain skin conditions. Both of these elements can also help to support your skin barrier, which is crucial for supporting a healthy, even complexion.

Your skin barrier helps to keep bacteria and other impurities out — which is important for acne-prone skin — while keeping necessary hydration in. So having a face moisturizer that supports your skin barrier is crucial to hydration. 

This type of lightweight formula is generally helpful for oily skin, combination skin, and sensitive skin. It can also be a smart swap when transitioning from winter to summer months if your skin is feeling a bit stuffed up. If you want some oil control from your facial moisturizer, an oil-free moisturizer is for you. 

Why Use an Oil-Free Moisturizer?

It’s clear that oil-free moisturizers can be incredibly helpful, but why would someone want to switch to an oil-free moisturizer? After all, buying a new skincare product is a commitment. Here are a few reasons I may recommend that someone go oil-free.

1. They’re Non-Comedogenic

Oil-free moisturizers are non-comedogenic, which means they can support your skin’s moisture without clogging pores. This means that using an oil-free daily moisturizer can minimize breakouts, which can mean fewer dark marks, leading to a brighter, more even skin tone overall.

Finding a moisturizing gel or cream that hydrates your skin without clogging your pores is crucial because no matter how effective your cleanser is, if your skin doesn’t do well with oil, a heavy moisturizer can lead to breakouts.

Making the switch can also mean you won’t need to seek out exfoliating ingredients, like salicylic acid, which can be super drying and irritating to sensitive skin.

If you have dry skin, don’t worry. Just because oil-free moisturizers aren’t pore-clogging doesn’t mean they can’t support your dry or combination skin. My Hydration Peptide Cream is a rich, oil-free moisturizer powered by moisture-drenching Hydrosella™, plumping peptides, and replenishing squalane.

These powerhouse ingredients can deliver deep hydration for up to 72 hours while continuing to support your skin barrier. This face cream is rich enough for even the driest skin but won’t leave your skin feeling greasy or oily.

2. They Absorb More Easily

While a thicker gel moisturizer or cream may feel like it’s working harder at hydrating and anti-aging your complexion, that doesn’t mean it’s right for your skin. There’s a reason why your night cream is reserved for evening use. Even if your skin tolerates oils, your products have more time to absorb at night.

During the day, you’ll want something light but effective that delivers all the hydration your skin needs to glow without having to wait for your skin to dry. Oil-free moisturizers generally dry quickly, so they can penetrate your skin more easily without leaving a residue on the surface.

If your drugstore gel cream is leaving you feeling congested and slick, swapping to my Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer can help. This formula is powered by three heavy-hitting hydrators, like hyaluronic acid and hydrolyzed collagen, so it can deliver the weightless moisture you need without clogging pores or exacerbating your sebum production. 

This moisturizer can leave your skin feeling soft and smooth without having to wait before you apply other skin care products. Plus, it’s cruelty-free, fragrance-free, and paraben-free, so even your dermatologist will love it.

3. They Layer Better

Oil-free moisturizers are also great for daytime use, especially because they layer better than oil-rich moisturizers. Because oil is an occlusive, as we mentioned above, it can form a barrier that may become problematic when you’re trying to layer makeup on top of your skincare products. 

Moisturizers with oil are more likely to pill and peel, even if you give them time to absorb, when you apply a foundation or primer. An oil-free moisturizer will not only absorb more quickly but can also leave you with a matte finish, which creates a smooth base for applying makeup and sunscreen. 

Especially if you have oily skin, applying makeup can already be a bit of a challenge, so swapping to an oil-free moisturizer can really help.

4. They Feel Better on Your Skin

Because oil-free moisturizers can offer all of the benefits of other hydrators, also absorb more quickly, and work better when layered under makeup or other products, they just feel better on your skin.

This goes double if your skin is oily or if you’re just feeling a bit congested after a cycle of using some thicker, more intensive products. Oil-free moisturizers tend to be more lightweight, giving your skin the space it needs to breathe without sacrificing all of the hydration and nutrients you need to keep your skin barrier functioning.

If you find yourself feeling oily after applying your SPF 30 sunscreen on top of your moisturizer, swapping out your oil-rich cream moisturizer for an oil-free moisturizer can leave your skin feeling better.

An oil-free sunscreen can also help with mattifying your skin, leaving you with non-greasy, broad-spectrum SPF protection. If you find yourself sometimes skipping your sunscreen due to how it feels on your oily skin, just know it’s possible to have it all.

5. They Work Just as Well — If Not Better!

There are multiple types of oil-free moisturizers to choose from, so you won’t be limited in any way by your choice to switch to an oil-free moisturizer. Additionally, being oil-free doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice amazing hydrating ingredients.

Ingredients such as ceramides, glycerin, niacinamide, aloe, peptides, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid are in all of the best moisturizers and can also help with your dry skin. So if you’re worried about the impact oil-free moisturizer will have on your fine lines and wrinkles, you don’t need to worry. Oil-free moisturizers can do it all.

The Bottom Line

Incorporating an oil-free moisturizer into your skincare routine may be the change your skin needs to reach its fullest potential. Oil-free moisturizers offer a wide range of amazing benefits for your skin, all while providing lightweight hydration without clogging your pores or adding excess oil if you have oily skin.

Oil-free moisturizers can keep you hydrated while helping to prevent breakouts, helping you achieve a refreshed and balanced complexion without sacrificing any of the hydration.

My skin is naturally a little oily in the T-zone, so I have a passion for making sure my products are safe for oily skin. For a complete line-up of products that can nourish your oily skin while preventing breakouts, check out my online collection.



A Comparative Histological Study on the Skin Occlusion Performance of a Cream Made of Solid Lipid Nanoparticles and Vaseline | National Library of Medicine

Moisturizers: The Slippery Road | National Library of Medicine

Role of Topical Emollients and Moisturizers in the Treatment of Dry Skin Barrier Disorders | National Library of Medicine

Understanding the Epidermal Barrier in Healthy and Compromised Skin: Clinically Relevant Information for the Dermatology Practitioner | The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology


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