The Best Oily Skin Moisturizer, Straight from a Derm


Welcome to Dear Derm, our video series in which dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, shares serious skin-care realness. In each episode, she’ll answer your most burning beauty questions and give you all the tools you need to take your glow game to the next level. See All

During the winter months, most of us wouldn’t be caught dead going outside without a layer of moisturizer on our skin. But as temperatures climb and complexions shift from dry to oily, it can be tempting to skip that step altogether—after all, no one wants a thick coating of goop on top of their already-sweaty skin—and that’s decidedly not a good idea. According to Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Connecticut, even the oiliest skin needs moisture, and in the latest episode of Dear Derm, she revealed the product that will quench it comfortably… even in 90-degree heat.

During the summer months, a combination of sweat and humidity can make even the driest skin feel slick with oil, and though it’s counterintuitive, adding a moisturizer can help. “We have these teeny little glands in our skin called sebaceous glands, which are the oil-producing factories,” says Dr. Gohara. She explains that how “active” these factories are are largely dependent on your genetics and hormones, but can also be kicked into high gear if you’re using the wrong skin-care products—which many of us are guilty of doing (especially right now) in an attempt to de-grease our oily skin. “Sometimes when you strip your skin excessively of oils with drying products, your little sebaceous factories go into overdrive to create more oil, which could be stoking the fire a little bit.”

That said, you don’t want to add any extra oil into your already greasy skin, which means it’s extra important to pick the right moisturizing product. “Oftentimes people with oily skin freak out and don’t want to moisturize their skin, but that shouldn’t be the case,” says Dr. Gohara. “There are ways to moisturize the skin without making it extra oily. Go with a light lotion instead of a heavier cream.” Because lotions are water-based (unlike creams, which are oil-based), they’ll add moisture to your skin without any excess grease.

Dr. Gohara recommends the Caudalie Vinoperfect Instant Brightening Moisturizer with Niacinamide ($59), which checks all the boxes for oily skin. “It has a lot of good ingredients, like squalane, which helps to strengthen our skin barrier and keep water naturally trapped in, vitamin C which is a good antioxidant, and niacinamide, which is a wonderful anti-inflammatory ingredient that can settle down irritation from [all your other products],” she says. “So instead of adding an oil, use something like this.”

Of course, your moisturizer is only one step of your oily skin routine. To find out what else you need to keep your skin clear all summer long, check out the video above.

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