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The Best Moisturizers for Oily/Combination Skin

Oily skin, in my opinion, is the absolute WORST. I’ve struggled with super sensitive and dry skin in the past, and now have been catapulted to the other end of the spectrum, where my skin is shinier than a freshly waxed car on a sunny day. But unfortunately, I still also have dry areas, which puts me in the combination skin category. For anyone who also finds themselves fighting a constant battle with their skin: I feel your pain! Excess oil and genetically acne-prone skin is a difficult combo to handle, but over the years, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that make it a little bit easier.

You’ve probably heard it before, but I’ll say it again because it is SO important: if you have oily skin (no matter how oily!), you still need to moisturize! If you don’t give your skin a little moisture boost, it will compensate by creating even more oil, which is totally not what we are looking for. We want to get rid of oil, not moisture! Generally, during the day, you should focus on mattifying, while at night, focus on replenishing your moisture. So, without further ado, here are my favourite day and night moisturizers to deal with oily and combination skin.




1. Formula 10.0.6 — Seriously Shine Free (~$10)

This was my first love. After ages of searching, this was the first moisturizer I found that tamed my oily patches for (nearly) the whole day. It’s quite a thin formula, so I would suggest this to people with oily skin rather than combination. If you have really dry patches, you may need to compensate with a second moisturizer there, but for the most part, I highly recommend this product. I have also tried a bunch of other products (mostly face masks) from this brand and have loved them all, so I also recommend checking out their range of skincare items. Also, they’re cruelty-free!


2. Neutrogena — Oil-Free Moisture, Combination Skin (~$15)

I have recently fallen back in love with this product. It is truly a moisturizer for combination skin. It has a lotion consistency, so it’s not as milky as the Formula 10.0.6 one, and it’s definitely is great for dry patches. It keeps me shine free pretty much all day and works really well under makeup, too. Unfortunately, Neutrogena as a brand is not completely cruelty-free, so I would suggest doing some more research if this is a concern for you.




1. Complex 15 — Daily Face Cream (~$10)

Nighttime is the perfect time to recharge your skin. I tend to opt for heavier moisturizers (that don’t clog pores!) so that my drier areas can be treated at night and I can wear mattifying ones during the day. This one is great because it really locks in moisture and makes your skin soooo soft. It says it will give a matte finish, but I would still recommend it for night use. It doesn’t make your face more oily, but it definitely doesn’t keep you shine free. I was recommended this by a pharmacist, who said it’s one of the few moisturizers that locks in moisture properly and allows dry skin to actually heal rather than just providing a temporary fix. This product is not cruelty-free, however, so you may want to talk to your pharmacist to see about similar alternatives.


2. Bio-Oil (~ $15–$30, depending on size)

Bio-Oil is my personal holy grail of skincare products. Some have said it’s not worth the hype, but I honestly love it. I know all of us oily-skinned people out there freak out everytime we hear a skincare product has oil in it, but I promise it’s not as scary as it seems! I use Bio-Oil every night, usually in combination with another moisturizer. I can tell you as someone with acne-prone skin, it has helped even out my skin tone and slightly reduce some of my acne scars. It’s not going to give you perfect skin, but it definitely helps. You really have to make sure to wash it off in the morning as it will not leave you looking matte, but it helps so much with dry skin and does not break you out at all. Although inconclusive, it seems that Bio-Oil may not be 100% cruelty-free, though, so you may want to do a little more research yourself before investing in this product.


The Worst


The Body Shop — Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream


I hate this product. I hate it. I hate it so much. Despite marketing itself as a mattifying cream, it does the opposite and actually makes me more oily than I would normally be! I would really recommend against using this product, although at least The Body Shop advocates against animal cruelty and the product (we think) is cruelty-free. I think they have recently changed the formula, but I have to say, I’m not in any mood to give it another try!


So there are my favourite moisturizers that have helped me tame my problem skin. Remember to always keep your skin hydrated, and don’t forget to differentiate between mattifying day creams and moisturizing night ones. And let us know some of your favourite (or least favourite!) moisturizers down below!


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Abby was born and raised in Victoria and loves it here on the island. She's a fourth-year (!) student studying Political Science and the Human Dimensions of Climate Change. When she's not studying, chances are you can find her playing soccer, biking, or watching The West Wing.
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