Many people make the mistake of believing that acne is caused by an over-hydrated skin. But even oily skin actually produces all that sebum to compensate for being dehydrated. Today, we’re going to talk about why acne really happens and how the right moisturizer can be a part of the solution.
The Real Problem with Acne
Acne-prone people usually have a damaged outermost layer of skin. That layer is also known as the skin barrier, or the epidermal barrier if you want to be scientific about it. The skin barrier is supposed to protect us from all outside contaminants and grime that would settle into our pores if it wasn’t there. So when it cracks under the pressure, our pores start creating more sebum to compensate. That’s when we get whitehead pimples or blackheads.
But as you can see, the sebum that ends up clogging our pores is actually trying to protect us. However, making all of that excess sebum takes up one of our bodies’ most important resources: water. That’s where moisturizers come in.
Hydration vs. Moisturizing
We’re still not ready to talk about how to find the best acne moisturizer for different skin types. First, we need to know the difference between the concepts of hydration and moisturizing.
If you’re just building your skincare routine, you’ll want to start with hydration. After you clean your face, the first product on it should be a hydrating one. This category consists of toners, serums, and similar products. But since water evaporates so easily, these products aren’t going to be that effective. That is unless you add a product that’s going to trap the hydration inside the skin — a moisturizer.
The Ingredients to Look for in the Best Acne Moisturizer
Because moisturizers are trying to trap water, they often contain ingredients that ensure prolonged hydration. Understanding these ingredients is the biggest part of finding the perfect moisturizer.
If you have oily skin, you’re probably going to want to steer clear of products that have petrolatum or mineral oils in their ingredient lists. These two are so thick that they create a physical barrier between your skin and the air. While this is great for dry skin types, people with oily skin will probably hate the effect.
Instead, people with oily and sensitive skin types, you ought to stick to non-comedogenic moisturizers. When you’re reading the lists of ingredients, look for dimethicone.
Many moisturizers also aim to replace the need for hydrating products, so they put in naturally hydrating oils. If you don’t know how your skin reacts to these types of oils, you can do a test on your hands in the store. However, make sure to leave plenty of time for the moisturizer to absorb into the skin before deciding on a product.
How to Use a Moisturizer
Before we apply a moisturizer, we want to start with a clean slate. Naturally, we need to wash our faces before applying any skincare. You can also use an exfoliant if your skin can handle it. Also, make sure that your hands are squeaky clean.
As we have already mentioned, many people use moisturizer on top of serums or other hydrating products. You can certainly use a moisturizer on its own — although having a hydrating product underneath would make it more effective. If you don’t feel like applying two products separately, you can mix many hydrating products into moisturizers. For example, if you already know that a particular oil works for your face, mix it into your moisturizer.
Most people figure out what kind of motions they should use to rub the cream in on their own. Still, there are a few universal tips about product application. Whatever we’re putting on our faces or necks, we ought to press it into the skin. Or, if we must drag the product, drag upwards.
The Top 5 Best Acne Moisturizer
Best Acne Moisturizer for All Skin Types: Exposed Skincare Moisture Complex
We love this Exposed Skincare moisturizer simply because it does it all. The lightweight gel formula will suit oily skin, but it’s also chock-full of nutrients that are going to soothe and hydrate any skin type.
Why we like it:
- Contains Green Tea extract, which is an antioxidant
- Caffeine and pumpkin seed oil reduce irritation and redness
- It gives the skin a smooth appearance
You might want to choose Exposed Skincare Moisture Complex if:
Even though we’ve mentioned how ideal this product is for oily and sensitive skin, we actually also love it for dry skin. Between the glycol and the vitamin E in the ingredients, dry and even mature skin will love this moisturizer. Furthermore, the Green Tea extract should also take care of any minor blackheads. After all, blackheads are oxidized sebum, and Green Tea is an antioxidant. Still, if you don’t know how your skin usually reacts to pumpkin seed oil, you’ll want to do a patch test first.
Best Acne Moisturizer for Oily Skin Types: Vichy Normaderm Beautifying Salicylic Treatment
How could we review moisturizers without mentioning one from Vichy? This moisturizer may be the perfect acne-fighting, hydrating, and water-trapping trifecta.
Why we like it:
- Acne-fighting salicylic acid as the active ingredient
- Perfect for oily skin, no mineral oils
- Feels very comfortable and light
You might want to choose Vichy Normaderm Beautifying Salicylic Treatment if:
As anyone who’s ever tried to fight their acne knows, salicylic acid is the best thing for moisturizing the skin while promoting cell turnover. The Vichy treatment is not only helpful for fighting acne, but it’s also incredibly moisturizing. However, even though the brand markets this moisturizer as one that’s suitable for sensitive skin, we suggest you decide that for yourself. Specifically, the active ingredient might cause some discomfort for people with unusually dry or sensitive skin. Fortunately, we’ve got just the moisturizer for that problem.
Best Acne Moisturizer for Dry Skin: MISSHA Super Ultra Waterfull Clear
We were very happy when we found this hydrating moisturizer from MISSHA. The many hydrating ingredients that went into the formula make it ideal for dry and damaged skin.
Why we like it:
- Gorgeous transparent packaging
- Intensely hydrating and healing/anti-aging
- Leaves a slight sheen, making the skin look glowy
You might want to choose MISSHA Super Ultra Waterfull Clear if:
Korean skincare fans will love this moisturizer and so will everyone else when they take a look at the list of ingredients! Usually, water is the first thing you’ll see on any skincare product ingredient list — which signifies its high content in the formula. However, here you’ll see that glacier and seawater are both further down the list. Instead, the primary ingredient of this moisturizer is Japanese white birch juice. It also has all the standard hydrating ingredients and citric acid for its anti-aging properties. Really, this is the perfect summer moisturizer for most skin types.
Best Acne Moisturizer for Tired Skin: Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream
When our skin is feeling particularly congested, many of us tend to avoid moisturizers. However, the right formula won’t clog your pores at all!
Why we like it:
- Contains acne-fighting willow bark extract
- Brightening, anti-aging, and healing ingredients
- Restores natural oil balance
You might want to choose Benton Snail Bee Cream if:
These last two moisturizers are both geared toward mature skin, but we simply couldn’t resist mentioning them both! This innovative formula uses skin conditioning snail secretions, which have anti-aging and healing properties. It also has glycerin, glycol, sodium hyaluronate, and so many other dry skin-friendly ingredients. But it will also work for oily skin. Additionally, we love the creative use of bee venom in this cream to protect and tighten the skin. Between the tightening and the moisturizing ingredients, your skin will look more supple than ever.
Best Acne Moisturizer for Mature Skin: The Water Cream from Tatcha
The Tatcha has been making waves in the beauty industry for years now. This lightweight anti-aging moisturizer is only one of the reasons why.
Why we like it:
- Great for dry and sensitive skin
- Promotes healing
- It even has UV protection
You might want to choose Tatcha’s Water Cream if:
As we have already mentioned, this moisturizer is fantastic for dry skin. But since there are no mineral oils in sight, it would also work for oily skin. The light formula is inspired by Japanese herbal skincare. We can see that from the way the manufacturer used the Japanese Wild Rose and Leopard Lily to calm and balance the skin. And you can be sure that no other harm will come to your face thanks to the sun protectant.
Give Your Skin the Nutrients It Needs.
Your moisturizer is only going to be one part of your road to recovery. You’ll also need to keep your skin clean and hydrated before you even reach for the moisturizer that’s going to seal the water in. However, once you establish your skincare routine, your acne will be gone before you know it.