How to moisturize an oily skin?

luxury skincare patyka reviewHere is a question I hear all the time (mostly from my so) and that is probably still a mystery to many:

Why does an oily skin need moisturizing? Usually followed by:
Isn’t it oily enough as it is? Why do you add oil to it?

It’s a good question and I can understand the logic in it. However, here’s the thing: moisture & oiliness isn’t the same thing. Even an oily skin can get dry and still be oily. In some cases, it’s actually oily because it’s dry. A good example of that was me, when I was on Acnatac. My skin was extremely dry, but at the same time I was drowning in my own oil.
It’s very common to have not only one problem with your skin. For example combination skin can be really oily at times, but some parts of the face are likely normal or dry. So you do need to moisturize the skin.

Why should you moisturize an oily skin?

The most important thing about moisturizers is that they don’t just moisturize your skin. They balance it. They are the ‘treatment’ in your skincare. You wash your face and use other products that you rinse out, but the lotion is what you leave on to the skin, right? With oily skin, your moisturizer (being a suitable one) balances your oil-production and your skin. It doesn’t just remove the dryness. It balances the skin and protects it by creating a block between your bare skin and the outside world. For oily skin there are also these mattifying products, that balance the oil production evidently and you instantly see the results. There are several things that the lotion can do and it depends on the lotion, but you get the idea.

So, to answer the question one more time: oily skin needs moisturizing,

because it is dry – or you want to prevent it from getting dry
because the moisturizer balances the skin and can help with the oiliness and the impurities, redness etc.
because the moisturizer protects the skin
because the moisturizer makes the skin look and feel a bit better

why oily skin needs moisturizing

Photos of me: Inka Lähteenaro edit:me

But because oily skin can be tricky and a bad lotion can actually make it worse, the next question is:

How to moisturize an oily skin?

Moisturizing an oily skin is different from – let’s say dry skin. Choosing and finding the perfect products isn’t easy. The products need to be more lightweight, the ingredients suitable for the impurities and the user experience comfortable. As you learned, the idea isn’t to make you feel more oily.

Good products to moisturize are toners, face mists, serums, fluids, gels and other lightweight lotions and creams. It’s a good idea to use a heavier moisturizer in the evening and then a very light one in the morning. But it’s up to you and your skin. You should try different products to find the ones, that work for you.

Another thing, that can work for oily skin are oils. I know it sounds scary, but a lightweight oil can be amazing for your skin. Just try argan oil or jojoba oil (read more about them here). I personally prefer jojoba oil during Summer and argan oil in Winter.

With my skin (that is combination, which kinda means it oily with a hint of normal and dry), I’ve noticed that I need to use different products in Summer and in Winter. In Winter I can use heavier lotions and even creams, but in Summer I can get away with just a light serum or a face mist (+ a sunscreen). So there can be times, when you don’t need a lotion. Oily skin during summer can be that. But even then you use sunscreen and that is usually a lotion. And the sun can be drying, so you probably need a little something. Aloe vera soothes the skin and makes a great lightweight moisturizer.

What products are good to moisturize an oily skin?


Here is a list of good moisturizers suitable for oily and combination skin.

lavera hydro effect day cream

Good moisturizers for oily skin


L’occitane Aqua Reotier Moisture Prep Essence
Lovely light essence to be used under a lotion or just by itself for very oily skin.

L’occitane Aqua Reotier Ultra-Thirst Quenching Gel
Moisturizing gel.

L’occitane Aqua Reotier Ultra-Thirst Quenching Cream
Lightweight gel-cream. Full post about L’Occitanes Aqua Reotier line products here.

PATYKA Hydra-Soothing Moisturizer & Matte Perfecting Fluid
I’m obsessed with Patyka’s new product line, which I blogged about here. These two lotions would be a great choice for oily skin.

MISSHA Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream
A refreshing gel containing snail extract. Post here.

THE BODY SHOP Seaweed Oil-Control Gel Cream
A product, that I’m completely addicted to and am using at the moment. I love gel creams – they are perfect for my skin. This is lightweight yet moisturizing and refreshing. I am also currently using the Seaweed toner, which I love.

loccitane aqua reotier

Natural cosmetics

Lavera Hydro-Effect Day Cream
One of my favorite moisturizers, that is organic. Full review & post here.

MADARA SOS Hydra-Repair Intensive Serum
This is the most amazing serum I’ve ever tried. For oily skin, it works as a moisturizer – especially in Summer. In winter it’s awesome under lotion. It was also one of my top 10 products last year.

loccitane moisturizers


There – hope this was helpful to you. Now tell me: what is your skin type and what is your favorite moisturizer?



  1. Kiva postaus, mulla on aikamoinen sekaiho ja välillä on niitä yksittäisiä rasvaisia alueita ja suurimmaksi osaksi niin kuivaa. Ehkä se säännöllinen rasvaaminen ja sen yrittäminen on ainoa fiksu tapa toivoa että asiat muuttuisi 🙂

  2. Yiota

    When I was younger, I thought I didn’t need to use a moisturising cream or masks since I always had combination to oily skin. But after many years of researching what is good for my skin or not, I found that yes, even oily skin needs hydration and oils played a huge difference in how my skin feels and looks, you just have to find the appropriate oil for you. Beautiful post Charlotta 🙂


    1. Charlotta Takkula

      Exactly. Thank you Yiota. 🙂

  3. Alice

    I used to be so scared of using anything on my face as far as oils are concerned because I have such an oily face! I’m currently loving Nip and Fab’s Dragon Blood serum, it’s amazing for oily skin and totally saves it. It also smells like heaven. I’m loving reading through your blog, you recommend some really great products! x


    1. Charlotta Takkula

      Thanks for the tip, I’ll have to check that one out 🙂


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