Keen to reap the benefits of moisturiser, but suffer from oily skin? We know how much of a skincare puzzle that can be. Luckily, there are many nourishing products out there which can help soothe, smooth, and soften your complexion without leaving it with a layer of greasy residue.

Why use an oil-free moisturiser?

Many moisturisers tend to contain natural oils such as coconut, argan, and jojoba, which come packed with brilliant benefits for the skin.

Oil is also great at sealing in moisture beneath your skin’s surface as it acts as a kind of barrier.1 Nevertheless, it’s no secret that oil-based creams are not always the right match for combination skin types!2 This is where oil-free moisturisers come in. They typically have a much less greasy formula. They have been known to reduce flare-ups of skin problems commonly caused by excessive amounts of sebum.3

Ingredients to look out for in oil-free moisturisers

Suppose you’re someone with combination skin searching for a hydrating product that’s non-greasy. In that case, you might be wondering what to look out for in oil-free moisturisers.

First things first, check the ingredients list to make sure it definitely doesn’t contain any oils! You’ll also find that many recommended oil-free moisturisers are non-comedogenic. This means they’re much less likely to block up the pores and cause breakouts.4 When it comes to solving the problem of keeping moisture beneath your skin’s surface without the sealing powers of oil, you’ll find most oil-free moisturisers contain humectants. These are naturally-derived compounds which draw water like a magnet.5 Because of this, they’re one of the significant ingredients in both oil-free moisturisers and regular lotions and creams.6

Who should use oil-free moisturisers?

Oil-free moisturisers are usually best for people who struggle with excessively oily skin, yet still want to keep their complexions radiant and hydrated. They can help eliminate surplus sebum and, with regular use, reduce the likelihood of skin complaints.7 Moisturisers which lack oil can also be a good match for people with sensitive skin as they usually have a gentler formula and fewer potentially harsh ingredients. Got a dry complexion? Stick to a regular oil-based moisturiser which can help nourish your thirsty skin.Besides from oil-free moisturisers’ lack of, well, oil, they usually contain all the same ingredients and skin benefits of regular moisturisers. You’ll find both well-known brands and smaller natural beauty companies offer some of the best oil-free moisturisers for your face and body.

If you're looking for an oil-free moisturiser, try the Oleus Oil Free Hydrating Moisturiser or the Sukin Blemish Control Oil Free Moisuriser.

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Expertly reviewed by:

Last updated: 4 December 2020

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Manisha Taggar

Author: Manisha Taggar, Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: May 2019

BSc Hons in Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Science

Manisha started her career at a Cosmetics distributor as a Regulatory Technologist followed by a Regulatory Affairs Officer, ensuring the regulatory compliance of cosmetic products from colour cosmetics to skincare.

After 3 and half years in this role, Manisha joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.

Manisha specialises in Cosmetic products, both own-label and branded lines, ensuring that these products and all relating marketing material comply to the EU Cosmetics Regulation.