Although skin care expert Paula Begoun says people with oily and combination (oily in the nose, forehead and chin, and dry in other areas) skin do not need a moisturizer except in areas of the face that may be dry, other experts recommend moisturizers for everyone regardless of skin type. Rona Berg, author of "Beauty: The New Basics" and former beauty editor of The New York Times Magazine, is in the latter camp. She emphasizes that choosing the right moisturizer for your skin type is a must. For instance, consumers with oily skin should select lotions or gels as opposed to creams, which are heavier and more emollient. The top facial moisturizers for this skin type are also noncomedogenic, meaning they should be oil-free and should not clog pores. This is especially true for those who have acne. People prone to blemishes should look for lighter moisturizers that contain glycerin, hyaluronic acid or lactic acid.
Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can also be beneficial ingredients for acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin and can clean the pores. Benzoyl peroxide is a topical disinfectant that kills bacteria and fights blemishes. You can learn more about these ingredients and effective acne treatments in the ConsumerSearch report on acne treatments.
If you have oily skin, we found good facial moisturizer reviews for Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel (*Est. $25 for 4.2 oz.). It takes its name from Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (*Est. $25 for 4.2 oz.), a long-time favorite of consumers. Begoun says the gel has the better formula, however. She says that the lotion version is outdated, containing water, mineral oil, sesame oil, slip agent, thickeners, Vaseline, preservatives and coloring agents, but none of the state-of-the-art moisturizing ingredients or antioxidants that some other moisturizers have. She says that the gel version, however, is a big improvement with its inclusion of antioxidants, though they are meager. Reviewers say that the gel has a light and silky texture because of its silicone content. It also contains glycerin, butylene glycol, cucumber extract and vitamin E. Users at MakeupAlley.com say the gel is perfect for combination or oily skin because it provides just the right amount of moisture, without feeling thick and heavy. The lightweight moisturizer is oil- and fragrance free and doesn't have any heavy thickeners that can clog pores.
Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 (*Est. $15 for 2.5 oz.) is also an option for normal to slightly oily skin. Editors of Allure and Real Simple magazines laud it for containing soy and light diffusers to even out skin tone. Begoun, however, gives Aveeno Positively Radiant a mediocre rating, saying that it is an OK option. Though it lacks the high level of antioxidants found in other moisturizers, she says that it has a dry, lightweight finish.
Reviewers at MakeupAlley.com and TotalBeauty.com like the high SPF that Aveeno provides. Many also appreciate the natural glow that it gives to skin -- likely due to the light diffusers. Some say that it's a bit thick for their oily skin, however, and others say it doesn't provide quite enough moisture. That just goes to show that results vary from one person to the next, and it may take some trial and error to find a product that works well for you. Ultimately, we chose Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel as our pick for the moisturizer best for oily skin because it has a lighter formula and receives higher overall ratings from professionals and users.