Best Moisturizer For Oily Skin That Gives You A Velvet Complexion, Even In Summer

July 13, 2023

Get ready to put your best face forward this summer by choosing the best moisturizer for oily skin and your complexion needs.

Summertime is the season of easy styling: low-maintenance makeup and outfits that feel beachy even when you’re at the office,  or trying to escape the heat in your at-home oasis. What’s not so great about summer is how all that extra time outside playing in the sun, including taking advantage of an outdoor “gym,” leads to unsightly oil and blemishes, even for the driest of skin types. You may feel some days that the only moisture you’d want to put on your face is pouring a glass of water on it, but it’s important to keep up a regular moisturizing skin care routine during the summer months; if you don’t, chlorine + salt water + sun will ultimately dry out your skin in the short- and long-term, resulting in peeling and an even more difficult transition period between summer and cooler months ahead.

To quench your skin’s inner thirst without causing breakouts, switch out your products for a light and/or oil-free moisturizer that balances skin’s texture and tone all in one step. Choosing products like these with multiple benefits also makes for a much simpler, faster overall beauty regime, giving you more time to have fun while freeing your skin from its proverbial layers.

It goes without saying that SPF is *not* a layer you can leave in your sweater drawer. All year round, but especially during periods of prolonged sun exposure, make sure you use and reapply sunblock all over your body. Need a hand choosing your formula? Check out these cruelty-free formulas.

1. Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin that Tones On-the-Go

Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence

$89/125 mL

tataharper_hydratingfloralessenceHydrate on the go with this super convenient mist that slips as easily into your beach tote as into your on-the-go tote. Rose water and plain old water are the primary hydrators here, complimented by lavender scent. Spritz throughout the day, and you’ll have people asking what field of flowers you just emerged from. A celebrity fave!

2. Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin that Plumps & Smooths

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel

$52/1.69 fl. oz.


Mix this vitamin-packed serum into your regular moisturizer or makeup, or just apply it solo to reap its multi-purpose benefits. Besides deeply hydrating and plumping skin, this formula reduces fine lines and evens out discolorations with a combination of B5 vitamins and a veritable smoothie of fruit extracts, including watermelon, pineapple, and apple (yum!). Permission to get day-drunk with this elephant—no hangover included.

3. Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin that Fights Aging, Too

Youth to the People Age Prevention Moisturizing Cream

$48/2 oz.


True to its name, Youth to the People’s entire product line screams modern, fresh, and easy: i.e., just right for summer. Although their cream moisturizer contains sunflower oil as a main ingredient, it’s lightweight and packed with so many superfoods that little bit of oil is like the dressing that helps you absorb the good stuff in your salad better; it’s hard to even consider it skin care! Kale, spinach, and green tea, plus vitamins A, C, E, and B5 work together to smooth lines, shrink pores, and give you baby-soft skin no matter what your age. Check out their serum and eye cream as well for a triple-threat of moisture and dewy youthfulness. A teenage dream in a (custom, hand-packaged, small batch) jar!

4. Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin that Packs a Probiotic Punch

Andalou Naturals Acai + Kombucha Oil-Free Moisturizer

$24.95/2.1 fl. oz.

andalounaturals_acaikombucamoisturizerFrom a trusted vegan beauty brand, this oil-free moisturizer works hard to balance out bacteria that easily builds up on sweaty summer days. Probiotics do for your skin what they do for your gut when you drink up your favorite fermented beverage, and aloe plus superfoods like acai and white tea provide an antioxidant punch. Smooth on after cleansing for blemish-free skin—and a #nofilter feed all summer.

5. Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin that’s Ultra Soothing

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter

$40/50 mL

Josie Maran whipped argan face butter

This lightweight cream is the epitome of summer skin care—and the oils included are noncomedogenic. With just a tiny dab you will instantly feel the veil of argan oil smooth into your skin then, as if by magic, disappear without a trace. And yet the potent ingredients—besides argan, there’s cooling aloe vera and shea butter in this jar—penetrate deeply to keep skin moist and supple all day. Watermelon and cucumber extracts, plus the whole whipped thing, are key to making this cream as light as it is. It’s especially great as a nighttime moisturizer when skin repair happens at a cellular level.

What’s your favorite lightweight or oil-free moisturizer?

Also by Jennifer: Chlorine Free Bleach Alternatives To Detox Your Home. Buh-Bye, Mold!

Related: DIY Eye Cream Recipes That Banish Fine Lines, Dark Circles & Puffiness Naturally

 Kate Middleton’s Favorite Organic Facial Oil Is Delightfully Affordable

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Photo: Pexels, Tata Harper Skin Car, Youth to the People, Adanlou, Jennifer Kurdyla

Features Editor Jennifer Kurdyla is a New York City girl with Jersey roots and a propensity for getting lost in the urban jungle. An experienced publishing professional, yoga instructor, home chef, sometimes-runner, and writer, she adopted a vegetarian lifestyle in 2008 and became vegan in 2013. She has written for The Harvard Review Online, The Rumpus, and Music & Literature and maintains a wellness-based website, Be Nourished, which features original writing and recipes. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram @jenniferkurdyla, Twitter @jenniferkurdyla, and Pinterest.


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