People with annoyingly oily and acne-prone skin know: the skin-care products you choose are crucial for preventing and treating breakouts in all their many forms, whether they’re showing up between your shoulder blades or along your T-zone. For this year’s Healthy Beauty Awards, we asked a range of testers, many with oily and acne-prone skin themselves, to evaluate the best new creams, cleansers, scrubs, and even beauty devices for oily skin types (including a tiny red-light pen from Dr. Dennis Gross and a remake of Origins’ best-selling night cream).
To guide us in our selection process, a panel of dermatologist experts singled out a few beneficial ingredients for oily skin types, including exfoliants like alpha hydroxy acids and salicylic acid, and recommended looking for non-comedogenic (or non-pore-clogging) formulas. Each of our winning products contains some sort of skin soother or acne-fighting ingredient like the above, and has received gold stars from our diligent testers. Here, we present the best skin-care products for oily skin types, which will help you keep breakouts to a minimum. And if you want to learn more about skin-care for oily or acne-prone skin, read our brand new comprehensive guide to skin care here.
Curology is one of the buzziest new skincare subscriptions that helps you get customized, prescription-strength skincare without even stepping into a derm’s office. The startup recently released a moisturizer that’s non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and suitable for all skin types. Our testers were impressed with how lightweight, no-frills, and practical it was, with one of them, below, calling it “THE moisturizer.” See the full ingredient list here.
Bonus Points, Per the Experts: This moisturizer is non-comedogenic and oil-free, which our derms suggested you look for.
One Tester Said: “It’s a little bold to call something THE Moisturizer, but I’m a fan. The texture is light, like a primer, but it feels moisturizing — no discernible scent. For a simple, basic, fuss-free moisturizer, I can’t find fault with it. May become my go-to to layer over other products with multiple actives.”
Best Cleanser for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin: The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser
If you’re not a fan of cleansers that physically scrub your skin with beads or rice bran, we’d recommend this new salicylic acid cleanser from affordable beauty brand The Inkey List (everything is under $15). It chemically exfoliates to deep-clean pores, but never feels too harsh or drying. It contains allantoin—a common skin soother—to prevent skin from looking red and irritated post-cleanse. See the full ingredient list here.
Bonus Points, Per the Experts: This product contains a beta hydroxy acid, salicylic acid, which our derms recommended you look for in your products for oily- and acne-prone skin.
One Tester Said: “This cleanser is so good! I do suffer from hormonal acne, and I felt that my skin looked so much clearer even after just a few washes with this product. Even though it is a BHA (beta-hydroxy acid), I didn’t feel like it was too harsh on my skin and would feel comfortable using it daily. It lathers instead of foams, and it didn’t dry out my skin at all. I do have skin that is both sensitive and acne-prone, and it hasn’t caused a negative reaction. I used it after a long-haul flight—my skin felt clean, and I didn’t break out!”