Ask Grace: Does Oily Skin Need Moisturiser?

Hi Grace,

I’ve always had really oily skin so I’ve never used moisturiser before. I was always told that the oil would keep my skin moisturised anyway. However, recently I’ve felt like my skin can feel quite tight, especially after I’ve washed my face, so I was thinking about adding a cream to my routine. I’m just worried that this might make my skin even more oily and cause spots, so I was wondering what your opinion is. Does oily skin need moisturiser or not?


The short answer is yes, oily skin does need moisturiser. In fact you’ll actually find that (with the right moisturiser!), your skin will become a lot healthier, more balanced and less oily over time if you keep it well hydrated.

It’s actually quite a common belief that oily skin doesn’t need moisturiser. A lot of people who experience oily skin and its side effects – such as enlarged pores, blackheads, breakouts, think that moisturiser will clog their pores, add shine, and make oiliness worse – but this is actually far from the truth. The better hydrated your skin is, the healthier it is, and the healthier it is, the better able it is to look after itself – to fight breakouts, heal scarring, repair damage, and keep skin looking bright and clear. This is why there are benefits to moisturising your skin no matter what your skin type is.

In addition, when skin is oily, this can actually be a sign that it’s dehydrated and needs moisture. When skin doesn’t have enough moisture, it starts to produce its own in the form of sebum. When there is an excess of sebum, skin appears shiny, pores appear enlarged, and breakouts can increase. By keeping your skin hydrated, you can train it to stop producing this excess of oil, resulting in calmer, clearer, and more balanced skin.

If your skin is oily then choose moisturisers that are lightweight, gel-textured, and water-based (look for ‘aqua’ at the top of the ingredients list). These moisturisers will deliver hydration without clogging pores or looking greasy on skin – they will absorb quickly and will feel light and refreshing. Try to avoid moisturisers that look thick and rich or contains a large amount of oil-based ingredients.

Try these...