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09/07/2020 - Dossiers


The myth that people with oily, acne-prone skin can safely skip moisturising is one that still circulates the skincare world. People who have oily skin often (wrongly!) assume that applying moisturiser to their face is one sure way to make skin oilier and breakouts worse, but this could not be further from the truth.

In fact, as counterintuitive as it may seem, skipping this step in your skincare routine could be the reason why your acne is not getting better. As with any skin type, oily skin can lack water and become dry, and we now know that dryness is one of the main causes of acne breakouts. The key to success here is choosing a moisturiser that is suitable for oily, acne-prone skin and specifically formulated to help prevent the reoccurrence of acne and blemishes. .
Every time you moisturise, you are helping improve the condition of your skin and its barrier function through a combination of ingredients that work together to maintain a healthy moisture level in the skin. When your skin moisture levels are out of balance, sebum production will either slow down or speed up in order to compensate and level things out.

An increase in sebum production can lead to blocked pores and eventually further breakouts, whereas a decrease in sebum production can lead to skin dryness which in turn will also lead to further breakouts. The best way to avoid this is to maintain a healthy level of moisture in the skin, with products that won’t exacerbate its oily condition.

Moisturisers that are specifically formulated for oily, acne-prone skin have the ability to balance sebum production to help maintain a healthy balance. Dr Tong highly recommends a “moisturiser as part of any acne routine. It not only helps to protect the skin barrier from excessive dryness but there are also ‘active’ moisturisers that specifically help to reduce breakouts and control sebum production”.


With so many different moisturiser formulas out there, it can be difficult to know which one will work for you. When it comes to oily, acne-prone skin, steer clear of pore clogging ingredients that will cause further breakouts, including mineral oil, cocoa butter, lanolin and petrolatum.

You’ll need to reach for a non-comedogenic formula – meaning it won’t clog pores! – that has been tested on oily skin. “When recommending products for acne prone skin, I recommend my patients to seek out brands that have a good track record in developing quality acne-specific products”, Dr Tong points out.

He adds that “it is important to pick a moisturiser that feels light, is non-greasy and that’s easily absorbed on the skin”. A great ingredient to look for in the formulation is silica, as it has oil-absorbing powers that will control excess oil throughout the day and provide a pleasant mattifying finish that those with oily skin will really appreciate.


Now that you know how important moisturising is even for those with oily and acne-prone skin, add one to your skincare routine and pave the way to blemish-free days.

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