Does Oily Skin Need Moisturizer? (Don’t Make This Mistake)

does oily skin need moisturizer

Oily skin needs to be moisturized, otherwise your face compensates by producing even more oil, potentially causing breakouts. The best moisturizer for oily skin is a lightweight, gel-based moisturizer with hyaluronic acid.


If you’re reading this, chances are your face looks greasier than a pizza box, especially when you do a mid-afternoon mirror check. You’re a practical dude, so your gut tells you to power wash your face, pat it dry, and avoid moisturizers at all costs.

That strategy might work for a few hours. But if you want to tame your oily face for good, a moisturizer is arguably the most important weapon in your skincare arsenal (as long as you use the right type).

In this article, we’ll explain the science of why you need to moisturize oily skin, what type of moisturizer is best for oily skin, and how to set up the ideal skincare routine for oily skin.

Does Oily Skin Need Moisturizer?

Yes, oily skin needs to be moisturized every day. It might seem counterproductive, but moisturizer is essential to combat oily skin because it rebalances your skin’s natural hydration levels.

If your skin is oily, that doesn't necessarily mean your skin is hydrated. In fact, it’s often the opposite. Oily skin is the result of excess sebum: a waxy substance made by your sebaceous glands to protect your skin barrier. Hydrated skin comes from water being absorbed into your dermis and epidermis to maintain your skin’s strength and elasticity.

If your skin is dehydrated, your sebaceous glands overcompensate by churning out excess sebum. Accordingly, moisturizing your skin gets to the root of the problem by providing hydration without adding unnecessary oil.

What Type of Moisturizer Is Best for Oily Skin?

If you have oily skin, use a lightweight, oil-free, gel-based moisturizer. This type of formula will absorb quickly and hydrate your skin without making it look slick or shiny. 

Steer clear of oil-based moisturizers, heavy creams, and lotions. Instead of getting absorbed into the layers of your skin, these products coat your face and clog your pores.

Let’s dive into the details of what makes the best moisturizer for oily skin:

Water-Based Gel Formula

Water-based moisturizers are lighter and fast-absorbing compared to oil-based moisturizers. If your skin is already oily, the last thing you want is another layer of oil. A water-based formula will replenish your skin’s natural moisture barrier without making your face greasy. 


Humectants attract and retain moisture from the air to hydrate your skin. They work by drawing water molecules to the outer layer of the skin, helping to keep it moisturized. 

The best humectants for oily skin are hyaluronic acid and glycerin. These ingredients hydrate your skin from the inside out while also shielding your skin from irritants.


Ceramides are fat molecules that form a barrier over your skin to prevent moisture loss. Think of them as the mortar between the bricks of your skin layers. 


“Non-comedogenic” is a fancy way of saying the product is designed to not clog your pores. This is especially important for people with oily, acne-prone skin to prevent blackheads and whiteheads.

Revival by PrettyBoy checks all these boxes and then some. Our lightweight, gel-based moisturizer is designed to deliver all-day hydration while also curbing excess oil production. Don’t take our word for it though—99% of guys said Revival left their face feeling clean and non-greasy after application.

How to Moisturize Oily Skin

Moisturizing oily skin isn’t rocket science. Follow these three tips and your face will be grateful.

Wash Your Face with a Gentle Cleanser

Washing your face obviously gets rid of excess oil, dead skin cells, and grime. But choosing the best cleanser for oily skin isn’t so obvious. Here are a few details to look for:

  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Gel-based or foaming
  • Salicylic acid
  • pH-balanced 

Pro tip: Wash your face with cool or lukewarm water. Hot water burns off your skin’s natural oils, and it will likely compensate by producing more oil to replace it.

Apply Moisturizer Twice Daily

The best time to moisturize your skin is right after washing your face—ideally once in the morning and again before bed. Try to stay as consistent as you can with your moisturizing habit so your skin stays hydrated around the clock.

Drink Plenty of Water

Not drinking enough water can dehydrate your skin, leading to excess oil production. Dudes should down at least 15 cups of water every day to optimize their skin health, stay hydrated, and flush out toxins. 

What Happens If You Don’t Moisturize Oily Skin?

If you have oily skin, skipping out on moisturizer can lead to acne, premature aging, and chronically oily skin. Let’s take an in-depth look at these potential skin problems:

Acne Breakouts

Oily skin increases the chances of clogged pores, creating the perfect storm for pimples. It might seem counterintuitive to moisturize oily, acne-prone skin. But hydrating your face regulates oil production, which is the first step to preventing acne breakouts.

Chronically Oily Skin

If you don’t moisturize oily skin, your face will stay stuck in the same cycle of churning out excess sebum. The solution isn’t to strip away those oils—it’s to hydrate your skin from the inside out so your body doesn’t churn out so much oil in the first place.

Premature Aging

Without consistent moisture, your skin can show premature signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, redness, eye bags, and inflammation.

Why Is Your Skin Still Oily Even After Moisturizing?

So you started moisturizing your face to combat your oily skin, but you’re not seeing any improvements. What gives?

For starters, make sure you’re using a gel-based, oil-free moisturizer designed for oily skin types. Otherwise, you might be adding fuel to the fire.

It’s also possible that you’re over-cleansing your skin. It might be tempting to scrub your face like a madman if you’ve got extra oil, but you need to be gentle, otherwise your face will compensate with even more oil.

Lastly, remember that rebalancing your skin’s hydration levels can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. If you don’t have GQ-level skin right away, don’t worry. Skincare isn’t about quick fixes—it’s a lifelong routine.

Revival Is Designed for Dudes With Oily Skin

When you have oily skin, you can’t just slap any random product on your face and hope for the best. That’s why we made Revival: a lightweight moisturizer approved by dudes and doctors alike. With optimum ratios of hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides, Revival instantly hydrates your skin without adding extra shine.

We must be doing something right, otherwise GQ, Men’s Health, and Forbes wouldn’t have named Revival the best moisturizer on the market. Grab your bottle and see why thousands of dudes have ditched their old moisturizers for Revival.

does oily skin need moisturizer

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