Does Moisturizer Help Acne?

Young asian woman upset after find acne on her face
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For most people, the most important skincare product is moisturizer. It’s on almost every person’s list, and most of us use it without thinking much about it.

For those with acne, the skin might feel too greasy and too oily. That leads many to believe that a moisturizer is a counterproductive product to use! Since excess oil could be one of the causes of acne. 

So does moisturizer help acne or worsen it? Here’s the truth, moisturizers can help with acne and they do much help if you use the right moisturizers for your face. 

Don’t believe it? Below is a detailed explanation of what a moisturizer does to the skin to help with acne. 


What Causes Acne?

Acne is a super frustrating skin problem for those of us who have to deal with it. And even though it seemed like it would be done after puberty, for many of us, it can continue well into adulthood. It is due to excess oils present on the skin.

Oils are naturally produced by the skin and excreted through the pores. The oils help keep the skin moisturized. When the skin is dry, it can signify the production of more oil to help out with the dry skin. 

Unfortunately, the oils can form clogs in the pores which could trap the bacteria and dead skin cells. This is what can cause you to have acne. 

Does Moisturizer Help Acne?

It’s understandable for some people to think that using moisturizer on skin with acne will worsen it. One common cause of acne is the overproduction of oil. People think that because their skin is already producing a lot of oil, they wouldn’t need to moisturize it. After all, it is already oily.

However, that isn’t necessarily true.

In fact, many have had success using moisturizer on their face, even with acne. When you use a moisturizer on your skin even if you have acne, it can help make your skin relax so that it doesn’t overproduce oil, which causes acne. 

Oil is produced by the skin to help with moisture. When it detects that your skin is dry, it could trigger the skin to produce more oil, which could lead to acne.

Moisturizers can help counter the dryness so that your skin doesn’t feel that it needs to produce more oil. 

Additionally, when you have acne, one of the things that you might be using is a cleanser  that deeply penetrates the skin to remove excess oils.

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Although they can effectively help reduce the excess oil, they can also cause dryness in the skin. 

Again, if the skin is too dry, more oil is produced. So to help your cleansers and acne treatments that can dry out skin, you need moisturizers to fight the cycle of acne. 

To help your cleansers and acne treatments that can dry out skin, you need moisturizers to fight the cycle of acne. 

Cleansers that contain isotretinoin, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and tretinoin are all used to help get rid of acne. However, they all have the side effect of drying out the skin. 

You have to make sure that even if these cleansers remove the excess oils, your skin still thinks it is properly moisturized so that it doesn’t instruct the skin to produce more oil. 

A layer of moisturizer can help hydrate your skin after using your anti-acne products. However, when using moisturizers, it is still best to carefully select which to use. 

A layer of moisturizer can help hydrate your skin after using your anti-acne products. However, when using moisturizers, it is still best to carefully select which to use. 

Moisturizers For Those With Acne

Moisturizers are definitely a friend when it comes to the battle against acne. As we’ve mentioned, you should keep your skin moisturized to prevent the over-production of oil on the skin. 

That can be done by using moisturizers. But what moisturizers should you use? If you have acne, you should be very careful with the products that you are using.

When it comes to moisturizers, it is best to go for lightweight ones. This one from Paula's Choice  is a good option.

Paula's Choice CLEAR Oil-Free Moisturizer, Lightweight Face Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin, Pore-Minimizing Niacinamide, Soothing Antioxidants, Ceramides to Calm Redness
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1. Choose Fragrance-Free Options

Choose a moisturizer that is fragrance-free so that your skin doesn’t get irritated with the fragrance Usually fragrances are synthetic chemicals that could cause a reaction in those who have sensitive skin. 

2. Non-Comedogenic Work Best

Moisturizers that are labeled as non-comedogenic work best. This simply means that the ingredients do not clog the pores so they don’t worsen your acne. 

3. Look for Sensitive Skin Formulas

Go for those that are formulated for sensitive skin. They usually contain simple and fewer ingredients. They may have a lighter or thinner consistency. 

4. Avoid Heavy, Hydrating Creams

Avoid heavier hydrating creams that may contain oil or other comedogenic ingredients. Although those with waxes and oils work well in hydrating the skin, they can be too heavy for those who are already producing too much oil. 

5. Stay Away from the Parabens

Don’t go for products that contain parabens or other preservatives that could irritate your skin and pores. 

Although moisturizers can help with acne, it is only part of your arsenal. You shouldn’t just use moisturizers in the hopes of getting rid of your acne. Lightweight moisturizers should be used with your acne cleansers to help combat acne. 

When To Use Moisturizers if You Have Acne

Moisturizers should be used by those with acne whenever their skin feels dry. Usually, most dermatologists would recommend using it daily. 

Your cleansers can be drying on the skin, which is why you need moisturizers. You can apply them right after washing your face so that the moisture is trapped in the skin. 

This helps lock in moisture even if the excess oils are removed when you wash your face with acne cleansers. Some people also apply moisturizer after bathing. 

The results of this skincare routine can be seen only if you constantly and regularly do them. Usually, your acne can appear diminished after about a month or two of using acne-friendly moisturizers with your cleansers. 

Usually, acne treatments would involve having a cleanser, moisturizer, and acne medication depending on the severity of the acne. Dermatologists can help you select the right products to use. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).