Why Moisturizing is a Must For Oily Skin, According to a Dermatologist

A common mistake people with oily skin make is shying away from moisturizers. If you’re guilty of this, it’s time to step back and re-evaluate your beliefs about moisturizing. Read along as board-certified dermatologist Dr. Katrina Habaluyas-Luz discusses why moisturizing is a must, even for those with oily skin.

Given that I have oily skin, I once hated the idea of moisturizers. To make matters worse, I live in a humid country — this meant excessive sebum production, especially on hot summer days. It was only late last year that I realized how crucial it is to incorporate this step into my regimen. 

What are moisturizers for? 

First and foremost, Dr. Kat gives us an overview of why this step is non-negotiable.

“A moisturizer is there to keep the skin hydrated by reducing transepidermal water loss (the escape of water from the skin to the environment). [It is also responsible for] strengthening the skin barrier so that the skin can retain moisture. “

Why is it important to moisturize even if you have oily skin? 

When you think about it, you wouldn’t want to add to your skin’s overproduction of oil. But there’s more to it than that. 

“Your oily skin could be a cry for hydration. Sometimes your glands go on overdrive producing more oils than normal because it’s dehydrated or you’ve stripped your skin from all its natural oils. For instance, patients with acne may also have oily skin. A moisturizer would be an important part of the skincare regimen here to help restore the skin barrier and also to balance out all the drying medications for acne.”

Which ingredients should people with oily skin look for in a moisturizer?

This is subdivided into two: water-based ingredients and emollients.

“If you have oily skin, the ideal ingredients you should look for in a moisturizer include water-based ingredients like: 

hyaluronic acid – hydrates the skin but also aids in skin healing and soothes inflammation; 

glycerin – draws in water from the deeper layers of the skin keeping the skin hydrated

Emollients like:

ceramides – prevents transepidermal water loss and strengthens the skin barrier.

linoleic acid – some studies have shown that people with oily skin are deficient in linoleic acid in their sebum so adding them to the regimen improves skin barrier function.”

What’s the ideal moisturizer texture for oily skin?

According to Dr. Habaluyas Luz, it is also vital to choose the proper formulation. 

“Aside from the ingredients, it’s also important to choose the right texture spectrum: GEL – HYBRID – LOTION – CREAM.

Each serves a different purpose due to its substances, as well as the ratios of water and oil. For oily skin, best to choose a gel moisturizer because you will get the hydration you need without any residue that will leave excess oil on your skin. They’re lightweight and don’t create that barrier on the skin (which isn’t needed since your skin produces enough of its barrier with oil).”

But hey, you can also experiment with different textures. Just make sure that your skin’s happy with it. “At the end of the day, listen to your skin,” Dr. Kat advises.The ideal moisturizer for you is one that makes your skin feel good.”

Product recommendations

Now comes the fun part: product recommendations! 

Topping the list is the I’m From Vitamin Tree Water Gel. Known for its skin-soothing properties, it’s highly compatible with oily, irritated skin. It is enriched with cloudberry and rose of Jericho which minimizes oil production. Or, if you’re after ceramides, the I’m from Rice Cream. Although it’s more cream-type than gel, it still sinks into skin wonderfully, making it suitable for oily skin types. 

Of course, don’t sleep on products infused with powerhouse ingredient hyaluronic acid. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 features low- to high-molecular weight hyaluronic acid to really hydrate the skin and give it a healthy bounce. The Round Lab Dokdo Lotion is also a stand-out. Its key ingredients include hyaluronic acid for hydration; panthenol for skin-barrier strengthening; as well as chamomile and centella asiatica extract, perfect for calming irritated skin. To top it all off, it contains a whopping 74 natural minerals to deliver moisture in the best way possible.

Final thoughts

Moisturizing might seem like a burden. However, it’s one step you shouldn’t miss out on (aside from cleansing and wearing sunscreen). What might seem counterproductive will improve your skin’s health. With due diligence, you can keep oil at bay with this simple trick.

About the contributor

Dr. Katrina Erika Habaluyas Luz is a board-certified dermatologist based in Manila, Philippines. She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, or nails. You may find her on instagram as @askyourderma or Facebook as Ask Your Derma. Her newly launched YouTube Channel is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoK6T5CsBCBwY7BMEoLAabQ . 

Note: Products mentioned above are recommendations by KbeautyCafe and are in no way affiliated with Dr. Katrina Erika Habaluyas-Luz.

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