Notes on Moisturising Oily, Blemish-Prone Skin

While it’s understandable to assume that using a moisturiser may only worsen oily or blemish-prone skin, this is a damaging skincare myth that is of huge disservice to anyone with oily or congested skin because every person, regardless of skin type, needs a moisturiser.

Firstly, it’s important to understand what moisturisers are and how they work. Moisturisers contain humectants, which draw moisture from the atmosphere into the skin, and emollients, which trap in the moisture. They’re integral to any skincare routine not only for keeping skin soft and supple, but also in helping to support the skin’s natural barrier function, which protects the skin against environmental factors like bacteria and pollution.

Oil and moisture are two different things, so oily skin can still be dehydrated. In fact, depriving oily skin of moisturiser can actually cause the sebaceous glands (which produce oil) to go into overdrive and produce even more oil to overcompensate. Oily skin types are best off with a water-based moisturiser containing non-comedogenic ingredients that won’t clog the pores, such as squalane and glycerin.

On a similar note, there’s a common misconception that oily skin types should steer clear of face oils at all costs. Some face oils can help to regulate oil production, such as jojoba. Lightweight, non-comedogenic and closely resembling the skin’s own sebum, jojoba can balance the complexion while leaving it soothed. 

Blemish-prone skin will similarly benefit from a moisturiser. Moisturiser keeps blemish-prone skin hydrated, preventing congestion by stopping dead cells from accumulating and blocking the pores. Some moisturisers targeted as ‘anti-acne’ contain harsh, stripping ingredients so I recommend looking for soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as niacinamide, that will help to minimise redness and swelling.