As a Dermatologist I'm often asked if you need to moisturize oily skin. The answer is usually yes! That's because skin moisture is actually water, not oil. So, yes, it's possible to have oily skin that needs a moisturizer too.
The purpose of a moisturizer is to trap water. Your natural oils can do that but they’re not produced as quickly after washing as you need. Applying the right moisturizer can help do the job but you need to find one that traps water without leaving a heavy oily feel on your skin. Skin that has adequate trapped water is considered hydrated.
Moisturizers traditionally work by utilizing an oil to trap water, which when applied right after washing the skin with water will trap the water by sealing over the skin and preventing evaporation. The oil glands don’t coat the skin fast enough after washing to act as your moisturizing oil! The dilemma is that using oil containing moisturizers will feel heavy on your skin later in the day once your oil glands are coating you with your own oil. To moisturize your skin without adding oil you need to find a moisturizer with one or more of the non-oil ingredients that are capable of trapping water, and apply it immediately after washing your skin. The best skin care product ingredients to hydrate your skin without adding oil are:
- hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate)
- alpha hydroxy acids.