10 Brilliant Moisturisers to Save Oily, Summer Skin

woman with clear skin

Max Milne / Getty Images

When it comes to manicures, lip gloss and our favourite reflective Dior sunnies, shine is our friend. But a shiny face? Just no. A dewy complexion, luminous with health, is a wondrous thing, but it can all too quickly transform from dewy when you leave the house to oil slick come lunchtime. For anyone with an oily skin type, this is an all-too-real scenario that happens on the daily. But come the stifling summer months, we can all suffer from unwanted shine, regardless of our genetics.

The solution can be found in the day cream you choose. Opt for something oil-free and mattifying, formulated to seriously hydrate and encourage luminosity but also limit oil-causing shine, and you’ll no longer be a slave to your powder compact.

“There are several different ingredients used as mattifying agents but dimethicone and silica are two good options to look out for,” explains Dr. Alexis Granite, of Kiehl's. The texture of the moisturizer you choose is key, too—“avoid products that contain heavier moisturizing ingredients like mineral oil, petrolatum and paraffin. … Typically lotions and gels will be lightest whereas richer creams tend to contain more oil and often have a greasier consistency.”

Keep scrolling for 10 Byrdie-approved mattifying moisturizers that will keep unwanted shine at bay.  

Origins GinZing moisturizer
Origins GinZing Oil-Free Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer $30
Shop

Designed for those with oily, spot-prone skin, this refreshing lotion contains caffeine and ginseng that work in tandem to clear and tighten the skin, while minimizing the look of pores and tempering shine. You’ll be left with a matte complexion that’s ready for makeup.

Jar of Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer on a white background.
Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer $65
Shop

This moisturizer is specifically formulated for acne-prone skin, absorbing quickly to provide moisture without any shine. Amino acids help target fine lines, while algae extracts work to tighten skin.

Sebium Mat by Bioderma
Bioderma Sébium Mat Moisturizing Mattifying Fluid $20
Shop

A cream-gel texture, this limits excess oil instantly, to create an even base. Zinc and vitamin B6 then work over time, with continued use, to regulate sebum production. AHA esters work on your skin’s texture to minimize the look of pores. Silica instantly mattifies while microparticles of pearl leave your complexion looking luminous, not flat.

Effaclar Mat
La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat $32
Shop

Suitable for even the most sensitive of skin types, this cream is designed specifically to target shine while moisturizing the skin. Lipo-hydroxy acid (LHA) gently exfoliates your skin, while zinc PCA slows sebum production. Vitamins C and E prevent sebum oxidation—this is where your squalene (found in sebum) reacts with oxygen to produce squalene peroxide, which one study found caused acne, due to its ability to seriously block pores.

Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream by Pai
Pai Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream $60
Shop

A good certified-organic option, Pai’s day cream contains thistle and borage oil, which are high in essential fatty acids to calm troubled skin; they clear congestion and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores while geranium oil works to balance oil production in the skin.

HydraLife Dior
Dior Hydra Life Hydration rescue $69
Shop

This moisturizer helps re-balance skin that's been stripped of essential nutrients, soothing redness and discomfort without the inevitable oil slick that can accompany other products.

Gallinée face cream
Gallinée Probiotic Hydrating Face Cream $50
Shop

In the world of health, our gut microbiome (the microorganisms that live inside us all) has been big news for a while, but in the world of beauty, brands are only starting to target our skin’s microbiome. The reasoning being that if our microbiome is happy, our complexion will look its best. Gallinée’s lightweight cream is made up of prebiotics, probiotics and lactic acid to protect and strengthen the microflora that live on our skin (don’t think about that too much). All you need to know is that this cream leaves skin hydrated, smooth, shine-free and ready for makeup.

Ultra facial oil free gel cream by Kiehl's
Kiehl’s Ultra-Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream $32
Shop

Another gel-based cream, this has been formulated to improve your skin’s ability to retain moisture, which in turn means it won’t produce excess oil as a natural hydrator. Super lightweight, it cools the skin on application, making it ideal for summer.

Normaderm Beautifying Anti-Blemish Care
Vichy Normaderm Beautifying Anti-Blemish Care $25 $20
Shop

A trio of acids (including salicylic and glycolic) tackle blemishes, even of the stubborn hormonal variety, while a substance called airlicium disperses and absorbs sebum to leave you with a soft-focus, velvety complexion.

Oil free moisture by Neutrogena
Neutrogena Oil-Free Daily Sensitive Skin Face Moisturizer $10
Shop

When you deny the skin oil, it often overproduces sebum to compensate. This lightweight moisturizer is oil-free but still seriously hydrating, so your skin won’t feel the need to generate excess sebum.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Del rosso JQ. The role of skin care as an integral component in the management of acne vulgaris: part 1: the importance of cleanser and moisturizer ingredients, design, and product selection. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2013;6(12):19-27.

Related Stories