oily and acne prone skin that needs salicylic acid cleanser by slmd skincare

Why Oily/Acne Prone Skin Still Needs Moisturizer

Moisturizer is only for dry skin, right? Wrong. It may seem counterintuitive, but even oily and acne-prone skin benefits from moisturizer — especially if you're using anti-acne dermatological ingredients. Here, Dr. Pimple Popper tells us why.


2 minute read

Time for skincare true-or-false: If you’ve got oily or acne-prone skin, you don’t need moisturizer.

If you guessed false, you’re on top of your skincare game. It may seem counterintuitive, but even oily and acne-prone skin benefits from moisturizer — here’s why.


What causes oily skin

Oil — aka sebum — is a necessary component of healthy skin. It’s produced by sebaceous glands located within your pores. Though not yet fully understood, scientists believe sebum functions to:

  • Lubricate skin and hair
  • Maintain skin's protective barrier
  • Provide antioxidant and antibacterial functions

When your skin overproduces sebum (for reasons no one has quite figured out yet), it’s considered oily. When the oil has a tendency to become trapped within the pore, your skin is considered acne-prone.

How to tell if your skin is oily

Because you can have skin that’s oily and dehydrated (who knew?), figuring out if you’ve got oily skin isn’t always so straightforward. Here’s a handy test: after you wash your face, time how long it takes for your skin to produce oil. If it’s less than half an hour, chances are you’re in the oily club.

Why does oily or acne-prone skin need moisturizer?

All skin needs moisture to maintain proper function. If you have oily skin, Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper) recommends:

  • Using dermatological anti-acne products. Ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and sulfur are three of Dr. Lee’s favorites for oily or acne-prone skin.
  • Washing your face frequently. Dr. Lee suggests that patients with oily skin wash twice a day (and after sweating) to remove the excess sebum.

While these measures are quite effective for managing oily or acne-prone skin, they can actually cause the skin to amp up oil production to combat the dryness that can occur. To counteract this phenomenon, Dr. Lee says that using a specially-formulated moisturizer is key.

Choosing a carefully-curated anti-acne regimen like SLMD Acne System — which includes Facial Moisturizer — will target and handle pimples while maintaining skin's delicate balance.

What moisturizers are best for oily or acne-prone skin?

According to Dr. Lee, knowing what to look out for on the label can mean the difference between a breakout and a breakthrough for oily skin types:

  • Non comedogenic: find a product that won’t clog your pores.
  • Lightweight: steer clear of emollient creams in favor of light lotions, gels or serums.

SLMD Facial Moisturizer checks these boxes, and is ideal for all skin types.

Dr Sandra Lee

Dr. Lee's Last Word

It’s a very common misconception that if your skin is oily or acne-prone, you don’t need — or even shouldn't use — moisturizer. But all skin needs oil to stay healthy, you just have to be choosy about the ingredients and formula. I created SLMD Skincare Facial Moisturizer to be safe and effective for all skin types.


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