Best Drugstore Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin

We all know there are just way too many options when it comes to facial moisturizer. Walking down the isles of the drugstore, you see hundreds of skincare items with their fancy bottles, and magical claims printed on the labels. They will say things like “Non-Comedogenic” “Dermatologist Approved” “All Natural” and other similar claims. As consumers, we need to be conscious about all this marketing, and focus on the ingredients of the products, not their promises. That brings me to the best drugstore moisturizer for acne prone skin…

Best Moisturizer for Oily & Combination Skin? – [amazon]

We’re led to believe that if we have acne prone skin, we should use a light moisturizer, or not moisturizer at all! Well, regardless of your skins natural moisture-level, we all need and can benefit from a moisturizer. Those with dry skin benefit from moisturizer the most, as it brings back moisture that the skin has lost, and cannot maintain on its own. For normal skin types, face moisturizer acts to balance and maintain the skins barrier and moisture. For oily skin, it can help re-balance your skin- Skin often over-produces oil due to drying chemical and treatments we use, so to counteract this, we need to use a moisturizer on oily and acne prone skin to prevent over-drying the skin and causing it to want to compensate by producing more oil!

The main thing to look out for when buying moisturizer for acne prone skin is the ingredients list. We all react differently, so its best to be aware of what you skin likes, and what it doesn’t. For example, some people are incredibly prone to breakouts from silicones, while others have no effect. So, avoid any ingredient you know that your skin doesn’t get along with, or avoid the most common comedogenic ingredients such as:

  • Isopropyl isostearat
  • Isopropyl myristate
  • Myristyl myristate
  • Laureth-4
  • Oleth-3
  • Coconut butter
  • Acetylated lanolin
  • Acetylated lanolin alcohol
  • Lauric acid
  • Isopropyl palmitate
  • Isostearyl isostearate
  • Myristyl lactate
  • Stearyl heptanoate
  • Cetearyl alcohol + ceteareth 20
  • Cocoa butter

View more comedogenic ingredients here

Stick to 1 ingredient moisturizers if that works for your skin. Natural oils like coconut oil, olive oil, and jojoba oil are great natural moisturizers and are suitable for acne prone skin. These oils are naturally non-comedogenic, since the molecules are actually larger than our pores. This means that the oil cannot get into and clog our pores. It may seem unnatural and counterproductive to apply oil to a freshly cleansed face, but it works!

Look for non-comedogenic labels, or better yet, non-acnegenic. Non-comedogenic labeling honestly doesn’t mean too much, since one ingredient can be comedogenic to one person, but not to another, but it is still a helpful label and worth looking at. Non-Acnegenic is even better, which means that it doesn’t clog pores, and won’t aggravate existing acne. Again, this label has no set definition, so companies sometimes exploit these labels 🙁

Stick to simple products, avoid the over-marketed and gimmickey products. Products like Cetaphil, and CeraVe are well-known and established brands. Their packaging is simple, honest, non-flashy, and most importantly, their products work! My top recommendations for acne prone skin are:

Best Moisturizer for acne prone and oily skin
Cetaphil’s moisturizer is the #1 Dermatologist Recommended skincare brand. Their line is incredibly gentle, and contains no comedogenic or irritating ingredients. This make their skincare perfect for acne prone skin, since this skin type is often irritated/inflamed due to treatments and breakouts. If you are using a prescription treatment, this is often what dermatologists will recommend!

Cerave Moisturizer for acne prone skin

My all-time favorite moisturizer for any skin type is CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. This lotion is truly incredible. Its non-comedogenic, non-irritating and contains no fragrance. One of the biggest benefits of this particular moisturizer is that it contains ceramides which help restore and replace the skins natural barrier. The weirdest thing about this product is that it is incredibly thick, so naturally one would think that this is only good for those with extremely dry skin. However, this moisturizer is perfect for ANY skin type. I personally have acne-prone, and INCREDIBLY OILY skin and am currently using Retin-A, so my skin is flakey and irritated sometimes. This is my #1 moisturizer for day and night. Unbelievably, I can use this cream during daytime, and it does not contribute to my oiliness! My boyfriend has incredibly dry skin, and he loves this moisturizer as well! Its a bit more expensive that most drugstore moisturizers, but its HUGE and well worth it. Click here to order directly from Amazon, its around $5 cheaper there than any drugstore!


Let me know in the comments when your favorite moisturizer is!

5 thoughts on “Best Drugstore Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin

  1. My favorite moisturizer is cetaphil. I feel like it works for me no matter what time of the year, and I can use it all over my body as well without getting clogged pores!

  2. I like the cetaphil moisturizer and cleanser for my acne prone skin- But the cerave is definitely nice, although a little more expensive. It worries me how thick it is, and that it might clog my pores…

  3. I love the Cerave moisturizer. It’s the BESTTTT moisturizer for acne, especially if you are using acne medications that make your skin extra dry, flakey, or irritated. This helps restore it’s natural barrier!

  4. Great article! I love the cerave moisturizer, I think its one of the best moisturizers from either drugstore, or department stores… It’s relatively inexpensive compared to higher end skincare items that don’t work nearly as good! I have oily skin too, and this one works great

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *