Yes, You Still Need a Moisturizer, Even If Your Skin is Oily!

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

Moisturizers keep the skin soft, hydrated, and supple. Every skin type requires moisture, even if it is oily skin.

Oil and Water Functions in The Skin

Oil and water serve distinct functions in the skin. The natural oils or sebum in our skin help prevent water loss and protect the skin from infection, among many other things.

Water is needed to hydrate the skin, prevent dehydration, facilitate the even flow of oil, and help the skin carry out its functions.

Oily skin does not necessarily mean hydrated skin! Your skin can be oily and dehydrated at the same time.

Trans-epidermal Water Loss (TEWL)

The loss of water from the skin is known as Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL). TEWL occurs when water travels upward from the lower levels of the skin and evaporates through our pores. The leading causes of TEWL are damage to the skin, low skin hydration levels, and environmental factors.

Excessive water loss can impair some of the critical functions of the skin and lead to dehydrated skin, inflammation, lack of firmness, and premature aging.

Moisturizers hydrate the skin and help to retain moisture by preventing TEWL. Most moisturizers have an eighty percent water content, and if you look at a product label, water is often the first listed ingredient. Oils only make up a tiny percentage of the ingredients.

Gel-based moisturizers contain only water-soluble ingredients. This type of moisturizer is ideal for oily skin types as they give the skin a matte non-greasy finish.


Other ingredients to look for in a well-formulated moisturizer are humectants, such as the popular vegetable glycerin, which draws water to the skin from the atmosphere. Humectants are essential for every skin type because they offer and help the skin to retain moisture. Humectants are necessary for oily skin because they provide oil-free moisturization.

The Skin's Barrier Functions

Moisturizers also contain ingredients that help with the skin's barrier function, cell regeneration, and wound healing. The skin is the first line of defense for the body, and it has a protective film called the barrier or the acid mantle. The primary function of the skin's barrier is to protect the body by keeping things out.

Botanical Extracts

Moisturizers also contain botanical extracts, which are a distillation of plant substances. They are in powdered and liquid forms. Botanical extracts have innumerable benefits for the skin and contain vitamins, polyphenols, flavonoids, minerals, and so much more. All of which are necessary to strengthen and preserve the skin's integrity and functions.

Some Botanical Extracts Found in Moisturizers

Botanical extracts that are particularly beneficial for oily skin include the following:

Apple Cider Vinegar Extract: the acidity of the vinegar helps to dry out overactive sebaceous (oil) glands.

Cucumber Extract: tightens pores, has soothing and astringent properties.

Grapeseed Extract: has astringent properties.

Horsetail Extract: has anti-oxidant and astringent properties.

Japanese Honeysuckle Extract: has anti-bacterial, anti-irritant, anti-fungal, among other properties.

Papaya Extract: helps to break down proteins and cleans them away.

St. John's Wart Extract: has astringent qualities.

White Willow Bark Extract: has astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-reddening, and anti-septic properties.

Witch Hazel Extract: is astringent, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant. Witch Hazel Extract is different from the witch hazel available in the drug store. Alcohol is added to the drug store version to give the perception of an astringent feel.

Active ingredients

These are just a few of the wonderful beneficial ingredients often in a moisturizer. These ingredients are elementary, as this article did not cover other active ingredients such as peptides, proteins, and others. However, these basic ingredients are vital in maintaining healthy, hydrated, and supple skin, and every skin type will benefit from using them. Hydrated skin is healthy skin!

Now that you are aware of the benefits of moisturizing your oily skin incorporate it into your daily skincare routine. With consistent use, you will notice and feel a positive difference in your skin.

The first step to a healthy vibrant complexion starts with cleansing. Click here If you would like to learn more about facial cleansing.

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