Oily skin really doesn’t have it easy in summer. The heat and humidity make our oil glands work harder than usual at producing extra sebum, while the constant sweating leads to a greater risk of clogged pores. When I was younger, my combination skin tended to transform into an oily, slick mess, and I often made the mistake of skipping on moisturizer in the hopes of “drying out” my skin. Of course, this only led to my panicked skin producing even more oils to protect my poor skin barrier and prevent critical levels of dehydration from occurring.
So, if you have oily skin, please don’t make the mistake I made and remember to provide your skin with proper moisture year-round to keep it healthy and supple. For summer, gel or lotion textures are definitely the best moisturizer choice for oily skin, though a lighter oil-in-water type cream can also be lovely if you have that dreaded combination of oily yet dehydrated. Some moisturizers also contain mattifying ingredients that can help keep excess oiliness in check, though always be careful if they are too drying, which could end up making you even oilier.
If you have oily skin, please don’t make the mistake of skipping on moisturizer in the summer. Provide your skin with proper moisture to keep it healthy and supple.
If you struggle to find a suitable moisturizer for your oily skin during summer, here are five great choices that won’t make you feel like an oil slick after application.
La Mer The Moisturizing Cool Gel Cream
The name alone makes me crave having the La Mer the Moisturizing Cool Gel Cream on my face right now, given that Europe is going through an early heat wave. The original La Mer cream is a pretty thick and rich affair, which generally doesn’t suit oily skin peeps even in the dead of winter. This gel cream, however, has a dreamy, light texture and feels cooling on the skin when applied, helping to soothe overheated, sweaty faces.
Thanks to the famous Miracle Broth, a mix of fermented seaweed extracts that La Mer founder Dr. Huber created, the Moisturizing Cool Gel Cream also has plenty of anti-aging benefits, supporting the skin’s natural defenses against pollution and sun damage. If you have mature oily to oily-combo skin, this is an ideal summer moisturizer for both the AM and PM, but younger skin will also enjoy the lovely texture and refreshing feel during the hotter season.
Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet
Who doesn’t want to play with a sorbet texture in summer? The Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet is one of the lightest moisturizers in this lineup for oily skin, a soft gel sorbet that hydrates deeply thanks to the grape fruit water it contains, plus humectant glycerin and beta glucan. According to Caudalie, the “quick break” technology implemented for this gel moisturizer means it turns into a water-like texture upon contact with the skin, which improves absorption speed and helps to replenish hydration levels more effectively.
The sorbet also contains moisturizing agents such as shea butter and sunflower seed oil, so it still provides skin with deep nourishment to help prevent transepidermal water loss. During the hotter season, water can evaporate from the skin’s surface if hydrating products are not properly sealed in with a good moisturizer, and this gel sorbet thankfully still doesn’t overwhelm oily skin. I am also rather fond of the soft pink color!
Origins Matte Moisturizer with Willowherb
The Origins Matte Moisturizer with Willowherb is a good choice if your skin gets very oily in summer, as it promises to help mattify skin and balance out the overproduction of sebum. Its pale orange colored gel texture reminds me of a Greek yogurt or yogurt sorbet, refreshing and pleasing to look at. The star ingredient here is willowherb, a traditional healing plant with astringent, anti-inflammatory, and even antibacterial properties, so excellent for those of you suffering from redness or breakouts.
Now, Origins also promises that the Matte Moisturizer can minimize the appearance of enlarged pores, which it does thanks to being silicone-based, but just be aware that this is a temporary effect, since nothing can really “shrink” pores or make them magically disappear—pores are a natural part of our faces! Like most Origins products, this does contain a bit of alcohol and a number of essential oils, so is best suited for more resilient skin types. That being said, I enjoy this cooling, watery gel when temperatures rise to unbearable levels and everything else feels stifling and sticky on my skin.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream
I am a big fan of the original Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream but would say that it’s a little bit too rich for oily skin, especially during summer. So, if you love Kiehl’s minimalist skincare products, this gel version is a great alternative, with a water-based jelly texture that doesn’t feel suffocating or heavy. In fact, this gel was developed specifically to feel comfortable on the skin on hot weather days, giving a slightly cooling sensation upon application. Kiehl’s uses two of its latest skincare technologies for this gel cream: Glacial Glycoprotein extracted from Antarctic glacier water, meant to prevent water loss and keep skin hydrated and refreshed, plus Micronised Amino Acid, said to help control excess sebum.
The most fascinating ingredient in this moisturizer is probably the “pseudoalteromonas ferment extract,” a fermented peptide complex derived from mud found on Antarctica, which has all sorts of very intriguing anti-aging properties such as boosting collagen and elastin production. Unlike the Origins Matte Moisturizer, which has a similar gel texture, the Kiehl’s Oil-Free Gel Cream is free from alcohol or fragrance, so it might be a safer choice for those with very sensitive skin. This is also perfect for anyone who prefers non-gendered skincare products, and it is also a fantastic choice for men with oily skin issues.
Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3
One of the toughest things to find for people with oily skin is a good anti-aging moisturizer, since most of them are inexplicably heavy and rich, often causing breakouts. The Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 on the other hand is one of those rare moisturizer gems that has anti-aging benefits while simultaneously also offering a very lightweight, runny emulsion formula perfect for maturing oily skin during the summer months.
If you struggle with a dull complexion and the early signs of hyperpigmentation, this is a particularly great choice, as the Metacell Renewal B3 contains 5 percent niacinamide, one of the best skin-brightening and complexion-enhancing ingredients out there. Niacinamide also has the added benefit of balancing out excess sebum levels, so it’s excellent for oily skin. Hydration is provided by the added 15 percent glycerin, one of the most reliable and fuss-free humectants out there, giving dehydrated and saggy skin back its plumpness. And let’s not forget the 2.5% Firming Tri-Peptide Concentrate, a blend of anti-aging peptides that help restore skin’s youthfulness.
What moisturizers do you turn to for your oily skin in the summer?