How to Find the Best Moisturizer for Acne
If you thought your experience with acne would be nothing more than an embarrassing adolescent rite of passage, join the club. The truth is that acne is an equal opportunity skin destroyer whether you’re in your 30s, 40s, and even 50s.
If you thought your experience with acne would be nothing more than an embarrassing adolescent rite of passage, join the club. Nobody ever told us that we would have to worry about breakouts in our 20s, 30s, and even 40s and 50s. But the truth is that acne is an equal opportunity skin destroyer no matter how old you are.
While there are various causes for breakouts — everything from hormones to genetics to diet to environment — the bottom line is that this skin condition can be quite traumatic and make you feel like hiding under a blanket and never showing your face again.
So what's the best way to handle acne-prone skin when all you really want to do is dry out those pesky pimples and make them disappear? The first thing to do is properly hydrate.
We admit it might sound a little counter-intuitive, but keeping your skin hydrated is essential, especially if you use drying acne products. If you allow your skin to become dehydrated, sebum (oil) production kicks up, which can then result in more breakouts. Plus, moisturized skin tends to loosen up the sebum inside clogged pores.
The next thing to do is to manage your expectations. No matter what a label promises, no product will miraculously remove pimples overnight. If you keep a reasonable outlook, then you'll be more likely to stick with the program and patiently allow the product to do its thing.
Whether you have a pimple or two or more problematic acne all over your face, we're here to help you find the best moisturizer that will keep you looking as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside.
How to Choose a Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin
Finding the best moisturizer for your blemish-prone skin can be frustrating, but it's not impossible. Below is a checklist that will help you put your best face forward and tackle this challenge once and for all.
Know Your Skin Type
Acne-prone skin doesn't always mean oily skin. You might have dry skin or sensitive skin and still have a challenge with breakouts. Make sure you know your skin type by taking this easy test that will help clear up any questions you have, plus provide recommendations on how to find great moisturizers that are also vegan.
Pay Attention to Texture
Not all moisturizers for acne-prone skin are the same. Oily skin types should opt for oil-free moisturizers and avoid thick, heavy creams that could lead to more breakouts. Look for lightweight moisturizers such as a water gel or water-based lotion that will hydrate your skin without any greasy residue.
Conversely, dry skin types can benefit from creamier facial moisturizers and gel masks such as Feel Beauty’s Harmony Rose Petal Facial Mask, which can hydrate skin while reducing redness.
Read the Label
Whatever moisturizer you choose, be sure it has the phrase "non-comedogenic" on the label. This means that it will not clog pores and cause further breakouts. Those with acne-prone skin should also look for paraben-free and fragrance-free lotions, creams, serums, or gels whenever possible, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Heavy perfumes, synthetic fragrances, and preservatives can be very irritating to skin and thus increase inflammation. Also, steer clear of pore-clogging ingredients like petroleum, mineral oil, and silicones that can cause flare-ups.
Look for Key Ingredients
If you've had problems with breakouts, chances are you have come across two acne-fighting ingredients that are generally considered the most tried and true — salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. The former is an anti-inflammatory that helps skin shed dead cells from the top layer while the latter targets bacteria on the skin's surface.
Found in numerous over-the-counter and prescription acne medications to help dry out pimples and prevent future breakouts, you can also find salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide in some moisturizers. However, proceed with caution: If you have drier skin or are already using these products as a form of acne treatment, you should consider using a daily moisturizer without these ingredients as it could end up leaving skin dry, red, and flaky.
Another key ingredient to seek out in your moisturizer is hyaluronic acid, sometimes labeled as HA on skincare products. Naturally occurring in the human body, hyaluronic acid is a moisture magnet that helps your cells retain as much water as possible so that your skin looks and feels hydrated and healthy. It also strengthens the outer layer skin barrier for a softer, smoother, and younger-looking complexion.
It's always nice when you can actually pronounce the ingredients on a label and know what they are, so don't underestimate the importance of natural formulations for blemish-prone complexions. Rosehip oil is rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals, essential fatty acids and vitamins A, C, and E. Its ability to soothe irritated skin, fade acne scars, and balance oil production makes it ideal for acneic skin. You can find it in Feel Beauty's Bright Daily Squalane + Facial Oil Blend.
Aloe is another gift from nature that reduces inflammation and calms breakouts. Our Balanced Moisturizing Cream is loaded with this soothing plant and works for all skin types.
Opt for SPF
Even if your skin is given to breakouts, one of the best ways to save face is to wear a lightweight moisturizer with sun protection. Slathering on sunscreen isn't high on the "favorite things to do" list, not to mention the mere thought of a sunscreen-related breakout could send shivers down anyone's spine. But thanks to advances in skincare, moisturizers with SPF are no longer relegated to thick, greasy, pore-clogging creams.
Keep in mind that there are two different types of sunscreens: chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens quickly absorb into the skin and are best suited for swimming or high physical activity. These include ingredients such as avobenzone, octinoxate, and oxybenzone. Physical sunblocks sit atop the skin and tend to be better suited for sensitive skin types with UV-blocking minerals such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
Whatever type you choose, be sure to select one that offers "broad spectrum" SPF to protect against both UVA and UVB rays with a minimum SPF 30 rating. Not only will this shield you against the threat of skin cancer, but it has the added anti-aging bonus of sparing your face from premature wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots.
Best Moisturizers for Acne-Prone Skin
There are many moisturizers out there that promise to keep your skin hydrated without causing breakouts, but the truth is there will be some trial and error. Be patient and be gentle on yourself. Use only a few products at a time so that you can more easily identify which products your skin responds to best and which ones you need to eliminate from your skincare routine.
While many websites and magazines tout the magical results from mainstream brands like Neutrogena, Cetaphil, La Roche-Posay, and CeraVe AM along with countless others found at Target, Walmart, and drugstores everywhere, these mass-produced products contain artificial preservatives, synthetic fragrances, and chemical ingredients that can irritate blemish-prone skin.
Try Feel Beauty's fast-absorbing Bright Daily Squalane + Facial Oil Blend that will give you essential hydrating benefits without clogged pores. This acne-fighting daily moisturizer is not only loaded with rosehip oil and avocado oil, but it's completely vegan and will leave your skin feeling refreshed, plump, and moisturized with no greasy residue.
You can also try our gentle Balanced Moisture Balancing Cream that features cucumber and aloe vera, two crucial ingredients renowned for soothing skin and reducing inflammation.
In addition to using a daily moisturizer, one way to maintain a clearer complexion is to use a mask such as the Restored Self-Warming Clay Mask. This clarifying mask detoxifies skin with nigiri salt, pulls out dirt with charcoal, nourishes with vitamin E, and deeply hydrates with hyaluronic acid.
Remember: No matter your age, if you're having continuous issues with acne, it's a good idea to see a dermatologist so you can get to the root of the problem, make the most informed decisions, and let your true beauty shine.