There’s one thing I’ve learned over the years: you should always ensure that your face is moisturized. This simple fact is often not fully understood by people because they wear makeup or they are afraid of over-moisturizing and causing acne, but keeping your face moisturized has a lot of advantages. It reduces your chance of developing more wrinkles and it also reduces the appearance of your current wrinkles. Additionally, it can improve your complexion and it can actually reduce your chance of developing acne.
So what’s the best way to moisturize the face? Well, you can always use oil-based moisturizers that hydrate using chemicals like petrolatum and natural substances like lanolin, but these can actually clog the pores. Alternatively, you can go with an oil-free moisturizer; these won’t clog the pores and will keep the skin hydrated without the need to plaster greasy materials on your face.
In fact, in my experience as a person who is prone to acne, oil-free tends to be better. I’ve created this guide so that you can know which oil-free face moisturizers are best for your face.
Why Is Oil-Free Better?
If you have combination or oil-prone skin, oil-based moisturizers simply aren’t worth the trouble, especially if the weather outside is hot. That being said, going moisturizer-free actually will cause your skin to become oilier, which can actually promote the formation of acne.
So, what’s the alternative? Oil-free moisturizers provide hydration without blocking the pores when it’s hot out. Using these types of moisturizers will cause your skin to feel refreshed. They accomplish this by using natural substances like hyaluronic acid to act as humectants for your skin. Humectants draw water out into the surface of the skin, which is quite different than oil-based moisturizers that add grease to the skin. The result is a more natural moisturization for the facial skin that serves to inhibit wrinkles and keep the skin looking soft and young.
The Best Times to Moisturize Your Face
Keeping up with your facial moisturization is easy because you’ll only have to apply your moisturizer twice daily. When you wake up in the morning, you can easily make it part of your daily process; in fact, adding moisturizer to your face is perfect when you’re first out of a hot shower. The steam from the shower opens the pores, which means that the humectants won’t have to take as long when they’re bringing the moisturization to the surface of your skin.
The second time that you’ll want to moisturize your face with your oil-free moisturizer is right before you go to bed. Remember to apply it about a half an hour before going to bed; this will allow the moisturizer to work into your pores so that it doesn’t just end up on the pillow.
It’s important to understand that skin is porous. While it may feel solid and more like a wall than a sponge, skin absorbs any liquid that’s placed on it; it doesn’t matter if it’s natural or man-made. This is why it’s very important to use natural substances in the skin, especially considering that heightened exposure to chemicals on the skin can cause issues.
In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t evaluated for safety every chemical that is used in cosmetics, which means that over time, toxic chemicals can affect your complexion or even your health. This is why natural, non-toxic substances are always going to be best for the health of your skin. This means limiting fragrance and selecting products that are responsibly formulated.
In our review section, the majority of the products that we’ll be covering contain hyaluronic acid. As we mentioned previously, this chemical, which occurs naturally in the human body, serves as a humectant. This means that it draws moisture to the surface of the skin, but what makes this particular ingredient so popular in oil-free moisturizers?
First, it’s important to understand that hyaluronic acid isn’t technically an actual acid. It’s a sugar that has spongy attributes. In fact, the molecules can hold a lot of water, which is why it’s as effective as a humectant. While the chemical isn’t great for actual moisturization because its molecules are a little too large for direct absorption, its properties that bring water to the surface have made it such a popular choice in natural cosmetics.
Additionally, the substance is also used in injection form during cosmetic surgery, and it even has the ability to aid in the healing of wounds like burns and ulcers on the skin. It’s a fairly complex and useful substance that may have some use as a way to ward off the effects of aging.
What to Look for in an Oil-Free Moisturizer
There are a few features that you should consider in a natural oil-free moisturizer:
The sun can dry your skin very quickly, which is why a little bit of UV protection is very useful in a natural oil-free moisturizer. Some products use natural antioxidants to fend off the sun’s rays, and others use naturally occurring plant enzymes.
Your moisturizer shouldn’t contain phthalates, parabens, or any other synthetic substances. These and other chemicals can have a long-term effect on your skin. Phthalates have even been linked to a series of issues.
While many natural formulations have a naturally good smelling scent, try to avoid moisturizers that utilize chemicals to create a fragrance. These can trigger allergic reactions and contribute poorly to your health.
Natural Oil-Free Face Moisturizer Reviews
1. Cosmedica Skincare Hyaluronic Acid Serum for Skin
Ingredients: distilled water, hyaluronic acid, and benzylalcohol (0.5%)
As you know by now, hyaluronic acid is a great substance for the skin. This product, which comes from Cosmedica Skincare, combines this substance with distilled water and benzyl alcohol for fragrance and preservation. This product is effective because the hyaluronic acid can hold 1,000 times its weight in water. Because the ingredients in this oil-free moisturizer are all naturally sourced, this is a great product for those looking to avoid chemicals in their cosmetics.
In addition to the moisturization effects, the acid also has the ability to soothe inflammation, heal damaged skin, and actually bolster your skin’s natural defenses.
- It’s safe for those with sensitive skin.
- 3.5-ounce bottle.
- Key Ingredients: hyaluronic acid, benzyl alcohol, distilled water.
- It’s 100 percent all-natural.
- It has a pleasant fragrance that’s obtained from botanically-derived benzyl alcohol.
- The product uses dropper for application to the skin.
- It’s clinically formulated to plump the skin.
- It’s a bit too watery.
- It doesn’t protect against the sun very well.
- The serum doesn’t have many anti-aging properties, though it can work to limit wrinkles.
2. Alba Botanica Hawaiian Aloe and Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer
Alba Botanica’s Hawaiian moisturizer is another product that uses hyaluronic acid to deliver a natural water drawing effect to your face. In addition to this substance, the manufacturer also included glycerin in order to double the humectant effect. Glycerin is another all-natural substance that can benefit the face greatly.
Additionally, the product also uses aloe vera to make your skin feel soothed and some key antioxidants, which can add nutrients to your skin and protect it from sun damage. Alba Botanica proudly doesn’t use phthalates or parabens, so you can rest assured that this is an oil-free moisturizer that has a natural formulation.
- It’s safe for sensitive skin, but those with oily skin may have trouble.
- 8.8-ounce bottle.
- Key Ingredients: hyaluronic acid, botanicals, green tea, aloe.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Octyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Laurate, Stearic Acid, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Hedychium Coronarium Root Extract, Allantoin, Hyaluronic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tromethamine, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglyceri
- It’s hypoallergenic.
- It has all-natural components like green tea, cucumbers, papaya, and gotu kola extract.
- Alba Botanica never tests on animals.
- It doesn’t have dedicated SPF protection.
- The jar is a bit small.
3. Punch Skin Care Organic Skin Repair Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer
Punch Skin Care is a brand that proudly specializes in products that use only organic ingredients. Their oil-free facial moisturizer utilizes components like organic pomegranate juice and organic jojoba seed in order to derive the substances that will deliver healthy moisturization to your face. In fact, while some hyaluronic acid is derived from the combs of roosters, Punch Skin Care’s hyaluronic acid comes from vegetable sources.
The product also boosts the elasticity of your skin; in fact, the components in this facial moisturizer can even promote collagen health and can boost the elastin fibers in your skin. This is a great product for those looking for anti-aging effects in their facial moisturizer.
- It’s safe for all skin types.
- 3.2-ounce bottle.
- Key Ingredients: hyaluronic acid, vegetable glycerin, dandelion leaf extract (Vitamin E).
Ingredients: Organic juices of pyrus malus (organic apple juice)*, vitis vinifera (organic white grape juice)*, punica granatum (organic pomegranate juice)*, aloe barbadensis (organic aloe juice)*, vegetable glycerin, simmondsia chinensis (organic jojoba seed)*, Vitamin A, sesamum indicum (organic sesame seed)*, cetearyl alcohol, cetearyl glucoside, hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, persea gratissima (avocado), citrus aurantifolia (lime), caprylyl glycol, capryl hydroxamic acid, ethylhexyl (octyl) palmitate, xanthan gum, organic botanical extracts of cucumis sativus (organic cucumber extract)*, salvia officinalis (organic sage leaf extract)*, Vitamin E, taraxacum officinale (dandelion leaf extract), melissa officinalis (lemon balm leaf extract), algae extract, panthenol (Vitamin B5), ascorbyl palmitate (Vitamin C), sodium PCA, tetrasodium glutamate diacetate, sodium hyaluronate (vegetable hyaluronic acid), sodium hydroxide, citrus aurantium (sweet neroli) and cinnamomum camphora (ho wood) pure essential aromas, Organic Witch Hazel, Organic grape seed extract, Organic Red Wine Polyphenols
- This is a great product to reduce the aging of the skin caused by the sun.
- It can heal sunspots on the skin.
- Re-balances melanin regulation in the skin.
- It uses botanicals to produce a great scent.
- The pump tends to deliver too much moisturizer.
- The smell can be a bit too strong.
4. Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Oil-Free Moisturizer
As a product from one of the major skincare brands, you might expect a lot of chemicals in this oil-free moisturizer. Fortunately, this isn’t the case; the product is part of Aveeno’s Active Naturals line, which uses naturally obtained substances like southernwood extract to provide a cleansing experience for the face.
In fact, southernwood is one of the most important ingredients; it has antioxidant attributes and can bind water as a humectant. Additionally, the product also uses sodium hyaluronate to provide hyaluronic acid, which also acts as a humectant and will ensure well-moisturized facial skin.
- It’s safe for all skin types.
- 2.5-ounce bottle.
- Key Ingredients: sodium hyaluronate, southernwood, glycerin.
Ingredients: Active Ingredients – Purpose: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 12%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 1.7%, Oxybenzone 3% – Sunscreen. Inactive Ingredients: Water, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, Glyceryl Stearate, Silica, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Hydrolyzed Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Fragrance, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Chlorphenesin, Sodium PCA, Urea, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Artemisia Abrotanum Extract, Disodium EDTA, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Trehalose, Cellulose Gum, Polyquatemium-51, Triacetin, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol
- This product is very lightly scented.
- It also has vitamins that are designed to replenish the skin.
- It provides UVA/UVB protection.
- The product replenishes the moisture barrier while you sleep.
- The fragrance is very strong.
- Despite its oil-free formulation, it can feel somewhat greasy.
- There’s only 2.5 ounces of product.
5. Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion
The Skin MD Natural shielding lotion is a protective lotion that is designed to shield your outer layer of skin from damage that occurs on a daily basis. This lotion is great for locking in the moisture as you put it on your skin.
This natural formula is not greasy, so you don’t have to worry about it clogging your pores at all. In addition, this lotion will keep your skin moisturized for up to four hours, which is something I wish I had last fall when my legs were becoming dry and chapped from walking in the cold weather.
- It’s great for those with sensitive skin.
- Four-ounce bottle.
- Key Ingredients: deionized water, aloe vera, Vitamin E.
Ingredients: Deionized water (Aqua) Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Aloe Vera) Cyclopentasiloxane Dimethicone Methyl Gluceth-20 Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) Arnica Montana Flower Extract (Arnica) Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract (Comfrey) Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract (Chamomile) Achillea Millefolium Extract (Yarrow) Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer 1,2 Hexanediol Caprylyl Glycol Butylene Glycol Aminomethyl Propanol Phenoxyethanol
- This lotion restores your skin naturally.
- It moisturizes your skin and protects it from damage.
- It is great for skin allergies, eczema, and psoriasis.
- Sometimes you will notice a chalky residue on your skin.
- Though it does provide a bit of sun protection, it is only SPF 15.
Each of the products that we’ve covered in this guide are designed to provide a great experience when you need a good moisturizer. Each uses natural ingredients and won’t add any toxicity to your skincare regimen. If we had to select a clear winner out of the products that we reviewed, it would be the Punch Skin Care Organic Skin Repair Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer.
This product uses a wide variety of plant-derived ingredients to moisturize your face, and it even has the ability to heal and reduce dark spots on your skin as well. In addition to this, it also provides elasticity to your skin and can even promote collagen development. Overall, considering a list full of great products, this particular product edges the others out.