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I have been having oily and acne prone skin for my entire life as far as I can remember. The struggle of searching for the perfect moisturizer for all occasions is real. Back in my teenage days, I used to believe in the misconception of moisturizer makes my skin greasier. Perhaps there weren’t many popular gel-like, oil-free moisturizers marketed in the skin care industry back then. That would make sense because oil is the classic ingredient that is occlusive in nature to trap moisture and prevent water loss, back in ancient times.

So, what do we look for in a moisturizer for oily skin?

Oil-free, water based, humectant type, non-occlusive, non-greasy, and light weight that are able to provide long lasting hydration and to keep the sebum production at bay.

I don’t think I can recall the number of moisturizers I’ve tried in the past. Among the many moisturizers I’ve discovered along my skin care journey, I stick to the few great ones.

Here’s my pick for the best 5 moisturizers that actually work my skin.

1. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream

Kiehl’s and I kinda got off the wrong foot when I tried a sample product for Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream and as a result, it made my skin pretty oily.  I was then introduced to the oil-free version of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial collection meant for normal to oil skin and I instantly love it! 

Their two star ingredients- Desert plant extract and Glacial Glycoprotein Extract are excellent hydrators. I really love its gel and oil-free formulation. It also has this cooling effect after application and it leaves my skin hydrated and dewy. This product has been my day-to day moisturizer for almost 2 years and still keeps me hydrated till now.

Price: RM132 (50ml), RM250 (125ml)

2. Origins Matte Moisturiser with Willowherb

Origins has been producing many great moisturizers as far I can recall because my earliest experience with Origins’ ZERO OIL™ Oil-Free Moisture Lotion With Saw Palmetto & Mint was extraordinary. I still remember the amazing herb scent of the moisturizer. That was the best moisturizer I ever tried at that time. Unfortunately, the product is no longer available in Malaysia. I’d probably purchase it if I ever come across it again.

 Origins Matte Moisturiser with Willowherb is really mattifying. It absorbed very quickly into my skin, just seconds after application. Its absorption rate is likely the highest among the rest in this list. There are some reviews that claimed the hydration effect is inadequate, likely because of the matte finish.

I genuinely felt my face lacks of a dewy finish but it did not bother me. I really like the matte finish as it goes well with makeup too. 

On the contrary, the Ginzing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturiser gives a dewy finish, however, it was a tad oily for me. Maybe the newer version of Ginzing Oil-Free Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer will change my mind.

Price: RM92 (30ml), RM142 (50ml)

3. Clinique Moisture Surge 72 Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator

This fancy name moisturizer is another one of my favourites. It definitely pumped my face with sufficient hydration and nourishment instantly although the effect does not last till 72 hours for me. 

Also in gel formulation, this product can be used as a moisturizer under or over make up or used as a 5-minute mask. It is suitable for all skin types. It can be slightly oily for me during the day, thus I use it during my night routine.

Price: RM105 (30ml), RM174 (50ml)

4. SK-II RNA Power Radical New Age

SK-II RNA Power cream does not exactly cater to oily skin. This anti-aging superstar made into the list of my favourites because it does an amazing job in repairing my skin. 

The formulation is slightly thicker and may not be suitable for very oily skin. I normally use it right after a clay mask regimen at night for instant nourishment. It absorbs pretty well into my skin and gives me a dewy and supple skin the next morning.

Price: You can get it at RM128 for 15g at Zalora.

5. Clinique iD Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly

This Clinique moisturizer is my latest obsession! As seen on my Instagram story, I had a lot of fun assembling the bottle of base with the cartridge of active concentrate! It reminded me of the Respimat inhaler (that’s the pharmacist side of me talking).

As seen on IG story

Clinique iD is a customized moisturizer addressing your individual skin concerns. First, you pick your hydrating base from the Dramatically Different™ collection (Moisturising lotion, Oil control gel, hydrating jelly, and Tone Up gel). Then, you pick Active Cartridge Concentrate™ of your choice (Lines& Wrinkles, Delicate skin, Uneven skin tone, Fatigue, Pores & Uneven Texture). 

My customized combo is the Hydrating Jelly and Pores and Uneven Texture as the active concentrate. I had a hard time choosing between the hydrating jelly and the oil control gel. The hydrating jelly is incredibly lightweight, almost close to weightless and it is so watery that it absorbed fast while leaving a cooling sensation. It also claims to protect skin from pollutants, which is another brownie point for jelly.
Clinique really stepped up their game and raised the bar for moisturisers. It really made a difference in my skin by controlling sebum production throughout the day. Definitely recommended for those who like a moisturizer customized to your needs and preference!

Price: RM166 for one set.

That's a wrap for the best moisturizers for oily skin that works for me. Let me know if they work for you or not or if you know any cool product you'd like to share in the comments below!

Till next blog post,

Disclaimer: This blog post is written entirely based on the author’s personal experiences with the products mentioned and does not intend to discredit anyone.


  1. I too have oily skin.. Loving the kiehls

  2. The oily skin is a problem for many girls. This requires a special care. The search for optimal products is a must in order to maintain an attractive appearance

  3. I'm using the brand Simple and it's been good. You should try it for a more affordable options!

  4. Hello, could you kindly let us know how it work on a dry skin? Does it help? Or, maybe you can suggest me another moisturize for this type of skin.


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