Best Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin

(Updated February 22, 2017)

In this article we’ll review the best moisturizers for acne prone skin.

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, but also one of the most dreaded. If you have acne, you probably know the difficulties of trying to find the best moisturizer for acne. On the one hand, you need a product to help restore moisture to your skin and recover from breakouts. On the other hand, you need to make sure that your product does not clog your pores, causing further breakouts.

There is a very delicate balance that needs to be maintained, making it difficult to find just the right product. Because acne is such a common condition, and one that people are very eager and willing to treat, there are numerous moisturizing products on the market, which can make it overwhelming to try and find the right one.

Top Rated Moisturizers for Acne
Reviews and Comparisons

Product

Image

Rating

On Sale

Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer

aveeno clear complextion moisturizer review

Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer 

best moisturizer for acne prone skin

Philosophy Clear Days Ahead Acne Treatment and Moisturizer

moisturizer for acne review

Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture SPF 35

best moisturizer for acne prone skin

Jurlique Calendula Cream

best moisturizers to help with acne

Instead of aimlessly shopping around, we have reviewed some of the most popular acne moisturizing products so that you can have an easier time finding just the right product for you. Our choices are based on reviews from real users of these products, so you can trust our judgments. Read on for some helpful tips in choosing the best moisturizer for oily acne prone skin.

Aveeno Clear Complexion - Best Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin

aveeno clear complextion moisturizer review

Our favorite moisturizer for acne prone skin is the Aveeno Clear Complexion. We think it is the best option for most people because it is an acne treatment and it ranks as our best acne moisturizer simultaneously. It contains 0.5% salicylic acid, which is a powerful and tested acne-fighting agent. This is potent enough to do some damage to your existing acne, but not potent enough to cause serious irritation to most people. This makes it an excellent choice for people with sensitive skin. It also is very reasonably priced, appealing to shoppers on a budget, and this definitely plays into our ranking it this high.

This product has been reviewed extensively, with 747 reviews on Amazon.com. It has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars, but given the extremely large sample size, this is impressive. While 61% give the product 5 stars, 78% give it either 4 or 5 stars, indicating that it is clearly a popular product. Other products have higher ratings, but they also have much smaller sample sizes, making their high ratings less trustworthy. Most consumers report that it is effective at both fighting their acne and moisturizing their skin. They also seem to like the non-greasy, gentle feel. Overall, this seems to be an excellent, effective, and budget-friendly choice for many people looking for the best moisturizer for acne prone skin.

Active Ingredients The key ingredient here is the 0.5% salicylic acid, which makes it an effective acne treatment, but less harsh than products with a higher salicylic acid content.

Pros

  • Best moisturizer for sensitive acne prone skin
  • Best face moisturizer for acne
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Best Oil free moisturizer for acne prone skin
  • Best Non comedogenic moisturizer for face

Cons

  • SPF Protection is unclear; it is not advertised with the product, but some consumers report that it does offer SPF protection.

Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer Review

Acne moisturizer reviews

The Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturizer, just like the Aveeno product, is both an acne medication and it ranks as our 2nd best acne moisturizer. It contains salicylic acid and a moisturizing element to both fight acne breakouts and soothe dry, irritated skin simultaneously. It also is very reasonably priced, like the Aveeno product. What moves this choice lower down the list is the reviewing sample size on Amazon.com.

There are very few reviews for this product, only 33, making the quality of the ratings more circumspect. Still, those 33 reviews give this product a 4.4 out of 5, with 70% of consumers giving it 5 star reviews. Many report that it is a great lotion and acne treatment. People seem to like its lower salicylic acid content, making it easier on sensitive skin and less likely to cause peeling or excessive dryness. Most also said that the lotion was great for oily skin, helping to add moisture without adding additional grease. Overall, it is our second best moisturizer for acne prone skin.

Active Ingredients The key ingredient here is the salicylic acid, which fights acne breakouts. It also contains 0.5% salicylic acid, making it an effective treatment while still being relatively mild on sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Salicylic acid content makes it an excellent choice for sensitive skin.
  • Reasonable price.
  • Good treatment for oily skin.
  • Good moisturizer for acne

Cons

  • No mention of SPF protection.

Philosophy Clear Days Ahead Acne Treatment and Moisturizer Review

moisturizer for acne review

Like the previous two, this product is a favorite because it is both an acne treatment and a moisturizer all in one. It contains salicylic acid, which fights against current acne breakouts. It also has antimicrobial properties, meaning that it can kill acne-causing bacteria. Finally, it is an acne moisturizer, meaning that it can help to revitalize and soothe skin that has become irritated by repeated acne breakouts. The combination of these three attributes makes it quite popular. This product is expensive, but because it can do all of these things at once, most consumers report that it is worth the price.

Like the previous product, the Amazon.com reviews are difficult to trust, because there are only 40 of them. Still, it receives 4.4 out of 5 stars, with 70% of consumers giving it a 5 star review. We cannot trust the overall opinion as much because of the small sample size, but the impression is a positive one.

Active Ingredients The most notable active ingredient in this product is the 1.0% salicylic acid. This is what allows it to be both an acne treatment and a moisturizer at the same time. However, because this product is significantly more potent than the previous two products, it can be harsher on skin, resulting in more dryness and irritation.

Pros

  • Salicylic acid makes it an acne treatment and a moisturizer at the same time.
  • Antimicrobial properties help to kill acne-causing bacteria.

Cons

  • No indication of SPF protection.
  • Salicylic acid content may be too potent for dry skin types, resulting in additional irritation.
  • Pricey.

Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture SPF 35 Review

best moisturizer for acne prone skin

The Neutrogena Oil Free Non Comedogenic Moisture is a very popular product, tried and true by countless users. There are 810 reviews on Amazon.com, and this product receives an average score of 4.4 out of 5, clearly indicating its popularity. However, it does not contain salicylic acid, so it is just a moisturizer, not an acne treatment. This product is also one of the least expensive that we reviewed, so if you are looking for a budget friendly option, this could be it. Overall, this product is a hypoallergenic choice that adds moisture without clogging pores. It is a gentle product, making it a great choice for someone with sensitive skin who needs moisture and does not need an active ingredient acne treatment. Active Ingredients Unlike many of the other products reviewed, this product does not contain salicylic acid, meaning that it is not an active ingredient acne treatment. It does, however, contain moisturizing elements like Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (12%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (2.35%), Oxybenzone (6%). These contribute to the light, oil-free feeling of the product.

Pros

  • SPF protection
  • Budget friendly
  • Non-greasy
  • Good for oily, sensitive skin
  • Non comedogenic moisturizer

Cons

  • Some users report an odor associated with the SPF in the new formula.
  • No salicylic acid component.

Jurlique Calendula Cream Review

best moisturizers to help with acne

Jurlique’s Calendula cream is last on this list because of its price and its lack of salicylic acid. This is an excellent moisturizer with a rich potency, but many consumers report that it is more effective for topical treatment of particular problem areas than for overall, systemic moisture.
There are only 58 reviews on Amazon.com, making it a smaller and therefore less trustworthy sample size than other products, but within that sample size, it earned 4.3 out of 5 stars. Many people report that it works wonders on their skin because of its richness. Other people, however, report that it is too much for them, causing excessive oil and grease.
If you have significant areas of dry irritation; are looking for rich, intense moisture; and are willing to pay for it, this product may be for you.
Active Ingredients
This product contains a mixture of natural and artificial ingredients. Some natural ingredients include water, honey, Echinacea, and grapefruit seed extract. It does not, however, contain any salicylic acid.

Pros

  • Mainly natural product
  • Intense, rich moisture
  • Excellent topical treatment for problem areas

Cons

  • No salicylic acid component
  • Expensive
  • No information listed about SPF protection
  • Some users reported excessive grease

Moisturizer for Acne Reviews: Why Salicylic Acid

Research shows that one of the best ways to fight acne is to use salicylic acid. It is for this reason that our favorite moisturizers for people with acne prone skin include salicylic acid. If you have acne, you probably have experienced the frustration that comes from trying to use a moisturizer to heal irritated skin caused by acne breakouts, only to find additional breakouts caused by your moisturizer. It can become a constant cycle that is difficult to break.

One of the best ways to break it is to treat the acne and moisturize the skin at the same time. Salicylic acid is excellent at unclogging pores, thereby fighting current breakouts and preventing future ones. If you use a moisturizer with salicylic acid, you are moisturizing your skin, but you are also attacking your current breakouts and keeping it from clogging any pores or making your acne worse. It is for this reason that the best rated moisturizers for acne contain this salicylic acid. Too much salicylic acid, however, can result in additional irritation and dryness. This is why if you have sensitive skin, we recommend you start with a product that has 0.5% salicylic acid, as it will likely cause less irritation.

Overall Review of the Best Moisturizer for Acne 

Overall, if you’re looking for the best moisturizer for acne prone skin, we recommend the Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer or the Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer. Both of these products have great active ingredients and both have many positive reviews from real customers on Amazon.