Find out more or book a one to one video consultation

The best moisturisers for acne prone skin

Discover 6 of our favourite acne busting moisturisers, formulated to protect the skin's barrier, treat blemishes, as well as redness and hyperpigmentation

When you have acne, it can seem counterintuitive to apply moisturiser. If thought of simplistically, it makes sense: if the issue is too much sebum, why add more moisture to the skin? Surely that’ll only compound the problem and prompt more spots?

The truth is rather more complex. Yes, an abundance of sebum is one of the major contributing factors to spots, but the overall skin health is also key to how spots develop and emerge. It is also perfectly possible to have skin which is both oily and dehydrated – and that dehydration is only made worse when the barrier is compromised, thanks to trans-epidermal water loss.

Moisturiser is one of the best ways to ensure a robust barrier is in place, meaning that skin will look and feel better over time. When it comes to acne prone skin in particular, the ingredients you want to look for include polyhydroxy acids, ceramides, and salicylic acid to treat and hydrate simultaneously.

Here’s our edit of six of the best:

ZO Skin Health Hydrating Creme

If you want to hydrate while reducing redness and the likelihood of flare ups, this is the one to go for. It contains plenty of barrier-bolstering ingredients from shea to petrolatum, along with soothing colloidal oatmeal.

Dr Sam Bunting Flawless Moisturiser Light

This one targets the barrier with a cocktail of three ingredients: shea butter, ceramides, and glycerin. Together, they attract moisture, and hug it to the skin to keep it hydrated over time.

Oxygenetix Oxygenating Hydro-Matrix Acne Control

The oxygenating part of this is important: the goal is to add radiance, and to improve scar healing, so it would be the perfect moisturiser when spots are particularly active, and during the healing phase. The addition of salicylic acid will help to break down blockages.

Naturium Niacinamide Gel Cream

If scars and dark patches are left in the wake of your acne, niacinamide is a good ingredient to introduce into your routine thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it will reduce swelling and redness. It also helps reduce sebum production. This gel cream is, as the name suggests, lightweight and instantly sinks in.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Clarifying Face Cream

It’s a myth that spots clear up when you get older; for many, they hang on long after wrinkles have set in. This moisturiser caters to both acne and ageing skin, boosting moisture, adding glow, and removing excess serum in one whammy.

Aurelia Balancing Ultra-Light Moisturiser

The BHA salicylic acid is lipophilic, meaning it breaks down clogs. That ingredient is the hero in this moisturiser, and it’s supported by witch hazel to reduce sebum production overall, while the probiotics help to look after the skin’s all-important microbiome.

Find a local practitioner