Skin Moisturizer Basics

Noncomedogenic Moisturizers

Many people with oily skin avoid using moisturizers because they think it'll just make their skin oilier. However, the oil on your skin seals in moisture -- it doesn't replace the moisture you lose, especially as you age [source: Bouchez]. In addition, many people with oily skin also have acne -- which occurs when oil and dead skin cells clog pores -- and acne treatments can often dry out skin [source: WebMD]. If you want to maintain a clear complexion and keep your skin moisturized, use an oil-free, noncomedogenic moisturizer [source: WebMD].

Noncomedogenic moisturizers won't clog your pores and are less likely to cause acne breakouts than regular moisturizers. Their name comes from the word "comedones." Comedones are hair follicles that enlarge when they fill with dirt and oil -- they appear as blackheads or whiteheads on the skin. When comedones become inflamed, they can turn pink or red and fill with pus -- these are the pimples normally associated with acne. Noncomedogenic moisturizers may also be called nonacnegenic moisturizers, especially if they're specifically designed to treat acne [source:]

Noncomedogenic moisturizers have a lighter feel than regular moisturizers, and many are oil-free, so they won't leave additional oil on your skin. Most labels will advertise if a moisturizer is noncomedogenic or oil-free. If you have acne, doctors recommend using all noncomedogenic products, including moisturizers, cleansers, shampoo, makeup and sunscreen.

Moisturizers help keep skin smooth and healthy, but they also provide protection from harmful irritants in the environment. Read on to learn how moisturizers protect your skin.