There’s a fine line between a dewy, just-left-hot-yoga glow and looking in the mirror at 3 p.m. and seeing your own reflection in the middle of your forehead. For people with oily skin, the latter situation is a reality, which can make smoothing on moisturizer in the morning feel like fanning a flame. But according to the pros, oily skin types need moisturizer — and skipping the step can do much more harm than good.

“Those with oily skin may think they want to skip a moisturizer, but this may actually cause your body’s own oil glands to become more active,” says dermatologist Annie Chiu, MD. Instead of eschewing moisturizer, which can actually make your skin oilier as a result, it’s all about using the right formula that will leave skin balanced and healthy, not greasy or congested.

Ahead, we rounded up six of our favorite oily skin-friendly hydrators, all of which more than live up to the grease-fighting challenge.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. 

Murad Oil and Pore Control Mattifier Broad Spectrum SPF 45

Sunscreen, while necessary, feels like a chore to put on sometimes, which is why we opt for moisturizers that nourish and protect. This lightweight, oil-free formula helps to fend off oil and blur enlarged pores and provides SPF 45 — so you can rest assured that your T-zone won’t peek through come lunchtime, and your skin is safe in the sun (no matter the season).

Murad Oil and Pore Control Mattifier Broad Spectrum SPF 45 | PA++++, $, available at Murad

Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream Light

Inside this sleek white jar is a whipped face cream with hyaluronic acid, ginger, and antioxidants to moisturize and calm irritation. This cream is also designed to absorb quickly into skin and leave behind a satin finish, so no greasy, sticky, oily feeling over here.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream Light, $, available at Nordstrom

Glow Recipe Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream

A scoop of this lightweight moisturizer is almost as decadent as an actual banana soufflé — except this one makes your skin look better. In the good-enough-to-eat recipe, you’ll also find magnesium and cica to calm and rebalance stressed-out skin.

Glow Recipe Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream, $, available at Sephora

Ghost Democracy Lightweight Daily Face Moisturizer

Your skin care shouldn’t play games with you, and this formula from Ghost Democracy is no-BS: oil-free, fragrance-free, and quick-absorbing, and perfect for oily-skinned folks who need effectiveness without the potentially irritating frills.

Ghost Democracy Clean Lightweight Daily Face Moisturizer, $, available at Verishop

Differin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer With Sunscreen

If your skin is oily, yet acne-prone, you aren’t immune to dry patches — especially if you’re using a topical retinoid or adapalene gel to treat your acne. In that case, moisture is key. This dermatologist-tested bottle by Differin melts down to a matte finish to keep shine at bay, and contains SPF 30 to protect skin and prevent scarring and pigmentation.

Differin Differin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer with Sunscreen, $, available at Target

Origins GinZing Oil-Free Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer

Consider this cult-favorite formula an espresso shot for your face. It’s packed with coffee and ginseng to revive and energize tired skin, but it’s also oil-free and won’t make your face feel tacky.

Origins GinZing™ Oil- Free Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer, $, available at Sephora

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