When I first discovered that I could use a mattifying moisturizer on the right face, it was as the heavens had opened up.
I mean, seriously, how can one single product hydrate your skin, manage possible excess oil, and leave a matt finish on the surface of your skin?

I’ll show you right now!

How Do Mattifying Moisturizers Work?

A mattifying moisturizer works by controlling your skin’s excess oil production and also helps minimize the surface oils of your skin.
Next time you’re on the lookout for a new moisturizer that can mattify and keep your skins oils in check, keep an eye out for the main ingredients that are used to do just that.

A mattifying face moisturizer can contain one of the following, or perhaps a combination of the following key active ingredients:

  • Silica: Silica is a naturally occurring mineral that works to absorb excess oil, which can help leave the skin surface with a matte finish
  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): This mineral can work to help regulate your skin’s production of sebum and is known to reduce the appearance of large pores
  • Salicylic Acid: This is a BHA (Beta-hydroxy Acid) that not only works as an exfoliant on your skin, but it can help to unclog pores, while also reducing oiliness too.
  • Clay Extracts: Ingredients such as kaolin extract or bentonite clay work to absorb excess oils and impurities from your skin.


Do I Need to Have Oily Skin in Order to Use a Mattifying Moisturizer?

While a good moisturizer that mattifies is primarily designed to be used for oily individuals or folks with combination skin, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use a mattifying moisturizer if you have normal to dry skin, by any means.
I like to use mattifying moisturizers on set for men quite often as they provide the perfect combination of ingredients to refine a man’s skin without the use of heavy, if any, makeup.

A good mattifying moisturizer can work wonders if you struggle with the overproduction of natural oils on your skin, enlarged pores, or even frequent breakouts.



Now, as you and I know, everyone is different. And each of our faces is different as well.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you do have normal, or even dry skin, but you like the benefits a mattifying moisturizer can give you each day, you may need to think about workarounds for your face, to prevent your skin from drying out too much.

You could introduce a hydrating serum at night, or a moisturizing mask, or alternate days between your mattifying moisturizer and your regular moisturizer as well.
And it’s important to be aware that having oily skin doesn’t mean that you should be ignoring the need for skin hydration. In fact, it’s easy to discount one for the other. But having oily skin and having hydrated skin are two very different things, indeed.


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The Best 27 Mattifying Moisturizers for You

Here’s my pick of the best moisturizers to mattify your skin, for your reading pleasure. There’s something for everyone, from high end to drugstore, so you’ll have no trouble finding the right moisturizer for your mattifying needs.

white tube with blue label

Murad Oil and Pore Control Mattifier SPF 45

This is like the Rolls-Royce of mattifying moisturizers. Lightweight, oil-free, and complete with a SPF 45. Perfect to use on its own, or under your makeup. And, you can also be comfortable using this whether you have balanced, oily, combination, or even sensitive skin, as well!
One of my favorite go-to’s for a flawless mattifying effect. Check out some other favorite mattifiers of mine here, if you’re interested.

white skincare tube with green trim

Bioderma shine Control Moisturizer

This lightweight moisturizer will be your new best friend if you’re combination or oily-skin prone. It will leave your skin with a soft matte finish, as well as help smooth the appearance of your skin’s surface.
All the while providing a perfect base to put your makeup on.

blue cylindrical bottle of moisturizer with silver lid

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Mattifying Hydrator

A gel-formulated moisturizer that minimizes the appearance of your pores, gives you 8 hrs of moisture as well as refining the appearance of your skin.

tatcha tub of moisturizer

tatcha the water cream

This gel cream from my luxe skincare fave Tatcha, will help your skin feel super smooth and hydrated, while controlling your oil and refine those pesky pores.

soft pink cylindrical moisturizer bottle

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer

Rihanna’s universal makeup primer will help diffuse any shine, soften those pores and act as the perfect pre-foundation primer for your face.

It’s oil-free and will absorb your skin’s shine without leaving any dryness or chalky residue behind.

white tube of moisturizer with grey text and cap

Dermalogica Active Moist

A personal favorite of mine. This super-duper lightweight moisturizer will get the hydration work done, then leave your skins soft, supple and without a hint of sheen.
Active Moist absorbs quickly and works without a trace of greasy residue.
Great for men as well. And, if you’re not oily, I’ve got good news. This is still a fab moisturizer for you too!

white moisturizer jar with soft pink label

covergirl mattifying oil-free moisturizer

Lightweight and fast-acting, this moisturizer will give you 24hr hydration and provide your skin with the mattifying your oily skin needs. Contains cactus water to lock in hydration.

tube of matte moisturizer

la Roche-posay double repair matte moisturizer

Perfectly formulated for oily to combination skin types, this gel-cream is dermatologist-tested and approved to provide all-day-hydration without a hint of shine



white tube of moisturizer with aqua blue label

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Toleriane double repair Moisturizer

No, you’re not seeing double! The big sister to the Double Repair we’ve just explored, this will hydrate your skin, thanks to prebiotic thermal water, Ceramide-3, niacinamide & glycerin.
As well as softly mattifying, it will give your skin the protection it needs by way of SPF 30. All in one tube!

green jar of moisturizer

Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Remedy Moisturizer

This lightweight formulation moisturizer will help to refine and reduce the appearance of pores, while nourishing your skin. Shine levels will be kept to an absolute minimum while your skin looks and feels its best with not a hint of oiliness.

yellow moisturizer bottle with black lid

purity oil-free mattifying moisturizer

A cruelty-free, clean beauty option, this Purity Made Simple Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer will get to work as soon as it hits your skin. With a formula that controls shine and excess oil, yet also moisturize your face for 24hrs. Best for combination to oily skin types.

green tube of oil control moisturizer

Caudalie vinopure oil-control moisturizer

Vinopure is a is a 97% natural gel moisturizer that takes care of your skin’s oil levels all day. It is guaranteed to reduce the look of imperfections on your skin, and don’t forget blackheads, pores, and shine as well.

Non-comedogenic and fragrance-free, this Caudalie gem is well-loved by its loyal users, but it comes with a high price tag and an earthy smell that may or may not be to your tastes.

silver cosmetic jar

GlamGlow Volcasmic Matte Glow Moisturizer

It’s a moisturizer, but it’s a primer. It gives your skin a glow, yet it also mattifies.
While this beauty might be full of contradictions, it is well-loved by it’s users and is worth tracking down. Perfect for oily skin looking for hydration and a matte glow.

blue tube of moisturizer

paula’s choice clear oil-free moisturizer

This weightless cream from Paula’s Choice is designed for acne-prone skin. And to be used as a night cream.
So, no more fearing putting on that greasy, thick cream before bed. There is now a lightweight, quick-absorbing option.
Containing ceramides, niacinamide, and anti-oxidant-rich blueberry and pumpkin extracts, your Paula’s Choice Oil-Free moisturizer will hydrate and nourish your flaky dry areas, reduce redness all without even a hint of clogging your pores.

clear blue jar of moisturizing gel

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

While this oil-free version of Neutrogena’s wildly popular hydrogel is fo all skin types, it doesn’t mean you have to run away if you have oily skin.
With hyaluronic acid, this gel cream will hydrate and protect your skin barrier as well as keep it looking fresh and supple.

bottle of moisturizer

CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

The perfect last step to your night skincare routine. CeraVe’s PM lotion is fast-absorbing and entirely oil-free.

Containing 3 separate ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, this hydrating lotion will nourish and strengthen your skin’s barrier while you sleep. And while it’s oil-free, is great on all skin types.

clear blue tinted moisturing lotion bottle

L’Oreal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care

Formulated with water-based aloe water and 3 types of hyaluronic acid, L’Oreal’s Hydra Genius Liquid Care Oil Free Moisturizing Lotion doesn’t disappoint.
In fact, it claims to give hydration for up to 72 hours! That must take 1st place in the oil-free moisturizer marathon here!

This oil-free lotion will leave your skin feeling hydrated and soft, and help reduce any shine.

white bottle with blue label

differin oil-absorbing moisturizer

Dermatologist-tested and containing SPF 30 Differin Oil-Absorbing Moisturizer is fragrance-free, non-greasy, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic.

Differin will also provide your skin with a matte finish, all the while protecting it from the sun.

beige and light green lotion bottle

Aveeno positively radiant Daily Moisturizer

If acne-fighting is your priority, then Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer might be the cream of your dreams.

Contains salicylic acid to clear blemishes and prevent future breakouts, plus soy complex to manage your overall skin health. This formula is oil-free, non-comedogenic, and hypo-allergenic. It is fast-absorbing and ideal if you have sensitive skin.

white bottle of oil-absorbing moisturizer with purple lid

Cetaphil PRO Oil Absorbing Moisturizer

Perfect if you have not only oil skin, but sensitive skin also.

This lotion will help absorb oil, reduce shine, hydrate and provide sun protection. Non-irritating and oil-free, it will absorb quickly and last all day.

green glass jar of moisturizer

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream

Guaranteed to give your skin 24 hrs of hydration, all the while providing oil-free moisture and a fresher, smoother feel.
No residue and lightweight, this is a budget-friendly no nonsense gel cream that will get the job done without the frills, for sure.

white bottle of moisturizer with purple lid

Clean & Clear Essentials Dual Action Moisturizer

You’ll want to grab this moisturizer asap if you are acne-prone but still want to keep your skin well-hydrated. Containing salicylic to treat your acne, it will also provide your skin with lightweight moisture throughout the day. All while being paraben-free, oil-free and dye-free.

yellow clinique bottle with silver lid

Clinique Dramatically Different Oil-Free Gel

A refreshing moisturizer, lightweight and free of parabens, fragrance, and phthalates.
Don’t get Clinique’s Oil-Free Gel confused with the Dramatically Different Moisturizer.

The oil-free gel is exactly what you’re looking for if you’re after 8hrs of lightweight, oil-free hydration. This gel is a best-seller for Clinique, and its easy to see why.

blue tub of oil-free moisturizing gel

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel-Cream

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream quickly absorbs into your skin, with a matte finish. This gel cream is perfect for oily skin and leaves your face with an instant cooling effect.

Buy Now!
bottle of oil free moisturizewr

Boscia Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer

Vegan and oil-free, it is a perfect lightweight moisturizer for the acne-prone face with oily skin. Contains green tea oil, which helps to minimize your skin’s excess sebum production, and reduce redness. Perfect for oily skin.

white tub of moisturizer

First Aid Beauty ultra repair oil-control Moisturizer

This clean beauty moisturizer is definitely worth a look in if you’re on the hunt for a non-comedogenic, gluten-free, dermatologist-tested moisturizer and also take care of your oily skin shine.
This FAB moisturizer will take care of you, and despite being a rich cream, will feel light as a feather on your face, keep you oil free all day, all while moisturizing your skin with the best of them.

white tube of moisturizer with lime green bold print

formula 10.0.6 Seriously shine-free mattifying moisturizer

A budget-friendly moisturizer that will gently hydrate your skin. formula 10.0.6 is packed with aloe vera to do so, and bamboo extract to help absorb excess oil.
The results: a moisturized face that’s perfectly suited to your oil skin, but is great to use on all skin types.

Okay, that’s it. Phew!
I know that was a lot to get through. But I’ve tried to show you variety underneath the oil-free, mattifying umbrella.
What’s your pick? Let me know in the comments below, and til next time, keep hydrating!


Featured Image by Nati Melnychuk

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