The 5 Best Night Creams for Oily Acne-Prone Skin

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The 5 Best Night Creams for Oily Acne-Prone Skin
In a hurry? Here are our top picks:

BEST FOR CLEAN SKINCARE

ZELEN Life Night Cream (Anti-Aging)

Oily skin is a common cosmetic concern due to extra sebum production from the oil glands.

Oily skin has a natural glow and shine, and the ‘extra oil’ keeps the skin looking smoother and delays the appearance of the fine lines. But at the same time, people with oily skin suffer from more frequent breakouts, open pores, and a cosmetically unpleasant greasiness.

Did you know:

If you search for ‘night creams for oily acne prone skin’ products on Amazon, you will end up with suggestions for more than 1000 products!

How is one supposed to make a choice?

We will give you some tips to help you make the right choice, and then drop some of our top picks to narrow it down even further for you.

Most skincare products for oily skin end up heavily drying out the face leading to dehydrated and eventually damaged and irritated skin.

In this article, I will review the 5 best night creams for your oily, acne-prone skin. I will pick out their best features, and share with you their individual strengths and weaknesses. I will also highlight who each product is most suitable for and the main ingredients.

Our goal is to help you make the right choice on your next night cream. Let us begin by discussing what to keep in mind while making your selection.

Quick summary

Before you buy: 10 Things to consider when purchasing a night cream for oily, acne-prone skin

1. Night is the best time to apply actives

You could use ingredients that mattify the oily skin or the potentially aggressive anti-acne treatment without worrying about your skin being extra sensitive to the sun.

You can also apply hydrating oils, overnight masks without the risk of looking extra shiny within a few hours of hitting the road. Hydroxy acids, retinoids, rosehip oil- all these favorites should find a place only in the night routine.

2. Look for these ingredients if you have oily acne-prone skin

Look for exfoliators like salicylic or glycolic acid, sebum regulators like saw palmetto or jojoba oil, light moisturizers containing glycerin or hyaluronic acid- for a glowy but not greasy and bumpy skin.

3. Don’t use too many products with strong, active ingredients

Suppose you are using a salicylic acid cleanser, glycolic acid toner, vitamin C serum, and retinoid night cream all in one day. In that case, the chances are that you will end up with irritated and inflamed skin.

Potent active ingredients, with a potential to irritate the skin, should be limited to one, or a maximum two, products in one routine.

4. Comedogenic ingredients are a tale of past

Given that many websites rate ingredients on a comedogenicity scale, we end up excluding a lot of products that show up high on comedogenicity ratings. It is not the products, but the strategy that needs to be discarded.

There is no certain ingredient that will block pores in everyone. It is sometimes the vehicle, sometimes the combination of ingredients that break you out.

Instead of going by stringent comedogenicity ratings, check out the feedback of people with similar skin types for a more accurate guess of whether a product will break you out or not. And share your experience.

5. You could rotate the night creams

Someone with an acne-prone skin has more problems than just a zit. There are scars, pigmentation, or redness to fight against too. Don’t try to find answers to all your problems in one night cream.

Do not hesitate to use two-night creams in rotation targeted to different skin concerns. Sure, it would be heavy on the pocket, but it will also last you twice as long.

6. Do not forget the moisturizing ingredients

If you are using an anti-acne cleanser or a cleanser designed especially for oily skin, most probably you will end up feeling a little dry after washing your face. This is because the sebum, the skin’s natural oil, is washed away from the skin and perhaps some of the skin’s natural fat too.

This oil and fat bind the water in the skin, which keeps it hydrated. When that is gone, the skin becomes more prone to environmental damaging factors and starts getting dry.

As a feedback, the oil glands in the skin start pumping out more oil at once to compensate for the loss. When this happens overnight, you end up waking up with a minor oil field of your own on the face.

That is why it is necessary to use a night cream with moisturizing ingredients to prevent the skin from drying up and waking up with a glowy, not greasy, skin,

7. Do not combine a night cream with a prescription treatment without consulting a dermatologist

Combining a night cream with active ingredients with a prescription cream could be very aggressive for the skin. It could, possibly, change the properties of the prescription treatment by interacting with it.

It is therefore advised to use only bland moisturizers with topical prescription products.

8. Change your night creams according to the current skin behavior

Seasonal variation in oiliness has been proved in studies. Your skin doesn’t look greasier just because you sweat more in summer. It actually produces more sebum.

You may need a more potent mattifying cream in summer than winter when the skin naturally behaves better and does not oil up so often. Similarly, stress and hormonal changes also affect sebum production.

In stressful phases, your glands produce more oil than usual and may need a stronger sebum regulator.(9)

Change your night cream according to how your skin is behaving currently. Have a couple of your favorites always stocked up for moody skin.

9. Don’t use a lot of astringents

For a very long time, high alcohol concentration or a witch hazel containing toner or cream which dried the skin was considered an ideal treatment for oily skin. Don’t do that. You do not want overdried skin to control the oiliness.

It will just lead to more sensitivity, irritation, dehydration, and skin barrier damage. Any product which gives a very tight, dry feeling is probably doing more harm than good.

The presence of alcohol or witch hazel in a product should always be compensated by good moisturizing ingredients and shouldn’t make your skin feel like parchment paper.

10. You night cream can be more than only anti-acne/anti-oil cream

Your night cream could serve more function than just prevent your skin from being oily or breaking out. Look for some extra boost of goodness with some antioxidants, anti-aging, depigmenting, or anti-redness ingredients according to your skin’s requirements.

Now that we have spoken about how to choose a night cream for oily, acne-prone skin–let us go on and review a few great choices for you:

The 5 best night creams for oily acne-prone skin

ZELEN Life Anti-Aging Night Cream (Best for clean skincare)

ZELEN Life Night Cream (Anti-Aging)


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Contains beneficial natural plant oils
  • Lightweight and non-greasy
  • Effective for post-acne sequelae like redness and scarring

The best night cream for:

Natural beauty enthusiasts.

Notable ingredients:

Rosehip, apricot, sunflower, jojoba

Overview:

ZELEN Life’s Night Cream is an anti-aging cream that has a natural and organic formula and is suitable for all skin types. When looking at its ingredients, they seem to be counterintuitive for oily skin at first glance, since it is loaded with plant oils. But, plant oils do not always mean oilier skin.

Jojoba oil has a unique composition that mimics the skin’s sebum. It signals to the skin that it has the right amount of oil and thus prevents it from producing more. This minimizes the skin from looking oily and has as a result not block the pores. Consequently, there is less risk of acne breakouts.

Also, rosehip oil balances the fatty acids of the skin, linoleic and oleic acid, which reduces the tendency to get breakouts,(11) and also improves the scarring and redness of the skin. As for sunflower oil, it strengthens the skin barrier to help it retain moisture better and heal sooner after inflammatory acne. (10) Additionally, it also assists in balancing the skin’s natural oil.

Last but not least, apricot oil is rich in antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties having, as a result, being very effective in soothing the skin from redness and combating blemishes. Plant oils also help neutralize free radicals, which age the skin faster by damaging the collagen under the skin. 

Now you might be wondering, how it performs?

Even though it is loaded with botanical ingredients, it is lightweight, non-greasy, and gets quickly absorbed in the skin. This means, no more waiting for your cream to dry out from your face before getting into bed. During the morning, you will feel your skin softer, and smoother.  

The night cream comes in a premium matte-silver airless bottle which feels luxurious to look at. Its airless pump, not only does it make it easy to apply the correct amount into your hands but also, protects the cream from contamination. A huge plus if you suffer from acne! Creams in jars have a higher risk of microbial contamination due to oxidation. If contaminated, there is a higher risk to aggravate acne.

What about its scent?

This night cream is not artificially fragranced. It has a light floral/citrus scent that comes purely from its botanical ingredients. Its subtle luxurious scent is wonderful and relaxing. It fades away after a minute of application. 

Overall, it is very effective in combating acne, and it is suitable for all skin, including oily and sensitive types. However, if you prefer a night cream that is oil-free, then you could consider either CANE + AUSTIN Facial Moisture Cream, or the Menscience Androceuticals Advanced Face Lotion (for men). Both of these creams don’t use any plant-based oils and utilize alternative ingredients such as glycolic acid, squalane, and green tea extract for hydration and acne prevention.

 The good:

  • Rich in plant oils – moisturizing and antiinflammatory
  • The plant oils improve the skin barrier and accelerate the healing of the skin
  • Antioxidants to reduce the environmental damage on the skin and antiaging
  • Jojoba oil and rosehip oil reduce the oiliness, onset of new zits, and post-acne inflammation and scarring

Things to think about:

  • The product contains no artificial perfume, but there are natural fragrances from essential oils that could sensitize the skin of those prone to it

Bottom line:

If you are a clean natural beauty lover, it may usually be hard to find a product for your acne-prone skin. This balanced mix of plant oils in ZELEN Life’s Night Cream would hydrate and balance your skin oils overnight without being heavy. At the same time, fight multiple concerns that come with acne-like scarring and redness.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

CANE + AUSTIN Facial Moisture Cream (Best anti-aging)

CANE + AUSTIN Facial Moisture Cream


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Strong exfoliating, moisturizing, and antioxidant ingredients in one night cream
  • Glycolic acid is effective against acne as well as post-acne pigmentation

The best night cream for:

People battling post-inflammatory pigmentation, mature aging skin.

Notable ingredients:

Glycolic acid, vitamin E, vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), green tea extract, CoQ10, squalane

Overview:

Cane and Austin facial moisture cream go all guns out as a multitasking night cream. This is due to its main ingredients which are glycolic acid, vitamin E, vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), green tea extract, CoQ10, squalane.

Glycolic acid is a kind of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) produced from sugar cane. Cane and Austin’s Facial Moisture Cream contains 10% glycolic acid, which has many benefits. Not only does it exfoliate the skin, it also improves acne and hyperpigmentation associated with it. Whatsmore, it stimulates collagen production to minimize fine wrinkles and open pores.(13)

Green tea extracts, Vitamin E and CoQ are a few of the most potent antioxidants known to us (14) to scavenge the free radicals responsible for the disbalance of skin health and faster aging. Green tea is also rich in anti-inflammatory properties, which when used topically, can help combat acne blemishes, redness, or other skin irritations.(16)

Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) is known for its anti-aging capabilities. When applied to the skin retinyl palmitate is converted to retinol which assists in balancing skin tone, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

The presence of squalane in this product also improves the skin’s hydration and strengthens the skin’s barrier. It is also well-known for its effectiveness against harmful free radicals, acne, and eczema.

All of the above ingredients create a very hydrating non-comedogenic cream that is lightweight, doesn’t clog pores, and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. It glides easily onto the skin upon application and absorbs fairly quickly. A dime-sized amount is enough in order to get all of its benefits. Your skin will feel fresh, nourished, and plumped in the morning. As for its scent, it is very subtle and fresh. 

While this cream is very effective, it is important to note that it does contain parabens. If you are looking for a night cream that doesn’t contain parabens (and is cheaper), then other good options are the ZELEN Life Night Cream or Elemis’ Superfood Night Cream. They are both formulated with organic botanical ingredients that offer a plethora of benefits, from acne relief to anti-aging.

The good:

  • Potent anti-aging ingredients – antioxidants and collagen stimulation
  • Exfoliation to improve texture and prevent pores from clogging
  • Can be used for oily as well as combination skin. It will also improve the dry, itchy patches

Things to think about:

  • Should not be used daily, especially by a skincare beginner- 10% glycolic acid could irritate the skin
  • No ingredients to control the oiliness

Bottom line:

Cane and Austin facial moisture cream is a powerful night cream with a plethora of proven beneficial ingredients. It could be a great choice as an anti-aging night cream for mature acne-prone skin.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.0 Overall Score

Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner Cream (Best for larger pores)

Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner Cream


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Very lightweight moisturizer
  • Mattifying and pore refining ingredients

The best night cream for:

Extremely oily skin, those on a budget.

Notable ingredients:

Mushroom extract, salicylic acid, ginkgo biloba extract

Overview:

Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner is a cream that is formulated for one reason: to minimize the appearance of large pores. It is formulated with mushroom extract, salicylic acid, and ginkgo biloba extract. 

The mushroom extract acts like an astringent and makes the skin appear less oily. It also has some depigmenting properties and is a natural antioxidant.(12) Excess oil and dead skin cells can clog the pores, making them look larger than they should be. Thus, balancing skin’s oil (sebum), not only reduces the chance of an acne breakout but also reduces the appearance of large pores.

Salicylic acid is a well-known ingredient in the skincare world. It is a beta hydroxy acid and one of the most common ingredients to treat acne, whiteheads, and blackheads. It exfoliates pores from dead skin cells, excess oil, and unwanted bacteria while soothing inflammation. Through that, the pores appear smaller, and the skin texture feels and looks smoother.

Ginkgo biloba extract is rich in antioxidants and helps retain moisture in the skin. It protects from the different environmental stressors and prevents premature aging. This ensures youthful skin that appears healthy and radiant.

Bioderma Sebium Pore Refining cream is an extremely lightweight mattifying moisturizer that can be used any time in the day. It glides easily onto the skin while being easily absorbent and non-greasy. Using it for several days, you will notice that your pores appear considerably less. However, it is important to keep in mind that there is no product that makes them completely not visible. Nevertheless, it does a great job, making them less noticeable.

One area that I would say this product lacks, is its moisturization capabilities as many will find not enough. If you are looking for a more hydrating night cream then ZELEN Life Moisturizer, Cane and Austin Facial Moisture, or Elemis Superfood Night Cream might be more appropriate for you. 

Lastly, another thing to consider is that this product contains silicones, which is an ingredient that polarizes opinions in the skincare market. If you are looking for a more clean approach then Elemis’ Superfood Night Cream and ZELEN Life’ Night Cream are completely natural options.

The good:

  • Pore cleansing, sebum regulating ingredients
  • Can be used both for day and night
  • Can be used under the makeup because of its light texture and silicone content

Things to think about:

  • Not sufficiently moisturizing for people with dehydrated skin or oily T zone and dry U zone as it could cling to the dry patches

Bottom line:

An excellent choice for those looking for a product for day and night to be worn under sunscreen and/or makeup. It keeps the oil at bay, makes skin looks smoother, and cleanses the pores to avoid breakouts.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.0 Overall Score

Menscience Androceuticals Advanced Face Lotion (Best for men)

MenScience Androceuticals Advanced Face Lotion


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Ultralight moisturizing lotion (designed for men)
  • Both chemical and enzyme exfoliators

The best night cream for:

Men who don’t like the heaviness of a cream.

Notable ingredients:

Aloe vera, avocado extract, green tea extract, hyaluronic acid

Overview:

MenScience Androceuticals is a brand that specializes in creating skincare for men. It is formulated with ingredients such as aloe vera, avocado extract, green tea, and hyaluronic acid in order to create absolute hydration.

Aloe vera is an extremely hydrant botanical ingredient that creates a barrier on the surface of the skin, retaining this way its moisturization. It is also rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and wound healing properties. (17) Avocado extract also helps the skin to stay hydrated. It minimizes damage due to its antioxidant action while promoting the production of collagen. This makes it a great ingredient in terms of anti-aging, assisting in reducing wrinkles and fine lines.

Green tea extract, as said previously, is rich in anti-inflammatory properties which, when used topically, can help combat acne blemishes, redness, or other skin irritations such as rosacea, etc.(16) Lastly, hyaluronic acid significantly moisturizes the skin. It improves elasticity, diminishes wrinkles, and improves firmness resulting in smoother and more nourished skin.(18)(19) 

This is a very light, matte lotion for men that doesn’t leave a greasy residue. As described above, the variety of moisturizing ingredients lives up to the expectations as it is really hydrating. It is not oily and absorbs really quickly. Additionally, men will love that this moisturizer doesn’t give a shiny look that many others give.

Concerning the scent, this moisturizer does have a subtle scent that is a bit on the chemical side, in my opinion. It doesn’t interfere with your cologne, however, it is worth having it in mind before purchasing.

One thing you should consider though is that it contains some controversial ingredients: silicones and parabens. If you are looking for a chemical-free night cream, then ZELEN Life Night Cream or Elemis Superfood Night Cream may be more suitable options. However, it is important to note that they are not oil-free.

The good:

  • Gets absorbed in the skin very quickly- leaves significantly less visible shine
  • Has exfoliating and very moisturizing ingredients- Can be used for dry patches due to shaving too
  • Grean tea and aloe keep the pores clean and help to prevent acne

Things to think about:

  • Only mild exfoliation- For someone suffering from acne, an extra exfoliating product will be needed
  • Although it doesn’t make the skin greasy, there are no sebum regulators present for long term oil control

Bottom line:

It is a light exfoliating and moisturizing alternative to a night cream for men, which sinks into the skin immediately and keeps the skin looking healthy and hydrated without any greasiness.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

Elemis Superfood Night Cream (Best for hydration)

ELEMIS Superfood Night Cream


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Uses the prebiotic concept to rebalance and revitalize the skin
  • Prebiotics improve the skin’s ecosystem and microflora

The best night cream for:

Oily dehydrated skin.

Notable ingredients:

Flaxseed oil, black seed oil, rice bran oil, chia seed oil, quinoa extract, barley

Overview:

Elemis Superfood Night Cream is a unique night cream that combines active prebiotics with superfood ingredients in order to provide unrivaled hydration to dry skin types. Its main ingredients are prebiotics, flaxseed oil, black seed oil, rice bran oil, chia seed oil, quinoa extract, and barley.

Pre and probiotics are the new buzzwords in skincare based on the concept of promoting healthy bacterial growth on the skin to improve the skin’s immunity and defense.(15) Flaxseed oil and rice bran oil assist in improving hydration of the skin and reducing the appearance of aging marks, such as wrinkles and fine lines. It softens rough skin while increasing its elasticity.

Black seed oil is a well-known ingredient for softening the skin. It hydrates and calms the skin while assisting in wound healing. It is very effective in treating rashes, psoriasis, or other related skin conditions. Chia seed oil and barley are very rich in anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. This makes them very effective in treating blemishes quickly and in soothing the skin from irritations.

Quinoa extract is rich in vitamin B, which assists in brightening up the skin. It rejuvenates the skin while adding texture, increasing its vibrance. It also stimulates collagen production due to its vitamins and fatty acids, resulting in a more youthful appearance.

Elemis Superfood is creamy and hydrating but also does not exacerbate the oiliness. Its texture is thicker than other night creams on our list, however, it still manages not to leave a greasy residue after application. It has a soft rich texture that is easy to spread evenly and is easily absorbed by the skin. 

To be honest, I really like the bottle, so its worth a mention. It looks both minimalistic and luxurious. It comes with an airless pump, which as I mentioned earlier, is very important when buying skincare. It protects the cream from environmental, bacterial, and hand contamination. 

Even though the scent is on the strong side, it smells clean and very natural even though it does contain parfum (a chemically manufactured scent). However, that doesn’t mean it will be less irritant if you are sensitive to fragrances. 

If you are looking for a night cream that has richer anti-aging properties but is still very hydrating, then the CANE + AUSTIN Facial Moisture Cream might be more suitable for you. It contains 10% glycolic acid, which is rich in hydrating and anti-aging properties. Plus the vitamin A (retinol), Vitamin E, and CoQ actively targets wrinkles and fine lines.

The good:

  • Antioxidant-rich
  • Oils to hydrate the skin but no heavy ones to make it greasy
  • Omega 6 fatty acids support the skin’s natural barrier

Things to think about:

  • Contains fragrance which might irritate sensitive skin types
  • Expensive

Bottom line:

Supporting the skin’s natural flora would end up giving you a healthier skin not just for the next morning but for a way longer time.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

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How we chose these products

To choose the best products for oily acne-prone night cream, we first kept in mind what one would need from a night cream. Since oily-skinned people avoid moisturizers during the daytime, we ensured that the night cream contained some moisturizing elements.

We wanted to give hydrating options that don’t worsen the skin’s oiliness or clog the pores. We also understand that not every oily skinned person is going through an acne outbreak- so we focussed on products for different needs- acne, post-acne sequelae, or just excessive oiliness.

Since our skin goes through environmental wear and tear by the day, we tried to include some products with antioxidants to fight that.

For those who went through a bad acne phase or used the wrong products in the past that strip the skin of moisture (don’t worry, we have all been there), we saw that we include some products with healing and barrier strengthening properties.

Furthermore, we wanted to have an option for everyone, irrespective of age, budget, gender, or preferences in textures. So we tried to be a little versatile there.

Last but not least, we went through reviews. We sorted the best five products according to volume and reliability of the reviews across various platforms.

Frequently asked questions

frequently asked questions

Why do I have oily skin? Do I need the oil?

Oily skin is because of natural oil called ‘sebum’ secreted by the sebaceous glands attached to our hair follicles. Sebum is composed of natural fats like triglyceride, squalene, cholesterol, etc.(1)

You absolutely need the sebum because it has antioxidant and antimicrobial functions. It gives a natural immunity barrier against various kinds of bacteria like staphylococcus.(2)

It also, to a large extent, hinders various oxidative insults from the environment, which causes aging and increases the delivery of antioxidants like Vitamin E and CoQ10 to the skin surface.(3)

I have had an oily skin type all my life, and suddenly I have dry, flaky patches on the skin. Why did this happen?

Products for oily skin, especially the cleansers, are often meant to strip off the oil from the skin with astringent action to give an instant drying feeling.

Now the cleansing product can not make out which oil is sebum and which oil is a part of the skin’s natural barrier and tries to wash it all off, leaving a damaged skin that cannot hold the water leading to flaky, dry patches.(4)

Do men have oilier skin as compared to women?

Sebum secretion, among other factors, is, to a great extent, controlled by hormones called androgens. Since males have higher androgen as compared to women, they also have higher secretion of sebum and hence an oilier face.(7)

I have oily skin, do I need moisturizers?

You absolutely do. Do not confuse moisture with oil. Your skin is producing excess oil, but that has nothing to do with the hydration of the skin. Sebum does form a natural film preventing water from evaporating from the skin, thus keeping it naturally moisturized.

But when you use products that mattify the skin or reduce the production of sebum, you lose that protective film and start losing moisture from the skin leading to dehydrated skin.

This moisture needs to be supplemented in the form of oils or moisturizers. Also, males have around 30-40% higher secretion of sebum, but they don’t always have more moisture in the skin than females.(8)

So males need moisturizers just as much as females, irrespective of the oil secretion.

Can I use products containing oils if I have oily skin?

The days when it was thought that oil should not be put on oily skin are gone. There are many natural oils that do not exacerbate the greasiness of the skin, regulate sebum production, and even reduce the acne breakouts.

Some examples of acne-safe natural oils are jojoba oil, tea tree oil,(6) and rosehip oil.

I have tried all methods of reducing oiliness with cleansers, exfoliators, serums, creams, etc., but I still have an excessively oily face. Are there other options?

There sure are. If you cannot control the greasiness of the face with skincare products, it is time to see a dermatologist. There are systemic treatments like low dose isotretinoin(5) and hormonal treatments like spironolactone to improve the oily and acne-prone skin.

Conclusion

A night cream for oily acne-prone skin should go above and beyond being an anti-acne agent and cater to other needs of your skin too.

We tried searching and shortlisting such power products for you.

Do you see any one of them fitting your needs? Or have you already found ‘the one’? Let us know in the comments.

If you think our tips will help someone you know, show some love, and share the article.

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References

  1. Greene RS, Downing DT, Pochi PE, Strauss JS: Anatomical variation in the amount and composition of human skin surface lipid. J Invest Dermatol 1970;54:240–247.
  2. Wille JJ, Kydonieus A: Palmitoleic acid isomer (C16:1delta6) in human skin sebum is effective against gram-positive bacteria. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol 2003;16: 1
  3. Thiele JJ, Weber SU, Packer L: Sebaceous gland secretion is a major physiologic route of vitamin E delivery to skin. J Invest Dermatol 1999;113:1006–1010.
  4. Sakuma, T. H., & Maibach, H. I. (2012). Oily Skin: An Overview. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 25(5), 227–235. doi:10.1159/000338978
  5. Geissler SE, Michelsen S, Plewig G. Very low dose isotretinoin is effective in controlling seborrhea. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2003;1(12):952-958. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2303.2003.00108.x-i1
  6. Carson CF, Hammer KA, Riley TV. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) oil: a review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006;19(1):50-62. doi:10.1128/CMR.19.1.50-62.2006
  7. Zouboulis CC, Xia L, Akamatsu H, Seltmann H, Fritsch M, Hornemann S, Rühl R, Chen W, Nau H, Orfanos CE: The human sebocyte culture model provides new insights into development and management of seborrhoea and acne. Dermatology 1998;196:21– 31.
  8. Choi EH, Man MQ, Wang F, et al. Is endogenous glycerol a determinant of stratum corneum hydration in humans? J Invest Dermatol. 2005;125:288.
  9. Kono M, Nagata H, Umemura S, et al In situ expression of corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) genes in human skin. FASEB J. 2001;15:2297.
  10. Priyam Sinha, Shruti Srivastava, Nidhi Mishra, Narayan Prasad Yadav, “New Perspectives on Antiacne Plant Drugs: Contribution to Modern Therapeutics”, BioMed Research International, vol. 2014, Article ID 301304, 19 pages, 2014.
  11. Donald T. Downing, Mary Ellen Stewart, Philip W. Wertz, John S. Strauss, Essential fatty acids and acne, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 14, Issue 2, Part 1, 1986, Pages 221-225
  12. Taofiq, Oludemi et al. “Development of Mushroom-Based Cosmeceutical Formulations with Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Tyrosinase, Antioxidant, and Antibacterial Properties.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 21,10 1372. 14 Oct. 2016, doi:10.3390/molecules21101372
  13. Tang, Sheau-Chung, and Jen-Hung Yang. “Dual Effects of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids on the Skin.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 23,4 863. 10 Apr. 2018, doi:10.3390/molecules23040863
  14. Addor FAS. Antioxidants in dermatology. An Bras Dermatol. 2017;92(3):356-362. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20175697
  15. Rusu E, Enache G, Cursaru R, et al. Prebiotics and probiotics in atopic dermatitis. Exp Ther Med. 2019;18(2):926-931. doi:10.3892/etm.2019.7678
  16. Kim S, Park T, Kim W, Suyeon P, Kim J, Cho M, The effects of green tea on acne vulgaris: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Phytotherapy Research. January 2021;35(1): 374-383. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6809
  17. Rajeswari R, Umadevi M, Rahale CS, Pushpa R, Selvavenkadesh S, Kumar KS, Bhowmik D. Aloe vera: the miracle plant its medicinal and traditional uses in India. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. 2012 Nov 1;1(4):118-24.
  18. Jegasothy SM, Zabolotniaia V, Bielfeldt S. Efficacy of a new topical nano-hyaluronic acid in humans. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. March 2014;7(3):27.
  19. Kerscher M, Bayrhammer J, Reuther T. Rejuvenating influence of a stabilized hyaluronic acid-based gel of nonanimal origin on facial skin aging. Dermatol Surg. May 2008;34(5):720-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2008.34176.x.
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About The Author

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Board-Certified Dermatologist

Dermatology (Stanley Medical College, Chennai)

Germany

Dr. Singh studied dermatology from one of the most prestigious medical colleges of India – Stanley Medical College, Chennai. After finishing her post-graduation she went on to work as a consultant dermatologist in one of the largest cosmetology clinic chains in India – Kaya skin clinic. Working alongside expert aesthetic dermatologists of India, she worked extensively with customized skincare as well as lasers and injectables. Alongside, training under famous hair transplant surgeon – Dr. Venkataram Mysore, she learnt the nitty gritties of hair treatments. After doing two traveling fellowships in dermatology in Germany, she decided to settle there. Currently dividing her time between practicing dermatology and aesthetic medicine, she finds immense joy in educating people about the science behind skincare and haircare.

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