One of the best tips I ever got was from Dr. Dennis Gross, an NYC-based dermatologist and the founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Skin Care. He told me that no matter what, I should only use oil-free products to avoid breaking out – even if my skin isn’t oily.
“There are many different reasons to use oil-free products, but the most obvious is to avoid adding extra oil to the skin,” he told me. “Those with acne-prone or combo skin are always recommended to use this type of skincare, however those with dry skin can still greatly benefit. Oil-free won’t add extra shine or grease to your skin since it easily absorbs into the skin without sitting on the surface. Formulas with ingredients like hyaluronic acid bring intense hydration without clogging pores and are characteristically light in consistency with is ideal for pre-makeup application.”
Fittingly Dr. Gross has a great oil-free moisturizer, Hyaluronic Marine Oil-Free Moisture Cushion ($58).
You’ll want to go oil-free with more than just your moisturizer however. Sephora just started carrying a brand new line of foundations, all of which are oil-free yet feel moisturizing on the skin. Called
I went oil-free to help manage breakouts and anyone who suffers from breakouts knows exfoliation is key. Pixi Glow Peel Pads ($37) work to minimize pores and fine lines while exfoliating via easy-to-use pads.
Tom Ford actually makes a ton of oil-free products even though he doesn’t brand them that way. One of the best ones is his new Bronzing Gel ($48) – it feels and looks amazing! It’s also easy to apply in a natural-looking way which as anyone who has used bronzing products knows, is rare. In fact I was a little “scared” when I saw the dark, dark brown fluid but it applies nearly sheer for build-able coverage (it will never be deep coverage though). I’ve been using this in place of full foundation for casual days.
It’s not easy to find a non-chalky oil-free sunscreen, but La Roche-Posay has one! Their Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen ($19.99) is totally oil-free, instantly absorbs (it’s called Dry Touch for a reason…) and is designed specifically to avoid clogged pore and breakouts.
Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF 30 ($52) is also a winner. In fact if your skin isn’t dry you should easily be able to use it in place of your everyday moisturizer. It has a no-shine and a matte finish which makes it especially great if you do actually have oily skin.
It sounds cheesy, but what caught my eye about this oil-free product is the name: Philosophy take a deep breath moisturizer ($37). Breathing along with drinking water are two of the most undervalued things to help better your complexion! I love the subtle reminder. It’s the same reason – cheesy or not! – that I keep a jar of their Hope in a Jar ($39) on my desk. The gel-cream texture of this moisturizing facial product also feels nice in the morning.
For men specifically checkout Anthony Oil Free Facial Lotion ($30). Men’s skin is much thicker, oilier and warmer (because men have more blood vessels) so it’s important that if you’re shopping for a significant other you get them a product tailored specifically to this. I convinced my boyfriend – who pretty much uses soap for everything, including washing his hair – to use this because his skin was flaking and he actually loved it!