Why Your Skin Feels Greasy after Moisturizing It

Why Your Skin Feels Greasy after Moisturizing It

No matter what skin type you have, it should never feel greasy after applying your daily moisturizer! But wait, don’t start blaming your moisturizer just yet. Moisturizer is designed to help lock hydration into your skin to restore firmness, diminish the appearance of fine lines, and reduce pigmentation and puffiness .

So, skipping on your moisturizer won’t solve your problem. Without it, your skin would get dry and flaky, and it would show signs of aging much more quickly.

Your skin by design is meant to moisturize itself. But when you strip those oils from your skin, whenever you wash your face, and don’t replenish them, your skin will try to compensate the lost hydration leading to an overproduction of sebum and subsequently causing oily skin, clogged pores and acne.

Why Your Skin Feels Greasy after Moisturizing It

Using the wrong moisturizer can make your skin oily. According to research, daily moisturizers are designed to be non-greasy, and the most suitable moisturizers for oily skin are usually silicone-based, containing oil-absorbing ingredients such as kaolin and talk to help reduce shine.

To find out more, keep reading so you can get a handle on your skin and come out with a fresh-faced complexion every day!

You’re Probably Using the Wrong Moisturizer for Your Skin Type

There’s a reason that the beauty aisles are lined with gobs of different moisturizers and other skincare products. They are all there for different skin concerns and types. If you’ve just grabbed one from the shelf willy-nilly without considering your skin’s specific needs, it’s a better than even chance you’ve chosen the wrong one.

Maybe you grabbed it because it was cheaper than other options. Maybe your best friend swears by it. Maybe you saw one of your favorite actresses mention this particular moisturizer in your favorite fashion mag and HAD TO have it. Whatever prompted you to pick it, you have to be more discriminating than that.

Moisturizers aren’t just in the form of creams either. They can be gels, lotions, ointments, or foams. That adds to the complexity of making a good decision, however each one is made for specific skin type. If you have young skin, using anti-aging moisturizers isn’t ideal. If you have dry skin, using formulas for oily skin won’t help. And so on.

What you should be looking at is what’s included in the moisturizers you’re considering. Certain ingredients are best for certain types of skin. Do your homework to discover what works best for the skin you have. Then seek out quality brands that deliver those ingredients in formulations made for your skin type. You’ll get much better results when you do.

■ Signs You’re Using the Wrong Moisturizer for Your Skin Type

So how do you know when you’re using the wrong moisturizer? There are a few tell-tale signs that can help you figure it out. Skin certainly changes over time, and it can change throughout the seasons too. In the summer, moisturizers should be lighter while in winter, they should be a little richer. That’s clue number one that you’re going in too heavy with your hydration.

What else should you be on the lookout for?

▪️ Oiliness

In the morning after you cleanse and go through your full skincare regimen, take a look at your skin as the hours tick by. Is your skin glowing a bit too much? There’s no reason it should, especially if you have a desk job. If you get up for a bathroom break and you notice high shine, your moisturizer is not right for you.

What you should look for is one that contains glycolic acid or salicylic acid. These can keep oil under control so that skin doesn’t come out with that shine without say, running for an hour at in the park.

Oily skin needs a water-based moisturizer, not one with an oil-base. So if you find your skin gets oily often, it’s time to trade up your moisturizer for one that will help keep your skin from going overboard on that shine. Read the labels and make a better choice.

▪️ Acne

Acne-prone skin can be tricky. Those that get blemishes on the regular worry about moisturizing because they think it will add greasiness and too much shine. The thing is though, you NEED moisturizer even when your skin is acne-prone. The key is the RIGHT moisturizer.

For blemished skin, using heavier lotions and creams only makes the problem worse. It perpetuates the cycle of breakouts because it clogs the pores. Breakouts happen when too much oil is produced and mingles with the dead skin cells on the surface. This all gets trapped in the pores and creates those less-than-lovely zits.

When you have acne or breakout often, you should be choosing a moisturizer that features “non-comedogenic” or “oil-free” prominently on the label to ensure you’re making the right choice for your skin.

▪️ Bumps

Do you get little white bumps in clusters on your face? You might think it’s acne, but it’s not. These are called milia. There’s nothing to freak out about here, but a visit to the dermatologist can help clear things up and smooth it all over again.

Never ever try to pop these little bumps either. Make sure you follow your dermatologist’s advice on clearing them up.

Why do milia appear? They are the direct result of using the wrong moisturizer. If you decided to be lazy and use your body lotion on your face, milia are a very likely punishment for that. But they can also come about from using the wrong type of facial moisturizer for your skin type, particularly if they’re too heavy.

Facial skin is much more delicate and sensitive than the skin on the rest of your body. Never skimp out on your skincare by using products that weren’t designed for your face on your face. You might think you’re saving money, but you’ll wind up spending more with that trip to the dermatologist.

Even further, when you don’t address your skin’s specific needs, you won’t get the performance you desire from it. If you want it to look clear, smooth, youthful, and flawless, you’ll have to treat it with nourishing formulas that keep it at its best.

▪️ You’re Using Night Cream in the Daytime

It might seem like some sort of evil ploy cooked up by the skincare industry to get you to buy more moisturizer, but you need both a daytime cream and a nighttime cream. They are as different as night and day, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Yes, the skincare industry is worth billions of dollars, but your skin needs these two specific formulations for it’s best appearance. Daytime moisturizers are formulated differently. They are generally a bit lighter in texture to prevent a greasy feel. They also usually contain sun protection, an absolute must-have if you want to keep your skin looking youthful as you grow older. Some formulas even are designed to release hydration continuously throughout the day to protect your skin’s natural barrier from damage due to pollution, free radicals, and other environmental aggressors.

Nighttime moisturizers work very differently. Night is the time when your skin cells, as well as all the cells in your body, take advantage of your resting stage and are more highly-tuned to repairing and rebuilding from the day. That’s why getting your beauty rest is so important. But a nighttime moisturizer is designed to fuel skin with ingredients that help during this recovery stage during your REM sleep.

Retinols and peptides are important for soothing and repairing skin as you sleep. This is why they’re in your nighttime formulations. Moisturizers for nighttime are usually thicker and richer in texture. This is to help boost hydration for your skin, which declines at night.

The world won’t end if you use your nighttime formula during the day, but you will likely feel greasier and heavier if you do. You’ll also be at risk for sun damage unless you add sunscreen on too, which will likely make you feel oily when used with a night cream. It’s really best if you use the formulas at the appropriate time of day for your best skin.

Other Things You Might Be Doing to Cause Oily Skin Problems

It’s not just moisturizers that can have an affect on your skin’s oiliness. It’s other things you might be doing to either save time or money on your skincare routine that are only going to cause you problems down the road.

Again, the skincare industry makes big bucks, but those products are all designed for a purpose. Depending on your skin type is how you’ll go about your skincare routine. But identifying these key mistakes that follow below along with using the right moisturizer will make a big difference in how your skin performs.

■ Not Layering Your Products in Order

Skincare is a multi-faceted routine. It involves cleansing, toning, and hydrating. You should cleanse with a cleanser designed for your skin type and then follow it with hydrating products before skin has dried. This helps seal in the moisture.

Many women make the mistake of slathering skin in moisturizer first, though the best results come from layering from thin to thick. A hydrating serum would go on first while the skin is still damp, followed by a proper eye cream, then followed by a moisturizer for most skin types. However, if your skin is blemished and you want to treat acne for example, you’d want to put that spot treatment on before you add the moisturizing products.

■ Using Oils Only

Oils are ideal for soothing dry or irritated skin. They can really add hydration back in and are a fantastic product category. But you still need moisturizers. If you’re just using oils, you’re not giving your skin what it needs.

Moisturizers for every skin type contain humectants. These are ingredients that draw water molecules into your skin. Oils though contain emollients that just work on the surface. So that’s great for dry and flakey skin that needs a boost but if you want to really give skin what it needs, you need a moisturizer that is specific to your needs.

You can still use oils but you should add them on top of the moisturizer you choose for your skin type.

■ You’re Using a Heavy Hand

Always approach your skin with a gentle touch. Massaging is key for helping the products absorb into the skin. It’s great for increasing circulation which helps stimulate your collagen production too.

But don’t overdo it. You can over-exfoliate the skin which leads to weakening your skin’s barrier function. If you do use a heavy hand, skin will become inflamed and even worse, while it’s prone like this, it’s much more vulnerable to bacterial or fungal infections which will leave your skin looking the opposite of how you want it to look.


Moisturizers only make skin oily when you’re not using them as intended. Either you’ve got the wrong moisturizer for your skin concerns or you’re using a formula designed for a different season or time of day. Following a skincare regimen that fits your skin’s style will help you achieve the complexion you desire.

Look for the signs mentioned above and if they fit, try switching your moisturizer. Know the key ingredients that do well for your skin type and find products that include them. Additionally, make sure to keep contaminants out of all jar-style moisturizers. This can affect how they work for your skin as they can become tainted with oils and bacteria from your fingers.

Always apply your moisturizer with clean hands in a gentle and soothing motion, both day and night. And always keep your day and night formulas separated for your best skin yet!


My name is Hajer and welcome to my site. This is my little haven, my outlet, where I can express myself, and show you everything I've learned about makeup, skincare, hair tips, and so much more, as well as the different beauty mistakes I've made so that you can avoid them.

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