Does Moisturizer Cause Acne? 7 Signs You’re Using Over-Moisturizing

Does Moisturizer Cause Acne? 7 Signs You’re Using Over-Moisturizing

Fellas, do you feel like your skin is dry but whenever you use moisturizer you get breakouts? Or maybe you’re worried that you’re using too much moisturizer and it’s causing acne?

Don’t worry! Various factors, including genetics, hormones, and lifestyle choices can cause acne. While some believe that moisturizers can contribute to acne breakouts, the truth is more nuanced than that.

Can moisturizer cause acne?

Can moisturizer cause acneDepending on the moisturizer, it might. There are a lot of varieties of moisturizers and skin types all over the world and it’s never a one-size-fits-all situation. According to WebMD, some moisturizers contain ingredients that can be detrimental to acne-prone skin.

  • Heavy oils, waxes, and petrolatum tend to be too heavy for your skin and can plug up your pores making acne more likely to form. 
  • Fragrance and perfume can cause irritation or even allergic reactions. 
  • Methylparabens or just parabens are preservatives that can also cause allergic reactions and irritations. 
  • Retinoic acid, often used for anti-aging, can be incredibly irritating. 
  • Finally, Salicylic acid, though effective as an exfoliant, can cause irritation for those with acne or sensitive skin.

So, does moisturizer cause acne? In general, moisturizers themselves do not directly cause acne but since people have different skin types, you should first find out what suits your skin best. While some moisturizers may not cause acne for some, it wouldn’t be the same for others.

Why Moisturizer Can Be Good for Acne

While it may seem too much work, moisturizers can go a long way in improving your skin health. In fact, using the right moisturizer can prove to be beneficial for acne-prone skin. Here's why:

Acne-prone skin needs hydration just as much as any other skin type. When skin is dehydrated, it can become irritated and produce more oil to compensate. This excess oil can clog pores and lead to breakouts. So using a moisturizer helps maintain proper hydration and prevent this cycle.

7 Signs You Are Over-Moisturizing

Signs You Are Over-Moisturizing

Now that we’ve established that, you need to check if you are indeed moisturizing too much or not. In some cases, it can just be that the moisturizer isn’t effective for your skin. Here are some signs to look out for:

Clogged Pores

First and foremost, since moisturizers act as barriers around your skin, it only makes sense that it also creates a wall over your pores. But what happens when you apply too much of it? Well, the pores start clogging up with the excess moisturizer that your skin doesn’t absorb. 

When that happens, you’ll notice blackheads, whiteheads, and small bumps starting to form on your skin, particularly in spots that you over-moisturize. 

Acne Breakouts

This brings us to our first question, does moisturizer cause acne? It does in excessive amounts. Those excess moisturizers, while they also clog up your pores, can attract a lot of bacteria and foreign objects you don’t want on your skin. 

Because of its greasy nature, it can accumulate bacteria on your skin and cause acne breakouts. These bacteria can cause infections in your pores which is what’s causing the inflammation. These are usually treated by dermatologists.

Rashes and Irritation

This is something more commonly seen in sensitive skin but could still happen to anyone. If you notice red patches or rashes on your skin even after moisturizing, it could be a sign that you’re doing too much. These can also appear along with irritation, itchiness, and dry skin

However, it’s important to note that these are also symptoms of eczema and other skin conditions. The best way to go about it is to have it checked with a dermatologist.

Dry and Flaky Skin

The rashes and redness might not be visible but if you notice your skin starting to feel dry and flaky, this is because over-moisturizing also makes your skin “lazier”. Because of the excess greasy layer, your skin thinks it's a sign to stop producing more sebum. 

Excessive Oil Production

For those with naturally oily skin, using a moisturizer could throw off your natural sebum production, making your skin produce more oil than needed. This will leave you even oilier than before. This also makes your pores even more vulnerable as it enlarges your pores and opens them to accumulate dirt and bacteria.

Small White Bumps On Your Skin

You might notice small bumps on your skin but you’re not sure what they are. Well, they’re not acne, just milia. This is when proteins in your skin get trapped in your pores. 

Over-moisturizing can also cause these milia to form since some moisturizers tend to make the process easier to happen. Usually, this happens when body moisturizers are used on the face but over-application can still cause it.

In this case, you shouldn’t try to pop these at home to avoid infections. Rather, just go seek out a dermatologist.

Tight Skin

Contrary to its main purpose, applying too much moisturizer can make your skin feel tighter. Along with dryness and itchiness, you might feel that your skin is tight around certain spots on your skin. That’s a sign that you’re over-moisturizing.

What Moisturizers are Best for Men with Acne?

What Moisturizers are Best for Men with Acne

Although moisturizers may cause acne, that’s only if you apply too much. And now that you know what to look out for, it’ll be easier to avoid over-moisturizing. But you might doubt whether using a moisturizer is even worth it. Well, here’s why you shouldn’t skip out on this step:

Moisturizers are occlusive; they create a wall that does not mix with water. By doing so, sebum production is also reduced. Overly oily skin can trap more bacteria and dirt.

Moisturizers are humectant; they bring out the hydration to the top levels of your skin to keep it hydrated and healthy.

Moisturizers are emollient; they soothe your skin and can get rid of rashes or irritation if used properly.

Now, many acne treatments, like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, can be drying and irritating to the skin. Using a moisturizer alongside these treatments helps soothe irritation and prevent further damage to the skin barrier.

However, not all moisturizers are created equal. It's crucial to choose a moisturizer formulated for acne-prone skin. Here’s what you want to look for when choosing a moisturizer:


That means the ingredients don’t clog or block pores. If your skin is oily or acne-prone, clogged pores may well be one of the common problems that you encounter so choosing a non-comedogenic moisturizer will significantly reduce the risk of getting breakouts since breakouts usually happen in pores.

Hyaluronic Acid

This potent humectant attracts and retains moisture, deeply hydrating the skin without feeling greasy. Not only that, it helps control inflammation since it promotes wound healing.


This ingredient has anti-inflammatory and oil-regulating properties, making it ideal for acne-prone skin. It will help you reduce swelling and redness which usually comes with acne. 


These naturally occurring lipids strengthen the skin barrier and protect it from environmental damage. By restoring your skin’s barrier to its healthiest state, you can help protect your pores from foreign contaminants that could potentially cause acne.

Mantisfy Anti-aging and Repairing Lotion

A great example of this is the Mantisfy Anti-aging and Repairing Lotion. It is non-greasy and easily absorbed by your skin. It also keeps your skin hydrated all day long making your skin healthy and smooth. On top of that, the lotion repairs your damaged skin barrier and minimizes fine lines on your skin. 

It contains Edelweiss Extract which repairs your skin and Salicornia, which keeps your skin hydrated. Not only is it good for acne-prone skin, but it also helps your skin recover from past acne breakouts as it heals damaged skin cells.

As for those who have existing acne, there’s also the Mantisfy Anti-Acne and Repairing Serum which pairs well together with the lotion. It’s great for acne because it also contains Edelweiss which also has antibacterial properties which will help a lot in reducing acne, and Salicornia which will hydrate your skin keeping it smooth and healthy, similar to the Lotion.

It also repairs acne-damaged skin and reduces redness in your skin so while it helps reduce your acne, it also prevents more damage and sets your skin right to its natural state. 


Happy Man

Acne has long been a pain in the butt for all of us and it’s good to be aware of what’s causing your acne breakouts, there are always other factors playing with the hormones in your body including but not limited to weed, Adderall, nicotine, creatine, and junk food.

While moisturizers can provide you with a lot of benefits, you still need to know the proper way to use them so you can maximize the moisturizer. Just make sure to take note of the changes your skin goes through so you can stop any side effects of over-moisturizing before it gets worse.

If you feel like you’re getting clogged pores, acne breakouts, rashes and redness, dry skin, excessive sebum production, or milia. First, check if your moisturizer actually helps acne or if it proliferates your acne. If your moisturizer is good, then it can only be that you’re applying too much of it. 

Remember, there are other factors that may cause acne and there’s no single solution to everything. You just need to find the right fit for your skin!

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