This fragrance-free daytime moisturizer with sunscreen is said to be a 3-in-1 option for oily skin because it hydrates, protects, and controls shine. It ends up doing two of the three decently well, though on balance the formula isn’t all that exciting. The blend of absorbent and film-forming agents in this moisturizer prevent it from being hydrating, though it does have a lightweight texture and absorbent, soft matte finish those with oily skin will appreciate. It protects with an in-part avobenzone sunscreen, so critical UVA (think anti-aging) protection is assured. That’s excellent because oily skin needs daily sun protection, too!
What this is missing, at least in meaningful amounts, are antioxidants and ingredients to reduce redness and calm acne-prone skin. Cetaphil included tiny amounts of vitamin E, a component of soothing licorice, anti-irritant allantoin, and zinc gluconate, but that’s about it and we’re concerned it’s too little to make much difference.
The zinc gluconate addition is interesting because of the research linking it to improving acne (at least when consumed orally) and for reducing inflammation by regulating the inflammatory process in skin that leads to acne (Sources: Archives of Dermatological Research, December 2011, pages 707–713; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, January 2011, pages 59–66; European Journal of Dermatology, May-June 2005, pages 152–155; and Dermatology, Volume 203, 2001, pages 135–140). Cetaphil’s Dermacontrol Oil Control Foam Wash contains this ingredient, too, but based on the research it is a better bet in a leave-on rather than a rinse-off product.
This potentially helpful option for oily, acne-prone skin is worth a try; we only wish it had a better range and greater amounts of the kind of ingredients all skin types need to look and act younger and healthier. To that end, Olay and Paula’s Choice have formulas for oily skin that are more well-rounded while still being lightweight and providing broad-spectrum sun protection.