8+ Best Salicylic Acid Moisturizers

Forecast? Clear & Calm Skin Ahead.

Last updated on: 04/26/2022 at 12:02 am

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Salicylic acid moisturizer

Photo: Imaxtree


We’ve all been there at one point or another: frustrated with a pesky, irritated pimple (or a face full of them). Usually more common among oilier skin types, acne is usually treated with topicals like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinol. A common fear among oily-skinned people is moisturizers, especially those unnecessarily greasy ones. Interestingly enough, moisturizers are extremely important for all types of skin ⎯ oily skin included. The key thing is to choose a moisturizer that works with your skin, and for blemished skin, this means choosing one with acne-friendly ingredients. 



Salicylic acid is a chemical compound known for its acne-treating qualities. The ingredient, though quite drying and strong on its own, is perfect for shedding dead skin cells, allowing for decreased redness. By targeting inflammation, it unplugs the skin pores and helps those angry pimples to shrink and finally disappear! 




Murad Clarifying Water Gel

Murad Clarifying Water Gel Moisturizer $46

The most crucial thing in any cream for oily skin is making sure it is lightweight, and this fan-favorite Murad formula proves it like no other. The water-based moisturizer works to clear the skin in a. way that doesn’t make your skin feel like dry sandpaper-like most of those spot treatments do. Keep your skin hydrated with this hyaluronic acid-filled cream that promotes bouncy, smooth, refined skin!


Olehenriksen Cold Plunge Pore Remedy Moisturizer

Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Remedy Moisturizer $46

Rated 4.5 stars from over 1000 users, this fancy cream seems to be a favorite among acne-prone skinned people. The calming moisturizer uses a mix of acids to help life and loosen the dead skin cells that clog pores and grow into pimples. In other words, ⎯ it prevents acne too! The cream controls surface oil with the help of willowherb extract and a special ‘green fusion complex’ of active botanicals like green tea and eucalyptus. This cooling, light-green moisturizer is perfect for keeping the skin hydrated and clear as a summer sky. 



Janmarini Bioclear Face Lotion

Jan Marini Bioclear Face Lotion $85

This award-winning moisturizer boasts numerous studies that back up its effectiveness, and promises real results! Made with a powerful combination of glycolic, salicylic, and azelaic acid, it leaves your skin “dramatically smoother”. This one is particularly appealing for those with maturing skin too, as it also targets matured skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. This innovative formula ⎯ though on the pricier end ⎯ is worth the results!


Herbivore Aquarius Pore Purifying Clarity Cream

Herbivore Aquarius Pore Purifying Clarity Cream $44

A special ingredient in this clean beauty salicylic moisturizer is responsible for its iconic, bright blue hue ⎯ blue tansy oil! The unique oil is used to calm irritated skin, soothe redness. and clear congested pores. Pair this with the lovely acne-targeting white willow bark, and you’ve got yourself a perfect combination for soon-to-be clear skin! We love that the cream leaves the skin with a polished, matte finish instead of a greasy one, making it especially great for those who deal with a lot of excess oil. Made with numerous botanicals, this powerful cream helps to clear the skin and soothe it like nothing else!


tata harper clarifying moisturizer

Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer ‎$120

Okay, yes, we know the price tag is a little high on this luxury salicylic moisturizer, but the ingredients help to explain why. This cream is formulated with a majestic combination of oils and extracts such as sandalwood, apple, evening primrose, sea buckthorn, willow bark, mushroom, and daffodil (just to name a few). This, with the star ingredient, salicylic acid, helps to soothe and calm breakouts. By controlling sebum and providing gentle chemical exfoliation, this cream targets the redness and acne and helps to bring your skin back into a calmer, peaceful state. 



Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Oil-Free Matte Moisturizer

Peter Thomas Roth Acne Clear-Oil Moisturizer $38

Made with a strong trio of salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid,, and seboclear-MP, this cream helps to hydrate and clear up the skin. The matte, gel-based formula uses organic aloe to hydrate without clogging the pores! This gel combats dry, flaky, ‘overly treated acne-prone skin’. Whether it be drugstore spot treatments that caused dryness, or perhaps something more serious like Accutane treatment, this moisturizer will keep your acne under control and combat that flakiness at the same time ⎯ we love the multitasking. 


Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner Cream

Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner Cream $19.99

This affordable salicylic cream caught our eyes for one main reason: it works. Bioderma promises visible tightening of the pores and “up to 8 hours action”, which is quite hard to compete with. Made with a patented ‘Fluidactiv’ technology, the cream prevents irregularities through mattifying and exfoliating the skin. For the price, this one is a steal to say the least. 


KORRES Pomegranate Pore Blurring Gel Moisturizer

 Korres Pomegranate Pore Blurring Gel $36

First things first, we love the pink minimalist product design of this cream ⎯ something similar to the vintage vibes of Le Labo, but for skincare! The herbal moisturizer uses enzymes extracted from pomegranate to regenerate the skin and promote fresh renewal. That, with salicylic acid for target inflammation and willowherb to reduce oiliness, combines into a dream cream for dehydrated blemish-prone skin. With powerful moisturizing abilities and ingredients that work to prevent and control acne, this cream has got our approval stamp for sure. 



Often times, acne-prone skin leaves people only focusing on drying the pimple out, and nothing else. This leaves the skin dehydrated, flaky, and dull! It is so important to find moisturizers that keep your skin smooth, but still bright and plump. These salicylic moisturizers are dream creams that are, as Hannah Montana said, the best of both worlds (that being, acne-friendly and hydrating).



Vurjeet Madan
Published on: 04/25/2022 Last updated on: 04/26/2022

Vurjeet Madan might be a part-time writer at The Youthist, but she is a full-time fashion-and-beauty enthusiast. Aside from writing, she is also a political science student at the University of Toronto, living the exciting (albeit slightly cumbersome) student life. Born and brought up in Saskatchewan, Canada to a wonderfully loud and loving Indian Punjabi household, she often says she brings a “spicy” touch to her writing. If the world were to end tomorrow, she couldn’t guarantee her survival skills would be of much use, but she would certainly write a killer article on it (if she lived to tell the tale).

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