Should I be using moisturizer on acne-prone skin?

I’m confused about face care. I have some Eucerin SPF 30 moisturizer that I use on my face. I use it even on my T-zone, where my acne is the worst, because the salicylic acid in my other face stuff dries it out. Am I just creating more of a problem here, or is it what I should be doing?

If the moisturizer is “non-comedogenic,” meaning it won’t clog pores, it should be fine. If you’re not sure, get some Cetaphil moisturizer with sunscreen. Every dermatologist I’ve had recommends Cetaphil. Whether it’s really the best on the market or they’re all in the pockets of Galderma, I don’t know, so caveat emptor and all that.

It says non-comedogenic, and that was a big selling point when I bought it. I just didn’t know how trustworthy those crazy moisturizer companies were.

I have oily, acne-prone skin, and since I have been using moisturizer (Olay Complete for combination/oily skin), my skin has been much clearer and broken out less often. I have been told that oily skin can still lack moisture and over-produce oil in response, but the person who told me this wasn’t a dermatologist, just a fellow oily-skinned person.

I read somewhere (I think in the Paula Beguin book) that nobody actually needs to use moisturizer unless their skin is actually dry, and that basically it’s all hype.

I have acne prone skin and have used moisturizer as part of my daily regimen for ten years. You’ll pry my Olay with beta hydroxy (When it’s used for acne, it’s called “salicyclic acid”. When it’s used for age-defying, it’s “beta hydroxy acid”. When it’s used for pain, it’s called “aspirin”) from my cold, dead hands.

I recall a Consumer Reports article about sunscreens which pointed out that there’s no real definition of “non-comedogenic.” Ah, I found it: Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, has started a spinoff website called that does nothing but provide analyses of various food and health care label terms. Here’s their take on non-comedogenic:

The “moisture” your skin needs is water.
Moisturizers are products that help your skin to retain the moisture it loses every day through sweat. Sweat doesn’t necessarily mean water dripping off your nose. We lose about 1/2 quart of fluid through the skin and breath daily, whether we feel it or not.
The crudest moisturizer is petroleum jelly, not recommended because it blocks all moisture from escaping.
Other moisturizers have varying amounts of oil and alcohol or other drying agents like beta hydroxy acid, which, by the way, is similar, but in no way the same, as salicyclic acid, which is related to, but not the same as asprin. All are drying agents.
I don’t have personal experience with acne products. I was, and am blessed with perfect skin.As a teenager, I rarely put soap, or anything else on my face. My secret is genetics. (Sorry)
I do know that the oil produced by one’s body is not the cause of acne.
Genetics play a role, as do hormones, climate, air pollution, bacteria, and hygiene.
The hyped ingredients in “beauty products” are not magic. Some do have the potential for producing the results claimed, like beta hydroxy acid. In the doses legal for OTC products, it is a mild drying agent, but in larger doses it is a chemical pealer.
Do wear sunscreen. The sun is another drying agent.
If you have adolecent acne, chances are it will resolve on its own once your emerging hormones stop their wild swings. Drinking lots of water will help keep skin moist. If you fly or are in very dry environments spraying distilled water on your skin frequently may help. My skin feels better if I spray it 2 or 3 times during a 2 hour flight. If I don’t, it feels tight. (It could be my imagination too.)

Cosmetic manufacturers are not doctors. Their only goal is to sell their product for the most money to the largest number of people.
Dermotologists have much better treatments than any cosmetic company, and their fee isn’t predicated on your buying a product they produce.

They’re not trustworthy to any extent, and non-comedogenic is a meaningless term. There is no regulation defining it, so a skin-care company can essentially slap the label on any product it wishes to.

Acne-prone skin doesn’t necessarily have to be oily, though it usually is. If moisturizers work for you, excellent. But applying oil to the outside of your skin (and that’s what moisturizers are, “oil-free” (another meaningless term, since the definition of oil is vague and stretchy) or not simply will not affect your skin’s secretion of oils. Oily skin is caused by genetic and hormonal factors. It doesn’t change in response to how much oil is on the skin’s surface.

I’ve long suspected that this is a myth started by the notoriously mendacious skin care industry.

I’ve read the same thing, and my skin looked infinitely better when I gave up on moisturizers. I don’t have dry skin, not on my face at least, so I don’t use it. There’s just no reason to moisturize your face unless your skin is dry.