Can’t seem to take control of your oily skin? Worse, tired of no results? Here are 20+ best tips for oily skin you wish you would’ve known sooner.
Oily skin is the result of the sebaceous glands, located under the surface of the skin, producing too much sebum.
Sebum is an oily and waxy substance that hydrates, protects and preserves the skin. However, when too much sebum is produced it leads to clogged pores and acne.
Genetics, hormone changes and stress increase sebum production, making it a challenge for those with oily skin to manage.
Finding a balance between having too much sebum and maintaining your skin’s natural moisture is the key.
Keep reading to find out how these 20+ best tips for oily skin are the key to managing your oily skin.
20+ Best Tips For Oily Skin
Here are 20+ best tips for oily skin you wish you would’ve known sooner:
1. Read the labels on your skin care products.
Look for products that are labelled ‘non-comedogenic,’ ‘non-acnegenic,’ ‘doesn’t clog pores,’ or ‘won’t cause breakouts,’ because they will prevent clogged pores and acne breakouts.
Active ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, niacinamide, zinc, retinoids and sulfur will help your sebaceous gland function normally.
For oily skin, lighter formulations like serums, gels, lotions or powders are better tolerated than creams or ointments.
Another great option for oily skin types are water-based products because they don't leave any heavy residue and feel weightless on the skin.
2. Cleanse your skin twice daily.
Cleanse your skin twice daily, in the morning and at night, to reduce the amount of sebum on your skin and avoid blackheads, whiteheads and acne breakouts.
It’s recommended you follow these methods when cleansing oily skin:
- Cleanse your skin with warm water and a mild gentle foaming cleanser to cleanse excess sebum without stripping the skin.
- Avoid cleansers that are formulated with fragrances, added moisturizers and harsh chemicals because it can irritate and dry out your skin, hence, producing more sebum.
- Avoid using loofahs and rough washcloths on your skin because it can stimulate the production of sebum.
If none of the above make a difference on your oily skin then you’ll need to incorporate medicated acne care products. These acids help oily skin by breaking down sebum in the pores while not being over-drying:
- Salicylic Acid
- Glycolic Acid
- Beta-Hydroxy Acid
- Benzoyl Peroxide
Avoid over-cleansing because it can irritate your skin and leave it feeling dry, tight, and parched. As a result, your skin will produce sebum because it can’t produce moisture on its own.
3. Avoid use oil-based or alcohol-based skin care products.
You should avoid using oil-based or alcohol-based skin care products because they clog, over-dry, irritate and weaken your skin's protective barrier.
4. Use a toner.
Use a toner that has astringent and moisturizing ingredients to mattify and protect your skin.
5. Pat your skin dry.
Once you’re done cleansing and toning your skin, with a dry soft towel gently pat dry your skin.
Avoid pulling down on the skin as it stimulates the production of sebum.
Here's a list of skin towels that are gentle on the skin:
- Face Cleansing Cloth
- Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloth
- MUKIN Baby Muslin Washcloths
6. Don't scrub your skin.
Avoid rubbing your skin with abrasive scrubs, pads or washcloths because it leads to irritation, inflammation and premature aging.
7. Exfoliate and use acne treatments.
Exfoliating and using acne treatments reduce excess sebum and improve the appearance of large pores.
For oily skin, it’s recommended to use non-particle based chemical exfoliants that contain glycolic and salicylic acids to get rid of excess oil and dead skin cells.
Here's are list of the best exfoliators and acne treatments:
- The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
- The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
- Differin Gel
- La Roche-Posay Effaclar Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment
8. Use a cosmetic clay mask.
Cosmetic clay, also known as healing clay, absorb sebum from the skin and treats various skin conditions.
Here are the most popular clay for cosmetic use:
- Bentonite clay has swelling properties.
- French green clay helps blemished skin; it's used by normal and oily skin types.
- Fuller’s earth clay has strong sebum absorbing abilities; recommended for oily skin types.
- Rhassoul clay gently absorbs sebum from the skin; recommended for sensitive and mature skin types.
- White cosmetic clay, also known as Kaolin clay, unlike the other clays is not as absorbent; which it's why it appropriate for dry and sensitive skin types.
The use of cosmetic clay, especially Fuller’s earth clay, is a perfect treatment for oily skin.
9. Don’t skip moisturizer.
Using moisturizer provides your skin with moisture and protection while preventing sebum overproduction.
Here's are list of the amazing moisturizers for oily skin:
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
- Vichy Minéral 89 Skin Fortifying Daily Booster
10. Apply a mattifying agent.
After sunscreen, apply a mattifying agent which helps control shine for up to 8 hours because it contains polymer called acrysorb that absorbs sebum on the skin.
11. Always wear sunscreen.
Wearing sunscreen is important for all skin types and with so many options you can choose one that's ideal for your oily skin.
Studies have shown that zinc alone and zinc in combination can help reduce acne.
If you still experience greasy skin, then use a loose mineral powder sunscreen like the Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection SPF 50.
12. Use blotting papers.
Blotting papers are absorbent papers designed to absorb excess sebum on your skin.
They are a great inexpensive way to minimize grease and make your skin appear less shiny throughout the day.
Here's are list of blotting papers you're going to want to try:
- Natural Premium Oil Blotting Tissues
- Palladio Rice Paper
- NYX Professional Makeup Matte Blotting Paper
13. Use medicated pads.
Unlike blotting papers, medicated pads remove excess sebum while cleansing your pores and skin.
Here's are list of medicated pads that are great for oily skin:
- Glycolic Acid 20% Resurfacing Pads
- Neutrogena Rapid Clear Treatment Pads
- Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme
14. Avoid touching your face throughout the day.
According to a research conducted by The University of Colorado at Boulder, there are 4,700 bacteria from 150 different species on our hands.
Which confirms that touching your face spreads dirt, oil and bacteria to your skin; ultimately clogging pores and causing breakouts.
15. Mist your skin throughout the day.
Hot and humid climates cause excess sebum production, therefore, avoiding overheating minimizes the amount of sweat and sebum production on your skin.
Here's are list of the refreshing mists that you can use throughout the day:
- Avène Eau Thermale Thermal Spring Water
- Caudalíe Beauty Elixir
- La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water
16. Stick to oil-free primer.
An oil-free primer gives your skin a matte look that lasts all day and blurs the appearance of large pores.
Here's a list of primers that are oil-free:
- Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Pore Primer
- Smashbox The Original Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Primer
- Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
17. Switch up your makeup.
Switch your makeup products to powders to keep excess sebum in check.
Creamy makeup gives more space for pores to be clogged, while mineral-based powders are non-comedogenic and controls sebum by absorbing it.
18. Avoid sleeping in your makeup.
Before going to sleep, always remove all of your makeup because when you sleep the process of cell regeneration causes hair follicles to lubricate allowing sebum to flow to the surface of your skin.
Residual makeup traps the sebum which causes clogged pores and acne breakouts.
19. Cut back on sugar and refined carbs.
Eating sugar and refined carbs causes a spike in your blood sugar levels and your pancreas to release insulin.
The production of Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) is stimulated which boosts sebum production and acne.
Consume foods that are considered low GI, meaning, foods that don’t cause a spike in your blood sugar levels.
20. Cut back on spicy food and alcohol.
Spicy foods contain acidic lycopenes which throw your pH levels off the balance, irritate your skin and cause breakouts.
While alcohol, causes a spike in your blood sugar which increases the levels of estrogen and its metabolites.
Also, spicy foods and alcohol dilate blood vessels and make you perspire so limit yourself to eating spicy food and drinking alcohol no more than once a week.
21. Get your stress levels checked.
When you’re stressed, your body produces more cortisol which triggers excess sebum production.
The amount of sebum production is different in each person, however, factors like the weather, lifestyle, diet and hormonal changes influence the amount of sebum your skin produces.
Whether you're looking to clear acne breakouts or reduce the amount of greasy on your skin, improvement takes time!
Being consistent with a skin care tailored to your skin type and practicing a healthy lifestyle will help.
If you need help then don't hesitate to visit or call your dermatologist.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can stop your face from being oily by following these tips for oily skin:
- Read the labels on your skin care products.
- Cleanse your skin twice daily.
- Avoid use oil-based or alcohol-based skin care products.
- Use a toner.
- Pat your skin dry.
- Don't scrub your skin.
- Exfoliate and use acne treatments.
- Use a cosmetic clay mask.
- Don’t skip moisturizer.
- Apply a mattifying agent.
- Always wear sunscreen.
- Use blotting papers.
- Use medicated pads.
- Avoid touching your face throughout the day.
- Mist your skin throughout the day.
- Stick to oil-free primer.
- Switch up your makeup.
- Avoid sleeping in your makeup.
- Cut back on sugar and refined carbs.
- Cut back on spicy food and alcohol.
- Get your stress levels checked.