The Best Skin Care Routine For Oily Skin
Attention all oily-skinned ladies (and men)! Need a few tips on how to create a skin care routine fit for your skin type? We’re sharing two morning and evening skin care routines to help you keep your oily skin under control!
If you find yourself reaching for oil-blotting papers multiple times throughout the day, you might want to take a look at your skin care routine. Finding the best skin care arsenal for oily skin — that is, products that actually help keep oil production under control—can be difficult, as oily skin types require specific levels of care. Products that are too heavy will only make the skin look greasier, while products too lightweight may not be hydrating enough. These requirements, plus the plethora of products out there targeted for oily skin, can be enough to throw in the towel. Where does one even start? While oily skin can be difficult to look after, with the right skin care routine, it’s as easy as pie. Below, we’re sharing step-by-step instructions for a morning and evening skin routine for oily skin types—plus, all-star (and oily-skin-approved!) products to add to your arsenal ASAP. Get ready to take some notes—you will be thanking us later.
Starting your skin care routine in the morning is an effective way to prep skin for whatever the day throws at you. For oily skin in particular, it’s a great way to remove any oils that may have piled up on your skin while you were sleeping. Have a peep at some of the early-bird steps you can take below to help combat a greasy-looking face, as well as the mattifying products which can help along the way.
Step #1: Cleanse Your Skin
Wash your face every morning to remove any impurities or excess oil that has built up over night. The longer dirt and bacteria lingers on your skin, the greater the chance a breakout can ensue. Steer clear of harsh soaps and instead reach for a gentle face wash that won’t strip your skin of too much oil and dry it out. Rinse with lukewarm water (not too hot or cold) and pat dry.
Try: SkinCeuticals Foaming Cleanser, $34 MSRP
Why You Need It: This lightweight foaming cleanser removes makeup and excess oils without stripping the skin. Plus, it houses gentle foaming agents that help remove surface debris.
Step #2: Tone Your Skin
Toning your skin is a great way to help ensure that every last trace of buildup is washed away after cleansing. In addition, some toners can help normalize your skin’s pH level, as well as smooth skin’s texture. Reach for a formula that’s non-drying and recommended for oily skin. Soak a cotton pad with the liquid and gently sweep it around your face, avoiding the eye area.
Try: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Toner, $23.99 MSRP
Why You Need It: It’s a micro-exfoliating toner that tightens and helps unblock pores. The formula also boasts a clear and refreshing texture that helps refine the skin’s tone.
Step #3: Apply a Serum
It may seem counterintuitive to add more oil onto already-oily skin, but doing so can actually yield positive results. Applying an oil-based serum atop your excessively oily complexion can actually help cut some of that excess sebum on the surface to reveal a balanced, radiant-looking complexion.
Try: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, $72 MSRP
Why You Need It: This replenishing elixir of pure essential oils and distilled botanicals deserves a spot in your routine due to its ability to restore the skin’s appearance by morning.
Step #4: Use an Oil-Free Moisturizer
Oily skin has built-in oil, but it still needs additional hydration. In fact, depriving your oily skin of moisture can actually lead to even more oil being produced to compensate for the loss. Thus, a good pick is an oil-free moisturizer that absorbs quickly, dries matte, and feels light and airy on the skin. You don’t want moisturizer to make your oily complexion shine like a disco ball, do you?
Try: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat, $31.99 MSRP
Why You Need It: If the appearance of large pores sits high on your list of top concerns—right under excess shine—you need La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Mat. An excellent base for makeup, this oil-free matte daily moisturizer targets excess oil and refines the look of large pores.
Step #5: Add More Moisture
This sounds like a crazy tip for already oily skin, but hear us out. If your skin isn’t adequately hydrated, it could trick your sebaceous glands into producing even more oil to compensate for what’s believed to be a loss. In that case, less moisture can equate to more surface oil. And sometimes your run-of-the-mill moisturizer just isn’t enough to get your skin hydrated. You can try using additional products (such as face masks) or products that hydrate the skin without leaving behind a greasy residue.
Try: L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey All Over Balm, $24.99 MSRP
Why You Need It: Manuka honey is the most recent ingredient to be added to the superfood totem trending in skin care. Manuka honey has the ability to lock in moisture to help skin look plumped with moisture, and this all over balm—infused with manuka honey—is one of our favorites to get the moisture ball rolling.
Step #6: Apply Broad-Spectrum SPF
You could skip this step entirely if (and only if!) your moisturizer has built-in broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher in it. If not, apply a coat of sunscreen onto your complexion as the last step of your routine before heading outdoors. This will help protect your skin from harmful UV rays, which can prematurely age your skin. Reach for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that boasts an ultra-light, matte finish.
Try: Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+, $38 MSRP
Why You Need It: This lightweight broad-spectrum sunscreen helps protect the skin from early signs of aging caused by the sun. Powered by advanced UVA/UVB technology and pollution protection, the formula can help defend the skin against UV rays, pollution, and free radicals. Not to mention it’s also a non-comedogenic sunscreen, so no need to stress about it clogging your pores
Step #7: Apply Eye Cream
Between lack of sleep, environmental factors, stress and natural aging, there are plenty of factors that can cause the skin around your eyes to look worse for wear. What’s worse? The delicate skin around the eyes is much thinner than the rest of your skin, making it much more susceptible to damage. That being said, in addition to applying sunscreen to your face and body, it’s a good idea to pay close attention to your eye contour, too. Your best bet is picking an eye cream that can tackle a slew of concerns on top of providing broad-spectrum protection.
Try: SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50, $30 MSRP
Why You Need It: Formulated specifically for the sensitive area around the eyes, this non-migrating eye cream defends, enhances, and optimizes the entire eye area. The formula also boasts a sheer, universal tint.
So, you’ve gotten through your day. Now you’re getting ready to unwind and head straight to bed. You may, at this point, pause and think “I’ve taken care of my oily skin this morning, no need to overdo it before I sleep.” But not so fast. The campaign against oily-looking skin doesn’t solely take place in the AM. It’s essential you follow the appropriate nightly skin routine utilizing products which can help keep oiliness at bay before you hit the sack.
Step #1: Cleanse Your Skin
Follow the same routine as the A.M. You can opt to use the same cleanser or reach for a new one. Micellar water is a gentle option to use in the evenings to help lift makeup, dirt, pollution, and grime off the surface of skin like a magnet. Foam, gel, oil, and exfoliating cleansers are all fair game, as well. If you’re wearing heavy makeup that day, it’s wise to follow up with toner…which brings us to our next step.
Try: Vichy Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 One Step Solution, $14.50 MSRP
Why You Need It: This refreshing cleansing solution is essentially a triple threat beauty product, working as a cleansing water, soothing toner, and eye makeup remover all in one. After use, the skin is left feeling hydrated and soothed.
Step #2: Tone Your Skin
Follow the same routine as the A.M. You can use the same toner or switch to another if your heart desires. If you find a formula that works well on your oily skin, it’s better to stick to it rather than flip-flop between multiple products. Like they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Try: Lancôme Tonique Pure Focus, $26 MSRP
Why You Need It: The Lancôme Tonique Pure Focus is enhanced with zinc gluconate, an ingredient that helps to minimize the production of sebum. It also has the added value of evening out your complexion and the ability to make pores appear reduced in size. Want more toner picks? Click here to see our picks of the best toners for oily skin.
Step #3: Use a Clay-Based Mask
Add a clay mask into your routine to help deep-clean your skin even further. Look for formulas with kaolin or bentonite as they can help to absorb excess oil and mattify the appearance of the skin.
Why You Need It: The L’Oréal Paris Purify & Mattify Treatment Mask can purify and mattify your skin in just 10 minutes. The result? Skin that appears less shiny with excess oil reduced.
Step #4: Apply Retinol
Retinol is a great ingredient to incorporate into your evening routine as it can help with signs of skin aging, and rough skin texture. Since retinol is extremely powerful, it’s important not to use it too frequently to avoid an adverse reaction. If your night cream is formulated with retinol or any AHAs, think twice before applying additional retinol onto your skin. Start with a lower concentration and slowly build up your tolerance. Also, retinol use can increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. As such, always use retinol in tandem with SPF during the day. When in doubt, consult your dermatologist prior to use.
Try: SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5, $60 MSRP
Why You Need It: SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 is a great choice if you’re a first-time retinol user. Formulated with 0.5% pure retinol, this refining night cream can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and skin discoloration with continued use over time.
Step #5: Hydrate Your Skin
Moisturizing is a must, people—period. Instead of applying the same day cream from the A.M., reach for a night cream that can not only hydrate but also address additional skin concerns, be it dark spots, wrinkles, or loss of firmness. Most night creams are formulated with higher concentrations of anti-aging ingredients—think: retinol, glycolic acid, LHA, and hyaluronic acid—that are perfect for evening use.
Try: SkinCeuticals Renew Overnight Oily, $61 MSRP
Why You Need It: SkinCeuticals Renew Overnight Oily is a nighttime skin-refining moisturizer that’s formulated with a gentle hydroxy acid blend. Not only does it hydrate the skin, it can also exfoliate dead skin cells to reveal a healthier- and radiant-looking complexion.
Step #6: Apply Eye Cream
As the final step to your nighttime routine, hydrate your delicate eye area with a nourishing eye cream. As mentioned earlier, the skin around your peepers is paper thin––making it one of the first places to show signs of skin aging. Instead of applying your daytime SPF eye cream, reach for a nighttime formula that can help address concerns while you catch some Zzz’s.
Try: SkinCeuticals AOX Eye Gel, $95 MSRP
Why You Need It: If dark under-eye circles are a concern of yours, reach for SkinCeuticals AOX Eye Gel. It’s a triple-antioxidant treatment that provides advanced environmental protection to help combat signs of fatigue and photo-aging.