Finding the best oily skin care routine is often challenging. Oily skin can cause all kinds of issues, such as a greasy complexion to full-blown acne breakouts. Managing these issues feels like an uphill battle for people with oily skin, but thankfully it’s possible to maintain it with the right products in your skincare routine!
Of course, with so many oily skin care products available, finding the right products for your needs isn’t always easy. So, we’ve created a comprehensive guide for the best oily skin care routine. It covers everything that you need to know, from the best products and ingredients to a step-by-step oily skincare routine.
What Causes Oily Skin?
Oily skin occurs due to sebum production. Some people have naturally higher sebum production from their oil glands, leading to oily skin. Despite some myths about oily skin being caused by things like a poor diet, it’s mostly down to our genetics.
Simply put, some people are just born with naturally oily skin!
However, there are some external factors that may increase sebum production in oily skin. For example, stress and hormones may cause your skin to become more oily than usual.
Also, certain climates, such as places with high humidity, can increase oil production. As a result, you may need to develop a different oily skincare routine in summer and in winter – but more on that soon!
Regardless of the causes, it’s possible to manage oily skin with the right products in your skincare routine.
What are the Best Oily Skin Care Routine Products?
Before you plan your oily skin care routine, it helps to understand what ingredients to look for in products. Certain ingredients are recommended for different stages of your oily skin care routine, so it helps to have the right combination of products to best manage your skin.
Some key ingredients to look for in your oily skin care products include:
Centella Asiatica extract
Compounds in this ingredient such as madecassoside and asiaticoside have good skin healing properties making it perfect for speading up breakouts from oil build up. Consider adding a moisturizer with Centella Asiatica extract to your routine to prevent scaring, reduce redness, and balance your skin's moisture barrier without over-moisturizing.
Oily skin is susceptible to acne breakouts and inflammation, so it helps to have an ingredient to combat these issues. Niacinamide is a Vitamin B3 that reduces inflammation, treats acne, and helps control sebum production in oil glands.
When it comes to a good acne-prone oily skin care routine, products that include retinoids are highly recommended. All retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A, but they all have different levels of effectiveness. Retinol is great for mild oiliness, and also has mild anti-aging effects. Retinal (Retinaldehyde) is 4x stronger than retinol, so works great for moderate to severe oiliness.
Finally, Retinoic Acid (tretinoin) or Retin-A is the mother of all Retinoids, and should be used for severe oily skin, acne or deep wrinkles. All Retinoids help to regulate sebum production but Retinoic Acid is definitely the Queen. Additionally, Retinoids boost cell turnover so you're less likely get breakouts from clogged pores and your skin will be more even. The perfect exfoliating ingredient.
So, retinol not only helps reduce oil and pimples but also smooths skin texture while improving complexion – a win-win!
Another common ingredient in various moisturizing products, hyaluronic acid is a humectant that helps draw and retain the natural moisture in our skin. Despite oily skin rarely feeling dry, including a good moisturizer with hyaluronic acid in your skincare routine is recommended.
Using these types of moisturizers improves natural skin texture and complexion while also reducing acne breakouts.
Ceramides are an emollient that smooths skin while repairing the skin barrier. Found naturally in our skin, ceramides are often lost due to excessive washing and cleansing, so a lack of ceramides is a common issue for people trying to treat their oily skin.
However, be mindful of how thick or oily products with ceramides are. Look for ceramide in products with lightweight oils, such as jojoba, as these are best suited for oily skin care routines.
What Oily Skin Care Routine Products Should I Avoid?
Certain ingredients found in oily skin care routine products should be avoided, otherwise, they might cause more problems than they solve!
You mainly want to avoid any ingredient that encourages oil production. Instead, look for lightweight skin care products that contain some of the ingredients listed above.
Occlusives are ingredients present in various skin care products targeting dry skin. These ingredients create a thick, protective barrier on your skin, reducing moisture loss that is common in dry skin.
However, these thick barriers aren’t great for oily skin, as the heavier consistency tends to clog pores and make skin feel greasier.
Common occlusive skincare ingredients to avoid include:
- Mineral Oils
Oils with High Oleic Content
Skin care products with natural oils are popular for dry skin, yet they don’t always work great on oily skin. The reason natural oils aren’t suited for oily skin is the oleic acid content.
If a face oil features high oleic content, then it’s likely to make oily skin feel greasy and clog your pores.
Oils that are high in oleic include:
- Coconut Oil
- Hazelnut Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Camellia Oil
Many people with oily skin use products with alcohol, as these ingredients are usually found in powerful cleansers. However, alcohol only temporarily removes oil from your skin, while long-term use may damage the skin barrier and overall skin condition.
- Denatured Alcohol
- Isopropyl Alcohol
What is the Best Natural Oily Skin Care Routine?
Do you have naturally oily skin and are struggling to find the right skincare routine? Then our step-by-step oily skin care routine has you covered.
For this skin type, it’s highly recommended that you follow a daily oily skin care routine. In fact, you will want to break your daily skincare routine into two parts – a morning routine and an evening routine.
Morning Oily Skin Care Routine
Common issues with oily skin include clogged pores, greasy complexion, and breakouts.
So, to avoid these problems you’ll want to start your daily oily skin care routine with a gentle foam cleanser. By cleansing first thing in the morning, you remove all the oil that builds up when you sleep.
Don’t leave your cleansing until night-time – the longer oil and bacteria are left on the skin, the likelier an outbreak becomes.
AXXZIA Beauty Force Purifying Wash Foam is a gentle cleanser with an anti-inflammatory agent. Great for an acne oily skincare routine, this cleanser uses chamomile extract to reduce inflammation, and sensitivity, and help skin heal from acne.
After cleansing, a toner helps remove any residual impurities that the cleanser misses. Oily skin tends to have more impurities, so using a cleanser followed by a toner can help better manage the skin. Also, toner reduces pore size, a common issue in oily skin due to higher sebum production.
The HYAKKASO Facial Toner is designed to cleanse, soften, and improve the texture of oily skin. It features a range of natural ingredients including hyaluronic acid for deep hydration and lemon extract to tighten pores and improve complexion.
There is a misconception that you don’t moisturize oily skin. However, moisturizer is one of the most important oily skin care routine products!
All skin types need hydration, so be sure to include a moisturizer in your daily oily skin care routine. Just be mindful of the ingredients, avoiding anything that is too thick. Gel moisturizers are a good option for oily skin types, not being too heavy.
Also, if dealing with acne, choosing a gentle moisturizer without any oils, chemicals, or fragrances is recommended.
The NOA NOA LUXE Whitening Moisture Gel is a versatile moisturizer suitable for daily use on oily skin. It features hyaluronic acid for deep hydration while licorice root softens skin and reduces inflammation from breakouts.
As an oil-free gel moisturizer, it won’t cause any breakouts, instead soothing and softening skin each day.
No matter your skin type, you should finish your skincare routine with sunscreen. SPF in sunscreen prevents sun damage, reducing visible signs of aging and protecting against skin cancer. Look for sunscreen with a muononium SPF 30 for lasting protection!
The Cica Method UV Base Milk has an SPF 50 rating, ensuring exceptional protection against sun damage. The sunscreen also repairs and soothe damaged oily skin, fighting against acne, inflammation, redness, and much more.
Evening Oily Skin Care Routine
If you wear make-up during the day, you’ll need to incorporate a good makeup remover into your skincare routine. Make-up removers are essential for any skin type, as leaving on makeup overnight prevents skin from breathing, clogs pores, and increases the chances of bacteria growth.
Make-up remover is even more important for oily skin types, as these are already prone to breakouts – never skip this step!
The NOA NOA LUXE Medicated Cleansing Gel is a lightweight cleanser designed to remove makeup while cleaning bacteria and oil from pores.
After removing your makeup, it’s time for another facial cleanser. Yes, you want to clean your face twice with a cleanser! This process is known as double cleansing and it's great for managing oily skin types.
Oily skin has more stubborn impurities, so cleansing once isn’t always enough. By cleansing twice, you make sure that all those stubborn dead skin cells and clogged pores are thoroughly cleansed, leaving your skin fresh and clean for the next day.
Doubling cleansing involves using two different cleansers. The first is your makeup remover as mentioned above. For your second, consider a gentle cleanser like the LIOVERITE Balance Control Foam.
A soft foam cleanser, it features amino acids that help to gently remove excess oil on your face while moisturizing and softening skin.
A treatment serum is recommended for oily as it targets common issues such as acne and large pores. Make sure to choose a treatment based on the specific needs of your oily skin.
For example, if you’re feeling the effects of an acne breakout, a treatment with retinol can reduce inflammation while reducing pore size. Use it sparingly, however, as too much may irritate the skin.
The AXXZIA VITAL RICH ESSENCE is a treatment serum with gentle retinol that reduces inflammation and oil production. Other ingredients help reduce scarring from acne, along with anti-aging properties to combat fine lines and wrinkles.
Additionally, this treatment doubles as an exfoliator, which is an important step for your evening skincare routine. The exfoliator helps to remove oil and dead skin that clogs pores, so it's highly recommended for oily skin care.
Treatments are best used before bed – don’t worry about using them in your morning routine!
In the morning, apply a toner after you’ve cleansed and exfoliated your face. You can use the same toner as you did in your morning routine, with the HYAKKASO Facial Toner being an ideal option for oily skin
Like your morning routine, make sure to apply a suitable moisturizer before you go to sleep. Don’t overlook this step at night, as our skin is often less hydrated at this stage of the day.
Use the same moisturizer as you did in the morning or try something different. For instance, the Cica Method Cream is an excellent night-time cream suitable for sensitive and oily skin.
The key ingredient in this moisturizer is cica extract, which is found in various East Asian skincare products. It’s especially useful for treating inflammation, redness, and breakouts on oily skin so is a good choice if you’re dealing with acne.
We recommend cica over salicylic acid because it's much gentler while being more effective in treating oily and acne-prone skin.
As a moisturizer, it also soothes and hydrates skin, reduces moisture loss, encourages collagen production, and combats signs of aging. It’s a highly versatile moisturizer that is a great addition to any oily skin care routine.
Additional Tips for Oily Skin Care Routine
Use a Weekly Facial Mask Treatment
A weekly facial mask is a great addition to an oily skin care routine. Facial masks offer a host of benefits for your skin, offering additional hydration and cleansing, while also improving skin tone and texture.
The effects of a facial mask vary depending on the ingredients, with certain masks designed for specific skin types. So, make sure to choose a facial mask that is suitable for oily skin!
For example, the KYOTO KOMACHI Matcha Face Pack is designed for oily skin, offering advanced cleansing and hydration. The cleansing properties help remove oil build-ups on the skin, with the adzuki red bean extra providing a natural exfoliating effect that removes oil and dirt.
It’s also a great treatment for managing acne, with matcha green tea extract reducing inflammation caused by bacteria and redness. The mask also reduces blackheads, combats signs of aging, and improves hydration.
Use a facial mask once or twice per week as part of your night-time skincare routine!
Oily Skin Care Routine in the Summer
You may need to adjust your oily skin care routine in the summer, especially if the weather becomes hot and humid. The additional heat and humidity cause our skin to sweat and produce even more sebum than normal.
This combination of sweat and oil means that breakouts and acne often become much worse during summer. Therefore, you might want to adjust your oily skin care routine in the summer!
Some useful tips for an oily skincare routine in summer include:
- Switching to a lighter oil-free moisturizer
- Using blotting paper to soak up sweat and oil
- Make sure to cleanse twice daily and use a soft toner when needed
- Using lighter makeup products that allow your skin to breathe more
- Don’t over-wash your face – it causes your skin to produce more oil
Oily Skin Care Routine in Winter
Oily skin tends to get a welcome respite in winter. Lower heat and humidity mean your skin produces less sweat and oil, so it's usually easier to manage oily skin during winter.
However, oily skin does still produce sebum in winter, so you’ll need to make sure you continue to follow a regular skincare routine.
Don’t forget to wash your face twice daily, cleansing in the morning and at night as previously recommended. Similarly, continue to exfoliate and tone your face as you normally do.
A few important things to remember for an oily skin care routine in winter are to keep moisturizing and use sunscreen. Because your skin is less oily in winter, people often forget the importance to keep moisturizing. The same goes for sunscreen – even if it's not sunny you need to protect your oily skin!
Black Oily Skin Care Routine
A black oily skin care routine is mostly the same as lighter skin, although you may need to focus on products that fight inflammation. This is because black skin has higher volumes of melanin which are more prone to inflammation.
Furthermore, black skin is susceptible to discoloration, so don’t forget to use sunscreen to help reduce the chances of dark spots developing.
Asian Oily Skin Care Routine
Asian skin tends to be oily due to higher amounts of sebaceous glands that cause oil production. So, Asian oily skin care routines may need to focus on additional cleansing to help manage the extra oil on the skin.
Also, Asian skin is more prone to breakouts, while scaring is also more common due to a thinner layer of your outer skin. So, make sure to manage breakouts quickly with a good toner and serum to help prevent scaring.