What’s the Ideal Daily Skincare Routine for Oily Skin?

woman with skincare routine for oily skin
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You may have heard that oily skin is the most demanding skin type —and that it is the most difficult to keep under control. Well, although this is partly true, we assume that those who say this are probably the people with this skin type. Because as you might have also heard: the grass is always greener on the other side. And you should keep in mind that people with extremely dry skin face various challenges, just like people with very oily skin.

But still, if you have an oily skin type, then you know what difficulties you have to deal with on a daily basis. And just like with sensitive skin, it can be difficult to deal with everything this skin type carries with it. Therefore, you may be wondering, what skin care routine should I use for my oily skin? What’s the best skincare routine for oily skin? And what products should I use for my daily skincare routine for oily skin?

Oily skin is constantly shining, the pores are enlarged, and acne and blackheads are an everyday thing. If this description sounds like we were describing your skin, then we have good news for you. Today we are talking about what the optimal skincare routine of a person with oily skin should look like.

What are the main characteristics of oily skin?

Some of the main characteristics of oily skin are increased production of sebum all over the face (and often chest and back), which results in sebaceous filaments, clogged pores, and the appearance of blackheads and acne. People with this skin type have enlarged and visible pores, which is probably the thing that bothers them the most, and what they would like to address with their skincare routine for oily skin.

What causes oily skin?

If you have ever wondered what causes oily skin, you need to know that the answer is not so simple, because the reasons can vary.

One of the main reasons is genetics. Maybe your mom or dad has oily skin, so you ‘earned’ it from them. Thanks, parents! Another reason may be age. Most teenagers have very oily skin as they go through puberty, and later in life, sebum production decreases. The good news is that people with this skin type develop the signs of aging more slowly, which means that you will probably look younger than your peers with dry skin in your later years. Not bad, right?

Also, oily skin is often a consequence of the climatic conditions in which you live. If the air is very humid where you live, it is likely that the skin will secrete more sebum. And you’ve probably noticed that your skin shines more during the summer, which is another indicator of how the weather conditions can contribute to increased skin oiliness. Lastly, another factor you should consider if your skin is producing more sebum than usual is whether your skincare routine works for you.

Using products for the wrong skin type, skipping moisturizer, or using too harsh products can also be some of the reasons why your skin is shining all the time. All these should be considered as you build your own daily skincare routine for oily skin.

What ingredients you should look for if you have an oily skin type?

Some of the best ingredients for oily skin are AHAs and BHAs. Alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid, exfoliate the stratum corneum and eliminate excess sebum. Salicylic acid penetrates the pores and removes the impurities, bacteria, and sebum that caused its clogging.

According to Diane Berson, MD, an assistant professor of dermatology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, if you have oily skin type, you should also consider using niacinamide that helps eliminate excess sebum. Some other ingredients that may help are hyaluronic acid and clay. Clay masks can be very beneficial since they help remove dead skin cells, and decrease the shine and pores visibility.

What should you avoid in a skincare routine for oily skin?

If your skin is constantly oily and shiny, you may feel the need to try out a foaming cleanser that is on a more aggressive side, because it seems to have a better effect on your skin. Although foaming cleansers or soaps can really eliminate excess sebum, they are very harsh to the skin and have a stripping effect that leads to skin dehydration. And when the skin begins to lose water and fatty ingredients within the skin barrier, it begins to secrete even more sebum to protect itself. So you will only achieve a counter-effect. And the same can happen if you overuse scrubs or chemical scrubs, or skip the moisturizer.

Also, you want to avoid heavy occlusives (for example Vaseline and mineral oils) and oils such as coconut and olive oil for your daily skincare routine for oily skin. We recommend you use lightweight moisturizers which will not contribute to increased sebum secretion and the appearance of acne.

The best daily skincare routine for oily skin

Most dermatologists and skincare experts would recommend keeping your skin cells lightly hydrated so as to lessen the oil activity on your skin.  If possible, wash your skin three times a day using a sulfate-free gel or foam cleanser. Keep in mind that the more oil there is, the more opportunities for blemishes to form. Nonetheless, you don’t want to dry out your skin with too many detergents in your daily skincare routine for oily skin.

Look for an alcohol-free toner with ingredients like sodium PCA (a humectant that holds water to your skin), geranium (an essential oil that cuts oil), and witch hazel (a natural astringent without the drying effects of alcohol). In the morning, applying a serum that contains alpha-hydroxy acids or beta-hydroxy acids can help you minimize the presence of large pores and brighten dull spots.

To keep your skin hydrated, a light, oil-free moisturizer that contains sodium PCA and glycerin, which are humectants is recommended for your daily skincare routine for oily skin. When going outdoors during the daytime, make sure to use sunscreens containing zinc oxide, because they will give your skin a more matte finish.

Retinol at night is also beneficial for your daily skincare routine for oily skin because it reduces the appearance of pores over time.

Products for your daily skincare routine for oily skin

If you’re still wondering what skin care routine should I use for oily skin, don’t worry. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite products to help you build a daily skincare routine for oily skin.

1. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

The cleanser you use should be gentle enough and not have a stripping effect on the skin, but also effective enough to remove all impurities and prep the skin for other products. This CeraVe cleanser can be a great choice for your daily skincare routine for oily skin — it does not contain aggressive ingredients like sulfate. In addition, its main ingredients are ceramides and niacinamide, which strengthen the skin barrier and help eliminate excess sebum.

2. Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner for Combination and Oily Skin

After cleansing, we recommend that you continue your skincare with this Paula’s Choice toner, which contains sodium hyaluronate that hydrates the skin, as well as chamomile extract, which is rich in antioxidants that protect the skin from free radicals caused by UV rays and air pollutants. It helps restore the skin’s balance and helps the skin’s barrier function, which can help reduce sebum secretion and reduce the visibility of pores.

3. Drunk Elephant Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum

This serum from Drunk Elephant contains glycolic acid and should be a part of a daily skincare routine for oily skin. As you already know, alpha hydroxy acids eliminate dead cells from the surface of the skin as well as excess sebum. It prevents clogging of the pores due to the accumulation of impurities, so it can also reduce the appearance of acne in people with this skin type.

4. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream

People with oily skin often avoid moisturizers, because they have the impression that they contribute to the oiliness of the skin. Lightweight moisturizers like Neutrogena Hydro Boost gel cream are suitable for the daily skincare routine for oily skin. It contains hyaluronic acid and silicones that act in a semi-occlusive way and lock water in the skin, without clogging the pores, and are not too heavy.

What skin care routine should I use for oily skin?

It is not easy to constantly deal with the shine and oil on the face, and that is exactly what is an everyday thing for people with oily skin. 

Enlarged pores, blackheads, and acne can be additional aggravating circumstances so it’s necessary to build a proper skincare routine for oily skin. Now that you know the answer to the question what skin care routine should I use for my oily skin? it’s time to act!

What you just need to keep in mind is that sometimes even inadequate care can contribute to increased sebum production. And once you establish an optimal daily skincare routine for oily skin, you will be able to keep the oiliness under control and feel (and look!) much better.