Struggling with oily skin can be a real challenge, leading to a perpetually shiny complexion and frequent battles with acne breakouts. But here’s the good news: with the right skincare routine and products, you can effectively manage these issues and reclaim clear, balanced, and shine-free skin. To provide you with expert guidance, we’ve enlisted the help of skincare specialists who have shared their top tips for crafting a daily skincare routine tailored specifically to oily skin.

The result? A straightforward four-step regimen that you can easily incorporate into your morning and evening rituals to maintain healthy, blemish-free, and oil-controlled skin. Whether it’s your trusted skincare routine, your hair washing frequency, or your curiosity about cosmetics, remember that beauty is personal. That’s why we rely on a diverse group of writers, educators, and other experts to share their insights on various topics related to skincare and beauty.

When it comes to choosing the best skincare products for oily skin, you don’t have to embark on a trial-and-error journey. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you, carefully curating a list of top-notch products that address the unique challenges of oily skin, from deep-cleaning cleansers to oil-regulating serums and exfoliating masks.

Step 1: Cleanse with an Exfoliating Cleanser (Morning and Night)

Cleansing is the foundation of any skincare routine, and it’s especially crucial for those with oily skin. Dr. Sandra Lee, founder of SLMD Skincare, advises a complete cleanse in the morning because your skin works hard at night, shedding skin cells and producing oils. Opt for a salicylic acid-based cleanser for that deep cleaning effect.

Step 2: Use a Toner with the Right Ingredients

Once your skin is clean, follow up with an exfoliating toner containing ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid. These will help maintain a balanced complexion and minimize pores.

Step 3: Target Your Specific Skin Concerns

This step varies depending on your individual needs. If acne is a concern, consider using benzoyl peroxide or sulfur in the daytime to control oil production. At night, a retinol product can help keep your pores clear and promote a radiant complexion. Remember, oily skin can have its advantages – it tends to stave off wrinkles longer than dry skin.

Step 4: Moisturize with the Right Product

Moisturizing is crucial for all skin types, including oily. Look for a lightweight, oil-free, water-based moisturizer. Don’t skip this step – moisturizing keeps your skin balanced and healthy.

For Acne: Extra Tips

Oily skin and acne often go hand in hand. Topical solutions like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can help, but consult a dermatologist if the problem persists. Some women also find relief from oiliness and acne through contraceptive pills.

Natural Ingredients for Oily Skin

When it comes to skincare, the allure of natural ingredients for managing oily skin is undeniable. Many people with oily skin are drawn to the idea of using products with fewer synthetic chemicals and more naturally derived components. These ingredients often possess antibacterial, astringent, or oil-regulating properties that can benefit oily skin. Here are some natural ingredients that are known for their potential to help manage and balance oily skin:

  1. Honey: Honey is celebrated for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. When applied to the skin, it can help cleanse and soothe it while also providing hydration. Honey is an excellent natural ingredient to consider for oily skin because it can help prevent bacterial growth and reduce the risk of breakouts.
  2. Oatmeal: Oatmeal has been used for centuries to calm inflamed skin and absorb excess oil. As a natural exfoliant, it can help remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, reducing the likelihood of acne breakouts.
  3. Witch Hazel: Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can help tighten the skin’s pores, reduce oil production, and alleviate inflammation. It’s often used in toners and can be a valuable addition to your skincare routine.
  4. Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is renowned for its soothing and hydrating properties. It can be applied directly to the skin to alleviate redness and inflammation. It’s a gentle, natural option for moisturizing without adding excess oil.
  5. Green Tea: Green tea is rich in antioxidants and can help control oil production. It’s also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, making it a good choice for soothing irritated skin.
  6. Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is a potent natural ingredient with antimicrobial properties. It’s commonly used in acne-fighting products to combat the bacteria that cause breakouts. However, it should be used with caution, as it can be quite strong and should be diluted before application.
  7. Clay: Various types of clay, such as bentonite and kaolin, are natural ingredients that can absorb excess oil, detoxify the skin, and unclog pores. Clay masks are a popular choice for people with oily skin.
  8. Lemon: Lemon is a natural source of citric acid, which can help exfoliate the skin, lighten dark spots, and reduce oiliness. However, it’s essential to use lemon with caution, as it can be harsh and should be diluted before application.
  9. Cucumber: Cucumber is known for its cooling and soothing properties. It can help reduce inflammation and provide a refreshing sensation, making it a common ingredient in natural skincare products.
  10. Rosewater: Rosewater is a gentle natural toner that can help balance the skin’s pH levels and reduce excess oil. It’s often used in skincare routines to refresh and hydrate the skin.

When incorporating natural ingredients into your skincare routine, it’s essential to be aware of any potential allergies or sensitivities you may have. Conduct a patch test before applying a new ingredient to your face and consult with a dermatologist if you have concerns about how certain ingredients may interact with your skin type. Additionally, while natural ingredients can be beneficial, they may not provide the same level of efficacy as dermatologist-recommended treatments for more severe cases of oily skin or acne. Always tailor your skincare routine to your specific needs and consult with a skincare professional when necessary.

Don’t Break the Bank

You don’t need to spend a fortune on skincare. Affordable over-the-counter products with effective active ingredients are readily available. Be sure to check reviews before making a purchase.

For Men:

Same Routine, One Exception Oily skin care is essentially the same for men, with the exception being that oral contraceptives are not an option.

Things to Avoid

  • Skipping blotting papers: Use them to control excess oil throughout the day.
  • Neglecting post-exercise cleansing: Wash your face after working out to remove sweat, oil, and dirt.
  • Choosing the wrong products: Avoid alcohol-based products and thick, greasy creams.
  • Skipping sunscreen: Always use SPF 30 sunscreen when outdoors, preferably one with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

Safety First

Some treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, may cause irritation. Use them as directed. Oral treatments like isotretinoin should only be taken under a dermatologist’s guidance.

How We Chose the Best Products for Oily Skin

Our product selections are based on effective ingredients and extensive reviews. We’ve consulted experts and collected recommendations from individuals with oily skin to ensure the best choices.

Best Cleansers for Oily Skin

  • Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser
  • PanOxyl Acne Creamy Wash
  • Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Removing Foam Wash

Best Toners for Oily Skin

  • Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner
  • Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner
  • Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner

Best Moisturizers for Oily Skin

  • CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion
  • SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer
  • Origins Clear Improvement Moisturizer

Best Serums for Oily Skin

  • The INKEY List Niacinamide Oil Control Serum
  • Primally Pure Clarifying Serum
  • Paula’s Choice Defense Antioxidant Pore Purifier

Best Face Masks for Oily Skin

  • Skinceuticals Clarifying Clay Masque
  • La Mer Treatment Lotion Hydrating Mask
  • Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask
  • Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores

Best Exfoliant for Oily Skin

  • Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Best Natural Products for Oily Skin

  • 100% Pure Fermented Rice Water Toner
  • Versed Sunday Morning Antioxidant Oil-Serum
  • Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen SPF 30

When to Contact a Dermatologist

If over-the-counter products don’t provide the desired results, it may be time to consult a dermatologist. Your skin’s unique needs deserve professional attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do oily skin types have to use only oil-free products? No, products labeled “oil-free” aren’t the only option. Your choice of products won’t affect your oil glands’ function.
  2. Are grainy face scrubs suitable for oily skin? It’s better to avoid grainy scrubs as they can cause irritation. Consider products with exfoliating agents like AHAs and BHAs instead.
  3. How can oily skin types manage enlarged pores? Reducing the size of pores involves minimizing oil production, which is possible with oral isotretinoin medication.
  4. Does makeup worsen oily skin? Makeup doesn’t worsen oily skin. Feel free to use it, but remember to remove it properly.


With the right products and a well-crafted skincare routine, you can tackle oily skin with confidence. Follow these expert tips and select the best products to reveal your healthiest, clearest, and most radiant complexion. Your skin is unique, and caring for it is a personal journey – let’s make it shine!