Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin – How Should You Care for Oily Skin Types?

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

Oily skin can be a challenge to take care of. However, with the proper skin care routine, you can keep your oily skin healthy and reduce that greasy look and feel associated with this skin type. You may face oily skin year-round, or your skin may become oilier during the winter months; whichever category you fall into, this post can help you develop the best oily skin routine.

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Table of Contents

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Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin: The Basics

What is Oily Skin

Before diving into developing a skin care routine for oily skin, let’s take just a moment to review what oily skin is and what causes it.

Our bodies produce sebum to keep the skin protected and hydrated, but in some individuals, the body produces too much sebum.  Sebum is very oil and waxy, and when too much is produced it can mix in along with bacteria and dead skin cells.  This mix of sebum, dead cells, and bacteria then becomes trapped in the pores on the face, resulting in breakouts.

In many cases, the reason for excess oil production is due to genetics.  Parents with oily skin are more likely to have children who also have oily skin.  However, in some cases, oily skin is caused by other factors.  These can include stress, environmental stressors, and hormones.

If you have oily skin, you’re likely all too familiar with the signs of oily skin, but as a recap, these can include:

  • Greasy skin
  • An uneven skin texture
  • Shiny skin
  • Skin breakouts
  • Large pores

While oily skin certainly isn’t ideal, it also isn’t the end of the world.  There are many products out there designed to reduce oil build-up, unclog pores, and reduce grease.  Finding the right products and integrating them into a proper oily skin care routine can help you stay on top of your oily skin and keep it from getting in your way.

What Ingredients are Good for Oily Skin

Before adding any skincare products to your cart, look at the ingredient list.  There are a number of ingredients that are good for oily skin, but also many ingredients that those with oily skin should try to avoid.

Some ingredients that are great for oily skin include:

On the flip side, try to avoid skincare products that list these ingredients:

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What Is a Good Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin?

What is the best skin care routine for oily skin?  Every individual is different, so the right routine for you will likely look different from the ideal skin care routine for someone else.

Below, we’ll share a sample oily skin care routine that you can customize to match your exact needs.  Use what we share as a starting point, and see how your skin reacts and make any necessary changes or modification.

Morning Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin

The right morning routine for your oily skin can help set the tone for the rest of the day.  Below, we’ll highlight some essential steps and product recommendations to add to your morning routine.

Day Time Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin

How can I take care of my oily skin daily? Follow these steps, and consider our product recommendations, to keep your oily skin under control during the daytime.

  • Blotting papers:  Blotting papers, such as Pleasing Care Natural Premium Oil Blotting Tissues, can help you remove excess oil from your face to keep it from building up and making your face too shiny or greasy.
  • Toners:  Reapplying toner throughout the day can help you keep your skin hydrated and keep pores minimized.  As we shared above, be sure to stay clear of toners with alcohol. A great alcohol-free toner is THAYERS Alcohol-Free Original Witch Hazel Facial Toner with Aloe Vera, with two extra key ingredients that are good for oily skin.
  • Cleanser after exercise:  If you engage in vigorous exercise or work up a sweat, take some time to use your cleanser to clean your face again.  This will help remove that excess oil and debris to keep them from clogging your pores.
  • Reapply sunscreen:  If you’re spending time outside, be sure to reapply an oil-free sunscreen to protect your face and keep it from burning.
  • Avoid touching your face:  It may be challenging, but try to avoid touching your face.  Doing so will introduce new bacteria to your face, and that new bacteria could clog your pores.

Nighttime Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin?

A very popular question is, “what should I apply on my face for oily skin at night?”  Use these skin care tips to help set up an evening oily skin care routine.

  • Cleanser:  Just as you need to cleanse your face in the morning, you should also do so at night.  This will remove excess oil, debris, and makeup before you head to bed.  Going to bed without cleansing your face, can cause your pores to become clogged. So don’t forget to use your oil free face cleanser before going to bed.
  • Detox mask:  A few times a week, try using a detox mask, like Caudalie Instant Detox Clay Mask, for a deep cleaning.  Detox masks can remove the buildup of dirt and oil and even the texture of your skin.
  • Toner:  Next, apply toner one more time.  This will help remove environmental stressors and prepare your skin for the last few steps of your evening routine.
  • Retinol:  Serums or creams with retinol, such as The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane, help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  They also help cleanse the skin.  Retinol works best in a nighttime routine, rather than a morning routine, since it increases the sun’s sensitivity to sunlight.
  • Moisturizer:  Since you’re cleansing your face again at night, you’ll want to moisturize it again.  This will keep your skin from getting too dried out.  Opt for a moisturizer over a night cream, since night creams can be too heavy for those with oily skin.
  • Eye cream:  Finally, before heading to bed, apply eye cream around your eyes.  This can help soothe skin that was irritated during the day or when removing your makeup.

What Do Dermatologists Recommend for Oily Skin?

Dermatologists are doctors who treat various skin conditions.  They have a lot of experience and expertise on the subject area, so if you are really struggling with keeping your oily skin under control, you can consider scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist.

You can also read through these tips for oily skin from leading dermatologists to see if there are any changes you can make that may help your oily skin before making an appointment with a dermatologist.

  • Keep your skin clean.  Using a foaming cleanser each morning and evening to remove excess oils and bacteria from the skin.
  • If there is still too much oil on your face after cleansing, try integrating a product formulated with salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or beta-hydroxy acid to remove excess oil buildup.
  • Remove excess oil buildup during the day using blotting paper.  This can keep your skin from getting too greasy and won’t dry out your skin.
  • Occasionally using a mask or clay to cleanse your pores and remove excess oil.  Avoid using them too frequently so your skin doesn’t get dried out.
  • Keep your skin moisturized using an oil-free moisturizer.
  • Be sure to apply sunscreen to your face when spending time outside, but take care to choose an oil-free sunscreen.
  • If you can’t manage your oily skin using products you can purchase over the counter, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist.  They may recommend chemical peels, laser treatments, or prescription creams to help your skin.

Also consider trying one of these dermatologist-recommended skincare products for oily skin:

Do and Don’ts for Oily Skin

Below we’ve put together some do’s and don’ts for managing oily skin.  Use these to help you perfect your oily skin care routine.

  • Wash your face, without scrubbing it, each morning and evening.  If you exercise or get sweaty during the day, wash it again after the activity.
  • Choose a gentle face wash.  Stronger isn’t better and can be too harsh for oily skin.  Dermatologists recommend foaming face wash for individuals with acne.
  • Look for oil-free and non-comedogenic skin care products.  Products made without oil won’t clog your pores, which can result in acne.
  • Apply a moisturizer with SPF to your face every day to ensure your skin is sufficiently hydrated.
  • Use water-based makeup products.  Avoid any makeup products that are made using oil.
  • Use blotting papers as needed to absorb oil and prevent it from sitting on your face or clogging your pores.
  • Avoid using any alcohol-based or oil-based cleansers, as they may irritate oily skin.
  • Avoid touching your face too much.  This can spread the oil around and also introduce new bacteria from your hands.
  • Remove your makeup before you go to sleep. Do not go to bed while you still have makeup on your face.

Oily Skin Care FAQs

What is good for oily skin?

Finding the right routine and treatments for oily skin is key.  If you have oily skin, you’ll need to wash your face regularly with a gentle cleanser.  You may also want to consider establishing a consistent exfoliation routine to clear your pores of excess oil and debris.  Some individuals with oily skin have also found success using natural astringent toners to reduce the size of their pores and remove excess debris from the pores to keep them clear.
Another important thing to do when you have oily skin is to always gently pat your skin dry after washing your face.  Using blotting papers throughout the day to remove excess oil can reduce shine and grease.  Keeping oily skin moisturized is also important.  Choose an oil-free moisturizer to protect the skin and keep it hydrated.

What can I use for oily face?

If you have an oily-face, look for non-comedogenic skincare products that won’t clog your pores.  These oil-free products will help prevent excess oil from building up and causing your skin to breakout.

RELATED: Best Non Comedogenic Foundations for Acne Prone Skin

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Taking Care of Your Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, we hope you’ve found some helpful tips to set up a skin care routine that will work for you.  With the right routine and the right skincare products, you’ll be impressed with how much better your oily skin looks and feels!

Check out these related posts on our blog:

By Ellis James

We design luxuriously glamorous bags, organizers and life essentials for you. At Ellis James Designs, it’s all about YOU. Your bag, Your way. Our exclusive designs are timeless, indulgent and most importantly inspired by you. What will be your first Ellis James Design?


  1. Having a good month so far, hope the same goes for you, Pablo!

    It is quite hard to find products for particular skin types, so we’re happy to help narrow things down for anyone!

  2. Hi Ellis, hope you’re having a nice month so far!

    This is such an usuful guideline! I think this kind of skin is one of the most difficult ones! My skin used to be very oily a few years ago (now since I moved and due to the many factors I have normal-combination) but I remember it was really hard to get the right products to stay hydrated but don’t look greasy.

    And there are many people who think that an oily skin doesn’t need hydration, but totally wrong.

    Will share this post with friends 🙂 Really detailed!


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