The Best Skincare Routine for Oily Skin: Love Your Beautiful Skin!

Written by: Anne Hartley


It's true - having oily skin can seem like a real challenge. You spend your day feeling self-conscious about your shiny and even greasy complexion -  and nothing seems to work! What if we told you there was an easy way to keep your skin clear and beautiful all day long? With the best skincare routine for oily skin, it is possible!

Imagine waking up each morning feeling confident about your complexion because you have a highly effective skincare routine. Picture stepping out into the world without worrying about excess shine or breakouts.

We've all been there - confused by product choices, unsure which steps are necessary for your needs...but don’t worry! We’re here to guide you through understanding your oily skin better and establishing a skincare regimen tailored just for you.

You'll uncover crucial steps from cleansing to sun protection. Weekly additions such as masks and serums are especially beneficial for oily skin types. And don't forget about lifestyle changes – they can play a big role too!

Understanding Oily Skin

Oily skin is more than just a shiny face in the mirror.  The root cause behind oily skin is the Sebaceous glands secreting excess sebum. But why does this happen? There are several reasons, including hormonal fluctuations and genetics.

Research shows hormones play an integral role here. For instance, increased levels of androgens can stimulate excess oil production. You can read more about your hormones' impact on skin health here.

In terms of genetics, if oily skin runs in your family tree, you'll likely get it, too. It's the same as inheriting curly hair or blue eyes from your parents; you also inherit their skin type. This genetic link has been explored in numerous studies.

Difference between Oily and Other Skin Types

Let’s compare apples with oranges—or rather—oily skin with other types: normal, dry, and combination skin.

The primary difference lies in how our sebaceous glands behave. With normal skin—the Goldilocks zone of skincare—they do what they should be: producing enough oil to keep the skin healthy but not so much that we shine brighter than Christmas lights.

Dry-skinned individuals might yearn for some shine, though. They have underactive sebaceous glands that result in flaky patches on the surface because there isn’t enough natural lubrication underneath.

Combination skin is the diva of skin types, wanting to have it all. You’ll see oily spots generally in the T-zone (the forehead, nose, and chin), while other areas remain dry or normal.

Understanding these differences helps us make better choices when picking skincare products designed for each type.

Key Takeaways:

Oily skin is caused by overactive sebaceous glands, which can result from hormonal fluctuations and genetics. Oily skin differs from other types (normal, dry, or combination) due to the activity of the sebaceous glands, which produce different sebum levels. Knowing the differences between each skin type helps choose better skincare products.

Essential Skincare Steps for Oily Skin

In searching for the best skincare routine for oily skin, remember that it's not just about reducing oil - but balancing it. Here are five key steps to help achieve the desired balance for your oily skin.


The first step in your skincare routine should be using a facial cleanser. Be aware, though, that over-cleansing can be more detrimental than beneficial. Choose a gentle face wash or gel cleanser designed specifically for oily skin. These products cleanse without stripping away natural oils or causing irritation. If you experience frequent breakouts, using a cleanser with salicylic acid can be an effective acne treatment.

Avoid using hot water as it tends to dry out your skin, producing even more oil to compensate. So stick with lukewarm water instead and always pat (don’t rub.) your face dry after cleansing.


To keep pores clean and reduce their appearance, exfoliation is key. Utilizing an exfoliant assists in eliminating old cells from the skin's outer layer, enabling other skincare items to be more readily absorbed and function better. A purifying charcoal mask makes a great choice for oily and acne-prone skin - as it nourishes the skin and contains salicylic and glycolic acid to help with cell turnover.

Note, though: limit this practice to once or twice a week; too much can lead to redness and sensitivity - we don't want that.


Moving on, toners are not to be overlooked. They help restore the skin's pH balance after cleansing and exfoliating and have astringent properties that can tighten pores, control oil production, and keep your skin looking fresh. Apply toner with a cotton pad and let it air dry before moving on to the next step.


While it may seem counterintuitive, moisturizing is essential for women with an oily complexion. When oily skin is not properly moisturized, it can produce more oil, causing increased shine and potential breakouts. However, not all moisturizers are created equal. Choosing a non-comedogenic moisturizer like this Moisture Therapy Cream ensures that your pores won't be clogged.

Look for key beneficial ingredients for oily skin that provide the necessary hydration without exacerbating oil production or causing breakouts. Ingredients like aloe vera hydrate the skin without making it greasy. Jojoba Oil resembles the skin's natural sebum, making it an excellent moisturizer as it helps regulate oil production by tricking the skin into producing less sebum. 

And don't forget about hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in our skin. It can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, delivering deep hydration without making the skin oily.


While sunscreen is crucial for everyone's skin, it plays a unique and vital role for those with oily skin. Long-term exposure to the sun can damage the skin's protective barrier and trigger increased oil production. By incorporating a daily sunscreen into your skincare routine, you protect your skin from premature aging and potential harm and help regulate excess oil.

For oily skin types, choosing oil-free, matte-finish, or non-comedogenic sunscreens can provide the necessary protection without adding shine or clogging pores. Read more about the importance of using sunscreen daily.

Key Takeaways:

Use a gentle face wash specifically designed for oily skin - lukewarm water should be used instead of hot water.

Exfoliation helps keep pores clean and reduces their appearance; charcoal masks are great for oily and acne-prone skin types. Toning helps restore skin pH balance after cleansing and exfoliating.

Moisturizing is necessary to prevent overproduction of oil that can lead to more shine and breakouts; opt for non-comedogenic moisturizers with beneficial skincare ingredients like aloe vera, jojoba oil, and hyaluronic acid.

Sunscreen is essential for everyone, but even more so with oily skin types; look for an option that protects without adding shine.

Weekly Skincare Additions for Oily Skin

Now that you've mastered the basics of daily skincare let's explore some weekly additions to help manage oily skin even more effectively. These steps include using face masks and serums specifically designed for oily skin.

Face Masks: A Weekly Detox

Face masks are a spa-like treatment that can be a fun and effective part of your weekly routine. They work like supercharged cleansers, reaching deep into pores to extract excess oil and impurities.

A clay mask is an excellent choice because it helps absorb oil while gently exfoliating dead skin cells. Look for ingredients like kaolin or bentonite - natural clays known for their absorbing properties. Another great ingredient is activated charcoal; this acts like a magnet pulling dirt from your pores.

Serums: Concentrated Nourishment

If you thought moisturizers were enough hydration for oily skin types, meet serums. They are lightweight solutions packed with high concentrations of active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or niacinamide that hydrate without making your face greasy.

Niacinamide helps regulate sebum production, which reduces shine over time. Hyaluronic Acid locks in moisture but doesn't leave any residue behind - perfect if you want to avoid adding extra oils onto your already-oily complexion.

Key Takeaways:

Supercharge your oily skin care routine with weekly treatments like face masks and serums. Clay masks draw out excess oil and impurities deep from your pores. Serums provide concentrated nourishment without making the skin greasy - look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid or niacinamide that hydrate while controlling shine.

Lifestyle and Dietary Tips to Manage Oily Skin

What you eat can greatly impact your skin's oil production. Certain foods are known to trigger sebum (oil) production, while others can help keep it under control. One study in the National Library of Medicine found that diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates may stimulate more oil production.

This is because these foods cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, which triggers insulin release - and insulin stimulates oil-producing glands. So consider cutting back on sugary drinks, candy, pastries, and white bread if you're battling oily skin.

In contrast, certain nutrients like vitamins A and E can help regulate sebum production. Foods rich in these vitamins include sweet potatoes, carrots (vitamin A), almonds, and sunflower seeds (vitamin E). Zinc also plays a role; good sources are seafood like oysters or crab meat.

The Impact of Hydration

Maintaining overall skin health is crucial, and staying well-hydrated by drinking water consistently plays a vital role. This is particularly important for individuals with oily skin. When the body lacks proper hydration, it can stimulate the skin to produce more oil as a defense mechanism, making oily skin even worse. By drinking enough water, you can keep your skin hydrated from the inside, potentially helping to regulate and balance the natural oil production of your skin.

Additionally, water aids in eliminating toxins from the body, contributing to a clearer complexion. For those with oily skin, ensuring proper internal hydration is key to attaining a more balanced, radiant, and less greasy complexion.

Avoiding Stress Triggers

Besides diet changes, lifestyle adjustments could reduce excess shine, too. For example, stress management may help to manage oily skin since stress hormones prompt the body to produce more oil. The link between stress and skin health is well-documented, including in a study published in Inflammation & Allergy Drug Targets. Techniques like yoga, meditation or simply taking time out to relax could help manage oily skin.

Common Mistakes to Avoid for Oily Skin

While oily skin can be challenging to manage, it's important to be aware of certain habits that worsen the situation. Here are common oily skin mistakes you should avoid.

Over-Washing Your Face

Cleansing too often or using harsh products strips your face of its natural oils. This causes your skin to produce more oil in response. Stick with washing twice daily and after excessive sweating with a gentle cleanser suitable for oily skin.

Using Alcohol-Based Products

Likewise, alcohol-based skincare items may give an instant matte finish, but they can dehydrate your skin, prompting it to compensate by producing extra oil. Instead, opt for water-based products that hydrate without making your face greasy.

Avoiding Moisturizer

You might think skipping moisturizers helps control shine, right? Wrong. Hydrating is crucial even with oily skin - because lack of moisture prompts excess sebum production. Go for oil-free moisturizers designed specifically for oily complexions.

Picking at Pimples

We get it – zits are annoying. But popping them spreads bacteria and triggers inflammation, leading to scars and potentially more pimples later.

Relying Only on Makeup For Oil Control

Sure, blotting papers and mattifying primers help manage mid-day shine momentarily; however, relying solely on them won't address the root cause of the issue. Incorporate products that balance oil production into your skincare routine for long-term results.

Not Using Sunscreen

Many women with oily skin skip sunscreen, fearing it'll make their skin greasy. Sun damage can lead to many skin issues, including excess oiliness. The key is choosing sunscreens formulated for oily skin, usually lightweight and non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).

Key Takeaways:

Managing oily skin is more than just the basics. You should avoid over-washing and using harsh products because they strip your skin of its natural oils, which can lead to more oil production. Instead of alcohol-based items, use water-based ones to prevent dehydration-induced excess oiliness. And don't skip on moisturizers or sunscreen - make sure you're picking out formulas suitable for oily complexions instead. It's also important not to pop pimples and remember not to rely solely on makeup for a clear complexion.

Oil Skin FAQs

Why is it necessary to have a skincare routine specifically for oily skin?

Oily skin has unique needs and challenges. A tailored skincare routine helps manage excessive oil production, reduce acne breakouts, and maintain a balanced complexion.

Can oily skin be a result of genetics?

Yes, genetics can play a role. If your parents had oily skin, you're more likely to have it too. Other factors like diet, hormonal changes, and climate can also influence oil production.

Should people with oily skin moisturize?

Absolutely! Oily skin still needs hydration. Opt for lightweight, oil-free, or non-comedogenic moisturizers to keep the skin hydrated without making it greasy.

How often should someone with oily skin cleanse their face?

Twice daily – in the morning and evening. Over-cleansing can strip the skin of its natural oils, causing it to produce even more oil 

Are there foods that can make skin oily?

Some studies suggest excessive dairy, sugary, and processed foods can trigger more oil production and acne. However, individual reactions may vary.

Can oily skin benefit from exfoliation?

Yes, exfoliation can help unclog pores and remove excess oil. However, it's essential not to over-exfoliate, as this can irritate the skin.

Are there any natural remedies for managing oily skin?

Natural ingredients like aloe vera, witch hazel, and clay masks can help absorb excess oil and soothe oily skin. However, testing any new product or ingredient on a small skin patch is crucial.

How does sun protection factor into an oily skin routine?

Sun protection is essential for all skin types. For oily skin, look for sunscreens labeled "oil-free" or "non-comedogenic" to prevent clogged pores.

How can I distinguish between oily skin and combination skin?

Oily skin is characterized by excessive oil all over the face. In contrast, combination skin has oil mostly in the 'T-zone' (forehead, nose, and chin) while other parts may be normal or dry.

Can makeup worsen oily skin conditions?

Not necessarily, but it's essential to choose the right products. Look for makeup labeled "oil-free," "non-comedogenic," or "matte finish." Always remove makeup before bedtime to prevent clogged pores.


Understanding the ins and outs of oily skin is no small feat, but you can do it. Recognizing what triggers your oil production and how different products can help manage it – that's huge!

Adopting the best skincare routine for oily skin with daily steps like cleansing, exfoliating, toning, moisturizing, and sun protection - all tailored to control shine while nurturing your complexion.

Incorporating weekly treats such as face masks or serums designed specifically for excess sebum? That's just icing on the cake!

We're talking holistic care and making smart lifestyle changes, from dietary tweaks to better habits! But remember: avoid those common mistakes like over-washing or using alcohol-based products. They might seem helpful initially but could do more harm than good.

You’ve got this down pat now. Embrace your unique glow because radiant, healthy-looking skin isn't an impossible dream anymore - it’s within reach!