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Oily skin is a common skin concern. It has some unique challenges, like a shiny complexion and a lot of skin problems.

The good news? These issues can be solved with the right skin care routine and products.

We turned to a couple of skin care experts to help us figure out how to care for an oily complexion. They were asked to give us their top tips for developing a daily skin care routine for oily skin.

The result is a simple four-step routine that you can use in the morning and evening to keep your skin healthy.

Beauty is personal, whether it is a tried and true skin care regimen, how often you wash your hair, or the cosmetics you are curious about.

We rely on a diverse group of writers, educators, and other experts to share their tips on everything from the way product application varies to the best sheet mask for your individual needs.

If you see a shop link to a specific product or brand, it has been thoroughly researched by our team, so it is a recommendation.

Cleanse with an exfoliating cleanser morning and night

Step 1: Cleanse in the a.m. and p.m.

The most important step in skin care is cleansing.

“If your skin tends to be oily, you can likely tolerate more cleansing,” says Sandra Lee, founder of SLMD Skincare known as Dr. Pimple Popper.

It is important for people with oily skin to give their face a complete cleanse in the morning.

Lee says that your skin is busy during the night when it is necessary to remove skin cells and produce oils.

It is recommended to wash with a good cleanser in the morning and evening.

She likes to use a cleanser.

Step 2: Use a toner

Lee suggests you use an Clarifying Clarifying Clarifying Clarifying Clarifying Clarifying Clarifying Clarifying Clarifying Clarifying Clarifying Clarifying Clarifying Clarifying Clarifying Clarifying Clarifying Clarify

  • The acid is called salicylic acid.
  • The acid is called glycolic acid.
  • Lactic acid is present.

Step 3: Treat your skin

This step is dependent on your skin concerns.

In general, if you’re prone to acne, Lee says you should use benzoyl peroxide or sulfur in the daytime to help curb oil production and prevent breakouts.

Lee recommends a product to help keep the skin glowing.

Lee reminds people with oily skin that they may be lucky in the long run.

She says that if you have more oils in your skin, you will be able to ward off wrinkling and fine lines for a bit longer than someone with dry skin.

Step 4: Moisturize in the a.m. and p.m.

If you have oily skin, moisturizing is important.

“Lee says there is a belief that if you have oily skin, you don’t need to use a lot of moisturizers. This is not the truth.”

If you have oily skin, you should be more careful with what kind of moisturizer you use.

Her recommendation? Look for a good product.

  • lightweight
  • free of oils
  • Water-based.

Any product that is formulated for skin that is prone to being prone to being prone to being prone to being prone to being prone to being prone to being prone to being prone to being prone to being prone to being prone to being prone to being prone to being prone to being prone to being prone

two people with oily skin pat dry face during oily skin routine with white towel

Oily skin and blemish go hand in hand.

“Oily skin is due to the size and therefore activity of the oil glands attached to the hair follicles, so to reduce oiliness we need to reduce the size of the oil glands,” explains Natalia Spierings, consultant dermatologist and author of Skintelligent: What you really need to know to get great skin.

If you’ve tried topical solutions like benzoyl peroxide and The acid is called salicylic acid., Spierings suggests an oral medication called isotretinoin (Accutane/Roaccutane).

“Some women also find their oiliness and acne improves when taking the contraceptive pill,” she adds.

Different people have different definitions of the term “natural” when it comes to skin care.

“Many oily skin products are labeled as natural, but they aren’t regulated across the industry.”

If it’s home remedies you’re after, honey may be a good choice for oily skin thanks to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties.

Oatmeal is another store cupboard ingredient that could prove beneficial, as it calms inflamed skin and absorbs excess oil.

“Good news! You don’t have to spend a lot to treat oily skin.”

There are many over-the-counter options that won’t break the bank. If you’re on a budget, look for drugstore products that include effective active ingredients.

Before purchasing, make sure to check the reviews.

“Surprise! If you have a uterus, you can’t take oral contraceptives to target the problem of oily skin in men.”

Experts recommend avoiding certain habits.

Forgetting to blot away excess oil

If your skin seems to shine all day long, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends using blotting papers to control excess oil.

Press the paper against your skin for a few seconds. This will help absorb the oil. As needed, repeat throughout the day.

Skipping skin cleansing after you exercise

In addition to your morning and evening routine, the AAD recommends washing your face after you exercise. This is especially important if you don’t plan on showering soon.

It is advisable to wash your face to remove sweat, oil, and dirt that may build up while you are exercising.

“This doesn’t have to be a lengthy process. You can wash your face with your regular cleanser and apply a light layer of moisturizer.”

The sooner you can do this, the better.

Choosing the wrong products

When it comes to purchasing skin care products, Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, dermatologist and founder of Mudgil Dermatology in New York City, says to choose wisely.

“Avoid any products with alcohol, which can cause a paradoxical increased amount of oil secretion. Also, avoid anything thick or greasy, like cocoa butter, shea butter, and Vaseline,” he says.

Skipping sunscreen

When outdoors, be sure to wear sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30.

Mudgil suggests using sunscreen that contains either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These ingredients can help prevent acne breakouts.

To make things easier, try to wear a daily moisturizer with sunscreen in it so you’ll always be protected.

Some treatments for oily skin, like benzoyl peroxide and The acid is called salicylic acid., can cause irritation. It’s important to use them as instructed.

It is recommended that isotretinoin be taken with the advice of a dermatologist.

We looked for solutions that contained the most effective ingredients to choose the best products.

We consulted the reviews and asked Healthline staff if they had oily skin.

Each product has been vetted by our team for medical and business standards. Learn more here.

Best cleansers for oily skin

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 5 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: Amazonian white clay, The acid is called salicylic acid.

One of the biggest challenges for oily skin types is removing dirt, sputum, and impurities without stripping the skin of hydration.

This deep-cleaning cleanser from Kiehl’s is gentle enough to be used every day. It includes The acid is called salicylic acid., an ingredient that works to unclog pores and can help prevent future breakouts.

The cleanser has a non-stripping formula that offers a gentle exfoliant. It is designed to reveal smooth, healthy looking skin and reduce the appearance of pores.

Many reviewers said the product helped clear up their problems.

PanOxyl Acne Creamy Wash, Benzoyl Peroxide 4%

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 5.5 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: benzoyl peroxide, glycerin,

If you have oily skin, this face wash may be the one for you.

It is gentle enough to use every day and is meant to kill the bacteria that causes the skin irritation.

The wash is designed to both clear acne and prevent new blemishes from forming on the face, chest, and back. It’s also pH balanced and features four humectants and three emollients for added hydration.

If you choose this cleanser, it is a good idea to start slowly and check for signs of irritation.

Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Removing Foam Wash

  • Price: $
  • Size: 8 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: zinc, glycerin

The cleanser from Cetaphil is made with no oil and has no harmful effects. It is designed to remove makeup without drying the skin out.

The wash contains zinc. It is ph balanced, paraben-free, and is also hypoAllergenic so it may be a good choice for people with sensitive skin.

On the downside, this face wash isn’t medicated. It doesn’t contain active acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or The acid is called salicylic acid.. Some oily skin types may prefer a stronger solution that includes these.

Reviewers say this cleanser left their skin hydrated and cleansed.

Best toners for oily skin

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 6.4 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: niacinamide, enisoneda, glycerin

“Paula’s Choice is a favorite among skin care enthusiasts. The Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner is a great way to fight enlarged pores.”

It has a gentle, non-abrasive formula and is made with anti-oxidants, such as chamomile and burdock root extract which soothe sensitivity.

The formula also includes niacinamide, which is known to promote an even skin tone and reduce the appearance of pores.

This lightweight toner contains a hydration boost.

Reviewers say they have experienced less skin problems since using this product.

Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner

  • Price: $
  • Size: 8.5 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: AHAs, BHAs, witch hazel

This is a recommendation that helps fight the bane of oily-skinned people.

Its alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta hydroxy acid (BHA) formula offers gentle exfoliation benefits. It may be a good alternative to harsher face scrubs which may cause the skin to produce excess oil.

It also contains witch hazel which is known to reduce acne breakouts while eliminating oil. As it’s hypoallergenic, it may be a good choice for people who have skin that’s on the sensitive side.

“This is a budget-friendly and drugstore favorite. Some reviewers think the toner has a smoothing effect on the skin, but others think it’s a bit too abrasive.”

Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 8 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: The acid is called glycolic acid., grapefruit extract, aloe, AHAs

Mario Basescu products have a bit of a cult following. This particular toner contains The acid is called glycolic acid. which is an effective ingredient for acne – and it has anti-aging benefits too.

Other key ingredients include a grapefruit extract and a lot of AHAs. The ingredients can help balance the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines.

The gentle exfoliation offered by the toner may help remove excess skin cells that can cause breakouts.

Reviewers say a little goes a long way. Some say it helped clear their skin, others found it drying.

Best moisturizers for oily skin

CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

  • Price: $
  • Size: 1.8 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, glycerin

“It can be difficult to choose a good moisturizer for oily skin. Adding hydration doesn’t make the skin appear shiny.”

“CeraVe’s lightweight lotion may be a good choice. It helps to restore the skin’s protective barrier.”

As well as being oil-free and noncomedogenic—meaning it won’t clog your pores—it’s also formulated with hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and glycerin.

The latter forms a protective layer to prevent the loss of skin hydration and also draws air into the skin to keep it moist.

SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer

  • Price: $$$
  • Size: 2 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, vitamin e

“SkinMedica’s goal is to add hydration to the skin without making it appear greasy.”

It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid which improves the skin’s hydration levels. It also contains vitamin C and vitamin E, both of which can protect the skin from environmental pollution.

Many reviewers found it effective, even though it was on the pricier side. Many people said they liked the formula and noticed a reduction in their skin problems. They said a little goes a long way.

“It doesn’t have SPF.”

Origins Clear Improvement Moisturizer

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 1.7 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: The acid is called salicylic acid., bamboo charcoal

If you have problems with oil-control and/or skin problems, this oil-free moisturizer from Origins may be the one for you.

It contains The acid is called salicylic acid. and witch hazel, both of which may calm and clear acne breakouts. Salicylic acid can also be used to deeply exfoliate the skin

This moisturizer is also formulated with bamboo charcoal, a natural ingredient that clears pores.

Reviewers say it gave the skin a refreshed and hydrated appearance, and it cleared their breakouts.

Some found it too abrasive and said it made their skin feel dry.

Best serums for oily skin

The INKEY List Niacinamide Oil Control Serum

  • Price: $
  • Size: 1 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: niacinamide, hyaluronic acid

People with oily skin are concerned about balancing oil production. The niacinamide oil control serum is formulated to control excess oil.

It is made with 10 percent of a naturally occurring B3 vitamins that targets excess oil. The lightweight serum has 1 percent of hyaluronic acid.

The serum is a great fix for oily and blemish prone skin, as well as being a great target for redness and inflammation. It is affordable too.

Reviewers say it reduces the appearance of enlarged pores and is effective in regulating oil. Some said it took some time to notice any improvements.

Primally Pure Clarifying Serum

  • Price: $$$
  • Size: 1 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: turmeric marula oil, green tea, vitamin C, vitamin E

Those with oily skin can be prone to having scars from their previous fights. If you have scarring, this clarifying serum from Primally Pure may help.

It is made with a variety of ingredients and is rich in vitamins C, E, and K.

The ingredients are organic and the product is free of perfumes.

Some reviewers say that this serum was effective in the fight against hormonal and cystic acne, but not everyone was sold on the scent.

Paula’s Choice Defense Antioxidant Pore Purifier

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 1 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: The acid is called salicylic acid., niacinamide, vitamin C

This lightweight and fast-absorbing serum from Paula’s Choice combines two powerhouse ingredients for oily skin: The acid is called salicylic acid. and niacinamide.

Salicylic acid reduces inflammation and dead skin cells. niacinamide is an ingredient that is used to diminish dullness and even skin tone.

The skin can be protected against stressors with the help of the azelaic acid and vitamins C and E.

The majority of reviewers said the silky texture of the serum helped them manage their skin problems. Some people are not sure if the product shrinks pores.

Best face masks for oily skin

Skinceuticals Clarifying Clay Masque

  • Price: $$$
  • Size: 2 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: hydroxy acids, bentonite clay, aloe

The Skinceuticals clarifying clay masque promises to deep clean and remove makeup, oil, and impurities from your skin.

It is made with hydroxy acids and bentonite clay, which have clarifying effects and absorb excess oil.

The inclusion of both of these ingredients can soothe and calm the skin of people who are prone to it.

The masque has mostly positive reviews. Many reviewers say it leaves skin feeling soft and supple.

It was expensive but worth it, as a little goes a long way.

La Mer Treatment Lotion Hydrating Mask

  • Price: $$$
  • Size: pack of six
  • Key ingredients: squalane, algae extract

If you want to give your skin a bit of extra care, then look no further than La Mer. Premium ingredients are used in their products.

squalane is known to improve skin texture and is found in this hydrating mask. It is said to improve the appearance of fine lines.

The mask is made with a humectant that gives skin a hydration boost by drawing water from the air.

Some reviewers say that the mask is worth it for the results. Some say it left their skin hydrated and glowing, while others say it caused redness and irritation.

Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask

  • Price: $
  • Size: 1.7 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: The acid is called glycolic acid., honey, pumpkin oil

This mask from Andalou Naturals is formulated with The acid is called glycolic acid. which has an exfoliating effect and is used to peel off dead skin cells.

It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, and is made with honey.

This mask is made with pumpkin oils which give it a luxurious scent.

This mask may be too potent for sensitive skin and may cause a burning sensation when first applied.

The reviews are mostly positive. Reviewers said their skin looked better after the first use.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 3.4 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: activated charcoal

The mask is designed to deeply cleanse the skin, improve the texture, and make the skin appear more smooth.

It is made with oil-absorbing clay and 1% bamboo charcoal and draws out oil and dirt from the inside.

Reviewers say it helped to clear their skin problems, reveal a healthier looking skin, and improve their complexion.

“Not everyone was sold on the results. Some people said they didn’t see any differences.”

If you have sensitive skin, this may be the best option.

Best exfoliant for oily skin

Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 4 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: The acid is called salicylic acid., green tea

This liquid exfoliant is absorbed into the skin in a matter of minutes. It has a lightweight formula that is gentle on the skin.

The exfoliant contains The acid is called salicylic acid. which effectively unclogs pores, targets blemishes, and sloughs off dead skin cells.

The product claims to improve the complexion and smooth the skin.

It is an effective spot treatment and helped to prevent the formation of new breakouts according to many reviewers.

It should only be used once or twice a week to avoid irritation, according to some.

Best natural products for oily skin

100% Pure Fermented Rice Water Toner

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 4 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: shiitake mushroom, bearberry, sake, glycerin

This rice water toner is vegan, certified organic, and made with plant-based ingredients.

This product also contains niacinamide which can be used to treat hyperpigmentation and discoloration, so it may improve the appearance of acne scarring too. It contains hyaluronic acid, known for its hydrating benefits, and glycerin, a humectant.

It is formulated to give the skin a smooth, even appearance. Reviewers say that their skin is softer and clearer after using this product.

Versed Sunday Morning Antioxidant Oil-Serum

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 1 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: sea buckthorn extract, camellia oil, vitamin E

The oil-serum hybrid is packed with anti-oxidants that balance the skin. It contains sea buckthorn extract and camellia oil, which are both good for the skin.

Meanwhile, jojoba adds moisture and is noncomedogenic so it won’t clog your pores.

Reviewers found this product to be hydrating, lightweight, and non-greasy, and some said it improved their skin look within a few weeks.

Some say the consistency is too watery.

The oil is vegan and cruelty-free.

Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen SPF 30

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 3 fl oz.
  • Key ingredients: non-nano zinc oxide

Sun damage is an important part of your routine, regardless of your skin type.

The sunscreen from Raw Elements is vegan and cruelty-free.

The active ingredient is non-nano zinc oxide, which provides a natural shield against UV rays.

“The lotion is water resistant for up to 80 minutes and protects against the sun’s harmful rays.”

It has mostly positive reviews. Many users love the scent. It took too long to get used to, but some found it too heavy.

Oily skin and bad skin can make you feel bad.

“If you have tried over-the-counter products and they don’t work, it’s time to see a doctor.”

Spierings says that excessive oiliness to one person may be acceptable to another person.

If you have oily skin, it is okay to seek the help of a professional.

Can oily skin types only use oil-free products?

“Spierings says you aren’t limited to products labeled oil-free for two reasons.”

“She says that what you put on your skin doesn’t affect how the oil glands work.”

She says that all of the creams that are used for skin care have some sort of oil in them to give them a cream consistency.

Are grainy face scrubs okay to use on oily skin – or will they cause breakouts?

It is a good idea to avoid face scrubs that are too coarse. Products that contain AHAs and BHAs are good alternatives.

How can oily skin types manage enlarged pores?

Many products claim to shrink your pores or minimize your appearance.

Spierings says the only way to reduce the size of your pores is to reduce the amount of oil produced.

She says that the only thing that does that is a medicine.

Does washing your face more help or hinder oily skin?

“Spierings says that it doesn’t make a difference.”

She says that your skin produces oil at a constant rate regardless of how often you cleanse it or if you dry it out.

Can makeup block the pores and make oily skin worse?

You may have heard that makeup makes your skin worse.

Good news! Spierings says there is no truth to this claim.

If you have oily skin, you should follow a daily skin care regimen.

A daily skin care routine includes cleansing, hydrating, and treating your skin.

Choosing the right products, wearing sunscreen, blotting papers, and washing your face after exercising can help keep your skin clear and healthy.

Victoria Stokes is a writer from the United Kingdom. When she’s not writing about her favorite topics, personal development, and well-being, she usually has her nose stuck in a good book. Victoria lists coffee, cocktails, and the color pink among some of her favorite things. Find her on Instagram.