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The Best Skincare Routine (and Products) for Oily Skin

Is your skin perpetually trying to out-shine the powders and blotting papers that you use to, well, attempt to make it a bit less shiny? You likely have oily skin.

Longing lustfully (or perhaps even desperately) to transform your skin from oily, slick, and shiny to glowy and radiant? When it comes to skin, there’s a significant difference between oily and dewy — and we prefer the latter. The trick? It’s all in the skincare that you’re using. Read on to learn about the best products for oily skin and large pores, and the ideal skincare routine for those with oily skin to follow.

What to know, generally? Certain ingredients, such as glycolic acid and small measures of salicylic acid, can be helpful for drying things out a bit. Retinol can also be a super ingredient for those with oily skin, as it increases cellular turnover and can help to unclog pores. It’ll also help to keep blemishes from forming on your precious visage because it clears your pores.

It’s also important that you stray from using products that contain a lot of oil, which can cause buildup, and it’s essential that you moisturize. Be sure to also stay away from anything that’s heavy and pore-clogging, including vegetable oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, petroleum jelly, and shea butters. Your best bet is to choose products that are super clean and free of fillers and unnecessary synthetics and additives, as all of these can work against you by clogging your pores.

Now, a step-by-step skincare routine procedure for those who are looking to beautify their oily skin:

Step one: cleanse!

Cleansing twice daily is essential for everyone, and it’s absolutely crucial for those who have oily skin. Put simply, if you don’t cleanse, your pores will get clogged. Choose a simple, lightweight cleanser, like our Transparent Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser or the Clarifying Cleanser by Tata Harper, which is designed to balance excess oil. Wash, rinse, repeat. You may even want to double cleanse. Cleanliness is next to godliness, they say, and we happen to agree.

Step two: exfoliate.

The next step? Because your pores tend to clog, you’ll want to be sure to exfoliate your face. This will remove dirt and grime and act to gently “polish” your visage. It’ll smooth things out and can help to remove some of the shininess that you struggle with. A great pick? The Polishing Facial Exfoliant by Grown Alchemist. Made with ingredients including pink grapefruit and Glucomannan Extract, it’s ideal for all skin types — so you can share it with your friends at Spa Night.

Step three: tone.

A good toner is a great product for people with all skin types to invest in, and it’s especially crucial for those with oily skin as it tightens pores and can reduce shine. Try Hydrabio Essence Lotion from Bioderma. It’s formulated to help balance the skin, remove dead skin cells, and hydrate, all of which will help to combat excess oil.

Step four: target certain areas.

If your oily skin is causing you to break out, target blemishes with an acne-fighting product. A lot of these contain retinol, which, as we mentioned, can be a face-saver when it comes to renewing skin cells and fighting acne and blemishes.

Step five: moisturize.

You may be thinking, “my skin is oily — shouldn’t I skip the moisturizer?” In a word, NO! Not moisturizing your skin will cause your pores to, essentially, freak out and produce even more oil to compensate for the lack of moisture. Stick to a super-clean, gentle, and lightweight face moisturizer, like our Clean Daily Face Moisturizer.

Step six: protect.

Use a good SPF to keep your skin matte, protected from harmful UV rays, and in it for the long game. Try the Smooth + Poreless 100% Mineral Matte Screen by Supergoop, which is mattifying and will provide your skin with a bit of natural-looking, sun-kissed color — sans excess shine.

And, in between:

Mask it!

In two ways. A good, clean face mask can work wonders for oily skin. They can assist by literally drying things out, removing excess oil, purifying your skin, and even shrinking your pores. The Clear Deep Cleansing Mask from Cosmedix will help to remove excess dirt and grime from your pores. If you have oily skin, this can be super helpful as it’ll help to prevent blemishes from forming. Treat yourself to a post-work evening of self-care a few times a week! You deserve it.

Matte it.

A good powder can go a long way when it comes to preventing shine. Try the infamous Un-Powder by RMS Beauty. It creates an almost invisible finish, while simultaneously working hard to minimize the appearance of pores, and naturally stimulates the skin’s ability to absorb oil. The finished look? Glowy, not oily.

Also, make sure to clean up your diet! Take a good fish oil supplement, drink lots of water, and make sure that you’re eating tons of greens. Stay away from the obvious no’s — things like sugar and saturated fats will only work against you and your skin.

Excess oil, shine, and blemishes, be gone! Say hello to a fresher faced version of yourself.

Next Up: What Are Parabens and Are They Really That Bad for You?