Oily Skin: 7 BEST Skincare Tips

Anyone with oily or combination skin knows the daily struggle: that relentless shine, the feeling of grease, and the makeup that just won't stay put. I can definitely relate - my skin is seriously oily, so my complaints come from personal experience! But what if I told you that managing oily skin doesn't have to be a battle against your own complexion? 

Understanding your skin type is the first critical step to embracing it with the right care routine. Let's dive into the world of oily and combination skin, where more is not always better, and learn how to make your skin feel as radiant as you deserve.

Understanding Oily and Combination Skin

When it comes to oily skin, it's all about the shine - but not the good kind. 

When you have oily skin, there's almost like a 'film' feeling of oil on your skin on your entire face often leaving a glossy finish that can feel heavy and uncomfortable. If you happen to touch your face, you can feel the natural oils on your fingertip. 

Combination skin, on the other hand, likes to mix things up: oiliness in the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) while other areas may remain dry or normal. This can be trickier to manage, as not all products for oily skin will be alright for combination skin. 

Aside from looking visibly shiny, here's how to know if you have oily skin:

  • Enlarged, stubborn pores: These are most noticeable in areas where oil is predominant.
  • Makeup that slides off: The excess oil can break down makeup, making it difficult to stay put throughout the day.
  • Fewer visible wrinkles: A small silver lining! The oil helps keep the skin plump, which may reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Recognising these signs is the first step in crafting a skincare routine that truly works for you, rather than against you.

What Causes Oily Skin?

Mostly, oily skin is a gift from our genes, but it's not just about DNA. How we treat our skin can exacerbate oiliness. Overwashing, using harsh cleansers, and skipping moisturizers can strip the skin of its natural oils. This triggers our skin to produce even more oil as a defence mechanism - the very situation we're trying to avoid!

Understanding the balance between removing excess oil and maintaining necessary moisture is key. It's not about getting rid of oil completely but managing its production to enhance your skin's natural health. 

Expert Skincare Tips for Oily Skin

Managing oily skin is more about striking a balance than total elimination of oil. The ultimate goal? To make your skin feel and look healthy, not just oil-free. These tips aren't magic-they won't stop your skin from producing oil altogether, but the goal is that they will help you manage the appearance of oil and other related issues like visible pores.

These are tips that I've relied on to help manage my skin, balancing the oiliness and keeping my skin healthy at the same time!

  1. Do Not Overwash Your Face

Washing your face too frequently can actually do more harm than good; if you've been washing your skin every time it feels oily (3+ times a day) it's time to stop! Overwashing strips your skin it's natural sebum, and doing so makes your skin feel super dry and tight - if your skin feels like this, it's a sign that you need to make some adjustments.

This discomfort is a sign of a damaged moisture barrier, which, ironically, can cause your skin to produce even more oil to compensate. If you're wondering, "why is my skin so oily all of a sudden?" this might be the cause!

Stick to washing your face once in the morning and once at night before bed. If your skin is oily and sensitive, it's okay to just rinse with water in the morning, however, it's still important to properly cleanse your skin at night (more on that point in the next tip)!

One of the best cleansers for oily skin, according to our MediSpa team, is the Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel. It gently foams, removing excess lingering oils while making sure your skin never feels dry or tight. 

Some other contenders for the top face wash for oily skin include the Juvena Clarifying Cleansing Foam and Mesoestetic Clarifying Mousse - they both have light, foamy textures that leave skin feeling fresh and ready for the rest of your skincare routine!

  1. Double Cleanse in the Evening

I know what you're thinking - didn't you JUST tell me to cleanse my skin twice a day? 

Yes, and this counts as your night time cleanse. The 'double' part refers to the process inwhich you remove makeup with 1 cleanser, then go in with a 2nd cleanser to remove any lingering grime.

Start with an oil-based cleanser to dissolve makeup and cleanse away excess sebum from your pores. Cleansing away these excess oils from within pores temporarily reduces their appearance, and leaves your skin feeling matte - but not stripped - for longer. 

A staff favourite for double-cleansing is Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse. This gentle, makeup-removing formula is ideal for all skin types for nightly use. 

Follow this with a water-based cleanser to remove any residual impurities and leave your skin clean and soft. Other than the Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel (mentioned in the first point) another spa-quality, highly recommended cleanser is the asap Gentle Cleansing Gel

  1. Incorporate Salicylic Acid into Your Routine

Salicylic acid is a true hero for oily skin. It’s one of the few exfoliating acids that can dissolve excess oils and help reduce their appearance on your face. I've gone on and on at length about how good Salicylic acid (and BHAs in general) are for oily and acne-prone skin, so it shouldn't be a surprise they're mentioned here!

Adding a product with salicylic acid, such as a cleanser or toner, into your skincare routine can help keep your skin looking matte and reduce the visibility of pores. Remember, the key is consistent use, not quantity. I don't personally recommend using it every single day - this can lead to over-exfoliation and peeling skin. 

Once a week is a great place to start, increasing frequency as your skin tolerates it. I'd suggest three times a week as the sweet spot to help oily skin. If you are looking for the best toner for oily skin, Medik8 Press & Clear is one to try. 

This salicylic acid toner is formulated with 2% of this active ingredient to maximise the benefits for your skin. Use after cleansing a few times a week to reduce the look of oily skin.

Or, if a cleanser is the option you prefer, the Murad Clarifying Cream Cleanser has a lower percentage of salicylic acid at just 0.5% to help mattify skin. This cleanser is ideal for those with oily PLUS sensitive skin. It combines the skin-mattifying abilities of salicylic acid in a gentle formula!

  1. Exfoliate Regularly

Ok, so this point has some overlap with the prior - but it's worth talking about a bit more on its own. Exfoliating consistently helps to remove lingering dead skin cells. This improves skin texture and reduces chances of breakouts caused by excess oils and dead skin cells becoming trapped in pores. 

A salicylic acid product, like the ones mentioned above, can fill this role in your skincare routine. However, if you aren't keen on chemical exfoliators, facial scrubs are another great option for getting consistent exfoliation. Medik8 Pore Refining Scrub uses a combination of natural Jojoba exfoliating granules and Kaolin to smooth and exfoliate skin.

Another favourite facial scrub that uses natural exfoliating particles is Murad Skin Smoothing Polish. This gentle physical scrub helps to sweep away dead skin cells to reveal refined, exfoliated skin.

  1. Apply Makeup on Freshly Cleansed Skin

If you wear makeup, you know the struggle of making it stay put on oily skin. To improve your makeup’s longevity, always apply it on freshly cleansed and prepped. 

It's an essential part of skin prep to make sure your makeup lasts properly; applying over existing oils means that it won't last as long, and your makeup will already have to work hard to mattify. 

Do your usual skincare routine before applying any makeup, taking care to use a primer before going in with any complexion products. Primers help to make your makeup last longer and some have mattifying properties, too! INIKA Organic Matte Perfection Primer is one that our team swears by for keeping makeup in place, all day long. 

  1. Use Clay Masks Weekly

Clay masks have to be the number one most recommended product for oily skin - and for good reason! Incorporating clay masks into your weekly skincare routine can significantly benefit oily skin. Clay is excellent at absorbing excess oil and can help maintain clearer skin. 

Clay masks are the perfect weekly treatment to help manage the appearance of pores and oiliness on skin. Kaolin clay is the most common ingredient in these masks, and it has a unique ability to absorb excess oils and purify skin. 

This leads to that instantly mattifying and pore-shrinking effect. One of our best-sellers is the Declare Anti-Oil Mask - it's a staple for helping to manage excess oils!

Some clay masks are also formulated to target breakouts and acne, and can include ingredients such as sulfur. If you need a mask that has this breakout-clearing boost, Murad Rapid Relief Sulfur Mask is one to go for. 

  1. Never Skip Moisturiser

It’s a common myth that oily skin doesn’t need moisturiser. In fact, every skin type needs hydration to function properly. For daytime, opt for a mattifying moisturiser that hydrates without adding a greasy feel. 

One of our favourite moisturisers for oily skin is Grown Alchemist Matte Balancing Moisturiser. This clean beauty product helps to balance shine while delivering the right amount of hydration for your skin's needs. 

Or, if you want a completely oil-free option, Declare Hydro Balance Hydroforce Extra Mat might be what you're looking for - it's packed with hydrating ingredients in a lightweight formula. This moisturiser for oily skin also helps to keep skin matte for longer, all day long!

Getting Rid of Oily Skin: Key Points

Taking care of oily skin is all about understanding its needs and responding with a balanced approach. Those of us with this skin type don't need to strip away the oil, but instead carefully manage hydration while still 

By following these tips, you can help your skin feel more comfortable and look its best. Remember, the key is consistency and moderation. Now, try out these strategies and find which combination works best for your unique skin!

Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne is a passionate beauty writer with over 10 years of experience. She’s incredibly keen on all things skincare, makeup and cosmetics, with a fingertip on the pulse of the latest global beauty trends at all times.

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