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Skincare routine for oily skin
Oily Skin

Skincare routine for oily skin

August 31st, 2021 | by

How to nail your skincare routine if you have oily skin

We know that managing oily skin can be an insurmountable hurdle. While heavy products cause greasiness, products which are too lightweight fail to provide the right amount of hydration. To top it, the barrage of products promising to mattify, cleanse, purify and clear out your complexion further adds to your confusion. 

Oily skin presents a unique set of challenges – shiny complexion, acne breakouts, greasy forehead, blackheads and open pores. To combat such a complex set, you need a truly powerful skincare routine. 

But first, it’s crucial to know a little about the factors that cause your skin to be oily.

What causes your skin to be oily?

According to Dr Paul Ellis, Research and Development Director for Walgreens Boots Alliance, genetics play an important role. Some skins tend to be more oily while others are more prone to dryness. Excess production of sebum can make your face look shiny while reactions with UV, pollution and certain cosmetics can cause blocked pores and further exacerbate oily-looking skin. Harsh cleansing, poor sleep quality and certain aspects of your diet can also aggravate oiliness.

While it’s no cakewalk to manage oily skin, the right skincare routine can work wonders in easing the hurdle. After much research, we’ve put together a skincare routine that is sure to reveal healthier, glowing skin if religiously followed.

Step 1: Cleansing in the morning and the evening

It is imperative to cleanse your face at least twice a day with a gentle exfoliating cleanser to remove any impurities or excess oil. If you have acne-prone skin, cleansing it thrice will prevent your skin from producing excess sebum.

Dirt and bacteria lingering on your skin can drastically shoot up the chances of having a breakout. It is also wise to steer clear of harsh soaps and reach for a gentle face wash that doesn’t strip your skin of too much oil.

Not all oily skin is prone to acne, so choose your cleansing routine accordingly.

A cleanser containing salicylic acid is a great choice since it clears up excess oil and dead skin cells to prevent buildup in the pores.

Step 2: Use a toner

Using a toner helps ensure that your skin is thoroughly cleansed as it picks up any dirt that your cleanser may have left behind. It also balances the PH levels of your skin, reduces the appearance of large pores and gives a smooth, even texture to your skin. It’s ideal to reach out for a non-drying formula if you have oily skin. Some key ingredients you should look out for in a good toner for oily skin are glycolic acid, salicylic acid and lactic acid.

Step 3: Treat your skin

How you treat your skin depends on your specific skin concern but if you’re prone to acne, using benzoyl peroxide or sulphur during the day can help curb oiliness and prevent acne, according to Dr Sandra Lee, founder of SLMD Skincare.

She also recommends using a retinol product to help clear your pores and make your skin glow. Retinol is the holy grail of skincare that lets you age gracefully and prevents premature ageing. When incorporating retinol in your skincare routine, it is best to start with a product with a lower percentage of retinol and use it twice a week at night before sleeping. Once your skin gets used to it, you can increase the frequency. 

Step 4: Use an oil-free moisturizer in the morning and evening

Contrary to popular belief, oily skin DOES need to be moisturized because when you deprive your skin of moisture, it produces excess oil to compensate for the loss. However, having oily skin also needs you to be a little more mindful while choosing your moisturizer. One that is oil-free, water-based, lightweight, non-comedogenic and leaves a matte finish, is usually the best bet. Any moisturizer formulated for acne-prone skin works well too. 

Step 5: Apply eye cream

The skin around your eyes is delicate and thinner than the skin on the rest of your face, which makes it more vulnerable to damage. Using a lightweight eye cream can go a long way in protecting the skin under your eyes while keeping it soft and hydrated.

Step 6: Use a broad-spectrum SPF

While oily skin can make you wary of layering on too many skincare products, skipping sunscreen is the skincare sin you don’t want to be committing. Using sunscreen every day as the final step of your routine, before putting on makeup or heading outdoors, can save you from years of skin damage. Not only will it protect your skin from harmful UV rays that can prematurely age your skin, but also prevent pigmentation and keep your skin even-toned. Reach for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an ultra-light, matte finish.

Step 7: Use a clay mask twice a week

If you want to deep clean your pores, adding a clay mask into your routine one or two times a week can be a gamechanger. Formulas that best suit oily skin are ones formulated with kaolin or bentonite clays as they help absorb excess oil and mattify the appearance of the skin. 

A few extra steps to manage oily skin

Once you have latched on to a skincare routine that works well for your skin, there are some less frequent steps you can incorporate to attain oil-free skin.

Use blotting papers

According to the American Academy Of Dermatology, blotting papers can be an excellent skincare addition if your skin produces excess oil and shine. To absorb the oil, gently press the paper onto your skin. Repeat throughout the day as required.

Cleansing your face after exercising

Cleansing your face right after a workout can help prevent sweat, oil and dirt from clogging your pores. Merely using a gentle cleanser followed by a lightweight moisturizer should be enough. 

Be extra careful while choosing products

There are certain types of products you should completely steer clear of when you have oily skin. Avoid comedogenic products that clog your pores, alcohol-based products that lead to excess oil production and thick, greasy products like shea butter, cocoa butter and vaseline.


Supriya Jain