How to Take Care of Oily Skin

Praise Oladoyin and Aderonke Adelegan

Oily skin is skin that has larger oil glands and a high sebum content. This is genetic. Oily-skinned women have built-in oil, so the goal is to lessen the oil activity by keeping your skin cells lightly hydrated.

Daily (Morning):

Cleansing Gel: In the case of oily skin, oil breeds bacteria, and bacteria leads to breakouts. Wash your skin three times a day if possible. The more oil, the more breeding ground for blemishes. Using a gel or foam cleanser that’s sulfate-free is recommended. You want agents that will cut the oil but you don’t want to dry your skin out with too many detergents.
Toner: Look for an alcohol-free toner that has ingredients like sodium PCA (a humectant to hold water to your skin), geranium(an essential oil good for cutting oil), and witch hazel (a natural ingredient with an astringent effect without the drying effects of alcohol).
Oil-Free Moisturizer: Lest you think your skin’s oil production warrants skipping moisturizer, know this: Your skin can actually get oilier when it’s dehydrated, by overcompensating. With this in mind, choose a light, oil-free moisturizer with sodium PCA and glycerin in the ingredient list—they’re humectants that will help your skin retain moisture.
Zinc Oxide Sunscreen: Oily-skinned ladies are the least likely to use sunscreen because they can’t find one compatible to their skin type. Definitely look for zinc oxide sunscreens because those will leave a more matte finish to your skin. Plus, it’s a natural antibacterial and ideal for people prone to breakouts. If you can’t find an SPF that works for you, try a mineral-based powder to act as your sunscreen.

Daily (NIGHT):

Cleansing Gel: Same as morning.
Toner: Same as morning.
AHA/BHA Serum: Any serum with alpha-hydroxy acids or beta-hydroxy acids will help reduce the appearance of large pores as well as brighten dull spots. If you’re acne-prone, look for ingredients like salicylic acid and tea-tree oil to keep your skin clear.
Retinol Serum: Retinol is good for oily skin because it helps your pores look smaller with continued use.
Oil-Free Moisturizer: Same as morning.


Clay Mask: Indulging in a gentle clay mask once a week is recommended.Make sure your clay mask doesn’t dry too much before rinsing it off. If you smile and it cracks into 10,000 pieces, you’ve waited too long and it’s gotten too dry—this can actually dehydrate your skin.
Face Oil: Face oil and oily skin might seem a strange pair, but it’s a good product to have on hand in super-dry environments like aeroplanes. Use one drop of oil over moisturizer every hour you’re flying to prevent dryness and extra oil production, but using it as part of your daily routine is not recommended.