Skincare 101: Oily Skin

Oily Skin Routine

Finding the right skincare products for your skin type isn’t always intuitive. Especially if seeing a specialist isn’t in the budget. What makes it even tougher is sifting through popular products on the hunt for something that really works for you. Sound familiar? I sometimes think that oily skinned individuals have it a bit harder out of the gate. You’re dealing with excess oil production, breakouts as a result, and makeup that just won’t stay put. The dewy skin trend? Yeah, it’s damn near impossible. That struggle is exactly what sparked the inspiration for the beginning of my newest beauty series, Skincare 101.  Here, you’ll learn the most important rules and factors in building a successful skincare routine for oily skin, without having to see a specialist just yet.

My Oily Skin Backstory

My skin hasn’t always been clear and fuss-free. Like, at all. During my teenage years, my oversized pores were always clogged, breakouts/scarring were constant, and makeup never stayed put. It was not only frustrating but totally demoralizing. While I got good at quick fix hacks, it never really solved the problem. It wasn’t until I started to really educate myself through careful guidance by my dermatologists/estheticians that things started to change. I want to take what I’ve learned to help empower you to steer yourself in a more efficient direction. So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Oily Skin: The Cold Hard Truth

What isn’t obvious is the reason for your oil overproduction. I spent the better half of my teens and early twenties drying out my skin with alcohol-based products, and while it helped in the short term, nothing worked in the long term. The cardinal rule: your skin produces more oil when you attempt to dry it out. Instead, what you need to focus on is finding products that will remove excess oil without drying it out. In short, this means finding products labeled as “non-comedogenic” and oil-free. A safe choice includes serums, gels, and lotions, instead of creams.

The Product Breakdown

Don’t overdo it on your cleansing. Less is more in this case (more gentle), and exfoliation should be kept to a minimum. Once a week is more than enough, especially in your teens and early twenties. Over cleansing and exfoliating can lead to increased oil production. My favorite cleansers that meet these requirements include:



The main goal of a toner is to remove any excess oil that wasn’t removed during the cleansing process. Ingredients that work best for oily skin include witch hazel, glycolic acid, and aloe vera as a soothing agent.



Depending on the needs of your skin (breakouts, pore size, wrinkles), the following products will not fight your oil production. A serum is one of the most important steps to keeping your skin’s oil production under control, outside of your toner/moisturizer.



This is often the most overlooked step in a skincare routine if you’re oily because it’s so counterintuitive. However, in order to decrease oil production, you need to keep your skin properly hydrated. The same goes for sunscreen. I used to be personally victimized by sunscreen and moisturizers that would wreck my makeup, and I’m here to tell you: it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are the latest and greatest options on the market to help you overcome just that:



When it comes to choosing an ideal mask, opt for clay or sulfur-based masks to help keep the oil production to a minimum. My personal favorite one not only controls oil but draws out impurities as well. A few others that work well in fighting oil and breakouts include:


Oily Skin Routine

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Photos by Mari Uchida Photography


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