how to care for oily skin mattifying ingredients gentle cleanse

How to Care for Oily Skin

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If you or your customers have oily skin, you likely want to reduce oil and shine. You may even have over-cleansed skin in the past, stripping it of its healthy natural oils. The trick to balancing oily skin comes down to this key point: cleanse and moisturize your face with the right ingredients.

This blog walks through the key recommendations for managing oily skin and what ingredients you should use and avoid. Much of this information is taken from the American Academy of Dermatology, but please note that everyone’s skin is different and you may need to experiment to find what works for you. So, let’s jump into it!

How to Care for Oily Skin

Wash your face regularly

Although you don’t want to over-wash your face and strip it of oils, it’s important to regularly wash your face. This means in the morning, the evening, and after exercising.

Check out this blog for a refresher on face washing best practices.


Use a gentle facial cleanser with mild foaming

Crucial to remember is that many people with oily skin do NOT need intense face wash or astringents to totally remove oil. The goal is to cleanse skin, remove excess oil, and help pores stay clear and happy. Over-cleansing with harsh cleansers can remove all skin oils, leading to an increase in oil production to compensate. Look for something with oil-friendly ingredients (see the list at the end of this article) and test to find which cleansers suit your skin without leaving it too taut or dry.

Here are some of our favorite cleansers for oily skin:


Wash makeup off before going to bed

If you wear makeup, it’s important to remove it before bed to let skin “breathe”. Once makeup is removed, follow your normal nighttime routine. This may include toner, and if relevant a nighttime serum and moisturizer. Some ingredients are best used at night to avoid sun exposure.


Avoid oil-based cleansers and makeup

We’ve seen how some oils are good for your skin, but in general it’s best to use oil-free cleansers and makeup. Makeups like foundation can be a particular challenge since the goal is to cover up imperfections, but aim for lighter foundations designed for oily skin.


Use a light moisturizer (ideally with a SPF rating)

Most moisturizers have oils in them, which is fine, but aim for light weight oils that absorb easily without lying heavily on skin. To avoid having to add another layer of product in the form of sunscreen, look for moisturizers with an SPF rating. Although Essential does not make SPF products, here are some of our favorite moisturizers for oily skin:


Try not to touch your face during the day

We all know to avoid touching or picking at your face, but this is especially important if you have oily or teenage skin. It’s not just your hands that shouldn’t touch your face—if you use oils or pomade in your hair it’s important that your hair with these extra oils don’t rest on your face all day too. Those heavier products can increase the oil on your skin, so don’t forget to remove those from your face while sleeping, too.

However, blotting papers are an effective way to reduce visible oil if you find it building up over the course of the day. They use gentle absorbent powders on a special paper to take the edge off undesired shine.

Best Skin Care Ingredients for Oily Skin

Arrowroot Powder – found in many products for oily skin, this has a mattifying effect and also acts as a thickener in formulations. Often added to body butters to reduce the oily, greasy feel

Clays – dry clays are absorbent materials designed to purify and absorb oil. Great in face masks used once or twice a week

Dimethicone – a non-petrolatum option that mimics oils but leaves skin feeling dry

Glycolic Acid – helps reduce oil while keeping pores happy

Salicylic Acid – great for oily and teenage skin, with a maximum usage rate of 2%

Niacinamide (vitamin B3) – promotes a healthy look for pores while keeping oil under control. Learn more about niacinamide in this article.


We hope this helped you and ultimately your customers figure out the best ways to care for their skin. If you or your customers need help figuring out what skin type you have, check out this article.

And if you’re finally ready to start your own skin care brand, this article walks you through how you can get started working with Essential.

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