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The Best Skincare Routine For Oily Skin: Morning + Evening + Must-Haves

Love your oily skin back to its beauty, day by day.

Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on July 9, 2023

Skincare Routine For Oily Skin

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Asian Woman With A Towel Perfoming Skincare Routine For Oily Skin

Oily skin can be a significant concern for many women, and it is a challenge to form a skincare routine for oily skin that actually helps.

The oily skin type is quite unique because it can be caused by a variety of factors, which include genetics, diet, climate, and stress.

Not only does it give you a shiny complexion… Oily skin causes a whole set of problems including acne, blackheads, and clogged pores.

So I did some research and today I want to go through a skincare routine for oily skin that requires only a few minutes in the morning and in the evening.

Also, I’ve researched the best skincare products for oily skin that are currently loved by girls all over the world (so you can find stuff that is actually helpful).

If you stick to this skincare routine, you will fall in love with your skin sooner than you imagine!


The Best Skincare Routine For Oily Skin


PART 1: THE MORNING skincare routine for oily skin


Just like any morning routine, you should stick to the skincare basics and leave the heavy lifting products for the evening.

This three-step morning routine for oily skin helps you to get through the day, and you won’t look like a shining ball by the time you return home!


Step 1: Cleansing


Your skincare routine starts with a thorough cleansing that removes all residual products from the last night, for a fresh start.

Choose a gel-based cleanser because it will clean the skin without lathering up too much and stripping off the natural oils from your face. (Yes, even oily skin needs oil!).

Splash on some cold water to close the pores and reduce puffiness.

Oily skin can also be very sensitive, dry, or reactive.

This is why it’s recommended to choose a gentle face wash that won’t irritate your skin further.

I personally love Bioderma Sensibio foaming gel – it’s so gentle that even when my skin gets super dry, it doesn’t dry it out at all.

Surprisingly, it’s also extremely effective in removing any dirt or makeup and I still can’t figure out what makes it so good, haha!

Bioderma Soothing Micellar Foaming Gel For Sensitive Skin

Bioderma – Sensibio – Foaming Gel

Step 2: Toning


While the market is filled with alcohol-based toners that promise a matte complexion throughout the day, they can cause more harm than good in the long run.

Instead, opt for a toner with gentle exfoliating agents such as low-strength glycolic acid or salicylic acid.

These skincare multi-workers will help to regulate sebum production, remove bacteria and unclog pores.

People all over the world love the Pixi Glow Tonic for its mild exfoliation properties and deep-cleaning effect:

Pxi Glow Glycolic Acid Toner For Oily Skincare Routine

Pixi Glow Tonic with Aloe Vera & Ginseng

It has 5% glycolic acid which increases the cell turnover and is very beneficial for oily skin, yet the concentration is low enough to prevent any unnecessary irritation.

If you want to have a stronger “new skin” effect, I would choose The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toning Solution, which has 7% glycolic acid.

Step 3: Moisturizing


Many ladies with oily skin believe that they don’t need a moisturizer at all… However, reality can’t be any different.

If you skip the moisturizer, your skin reacts to low hydration levels by producing excessive oil, and guess what – you are stuck in a fairly difficult oil cycle.

To help with this problem, choose a light gel moisturizer that delivers adequate hydration to the skin.

Moisturizers with hyaluronic acid and Niacinamide work great for any skin type, but when it comes to oily skin, La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat is probably the most popular right now!

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Daily Moisturizer For Oily Skin

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Face Moisturizer

It’s constantly praised at online skincare communities and is widely recommended by dermatologists worldwide.

I think the best thing about Effaclar products is that they truly leave your skin matte and shine-free for a long time, which is a real relief for oily skin owners.

Note: do expect a little bit of skin purging for the first few weeks when you start using anti-acne or exfoliating products.

Things like salicylic acid, BHA, AHA, gluconolactone, Vitamin C, and even Hyaluronic acid increase the cell turnover rate.

What does that mean to your skin?

All the blemishes, pimples, and blackheads that were supposed to “happen in the future” will be encouraged to appear and heal faster.

Because of this, you might experience a purging effect, which essentially means that your skin might get worse before it gets a lot better (but it’s worth it!).


Step 4: Lightweight Sunscreen


Sunscreen is incredibly important and yes, I know you hate them because they usually leave you sticky and shiny.

However, we’re looking for the best skincare routine for oily skin and we simply can’t skip this step.

What’s a girl to do?

Choose the right sunscreen!

La Roche Posay covers this problem as well with their mega-popular Anthelios sunscreen (I’m using this one right now!):

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Oil-Free Sunscreen

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen

Seriously, this stuff is amazing!

Not only does it have superb, broad-spectrum protection, but it truly leaves your skin dry to the touch.

I hate when my hair sticks to oily sunscreens and when my makeup becomes a mess (thanks to too-heavy formulas).

However, none of that happens when I use this oil-free SPF.

A true holy grail!


PART 2: THE EVENING skincare routine for oily skin


This is a simple 4-step routine that you can follow every evening for cleansed and refreshed skin that doesn’t suffer from breakouts and blackheads.


Step 1: Makeup remover or cleanser


For the nighttime, you can either choose an oil cleanser or some micellar water for a gentle yet deep cleaning effect.

Micellar water is fantastic for removing dirt and makeup, and it dissolves all the impurities immediately to leave you with clear, glowing skin.

While an oil cleanser sounds counterproductive (after all, it feels like you don’t want to add any MORE oil to your already oily skin), it actually does wonders for oily skin by attracting all the unwanted oils and lifting them off of your skin.

Here’s the list of best oils for oily skin!


Wipe your skin with a warm washcloth afterward to remove any oil residue.


Step 2: Use retinol


A retinol serum or cream is best applied at night, as it can work its magic on the skin all night long while you are in the dreamland.

Retinols are great for any skin type because they help to fight aging, sunspots, and uneven skin tone.

Due to the fact that retinol can be a bit drying (it’s a strong skincare agent!), it’s actually wonderful for oily types of skin as well.

This is why I believe retinol is a must if you’re trying to build the best skincare routine for oily skin.

It can help you to reduce sebum production, minimize the appearance of pores, and tighten the skin by triggering collagen production.

Speaking of the best retinol products for oily skin, The Ordinary makes a great retinoid + squalane (very powerful moisturizer) serum for a fair price (keep in mind that usually, a good retinol cream starts at $35-$55):

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Skincare Serum

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane

This form of retinol is gentler on the skin and more stable (which means that it won’t turn into a useless moisturizer after any contact with the sun or air).

And hey, people just honestly love The Ordinary because they changed skincare routines for millions of people!

Their products are strong, effective, they work great, and they aren’t overpriced – what else can we ask for?


If you’re interested in preventing fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots, check out the best anti-aging skincare ingredients as well!


Step 3: Apply an eye cream


As we age, the delicate skin under the eyes starts to get dull and wrinkled, and everyone needs to incorporate a good eye cream into their beauty regimen.

You can choose a cream with ceramides and hyaluronic acid to plump up the skin as these seem to work wonders in rebuilding moisture and natural skin barriers.


Step 4: Moisturizer/ Night Cream


Apply a gentle, light moisturizer or night cream to deliver adequate hydration to the skin.

It helps your skin cells to be repaired overnight and you will wake up with rejuvenated skin every day.

People with oily skin types really love Cerave products lately because they’re gentle (hypoallergenic + oil-free) and contain a ton of repairing and moisturizing ingredients like ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid.

Basically, a perfect cocktail for a nighttime skincare action!

Moisturizer For Oily Skin Cerave Moisturizing Lotion Pm

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM


And this is it!

In this article, I tried to find the absolute best skincare routine for oily skin, and I’m sure you will notice visible results if you tried it yourself!

Oily skin needs love, adequate hydration, and protection just like any other skin type.

Be gentle with it, keep it moisturized and you’re on the way to perfectly controlled sebum production and beautiful skin.


In love with skincare?

Check out my list of 25 things to do for STUNNING skin or simply scroll down for more beauty tips!

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