Everyone’s skin needs a healthy amount of natural oil to keep it hydrated and protected, but for some, there can be too much of a good thing. 

Contending with oily skin can be frustrating… It often leads to enlarged pores, frequent breakouts, and a seemingly perpetual shine, especially in the T-zone, or the area of your face that includes your forehead, nose, and chin. As if that wasn’t enough to give you skincare woes, you have to try to tame the shine without stripping too much of your skin’s natural barrier. Once that barrier is broken, it can lead to dryness, redness, and acne. 

The good news is that you can go from greasy to glowy with the right treatments and products. Here are 5 recommendations from our skincare experts:

Start with the Right Cleanser

All cleansers are not made the same, with many having formulas specifically crafted to address common skin concerns. In the case of oily skin, look for ingredients like salicylic acid and tea tree oil, which can cut through and dissolve excess sebum. 

You should also look for products that are labeled “oil-free” and “non comedogenic.” These are great for oily skin, as they don’t contain ingredients that will clog your pores. Revision Skincare’s Papaya Enzyme Cleanser which includes salicylic acid, papain and antioxidants to gently exfoliate without stripping skin’s natural moisture is a perfect addition to your skin care regimen.

Finally, when choosing cleansers, skip anything alcohol-based or too harsh. Look for gentle washes that won’t strip away too much oil or irritate your skin. Otherwise, you risk your skin countering by producing even more oil. EltaMD’s Foaming Facial Wash or Deep Pore Facial Cleanser are pH balanced and gentle, yet effective cleansers that also remove makeup.

Don’t Skip Moisturizing

It might seem counterproductive, but oily skin desperately needs hydration to keep oil in check. In fact, oily skin is not a sign that your skin is moisturized– It can still be dehydrated and dry. This underlying dryness actually contributes to sebum production, as your skin tries to overcompensate for moisture loss by making the protective layer of oils thicker.

The key to moisturizing oily skin is to opt for lightweight moisturizers that won’t make your skin look slick or shiny. Look for products that contain humectants, like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and alpha-hydroxy acids, as these ingredients can draw water up from the inner layers of skin into the dryer, outer layers.  A great one to try is Mandelic Shine Control Moisturizer  which provides essential hydration while absorbing excess oil in the skin.

Avoid moisturizers that contain waxy, oily ingredients like mineral oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and fatty alcohols. 

Let Your Makeup Do Some of the Heavy Lifting

Cosmetics can be frustrating for people with oily skin because it tends to “melt” off and sink into the pores throughout the day. By the end of the afternoon, it feels like the time you spent investing in your look in the morning isn’t worth it. But, you don’t have to go bare-skinned to keep your oil in check. 

Start by using a primer like jane iredale’s Smooth Affair for oily skin, in areas where your pores are enlarged, or that get particularly oily, like the T-zone. Their Pure Pressed Mineral Powder is an oil-free, lightweight, matte finish foundation which can be applied for sheer to medium coverage.

If you prefer a liquid, jane’s Beyond Matte Liquid Foundation is perfect for oily skin. This 3 in 1 product works as primer, concealer and foundation with a buildable medium to full coverage. All of jane iredale foundations are dermatologist tested, clean and safe, free of phthalates, parabens, fragrance and mineral oil.   

If you wear eye makeup, an eyelid primer is necessary to keep your cosmetics in place. If you want to mattify without applying makeup, brush the area just around your eyes with powder, let it sit for a few minutes, then brush away the excess. 

Tired of the oily skin struggle? Don’t know where to start? We recommend chatting with your dermatologist. The providers at Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Institute can help pinpoint your skin’s unique needs, and our experts at Advanced Skin Therapeutics can assist you in choosing products that enhance your natural glow and help keep oil in check.