Determining your skin type: oily skin

Skincare secrets for oily skin

4 minute read

We’re here to tell you what we know, but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider about your specific health concerns.

Most of us have combination skin: oily in some places, dry in others. If your skin feels on the oily side even after washing, or if you regularly use blotting paper, fear not! A bonus? People with oily skin are thought to have fewer wrinkles and keep younger-looking skin for longer. Plus, this guide will help you manage your oiliness.

• • •

What causes oily skin?

Hormones. During puberty, sebaceous glands enlarge and produce more oil under the influence of hormones called androgens.

Stress. Stress makes our bodies produce a stress hormone called cortisol, which triggers oil production.

Diet. Foods high in sugar or dairy can lead to oily faces.

Weather. As the temperature rises, oil glands tend to rev up!

Oil comes from sebaceous glands under the skin, which release a fatty substance called sebum. Sebum is generally a good thing: it keeps skin supple and reduces water loss. These glands are most densely clustered on the nose, chest, and back. Some people have more than others. Hormones, stress, diet, and weather can all affect your glands.

Top 5 skincare treatments to manage oily skin

1. Cleansers. Cleansers with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid help not only people with acne, but also those of us with oily skin. Foaming cleansers can also help dry things out. We recommend:

  • The Cleanser by Curology

  • Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser

  • Cerave Foaming Cleanser

  • Vanicream Free and Clear Liquid Cleanser

  • Topix Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Wash

  • Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

  • Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser

2. Oil-Free Sunscreen

  • EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46

  • Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15

  • Tizo Solar Protection Formula, Facial Mineral Fusion SPF 40

3. Oil-Absorbing Face Sheets

  • Clean & Clear

  • Boscia

  • NYX

4. Physical Exfoliators. These help remove oil and dead skin cells. Use exfoliators gently, no more than once a week at first, to avoid skin irritation.

  • Clarisonic devices

  • Konjac sponges

5. Niacinamide. Skincare products with this form of vitamin B3 may decrease oiliness.

  • CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

  • EltaMD AM or PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer


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