skincare routine for oily skin

Best Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

Oily skin is one of the most common skin concerns and skincare routines that seem to stump everyone. There are a few misconceptions and myths about oily skin that cause people to treat it wrong and in the end, cause excess oil making the problem worse. Keep reading to find out the best skincare routine to help combat oily skin.

Related: Facial Steaming: 101

What is Oily Skin?

First things first, it is important to have a better understanding of what categorizes oily skin and how to know if you have it. 

Oily skin is caused by sebaceous glands producing an excess of sebum (our skin's natural oils). Sebaceous glands are located under our pores within our skin and the sebum produced is helped to keep our skin hydrated. However, some people experience an overproduction of sebum which causes the skin to be oily.

Best way to tell if you have oily skin is your skin will appear shiny throughout the day, feel greasy, and you experience frequent breakouts and clogged pores due to the sebum and dead skin cells accumulated.

Try using Perfect Image’s Exfoliating & Clarifying UltraMUD for deep cleaning your skin and building collagen.

Know Your Skin Type

Knowing your skin type is key when creating a skincare routine so that you can properly take care of it. Below are the most popular skin types and the best ingredients and products you should look for to maintain healthy skin. 

Acne prone/oily skin: Avoid cream cleansers and oil based products. Incorporate ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and oil free moisturizers. Adding a retinol into your routine is great for resurfacing dead skin cells and regulating moisture. 

Combination skin: When treating combination skin, you want to target the areas of your face differently depending if they are dry or oily. 

Dry skin: avoid drying products such as astringents and alcohol based products and use hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides and oils such as argan and jojoba oil.

Sensitive skin: avoid products containing a lot of fragrance, certain retinoids or acids such as TCA and use lactic acid instead. 

Factor in Your Lifestyle

Lifestyle plays a huge role on our skin and those factors can have an important effect on our skin. 

Sleep: on average we should all be getting about 7-8 hours of sleep but know that is not always possible. Sleep can have a huge effect on our skin as this is the time where skin repairs itself. Of course there are products that help with this if you fall victim to not getting enough sleep. Products containing antioxidants and peptides will help with this to keep your skin hydrated and plump. 

UV light. From sun exposure to blue light rays, it is important to always protect your skin with a broad spectrum SPF of at least 30 or higher. UV rays not only break down collagen and elastin but so can blue light rays causing sun damage and fine lines and wrinkles. Always protect your skin, yes even if indoors and yes, even if it is cloudy!

Take that makeup off. No matter how lazy you are feeling, take your makeup off every night and follow with a double cleanse. Sleeping in makeup can drastically age your skin and if you already experience oily and acne prone skin, can lead to more breakouts and congestion. 

Morning Routine

Establishing a morning skincare routine is extremely beneficial with oily skin as throughout the night is when our skin replenishes and repairs itself. Oily skin will benefit from cleansing and preventing oil production and damage throughout the day. 


As mentioned above, foaming cleansers are great for oily skin as they help strip the skin of excess oil production. Look for a cleanser that contains salicylic acid as this is great for clarifying the skin and ridding the pores of excess bacteria and sebum accumulated from the night. We recommend our Salicylic Deep Gel Cleanser


Toning the skin is a step in your skincare routine you should not skip. Toners help to rid the skin of any excess oil as well as prep the skin for the products to follow and help them penetrate into the skin and increase the effectiveness of the other products. 

Add Serum

Serums are amazing at targeting specific skin concerns such as, acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. For oily skin, apply a serum that has niacinamide. Niacinamide is a gentle ingredient that helps control oil production and reverses the appearance of damage and larger pores.

A serum also containing vitamin C is a great product to incorporate in the morning as vitamin C provides antioxidant properties that helps protect against sun damage. It is great paired with SPF! 


The biggest misconception with oily skin is that you don't need a moisturizer. Every skin type needs a moisturizer, oily skin types included. Most oily skin is actually dehydrated as the skin overproduces oil but still lacks moisture.

Look for moisturizers that have hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid but can also control oil production by being light-weight and labeled as oil-free.  

Eye Cream 

The skin under our eyes is the most sensitive and is the thinnest. When applying an eye cream look for ingredients such as retinol, vitamin C, vitamin E and ceramides. For proper application, apply a pea sized amount that can be used for both eyes and pat into the eye area. Do not rub it in as rubbing causes fine lines and wrinkles. 

Broad Spectrum SPF 

One of the most important steps in any skincare routine.

Look for an SPF that is labeled as oil free or non comedogenic to help prevent clogging pores.

If you want, you can replace your moisturizer for a more hydrating SPF, but make sure you always use one that is at least 30 or higher and make sure to apply on your face as well as your neck and chest. There are also tinted SPFs that can substitute for foundation if your skin is extremely oily.

Evening Routine

As mentioned previously, nighttime is the time where your skin really repairs itself and replenishes. So while you are fast asleep, your skin is hard at work and this is the time to use more clinical products that contain AHAs/BHAs, retinol and exfoliants. 


If you are loving your cleanser, you can use the same one at night that you use in the morning. If you wear makeup though, make sure to perform a double cleanse to completely remove all makeup, dirt, debris and impurities from the day.

Also Read: Skin Care Basics- Cleanse


Same thing as above, look for a toner that has ingredients that help with oil production and breakouts such as, tea tree oil, rose water, salicylic acid, aloe vera, willow bark and antioxidants such as green tea. 

Clay Mask

Adding a clay mask to your routine is great to help clarify the skin and for extra exfoliation. Clay is a natural gentle exfoliant that absorbs excess oil and prevents breakouts so it is perfect for oily skin.

Try our Exfoliating & Clarifying ULTRAmud Mask which is formulated with four different acids; salicylic, glycolic, mandelic and azelaic. All ingredients that help oil production while clarifying and treating the skin. 


A must in any skincare routine but is great for oily skin. Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A that helps not only with anti aging but helps boost collagen and elastin. It also helps tighten pores so that they appear smaller and reduce oil production.


Since you are done for the day and heading to bed, you can incorporate a nighttime moisturizer that contains AHAs or BHAs, such as hyaluronic acid, retinol and salicylic acid. Most moisturizers used at nighttime are more moisturizing and repairing.

Try our Gly + Sal Exfoliating Body Lotion that can also be used on the face and is formulated with glycolic and salicylic acids that help to gently exfoliate the skin and promote hydration.

Also Read: How to Exfoliate at Home: Face, Body, Lips, Scalp

See a Dermatologist

For the best results make an appointment with a dermatologist as they are able to prescribe more clinical and medical products with stronger percentages of retinol and salicylic acid, as well as recommend affordable drugstore products to help.

They are also able to inform you on how to exactly use all the products in your routine and lay out a plan to help control your breakouts and oily skin. 

The Last Word on Oily Skincare

As frustrating as oily skin can be, there are ways to help get you through the day without blotting your face constantly. A great skincare routine with ingredients tailored to help with oil production and prevention will tremendously help and you will notice a huge difference in your skin.

Having trouble finding effective products for your skincare routine? Try Perfect Image’s CLEAR Bundle for the best results.

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