The Best Skin-Care Routine For Oily Skin, According to an Expert
Crafting the best skin-care routine for your skin type is a lot like Prince Charming’s quest to find Cinderella with just a glass slipper — it can feel like you don’t have much to go off of, which means a lot of trial and error is required. Luckily, once you do find your match, you’ll live happily ever after — or so the story goes. This goes for oily skin types, too.
Chances are, if you have oil skin, you know it. This skin type has a lot of tells that are hard to miss. But just in case you’re unclear on if you’re actually a member of team oily skin, we tapped an expert. Ahead, celebrity aesthetician Shani Darden, founder of Shani Darden Skin Care and who’s list of celeb clientele includes Jessica Alba, Chrissy Teigen, and Shay Mitchell, shares how to craft the best skin-care routine for oily skin.
What Causes Oily Skin?
Oily skin is characterized by its overproduction of oil and is usually prone to breakouts, but not always. Excess oil production typically occurs in the T-Zone but it’s not limited to this area. The sheer number of oily and acne-prone skin-care products out there on the market can be challenging to sift through, but there are a few basics that everyone needs in their regimen: a cleanser, a treatment, and a moisturizer (plus sunscreen in the morning).
If you’re wondering how to get rid of oily skin, two common goals are to reduce oil and prevent breakouts. You can do this by picking the right textures and ingredients. “Oily skin types should use products that are non-comedogenic and limit the use of heavy oils,” Darden previously told POPSUGAR.
Keep reading to learn more about making a skin-care routine for oily skin with expert tips from Darden.
Step 1: Cleanse With an Oily Skin Face Wash
All great beauty regimens start with a cleanser. For a good oily skin face wash, look for products formulated with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. These are two powerful exfoliating, acne-fighting ingredients that to help clear pores, dissolve excess oil, and prevent new breakouts from popping up. You’ll also want your cleanser for oily skin to feature hydrating and replenishing ingredients as well to avoid stripping your skin of essential moisture.
A few of our favorites: CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanse ($20) Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser ($35), Cetaphil Gentle Clear Complexion-Clearing BPO Acne Cleanser ($15), and Neutrogena Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Fighting Face Wash ($8).
Step 2: Treat With an Oily-Skin Serum
A common mistake that people with oily skin make is overdoing it with active ingredients. Using too many products in salicylic acid, for example, can dry out your complexion, which can cause your skin to overcompensate for the dryness by producing even more oil — it’s a vicious cycle. Instead of using a powerful acne-fighting serum or cream all over, try to opt for a moisturizing one to replenish your skin and then spot treat individual breakouts. After you cleanse is also when you can incorporate a toner. The best toners for oil skin usually have AHAs or BHAs to dissolve oil and hydrating ingredients to restore the skin’s moisture.
A few of our favorites: Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum ($49), PCA SKIN Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum ($124), and L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum ($30).
Step 3: Hydrate With a Oily-Skin Moisturizer
It’s a myth that those with oily skin don’t need to use a moisturizer — it’s essential to maintaining a healthy skin barrier. You just need to find the right formula. “Instead of a heavier moisturizer, try using a hyaluronic acid serum to deeply hydrate the skin,” says Darden, like the one’s mentioned above. Or, give a lightweight gel-based formula a try — just look for options that are labeled as “non-comedogenic.”
A few of our favorites: Tatcha The Water Cream Oil-Free Pore Minimizing Moisturizer ($72), Bliss Mighty Biome Pre/Post Biotics + Barrier Aid Ultra-Hydrating Moisturizer Concentrate ($11), La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat Daily Face Moisturizer for Oily Skin ($37), Skinfix Barrier+ Skin Barrier Niacinamide Restoring Gel Cream ($48), and E.l.f. Holy Hydration Face Cream ($15).
Step 4: Protect With an Oily-Skin Sunscreen
Last but not least, if you’re doing your skin-care routine in the morning, protecting with sunscreen is an absolute must. Forget everything you thought you knew about face SPFs — they don’t have to be greasy, heavy, or uncomfortable to wear — you just need to find the right option for you. Look for non-comedogenic sunscreens that won’t clog pores or irritation your acne-prone skin.
A few of our favorites: Paula’s Choice Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 50 ($22), Hero Cosmetics Shield Superlight Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 ($24), and Supergoop! Mineral Mattescreen Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++ ($38).
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