Those who have oily skin often hate it, but I think that’s just because this skin type is misunderstood. In this article, we have rounded up a list of the best skincare products for oily skin you should try. From cleansers to creams to acne spot treatments, find the best oily skin products to give a try!
1. Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel
I like a simple product, especially if all one is dealing with is oiliness, without additional issues associated with it. This simple cleanser is perfect – it has a low pH to preserve the acid mantle and it is sulfate-free. Since it is a gel formula it lathers beautifully and removes quite a bit of oil, and yet it doesn’t make the skin feel tight or dry. If you use any pH-dependent actives in your routine then it’ll do a great job of preparing your skin for them. You can order it from Dermstore.
2. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
My obsession with sunscreen knows no bounds, especially now as we’re heading into summer. No morning oily skincare routine is complete without a sunscreen, but unfortunately, it’s hard to find one that will not feel greasy. This sunscreen defies all odds, by giving comprehensive protection without feeling greasy or heavy. It contains a bit of hyaluronic and lactic acids, as well, to keep your skin smooth and soft and niacinamide to control oils and give an anti-aging boost. You can even use it instead of a moisturizer in the mornings! Order it from Dermstore!
3. First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Acne Clearing Charcoal Cleanser with Probiotics
This new cleanser from F.A.B. is magical for those with oily skin, acne-prone or not. It has a few things going for it, but one of the key ones is that it has a very low pH, which helps the skin stay balanced and healthy. It also contains a touch of both bentonite and kaolin clays, which absorb excess oils from the skin, making it a two-in-one cleanser and clay mask. Despite the clays, this formula won’t leave you feeling dry or tight because it is made with gentle surfactants and a healthy dose of hydrating glycerin. It is available online through Sephora.
4. Sunday Riley U.F.O Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil
Forget about that oil-free BS, because this product proves that those with oily skin can absolutely use oily skin care! This unique face oil contains acne-busting and pore-clearing salicylic acid along with antibacterial tea tree oil. It also helps to keep moisture in the skin with a collection of non-comedogenic and anti-aging botanical oils including milk thistle oil, cucumber seed oil, and pomegranate seed oil. It’s a perfect night-time treatment. You can buy it at Sephora.
5. Differin Acne Treatment
While not everyone who has oily skin also suffers from acne, many do, and it is undeniable that vitamin A is one of the best treatments for it. It has other benefits, as well, like helping improve skin texture to make pores appear smaller and helping regulate skin cell turnover to help reduce the look of fine lines and hyperpigmentation. This over-the-counter treatment uses a form of vitamin A called adapalene, which is nearly as effective as prescription strength tretinoin but with significantly less irritation. You can buy it at Ulta.
6. Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer
This lovely moisturizer is light yet nourishing, and it will give your skin all the hydration it needs. It’d be a perfect evening moisturizer, especially if you generally stick to a minimalist routine that doesn’t include other hydrators. I’m not gagging over the fact that it’s oil-free, but the humectants here, like xylitol and xylitylglucoside, are fabulous as are the various emollients. It also boasts an antioxidant algae extract, skin-smoothing amino acid derivatives, and micro-spheres that absorb oil and will help you wake up more matte. It is available for purchase at Ulta.
7. Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads
Exfoliation is important for every skin type, but for those with oily skin it can be the key to preventing build-up in the pores, improving skin texture, and fighting hyperpigmentation. These powerful pads give a thorough exfoliation with a mixture of 10% glycolic acid for an all-over effect and 2% salicylic acid for exfoliating within the pore. You can use them anywhere from once a week to once a day, but do be consistent with sunscreen. Buy them from Sephora!
8. Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum
There are so many reasons to use a serum with vitamin C, and this one in particular is our favorite for oily skin. The vitamin C in it is powerfully anti-aging and brightening – it can support the stability of your sunscreen, fade dark marks from acne or sun exposure, and supports collagen production so your skin stays youthful for years to come. This formula, in particular, is phenomenal, since it contains pore-tightening and mattifying cucumber extract, soothing ginseng, and hydrating hyaluronic acid. Best time to use it would be in the morning, before sunscreen. Find it at Nordstrom!
9. Boscia Charcoal MakeUp Melter Cleansing Oil-Balm
Just because your skin is oily doesn’t mean you have to stay away from oils! This oil-balm cleanser works better than anything to melt down sebum, makeup, sunscreen, not to mention the less pesky stuff like sweat and grime. Then you rinse it away with water and everything will be gone. The main oil here is sunflower oil, which is safe even for acne-prone skin. There is also charcoal in the mix to help deep clean the pores. Oh, and it’s safe for the eyes so it will double as your eye makeup remover! It is available at Nordstrom.
10. Laneige Essential Balancing Emulsion for Combination to Oily Skin
This lotion is light as air but it packs a real punch. You’ll hardly feel it since it’ll sink into your skin so quickly, but it contains a variety of super hydrating ingredients along with some silicones that’ll feel matte but will help lock all of that goodness into your oily skin. This formula contains some skin-fortifying minerals, rejuvenating and oil-controlling niacinamide, and moisturizing wheat protein. You can use it in the evening, or under SPF in the daytime if it’s a dry day. Buy it from Laneige!
11. Paula’s Choice Boost 10% Niacinamide Booster Concentrated Serum
I’ll never stop recommending this wonderful ampoule-style product from Paula’s Choice. It is made with 10% niacinamide, the shockingly gentle ingredient that is somehow able to do it all, including controlling oil production, preventing trans-epidermal water loss, brightening the skin, and reducing free radical damage.
This concentrated serum also contains licorice root extract, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid to help brighten and hydrate the skin. Use it alone before your moisturizer, or mix a few drops of it with any of your leave-on product. It is available at Nordstrom.
12. Peter Thomas Roth Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel
This little product is essentially a primer but with mattifying effects turned up to 100. If your oily skin doesn’t seem to stop no matter how much you powder or blot it, then this product will surely come to your rescue. You can wear it alone or under makeup, and because the formula is so simple you can rest assured that it won’t break you out. Order it from Dermstore!
13. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
While oily skin is normally quite resilient, in some cases aggressive resurfacers like glycolic or salicylic acid can be too much. That’s when azelaic acid comes into play. It’s an anti-acne treatment that is also often recommended for redness and rosacea. It also has anti-aging properties, and it’s able to help your skin shed itself without causing any irritation. This simple version of it from The Ordinary is gentle and affordable. You can purchase it at Sephora.
14. 111SKIN Hydrolat Anti-Blemish Tonic
The main benefit of this toner is that it contains salicylic acid, the best exfoliant for acne-prone and oily skin. It also contains soothing and moisturizing linoleic acid and anti-inflammatory rosemary hydrolat. It is fairly gentle and wonderfully refreshing, so it’d be great in the morning instead of a cleanser. It also has skin protective and nourishing ingredients worth of mentioning, like glycerin and SAP (a gentler form of vitamin C). Find it at Nordstrom!
15. PCA Skin Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45
This is another fabulous SPF choice for those with oily skin. This broad-spectrum sunscreen will protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun but it’s so weightless that you won’t even feel that it’s there. It contains a touch of caffeine, which has an invigorating tightening and soothing effect on the skin, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate. It can absolutely substitute for a moisturizer! Order it from Dermstore!
16. Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner
I don’t think there is anyone out there that won’t benefit from this incredible hydrating toner. It’s been a K-beauty favorite for years, and it’s only recently available at Ulta! This oil-free toner loads the skin up with some much-needed moisture without feeling heavy or greasy. It contains hyaluronic acid and butylene glycol to hydrate, as well as licorice root extract to brighten the complexion and prevent premature aging.
If you have oily skin you can use it instead of a serum or moisturizer under your sunscreen in the daytime, but it’ll also be a treat to your skin at night. It is available at Ulta.
17. Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Re.Pair Serum
I’ve recommended this serum before, but I think it’s worth suggesting again as it is a great skincare product for oily skin. It contains a ton of oil-controlling niacinamide, but there’s more to it than that. It also contains centella extract, a wonderful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient that is useful whether you break out or not. It’s also thoroughly hydrating so you can skip the moisturizer in the daytime and maybe even at night. It’ll soothe and hydrate your skin while keeping premature aging at bay. Buy it from Sephora!
18. CosRx Low pH BHA Overnight Mask
This overnight mask is truly special. It hydrates and tones all at once, and also gives the skin a very lovely treatment with a gentle form of BHA called betaine salicylate. It’s a great mask for all skin types, but those with oily skin will love how it manages to be simultaneously light and hydrating. It contains centella asiatica water to keep the skin soothed as well as tea tree oil to help prevent breakouts. This mask could easily be used on a nightly basis instead of a typical moisturizer. You can get it at Ulta.
19. OLEHENRIKSEN Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser
This gel cleanser clarifies the skin of oils without dehydrating or irritating. It is a gel cleanser that lathers into a foam, made specifically with oily skin in mind. It contains a touch of AHA to help slough away some dead skin, but not so much that you won’t be able to use it once or twice a day. There is also soothing linoleic acid and acne-clearing neem seed oil in this blend. As with all cleansers I recommend, it is sulfate-free and has a low pH. Find it at Sephora!
20. Kiehl’s Since 1851 Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque
Finding good clay masks can be tough, since so many brands make overly drying ones. However, the best clay masks are ones that leave the skin cleansed but also nourished. This mask purifies the skin and pulls oils with the help of kaolin and bentonite clays, but then it hydrates with glycerin and aloe vera. It’s also very soothing thanks to allantoin, vitamin E, and oatmeal. You can get it at Nordstrom.
21. Glow Recipe Watermelon Pink Juice Oil-Free Moisturizer
This lightweight, oil-free moisturizer is another great oily skincare product, which absorbs instantly, hydrating and brightening up your look. It has a gel texture that feels cool on contact with your skin, and it’s also ideal for wearing under makeup. The watermelon extract contained soothes any skin irritation, hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates the skin, while the antioxidants protect it against environmental damage. Pick up this lovely bottle at Sephora!
Photos via @nikki.cruz, Sephora, Nordstrom, Dermstore, Ulta