We all know that our skin produces oil to stay supple and protected from the elements, but for oily skin types, this oil can quickly turn from skin savior to total nightmare.
With an oily t-zone, blemishes, and shiny-looking skin, not to mention that perpetual greasy feeling, this skin type can sometimes feel like a curse.
Luckily, with a little dedication, the right skincare routine for oily skin, and the best skincare products, you can tame that greasy shine and replace it with a radiant, dewy glow. We're here to share the best tips and tricks to amp up your skincare routine and make your skin feel fresh as a daisy!
What Causes Oily Skin?
Seborrhea is the name given to oily skin, as it is caused by an overproduction of oil by the sebaceous oil glands. Oily skin is caused by a number of factors:
Genetics – Larger sebaceous glands are often hereditary, so if your mom and dad have oily skin, you likely will too.
Environment – If your skin feels especially oily in the summertime, you can chalk it up to the heat and humidity. Warm, humid environments like New York City can leave your skin prone to excess oil production and clogged pores.
Hormones can affect your skin's oil levels – Sebum production actually increases during ovulation, due to an increase in your progesterone levels at this time.1
Stress causes a surge in cortisol, another hormone that triggers too much oil production in the skin.2
Medications like oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can cause oily skin.
Harsh skincare products – Scrubbing your face with a harsh cleanser or rough cloth can strip your skin of moisture, triggering it to compensate by producing more oil. That's why a gentle approach is always best!
Many of these causes are impossible to control, but before you give up hope, there are plenty of great skincare products and tips that can help you make the most of your skin type.
The Best Skin Care Routine For Oily Skin
We've rounded up the best advice, facts, and research to help you create the best skin care routine for oily skin. Here it goes:
Cleansing with a good quality cleanser is the first essential step in your skin care routine, removing excess oil, dirt, and makeup from your skin. If you have oily skin, you should look for oil-free, water-based cleansing formulas that won't cause irritation or strip your skin of its essential oils.
Even when you have a lot of excess oil to get rid of, a harsh cleanser is never a good idea. Opt for a gentle foaming cleanser, which will help dissolve oil and cleanse your pores while also adding some hydration to your skin.
Some ingredients to look out for in a face wash or cleanser for oily skin include:
Caffeine – It's not just for your morning coffee! Caffeine has pore-minimizing qualities that make it an excellent ingredient in skincare products for oily skin.
Clay – A clay cleanser is like gold dust for oily skin, as it can absorb excess oil from deep within your pores.
Niacinamide (vitamin B3) – This blemish-busting vitamin is a must-have for acne-prone and oily skin, as it can help control oil production and it has anti-inflammatory effects.
Salicylic acid – A cleanser containing this BHA (beta hydroxy acid) exfoliates, removes dead skin, and minimizes the appearance of pores.
More helpful reading:
2. Use Toner
Toner has gotten a bit of a bad rep thanks to the harsh toners of our younger years. However, toning is an important post-cleansing step for any skincare routine, and this is especially true for anyone with oily skin.
Luckily, toners have come a long way in recent years, and there are plenty of well-researched, expertly formulated products available that will improve your skin's tone and texture. A good toner will refresh the skin, tighten pores, and remove any remnants of pore-clogging sebum or cleansing product.
The best toners for oily skin will be alcohol-free, pH-balancing formulas. Look for toners containing tea tree oil, aloe vera, or salicylic acid to help regulate sebum production, reduce inflammation, and tighten your pores.
More helpful reading: What is toner?
Exfoliation is absolutely essential to a skin care routine for oily skin, as this step will remove a layer of dead skin cells that would otherwise contribute to clogged pores and a dull, ruddy complexion.
Your skin repairs itself and produces new cells constantly, shedding old cells and creating a fresh layer of skin every 40 to 56 days.3
Those old cells have to go somewhere, and the bad news for people with oily skin is that they are likely to just stick to your face if you don't do something about it. Without regular exfoliation, dead cells will stick around to clog your pores, encourage bacteria overgrowth, and cause breakouts. To avoid this, make sure you exfoliate 2 to 3 times per week.
There are two ways to remove dead skin cells; physically removing them with a scrubbing product, or chemically removing them with acid.
Physical vs. Chemical Exfoliation
Physical exfoliation involves using a scrubbing agent (like microbeads, sugar, or a coffee scrub) to buff away the top layer of dead skin. While this can have an immediate effect on your skin, it is also a harsh way to exfoliate that can cause more harm than good if you're not careful.
Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, may sound a little scary and not what you should be doing to your face, but trust us (and dermatologists), these acids are worth a try. Chemical exfoliation is often more gentle on your skin than a harsh scrub, as it works by using acid to gently dissolve dead skin cells, allowing them to be wiped away gently and easily.
Look out for AHAs and BHAs in your exfoliating products, these are groups of acids that exfoliate and encourage faster cell turnover. Salicylic acid (BHA) is a mild acid that is particularly good for oily skin. You can use salicylic acid in an at-home exfoliating product, or visit a dermatologist for a rejuvenating chemical peel.
Lactic acid and glycolic acid are AHAs that can also exfoliate your skin, and these may be more suitable if your skin is prone to sensitivity.
4. Serums, Oils & Treatments
After cleansing, toning, and exfoliating, your skin is primed and ready to absorb some potent skin care products that can deliver active ingredients directly to your dermis. This is where serums, oils, and other treatments come in.
When it comes to ingredients to use at this stage, we will forever be shouting from the rooftops that antioxidants are essential for your skincare routine if you want to keep skin healthy and radiant. Antioxidants protect your skin against external pollutants and sun damage, and they fight free radicals to promote a brighter complexion.
A vitamin C serum benefits oily skin by reducing inflammation and redness, minimizing the appearance of acne scars and blemishes, and brightening the skin for a natural glow.
The Best Face Oils For Oily Skin
It might sound counterintuitive to apply oils to oily skin, but there are a number of oils that can gently hydrate and nourish this skin type.
People struggling with oily skin should look for non-comedogenic oils that won't clog the pores. This means avoiding any oils with high levels of oleic acid, which includes olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil. These oils can be a godsend for dry skin, but they are best avoided by oily and combination skin types.
Non-comedogenic oils are those with a higher proportion of linoleic acid, which include sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, and rosehip seed oil. These oils are more gentle, they absorb quickly, and they can improve your skin's barrier layer – ultimately reducing the appearance of acne scars and blemishes.
Tea tree oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce redness and blemishes, which is especially good if you have oily skin that is prone to breakouts.
5. Hydrate With An Oil-Free Moisturizer
It's a common misconception that oily skin doesn't need more moisture weighing it down, but the secret to healthy skin is a balance between reducing excess sebum and maintaining a healthy level of your skin's natural moisture.
The best face moisturizer for oily skin is an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer with a matte finish, which will make your skin feel hydrated without adding any grease. Look for a lightweight, water-based face emulsion, which is like something in between a serum and a moisturizer that won't clog pores.
This step of your skincare routine will form a barrier layer to seal in the goodness of your serums and oils and prevent moisture loss. Humectants like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and aloe vera are best, as these ingredients can attract and retain water in the skin without weighing it down.
How A Hyaluronic Acid Supplement Can Help You
Taut Hydrate by RenewSkin Inc. can help keep your skin supple and smooth, without clogging pores or leaving skin oily. In supplement form, hyaluronic acid can hydrate and moisturize your skin from the inside out, in a gentle and natural way.
Each capsule of Taut Hydrate contains 120mg of plant-based, 99% pure hyaluronic acid, plus 120mg of grape seed extract (a potent antioxidant). Together, these ingredients deeply nourish and hydrate your skin, delivering improved skin tone and texture, reduced fine lines and wrinkles, and providing you with a brighter glow.
All of this is before you even begin your topical skincare routine, working from the inside out for a naturally supple complexion and giving you the best possible headstart towards youthful radiance.
6. Try A Weekly Face Mask
A weekly facial at home can help you to boost your regular skincare routine with some deep nourishing treatments. In a routine for oily skin, using a honey, oat, or clay mask on your t-zone can minimize the appearance of pores and rid your skin of excess oil.
For a double hit of skin rejuvenation and anti-aging benefits, try Taut Collagen Mask. This luxurious sheet mask contains a rich infusion of collagen peptides, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and botanical squalene, which work synergistically to tone, hydrate, and brighten your skin.
More helpful reading: Renew Skin Inc.'s Collagen Facial Mask
7. Use SPF, Always!
No matter your skin type, sun protection is the key to youthful, healthy skin long into your later years. Whether it's a cold winter in New York City or a sunny summer in Los Angeles, the sun's rays can always damage your skin, so protection is always necessary.
For oily skin types, the best sun protection products will have a lightweight formula and a matte finish. Look for an oil-free, broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect against both UVA and UVB rays, ideally an SPF 30 or higher.
More helpful reading: Sun damaged skin
8. Midday Touchups
People struggling with oily skin can also take steps throughout the day to control oil and keep skin shine-free.
You may find it helpful to carry blotting papers in your purse, which can be used throughout the day to absorb excess oil from your skin. All you need to do is gently press the papers against your skin to absorb any unwanted oil that may have made an appearance.
Avoid touching your face throughout the day, as your hands will spread more oil and bacteria to your face. This tip applies to everyone, but most especially for oily and acne-prone skin types!
9. Night Treatments
Your night-time skin care routine should incorporate a night cream targeted towards your specific skin concerns. For oily skin, the best night cream will have a lightweight formula (as always!) that delivers potent active ingredients to help your skin's natural repair process while you sleep.
Collagen peptides and retinol products have anti-aging effects and are a good addition to a skin care routine for oily skin. Retinol speeds up skin cell turnover but can be harsh on the skin, so you will need to build your tolerance to it, starting by only using it 2 or 3 times per week. Collagen peptides, on the other hand, are easy to incorporate into your skin care routine with no side effects.
When choosing a skincare product with collagen, make sure the collagen peptides are hydrolyzed, meaning that they have been broken down in a way that they are absorbable by your skin.
You should also look out for antioxidants like vitamin C, green tea, or botanical squalene in your night products, as these will help remove free radicals from your skin, fight inflammation, reduce the signs of aging, and brighten your complexion.
More helpful reading:
10. Rejuvenate Your Skin From Within
Of course, as we have already mentioned, it's not all about topical products. The root causes of skin concerns often begin from within, and despite some uncontrollable factors, there are measures we can take to give our skin the best chance at radiance.
What we can control is our diet and lifestyle, making sure we eat the best foods for skin health, stay hydrated, and avoid excess alcohol. Supplements can also be a clever, convenient way to replenish our body of the proteins and nutrients it needs to replenish our skin from within.
If you want to achieve brighter, younger-looking skin, collagen peptides are the way to go. Drinking collagen in supplement form can increase skin elasticity and hydration, with the added bonus of leaving your hair full and luscious.
Transform Your Skin From The Inside Out
Our Ultimate Transformation Program combines Taut Collagen Drink, Taut Hydrate, and Taut Collagen Mask to create a kit that can deliver effective results in just 24 days.
Taut Premium Collagen Drink is our liquid collagen supplement that delivers effective skin rejuvenation from within. Each dose contains 13,000 mg of hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides, along with elastin peptides, grape seed extract, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and ceramide.
When you drink it, your body detects the high concentration of collagen peptides in your bloodstream and triggers the wound repair response, which activates cells in the dermis to begin producing collagen again. This helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, plump skin, reduce sagging, improve tone and texture, reduce inflammation, get rid of stretch marks, and heal acne scars.
Combined with Taut Hydrate, our hyaluronic acid supplements, and Taut Collagen Mask, our topical collagen treatment, this bundle creates a program that works synergistically over the course of 24 days to totally transform your complexion.
Want to amp up your skincare routine for oily skin? Try a skin care subscription box and save up to 15% on Taut products!