How to Build a Skincare Routine for Oily Skin – A Step by Step Guide

Many of us struggle with oily skin and the breakouts that usually come hand-in-hand with it. Are you tired of using blotting papers every hour or so to reduce oil build-up on your face? Tired of that greasy feeling?

While it may take some effort, oily skin is actually manageable if you build the best skincare routine for oily skin. Choosing the right products and practicing a good skincare routine can dramatically improve overly oily skin. Keep reading to learn more about oily skin, and conquer it today!

How to Find Out if You Have Oily Skin?

We all are born with different skin types. The different skin types include dry, normal, oily, and combination skin. One of the most common types of skin is oily skin. Our skin actually produces natural oils that keep it sufficiently hydrated. However, those of us who have oily skin experience an excess production of these natural oils or sebum. A surplus of sebum can lead to skin issues like clogged pores, blemishes, pimples, blackheads and other types of acne. 

Oily skin is particularly noticeable in the T-zone region.
Oily skin is particularly noticeable in the T-zone region.

People with oily skin feel that their T-zone (the nose, chin, and forehead) ends up being the most greasy. How do you know if you have oily skin? 

Here are a few key indicators of oily skin: 

  • Large and clear pores on your skin.
  • A greasy texture particularly in the T-zone
  • Clogged pores and frequent breakouts

If you’re still not sure: 

Here’s a little experiment you can try to help you determine if you have oily skin. 

  1. First, use a gentle cleanser to wash your face. 
  2. Pat dry with a towel.
  3. Don’t apply skincare products and try not to let anything touch your face for 30 minutes to an hour. 
  4. After the waiting period, try blotting your face with tissue paper or blotting paper. 
ResultsWhat does that mean?
Oily skin all around (T-zone + cheeks).You have oily skin.
Oil in the T-zone region but not cheeks.You have combination skin.
Your skin feels tight or is flaky.You have dry skin.
Your skin is red, itchy or it stings a bit. You have sensitive skin.
Only a little oil on your T-zone, soft skin.You have normal skin.

Try this at home with the Clean & Clear Oil Control Film

Clean & Clear Oil Control Film.
Clean & Clear Oil Control Film.

This oil-blotting paper is a godsend for those of us with oily skin. It’s great for keeping oil-production under control throughout the day. This oil control film is pocket-sized and easy to carry in a makeup bag or a small clutch.

Causes of Oily Skin

Now, we’ve covered that excess oil is the cause of oily or greasy-looking skin, but what causes it in the first place? Well, there are several causes of oily skin which include changes in your body as you age, genetics and environmental factors like air pollution. Let’s take a glance at some of the common causes of oily skin:

Oily skin can be caused by a number of factors.
Oily skin can be caused by a number of factors.

  • Genetics

Oily skin may be the cause of some genetic factors. You may suffer from oily skin because your parents might have the same skin type. Many people have a skin type that mirrors that of their parents. 

  • Age

Your skin produces less sebum as you age. But it does not mean that you can get rid of oily skin completely. Age typically slows down sebum production but does not eliminate oil fully.

  • Environmental Factors

Environmental factors also play a role in making your skin oily. A hot and humid climate causes more sebum production in the skin. Air pollution, on the other hand, can exacerbate clogged pores and cause more breakouts. 

Daily Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

People with oily skin have a higher risk of developing problematic acne. Controlling oil and sebum is tough but not impossible. So, what can you do about that shine on your face?

You can build a basic skincare routine for oily skin and this should help control oil production. Here’s our step-by-step guide on a daily skincare routine for oily skin. 

1. Cleanse Your Skin Thoroughly

It is a fact that oily skin needs regular cleansing. It is the first step in the skincare routine if you have extra oil in your face. You must keep a habit of cleansing your skin twice or thrice a day.

Pick a good face wash containing salicylic acid and other natural substances. Washing and cleansing skin will remove excess oil, dirt, sebum, and other impurities.

Cleansing your face removes impurities.
Cleansing your face removes impurities.

2. Exfoliation

The next step in your morning skincare routine for oily skin is exfoliation. This step is necessary for those who suffer from acne. Exfoliating skin three times a week has a positive impact on your skin. It does not only remove dirt but also moisturizes skin thoroughly.

Exfoliation increases blood circulation and removes toxins from the skin. There are many products to exfoliate oily skin. Some products have herbal ingredients and organic components that give good exfoliation of the skin.

If you have delicate skin, choose natural ingredients available in the kitchen. You can choose orange peel, sugar, walnut, and oatmeal to exfoliate your skin. These ingredients do not harm your skin. They also make your skin soft and bright.

3. Get a Toner

After cleansing and exfoliation, it is toner. You must apply a good toner on the skin that contains salicylic acid and lactic acid. The best toners work to close large pores and tighten your skin. Toners do not strip skin of its natural oils and moisture, but can help to maintain the pH level in your skin.

You can choose some natural ingredients like rose water, aloe vera extract, or tea tree extract as a natural skin toner. 

A toner refreshes your skin, while retaining skin moisture.
A toner refreshes your skin, while retaining skin moisture.

4. Apply a Serum

Applying a serum is usually an optional step in the skincare routine for oily skin. Serums with sulfur and benzoyl peroxide absorb excess oil from the face. They also stop acne breakouts and pimples on the skin.

You can pick effective products containing Retinol to remove oil from the skin. These products help in removing wrinkles and fine lines. If you have mild aging signs, apply an anti-aging product to eliminate mild aging signs.

5. Moisturize Your Skin

Now, this is one of the most important steps for people with oily skin. Moisturizing your skin is necessary to remove oil and dirt. However, you must be careful while picking a moisturizer for oily skin. It must be an oil-free and water-based moisturizer to treat your oily skin.

Avoid using oil-based moisturizers as your skin is already oily. Water-based moisturizers eliminate dirt and remove greasiness from the skin. They also reduce the recurrence of acne and pimples. The moisturizer keeps skin hydrated for long hours and gives radiance as well.

6. Acne Treatment

Acne is bound to occur on an oily face. It mostly occurs on the forehead, nose, and cheeks. You can include an acne treatment step in the skincare routine for oily acne-prone skin. Cultivate a habit of washing your face several times a day with lukewarm water. You can also use a mild cleanser or face wash to periodically remove impurities that clog your pores.

You can also apply “non-comedogenic” skin products to reduce acne. Removing eye and face makeup as soon as possible also reduces your chances of developing frequent breakouts. If you do suffer from breakouts, keep in mind that there are different types of acne and ways to treat them. Identify the kind of acne you have and do spot treatment as necessary.

If you suffer from oily skin and acne, don’t skip this step!
If you suffer from oily skin and acne, don’t skip this step!

7. Use a Lotion with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

Traveling in direct sunlight for long hours causes acne and sunburn. Apply a thin layer of SPF 30 sunscreen on the face to reduce cell damage. Sunscreen lotion opens pores and safeguards skin from UV rays of the sun. You can pick water-based and waterproof sunscreen lotions for removing excess oil and sebum from the skin. Ideally, you’d want to pick a sunscreen for oily skin

8. Keep Eye Area Hydrated

The eye area often gets dry due to a lack of moisture. Keep a habit of applying eye cream near your eye area to remove wrinkles and fine lines. You can pick a non-comedogenic product to hydrate your eye area and keep it soft for many hours.

Bonus Tips for Oily Skin

Now that you have the basic building blocks for your skincare routine, you’re already halfway there! Here are some bonus tips to help you manage your oily skin.

  •  Remove makeup completely

Many women have a habit of keeping eye and face makeup overnight after work or parties. Leaving makeup for long hours causes skin damage. It also causes acne and pimples because the thick layers of makeup clog up your pores. So, the best way to control oil is to remove makeup completely from the skin. You can use makeup remover wipes or a good cleansing oil to effectively remove all traces of makeup before bed. 

  • Cleansing face after exercising

Sweat and oil get accumulated in the face after doing physical exercises. So, keep a habit of cleansing your face after workouts or exercises. You must include cleansing in your skincare routine for oily acne-prone skin to keep oil away.

  • Apply sheet masks

It can’t hurt to try sheet masks every now and again. Pamper your skin after a long day with face masks that nourish your skin. These masks work to absorb oil from the face fully and keep your face soft and bouncy. You can easily get sheet masks made from natural ingredients such as aloe vera extract, hyaluronic acid, and cucumber.

Sheet masks can effectively nourish your skin.
Sheet masks can effectively nourish your skin.

  • Try blotting papers

You can use blotting papers to remove extra grease from the skin. They’re highly portable and easy to use. 

Skincare Products for Oily Skin

When you have oily skin, the biggest concern is how to prevent oil accumulation. Having trouble selecting what products should makeup your skincare routine? Here are some of the best products for getting rid of that pesky shine!

1. Best Cleanser for Oily Skin – CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

CeraVe foaming facial cleanser for normal to oily skin. Skincare routine for oily skin - Shop Journey
CeraVe foaming facial cleanser for normal to oily skin.

Developed from hyaluronic acid, this facial cleanser should form a vital part of your skincare routine for oily skin Malaysia. It is packed with 3 essential ceramides that provide a thorough cleansing of the face. You will get ample moisture after using this cleanser on your skin once a day. This product is free of sulfur, fragrances, and chemicals. It gives a refreshing feel on the face whenever you have to stay for long hours in direct sun. Moreover, it does not cause skin redness or allergies. Even those with sensitive skin should be able to use this product. 

2. Best Toner for Oily Skin: Pixi 250ML 5% Glycolic Acid Glow Tonic Moisturizing Oil-controlling Essence Toner

Pixi’s Glow Tonic is a great toner for oily skin. Skincare routine for oily skin - Shop Journey
Pixi’s Glow Tonic is a great toner for oily skin.

Pixi Toner is a perfect skin product for people with oily skin types. It is also suitable for dry skin. This toner is composed of glycolic acid that gives a nice radiance to your skin. Besides, it also removes excess oil and dirt accumulation on the face every hour. This product will also solve the problem of acne. It hydrates the skin thoroughly and makes it bouncy and beautiful. You can get rid of dirty blackheads by incorporating this toner in this skin care routine for oily acne-prone skin.

3. Best Serum for Oily Skin: THE ORDINARY NIACINAMIDE 10% + ZINC 1%

The Ordinary Niacinamide serum is perfect for oily skin. Skincare routine for oily skin - Shop Journey
The Ordinary Niacinamide serum is perfect for oily skin.

Enlarged pores and acne can get in the way of having smooth and radiant skin. But now, there is a way to control them using The Ordinary Niacinamide serum. This serum is formulated with Vitamin C and Zinc. It helps to eliminate wrinkles, blemishes, and fine lines to a large extent. Your skin tone improves every day by applying a small portion of this organic serum. This product also improves flexibility in the face and protects it from sun damage. It can stop acne from occurring on the face.  

4. Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel 

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is dermatologist recommended. Skincare routine for oily skin - Shop Journey
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is dermatologist recommended.

Moisturizing skin is crucial for retaining the ideal skin texture throughout the day. 

This Neutrogena moisturizer gel keeps your skin hydrated for more than 10 hours. It is a water-based gel that can reduce the extra oiliness of the skin. As it is a non-comedogenic product, you can use it daily. This gel makes skin vibrant and bouncy. It also works to repair the skin and nourishes it. It is a recommended product by top dermatologists. 


Now, you know everything there is to know about oily skin! If you’re still having trouble with oily skin and acne, you can always consult a dermatologist for some professional advice.

All in all, when it comes to managing oily skin, we recommend trying water-based and lightweight skincare products. With the right products, and a little blotting throughout the day, you can control the oil-buildup and be that much closer to achieving your skincare goals. Have a product that works miracles on your oily skin? Let us know in the comments!

About The Author

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Ms Cheap & Good truly lives up to her name; nothing is yummier than value for money shopping deals on the internet! Always on the hunt for the best deals, you can expect carefully curated reviews from someone who is always conscious of her shopping budget.

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