How To Treat Oily Skin

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You might have the same question as I did a while ago: how to treat oily skin? How to treat your skin the right way is different for every skin type and requires other types of products and routines. Today I’m going to share every single detail on how to treat oily skin properly. Including what oily skin causes, 10 do’s and don’ts from dermatologists, 7 home remedies to treat oily skin, how to prevent oily skin and the best skincare products for oily skin. 

Although the oil on our skin helps protect it and fight signs of aging, many people suffer from an excess of oil. We often picture teenagers having this problem, but it can affect people of all ages and cause blemishes, pimples, and other problems. There are different types of products and treatments to help with oily skin.

If you have oily skin, you know it. Your skin gets greasy, your makeup melts off, and you’re likely prone to breakouts, too. But do you find yourself asking, “Why is my skin so oily?” Well, this is an important question; in order to take care of your skin, it’s important to know the oily skin causes that are behind your main skincare concern.

What Causes Oily Skin?

There are lots of different reasons why you have oily skin which L’oréal Paris summed up for us: 

The Weather 

Skin can become especially oily in the summer months, when the temperatures and humidity are high, according to research published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Summer weather can also make you more vulnerable to breakouts as the oils on your face will be more likely to mix with sweat and clog your pores. 


When you’re feeling stressed, your body’s stress hormone, cortisol, rises, according to research published by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). This, in turn, can cause an increase in your skin’s natural oil production. 


As hormone levels shift during your cycle—from estrogen and progesterone to testosterone—about two weeks before your period, it’s possible that you start to overproduce oil, according to the NIH. This change is also likely to clog pores, potentially resulting in breakouts. 


According to the AAD, If you have oily skin you should cleanse twice a day—morning and evening—and also after exercising (who’s guilty of not cleansing twice a day? I know I am). Your skin produces oils on its own and comes in contact with dirt and grime throughout your day, so it’s very important that you keep your skin clean to maintain a fresh face.


Yes, you can over-cleanse your skin, too! Face washing or scrubbing that is too harsh can irritate the skin and actually trigger increased oil production, per the AAD. 

You don’t Moisturize

When your face is already oily, I understand that the last thing you’ll want to do is moisturize. However, moisturizing is a must regardless of your skin type. In fact, skipping moisturizer can contribute to your oily complexion! What? When you don’t provide your complexion with enough hydration, it can trick your skin into producing too much oil.

Stripping your skin of its natural oils

Washing your face or showering with extremely hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils, much like over-cleansing. Whether you’re in the shower or washing your face at the sink, make sure to turn down the water temperature.

Poor Diet

Not only is eating a healthy diet a key part of any healthy lifestyle, but it may impact your skin. According to research published by the NIH, a diet high in carbohydrates like white bread, sugar, and white rice may lead to high serum glucose levels and elevated levels of insulin. In turn, insulin has been shown to elevate sebum production.

Overproduces Sebum 

If you truly have oily skin and it’s not in response to the environmental factors mentioned, according to research published by the NIH, it means that your sebaceous glands are most likely larger and produce excessive amounts of sebum (oil). 

How to treat oily skin

So now we know what causes oily skin, it’s time to find out how to treat oily skin the right way. The AAD wrote an very helpful artcile with do’s and don’ts from dermatologists.

How to treat oily skin: 10 do’s and don’ts from dermatologists

Although oily skin can clog pores and lead to increased acne breakouts, oily skin also has many benefits. Oil helps preserve the skin, and people with oily skin tend to have thicker skin and fewer wrinkles. The key is to strike a balance between having too much oil and maintaining your skin’s natural moisture.

How to treat oily skin, dermatologists recommend the following tips:

  1. DO wash your face every morning, evening, and after exercise. While washing, resist the temptation to scrub your skin, even to remove makeup. Scrubbing irritates your skin, which can make it look worse.

  2. DO choose skincare products that are labeled “oil-free” and “noncomedogenic.” This means that products that have these labels — including cleansers, moisturizers, and makeup — won’t clog your pores or cause acne.

  3. DO use a gentle, foaming face wash. Many people believe that they need to use a strong face wash for oily skin in order to dry out their skin. However, using a face wash that is too harsh can irritate your skin and trigger increased oil production. Instead, look for a mild, gentle face wash.

  4. DON’T use oil-based or alcohol-based cleansers. These can irritate your skin.

  5. DO apply moisturizer daily. Although you have oily skin, it is still important to apply moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. To save time and protect your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, look for a moisturizer that also contains a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

  6. DO wear sunscreen outdoors. Sunscreen helps prevent sun damage that could lead to wrinkles, age spots, and even skin cancer. To prevent acne breakouts, look for sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and do not use sunscreens that contain fragrance or oils.

  7. DO choose oil-free, water-based makeup.

  8. DON’T sleep in your makeup. Always remove all makeup before going to sleep.

  9. DO use blotting papers throughout the day. Gently press the paper against your face and leave it on for a few seconds to absorb the oil. Don’t rub the paper on your face, as this will spread the oil to other areas.

  10. DON’T touch your face throughout the day. Although it’s tempting to touch your face, doing so can spread dirt, oil, and bacteria from your hands to your face. Only touch your face when you’re cleansing, moisturizing or applying sunscreen or makeup, and make sure your hands are clean first.

Every person’s skin is different, and there is no “one size fits all” approach to skincare. If you are concerned about the amount of oil your skin is producing or if you’re struggling with how to treat oily skin with blackheads or acne, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.

How to Treat Oily Skin

What Products Are Good For Oily Skin?

Now we know how to treat oily skin and found out we need products such as face wash and moisturizer, we need to know which products are good, right? I’ve gathered skincare products for oily skin. Don’t hesitate to treat yourself! 🙂 

Paula’s Choice is an amazing skincare brand and a favorite of mine. The brand only uses the best natural and synthetic ingredients available and never uses ingredients that irritate the skin, such as alcohol and talc. Paula’s Choice offers a variety of skincare products for all skin types and skin concerns. Here are my favorite products to treat oily skin: 

  • Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser: A gentle daily cleanser that helps balance moisture while removing makeup, impurities, and excess oil.

  • Pore-Reducing Toner: A daily facial toner that balances oily skin, minimizes enlarged pores and provides light hydration.

  • Oil-Free Moisturizer: Provides soothing hydration that won’t clog pores or cause breakouts. Weightless, oil-free moisturizer is specially formulated for blemish-prone skin.

  • Ceramide-Enriched Firming Eye Cream: This hydrating eye cream visibly smooths under-eye wrinkles with a concentrated blend of five replenishing ceramides, four forms of brightening vitamin C, two peptides and clinically proven retinol.

  • Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50: An innovative water-light formula that contains a vital selection of antioxidants and broad-spectrum sun protection to fight visible signs of aging and prevent premature aging of the skin.

  • Purifying Clay Mask: This multi-action clay mask absorbs excess oil, minimizes the look of enlarged pores, visibly reduces redness and helps prevent future breakouts.

The products I’ve mentioned above are included in the shop widget down below or you can click on the product name to see the product. If you would like to see the whole oily skin product range, please check out the Paula’s Choice website here

How to treat oily skin

7 Home Remedies for Oily Skin

Oily skin and acne are challenging to manage. Still, home remedies often reduce symptoms without the use of prescription drugs or expensive skincare products. If you’re on a budget, here are 7 remedies for oily skin you can try at home.

Please remember that most remedies aren’t well-researched. The success of a home remedy is dependent on many things such as your specific situation and the quality of the products you use. If a home remedy worsens symptoms, stop using it, and contact your doctor or a dermatologist.

1. Honey

Honey is one of nature’s most revered skin remedies. Thanks to its antibacterial and antiseptic abilities, it may benefit oily and acne-prone skin. Honey is also a natural humectant, so it helps keep the skin moisturized but not oily. This is because humectants draw moisture from the skin without replacing it.

To use honey to treat acne and oily skin, spread a thin layer, preferably raw, onto your face; let it dry for about 10 minutes, and rinse thoroughly with warm water.

2. Cosmetic clay

Cosmetic clays, also called healing clays, are used to help absorb skin oil and treat many skin conditions. French green clay is a popular treatment for oily skin and acne since it’s highly absorbent. French green clay comes in powder form.

To make a spa-worthy French green clay mask:

  1. Add filtered water or rose water to about a teaspoon of clay until it forms a pudding-like consistency.
  2. Apply the clay mixture to your face and leave it on until it dries.
  3. Remove the clay with warm water and pat dry.

 3. Oatmeal

Oatmeal helps calm inflamed skin and absorbs excess oil. It also helps exfoliate dead skin. When used in facial masks, oatmeal is usually ground. It can be combined with yogurt, honey, or mashed fruit such as bananas, apples, or papaya. To use oatmeal on your face:

  1. Combine 1/2 cup ground oats with hot water to form a paste.
  2. Stir in 1 tablespoon honey.
  3. Massage the oatmeal mixture into your face for about three minutes; rinse with warm water, and pat dry.
  4. Alternatively, apply the oatmeal mixture to your face and leave it on for 10–15 minutes; rinse with warm water, and pat dry.

4. Egg whites and lemons

Egg whites and lemons are a folk remedy for oily skin. Both ingredients are thought to tighten pores. The acid in lemons and other citrus fruits may help absorb oil. However, this remedy is not a good choice for people with egg allergies.

To make an egg white and lemon face mask:

  1. Combine 1 egg white with 1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice.
  2. Apply it to your face, and leave it on until the mask dries.
  3. Remove with warm water, and pat dry.

5. Aloe vera

Aloe vera is known for soothing burns and other skin conditions. According to the Mayo Clinic, there’s good scientific evidence that it helps treat flaky skin caused by oily patches. Many people use aloe vera to treat oily skin.

You can apply a thin layer to your face before bedtime and leave it on until morning. Aloe vera is known to cause an allergic reaction on sensitive skin. If you have not used aloe vera before, test a small amount on your forearm. If no reaction appears within 24 to 48 hours, it should be safe to use.

6. Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain salicylic acid, a common acne home remedy. The acids in tomatoes may help absorb excess skin oils and unclog pores. To make an exfoliating tomato mask:

  1. Combine 1 teaspoon sugar with the pulp of 1 tomato.
  2. Apply to the skin in a circular motion.
  3. Leave the mask on for 5 minutes.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, and pat dry.

You can also apply just tomato pulp or tomato slices to your skin.

 7. Jojoba oil

Although the idea of applying oil to oily skin seems counterproductive, jojoba oil is a folk remedy to treat oily skin, acne, and other skin problems.

It’s thought that jojoba mimics sebum on the skin to “trick” sebaceous glands into producing less sebum and help keep oil levels balanced. There’s no scientific research to support this theory, though.

A little jojoba oil goes a long way. Using too much may worsen oily skin. Try massaging a few drops into clean skin a few days a week to see how you react. If you like the results, apply daily.

How to treat oily skin

How To Prevent Oily Skin

When oily skin is caused by genetics or hormones, it’s tough to prevent it. Practicing consistent skincare and avoiding unhealthy foods such as fried foods, foods high in sugar, and processed foods may help.

It’s tempting to use heavy cosmetics to cover the effects of oily skin, but this can make it worse. When oily skin acts up, reduce the use of makeup, especially foundation. Choose water-based products instead of oil-based. Look for products labeled noncomedogenic that are less likely to clog pores.

It’s possible to develop allergies to remedies you have been using for a while. If your skin becomes sensitive to any product, discontinue use.

You should seek medical help if oily skin symptoms such as acne are severe, since they may lead to infection or scarring.

I’ve also written a blog post on 8 Essential Skincare Tips for Winter for the people out there who have a dry skin type and need some extra help with that. 

What’s your skin type? Let me know in the comments. If you still have any questions, also please let me know.  


Hi there! Im Simone, 24-years-old born and raised Dutch girl still living in The Netherlands. I graduated in Human Resources and I have a huge passion for all things beauty. Im a dog mom to Bailey, USA obsessed, and lipstick hoarder.

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