Skin Care for Oily Skin
The best skin care routine for oily facial skin is one that deeply cleans pores without overly drying your skin.
Look for products you can use twice a day that don’t add an additional oily or heavy product feel to your skin. Finding the perfect balance with your skin care is the trick when you have an oily complexion. Let me help. As a dermatologist, I have treated patients with a range of oily complexions over the years. I watch the scientific literature regarding the role of skin oil in causing skin problems, and I listen to my patient's observations about what works and what doesn't work to help their oily skin concerns.
FAQs about your facial oil glands:
- You have the highest concentration of oil glands on the T-zone of your face.
- Your hormones and stress can increase oil gland activity.
- The oil produced is a natural skin moisturizer and is protective. It contains antioxidants and has components that help fight skin infections.
- The exact composition of skin oil components varies in certain skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and facial dandruff. It was long ago believed that oil production was increased in these conditions, but now that is controversial. Even in acne, the severity of the acne is not directly related to sebum production! Acne lesions are probably more related to the composition of the sebum and skin oil, and this is impacted by factors like diet, hormones, and stress.
The bottom line is that your facial oil production is complicated.
What are the symptoms and signs of oily facial skin?
- People with oily facial skin complain that their skin is shiny and greasy soon after washing.
- Their pores often are larger, and can become clogged with oil and dead cells.
Because you have regional variation in your facial oil production, I recommend treating the different parts of your facial skin according to their oily or normal complexion tendencies; what your skin needs on the T-zone may be different than what it needs on the rest of your face.
What are the best dermatologist's tips to reduce the symptoms and signs of oily skin?
Use products that deeply clean oils and dead cells from your pores, especially in the T-zone.
Build your complete facial skin care routine based on any needs to correct and treat facial skin problems such as acne, rosacea, dandruff, uneven skin pigment, skin aging and sun damage, etc. Pick product bases that are light weight and don't add extra heavy or oily feel to your skin.
Use hydrating products on areas of your skin that are drier, like the sides of your face. Moisturizing products with smart water binding humectants instead of oil are preferred by people with oily complexions.
Matte sunscreens are usually the best for oily complexions.
If you wear makeup, use mineral makeup with kaolin clay to help absorb excess oil during the day.
Remember, you always get the best results when you use my Dr. Bailey Complete Skin Care Routine to help control oily skin with compatible products. The essential steps of Dr. Bailey's Complete Skin Care Routine include:
How would I build my Dr. Bailey Complete Skin Care Routine for oily skin?
Complete Skin Care gets the best results and always includes the essential steps of Cleanse, Correct, Hydrate and Protect.
- CLEANSE: Use foaming cleansers in the T-zone to remove oil. Consider adding the Clarisonic Brush to sonically cleanse deeply in the pores. Remove excess oil and help loosen dead cell build-up with keratolytic ingredients that loosen the ‘glue’ holding dead cells together. These ingredients in cleansers include glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide. My Foaming Acne Cleanser, Foaming Benzoyl Peroxide Cleanser, Triple Action Exfoliating Cleanser are great options. Twice a week consider my Bamboo and Clay Thermal Exfoliating Scrub which has exothermic clay to gently pull oil and debris from pores while the scrub exfoliates skin to a smooth and satiny appearance. After cleansing, remove excess oil with pore penetrating salicylic acid in my Acne Treatment Pads. You can also use my Naturally Hydrating Pore Minimizing Toner, which contains witch hazel to act as an astringent to tone pores and gently cleanse additional skin oil after washing.
- CORRECT: Treat skin problems with light texture products that don’t add a heavy feel to your oily complexion. Look for non-comedogenic products that don’t block your pores, especially in the T-zone.
- HYDRATE: Notice if you need more hydration on the non-T-zone parts of your face. My patients usually find that my Daily Face Cream for Oily to Normal Skin is the perfect moisturizer for oily skin. Non-oil water binding ingredients to look for to hydrate skin include glycerin, PCA, and hyaluronic acid. These are found in my popular Instantly Luminous Multi-Action Serum and my Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy.
- PROTECT: Oil-free matte sunscreens are ideal for oily skin. Great examples are Sheer Strength Pure Physical Matte Tinted Sunscreen or my Sheer Strength Pure Physical Invisible Sunscreen.
Mineral makeup powder can provide additional mattifying minerals to help absorb oil during the day.
My patients with oily complexions also like the feel of their skin when they use clay masks several times a week. They feel that the clay helps to ‘pull’ oil and debris from their pores to give their skin a clean feel without irritation. They also say that their pores often appear smaller after a clay mask is used.
Can astringents, alcohols, and harsh products cause more oil production from sebocytes (the oil-producing cells in oil glands)?
I have been asked this daily in my practice for over 30 years. Believe me, I keep my eyes open for the answer in the scientific literature. To date, I still have not seen a study that answers this question. If you have a scholarly article that shows an increase in facial skin oil production in vivo caused by removing skin oil with soaps, detergents, alcohol or acetone, or from the presence of an irritant dermatitis, please forward the reference to me!
Vivian Y. Shi, MD, Michael Leo, BS, Lauren Hassoun, BS, Dev S. Chahal, BS, Howard I. Maibach, MD, Raja K. Sivamani, MD, MS, CAT, Role of sebaceous glands in inflammatory dermatoses, Journal of American Academy of Dermatology November 2015Volume 73, Issue 5, Pages 856–863
Nishit R. Trivedi Zhaoyuan Cong, Amanda M. Nelson, Adam J. Albert, Lorraine L. Rosamilia, Surendra Sivarajah, Kathryn L. Gilliland, Wenlei Liu, David T. Mauger, Robert A. Gabbay, Diane M. Thibouto Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors Increase Human Sebum Production, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, September 2006Volume 126, Issue 9, Pages 2002–2009Author:
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Most regular acne products are irritating to sensitive skin, but this acne treatment kit delivers the best acne medications at levels that are appropriate for sensitive skin.
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Tolerant skin benefits from the high concentration of acne medicine in the Ultimate Acne Solutions Skin Care Kit, Extra Strength.
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Professional glycolic acid skin care products are among the best, non-prescription anti-wrinkle face creams that also fight sun spots. Glycolic acid rejuvenates and reverses so many of the signs of skin aging including: dull skin, fine lines and wrinkles, crepey skin, sun spots, and crusty age spots. Glycolic acid also helps prevent clogged pores, including blackheads that can lead to pimples and acne.$64.80
My Complete Skin Care Kit for Men fights facial redness and premature skin aging all at the same time.
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Dr. Bailey’s Anti-Aging Antioxidant Kit offers the best skin care products made today to help brighten your complexion and reduce wrinkles and age spots. It also protects your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and everyday stresses.
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Fade an uneven complexion almost instantly with the best pigment lightening products. Reverse fine lines and wrinkles and return your appearance to younger days. This kit has everything proven to do the job!
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Eco-friendly beads combine with AHA and BHA to instantly brighten your complexion. Loosen dull dead cells and uneven pigmentation. Renew skin luster to a more youthful glow and instantly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.$46.00
This rich soap-free cleanser brightens your complexion and leaves your skin silky smooth and ready for your treating and correcting products. Ideal for all skin types including oily skin because it gently but thoroughly removes product, oil, dirt and debris from the skin surface.$34.00
Our Dr. Bailey Foaming Acne Treatment Cleanser, formulated for sensitive skin types. This 2% Glycolic Acid/2% Salicylic Acid foaming cleanser is strong enough to remove oil and debris from clogged pores while remaining gentle enough for most sensitive skin.$23.00
This extremely strong 10% Glycolic Acid/2% Salicylic Acid foaming cleanser is the strongest acne cleanser I recommend. Regular use dissolves oil and black heads. It's ideal for tolerant skin.$27.00
Benzoyl peroxide kills the acne-causing bacteria p. acnes. It also unclogs pores to treat blackheads, making it an excellent acne treatment for facial acne, back acne, and other areas of skin with body acne.
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2% Zinc Pyrithione is my 'secret ingredient' that is forgotten in other acne treatments. It combats the skin yeast germ called pityrosporum. I find this germ to be the most common cause of acne on the back and chest.$23.00
My favorite skin cleanser for facial redness and yeast acne! Naturally healing, unbelievably hydrating, and powerfully fortified with a full 2% pyrithione zinc to help solve your skin problems.
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Gently exfoliates dead skin cells leaving your skin smooth and radiant.$3.00
Get smoother, softer cleaner looking skin with a more luminous appearance with this magic combination of physical exfoliation and thermal clay deep pore cleansing.$55.00
Brighten your complexion with the extra clean that comes from using a gentle and non-drying toner after washing your facial skin.
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2% Glycolic Acid and 2% Salicylic Acid acne treatment medicines are strong enough to treat stubborn acne but gentle on sensitive skin.$21.00
Tolerant skin benefits from 10% glycolic acid, which I think is the ideal concentration to loosen black heads. These medicated pads perform this feat while lifting oil and debris from the skin.$28.00
The perfect AHA face cream for normal and combination skin. Available in 10%, 15% and 20% strength for all skin types$31.00
Retinol is one of the best non-prescription skin care ingredients you can use to reverse the signs of skin aging. Every serious anti-aging skin care routine should include a retinoid product to improve your skin complexion quickly.$83.00
Ultra-high concentration retinol is one of the best non-prescription skin care ingredients to fight skin aging. A serious anti-aging skin care routine should include a retinoid product, and all-trans- retinol is the best non-prescription retinoid for the job.$94.50
6-in-1 technology to fight all eye-area problems in one cream! Advanced pharmaceutical-quality active ingredients in the correct balance to help fight aging and to improve the appearance of your eye area.$89.00
I think this is the best vitamin C skin care product made! Dermatologists and skin care experts agree that vitamin C is one of the most important products in a serious anti-wrinkle treatment for sun-damaged skin.$132.00
Gentle, oil free hydration for facial skin. This light glycerin moisturizer is perfect for acne prone skin and to use in combination with all of our therapeutic facial products.
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Advanced skin care technology for firmer, brighter and smoother skin instantly! Instantly brighter, firmer, and smoother skin that keeps getting better and better with time.
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Oil-free and oil control ultra-light and tinted matte technology in a hypoallergenic sunscreen – it’s the holy grail for oily and sensitive skin AND it’s elegant for all skin types too! Contains iron oxide too making it the best sunscreen for melasma.
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Enjoy an oil free, non-whitening and “light as air” feel on your skin. Pure mineral zinc-oxide protection that’s perfect for even the most sensitive skin.
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At last, an ultra-light sunscreen spray that’s pure mineral protection with micro (not nano) zinc oxide for the best anti-aging broad spectrum protection.$44.00
Silky and oil absorbing for a light weight matte finish. Use alone or as a finishing powder.
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Two lovely, soft shades to invoke a natural looking, delicate health-radiating glow to your skin (without the sun!).
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Long-lasting, full coverage in a matte finish that won’t flake or cake.
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Unscented, glycerin-rich soap made with healing oats for your dry and sensitive skin.
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2.5% is the “sweet spot” in benzoyl peroxide acne treatment. It gives you all the acne-treating power needed to fight acne-causing bacteria and blackheads, but it’s gentle on sensitive skin.
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Benzoyl peroxide is the most effective non prescription acne treatment medicine for killing the acne causing bacteria P. acnes (now called C. acnes). The 5% benzoyl peroxide in this acne treatment cream is strong enough to treat tough acne, but won't irritate most sensitive skin.$17.00
A full 10% benzoyl peroxide is the highest concentration available over the counter and the most effective acne treatment medicine for killing the acne causing bacteria P. acnes (now called C. acnes).$17.50
This is an excellent exfoliating foaming cleanser that preps the skin for glycolic acid creams and lotions. It's an excellent cleanser for acne treatment or to exfoliate as part of an anti aging skin care regimen.$31.00
AHA therapy with a light water base for oily skin. Perfect for acne and anti-aging skin care for people with oily or normal skin.I have patients use it to improve acne and rejuvenate skin.$43.00
My favorite sunscreen for sports, swimming and sweaty activities. Solbar Zinc provides protection for up to 80 minutes in the water with its hefty 7.5% mineral zinc oxide combined with other chemical sunscreen agents. Oil free and shouldn't aggravate acne.$13.00
Completely oil free and ultra light feel on the skin make this sunscreen a marvel. Perfect for oily to normal and acne prone skin. Comes with either a clear or tinted option to help soften complexion flaws for all skin types.$32.50
My favorite Self-Tanning product.$26.00