Facial Products 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 problems such as acne, rosacea, and facial dandruff. The exact ramifications of this are not fully understood yet. 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. This is impacted by factors like diet, hormones, and stress.

The bottom line is that your facial oil production is complicated.

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.

Build your complete facial skin care routine based on any needs to treat facial skin problems (acne, rosacea, dandruff, uneven skin pigment, skin aging and sun damage, etc.) and your need to balance skin oils. Use products that deeply clean oils and dead cells from your pores, especially in the T-zone. Use hydrating products on areas of your skin that are drier, like the sides of your face.

Some examples of how I build a complete skin care routine for my oily complexion patients include products for the 4 essential steps in complete skin care:

  1. 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, and Acne Treatment Pads are great options. You can also use my Hydrating Rose Toner for natural and gentle skin oil cleansing after washing.
  2. 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. 
  3. Hydrate: Notice if you need more hydration on the non-T-zone parts of your face. My patients usually find that my Day 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.
  4. Protect: Oil-free matte sunscreens are ideal for oily skin. Great examples are Sure Strength Pure Physical Sunscreen and MDSolar Sciences.

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!

References:

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 2002–2009

Let Dr. Bailey help.
Pick products from 1) Cleanse, 2) Correct, 3) Hydrate, 4) Protect.
Build your complete skin care regimen here!

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  1. Avene Moisturizing Self-Tanning Lotion for Sensitive Skin  1058

    Avene Moisturizing Self-Tanning Lotion for Sensitive Skin

    My favorite Self-Tanning product.

    Regular Price: $26.00

    Special Price $21.00

  2. Pigment Fading Pads  1253

    Pigment Fading Pads

    Made to order Pigment Fading Pads with 2% hydroquinone will even out your skin color. Add a missing treatment piece to most skin care routines to help even out skin color

    $68.00
  3. Dr. Bailey's Retinol Ultra-Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream™

    Retinol Ultra-Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream™

    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
  4. Suntegrity Lip C.P.R. SPF Sunscreen Lipstick  1310

    Suntegrity Lip C.P.R. SPF Sunscreen Lipstick

    Natural non-nano mineral zinc oxide sun protection in a deeply hydrating base for your delicate lip skin. Prevent skin cancer and future wrinkles with daily use of sunscreen. That means lips too. Ever notice older lips are pale, shriveled, dry and chapped all the time. That’s sun damage. Just say no by wearing lip sun protection 365 days a year.

    $28.00
  5. Glytone Exfoliating Lotion #2  1026

    Glytone Exfoliating Lotion #2

    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
  6. Glytone Exfoliating Lotion #3  1027

    Glytone Exfoliating Lotion #3

    The same light water base for oily skin as in the Glytone Exfoliation Lotion #2 but with a stronger level of AHA therapy. I have patients use it to improve acne and rejuvenate skin. I recommend conditioning the skin by beginning with Lotion #2 and then advancing to #3.

    $47.00

    Out of stock

  7. Women's Sun Protection Bucket Hats  1250

    Women's Sun Protection Bucket Hats

    Lightweight, cool, and breathable cloth UPF 50 sun protection hats. Get in the habit of wearing this broad−brimmed hat along with your broad spectrum sunscreen − proven effective in the prevention of skin cancer and premature aging. Fits your head perfectly with its clever, adjustable inner brim cord. Highly packable too and makes a great gift!

    Regular Price: $25.00

    Special Price $21.25

  8. Men's Khaki Performance Hat  1312

    Men's Khaki Performance Hat

    These stylish and high-performance men's microfiber hats have a breathable mesh lining and a 3 1/4" brim. They fit perfectly and won't blow off because they have both an adjustable chin strap and an adjustable brim strap to hold them securely to your head.

    $19.00
  9. Kid's Hat (Boys and Girls)  1313

    Kid's Hat (Boys and Girls)

    Good looking and high-performance sun protection for kids.

    $15.00
  10. Clarisonic Brush Replacement Heads  1219

    Clarisonic Brush Replacement Heads

    Get the most out of your Clarisonic Cleansing System by keeping your Clarisonic Brushes in top shape.  Clarisonic recommends that you replace your brush head every 3 months to get the best results from your beloved Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System. Pick the right brush for your skin type to fully customize how the system works for you.

    $25.00
  11. Loose Mineral Makeup Blush™  1212

    Loose Mineral Makeup Blush™

    Two lovely, soft shades to invoke a natural looking, delicate health-radiating glow to your skin (without the sun!).

    $17.00
  12. Loose Mineral Makeup Powder Foundation™  1213

    Loose Mineral Makeup Powder Foundation™

    This gossamer-light triple milled powder gives you a soft and lovely matte finish with complete coverage.

    $20.00
  13. Naturally Best Bar Soap for Dry Skin™  1155

    Naturally Best Bar Soap for Dry Skin™

    Unscented, glycerin-rich soap made with healing oats for your dry and sensitive skin.

    Out of stock

  14. Glycolic Acid Face and Body Wash  1291

    Glycolic Acid Face and Body Wash

    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
  15. Foaming Acne Treatment Cleanser™  1033

    Foaming Acne Treatment Cleanser™

    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.

    $22.00
  16. Bamboo and Clay Thermal Exfoliating Facial Scrub  1289

    Bamboo and Clay Thermal Exfoliating Facial Scrub

    Get smoother, softer cleaner looking skin with a more luminous appearance with this magic combination of physical exfoliation and thermal clay deep pore cleansing.

    $52.00
  17. Triple-Action Facial Exfoliating Scrub  1288

    Triple-Action Facial Exfoliating Scrub

    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
  18. Dr. Bailey Sheer Strength Pure Physical Invisible Sunscreen, SPF 50™ Broad Spectrum Protection

    Sheer Strength Pure Physical Invisible Sunscreen, SPF 50™ Broad Spectrum Protection

    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.

    Regular Price: $47.00

    Special Price $39.95

  19. Extremely Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser  1293

    Extremely Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser

    Foaming cleanser for complete skin cleansing without drying. Ideal for sensitive skin or skin made sensitive by professional skin care routines (such as glycolic acid, retinol or acne products) or facial skin conditions such as rosacea or seborrhea. The Gentle Foaming Cleanser is an ideal cleanser to alternate with Calming Zinc or your acne cleanser.

    Regular Price: $25.00

    Special Price $21.25

  20. Salicylic and Glycolic Acid Acne Treatment Pads, Extra Strength™  1036

    Salicylic and Glycolic Acid Acne Treatment Pads, Extra Strength™

    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.

    $26.00
  21. Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Cream 5%™  1037

    Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Cream 5%™

    Benzoyl peroxide is the most effective non prescription acne treatment medicine for killing the acne causing bacteria p. acnes. The 5% benzoyl peroxide in this acne treatment cream is strong enough to treat tough acne, but won't irritate most sensitive skin.
    $16.00
  22. Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Cream 2.5% Sensitive Skin™  1205

    Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Cream 2.5% Sensitive Skin™

    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.

    $16.00
  23. Glytone Mild Gel Wash  1025

    Glytone Mild Gel Wash

    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
  24. Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Cream 10%, Extra Strength™  1038

    Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Cream 10%, Extra Strength™

    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.
    $16.00
  25. Glycolic Acid Anti-Wrinkle Face Cream  1254

    Glycolic Acid Anti-Wrinkle Face Cream

    The perfect AHA face cream for normal and combination skin. Available in 10%, 15% and 20% strength for all skin types

    $31.00
  26. EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Sunscreen  1125

    EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Sunscreen

    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
  27. Foaming Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Cleanser™  1039

    Foaming Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Cleanser™

    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.

    $20.50
  28. Vitamin C Anti-Wrinkle Professional Treatment Serum™  1023

    Vitamin C Anti-Wrinkle Professional Treatment Serum™

    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.

    $128.00
  29. Solbar Zinc SPF 38 Sunscreen

    Solbar Zinc SPF 38 Sunscreen

    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
  30. Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily to Normal Skin™

    Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily to Normal Skin™

    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.

    Regular Price: $25.00

    Special Price $21.25

  31. Foaming Acne Treatment Cleanser, Extra Strength™  1034

    Foaming Acne Treatment Cleanser, Extra Strength™

    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.

    $26.00
  32. Advanced Corrective Eye Cream™  1059

    Advanced Corrective Eye Cream™

    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.

    $85.00
  33. Pressed Mineral Makeup Powder™  1216

    Pressed Mineral Makeup Powder™

    Oil-free pressed minerals give you medium to full coverage with a smooth, long-lasting matte finish. This mineral makeup foundation is full coverage, yet oil-free. The light reflecting powder is so fine that it won't flake or cake. You get a natural, healthy skin look because the tiny mineral particles are so fine that they layer imperceptibly on your skin giving you complete coverage to show off your skin.

    $24.00
  34. Vanicream Lip Protectant  1255

    Vanicream Lip Protectant

    A popular dermatologist-recommended hypoallergenic lip balm and sunscreen - all together in one product.

    $8.00
  35. Raw Elements Lip SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen  1308

    Raw Elements Lip SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

    Lips need sun protection. Lip cancer is NO fun – trust a dermatologist on that one! Everyone needs lip sun protection and it needs to start early in life. Raw Elements Lip Sunscreen is made with only non-nano zinc oxide and provides powerful broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection for delicate lips.

    $7.00
  36. Replenix CF Cream   1022

    Replenix CF Cream

    This has been a popular facial product in my dermatology practice for years! This unique oil free cream contains a high concentration of green tea antioxidant polyphenol, combined with caffeine and hyaluronic acid (a very expensive protein moisturizing ingredient).

    $82.00
  37. Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray Sunscreen SPF 50+™  1207

    Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray Sunscreen SPF 50+™

    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. 

    Regular Price: $44.00

    Special Price $37.40

  38. Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream, 4 oz.  1085

    Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream, 4 oz.

    Dermatologist recommended skin cream for sensitive skin. One of the best skin care products to heal dry skin for people with eczema or skin allergies.

    Regular Price: $8.00

    Special Price $6.80

  39. Instantly Luminous Multi-Action Serum™  1211

    Instantly Luminous Multi-Action Serum™

    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.

    Regular Price: $78.00

    Special Price $66.30

  40. Naturally Hydrating Pore-Minimizing Facial Toner™  1215

    Naturally Hydrating Pore-Minimizing Facial Toner™

    Brighten your complexion with the extra clean that comes from using a gentle and non-drying toner after washing your facial skin.  

    $31.50
  41. 100% Natural Invigorating Shower Gel  1294

    100% Natural Invigorating Shower Gel

    A refreshing head-to-toe skin cleanser for the entire family. At last, an economical shower gel that is entirely natural; remove dirt and oil from everyone’s skin without any chemicals.

    Regular Price: $12.50

    Special Price $10.63

  42. 100% Natural Ultra-Hypoallergenic Shower Gel  1295

    100% Natural Ultra-Hypoallergenic Shower Gel

    An entirely unscented and dermatologist approved shower gel for even the most highly sensitive skin. Economical and perfect for the entire family.

    Regular Price: $12.50

    Special Price $10.63

  43. Salicylic and Glycolic Acid Acne Treatment Pads™  1035

    Salicylic and Glycolic Acid Acne Treatment Pads™

    2% Glycolic Acid and 2% Salicylic Acid acne treatment medicines are strong enough to treat stubborn acne but gentle on sensitive skin.

    $20.50
  44. Dr, Bailey's Foaming Zinc Cleanser™

    Foaming Zinc Cleanser™

    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.

    $21.50
  45. Dr. Bailey's Calming Zinc Soap

    Calming Zinc™

    My favorite skin cleanser! Naturally healing, unbelievably hydrating, and powerfully medicated to solve your skin problems.

    Regular Price: $12.00

    Special Price $10.20

  46. Dr. Bailey's Retinol Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream™

    Retinol Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream™

    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
  47. Sheer Strength Pure Physical Tinted Matte Sunscreen, SPF 50™  1217

    Sheer Strength Pure Physical Tinted Matte Sunscreen, SPF 50™

    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!

    Regular Price: $47.00

    Special Price $39.95

  48. Ultimate Acne Solutions Skin Care Kit™  1010

    Ultimate Acne Solutions Skin Care Kit™

    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.

    $56.00
  49. Ultimate Acne Solutions Skin Care Kit, Extra Strength™  1011

    Ultimate Acne Solutions Skin Care Kit, Extra Strength™

    Tolerant skin benefits from the high concentration of acne medicine in the Ultimate Acne Solutions Skin Care Kit, Extra Strength.

    $65.00
  50. Facial Redness Relief Kit - with Replenix CF Cream  1068

    Facial Redness Relief Kit - with Replenix CF Cream

    Dermatologist recommended products to calm facial redness from rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis using ingredients that are proven to give relief.

    Regular Price: $91.00

    Special Price $77.35

  51. Ultimate Pigment and Sun Damage Repair Kit  1311

    Ultimate Pigment and Sun Damage Repair Kit

    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!

    $325.00
  52. Facial Glycolic Acid Kit for All Complexion Types  1335

    Facial Glycolic Acid Kit for All Complexion Types

    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.

    $70.00
  53. Dr. Bailey's Anti-Aging Antioxidant Kit  1344

    Dr. Bailey's Anti-Aging Antioxidant Kit

    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.

    $299.00

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