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!

Or view all her products for this search below.

View All 49 Products For This Search

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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.

    $22.00
  2. Kid's Cruiser Hat (Boys and Girls)  1065

    Kid's Cruiser Hat (Boys and Girls)

    Good looking and high-performance sun protection for kids. These hats also work well for adults with smaller head measurements. 

    $21.00
  3. Clarisonic Mia 2   1252

    Clarisonic Mia 2

    Patented sonic skin cleansing for your face to 'bump-up' the effectiveness of your skin care regimen. Clarisonic Mia 2 gives you a gentle and effective cleanse at home or on the go.

    $150.00
  4. 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
  5. Men’s Performance Microfiber Hat  1189

    Men’s Performance Microfiber Hat

    These stylish and high-performance men’s microfiber hats have a breathable mesh lining and a 3 1/2" 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.
    $18.00
  6. Anti-Aging Antioxidant Kit - Max Strength - Glytone Exfoliating Lotion #3 for Oily Skin  1055
  7. 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.

    $41.40
  8. Solbar Zinc SPF 38 Sunscreen  1018

    Solbar Zinc SPF 38 Sunscreen

    My favorite sunscreen for sports, swimming and sweaty activities. It spreads so easily that it's also my favorite product to apply to the large expanses of unprotected skin on our bodies. You absolutely must use a water resistant sunscreen when you're going to be wet. 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
  9. 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!
    $20.00
  10. Clarisonic SMART Profile   1251

    Clarisonic SMART Profile

    Luxurious head-to-toe sonic face and body cleansing brush. Patented sonic skin cleansing for your face and body to 'bump-up' the effectiveness of your skin care regimen. 11x better cleansing than hands alone!

    $265.00
  11. 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
  12. 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.

    $48.00
  13. 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.
    $12.75
  14. Glytone Exfoliating Lotion #2  1026

    Glytone Exfoliating Lotion #2

    AHA therapy with a light water base for oily skin. I have patients use it to improve acne and rejuvenate skin.

    $32.00
  15. Replenix Exfoliating Scrub  1024

    Replenix Exfoliating Scrub

    The rolled bamboo beads provide gentle but effective physical facial exfoliation. Used twice a week in the morning, this product brightens and gives facial skin a nice luster.

    $36.00
  16. 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. 

    $38.00
  17. 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.

    $18.00
  18. Foaming Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Cleanser™  1039

    Foaming Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Cleanser™

    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.

    $14.50
  19. Anti-Aging Antioxidant Kit  1001

    Anti-Aging Antioxidant Kit

    This Antioxidant Anti Aging Skin Care Kit offers the best skin care products made today to brighten skin, and help reduce wrinkles and age spots while at the same time protecting your skin from the sun and every day stresses.
    $241.70
  20. MDSolarSciences Mineral Tinted Creme SPF 30 Broad Spectrum  1157

    MDSolarSciences Mineral Tinted Creme SPF 30 Broad Spectrum

    Luxurious, Broad Spectrum Sunscreen with a Silky "Barely There" Finish.
    $32.00
  21. Pigment Fading Pads  1253

    Pigment Fading Pads

    Pigmented skin? This 2% hydroquinone treatment can help. 

    $66.50
  22. Vanicream Lip Protectant  1255

    Vanicream Lip Protectant

    The best dermatologist recommended hypoallergenic lip balm and sunscreen - all in one product!

    $8.00
  23. 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.
    $12.75
  24. Retinol Ultra-Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream™  1182

    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.
    $84.00
  25. 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.
    $8.00
  26. 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.

    $17.40
  27. Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Cream 2.5% Sensitive Skin™  1205

    Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Cream 2.5% Sensitive Skin™

    Better than expensive prescription acne treatments: Benzoyl peroxide continues to be the best acne−treating ingredient in medical studies.
    $12.75
  28. Ultimate Holiday Acne Kit for Sensitive Skin  1260

    Ultimate Holiday Acne Kit for Sensitive Skin

    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.

    $32.00
  29. EltaMD UV SPF 46 Sunscreen  1125

    EltaMD UV 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.

    $32.00
  30. 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!

    $43.00
  31. 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
  32. Advanced Corrective Eye Cream™  1059

    Advanced Corrective Eye Cream™

    6-in-1 technology to fight all eye-area problems in one cream!

    $75.00
  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. 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.

    $28.00
  35. Avene Gentle Eye Make-up Remover  1070

    Avene Gentle Eye Make-up Remover

    This soothing gentle formulation made in France removes even stubborn waterproof eye makeup without irritation.
    $18.00
  36. Facial Redness Relief Kit - Oil Free  1068

    Facial Redness Relief Kit - Oil Free

    Dermatologist recommended products to calm facial redness from rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis using ingredients that are proven to give relief.
    $79.70
  37. Glycolic Acid Anti-Wrinkle Face Cream  1254

    Glycolic Acid Anti-Wrinkle Face Cream

    The perfect AHA face cream for normal and combination skin.
    $28.00
  38. Retinol Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream™  1183

    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.

    $73.50
  39. Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily to Normal Skin™  1139

    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.

    $16.50
  40. 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.

    $34.00
  41. Instantly Luminous Multi-Action Serum™  1211

    Instantly Luminous Multi-Action Serum™

    Advanced skin care technology for firmer, brighter, and smoother skin instantly!

    $69.00
  42. 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.

    $20.00
  43. Foaming Acne Treatment Cleanser™  1033

    Foaming Acne Treatment Cleanser™

    Our Dr. Bailey SKIN Oil Off 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.

    $14.50
  44. 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.  

    $28.00
  45. 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).

    $69.70
  46. 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.

    $111.00
  47. Foaming Zinc Cleanser™  1040

    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.

    $14.80
  48. Calming Zinc Bar Soap®  1044

    Calming Zinc Bar Soap®

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

  49. 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.
    $5.00

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