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Skin Care Routine For Oily Skin – 5 Simple Steps

By Josh Sim, Aesthetic and Better Ageing Specialist


Oily skin has overactive glands that produce excess sebum. The aim of the skincare routine should be to minimise oil while maintaining hydration levels.

For Morning

1. Cleansing

It is important to invest in a cleansing face wash if you have oily skin. You can also look for oil-free cleansing gels or foams. Prefer sulfate-free products as these will control oiliness while cutting the risk of drying out your skin.

2. Exfoliation

Depending on the skin tolerance levels, you may use gentle AHA-based exfoliants twice or thrice a week. If you prefer physical scrubs, use a mild product once a week to clear blackheads, whiteheads, and clogged skin pores. However, avoid using walnut scrubs for exfoliating your skin, especially if you have active breakouts, as they can be harsh.

3. Toning

Alcohol-free toner with ingredients like sodium PCA, witch hazel, or geranium is the way to go when dealing with oily skin. These astringent ingredients help clean your skin and refine skin pores without damaging or dehydrating your skin.

4. Moisturising

Contrary to popular belief, moisturising is crucial even for oily skin types. Dehydrated skin can kick your sebaceous glands into overdrive, leaving your skin in a worse condition than before.

Look for oil-free moisturisers. Water-based, non-comedogenic gels and lotions are usually a good option for oily skin. These products feel light on your skin, keep it hydrated, and leave it with a matte finish. If you have extremely oily skin, you can choose to invest in a good hydrating gel.

5. Sunscreen

Slathering on sunscreen may not seem appealing if you have oily skin. However, this is because you probably have not been using the right products. Instead, use gel-based, matte-finish sunscreens. Products with zinc oxide can make a world of difference to your skincare routine. These products leave your skin with a matte finish while also preventing breakouts.

For Night

1. Cleansing

Use the same cleanser that you use in the morning.

2. Toning

Tone your face with the same toner you use for your morning routine.

3. Serum (AHA/BHA)

Oily skin usually has large pores, and AHA/BHA serums help minimise the appearance of skin pores. If you have acne-prone skin, look for ingredients like salicylic acid in the product.

4. Serum (Retinol)

Use any serum with retinol. This serum is beneficial for oily skin as it helps to minimise the appearance of pores with continued use. However, retinol may not suit everyone. Therefore, consult a dermatologist before using retinol-based products. Also, if you are using retinol after AHA-BHA products, wait for at least 30 minutes before layering the products.

5. Night Cream

You may use a water-based, oil-free, and non-comedogenic night cream, in the end, to lock in all the skincare products you have applied. A water-based moisturiser is ideal for oily skin as it feels extremely light.

Additional Treatments

You may use face oils and clay masks as additional treatments for oil control and keeping your skin healthy. Clay masks help absorb excess oil and keep your skin clear, while face oils provide additional moisturisation.


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