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What You Need to Know

Regardless of which type of skin you have—normal, dry, oily, combination—everyone has sebaceous glands that secrete oil, or sebum. In those with oily skin, the sebaceous glands over-produce sebum, which can cause skin to look and feel oily, and may cause you to be more prone to developing acne or other blemishes. However, a skin routine for oily skin can help minimize excess sebum production and help you achieve more balanced, healthy-looking skin.

Quick Tips for Oily Skin
  • A foaming, non-comedogenic cleanser is ideal for removing excess oil, dirt and residues. Gently wash your face, as scrubbing and excessive cleansing can damage the skin’s moisture barrier and cause an increase in sebum production.
  • Cleansers formulated with benzoyl peroxide can help clear acne breakouts and help prevent new blemishes from forming, while salicylic acid can help remove dead skin cells to soften and smooth the skin.
  • Moisturizers formulated with hyaluronic acid, three essential ceramides and niacinamide can help maintain and restore the skin’s barrier

Choosing Products for Oily Skin

A cleanser for oily skin, daytime moisturizer with a broad-spectrum SPF and nighttime moisturizer are the foundations for any skin routine for oily skin. All of the components of your skincare regimen should be gentle and non-comedogenic so they won't clog your pores, and should be developed specifically for those with oily skin.


Ingredients like hyaluronic acid to help retain the skin’s natural moisture, three essential ceramides to help restore the skin's barrier and calming niacinamide can be found in cleansers and moisturizers and benefit all skin types. However, if your skin is prone to breakouts, you may want to choose a cleanser for oily skin that is also formulated with benzoyl peroxide, which can help clear acne breakouts and help prevent new blemishes from forming, or salicylic acid, which helps remove dead skin cells to soften and smooth the skin. For more information on important ingredients to look for, read Finding the Best Cleanser for Oily Skin.    


Washing 101

One of the best tips for those with oily skin—or any skin type—is to wash your face twice a day, morning and evening. However, those with oily skin are often inclined to scrub, which can irritate the skin, damage the skin's moisture barrier and actually cause an increase in sebum production. So, rather than scrubbing, try to be gentle with your skin by following the American Academy of Dermatology's recommendations for washing your face, which include:

  • Choosing a gentle, non-abrasive, foaming cleanser. (Get help choosing best oily skin cleanser for your skincare regimen.)
  • Splash your face with lukewarm water and apply your cleanser using only your fingertips—being careful not to scrub. Although wash cloths, mesh sponges and other products may be marketed to help clean the skin, they can actually irritate it, so it's best to simply use the soft pads of your fingertips to apply cleanser.
  • Use lukewarm water to rinse away any cleanser, then gently pat your face dry using a soft towel.


Choosing a Moisturizer for Oily Skin

After cleansing, apply moisturizer to the skin. Many people believe that because they have oily skin, they don't need moisturizer. However, because excess oil production is ultimately caused by an impaired skin barrier, moisturizers with ingredients like ceramides, which help restore the skin's barrier, plus hyaluronic acid to help retain skin’s natural moisture and calming niacinamide, can be an important part of your skincare regimen.

For day, the best moisturizer for oily skin will not only include hyaluronic acid, three essential ceramides and niacinamide, but it will also be non-comedogenic and include broad-spectrum sunscreen. When moisturizing your skin at night, choose a non-comedogenic moisturizer that can deliver moisture while you sleep—so you can start the day with fresh, hydrated skin.

For more skincare tips, visit Skin Smarts, where you will find more information on oily skin, dry skin, sun protection, acne and more.

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