How to choose the right skincare routine for oily skin

Vanessa Gibbs

Those of us with oily skin can experience plenty of skincare problems. Of course, there’s the shiny look that excess oil often leaves us with and the increased chance of blackheads and acne. And that’s not to mention all the other skincare concerns that can affect us like hyperpigmentation, signs of ageing and dullness. Luckily, the right skincare routine can work wonders. Not sure how to choose this skincare routine? That’s where we can help. 

Here at Face Dr, our team of experts have been working in the skincare industry for decades. We’ve helped thousands of clients get healthy and glowing skin—all by finding the best routine for them. With thousands of ingredients, products and combinations to choose from, choosing the right routine can seem like an impossible task. Here, we’re going to break down three ways to find the best routine for you. 

Want to save time and get a tailor-made routine straight away? Our experts are on hand via video consultations where they can give you the perfect skincare routine for you. 


We’ll look at choosing a skincare routine for oily skin: 

  • By skincare consultation 
  • By severity
  • By considering other concerns 

Want to find out more about oily skin? We’ve covered what exactly causes it in the first place. 


woman with clear oily skin after skincare routine

By skincare consultation 

Speaking with a skincare expert is the easiest, quickest and cheapest—because it saves you buying products that won’t work over and over again—way to choose a routine. At Face Dr, we make speaking with an expert easy with our video consultations

From the comfort of your home, you can have a 30-minute call with one of our experts who will analyse your skin and ask about any other concerns you want to tackle like ageing or dark spots. Armed with this information, they’ll be able to help create the very best routine to take care of your oily skin and anything else, too. Plus, it’s free! 

We believe everyone should be able to get expert advice, no matter who or where they are. Plus we’ve seen the common problems and questions people have time and time again—that’s why we’re passionate about sharing the very best information and making it easier than ever to get expert skincare advice. 

By severity 

After speaking directly with an expert, the next best way to choose a skincare routine for oily skin is by considering how severe your oiliness is. Some experts estimate that about 80% of us are oily skinned and the amount of oil our skin produces is different for each of us. It can even change over time and in different seasons.  

Most of the time, you can determine how oily your skin is by looking at it. Do you notice small oily patches that come and go without much trouble? Or perhaps you have a slick-looking complexion all day long that make-up simple slides off and frequent breakouts and acne? Most of us will fall somewhere in between. 

For those on the less oily side, you may be able to take care of your skin by simply opting for products that were designed with oily skin in mind. This includes cleansers that are more exfoliating and serums and moisturisers that are lightweight like gels and lotions over thick creams. 

For those looking for a minimal routine, a cleanser, serum and SPF may be enough. 

Face Dr top picks: 

  • ZO Exfoliating Cleanser — cleanse and exfoliate in just one step with this complexion clearing cleanser 
  • ZO Daily Power Defence — a go-to serum that can take care of skin health while smoothing wrinkles, hydrating and smoothing texture  
  • AllSkin Mineral Fluid SPF50 — a lightweight sunscreen that protects your skin from the sun without leaving a greasy look or feel 


skincare product to include in routine for oily skin types


For those with moderate to severe oil production, a weekly clay mask can help to absorb excess oil and rebalance the skin. Plus, look out for products with salicylic acid. This ingredient helps to unclog the pores and break down excess oil on the surface of the skin and within the pores, too. Niacinamide is another key oily skin ingredient as it can help to control oil production and reduce redness. You can find these ingredients in cleansers or in dedicated products like exfoliants and serums, which often have higher percentages of the ingredients. 

You should also make sure you’re not using anything that’s triggering your skin to make excess oil. This could include ingredients like alcohol, thick night creams that can clog your pores or harsh exfoliants like physical scrubs. 

Your skincare routine could include a cleanser, dedicated exfoliant, serum, SPF and a once or twice-a-week mask. 

Face Dr top picks: 


man with oily skin looking in mirror after skincare routine

By considering other concerns 

While of course you want to make sure you’re controlling oil and limiting shine, you may also have other skincare concerns you want to tackle. Whether that’s lines and wrinkles, stubborn acne or hyperpigmentation, you can include steps in your routine to target these, too. 

For lines and wrinkles, consider a retinol serum that can help to increase cell turnover and promote a youthful glow, slowing the signs of ageing. 

For hyperpigmentation, try a vitamin C serum to lighten dark spots. Oily skin types can often handle stronger percentages of vitamin C so you could opt for one that’s 20%. If you haven’t used the ingredient before, you can start with 10% and increase it as your skin’s tolerance improves. 

Exfoliating acid serums are also great for dissolving dead discoloured skin cells. Oily skin types can again usually handle stronger acids like glycolic acid. If you find this too irritating, try something that’s not quite as harsh like mandelic acid or lactic acid. 

For acne, opt for a benzoyl peroxide product that removes acne-causing bacteria and excess oil or look out for acne and oil-control products.  

Got other concerns? Unfortunately, there are thousands of things that can go wrong with our skin, from rosacea to uneven skin tone to sensitivity. And all this can happen while having oily skin to take care of, too. That’s when speaking with an expert for tailored recommendations can help as they can recommend products to tackle each concern. 

Face Dr top picks: 

  • ZO Daily Power Defense — a go-to serum that can take care of skin health while smoothing wrinkles, hydrating and smoothing texture  
  • ZO 10% Vitamin C Self-Activating — tackle hyperpigmentation, signs of ageing and dullness with this vitamin C serum 
  • ZO Acne Control — pre-soaked pads that can remove bacteria and excess oil to reduce acne 

Want expert advice? 


skin expert giving skincare consultation for oily skincare routine


Even with all the information out there on skincare, choosing a routine can still be a difficult task. Why not speak to an expert to get it right straight away? Here at Face Dr, our team of experts are on hand to help with exactly that. 

With a free 30-minute video consultation, you can get tailored advice for your exact level of oiliness. Plus, our experts can recommend any products to tackle any other concerns you may have, share exactly how you should be using each product and the ideal routine to follow. So whether you need a whole new routine or simply want to add one or two new products to see results, we can help. 

When it comes to these recommendations, we only ever share brands and products we’ve seen first-hand results from. This way, you can trust you’re purchasing a product you can trust and taking the very best care of your oily skin. 

Find the best facial masks to try in the comfort of your own home. Facial masks are an excellent way to target skin concerns and add a little more TLC to your skin routine. Discover our top mask recommendations from ZO Skin Health, Obagi and other brands on the market.
Read more