Top 6 skincare tips if you have oily skin

Vanessa Gibbs

There’s so much to think about when it comes to skincare: which products to use, which ingredients to try, which to avoid and how often you should be using each one. When it comes to oily skin, it can be even more difficult to figure out what to do, as the wrong things may make oiliness even worse. Luckily, there are some simple tips you can follow that can help. With a few simple steps, you can control oil, combat shine and take care of your skin, no matter how oily it is. 

How do we know all this? We’ve worked with clients to help them get glowing skin they’re proud to go make-up free with—all by following the best skincare advice out there. Here at Face Dr, our team of experts have decades of experience working with products, brands, ingredients and all the tips and tricks that can make a difference. 

Want to get access to all this knowledge? We offer free online skincare consultations to do just that. In a 30-minute video call, one of our skin experts can analyse your skin and give you tailored recommendations for the tips you should be following. Plus, they can recommend products to help and the exact routine to follow. 


Here are our top tips for oily skin:  

#1 Turn to the right ingredients 

#2 Exfoliate—but not too much!

#3 Make sure the skin is hydrated  

#4 Add a weekly face mask to your routine 

#5 Keep your face clean and clear

#6 Get expert advice 

Want to find out more about oily skin? We’ve covered what exactly causes this skin type and the perfect skincare routine to follow for oily skin.

#1 Turn to the right ingredients 


woman with skincare product in hand for oily skin


Ingredients are the most important part of skincare. Not only can the right ones dramatically help control oily skin, but the wrong ones can actually make the problem worse. Look out for salicylic acid, or a BHA, which can penetrate deep into the pores, unclogging them and removing dirt, dead skin cells and oil build-up. 

Niacinamide is another go-to ingredient for oily skin as it can help to shrink enlarged pores and reduce oil production as well as the look of redness. Clay can help to absorb and remove excess oil and retinol helps to tighten the pores, making them less visible and reducing the amount of oil they produce. 

Face Dr top tip: As well as looking out for these ingredients, you should also look out for “noncomedogenic” which means that a product won’t clog your pores and lead to breakouts. 

Face Dr top pick: ZO Oil Control Pads. These pre-soaked pads contain salicylic acid and can be swiped over the skin to remove oil, improve texture and reduce breakouts. 

#2 Exfoliate—but not too much!

Exfoliating is a key step in any skincare routine for oily skin types. This helps to break down dead skin cells, dirt and excess oil and remove them from the skin. Unclogging pores will help to reduce breakouts and acne, and may even reduce oiliness overtime. 

However, exfoliating too much may actually make oiliness worse. If you strip your skin of too much oil, it’ll produce even more to make up for it, so it’s important not to over do it. You should always follow the instructions on the product you’re using and reduce the amount you exfoliate if you notice it’s making the problem worse. Generally, you can use gentle exfoliants—like cleansers—twice a day, whereas leave-on exfoliants like AHA or BHA serums should only be two to three times a week. 

Face Dr top tip: As well as making sure you’re not over exfoliating, you should also make sure you’re not tugging on the skin too much when exfoliating or drying it too hard afterwards. Irritation can lead to redness and—you guessed it—more oil production. 

Face Dr top picks: 

#3 Make sure the skin is hydrated  


woman using skincare product for oily skin


It may sound counterintuitive and hydrating the skin may be the last thing you want to do if you’re already feeling shiny, but keeping the skin hydrated is key to keeping oily skin under control. That’s because dehydration may be the reason your skin is oily to begin with. 

If your skin is dry and damaged, it may produce more oil than it needs to try and recover. This results in that shiny look. To combat this, be sure to look out for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and squalane and high-quality moisturising products. 

And just because you need to moisturise, doesn’t mean you should be using a thick cream. Not only is that uncomfortable for oily skin, it could clog the pores and lead to breakouts. Instead, opt for lightweight products like gels and lotions or stick to hydrating serums. 

Face Dr top picks: 

  • ZO Daily Power Defense. A lightweight serum to moisturise while brightening the skin, tackling signs of ageing and protecting it from damage. 
  • AllSkin Med C Radiance Gel. A lightweight moisturiser that doesn’t weigh the skin down, but provides instant hydration. 

#4 Add a weekly face mask to your routine 

Face masks are a great way to treat oily skin as you can give your skin a potent dose of the best ingredients. Exfoliating ones are ideal for removing those dead skin cells and stubborn surface oil, but clay masks are the real winner. 

Clay can absorb excess oil, dirt and other impurities in the skin, giving you instant results. However, it can also help to rebalance the skin leading to less oiliness over time and less breakouts, blemishes and a more matte appearance. 

Face Dr top pick: ZO Complexion Clearing Masque. Apply all over for oily complexions or use this mask as a spot treatment for oily patches, breakouts and blemishes. 

#5 Keep your face clean and clear 


man with oily skin washing face


It’s all too easy for dirt to get trapped in your pores and when this happens excess oil can be produced and build up on the surface of the skin. To keep skin as clean as possible, you should wash your make-up brushes regularly and never sleep in make-up—no matter how tempting it is after a long day! 

You should also wash your pillowcases and towels regularly to make sure dirt build-up on those items isn’t transferring to your face. Avoid touching your face too much throughout the day and always wash your face after exercising to remove sweat. 

Plus, make sure you’re using a high-quality cleanser to remove all this dirt and make-up. For oily skin, opt for an oil-free or foaming cleanser. 

Face Dr top pick: ZO Exfoliating Cleanser. Remove dirt, oil and make-up all while gently exfoliating the skin. Looking for something even more gentle? ZO Gentle Cleanser is soothing and suitable for all skin types. 

#6 Get expert advice 

The very best way to take care of oily skin is by using the best products, ingredients and routine for you. But, of course, that’s easier said than done. However, experts are on hand to share their knowledge. By getting a skincare consultation, you can find out the best product recommendations for your severity of oiliness and learn exactly how you should be using them to see results. 

Plus, if you have any other concerns, like hyperpigmentation, acne or ageing, a skincare expert can make recommendations for products to use to tackle these that won’t aggravate oily skin. 

Plenty of medispas and skincare clinics offer skincare consultations where you can see an expert. However, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to get expert advice. We offer free online skincare consultations where one of our skin experts can analyse your skin over a video call. They’ll determine your skin type, ask about any other concerns you want to tackle, then give you tailored recommendations with the best products to help. 

Get expert advice 


Face Dr skin expert giving skincare consultation for oily skin


There you have our top tips for oily skin. As you can see, finding the right ingredients and products is key to keeping oily skin under control. But, unfortunately, everyone’s skin is different and our skin changes throughout our lives—and even throughout the year. That’s why the best way to find products and ingredients to help is by taking the guesswork out of it and speaking with an expert

Our free and friendly skin consultations provide you with all the information you need to take care of oily skin. In just 30 minutes, you can find the perfect routine for you, or simply one or two products to add to an already working routine that can make all the difference. We only ever recommend brands and products we’ve tried and tested ourselves—plus those we’ve seen clients get real results from. 

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.
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