Crafting the perfect skin-care routine for your skin type is a lot like Prince Charming’s quest to find Cinderella with just a glass slipper – it can feel like you don’t have much to go off of, which means a lot of trial and error is required. Luckily, once you do find your match, you’ll live happily ever after. This goes for oily skin types, too.
Oily skin is characterized by its overproduction of oil and is usually prone to breakouts, but not always. Excess oil production typically occurs in the T-Zone but it’s not limited to this area. The sheer number of oily and acne-prone skin-care products out there on the market can be challenging to sift through, but there are a few basics that everyone needs in their regimen: a cleanser, a treatment, and a moisturizer (plus sunscreen in the morning).
Two common goals of those with oily skin are to reduce oil and prevent breakouts, which means picking the right textures and ingredients. “Oily skin types should use products that are non-comedogenic and limit the use of heavy oils,” celebrity aesthetician Shani Darden previously told POPSUGAR.
Keep reading to learn more about making a skin-care routine for oily skin with expert tips from Darden.
Step 1: Cleanse
All great beauty regimens start with a cleanser. For oily skin types, look for a product that’s formulated with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide – two powerful exfoliating, acne-fighting ingredients – to help clear pores, dissolve excess oil, and prevent new breakouts from popping up.
A few of our favorites: CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanse ($15), Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser ($35), Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser ($26), and Neutrogena Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Fighting Face Wash ($7).
Step 2: Treat
A common mistake that people with oily skin make is overdoing it with active ingredients. Using too many products in salicylic acid, for example, can dry out your complexion, which can cause your skin to overcompensate for the dryness by producing even more oil – it’s a vicious cycle. Instead of using a powerful acne-fighting serum or cream all over, try to opt for a moisturizing one to replenish your skin and then spot treat individual breakouts.
A few of our favorites: Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum ($48), Glossier Super Pure Serum ($28), L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum ($24), and Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($42).
Step 3: Moisturize
It’s a myth that those with oily skin don’t need to use a moisturizer – it’s essential to maintaining a healthy skin barrier. You just need to find the right formula. “Instead of a heavier moisturizer, try using a hyaluronic acid serum to deeply hydrate the skin,” said Darden, like the one’s mentioned above. Or, give a lightweight gel-based formula a try – just look for options that are labeled as “non-comedogenic.”
A few of our favorites: Tatcha The Water Cream Oil-Free Pore Minimizing Moisturizer ($68), Paula’s Choice Clear Oil-Free Moisturizer ($29), La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat Daily Face Moisturizer for Oily Skin ($33), and E.l.f. Holy Hydration Face Cream ($12).