How To Control Oily Skin?

Oily skin is recognized by natural oiliness on certain face areas, such as the forehead, nose, chin, and cheeks.

Additionally, oily skin is also frequently followed by blackheads and acne.

To keep your skin clear and avoid daily inconveniences such as ruined makeup and shine, you need to find a way to control excess oiliness.

Luckily, besides being a skin type and something you develop with, excess oiliness can be controlled with the right skincare routine and makeup products, as well as a few lifestyle changes.

In this guide, I will provide effective tips on how to control oily skin and prevent excess oil, enlarged pores, and breakouts.

A woman with oily skin holding her hands up to her face wondering in the mirror how to control her oily skin.

NB: I can show you how to never have acne again. If you have acne and want it gone, read this message.

How to Control Oily Skin?

Here are the best ways to control oily skin:

DO Use a gentle cleanser: This will help remove excess oil without irritating the skin.

DON’T Use harsh cleansers: Harsh cleansers containing alcohol and heavy fragrance can strip the skin of its natural oils and cause further oil production.

DO Exfoliate: This will help remove dead skin cells and dissolve excess oil accumulated inside the pores and on the skin’s surface.

DON’T Over-Exfoliate: Too much exfoliation can dry out your skin and make it more prone to excess oil production.

DO Moisturize: Even though you have oily skin, you still need to moisturize – just choose a lightweight and non-comedogenic moisturizer.

DON’T Use Heavy Creams: Heavy creams can make your skin look shiny and can also clog your pores.

DO Use Oil-Free Sunscreen: This will protect your skin from UV damage, premature signs of aging, and skin cancer.

DON’T Wear Heavy Makeup: Instead, use a lightweight and oil-free foundation followed by a light layer of powder.

DO Adjust Your Diet: Limit caffeine intake, reduce sugar consumption, and eat more omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish and nuts) to hydrate the skin and balance excess oil production.

DON’T Consume Too Much Dairy: Excess dairy consumption can lead to increased levels of oil production and clogged pores.

DO Get Enough Sleep: Lack of sleep can disrupt hormone balance, leading to excess oil production.

DON’T Drink Alcohol: Alcohol is a diuretic that can dehydrate your skin, increasing oil production.

The Best Skincare Routine to Control Oily Skin

Here are the steps you should take in order to create a skincare routine for oily skin:

Gentle Cleanser

Having oily skin isn’t an excuse to use harsh cleansers, as this may worsen the condition by stripping the skin and leaving it in need of moisture, which will trigger the sebaceous glands to produce more oil to compensate for the dryness.

Therefore, the best solution is to always use a mild, gentle cleanser, as this will only complement your complexion without drying and irritating your skin.

Best cleansers for oily skin:

Exfoliating Toner

Regular exfoliation is essential in caring for oily skin, as it can dissolve the accumulation of excess oil inside the pores and balance out the complexion.

Additionally, an exfoliating toner will also purify the skin and prevent the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, and acne.

Therefore, try to use a high-quality exfoliating toner for your skin type and concern 1-2 times a week.

Best exfoliators for oily skin:

Hydrating Serum

A lightweight, hydrating serum is a must-have when it comes to oily skin care, as this will replenish moisture in the complexion without leaving an oily finish.

Therefore, apply a hydrating serum every morning and evening after cleansing and toning your skin for an extra boost of hydration and balanced oil production.

Best hydrating serums for oily skin:

Lightweight Moisturizer

Many people make the mistake of skipping their moisturizer, believing that oily skin does not require one.

On the contrary, a lightweight moisturizer can help regulate oil production and reduce shine by providing the appropriate hydration levels to your skin.

Therefore, finish your skincare routine with a light, non-greasy moisturizer every morning and evening.

Best lightweight moisturizers for oily skin:

Oil-Free Sunscreen

Sun protection is essential for healthy skin.

As we all know (and are tired of reading), the sun causes the most serious damage to our skin compared to all the environmental aggressors we are exposed to daily.

The sun is a number one factor for many skin conditions, including freckles, discoloration, hyperpigmentation, telangiectasia (dilated blood vessels under the skin), sallowness (a yellow discoloration of the skin), destruction of the collagen and elastin tissue, and the scariest; skin cancer.

Therefore, using broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect from damaging UV rays will save your skin from all the above.

And if you have oily skin, try opting for an oil-free sunscreen that dries quickly and will shield your skin from daily aggressors.

Best oil-free sunscreens for oily skin:

The Best Foods to Eat for Oily Skin

What you eat has a direct impact on your skin condition. And when it comes to controlling oily skin, here are the foods you should add to your diet:

Fish: Bluefish, mackerel, salmon, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep the skin hydrated and also reduce inflammation.

Lean Protein: Chicken, lean beef, and turkey are beneficial for oily skin as they provide essential nutrients without overstimulating sebum production.

Nuts: Almonds, hazelnuts, and chestnuts have excellent ratios of omega-3 and omega-6 and can help balance excess oil production and improve the complexion.

Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard are packed with antioxidants that can help protect the skin from sun damage and reduce the risk of premature signs of aging.

Avocados: Full of healthy fats, avocados are a great source of hydration for oily skin as they help maintain healthy sebum levels and keep the skin balanced.

Berries: Rich in antioxidants, berries can help fight inflammation and protect the skin from free radical damage, which contribute to oily skin.

Lifestyle Changes That Will Help Control Oily Skin

Apart from eating healthy foods, certain lifestyle changes can help you control oily skin.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Avoid Drinking Alcohol: Alcohol dehydrates the body and causes your skin to overproduce oil.

Avoid Smoking: Smoking has been linked to increased oil production and can worsen the appearance of oily skin and acne.

Drink More Water: Staying hydrated is essential for healthy, hydrated, and balanced skin.

Get Enough Sleep: Sleep is an important factor in controlling oily skin as it helps the body regenerate and repair itself.

Reduce Stress: Stress is a major factor in skin aging and can worsen oily skin as well as exacerbate inflammatory skin conditions such as acne.

Exercise Regularly: Regular physical activity helps regulate hormones, reduce stress levels, and improve circulation in the body – all of which are beneficial for healthy skin.

What Causes Oily Skin?

Oily skin is a skin type determined by overactive sebaceous glands that produce large amounts of sebum.

However, this internal reaction can be caused by several factors.

Here are some of the main causes of oily skin:


Oily skin can also be genetic, and while it may start to become more prominent during puberty due to hormonal changes, it remains present in some individuals up until their late 40s or even 50s when the sebaceous glands’ activity naturally starts to slow down.

Hormonal Changes

Oily skin is most common in teenagers due to the hormonal changes that occur during puberty, particularly the increase in androgens, which are a group of hormones responsible for regulating the metabolism and aiding bone and muscle development.

However, androgens can also directly stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce excess oil.

This happens partly because as hair starts to grow in various body areas, more oil is needed to lubricate the skin and hair, prevent friction and discomfort, and make this process smoother.

But the side effect of the increase in hormonal activity is the excess oiliness on the face, back, and hair.


Oily skin can also be a product of the environment in which you live.

Factors such as pollution, humidity, and high temperatures can all cause your skin to become more oily than usual.

This is why your skin usually becomes oilier during summer and also why those living in tropical and humid areas tend to struggle with excess oiliness more than those living in colder and drier climates.

Inflammatory Diet

An inflammatory diet consisting of foods containing refined sugar, dairy, and other processed components can directly stimulate excess sebum production by increasing the activity of certain hormones, such as the IGF-1 hormone, which is known to directly increase sebaceous glands’ activity.

Therefore, reducing the consumption of inflammatory foods can help balance out your skin and even prevent inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and rosacea, which are naturally more prevalent in those with oily skin.


Stress is another factor that can worsen oily skin, as the body produces more cortisol, a hormone that stimulates the sebaceous glands into producing excess oil during times of stress.

Evolutionary, this is because oil can protect the skin from external irritations, germs, and other pollutants during uncertain times.

However, in our modern lives, where stress is more of a response to daily triggers than a survival-related issue, excess oil can be more of a nuisance than a benefit.

Prolonged periods of stress and excess oil production can also lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts.

Poor Hydration

Having excessively oily skin may be related to poor hydration.

This happens because low water intake will lead to dehydration, which will cause the sebaceous glands to overproduce oil in order to compensate for the lack of moisture.

Therefore, if you are experiencing excessively oily skin and are not drinking enough water, changing this habit may help improve the issue.

Skincare & Makeup Products

Skincare and makeup products containing heavy ingredients such as emollients, oils, silicones, waxes, butters, etc., are a common culprit for excessively oily skin.

This happens because these ingredients will leave a greasy film on the skin that’s hard to wash off and will prevent your natural oil from coming through to the surface, leading to buildup, clogging, and excessive oiliness.

On the other hand, products that contain drying and stripping ingredients such as alcohol and fragrance can cause dehydration and barrier damage, which will trigger the sebaceous glands to overproduce oil to compensate for the lack of moisture, leading to buildup and excessive oiliness.

How to Get Rid of Oily Skin Forever?

Due to the fact that oily skin is a natural skin type determined by various internal factors, including genetics, it’s impossible to get rid of it forever.

However, oily skin can be maintained through a skincare routine and changes in our diet and lifestyle habits.

Additionally, oily skin will decrease as you age due to the sebaceous glands becoming less active with time, causing the skin to become drier.

But no matter how annoying it can be, having oily skin has its perks too.

Your skin needs the naturally acidic film as a barrier to protect and maintain a healthy pH balance.

Or in simpler words, a certain amount of natural oil is needed to keep your skin healthy, smooth, and supple.

Our natural oil is made up of triglycerides, free fatty acids, wax esters, cholesterol, and squalene.

These are ingredients you often see in skincare products, and for a good reason.

They are natural moisturizers in charge of softening your skin and preventing it from becoming dry and irritated, and they also protect your skin from environmental aggressors, including UV damage.

Squalane, in particular, is a natural antioxidant that can help keep your skin looking younger and healthier for longer that also has mild UV protection properties.

This is why people with oily skin typically experience signs of aging later than those with dry skin, as dryness can make wrinkles and other signs of aging look more pronounced.

So, while it’s impossible to get rid of oily skin forever, knowing how to keep excess oiliness at bay and taking the perks of having oily skin into account can help make dealing with the inconveniences a bit easier!

The Acne Solution: Your Ultimate Guide To Flawless Complexion

An extensive, no-nonsense course showing you how to never have acne again, from a licensed Esthetician specializing in oily/acne-prone skin.

Leave a Comment