Our best moisturizer for oily skin
Oily skin can mean blemishes, and greasy, shiny skin, so it’s only natural that oily skin types are often looking for solutions. In addition to cleansing properly and overall taking care of skin, a proper face moisturizer is one of the best ways to maintain healthy-looking skin that glows, not shines. Oily skin can be a challenge, but with proper care and deliberately-chosen skin care products, taking care of your oily skin can become second nature. As the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) describes, “oily skin requires careful observation to ensure the skin responds favorably to products and the overall skin care routine.” It’s crucial to both understand your skin type and be aware of how the skin care products you’re putting on your skin can help mattify or control your skin’s appearance. Ahead, we look at how to tell if you have oily skin, how to control and reduce oily skin, and how to moisturize oily skin most effectively. Get ready to be an expert on everything you need to know about your skin type.
Do I Have Oily Skin?
Before you can find an oily skin care routine, the first step is to confirm that you do indeed have an oily skin type. There are a few common ways that oily skin manifests. If your skin often feels greasy and breaks out with pimples, blackheads, or enlarged pores, you likely have oily skin. You may find that makeup dissolves quickly on your face or seems to slip easily off your skin. You may notice large pores, or have the ability to “see” pores on your face. Generally, oily skin types tend to look “shiny” or have a sheen covering the entire face. (If you have oil only in your T-Zone and dryness elsewhere, you may instead have combination skin.)
To be sure of your skin type, we recommend doing a simple blotting paper test. Before bed, cleanse your face as normal. Then skip your moisturizer and go to bed with a totally clean face. In the morning, pat your face on the forehead, t-zone, cheeks and chin with a blotting paper. If all areas show oil on the paper, you officially have oily skin.
Oily skin can also be affected by factors like weather, stress, and hormones, so it’s important to have a go-to skin care routine year round. Now that you’ve identified your oily skin, the next step is finding the right skin care regimen for you and learning how to control your oily skin.
How to Control Oily Skin
The best way to control oily skin is with a skin care routine formulated directly for your skin type. We recommend a full skin care regimen including a facial cleanser, toner, face exfoliator, and moisturizer, plus use of face masks as needed.
Oily skin types may have the impulse to scrub skin harshly, removing all traces of oil. In fact, it’s counterproductive for skin to be completely oil free. When skin is stripped entirely of natural oils, it may react by overproducing oil — meaning you’ll be just as oily or even more so than you were in the first place. “If you’ve been sweating heavily or have a serious acne flare, it may seem natural to scrub your skin,” explains the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). “Don’t! Scrubbing irritates your skin, which can worsen any skin condition, including acne.” This cycle makes face moisturizer a crucial step for oily skin types. After you cleanse and complete all the prepping steps for your skin, it’s important to use a face moisturizer that’s specially formulated for oily skin. Look for an oil-free moisturizer with SPF that will protect and nourish your face without exacerbating oily skin. We like Garnier Moisture Rescue Actively Hydrating Daily Lotion, which helps strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier to keep skin healthy and nourished for longer.
If you tend to get progressively more oily throughout the day, look for skin care products labeled “oil control” or “mattifying.” Mattifying products work well to tamp down sheen and ensure smooth skin throughout the day. We like Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleanser All-in-1 Mattifying as a combination makeup remover, facial cleanser, and oil control solution. The micellar water formula is gentle, yet strong enough to lift impurities out of oily skin. To use, saturate two cotton pads with the micellar cleansing water and swipe gently across your face. No rinsing needed!
Most individuals typically cleanse their skin once in the morning and once in the evening, following up with a face moisturizer. “Some people with oily or acne-prone skin need to wash their face as much as two to three times a day,” reports the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). “On the other hand, over-washing the skin can lead to increased oil production, so a balance must be achieved based on an individual’s skin care needs.”
Face masks can also help minimize the effects of oily skin (plus, they can turn even a routine morning of tending to your skin into a luxury-feeling spa day). To add face masks to your skin care routine, first start by cleansing your face, then follow with your face mask for oily skin of choice. Sheet masks can provide a soothing effect that keeps skin smooth and fresh throughout the day. After just fifteen minutes with a sheet placed gently over your face, your skin will be ready for an especially glowy day. For a sheet mask, opt for Garnier SkinActive Super Hydrating Sheet Mask Mattifying, a mineral oil-free green tea face mask to calm skin and hyaluronic acid to leave it moisturized. On days when you need to cleanse excess skin impurities off your face — think of post-gym, after a sweaty beach day, or just whenever you’re feeling like your skin could use a boost — opt for a clay-based mask that helps absorb excess oil. The Garnier SkinActive Pore Purifying 2-in-1 Clay Cleanser/Mask is a cream mask that hardens as it dries and removes impurities from your skin. Use it daily as an oil-busting facial cleanser that’s especially useful for oily skin, or save it for days when you need some extra help and leave it on for 15 minutes as a face mask. The face mask is formulated with charcoal extracts, which act like a magnet to draw out excess oil and impurities and leave your skin feeling smooth and clean. You can use face masks as needed or save them to give your skin an extra glowy boost before a special occasion. Face masks are also useful to keep skin healthy-looking after travel.
Once you’ve locked in to the right skin care regimen for you, you can begin tweaking your daily habits to help reduce oily skin.
How to Reduce Oily Skin
The best way to reduce oily skin is to follow a specific skin care routine for oily skin. While your skin type may not completely change, you can get oil under control and help train your skin to be less oily with a few basic skin care products and tricks.
Cleansing towelettes are an especially useful skin care product for oily skin types. Carry a packet of these on-the-go face wipes (we love Garnier SkinActive Clean+ Purifying Oil-free Cleansing Towelettes) and swipe one over your face whenever you start to feel shiny. Use them to cleanse pores and remove excess oil when you’re away from a sink. Face wipes should be in your gym bag and travel bag to cleanse away sweat and impurities on the go. (We also recommend leaving a package of wipes on your nightstand for those nights when you’re feeling too lazy to get out of bed and cleanse.) Blotting papers should also be part of your on-the-go oil-fighting kit. Simply press a blotting strip to your face, let it rest for a few seconds, and lift away excess oil. Try not to rub the paper on our skin, which can spread skin impurities, but instead roll it off the skin without touching anywhere outside the blotting paper.
If your oily skin often leads to blemishes, opt for a facial cleanser formulated with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzol peroxide. Garnier SkinActive Clean+ Shine Control Cleansing Gel is formulated specifically for oily skin. It contains salicylic acid to help fight acne bacteria and charcoal extracts to draw out skin impurities. Make sure you wash your face with lukewarm water, as high temperatures can dry skin out and may lead to increased oil production in the long run. After you cleanse, pat dry gently; don’t rub, which can also lead to irritated skin.
Oily skin can also be exacerbated by diet. Try to stay away from processed foods, fried foods and alcohol and opt for fruits and veggies as snacks. Eat skin-fortifying foods like spinach, kale, and carrots, which will help brighten skin in addition to working from the inside out to improve skin health. Foods rich in omega-3, like salmon, tuna, and almonds, can also help encourage healthy-looking skin.
Stress can exacerbate oily skin. Try to get a good night’s sleep and exercise, two common ways to fight stress. Oily skin may also occur due to puberty or hormonal changes. If your skin concerns persist, talk to a dermatologist about the best ways to manage your oily skin.
Keeping skin nourished is key even for oily skin, so let’s learn exactly how to moisturize oily skin.
How to Moisturize Oily Skin
Moisturizing may seem counterintuitive, but nourishment is just as crucial for oily skin types as it is for anyone with drier skin. You should moisturize twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, as a final step in your skin care routine. Be sure to cleanse your face before moisturizing so you help seal in healthy nutrients. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends you “get the most from your face moisturizer by applying it to damp skin as soon as you get out of the shower to lock in moisture.” Moisturize by rubbing in lotion in a circular motion around your cheeks, chin and t-zone, skipping the delicate eye area. Instead of pulling down on skin, which has the possibility to encourage wrinkles, gently soothe moisturizer into the skin.
When it comes to choosing a face moisturizer, look for a product that’s formulated specifically for oily skin. Since blemishes may accompany oily skin, it’s important to look for a skin care product that won’t irritate pores while still providing nourishment. Opt for an oil-free, water-based moisturizer that can hydrate your skin with less risk of clogging pores. Look for products labelled non-comedogenic, which means they’ve been specially formulated to avoid clogging pores. We like Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue Actively-Hydrating Daily Lotion Fragrance Free for twice-daily moisture application; it’s a simple face moisturizer that’s formulated to nourish skin without exacerbating skin concerns. It’s also a moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF 15, which all skin types should be wearing daily to help protect against aging, sun damage, and unhealthy skin. If you’re looking to incorporate more antioxidants in your routine, we recommend Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb the Antioxidant Super Moisturizer. Formulated with nourishing hyaluronic acid alongside Vitamin C, goji berry, and pomegranate extracts, the moisturizer helps to protect your skin from damaging free radicals while strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier.
Especially if your skin is exposed to strong air-conditioning or the hot-cold cycle that is going from frigid air to a heater in the winter, use a face moisturizer to help strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier against the elements. If your skin tends to get especially oily in the summer heat, ditch a thick layer of foundation and switch over to a moisturizing BB cream to cover imperfections. Try a cover-up that’s formulated especially for oily skin, like Garnier 5-in-1 Miracle Skin Perfector Oil-Free. The formula is designed to control shine and minimize pores, two concerns that oily skin types know far too well. You can switch up your skin care routine for the seasons in other ways as well. During winter, try a nourishing night cream that goes on thicker than your daily moisturizer. Even if your skin isn’t feeling dry, all skin types need an extra boost when they spend time exposed to the elements. A night cream will help you wake up with healthy-looking skin.
With the right skin care routine, oily skin-formulated product choices, and a healthy lifestyle, oily skin is manageable. With a carefully considered regimen, you can say goodbye to shiny skin, blemishes, and enlarged pores — or at least make tackling your oily skin concerns a routine part of your day.