• 16 Apr - 22 Apr, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Beauty

If you have oily and acne-prone skin, then you know how crucial it is to manage its natural moisture. Skin that looks shiny by the afternoon? Yep, been there. Makeup that slips around your oily face? You bet. When it comes to taking care of your oily skin, your skin-care products and routine play a huge role. If you have oily skin, here we share what is non-negotiable in your skincare routine and what you need to avoid to keep the pimples and shine at bay.


1. Salicylic acid

The most popular acid for oily skin is salicylic acid, and it’s for good reason. Salicylic acid can break down blackheads and whiteheads and keep acne at bay, which most oily skin types experience. Salicylic acid softens and exfoliates the skin, cleans out the pores and reduces inflammation, which will, in turn, help the skin balance itself and reduce the appearance of oily and inflamed skin.

This beta-hydroxy acid can be found in all forms in skin-care products, including washes, toners, chemical peels, masks, serums and lotions. A cleanser featuring salicylic acid should be a go-to product for someone with oily skin. Some of our favourites include Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash and SkinBetter Oxygen Infusion Wash.

2. Retinol

You can’t forget to include a retinol or prescription retainoid product in your routine if you have oily skin. Retinol speeds up the turnover of skin cells, getting rid of dead skin, which helps unclog pores that are full of sebum.

There are even some prescription retinoids that have been found to decrease the size of the pores, which in turn will reduce the amount of oil your skin expels. The collagen-stimulating properties are what can help minimise the apparent size of the pores on the skin.

3. Hyaluronic acid

People with oily skin are often hesitant to use moisturisers liberally for fear that it may increase oil. However, the common misconception that you don’t want to moisturise with oily skin is a big mistake as your skin will compensate for the lack of moisture by producing more oil. Light moisturisers are a must for those with oily skin, which is where hyaluronic acid comes in.

Hyaluronic acid pulls moisture from the air to your skin to keep it hydrated and balanced. With proper hydration, oily skin can actually become much more normalised in sebum production. Some moisturisers for oily skin include Neutrogena Hydro Boost and SkinMedica HA Rejuvenating Hydrator, which can really produce radiant skin.

4. Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a great product for oily skin. Studies have shown this vitamin to be effective at reducing inflammation in acne and improving overall sebum control, both by limiting the overproduction of sebum and slowing down the sebum excretion rate.


1. Intense exfoliants

It may seem intuitive to employ scrubs to try to rid your skin of excess oil, but experts warn against overdoing it with exfoliants. Scrubs can actually induce more oil production. Although acids and exfoliants are beneficial to reduce oil production, too much exfoliation can strip the skin and cause your body to work overtime and over-produce oil. When the skin is balanced with hydration, this does not happen.

2. Heavy ingredients

Classically, treatment for oily skin involves avoiding heavy products that can clog your pores. So, trends like slugging, using petrolatum products would be a no go. Opt for lightweight products that won’t add additional oil.

3. Overmedication

When faced with a breakout, it's tempting to pile treatment after treatment onto the skin. This can be counter-productive, as it doesn't allow your products to do their job. It can also lead to red, inflamed skin that is reacting to too many harsh products. Instead, try to be pro-active by treating skin to a once or twice a week treatment.

4. Skipping laundry day

Believe it or not, laundry day plays an essential part in your skin care routine. Your skin spends a good amount of time pressed against your pillowcase every day, so can imagine how much oil and dirt reside there, waiting for you to come back the next day. Gross, right?

While it may not be affordable or practical for you to do laundry every day, the more often you wash your pillowcase, the better! Cleaning off the dirt and bacteria from your pillow may just be the step you need to break the dreaded problem skin cycle. And while you’re at it – give your makeup brushes a good wash too!