How To Set Up an Oily Skin Routine for Clear, Vibrant Skin

How To Set Up an Oily Skin Routine for Clear, Vibrant Skin

Though setting up a routine for oily skin might sound tedious, it is worth it. If you reach for cloth to blot your skin or don’t notice an improvement with your oily skin, it’s probably time to take a good look at your skincare routine, and give your skincare routine a revamp. 

Oily skin is extremely common and totally manageable once finding a routine that works for you. It could be a multitude of things triggering your oily skin, so getting a consistent routine is invaluable in keeping your oily skin at bay. 

Using a heavy cream will likely enhance a greasy look in your skin while using a lightweight moisturizer will likely not hydrate your oily skin as much as it needs. A common misconception about oily skin is that it doesn’t need to be hydrated as much as other skin types. 

Finding an oily skin routine that works for you is essential in treating oily skin. We’ve created a routine that will allow for fresh, clear, vibrant skin, and make all the difference in treating your oily skin. 

Morning Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

It’s important to start your day feeling fresh and ready to take on anything, which is why it probably comes as no surprise that setting up a routine for oily skin is essential. 

Step One: Cleansing Your Skin

Washing your face each morning helps you get rid of excess oils and dirt in your skin that builds up during the night, causing clogged pores. When this bacteria sits for a long amount of time, you will likely experience more breakouts. 

When choosing a morning cleanser, you’ll want to search for a gentle, hydrating wash, and not something too harsh. Remember that oily skin still needs hydrating!

Step Two: Toning Your Skin

When you use a toner on your skin, you help remove every last bit of dirt or bacteria that your cleanser didn’t reach. Using a toner helps balance the pH level in your skin in addition to helping smooth and soften it’s texture. 

Oily skin is often harder to hydrate because it gives the illusion that it is already hydrated. But, we can’t emphasize enough: oily skin is not hydrated skin. 

Step Three: Using a Serum

Using a serum is perhaps the most relaxing step of the skincare routine. When dealing with oily skin, you’ll want to use a serum that minimizes the oily appearance and tackles your pores head-on.

Step Four: Using an Eye Cream

If you’re like us, maybe it took you a while to see the benefits of eye cream. After all, why should your eyes need special treatment? Well, there is an answer to this. 

Giving the area around your eyes some attention by using a lightweight cream will level up your skincare regimen to a whole new place. After all, it’s the details that count!

Step Five: Using Sunscreen 

Applying sunscreen is absolutely essential no matter your skin type. Preventing sun damage from your skin will protect you from the harm of ultraviolet rays that will age your skin. 

Using a broad-spectrum, oil-free sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium oxide will protect your skin from sun damage and promote longevity to your glowing complexion. 

Ingredients For Oily Skin

Choosing products that are shown to drastically improve the appearance of oily skin is the best place to start. Knowing what to look for is the best thing you can do in remedying oily skin. If you know which ingredients to search for, you can’t go too wrong. 

Remember when incorporating a new product or ingredient into your regimen, to do a patch test first, and see if your skin has a reaction to it. If you don’t notice any difference, then try using it more fully in your routine. 

Make sure to wait a full 24 hours before doing so, and start with a low dosage and small amount, especially when introducing an alpha-hydroxy acid. 

Do’s and Don’ts For Oily Skin

If reading through our recommendations for oily skin skincare routines seems entirely overwhelming, don’t fret. What’s most important is that you see the broad strokes of skincare and take little steps to take care of your skin in a way that is doable for you to stay consistent with. 

Remember that there are actually benefits to having oily skin in some ways, and it’s not an entirely bad problem to have. Oil actually helps you preserve your skin, and achieve thicker skin. Oily skin isn’t something to resent, just something to learn how to manage. 

In general, try these do’s and don’ts!


  • Wash your face in the morning, after getting especially sweaty like during exercise, and at night. 
  • Don’t scrub heavily, when removing makeup or cleaning. This will irritate your skin, causing redness and/or sensitivity. 
  • Look for products that are labeled as “oil-free” and non-comedogenic”, meaning, products that won’t clog your pores, or trigger an acne breakout. 
  • Use a gentle wash when cleaning your face. It’s easy to want to tackle oily skin aggressively, but this will not help you combat oily skin, and in fact, will likely only trigger further skin problems. 
  • Wash your pillowcase regularly to ensure you aren’t sleeping on a dirty surface that will cause further bacteria to grow in your sleep. 
  • Use water-based make-up.
  • Blot oil throughout the day. Use blotting paper to dab oil away from your skin.
  • Apply moisturizer daily. 
  • Wear SPF daily! Especially one containing zinc or titanium oxide. 


  • Oil-based products.
  • Alcohol-based cleansers.
  • Sleep in make-up.
  • Touch your face habitually. 
  • Scented products, or products with an added fragrance that can further irritate your skin. 
  • Any products containing more oil!

Creating A Nighttime Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

When you get to the end of a long day, doing a long, complicated, drawn-out skincare routine is likely not the thing you’re looking most forward to. 

Luckily, you don’t need to have a complicated ritual in the evening to greatly help your oily skin. In fact, thinking of this as a gift for yourself instead of a hassle is the first step in looking forward to taking care of yourself. 

We recommend using these steps to set up a routine that feels sustainable to you:

Step One: Cleansing

Using the same cleanser as you did in the morning is completely okay! In fact, when you find the right cleanser for you, you’ll likely want to stick with it. Remember to never skip removing your make-up pre-cleanse. 

Step Two: Toning

Again, using the same toner as you did in the morning will help absorb those pesky face oils and acne breakouts. 

Step Three: Mask Up!

While using a clay face mask isn’t something you want to do daily, it can really help elevate your nighttime skincare routine. A clay mask will help clean the deepest layers of your pores, especially one containing kaolin or bentonite clay. Clay helps absorb oil, and also makes your skin feel especially soft and buoyant after rinsing off. 

Step Four: Moisturize

Opt for a moisturizer that’s different from the one you used in the morning. Moisturizing will help soften signs of wrinkles and aging while nourishing your skin to create a bright complexion. Adding a retinol cream to this step is also a great idea for oily skin. 

Step Five: Eye Cream

Similar to what we said in the morning routine, applying an eye cream will help alleviate the appearance of dark circles while rehydrating your sensitive skin around the eyes. 


Oily skin shouldn’t make you. In fact, it is one of the most common skin concerns there is. Remember that even though it makes for some unique challenges, it is totally manageable. 

If all of this feels like way too much to remember, start with the basics:

  • Cleanse in the morning and evening (twice a day) and after exercise. If you feel your skin is still clean from the night before, it’s an illusion. Bacteria builds up during the night making a deep morning cleanse extra important. 
  • Tone it up. Using a toner that you love will make for all the difference in your skin routines. 
  • Debunk the myth that having oily skin means you shouldn’t moisturize. Oily skin does not equal hydrated skin, and moisturizing is a key step in the process. Use a lightweight, oil-free, water-based moisturizer to help rehydrate and combat oily skin.

Once you’ve developed these basic habits, then consider adding some additional bonus ones such as blotting papers, a gentle MicrodermaMitt, eye cream, or a once to twice weekly clay face mask. 



How to control oily skin | American Academy of Dermatology

Patient experiences with oily skin: The qualitative development | NIH 

Oily Skin: A review of Treatment Options | NCBI