It seems that nearly every product on the market boasts hydrating or emollient ingredients; and the vast world of cosmetic marketing assumes that if you are over 25 years of age, you have dry skin. Those of us with combination or extra oily skin can feel a bit left out of the product loop! For everyone scouring the internet and store shelves in search of the best products for oily skin, here is a list of some wonderful items that will allow you to glisten with beauty - not with oil.
One of the most important skin care routines for people with oily skin is to exfoliate daily. Yes, you will hear from many sources that exfoliation will strip too much oil, causing it to produce more. This is NOT true. Exfoliation alone does not cause skin to become dry, especially if you use a nourishing toner afterwards to balance the PH of your skin. To prevent acne breakouts (a common affliction of those with oily skin) the oil trapped in pores must be purged through exfoliation. Here are some great exfoliating products, in order of price:
St. Ives Apricot Scrub: Gentle and creamy, perfect for daily use in both the morning and evening, even on delicate skin. To use, wet face with warm water and massage in circular motions for about 1 minute, with a quarter sized dollop of the scrub. This will remove foundation and thoroughly cleanse dirt, makeup, oil & dead skin from the pores. Rinse with warm water & be sure to avoid the delicate eye area when scrubbing. **Note** if you are wearing heavy eye makeup, it is best to use a cream eye makeup remover before exfoliation. Removing eye makeup before scrubbing the rest of the face will ensure that none of the remover is left on the skin to clog pores.
Retails for $5 at drugstores
Microdermabrasion Crystals by Skin Obsession (Previously called The Original Skin Store): These tiny Aluminum Oxide Crystals work best when used to exfoliate once weekly. To use, splash face with warm water. Mix a pea-sized amount of the crystals with a pea-sized amount of face wash in the palm of your hand. Apply to face, scrubbing in circular motions for about 30 seconds. These are a bit rougher than the St Ives Scrub, so should only be used once or twice weekly. They strip away the dead, dull surface layers of skin and clear out the pores.
Retails for $14.99 at www.theoriginalskinstore.com but as of Aug 7th, they are switching to www.skinobsession.com
Dr Brandt Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Face Cream: This creamy scrub contains Aluminum Oxide crystals, as well as lactic acid and botanicals to polish away dead skin cells while smoothing the skin"s texture. To use, splash face with warm water and rub a dime sized dollop of the cream onto skin in circular motions, working on each section of the face for about 10 seconds. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. It works best when used on a makeup-free face, so remove makeup before using this scrub. After cleansing, your face will have a fresh glow and will feel extraordinarily clean.
Retails for 75.00 at www.drbrandtskincare.com
Now that your pores are open from the exfoliation and warm water rinses, you want to use a face wash containing Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide, or Tea Tree Oil. Any of these three ingredients will go deep into the pores to kill bacteria, break down oil, and prevent the pores from getting plugged. This step is especially important for those with oily skin. If excess oil is left on the skin, it can smother bacteria in the pores, causing breakouts. You can use these washes with a wash cloth, or an exfoliating body glove. Here are some of the best face wash products for oily skin:
University Medical Acne Free 24/7 Foaming Face Wash: A Salicylic Acid foaming wash that promises to kill bacteria for 24 hours. This works wonderfully on extra oily skin, but can be a bit drying to combination types. The Salicylic Acid breaks down the oils in the skin to prevent pores from getting clogged with excess sebum.
Retails for $7.99 at drugstores or Ulta Stores
Dessert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash: This is an all natural, vegan wash that contains tea tree oil to fight bacteria and chamomile to calm redness. It is also free of paraffin and sulfates, so is an excellent choice for those with oily yet sensitive skin.
Retails for $9.29 at www.dessertessence.com or some health food stores
Proactiv Renewing Cleanser: A Benzoyl Peroxide based scrub that penetrates pores to attack bacteria. This is very mildly exfoliating, but can still be used after using the exfoliating products listed above. The Benzoyl Peroxide is a bit less drying than Salicylic acid, so this one is best for those with combination to somewhat oily skin.
Retails for $14.99 at www.proactiv.com or websites such as Ebay or Amazon
Toner is important to apply after cleansing is complete, as the pores are open and receptive to bacteria-killing treatments. It"s important to choose a toner that nourishes the skin, contains minimal alcohol, and is somewhat hydrating. If you"re using a toner that strips away too much natural moisture, this is when the skin actually WILL produce more oil to compensate for dryness. Apply toner after cleansing is complete, by saturating with a cotton ball and swiping all over face.
Dickinson"s Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner: A 100% natural toner that removes any traces of cleanser or makeup, tightens & purifies pores, and helps retain moisture. This is a gentle toner, best for combination or sensitive skin.
Retails for $4.99 at drugstores
Proactiv Revitalizing Toner: This toner also contains witch hazel, along with a blend of aloe and chamomile to soothe the skin & remove excess oil without robbing it of moisture. The allatonin in the product helps to stimulate the growth of healthy tissue. This formula is actually suitable for any skin type, from dry to extra oily. Retails for $14.99 at www.proactiv.com or websites such as Ebay and Amazon
Dr. Brandt Blemishes No More Intensolution: If you want the very best in toners that will also multi-task as an acne fighter, go with this formula. It penetrates pores to clear bacteria and does not over-dry the skin. This item is formulated with Active Impurity Shield to clear blemishes and help shield skin from future breakouts, along with a time released cooling agent that leaves skin feeling soft and refreshed - not dry and tight. This one is suited best toward oily and acne prone skin. Retails for $35.00 at www.drbrandtskincare.com
Finding a moisturizer suited to oily skin is a tough task. Most formulas are so emollient that they clog pores, increase oil production, and cause breakouts after just one application. Many people with oily skin find that they do not need to use moisturizer, so if you skin is ultra oily, you may want to skip this step "" but skip only if you have used one of the above hydrating toners. Most drug store brand moisturizers and foundations are not the best for oily skin, as they usually contain cheap, heavy ingredients. If you are going to splurge on two facial products, let it be your moisturizer & foundation! The good part is that oily types need to use very little moisturizer, so one container will last for a long time. You can apply moisturizer in the morning or evening, as needed. If skin feels dry and tight, it is asking for moisture. Apply after toner has dried, by gently rubbing in circular motions until product is absorbed.
Burt"s Bees Natural Acne Solution Daily Moisturizer: A bacteria fighting moisturizer that contains salicylic acid (in the form of willow bark) as well as a host of nourishing botanical ingredients such as lemongrass, witch hazel, and goldenseal to soothe and hydrate the skin. You will find that many products suited toward oily skin are also designed for acne prone skin. The ingredients that are best suited toward fighting oil also help combat acne. Retails for $18 at www.burtsbees.com and some drugstores / health food stores
Clarins Ultra Matte Rebalancing Lotion: A superior moisturizer that contains Chrysine, which actually slows down the production of sebum. Willow Herb and White Dead Nettle purify the pores and mattify shine, while Lantana helps to purify the skin. Retails for 39.50 at www.clarins.com
Dr Brandt Pores No More: Yes, another product from the Dr. Brandt Line! This brand function very well on oily skin, and this particular moisturizer allows skin to feel fresh, hydrated, clean and oil free all at the same time. Formulated with salicylic acid, tea tree oil and botanicals, it refines and tightens pores while also controlling oil production and providing hydration. Retails for 55.00 at www.drbrandtskincare.com
Now that the cleansing routine has been explained, let"s talk about makeup for oily skin. People with excess sebum production have the most luck with waterproof and water resistant formulas "" especially when it comes to foundation and eye makeup. The oils in your skin cause makeup to dissolve, leaving it feeling sticky and allowing it to transfer onto your hands and clothing. Formulas designed to resist water also last the longest when exposed to skin oils.
The #1 product a person with oily skin should use is an absorbent face powder. The use of powder can really cut down on shine during the day, allowing you to look fresher for longer, and helping foundation to stay in place. Look for ingredients such as Kaolin Clay, Titanium Dioxide, Silica and Corn Starch "" which soak up oil. AVOID any face powder or mineral makeup that contains Mica or Pearl Powder, as these will only add shine to your already shiny complexion. Apply using a fluffy powder brush, or by patting ""not rubbing- onto skin with a powder puff. Here is a list of the best face powders for oily skin:
Mattify! Cosmetics Mattify! Loose Powder & Mattify! ULTRA: These are top of the line powders to combat oily skin, and are both super oil-absorbent. The active ingredients include Kaolin Clay and Silicone Beads which absorb 3x their weight in oil. Another multi-tasking product, you can use them alone, as a powder primer underneath foundation, and as a setting powder over the top of foundation. The regular Mattify! Loose Powder is suited best toward combo or somewhat oily skin, and the Mattify! ULTRA is best for very oily skin. They go on clear, provide and air-brushed finish, and soak up oil for 6+ hours before a touch-up is needed. They will also be releasing a cornstarch-free Mattify! Powder for those who have allergies to cornstarch.
Retails for $8 (original formula) or $12 (ULTRA) at www.mattifycosmetics.com
(Side Note) In general, people with oily skin want to avoid using the popular silicone gel-based primers, because they cause skin to feel slick and oily to the touch. Instead, go with powder primer, such as the Mattify! formula, which contains the dry silicone beads to soak up the excess oil.
Coty Airspun Loose Translucent Face Powder: A microspun formula that provides a longwearing flawless finish and helps absorb excess oil. This item contains zinc, talc and titanium dioxide to assist in coverage and oil absorption. The powder feels feather-light going on, and does not give an ashy or muddy appearance, as many colored powders can. This looks best over foundation, and gives a shine-free finish for 2-3 hours.
Retails for $8 at most drugstores
Clarins Shine Stopper Powder Compact: This portable compact contains an oil absorbent translucent powder that can be applied alone or over foundation. It feels silky and light, giving you a beautiful air-brushed look. The shine free finish lasts about 4 hours on combo skin, or 2 hours on extra oily skin before a touch-up is needed. In general, loose powder works best on oily types, but if you need something portable, this product is the way to go.
Retails for 30.00 at www.clarins.com
Choosing a foundation for oily skin can also be tricky. Drug store brands are cheaply made, and do not typically wear for more than 5 hours on oily skin. Again, it"s wise to spend a bit more on a quality foundation. Many people think that Mineral Makeup is best for oily skin (since it comes in powder form). This is a mistake! Most mineral formulas contain Mica and Pearlescent Powders that reflect light and make you look extra shiny. Bare Escentuals did come out with a matte formula, but it still doesn"t bind well with oily skin. The result is often a muddy and sticky appearance, and a finish that doesn"t look fresh for more than a couple of hours.
Foundation can be applied with a damp foam sponge for sheer coverage, a brush or dry foam sponge for adjustable coverage, or fingertips for heavier coverage. Here are some excellent foundation formulas for oily skin:
Maybelline Superstay 24 Hour Foundation: If you must go with a drugstore brand, this is the best. It is highly advisable to use the Mattify! Loose Powder underneath this makeup for added oil control, otherwise skin can become quite sticky after about 4 hours. Although the packaging suggests it lasts for 24 hours, it only survives around 7 hours on oily skin before fading. It provides medium coverage and looks best when applied with a dry foam sponge or foundation brush, and topped with powder to help absorb oil.
Retails for $12 at most drugstores
Estee Lauder Max Cover Camouflage Foundation: One of the best foundations on the market, this water resistant makeup goes on flawlessly and lasts for 12+ hours. The formula is so light weight, yet so packed with pigment, you don"t even need to wear concealer underneath to cover freckles and acne blemishes. It works best when applied with clean finger tips, allowing for the most blendability. Alternately, a foam sponge can be used, but results in quite a bit of wasted product. This makeup repels oil, and survives through high humidity and even swimming! If you sweat or go swimming, just blot face dry with a towel (do not rub) and your foundation will look almost as fresh as it did when first applied.
Retails for $29 at www.esteelauder.com
Clarins Truly Matte Foundation: This smooth, matte foundation delivers medium coverage without feeling thick and sticky. The product is somewhat long wearing, as it lasts for around 9 hours before touchups are needed. This looks best when applied with a dry foam sponge or fingertips, but it dries fairly fast so you must work quickly. Apply to one area of the face at a time, and blend with outward whispy motions.
Retails for $38 at www.clarins.com
Additional cosmetic items are important to your overall look as well. It"s necessary to find long lasting lipstick, mascara, eye liner, eye shadow, and blush. Oily skin will sabotage regular cosmetics, so waterproof formulas will ensure the longest wear. Here are some product suggestions for items that will survive on the oiliest skin types:
Cover Girl Waterproof Lash Blast "" Provides lush long lashes, holds curl, stays put until you take it off. Doesn"t crumble or flake. Retails for $8 at drugstores
Dior Diorshow Black Out Waterproof Mascara "" Gives length and lash separation, as well as high pigment color & lasting wear. Retails for $24 at www.sephora.com
Maybelline Superstay Lip Color "" Smooth lip color with soft foam tip that lasts for around 6 hours and comes with a conditioning wax gloss. Retails for $8 at drugstores
MAC Pro Long Wear Lip Color - Very high pigment color that comes with a shiny conditioning gloss and lasts 8 hours. Retails for $21 at department stores
Styli Style Liquid Liner "" Packaged like a felt-tipped pen, this provides precise application and waterproof wear. Retails for $8 at most CVS drugstores
Stila Smudge Stick "" A super soft, pigmented & waterproof automatic liner pencil that never needs sharpening. Comes in several gorgeous colors and does not come off until you remove it. Retails for $22 at www.sephora.com or Ulta stores
Mattify! Cosmetics Shimmering Eye Shadow "" Not a waterproof, but the oil absorbent ingredients allow it to be very long lasting and crease free on oily skin. Very high pigment colors, with beautiful shimmer. Retails for $5 at www.mattifycosmetics.com
Smashbox Waterproof Shadow Liner Duo "" Shadow and liner in the same pot that stay put until you remove them. Somewhat limited color selection, but the colors they do have make a great smoky eye and are very vibrant. Retails for 25.00 at www.smashbox.com
Milani Minerals Blush "" While not waterproof, it has high pigment color and a matte long lasting finish on oily skin. Retails for $6 at drugstores
Illuminaire Cosmetics Ultimate All Day Blush "" Provides extremely long wear and is water resistant. Natural looking vibrant colors. Retails for $ at www.illuminaire.com
Model in a Bottle Makeup Setting Spray - Mist your face with this setting spray to help all of your makeup stay in place for 8+ hours. Helps keep a matte finish, and touch ups can be done over the spray once it has dried. Retails for $18 at www.modelinabottle.com