5 Oily Skincare Products that Actually Work

Oily skincare products to tame the shine

I never outgrew my teen years. Not only because I’ve had the same shoe size since I was sixteen, but also because my skin never cleared up since puberty hit. I have battled acne + blemishes due to my oily skin for over a decade and there are no signs of change of my “overly moisturized face”. It took me years, but I finally found an oily skincare regimen that really works.

my oily skincare routine

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What oily skin does to your pores

5 best products for oily skincare

Glossing over the tortuous days when my face was so oily it looked like I ran a double marathon, I was in a quick hurry to start wearing makeup as a teen. I went to MAC and got the best foundation, waterproof mascara, and eye-shadow and piled it on my face, daily. Well, I found that my forehead, nose, cheeks and chin looked like they had been smeared with Vaseline. I was so shiny and I had to carry tissue in my purse to blot every hour.

At night, I would just wipe everything off with a wet face towel, scrub my skin with a beaded exfoliant and call it a night. In the morning I would use an alcohol astringent to rid the morning oiliness, put some hand cream on my face (yikes!), and apply more makeup.

How my face wasn’t covered in pimples, you ask.

Who says it wasn’t?

My blemishes didn’t come from my piss-poor “skincare” regimen and layers of makeup from my early years. It came mostly from my oily skin. I have to deal with breakouts on a daily basis, and my skin type will cause me to have larger, more noticeable pores. Larger pores invite dirt, makeup and oil to settle DEEP under the skin and end up blocking those pores, causing acne. Your body produces oil naturally, but if too much oiliness is produced, it can cause acne flare-ups. The two main causes of this excess oil: hormones and genetics – every teenager’s lose/lose.

Journey to finding the perfect routine for oily skin

By my early twenties, the hormones left, but the oiliness stayed and my hunt for the best oily skincare products began. The downside is there aren’t many products for the everyday oily skin sufferer. Trust me when I say the majority of the products don’t work all day and the oil comes back. You can’t beat the oil, so you might as well live with the curse and learn to live it, smartly.

I skipped to Sephora for some skincare products that help oily skin and pronounced pores. Their selection is fierce, but there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all oily skincare brand out there. But, I did my due diligence and after 4 (yes, 4!) years of trial and error, I found 5 that tame oily skin without over drying!

Here is my list of oily skincare products and brands that I (and my persnickety skin) have come to adore. Plus, I listed two additional products I like to throw into the mix. 1 product I use most days, the other I use when I have an extra 20 minutes.

The beauty of these products is you can use them day AND night! So there is no need to buy day cleansers and night cleanser, or day moisturizer and night moisturizer. Each of these products are multi-purpose, so that is fewer products to purchase and money saved!

You’re welcome.

Day and Night Oily Skincare Routine


It all comes down to the brush. Please believe me when I say using only a wet wash cloth will not cut it. After learning how a spin brush is more powerful than the vigor of your hand and cleans deeper than a wash cloth had me convinced.

I bought my first spin brush from Vanity Planet and kept it for a couple of years. When I finally had the money, I decided to upgrade to the Clarisonic Mia spinbrush with a specialized brush head for oily skin types. I find Clarisonic to really help deep clean pores and its wider brush head covers more square footage of your face.

best spinbrush for oily skincare

Clarisonic spinbrush for oily skincare

However, since Clarisonic spin brushes can come with a triple digit price tag, try out the less expensive 3-head Vanity Planet Glowskin Facial Brush.


This was my toughest battle, finding the right cleanser for oily skin. Cleansers are crucial in creating the perfect morning and night routine for your skin. They are the first oily skincare step you use in the morning to clean your skin, and at night to remove extra dirt and oil that may have collected. Those with oily skin must find a cleanser that contains salicylic acid to help stop breakouts.

*Side note: Before I cleanse, I use makeup removing toilette clothes from Neutrogena which also help in removing dirt and oil from the surface of your face. 

cheap boscia facial cleanser for oily skincare

After throwing away so many half used bottles that claimed to clean your oily skin without over drying, I found Boscia. This Japanese brand was created specifically for people with oily skin. Its free of preservatives that irritate the skin and uses botanical based ingredients in their entire product line.

My favorite cleanser from Boscia line is the Purifying Cleansing Gel I use morning and night with my spin brush.

Boscia cleanser for oily skincareToner

A toner is a good idea to use after you cleanse to make sure you got all the excess dirt your cleanser might have missed. This should also be used morning and night. Some argue that a toner is not necessary for oily skin types, but I like to use one to start the day and end the day with clean skin. I use the Clear Complexion Tonic spray on toner from Boscia.

boscia toner and spinbrush for oily skincare

If you find that using a toner tends to dry your skin, try a gentler formula with witch hazel, or just skip this step entirely.

Facial Exfoliate

There are so many exfoliates out in the world. I find exfoliates with tiny plastic balls are too harsh for my skin. It’s best to use a facial peel that also moisturizes. Exfoliating the dead skin cells works wonders and reveals fresh, bright, younger looking skin.

What is important to remember about exfoliates is to not use them too often, especially more than once a day. When you exfoliate, you are literally removing top layers of your skin, which is a lot for your skin to endure. You skin cells have to rebuild over time and exfoliating too often can cause irritation, sensitivity and redness. Exfoliate no more than 3 days a week and only in the morning. This lets your skin better absorb your other skincare products and makeup easier.

Boscia has a great facial exfoliate that works like a chemical peel in both a botanical and volcanic sand form. Right now I am living my best life with Elemis’ nonabrasive papaya peel that works as an exfoliate and moisturizer.

boscia exfoliate for oily skincare

Hydrating Mask

I always love to treat my skin after I put it through so much in the morning and at night with my oily skincare routine. I was introduced to m.a.d. skincare’s gel mask for delicate skin from FabFitFun. Just apply the hydrating mask for 5-10 minutes and it leaves my face feeling smooth and really soft.

hydrating mask for oily skincare

The Delicate Calming Gel Mask is an extra step I take to reduce drying of my skin. When my skin becomes too dry, the oiliness over activates and I end up having more oil on my face than normal. In order to reduce this risk, I use this lightweight calming gel mask that is stress relieving and hydrating.


Another sore spot for people with oily skin is whether to moisturize. The answer is yes! I have sampled several moisturizers all saying they are capable of “soaking up” excess oil and leaving you with a matte finish. I have not found this to be the case.

The best bet is to find a moisturizer that is lightweight and oil-free. Hydration isn’t bad for oily skin, you really want to moisturize. Again, products that over dry skin can cause extra oil to be produced on the face, which defeats the whole purpose.

moisturizer for oily skincare

Murad’s Skin Perfecting Lotion is a great option because it hydrates, reduces pores, and smooths. I find that I have to blot my skin after using this lotion, but that will be with any product due to my oily skin type.

Whew – what that enough information? Because it was a lot to write, but there is just so much to detail with oily skincare routines.


So, if you stayed until the end, I promised two additional products that really help to protect and deep clean my face.

Charcoal Mask

Boscia’s black and white charcoal pudding mask is also a pore reducer that helps the appearance of my skin so my acne blemishes steadily fade. This particular mask applies pretty thick but is so relaxing and creamy and allows for a little “me time”. Charcoal is great for sucking everything out of your pores and brightens your complexion. I love touching my face after I use this deeply hydrating product.

charcoal mud mask for oily skincare

mud mask oily skincareSunscreen

I shied away from using sunscreen because I could not find one that was compatible with my skin. The others I used either added a strange synthetic layer on my skin, or gave that artificial mattyfing feature.

Even if I am not outdoors, I always protect my skin with SPF every day. Coola’s Moisturizing Face Lotion is an unscented organic sunscreen that can be put alone or under makeup. I just pop this on 15 minutes before going outside and I am good for the day!

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Ashli Cargill
Ashli Cargill

FUN FACT: I am a donut lover with a slight shopping addiction.

I have been writing Sleeping with Jewelry blog since 2017 in hopes to connect with you all and share my love for accessories and shopping! I hope you enjoy the big smiles and gold jewelry seen across every page. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you all!

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