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Oily skin is coarser and thicker than the other skin types. It is caused by excess production of oil (the technical term is sebum). Here the oil producing sebaceous glands are overactive or hyperactive and hence they produce more oil than is needed. The oil oozes and gives the skin a greasy shine.

The good news is that oily skin helps skin age more slowly with fewer wrinkles. The bad news is that people with oilier skin tend to suffer more with blackheads and acne. This skin type requires constant care and tends to get affected by weather changes.

Dr. T. K. Gupta (MD, Skin)

  1. Be aware- Oily skin is usually confused with combination skin because it has some areas that are oily and some which are dry. The care though is totally different in both the conditions. Hence if you are facing such a situation trouble shoot and check the skincare products you are using. Usage of wrong harsh skincare products is the main contributor in this type of situation.
  2. Factors that can aggravate the problems for oily skinned people-
    • External factors: hot humid climatic conditions, heat, dust, pollution.
    • Internal factors: genetics, diet.
    • Lack of hygiene or efficient cleansing regime.
    • Excessive scrubbing.
    • Excessive facials or stimulating massages.
    • Certain medications both oral or topical which are generally used to combat acne like iso-tretenoin, benzyol peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid hormone-replacing medications (Therefore, it is very important to choose correct daily use skincare products for your skin type).
    • Choosing incorrect skincare products and regime: this is extremely important but is usually overlooked. Hence make sure you use only those skincare products that have a gel or serum or lotion base. Avoid products containing denatured alcohols, skin irritants (irritating or drying ingredients only make matters worse, because they actually trigger more oil to be produced directly in the oil gland) and excessive fragrance. Are non-comedogenic. Are skin pH friendly. Formulated specifically for your skin type/ concerns/ needs and are safe (do not contain toxic/ harmful ingredients in them) for application on human skin.
    • Excessive Stress– High stress levels often lead to more androgenic hormone production that could trigger excessive sebum production thereby causing oily skins.
    • Sun Tanning– Since it causes temporary skin dryness, it should be noted it could trigger excessive sebum production as the body tries to compensate the low oil level and protect your skin.
  3. Oily skin is extremely reactive to any change in your skincare regime, skincare products or any aesthetic procedure. Therefore, always get any aesthetic procedure; be it laser treatment, chemicals peels, chemical rejuvenation etc done only from a certified Dermatologist/Cosmetologist.
  4. Always consult a dermatologist; without any delay; if you are suffering from acne because it is very important to identify which type & stage of acne do you have. If treated timely you can prevent severe stages of acne.


  • Go in for a diet rich in Vit C: It reduces the excess oil secretion from the skin’s glands and promotes healthy, even-toned skin. Vit C also prevents acne and heals existing inflammations & blemishes.
  • Even a slight deficiency in vitamin B2 can cause oily skin. Nutritional yeast, wheat germ and organ meats provide both vitamin B5 and vitamin B2. Other good sources of vitamin B2 are whole grains, beans, nuts and whole rice.
  • Drink plenty of quality water to keep the skin hydrated and flush out toxins.
  • Reduce the amount of fat, spicy fried food, fast food in your diet. Avoid pork and fried and highly seasoned foods. Consume no animal fats, or heat-processed vegetable oils. 
  • Do not drink soft drinks or alcoholic beverages.









Step-1: CLEANSING (face wash/cleansers)

  • This is the most important step if you possess oily skin.
  • Cleansers/face washes need to be chosen extremely carefully. They should be having these essential properties: good cleansing properties, anti-bacterial ingredients in mild yet effective form, gel/foam/liquid based, skin pH friendly and most importantly it should not strip your skin of moisture.
  • How much ever you may be tempted to use; Please totally avoid cleansers that contain irritants like excessive fragrances colorants, products that make your skin tingle (such as menthol, mint, eucalyptus, and lemon), denatured alcohols, face washes that give you a squeaky clean feeling, comedogenic ingredients like palmatates, low quality preservatives. (Irritating or drying ingredients only make matters worse, because they actually trigger more oil to be produced directly in the oil gland. Also when your skin tingles, it means it is being irritated).
  • Wash your face 2 times in a day. You can make it 3 times only if your daily routine involves excessive exposure to heat & pollution.
  • For body- use a soap or body wash which is skin pH friendly and are not drying.

You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of CLEANSING

Step-2: TONING

  • Toner is a must and an important step for oily skinned people. Toners remove the last traces of impurities that can clog pores and help balance the skin pH. Apply toner right after washing your face.
  • Toners have a base made up of alcohol or witch hazel or water and the active ingredients are suspended in this base. Always use ALCOHOL-FREE toners because if they are alcohol-based they dry out the skin and create dead skin cell build up.Avoid denatured alcohol, SD alcohol, ethanol and isopropyl alcohol.
  • Toners have evolved over the years, modern day toners come in different varieties that refresh, tighten, cleanse and moisturize the skin for a healthy glow.
  • Choose well formulated toners having skin enhancing ingredients like hyluronates, anti-oxidants and cell communicating ingredients.

Step-3: EXFOLIATING (face scrubs)

  • How much ever you may be tempted; avoid excessive scrubbing.
  • Use soft non-abrasive scrubbing agents. Harsh gritty scrubbing agents can irritate your skin which can result in more oil production.
  • If you are prone to blemishes, besides using a BHA exfoliant, applying a product with benzoyl peroxide will target and kill acne-causing bacteria. For mild to moderate acne begin with a 2% strength and then depending on how your skin does, you can increase to a 5% strength.
  • Exfoliate 1-2 times in a week. Once using synthetic scrubs and once using homemade face scrub. Read our NATURAL REMEDIES- FOR OILY SKIN to find out how to make natural scrubs.

You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of EXFOLIATION

Step-4: MOISTURIZING (cream/lotion)

  • Moisturiser for oily skinned people should be lightweight, water based and oil-free. Not applying moisturizer will cause the skin to get dehydrated which is never a good option for the skin. Dehydration will disrupt the skin barrier as well as increased oil production which can possibly lead to increased breakouts.
  • Avoid the ingredients mineral oil, lanolin, petrolatum in your moisturizer as these may suffocate the skin and clog the pores.
  • Look for lotions that specifically say they are oil-free and non- comedogenic. Moisturisers with anti-bacterial properties should be used by those who are prone to acne breakouts. These lotions constantly combat infections and flare-ups.
  • These days gel moisturisers are very common and are good for oily skinned people.
  • During the day you can opt for a light weight and lotion based moisturiser cum sunscreen or good quality non-comedogenic BB creams.
  • At night use a lotion/cream which is light textured, non-greasy, non-comedogenic and replenishing. You can go in for hydrating serums. As lotions, gels, serums are best for oily skin. A serum is a skin care product that has a higher concentration of active ingredients. 
  • Avoid oil or cream-based foundations or products and opt for mineral or powder foundations instead. 

 You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of MOISTURIZATION

IF YOU have any skin concerns like (uneven skin tone, acne, post acne scars, wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, dullness, stubborn blackheads, hyperpigmentation, dark circles, enlarged pores, complexion enhancement, dark spots, sun spots, rosacea, melasma, skin allergies etc) then in addition to your daily regime you will require TARGETED TREATMENT regime which is specific for your skin concern but at the same time is also mild on your skin (eg milder forms of retinoids/pigment reducing ingredients etc).CLICK TO GET A DETAILED FACE CARE REGIME DEVISED EXCLUSIVELY FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE/ CONCERNS/ NEEDS

Step-5: PROTECTING (sunscreens)

  • It is difficult to apply sunscreen if you have oily skin but remember you can make matters worse for your skin; if you skip a sunscreen.
  • Always go in for gel/water/lotion-based, non-comedogenic, broad spectrum sunscreens.
  • Nowadays powder touch sunscreens are available; these give a dry touch and are a good option for oily skin.
  • If you have acne-prone skin, sunscreens containing Micronized Zinc Oxide are beneficial. As it is not only very lightweight and won’t clog the pores, but it also offers terrific broad spectrum sun protection.

You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of SUN PROTECTION

Step-6: PAMPERING (with face packs/masks)

  • Steaming your face once a week will help in opening your pores. Ensure your skin is well hydrated before you begin steaming it. Afterwards, moisturize your skin with your moisturiser (oil-free, light-weight, non-comedogenic). You can add a few natural products like lemongrass, and rosebuds to the water you are using for steaming.
  • Use a well-formulated salicylic acid serum twice a week. Since salicylic acid has the capability of getting into the pore lining to prevent clogged pores.
  • Apply face masks 1-2 times in a week. Opt for clay or mud based face packs. Face packs have the advantage of providing larger amount of active ingredients in contact with the skin for longer duration of time. Read our NATURAL REMEDIES-FOR OILY SKIN to find out how to make useful face packs.
  • Always use blotting papers or tissue paper for blotting your skin during the day.
*Disclaimer : Result may vary from person to person.