How to Care for Oily Skin Quickly

Most people experience some degree of oily skin at one point or another, but for some, it’s less an occasional annoyance than a fact of life. Your genetics and hormones determine whether or not you have oily skin, and although it may seem like a hassle, oily skin does provide a protective advantage over other skin types. With a proper skin care regimen and products that help to balance oil without over drying, it is possible to reduce the negative aspects associate with oily skin.

This article will discuss:

Where does oil come from?

Skin oil, or sebum, comes from sebaceous glands located in pores all over the body. The highest density of sebaceous glands is on the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin). Thus, this is the most common location of excess oiliness.

Oil production increases at puberty when a hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone) begins affecting the bodies of both males and females. If the body produces too much DHT or glands are overly sensitive to normal amounts of DHT, skin can easily become too oily. DHT levels are genetic, and oil production generally increases at puberty and decreases as time goes on. However, for some people, oily skin is something they deal with throughout their lifetimes.

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Advantages and disadvantages of oily skin

Although it may seem like there is no upside to oily skin, it can help protect your skin from future damage. The lubrication oil provides pays dividends as the skin ages, making it less susceptible to everyday damage and irritation.

Oil lubricates the skin and hair, which helps prevent dryness and the formation of wrinkles in the future. In fact, the oil your skin produces is crucial for maintaining the protective acid mantle. The acid mantle is composed of sebum, cell debris, and sweat. These components create a layer with a pH between 4.5 and 5.5 that makes skin cells lie flat and hair follicles stay straight. The acid mantle keeps cells from breaking apart, helps prevent moisture loss, and protects from bacteria, contaminants and irritants. Skin with a healthy acid mantle is less likely to be dry, scaly, or sensitive.

The shiny appearance of oily skin is one major downside. Even worse for most people with oily skin is the increase in acne it tends to cause. Excess sebum mixes with dirt and dead skin cells to clog pores. Unfortunately, the fatty acids in sebum are the perfect food for the bacteria that cause additional blemishes. However, by being diligent with your skin care routine, you can significantly reduce the negative effects of having oily skin.

Tips for managing oily skin

  • Keep your face clean, but avoid over washing, as this can cause the skin to overproduce oil to replace its natural lubrication. Most people only need to wash in the morning and before bed, although if you work out, washing one more time won’t hurt. Make sure to use products designed for oily skin so you don’t unintentionally add ingredients to your skin that promote the production of additional oil. Avoid using “superfatted” soaps that include ingredients like cocoa butter, cleansing creams, or lanolin, as these create more oil buildup.
  • Some people with oily skin can go without moisturizer at all. Others benefit from using a light moisturizer containing humectants, which attract and retain water (for example, glycerin or sodium pyrrolidonecarboxylic acid). If you currently use harsh products that strip the skin of its natural oil and leave it feeling tight, you may end up compensating by using a moisturizer that is heavier than you really need. Try discontinuing these stripping products and then use the lightest hydrator that works for you. Focus on lotions or light serums, as opposed to richer creams.
  • If you wear makeup, use oil-free, water-based foundations, like Perricone’s No Foundation Foundation. Also, try oil-blotting foundations, powders, and absorbent blotting papers. However, don’t powder too frequently, as this can make the skin appear chalky.
  • When you look for makeup and skin care products like moisturizers, look for the keyword “non-comodogenic,” as products with these labels should not block pores.
  • Even if you find you don’t need moisturizer, use an oil-free sunscreen of at least SPF 15 to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and prevent damage.

Tired of experimenting product that may or may not work for your skin type?

Check out Dr Perricone‘s Skin Clear Kit. It combines topical treatments and supplements that, especially when combined with the Anti-Inflammatory Diet, work inside and out to balance oily skin. Available at a discount when you have special Perricone codes, these products have ingredients such as eucalyptus leaf oil, allantoin, salicylic acid, and Alpha Lipoic Acid work to combat breakouts without overdrying, while DMAE helps combat early signs of aging. The products combine to combat acne and help control oil while also encouraging smooth, healthy skin.

This video has more information about the Skin Clear Kit:

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16 Comments • Please comment below


  1. …desire so that I can finally like or maybe even love what I see and eradicate my social anxiety issues. Thank you so much for taking my comment into consideration. I wish you all the success with your products and hopefully they can change lives.

  2. Dear Dr. Perricone, I have struggled with difficult oily skin ever since I began puberty at 12. I am now 21 years old and due to my oily skin, I have developed adult acne that I have been battling to get rid of for 2 years now. Acne has completely ruined my once beautiful and radiant complexion and has done unspoken damage to my self-esteem, self-image and self-confidence overall. However, even when i did not have acne, i struggled to keep my skin looking clean and radiant every day. My skin often fluctuates, sometimes I may get a good day where my skin looks smooth, beautiful and radiant, but that is rare. I hate looking at myself in the mirror. I absolutely loathe what I see and constantly compare myself to women who have effortlessly flawless skin. I envy them and it hurts and I wish it wasnt so hard for me. This runs through my mind everyday. I have tried countless products that claim to work, but to no avail. Please Dr. Perricone, all I want is something that is effective and delivers the results that I

  3. [...] the millions of you with it are annoyed, it is important to know that you are going to age best. Oily skin allows for extra moisture to sit in the skin and not dry and shrivel up, creating unsightly [...]

  4. I have oily face with acne, tried apricot exfoliation, cussions cleanser- oily free., and Nivea moisturizing cream in vain. Advice me please!

  5. I have oily face with acne, tried apricot exfoliation, cussions cleanser- oily free., and Niver moisturizing cream in vain.

  6. I have struggled with oily skin every day for years. I have tried almost every store brand of face wash and moisturizer and recently started venturing online. I searched for skin care for oily skin online and saw hundreds of positive reviews about Perricone MD. I got a good deal on a Perricone MD facial cleanser and it has made all the difference. It’s results are uncompareable to anything I used before.

  7. I’m twenty years old and my oily skin is taking over my life. I have oily skin on my chest back and face. I tried so many producs and so many home remedies but not luck. I would love to try your skin kit for oily skin. Just maybe that might change my life. Please choose me and if this works for me I will tell everyone
    (I promise):)

  8. At 50 I still have too much oil, and I have to use blotting papers within a few hours of cleansing.I would love to try your solve oily skin kit!

  9. [...] Creamy cleansers work best for dry skin, and oil-free or gel cleansers are suited for difficult, oily skin. Keep in mind that even oily skin can be over-cleansed. When too much natural oil is stripped away, [...]

  10. [...] As far as choosing a product, creamy cleansers work best for dry skin, and oil-free or gel cleansers are suited for difficult, oily skin. [...]

  11. [...] Cystic acne is the result of more than just oily skin. [...]

  12. This was a very useful article. At 40 years old, I still struggle with hormonal break outs along my chin (and on my chest, neck and back) and have very oily skin. It is good to know that there is an “up side” to having oily skin (i.e., the potential for having less wrinkes in the future).

    I just ordered the Skin Clear kit and am anxious to see what results I may have.

    Thank you Dr. Perricone for all your dedication and research in the field of dermatology.

  13. Thanx for the always useful advice. I will be sure to execute your suggestions for my oily, acne prone skin.

  14. The Advanced Face Firming Activator is a must have for my oily skin. I’ve seen a wonderful improvement.

  15. I have been trying for years to find the right moisturizer for my skin, which despite being super oily and prone to breakouts, dries up and flakes in certain areas. It’s been so severe that I have not been able to wear make-up, because it would just accentuate it.

    From the first day I used the Vitamin Enhanced Moisturizer (from the Made from Earth skincare line), the problem was eradicated. It was heavy but NOT oily, and the dry spots were gone! Not only that, but my skin was wonderfully clear and soft.

    After I ran out of this, I tried using a more expensive Estee Lauder cream, and the dryness was back in a few days. Yes, the price tag is a bit steep, and as some reviewers have mentioned, but its is HYPOallergic and worth it to avoid any reactions – perfect for those of us like me with ULTA sensitive skin.

    Definitely give it a try is you have tried everything and nothing seems to work – This moisturizer is well worth looking into!

  16. That’s an interesting point about not using “superfatted” soaps like cocoa butter. I never heard that tip before, but it makes a lot of sense not to use it if you have oily skin. I like the way you provide specialized skin advice for different skin types.