Does your skin become extremely oily within a few hours of face cleansing? We understand your daily struggles of managing accumulated grease. Thus, we have put together the perfect day and night skincare routine for you.
Read on for some great tips to deal with oily skin like a pro.
Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks
“Oily skinned people usually punish their skin for being so. Excessive washing to relieve oiliness and then skipping the moisturizer can trigger more oil to compensate for the dryness. Over moisturizing can also wreak havoc for oily skin. A good customized routine helps balance the hydration vs. oiliness on the skin.”
-Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix
What Is The Best Skincare Routine For Oily Skin?
According to Ayurveda, amongst the 3 life energies (doshas) that regulate our body functions, an aggravation of the Pitta and Kapha doshas can stimulate your facial oil glands into secreting excess sebum. Thus, people with a Pitta-Kapha Prakriti (body constitution) are more likely to have oily skin.
As per Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, “Oily skin needs special attention for upkeep of its health. Finding the artful balance for your skin based on your diet, lifestyle, climate and geography is something that can be mastered skilfully.”
“Oily skinned people usually punish their skin for being so. Excessive washing to relieve oiliness and then skipping the moisturizer can trigger more oil to compensate for the dryness. Over moisturizing can also wreak havoc for oily skin. A good customized routine helps balance the hydration vs. oiliness on the skin,” she adds.
- Oily skin requires a natural skincare routine that moisturizes without disturbing the skin’s oil balance .
- Astringent, antibacterial and hydrating products that don't clog up your pores are the best choices while planning a skincare routine for oily skin.
- Ayurveda recommends Kapha balancing herbs like triphala, turmeric, aloe vera, manjistha, moringa, sandalwood and others to manage oily and acne-prone skin.
On average, the sebaceous glands of an adult secrete 1mg/ 10cm²  of sebum every 3 hours. However, when the rate of secretion exceeds 1.5mg/ 10cm² it causes oily skin.
Daytime Skincare Routine For Oily Skin
1. Cleanse Away The Oil
Start your oily skincare routine with a mild cleanser. For oily skin, choose cleansers that have fruit acids, tea/ coffee or citrus extracts. These help to clean your pores and remove product residues. Also, these are gentle on the skin.
If your oily skin is acne-prone, face washes which have niacinamide are also beneficial. However, herbal foaming face washes that have natural oil-controlling ingredients can restore your skin's balance without exposing it to harmful chemicals.
Natural ingredients to look for in your cleanser are:
2. Exfoliate Your Skin
In Ayurveda, herbal exfoliation is recommended to improve sub-cutaneous blood circulation, remove harmful Ama toxins from your skin and pacify aggravated Doshas.
Natural ingredients to look for in your exfoliator are:
- Orange peel
3. Apply A Toner
Toners are great oil controllers and are perfect for oily skin and large pores. They hydrate, maintain your skin’s pH balance and remove residue oil and dirt from your pores. However, keep away from skin toners that contain alcohol as they may irritate or make your skin dry.
Natural ingredients to look for in your toner are:
- Rose water
- Tea tree extracts
- Green tea
- Aloe vera
4. Apply An Ice Rub
Oily skin greatly benefits from ice rubs. Simply wrap a few cubes of ice in a flannel or cotton cloth and gently apply it on your face.
Benefits Of An Ice Rub
- Soothes oily-sensitive skin, reduces inflammation, puffy eyes and skin irritations. Gives your skin a smooth, oil-free, fresh feel.
- Reduces subcutaneous blood flow, thereby preventing excess sebum secretion.
- Prepares your skin for better absorption of products.
- Reduces skin damage from sun exposure, prevents lines and wrinkles.
- For more skin benefits, prepare your ice cubes with natural ingredients like tomato, pomegranate, green tea, aloe vera, cucumber, grape juice and rose water.
5. Detox Your Skin With A Face Mask/ Face Pack
With your busy morning schedule it might be difficult to fit in half an hour of skin time. In such times, a quick 10-minute face pack while you prepare your breakfast can be ideal.
Face packs detox your skin, strengthen the epidermal barrier and replenish it with moisture and nutrients that protect your skin and keep it looking fresh all day.
A few good homemade face packs for oily skin are,
A. Multani Mitti, Tulsi & Rose Water
Being an astringent, multani mitti draws out dirt and oil from clogged pores. Tulsi and rose water hydrate your skin, prevent acne and help maintain your skin’s pH balance.
How To Use
- Mash 10-12 tulsi leaves and add it to the multani mitti.
- Add rose water to make a paste.
- Apply on your face and wash off after 10 to 15 minutes.
B. Turmeric, Kesar & Milk
Curcumin in turmeric has miraculous skin benefitting properties. Adding turmeric to your oily skincare routine prevents excess oil secretion, infection, inflammation, blemishes and acne. Kesar and milk keep your skin healthy and glowing.
How To Use
- Soak kesar in milk for an hour.
- Add turmeric to make a paste.
- Apply on your oily skin and wash off after 10 to 15 minutes with lukewarm water.
C. Sariva, Japa & Neem
Sariva is an amazing Kapha dosha pacifying herb and is useful against oily skin acne and blemishes. Japa or hibiscus’s astringent nature keeps your skin oil-free and boosts its collagen production. Neem hydrates and prevents microbial growth common in oily skin.
How To Use
- Blend 5 to 6 japa flowers (only petals), and add sariva and neem powder to it.
- Add some honey or lukewarm water to make a paste and apply on your skin.
- Wash off after 10 to 15 minutes.
D. Orange Peel, Almonds & Aloe Vera
Orange peel has oil-reduction and skin-clarifying abilities. Both almond and aloe vera help combat acne and skin pigmentation. Aloe vera also moisturizes your oily skin.
How To Use
- Add aloe vera gel to orange peel and almond powder to make a paste.
- Apply on your skin and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes before you wash off.
E. Papaya & Honey
Frequent use of papaya on oily skin can bring about a healthy change in your skin’s physical appearance. Papain in papaya helps clarify your skin and control excess oil. Honey moisturizes and prevents acne and infections.
How To Use
- Mash a ripe papaya and add honey to it.
- Leave it on for 10 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water.
F. Sandalwood, Moringa & Lavender Essential Oil /Tea Tree Oil
The amazing cooling properties of sandalwood soothes acne-prone oily skin. Moringa and sandalwood regulate sebum secretions and improve your skin tone. Both these essential oils are highly effective in unclogging pores, soothing inflammation and fighting acne.
How To Use
- Add 2-3 drops of diluted lavender or tea tree essential oil to a mix of sandalwood and moringa powder.
- Apply on your skin and wash off after 15 minutes.
6. Use A Serum
Ingredients to look for in serums for oily skin are:
- Green tea
- Vitamin C
- Citrus extracts
- Hyaluronic acid
7. Hydrate The Area Around Your Eyes
You need not limit your eye cream just to your nighttime routine. If the skin around your eyes feels dry or is prone to wrinkles, lines or puffiness, a good eye cream is all you need. Choose a non-comedogenic cream that doesn't clog up the fine skin around your eyes and keeps it hydrated, soft and supple throughout the day.
8. Apply A Moisturizer
While you may be concerned about your face becoming too oily with a moisturizer, skipping it altogether doesn't do any good either. Dryness can further stimulate your oil glands into producing more oil.
Opt for a herbal, non-acnegenic, water or gel-based moisturizer that hydrates without making your skin look too greasy.
The best natural ingredients in moisturizers for oily skin are:
- Aloe vera
- Grape seed oil
9. Wear Sunscreen
Oily skin is more resilient to sun damage than other skin types due to the added layers of natural oil. However, that doesn’t give you the excuse to skip sunscreen.
Opt for a minimum SPF 30, broad-spectrum, non-comedogenic, waterproof sunscreen that is specially formulated for oily skin.
10. Use A Blotting Paper
Get rid of the midday grease with a blotting paper. These are also known as blotting sheets or blotting tissues. Keep them handy especially when you are out in the sun for long hours for a fresh, oil-free look.
Evening Skincare Routine For Oily Skin
While the morning skincare routine for oily skin focuses on protecting your skin from external damages, the evening routine rejuvenates, repairs and relieves exhaustion.
1. Use The Right Cleanser
Here's a list of ingredients to choose from while selecting a cleanser to fit your evening skincare routine for oily skin.
A. Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid  increases your cell turnover rate by exfoliating the upper damaged layer of the skin. This helps clear clogged pores, acne lesions and trapped oil. This in turn expedites your skin’s healing process, giving you a soft, smooth appearance.
Use a cleanser that has 1% - 2% of salicylic acid, since too much can cause dryness.
B. Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid also exfoliates the skin, removes excess oil and prevents clogging of skin pores. However, it is more gentle when compared to salicylic acid, making it suitable for inclusion in skincare routine for oily sensitive skin.
Niacinamide or Vitamin B3 is advised for oily skin with acne problems, due to its anti-inflammatory  properties. Use a cleanser that has a low percentage of niacinamide, as some skin types may react to it.
D. Topical Retinoids
Topical retinoids are usually the first line of treatment for oily skin and acne for their comedolytic and anti-inflammatory properties .
According to a research named Sebum output as a factor contributing to the size of facial pores, enlarged pilosebaceous pores contribute to excess sebum production and oily skin.
The topical application of retinoids is also known to significantly reduce pore size, thus treating your oily skin.
E. Natural Ingredients
Herbal cleansers are always a safe and effective choice if you want to steer clear of harmful chemicals. They are devoid of side effects and help your skin achieve a natural balance.
Look for natural ingredients like citrus extracts, tea extracts, sandalwood, neem, aloe vera, etc in your herbal cleansers. These have a purifying effect on your oily skin.
2. Exfoliate Your Skin
As mentioned in the daytime skincare routine for oily skin, exfoliate once every 2 to 3 days depending on your exposure to sun, pollution and use of makeup products.
Avoid over-exfoliation, as it may dry out your skin and further stimulate your oil glands into producing more sebum.
3. Tone Your Skin
Apply an alcohol-free toner to hydrate and prepare your skin for the next steps in your oily skincare routine.
4. Apply An Essence
Skin essences are slowly gaining importance and making their way into regular skincare routine for all skin types. An essence is used after a toner and before a serum.
Active ingredients in essences boost hydration, tighten your pores, rejuvenate your skin and address specific skin concerns.
5. Pamper Yourself With Sheet Masks
Korean skincare for oily skin has already popularized the use of sheet masks for intense hydration and skin repair.
Go for masks that contain natural ingredients like matcha tea, cucumber, aloe vera, lotus, ginger, berries and pomegranate. Hyaluronic acid masks are also good for moisturizing and rejuvenating oily skin.
Make your own DIY herbal sheet mask by applying your choice of face pack and covering your face with a thin moist cotton or flannel cloth. The moisture in the cloth allows for better absorption of nutrients and prevents your pack from drying up quickly.
6. Use Eye Creams
Eye creams are an essential part of the evening skincare routine for oily skin. These help combat the damage your skin endures from sun exposure, excess eye makeup and other external factors.
7. Moisturizer/Night Cream Is A Must
According to skin specialists, your oil glands are less active during the night but you lose more moisture from your skin’s surface during this time. This is why applying a moisturizer before bedtime is a must.
You can also opt for a night cream that has better moisturizing and repairing abilities. However, check out the specifics and ingredients before choosing one. Some night creams tend to be heavy and may block your pores.
Tips To Get Rid Of Oily Skin
1. Keep yourself hydrated. Drinking lots of fluids prevents your skin from drying up. This, in turn, keeps your oil glands from producing excess sebum.
2. “The first step to good skin is to find a good Dinacharya - daily regimen,” says Dr Zeel
Keep your face clean to prevent chances of acne and infections. Wash it twice a day and follow a good herbal skincare routine for your oily skin.
3. Use herbal skincare products that are non-comedogenic, lightweight and specially designed for oily skin.
4. Use an alcohol-free good toner.
5. Enjoy a wholesome diet that packs in lots of vitamins, minerals and foods that have a high water content.
6. Include anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, blood purifying herbs and spices in your meals like turmeric, cardamom, basil, cumin, nigella seeds, rosemary, thyme, manjistha, and ashwagandha.
7. Follow a stress-free lifestyle. Exercise regularly or practice yoga to improve your blood circulation. Stress can impact your hormonal balance  and lead to hyperactivity of your sebaceous glands.
1. Avoid oily, fried, processed and sugary foods that aggravate the Kapha dosha and trigger your oil glands. Such foods can also cause hormonal imbalances, which is one of the primary causes of excess sebum production.
2. Avoid using heavy skincare products which contain ingredients like mineral oil, isopropyl myristate, acetylated lanolin alcohol and others. These are known comedogenic ingredients that can further clog your oily skin, leading to various skin issues.
3. Don't over-clean or over-exfoliate your oily skin. Over-exfoliation can leave your skin dry and prompt your oil glands into producing more sebum to keep your skin moisturized.
4. Avoid using excess makeup products if you have oily skin. Opt for lightweight natural makeup if at all necessary.
5. Don't skip the sunscreen. Excess sun exposure often leads to excess sebum secretion.
8. Don't forget to moisturize twice a day with a lightweight moisturizer.
Frequently Asked Questions About Skincare Routine For Oily Skin
1. How Often Should You Wash If You Have Oily Skin?
Washing your face twice a day as part of your morning and evening skincare routine is recommended. However, this also depends on your daily activity levels. After a sweaty exercise routine, oily skin needs to be washed with a mild cleanser or just plain water to prevent your skin from getting too greasy.
2. Should I Use A Moisturizer If I Have Oily Skin?
Moisturizers are a must for all skin types. Choose one that is water-based, lightweight and has natural ingredients to suit oily skin. Moisturizers hydrate , protect and rejuvenate your skin, making them an important part of an oily skincare routine.
3. How Do I Keep My Face From Getting Oily Throughout The Day?
Include an alcohol-free toner in your daily skincare routine. A gentle ice rub after or before applying your moisturizer can help. Using clay masks 2-3 times a week works well for oily skin with acne. During the day use blotting paper or simply wash your face with plain water when it gets oily.
The Last Word
- Oily skin is a common dermatologic condition. Maintaining oily skin can often seem like a challenge due to its susceptibility to acne and infections.
- Regular exfoliation and use of clay masks can help you fight oily skin.
- A good day and night skincare routine for oily skin, as mentioned in this article, can regulate sebum production and reduce your skin worries.
- Sticking to herbal skincare products, consuming an Ayurvedic diet and leading a stress-free, active lifestyle goes a long way in maintaining good skin health.
1. Skincare Bootcamp: The Evolving Role of Skincare, 2016 December
2. Oily Skin: A Review of Treatment Options, 2017 August
3. How To Safely Exfoliate At Home
4. Skin care for acne-prone skin, 2019 September
5. Oxidative stress in patients with scalp seborrheic dermatitis, 2013
6. Over-the-counter Acne Treatments, 2012 May
7. The role of nicotinamide in acne treatment, 2017 September
8. Why Topical Retinoids Are Mainstay of Therapy for Acne, 2017 June
9. Stress and hormones, 2011 Jan-Mar
10. The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review, 2017 December
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