How to Get Rid of Oily Skin

By Barbie Carpenter

When your complexion goes from glowing to greasy, excess oil is to blame. Unclogging pores, gently cleansing your skin and even moisturizing it can help you reduce the oil. Design a smart skin care routine and you'll be able to keep that oily skin in check.

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Oily Skin Basics

Oily skin comes in many forms, whether you struggle with a greasy T-zone or all-over shine. Understanding more about your skin is the first step in combatting the excess oil.


Hormones -- specifically, the male hormone androgen -- dictate how oily your skin is. Your hormones, of course, are affected by genetics, which means that you can thank your parents for your oily skin. Other factors that can up your complexion's oil content include:

  • Stress can trigger oil production.
  • Cosmetics like heavy foundations and powders can trap oil onto your skin, increasing its shine.
  • Humidity causes more moisture in the air, which means the more oil on your complexion.

How to Deal

Since hormonal fluctuations, genetics and even the weather play a role in how much oil your skin produces, preventing oily skin is a challenge. The best way to avoid or reduce an oily complexion is by revamping your skin care routine using homemade and over-the-counter products that target excess shine.


The gentler your cleanser, the better. A foaming cleanser should leave no residue -- which contributes to oily skin -- on your face. Ingredients marketed as acne cleansers work well in the fight against oil. Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid and beta-hydroxy acid are effective oil fighters. Skip any cleansers featuring drying agents such as sodium lauryl sulfate or fragrances.


Toners can help dry your skin, thus working to soak up excess oil. These products deep clean your pores, which are harbors for oil. Choose an alcohol-free toner with antioxidants such as green tea extract. Use toner only on oily areas. Avoid applying it on dry patches of skin, because it can lead to further dryness.

Deep Treatments

Boost your skin's oil-fighting power with a mask. Apply a clay-based mask no more than once a week. Focus the mask only on oily areas, such as your T-zone, to avoid over-drying normal skin.

DIY Treatments

Household products can also help you reduce oily skin. Use witch hazel as a gentle natural astringent that minimizes and dries your pores. Or, combine an egg white with honey and flour to create a paste. Apply this homemade mask to oily areas to encourage oil absorption.

On-the-Go Treatment

Oily skin can occur anytime, and you might notice excess oil in the middle of the day. A few products can help you combat oil and shine wherever you are:

  • Dab blotting tissues onto your skin to absorb oil without wiping away makeup.
  • Dust some pressed powder over your freshly blotted skin to reduce shine.