Oily skin produces an overabundance of oil, leading to shine, enlarged pores, and breakouts in the form of blackheads and whiteheads.
The best treatments for oily skin are lightweight, and water or gel-based. Many anti-aging creams are too heavy for oily skin, clogging pores and making your skin feel greasy. The most important consideration in dealing with oily skin is avoiding harsh, over-drying ingredients, and heavy emollients.
A good anti-aging routine will include:
- A cleanser, toner, a potent serum, and a lightweight moisturizer.
- Anti-aging products such as glycolic acid to remove dead skin cell buildup
- Collagen stimulating ingredients such as vitamin C or peptides.
- A daily sunscreen to prevent sun damage to your skin.
This guide will teach you how to create an amazing oily skin care routine to target the signs of aging.
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Your Anti-Aging Routine
Step 1: Cleanse
- Wash your face twice a day, in the AM and PM.
- Wash with warm water, rinse thoroughly, and gently pat your skin dry. If you are tempted to wash your face more than twice a day, consider using a blotting paper instead. [Read: How to Wash your Face]
What to Look for in a Cleanser
- Choose a gentle gel cleanser.
- Avoid foam cleansers containing sulfates, as they can be too drying.
Step 2: Toner
- An alcohol-free toner loaded with antioxidants is an essential step for oily skin.
- Toners can help the skin renew and recharge, minimize enlarged pores, and remove the last traces of makeup off the skin.
What to Look for in a Toner
- Look for toners containing ingredients like witch hazel (a natural astringent that is not drying like alcohol), geranium essential oil (great a cutting through oil), or a humectant that holds water in your skin, such as glycerin or sodium hyaluronate.
Step 3: Serum
- Serums are like elixirs for the skin. They are formulated for targeting specific skin problems and help maintain skin balance.
- In the morning use an antioxidant rich serum to protect your skin from damage. At night use an exfoliating serum that contains acids or enzymes to reduce dullness and renew your skin.
What to Look for in a Serum
- A good serum for oily skin will contain alpha-hydroxy acids or beta-hydroxy acids to help reduce the appearance of large pores as well as brighten dull spots.
- Serums high in antioxidants will help repair damage and keep your skin youthful.
- If you’re acne-prone, ingredients such as salicylic acid and tea-tree oil will keep your skin clear.
- Look for a light, non-greasy serum that helps combat sebum production and fight free radical damage.
Step 4: Facial Oil
- Plant oils contain the essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and lipids that our skin needs to stay healthy.
- Oils applied topically to the skin absorb into the epidermis and help keep our skin barrier intact. [Have acne? Read: The Best Face Oils for Acne]
- Apply your facial oil after your serum and before your moisturizer. Only use 2 - 3 drops for your whole face and gently pat it into your skin.
What to Look for in a Facial Oil
Step 5: Moisturizer
- It is important to moisturize oily skin as part of an anti-aging routine. Oily skin can be caused by a dehydrated complexion that is compensating by over-producing oil.
- When you apply your moisturizer, only use a few drops to minimize greasiness.
What to Look for in a Moisturizer
- Opt for a lightweight moisturizer rather than heavy creams and emollients, I recommend gel moisturizers.
- Look for aloe or water-based and non-comedogenic formulas.
- Moisturizers containing peptides and/or ceramides will help build collagen and keep your skin looking young.
- My favorite moisturizer for oily skin is plain aloe vera gel.
Step 6: Sunscreen
- Sunscreen is super important in your anti-aging routine, because sun exposure is the #1 aging element to our skin.
- Use a sunscreen daily.
What to Look for in a Sunscreen
- People with oily skin tend to stay away from sunscreens because they can't find one compatible with their skin type.
- Look for a sunscreen using zinc oxide because it will leave a more matte finish to your skin, is anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
- I recommend using a tinted moisturizer with SPF, then you don't need a separate moisturizer and foundation.
Nightly Retinol Alternative
I don't recommend retiniods because there is too much controversy over their safety, but I do like to use products (exfoliating fruit enzymes) that offer a similar effect to retinol (speed up cellular turnover)
Use your natural retinol alternative every night in place of your serum to refine and lightly exfoliate your skin, leading to brighter, smoother skin in the morning.
Exfoliates remove the dead skin cells that make your skin look dull. They can also speed up cellular turnover, bringing young skin to the surface.
There are two types of exfoliates; chemical and physical. Both remove dead skin cells but with different compounds. Physical exfoliates use small granules such as crushed up walnut shells or sugar, chemical exfoliates use acids or fruit enzymes.
Oily skin deals with enlarged pores and blemishes. Regular exfoliation ( 2-3 times a week) can help with these issues. I recommend using chemical (acid or enzyme), rather than physical (scrub) exfoliates for oily skin. Physical exfoliates tend to irritate the skin and cause breakouts.
Glycolic acid is a great chemical exfoliate that can be tolerated by oily skin types. Another great ingredient is Salicylic acid (BHA) because it exfoliates the surface of your skin as well as inside the pore.
Perform a chemical acid or peel once a week to keep your skin looking great.
A weekly mask will help reduce clogged pores while fighting free radicals and aging, as well as delivering minerals directly to your skin. You can make your own clay mask, or buy one ready-made.
Use your mask 1-2 times a week, on days where you are not performing a peel.
The above product recommendations should help you get the youthful skin you desire. Remember that the key to treating oily skin is to avoid ingredients that over-strip the skin, or clog pores. You want to incorporate anti-inflammatory ingredients as well as ingredients that help keep pores clear and reduce shine.
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions, we always answer!