Got Oily Skin?

Caring for oily skin can be tricky and downright tedious at times.

Most girls with oily skin find it hard to stick to one skin care routine.

And sometimes, as a result of constantly changing products and regimen, end up worsening their condition or even damaging their skin! 

It becomes even worse during warmer months because the skin produces more sebum, making it feel greasier and stickier.

If you're experiencing the same dilemma, you can stop worrying and just read on to discover the perfect solution to your skin problems!

The routine below is made specifically for oily skin and has been tested and proven. The only question is, are you ready to up your skin care game?

Why You Need This Bad-Ass Routine

Whether you are new to the game or already a veteran and have tried numerous skin care products (like me!), there's a reason why you're here right now and still reading this.

That reason must be because you're still unsatisfied with how your skin is at this very moment.

Perhaps it's still too oily. You're having breakouts. Your favorite product no longer does its job. Or you're just looking for a better and easier skin care routine for oily skin.

Whatever the reason, we all have the same goal: to have a healthier, prettier, and clearer skin.

And boy, have I found the perfect solution to deal with oily skin and I just can't wait to share it with all of you!

The Idea Behind The Bad-Ass Routine

Throughout making this routine, oily skin is the central focus.You won't find any unnecessary steps. Everything exists within the routine for a reason.

This bad-ass routine is built on the foundation of the three basic skin care steps: cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection. Basic because these steps are a must for all skin types.

On top of these three steps, we have steps that will more closely attend to oily skin needs such as:

  • managing excess sebum;
  • minimizing the appearance of pores; and,
  • keeping the skin healthily moisturized. 

And of course, I'll be providing you with info on what to look for in your products for each step. So, you'll be sure to build a routine dedicated to caring for your oily skin.

The Bad-Ass Routine to Beat Oily Skin

It can be overwhelming to adopt a skin care routine, even when you've been doing skin care for years. So, let's take one step at a time. 

And soon, you'll know this bad-ass routine like the back of your hand!

If you still find it difficult to build your routine for oily skin or you're unsure with what you have in your routine, you can book a virtual routine review here.

Step 1 - Double Cleanse (PM)

Oily skin routine - Double cleanse

Why double cleanse?

You'll only need to double cleanse when you've been out or have had makeup and/or sunscreen on. Otherwise, you can proceed with step two.

This step makes sure that all the dirt and products you've applied on your face are completely washed off. Doing so will help prevent them from clogging your pores.

With that said, double cleansing is a surefire way to prevent breakouts and can be such a skin saver for oily skin.

What to use for double cleansing

Using oil-based makeup removers help cut through the grime and clean your pores deeply. That's something your regular cleanser have a hard time doing.

That's why, even though some can make it work, I don't recommend using your regular cleanser twice. This means cleansing once as the double cleanse step, then another as the regular wash step.

Micellar water, on the other hand, does come in "oil-infused" formulas. But the downside to micellar water is you'll often need to use a cotton pad to rub off makeup and sunscreen.

That added friction in your can irritate your skin. And you'll often need to go in hard since micellar water doesn't melt makeup and sunscreen like oils and balms do.

Cleansing oils are a good choice. But you'll have a hard time finding a cleansing oil that truly emulsifies. And when they don't emulsify, you'll be left with an oil film getting in the way of your other skincare steps.

Straight oils straight up don't emulsify at all. To get rid of the oil film, you'll either need to rub hard with a towel, take extra time with your regular cleanser, or accept the oil film's there to stay for the rest of your routine.

This brings us to what I do recommend: cleansing balms. Cleansing balms won't leave a greasy film, will melt all the grime off, and will rinse off easily.

The way it works is that from a solid balm, it turns into an oil that will melt grime off. It's formulated to emulsify, so when you rinse it off, it's off. No need for wash cloths or cotton pads. Easy-peasy!

How to double cleanse

Once you've picked out a non-comedogenic, alcohol-free, fragrance-free, and mineral-oil free cleansing balm, here's how you use it:

  • Start with dry skin.
  • Use enough balm to remove your makeup and/or sunscreen (often, a dollop of balm is enough).
  • Warm up the balm in your hands, enough to slightly melt it but not to the point that it's dripping.
  • Using circular motions, gently massage the balm to your face with your fingertips.
  • Don't wash off the balm yet; add a handful of water to start emulsifying the balm.
  • Once it thins out, rinse off the balm.

Step 2 - Wash (AM & PM)

Foaming Face Wash With Essential Oils - Pretty Blooming; This is the recipe for my favorite face wash with essential oils. It’s a really effective and super easy to make. The bonus is that you will never get tired of it as the combinations of aromas you can come up with are close to endless. There are almost 100 different essential oils out there, so there is something for every taste. Read on for the ingredients, benefits and the 4 different scents you can try out.

Why wash in the AM?

Washing in the evening is a given. But why wash in the morning? You've only been in bed all night, so you have nothing to wash off in the morning, right?

Wrong! What your eyes don't see are excess oils, dead skin cells from your pillow, and leftover skincare that can clog your pores if not removed.

So, washing your face in the morning is very important, especially if you have oily skin.

Also, take note that you shouldn't wash more than twice a day. Over-washing can strip your skin of too much oil, leading to more oil with a dash of irritation.

What cleanser to use

With how important cleansing is for oily skin, you have to make sure you're using a gentle, non-stripping cleanser. 

If it's leaving your skin tight and squeaky clean, ditch that cleanser.

Instead, look for a cleanser that doesn't contain alcohol (denatured or ethyl) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is usually fine.

I recommend looking for a gel cleanser over other types of cleansers. Gel cleansers glide on the skin and cleanse properly without drying out your skin.

You can also consider foaming cleansers, just make sure it doesn't have SLS.

How to cleanse

Once you've picked a gel or foaming cleanser, here's how to cleanse:

  • Wet your face with water (don't use hot water! That'll dry out your skin).
  • Transfer a coin sized amount of cleanser to your palm.
  • Using circular motions, gently massage the cleanser to your face with your fingertips.
  • Rinse the cleanser off thoroughly.

Step 3 - Serum (AM & PM)

Oily skin routine - serum

Why use a serum?

Face serums are highly-concentrated products, formulated with specific active ingredients. Because of their formulation as thin liquids, serums can deliver these active ingredients to your skin effortlessly.

That way, you'll be delivering powerful ingredients to your skin that can target the specific skin concerns you have. In this case, we want to target oily skin concerns, namely: excess sebum and large pores.

What serum to use

If you can only have one serum ever in your routine for oily skin, it best be a niacinamide serum.

And as you start a routine, having just one serum is the way to go. Adding too much early on can overwhelm you and your skin.

So, why niacinamide for oily skin?

Here are three reasons:

  1. Niacinamide can manage excess sebum by regulating sebum production.
  2. Niacinamide can improve skin texture and boost collagen production, helping minimize the appearance of large pores.
  3. Niacinamide is well-tolerated, meaning it's very unlikely to cause breakouts.

And those are just the specific things niacinamide can do for oily skin. Along with those, it can also: help reduce redness and irritation; and, keep the skin barrier in tip-top shape.

To receive the multiple benefits of niacinamide, scientific literature suggests 5% is all you need for optimal results.

With how well-tolerated it is though, it's safe at even higher concentrations. Though if you have sensitive skin, you should acclimate your skin to the ingredient. Start low and work your way up!

How to use a serum

Serums often come in dropper bottles or something similar to give you full control on how much you dispense. With that in mind, here's how to use your serum:

  • Dispense 2 drops of the serum at the back of your hand.
  • Using your fingers, apply the serum all over your face.
  • If 2 drops aren't enough to cover your whole face, dispense another drop at the back of your hand and apply.

Step 4 - Moisturizer (AM & PM)

Beat Your Oily Skin - Badass Routine from Pretty Blooming

Why use a moisturizer?

My mom used to think that because she has oily skin, she doesn’t need a moisturizer. Don’t worry, I convinced her otherwise. And now it's time to convince you.

Just because your skin is oily and produces more natural oils, it doesn’t mean you should stay away from moisturizers. Yes, you should stay away from those very oily and thick ones, made for dry and sensitive skin.

But you shouldn't completely ditch moisturizers

A common mistake of people with oily skin is using harsh products designed to completely strip excess oils from the skin. But some of these oils are vital in keeping the skin healthy.

Completely removing oils from your skin can lead to more oil production and even wreck you skin's protective barrier.

The trick is to pick a moisturizer that works for your oily skin and not against it.

What moisturizer to use

A non-comedogenic (not pore-clogging) moisturizer that fits your oily skin will keep you skin happily moisturized and even less likely to produce excess sebum.

Look into gel or gel-cream moisturizers. These types are often oil-free, water-based, and lightweight yet moisturizing enough for oily skin.

How to moisturize

Got your gel or gel-cream moisturizer? Great! Here's how to use it:

  • Dispense a coin sized amount of moisturizer at the back of your hand.
  • Using your fingertips, apply the moisturizer all over your face. Don't apply everything all at once--work in layers.
  • Gently pat your skin to help your moisturizer absorb.

Step 5 - Sunscreen (AM)

Oily skin routine - sunscreen

Why use sunscreen?

No matter your skin type, condition, issues, and concerns, sunscreen is a must to keep your skin healthy.

Even if you spend tons of money on serums, moisturizers, and professional treatments, without sunscreen, you'd have spent money for nothing. Yes, it's that important.

That's because sunscreen:

  • Helps prevent photo-aging, aka skin aging prematurely because of the sun
  • Helps prevent skin cancer, as one part of a complete sun protection strategy
  • Helps protect skin from sun damage, which can dehydrate skin, making it oily-looking and dry at the same time

So, you best be applying sunscreen daily.

Unless you live somewhere above the arctic circle, you need to use sunscreen: even when it's cloudy; even when you're staying indoors, with lots of windows letting the sun in; and, even in the winter.

Remember that it's a long-term use product. Results won't immediately be visible. But in the long run, you'll surely be thanking your younger self for keeping up regular sunscreen use.

What sunscreen to use

When choosing your sunscreen, you need to consider five major factors:

  1. Price per ml
  2. Date of expiration
  3. SPF Rating
  4. Broad Spectrum
  5. Formulation

I talk about these factors in depth in this post.

In the end though, the best sunscreen is one you'll actually use. And for oily skin, the finish of a sunscreen is important. I bet you'll likely be turn off by thick, goopy, oily, white-cast leaving sunscreen.

Lucky for us, sunscreens come in a lot of finishes. And among those available, oily skin will find matte finish sunscreens quite the dream!

Matte sunscreens are the polar opposite of sunscreens we grew up with. The nice formula of these sunscreen dry down to a matte, no-shine or grease, finish. Some even offer oil-control throughout the day.

Take note not all matte sunscreens are made equal though. Some use alcohol denatured (or other types of drying alcohol) to make their formula dry down quickly.

The alcohol wouldn't be as much of an issue if it's counterbalanced with lots of hydrating ingredients. But if you do have a choice, opt for alcohol-free sunscreens.

Apart from being matte, also make sure the sunscreen you'll pick is non-comedogenic and oil-free.

How to use sunscreen

It can take a lot of patience to find the one when it comes to sunscreen. But once you do get your hands on a sunscreen you'll lovingly use, here's how to do it:

  • Transfer about ¼ teaspoon of sunscreen at the back of your hand.
  • Using your fingertips, scoop some sunscreen and apply to your face in sections, in a light layer.
  • Pat the light layer into your skin. Move on to the next layer until you finish up the sunscreen on the back of your hand.

Applying in light layers is important to save yourself from a thick goopy mess. Even matte sunscreens risk becoming goopy messes when you apply 1/4 teaspoon of it all in one go.

Also, apart from daily application, you'll need to reapply sunscreen within the day. The best habit is to reapply every 2 hours or directly after swimming or excessive sweating.

If you're situation makes it hard to apply every 2 hours, aim to reapply at least once a day to maximize your protection.

Step 6 - Exfoliate (Weekly)

Oily skin routine - exfoliate

Why exfoliate?

When you have excess sebum, you'll want to avoid having dead skin cells stubbornly sticking to your skin.

Dead skin cells mixed with excess sebum and a dash of acne bacteria is the recipe for a breakout waiting to happen. This is also why oily skin is often acne-prone.

To make sure your pores are always clean, exfoliation is your pal. This skin care step makes sure dead skin cells are always on the move. It even helps clear out your already clogged pores.

Fail to exfoliate and breakouts are sure to be just around the corner for your oily skin.

What exfoliator to use?

Contrary to common belief, exfoliation shouldn't be about scrubs and tools.

While it can feel satisfying to use those, physical exfoliants can actually damage your skin because of their rough texture.

You'll better benefit from using chemical exfoliants instead. Often coming in the form of serums, these easy to spread liquids gently exfoliates your skin.

You can learn more about exfoliation in the post Exfoliation Explained.

For oily skin in particular, salicylic acid is great to start with. It's oil-soluble, meaning it can cut through the grease of your oily skin and deeply clean your pores.

Plus, salicylic acid is known for being a huge help with acne. Two birds with one stone!

How to exfoliate

If you're new to using chemical exfoliants (or exfoliating in general), you'll need to start with a mild exfoliant (low concentration). Then only use it once a week in your PM routine.

A few weeks later, your skin will be ready for you to increase the frequency (twice or thrice a week) OR switch to a stronger exfoliant (higher concentration).

In your PM routine, this step will go between your second cleanser and your serum (so, step 3 then serum becomes step 4 and so on).

With that said, here's how to exfoliate:

  • Start with dry to the touch skin. Applying chemical exfoliants on wet skin can irritate your skin.
  • Dispense the exfoliating serum at the back of your hand. If the serum is too runny, dispense on your palm instead.
  • If you’re using a serum that comes in a dropper bottle, start with a ¼ dropper amount of serum.
  • Using your fingertips, apply the serum all over your face. Avoid your under-eyes, nose folds, and lip area.
  • Add some more serum if the ¼ dropper isn't enough to cover your whole face.

Step 7 - Face Mask (Weekly)

Beat Your Oily Skin With This Badass Routine - Pretty Blooming

Why use face masks?

Apart from being a perfect time to pamper yourself, face masks serve as a boost to get your skin where you want it.

There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to using face masks. Face masks can be hydrating, soothing, brightening, and clarifying among others.

What you need for a particular week is all up to you. If you think you don't need a face mask for that week, you can choose not too. 

But if you think you for example that your pores need help de-congesting or your skin is looking lackluster, it might be time to let face masks do their thing.

What face mask to use

This depends on what you particularly want to address. If you're looking for some help on regulating excess sebum, clay masks can help. 

Clay masks are easy to DIY. You can choose the clay base like pink clay, french green clay, bentonite clay, etc. Just make sure to not use essential oils that can irritate skin or thick oils that can clog pores.

If you're not a big fan of DIY, clay masks are sold ready to use in jars.

If you're looking to hydrate and soothe your skin, you can look for wash off jelly masks or sheet masks. They often come with other benefits too like brightening and calming.

For all OTC masks, double check the ingredients list to make sure it doesn't have artificial fragrance, mineral oil, or drying agents.

How to use face masks

This depends on the face masks you'll be using. If you're going with an OTC mask product, they'll often come with instructions.

But generally, you can follow this guide:

  • Clay Masks
    • Spread all over your face, avoiding the under-eyes, nose folds, and lip area.
    • Leave on until it no longer transfers on your hands. Don't let it get too dry to the point of cracking.
    • Wash off the mask thoroughly. Use a small amount of cleanser if needed.
  • Wash Off Masks
    • Spread all over your face. Avoid certain areas as indicated in the product's instructions.
    • Leave on for 10 to 20 minutes or as indicated in the product's instructions.
    • Wash off the mask thoroughly. Use a small amount of cleanser if needed.
  • Sheet Masks
    • Squeeze out excess serum from the sheet mask sachet.
    • Apply the sheet mask serum all over your face. Avoid certain areas as indicated in the product's instructions.
    • Lay the sheet mask on your face and smooth it on.
    • Leave on for 10 to 20 minutes or as indicated in the product's instructions.
    • Remove the sheet and dispose. Pat your skin to help the remaining serum sink in.

Conclusion

Having oily skin doesn't have to be too troublesome. With the proper skin care routine and your TLC, your skin will be just where you want it.

So, there you have it, my skin care routine for oily skin!

I know all these steps can be overwhelming, especially if you're just starting out.

So, do consider booking a virtual routine review if you're still having a hard time building your oily skin routine.The routine review can also be helpful if you're unsure with what you have in your routine. 

Don't hesitate to comment down below to let me know about your experience with oily skin! I'd love to hear what products or steps worked and didn't work for you.

Also, feel free to share this post with your friends, you never know who else is struggling with oily skin and pesky pimples.

Stay tuned and take skin care!

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