Shopping by Skin Type-Oily Skin

Welcome to the shopping by skin type series! Today’s type spotlight is the the oily skin type. If you don’t know what your skin type is and would like to know, please see my post on the subject here.

Oily skin types generally struggle with the appearance of excess oil/sebum, large pores, and acne so their routines should aim to reduce these qualities. The key is to not strip your skin of all its natural oils which can lead to further aggravation of the issues being treated or even a damaged moisture barrier.

Arguably, but probably, the most important step of a routine designed for oily skin types is the double cleanse (ok, technically two steps, but cut me some slack). It may seem counter-intuitive to put more oil on already oily skin, but actually oil cleansers dissolve oil, making it one of the better things you can do for this skin type. One of my personal favorites is Skin food’s Black Sugar Cleansing Oil  because the formula not only has a lovely consistency, it also has a slight graininess to it for a little extra dose of exfolition (meaning it will help with acne which commonly affects this skin type). Memebox’s I’m Cleansing Oil for Oily/Combonation skin types works well too. I actually always have a bottle on hand!

Follow up with a low pH cleanser like CosRx Good Morning Low pH cleanser. It will clean your skin without stripping it of vital nutrients and oils. Since a cleanser is only on your face for a minute or two at most, I tend to focus on its pH (and well, effectiveness at removing gunk) over whatever “miracle” it boasts. Pretty much use whatever cleanser you would like as long as it doesn’t give you a “squeaky clean” or tight feeling after use.

Toners will feel cool and cut through oil while still providing moisture. Look for “skin boosters” or toners that boast “refreshing” or “hydrating” in their names (with the ingredients to back them up of course).  If you are using actives (like an AHA, Vitamin C, or a prescription) a pH adjusting toner like CosRX’s AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner will help your skin get to the proper pH to allow the actives to work. I have been through THREE bottles of this stuff and am proud to say it is definitely a holy grail for me. If you aren’t going the actives route, Papa Recipe’s Trouble AC Toner is a new favorite of mine. It leaves your skin feeling clean, fresh, and slightly dewy- a perfect state to apply the next rounds of products.

If you are going to go down the road of actives, for oily skin, chances are acne and PIH are big issues. For these guys, I honestly recommend the retinoid route via prescription. But there are some excellent products for the less severely plagued. CosRX ‘s BHA Summer Pore-minish Serum is AMAZING because it is effective yet so extremely gentle. Many other bloggers swear by CosRX’s AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid or the BHA version. The most effective non-prescription actives I’ve tried have been from the CosRX brand. I highly recommend them in general-once you try them, you’ll see what I mean…

Hydration is counter-intuitively important with oilier skin types, but trying to find a moisturizer that hydrates without leaving a greasy or slick finish AND doesn’t feel horribly heavy can difficult without guidance. Light layers of humectant moisturizers will generally be most effective. Thicker emollient and occlusive formulas as well as facial oils will only make your face look slicker and may make issues like acne worse.Essences and emulsions typically have the lighter formulations oilier skin types need over serums, ampoules, and thick creams. When looking for creams (and moisturizers in general) look for gel-based formulations.


Snail is a great ingredient because of its soothing and healing properties.I must recommend my beloved Snail 96 (by you guessed it, CosRX) but the Scinic All-in-One Snail Ampoule is good too (especially on the body). The amount of product for the price is *insane.* It is literally the size of a regular jam jar. It is super light and works wonderfully on the face or the body. Very versatile little guy.

While the YURIPIBU Artichoke Power Essence wasn’t what I was hoping it would be (you can read my review here) it has the perfect consistency for simply moisturizing oilier skin types. If you would like a fancy, all-natural, expensive essence, I would recommend it. Also, YMMV and it could work wonders for you like it did for the girl who promoted it at Glow Recipe. If it does, let me know 🙂


Innisfree’s Green Tea Seed Serum is a product worth a try as well if snail mucin isn’t really your thing. This product has a high concentration of green tea which helps with redness and inflammation. Green tea has been known to help with acne as well!

For thicker layers, try MIZON Black Snail All in One Cream or Etude House Moistful Collagen Emulsion. Both have lovely textures and pack a big moisturizing punch with little weight or film.

To help manage the appearance of excess sebum and help with acne and pores, clay masks are wonderful. They help absorb all the “gunk” much like a giant, turbo-charged oil blotting sheet (which oil/rice blotting sheets can be great additions to your on-the-go routine as well!). Try one like Scinic’s All Day Fine Pore Clay Mask. It is a bit different from a typical clay mask because it is aerated! It lends this mask a whipped texture that is easy to spread and easy to wipe off. It has a light earthy smell (much like how after it rains?) and dries quickly. Love this product so much!

Another cool product that helps absorb oil and keep pores clean is the Elizavecca’s Hell-Pore Clean-Up Mask. It’s essentially a liquid nose strip that you can put all over you face and pull off after it dries. While it won’t take your eyebrows off, it still is quite adhesive so be weary of where you apply it!

Sheet masks containing snail secretion filtrate, green tea, aloe, or hyaluronic acid will be the most beneficial to this skin type. Pore scaling charcoal masks can help keep pores spic and span as well.

And if you do struggle with acne (like me):  CosRX’s Pimple patches…just go buy some right now.

Alright, that just about covers it. Please remember that I am not a doctor, yada yada and that these products mentioned above have either been tried and loved by my personally or tried and loved by my fellow skincare fanatic friends. The links are simply there for your own personal convenience; I am not affiliated with them at the time of writing this post, receive no benefit from you clicking on them (except helping you lovelies), and the links lead simply to one place where you can get them and don’t necessarily reflect the lowest price/best seller/etc. Whew, disclaimer complete! Check  back next Monday for the next installment of the series 🙂

Which, by the way, if you haven’t done so already, ask some questions down below! Or share some recommendations/tips/tricks of your own. Everyone would love to hear from you!

Have a good one my wonderful readers! 🙂



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