Skincare Routine for Oily Acne-Prone Skin

Managing oily acne-prone skin can be challenging. But with the right skincare routine and products, you can achieve a balanced complexion and control oily skin.

This guide walks you through the best practices and products that you can use to care for oily acne-prone skin, including potential causes of oily skin, essential ingredients to look for in products, and the importance of a consistent skincare routine for oily skin types.

Understanding Oily Acne Prone Skin

Oily skin is the result of the excess production of sebum in the sebaceous glands. This leads to an oily complexion, enlarged pores, and irritated skin.

Oily acne-prone skin, on the other hand, is everything mentioned above plus breakouts, blackheads, and inflammation.

oily acne-prone skin, what is oily acne-prone skin?

Some of the main causes of oily skin include genetics, hormones, environment, and unsuitable skincare routines. 

Understanding the root causes of this skin type can help you identify the right fixes and develop a consistent skincare routine to remove excess oil and prevent breakouts. Consult with your dermatologist to find the underlying cause of your own case.

Oily skin vs oily acne-prone skin

Oily skin type doesn’t mean that you are going to have acne-prone skin. Acne is caused by excess oil and dead skin cells clogged inside the pores, which leads to inflammation and breakouts. 

How do you know if you have oily acne-prone skin?

If you have oily, acne-prone skin, there are a few signs you can look for to help you identify it. First, your skin will likely look shiny and feel slick or greasy shortly after washing. Additionally, you may notice that your pores are visible without the need to stand close to the mirror. You may also find that your skin is prone to breakouts and blemishes, especially on the forehead, nose, and chin.

If you’re unsure if your skin is oily or acne-prone, there are practical steps you can take to determine this:

  1. Cleanse your face with a mild cleanser twice a day to help remove excess oil from the surface of the skin. Do not use abrasive scrubs or other harsh cleansing products as they can strip away necessary oils from the skin and lead to further dehydration and irritation.
  2. Pay attention to how your skin feels after cleansing; if it still feels slick or greasy shortly afterward (30 minutes to an hour) then it’s likely an indication of oily skin.
  3. Examine your pores; if they appear enlarged compared to other areas of the face then this could be a sign that you have oily or acne-prone skin.
  4. Monitor how easily your skin breaks out by evaluating any new blemishes that arise throughout the week and taking note of their frequency; if breakouts occur often then this could indicate that your skin is oily or acne-prone.

How to Care for Oily Acne-prone skin

To properly care for very oily skin, there are some important practices to follow which include the following:

Wash Your Face Twice Daily 

Washing your face twice daily is a must to remove impurities and excess oil. It’s best to use a gentle cleanser in the morning and in the evening. Be sure to avoid harsh soaps as they can strip too much natural oil and cause the skin to produce even more sebum. 

The Dew Dream cleansing balm is great for oily skin as it’s incredibly gentle. It includes licorice root, moringa, and borage which have anti-inflammatory properties. Borage is effective at healing small wounds and prevents acne scars. 

In addition, the cleanser contains glycerin which provides the skin with moisture without the need to clog pores and helps to regulate oil production.

Avoid Over Washing

It can be tempting to want to wash your face throughout the day to remove the feeling of oil on your skin. However, washing your face too much can strip away the natural oils leading to a vicious cycle of more oil production and breakouts.

So, be sure to stick to washing your face once in the morning and once in the evening to remove excess oils and the build-up of dead skin cells, makeup, and environmental pollutants. This frequency is sufficient to cleanse your face without stripping away your skin.

The only exception to this is if you have engaged in activities that cause excessive accumulation of bacteria or sweating. For example, if you’ve worked out in the middle of the day, it’s best to wash your face to remove the sweat.

Moisturize Regularly 

Oily skin needs to be moisturized, despite popular belief. Be sure to find a lightweight oil-free moisturizer, like the Cloud Cushion Airy Brightening Moisturizer.

It contains squalane, a non-greasy ingredient that hydrates the skin without clogging your pores. This moisturizer also contains niacinamide which reduces inflammation and helps to balance your skin texture. 


Exfoliators are great for removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores to prevent acne breakouts. It’s best to stick with exfoliants that contain BHAs and AHAs as they’re more gentle on the skin and improve skin cell turnover. Exfoliating once or twice per week removes impurities and ensures that your skin is fresh and clean without being irritated. 

exfoliation importance for oily & acne prone skin


Increased sebum production can be caused by using heavy makeup. Be sure to choose products that are matte or oil-free. This helps to minimize excess shine and regulate oil production.

Blotting Papers

Blotting papers absorb excess oil that may accumulate during the day. These are handy to keep on you as they’re easy to use and they don’t strip your skin from its essential oils. They can also be used when you wear makeup. 

Gently blot the areas that feel oily at any time throughout the day. The T-zone (the nose and forehead) is the most common area where people use blotting papers. 


Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help reduce the appearance of oily acne-prone skin. One of the best things you can do for your skin is to drink plenty of water and eat a healthy balanced diet.

hydration importance for oily acne-prone skin, best serum for oily acne-prone skin,

Ingredients for Oily Acne-Prone Skin

When it comes to choosing skincare products for oily skin, be sure to find ones that are associated with mattifying and oil-controlling features. 

Products that have these features include the following:

  • Salicylic acid (beta-hydroxy acid or BHA) unclogs pores, minimizes inflammation, and exfoliates the skin. Products that contain 2% salicylic acid are best for treating oily acne-prone skin. 
  • Niacinamide helps to reduce sebum production and minimize the size of your pores. It’s also helpful for providing a balanced skin texture.
  • Benzoyl peroxide is effective at reducing inflammation and removing bacteria that cause acne. 
  • Retinoids are derived from vitamin A. They’re used to unclog pores, improve skin cell turnover, and regulate sebum production. 
  • Azelaic acid helps to regulate the production of oil in your face whilst also removing bacteria that cause acne. It’s effective in treating mild or moderate acne. 

AM-PM Oily Acne-Prone Skin Routine

Sticking to a consistent skincare routine once in the morning and once in the evening is important for clearing up acne. It also helps to regulate sebum production to reduce the appearance of a shiny complexion. 

Here are the steps to follow for the best face routine for oily skin types.

Morning Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

During sleep, your skin tirelessly produces oil and new skin cells while constantly maintaining contact with your pillowcase or bed sheets. To ensure that you start a day with a clean slate, do not miss your morning skincare routine. In order to clean your face after the night-time:

  • Start with a gentle foaming cleanser to remove impurities and excess oil.
  • Next, use a toner to balance your skin’s pH levels. This also helps to reduce the appearance of your pores. 
  • Moisturize your skin with a lightweight and oil-free product. This will hydrate your skin without clogging your pores. 
  • Finally, apply sunscreen, ideally with a minimum SPF 30 rating. This provides sun protection against harmful UV rays.
skincare routine for oily acne-prone skin

Evening Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

Your PM routine is targeted to clean the face after the whole day. You may have been sweating or wearing makeup, so to help your skin to get to the initial clean state, you should:

  • Use a gentle foaming cleanser to clean excess oil and impurities from the day. 
  • Exfoliate using a scrub or a chemical exfoliant once or twice per week. Ones that contain BHAs and AHAs are great for unclogging your pores and removing dead skin cells.
  • Next, apply a serum that contains salicylic acid, niacinamide, vitamin C or other active ingredients to target some specific skin concerns.
  • To finish, moisturize your skin with a lightweight product. 

The best skincare for oily skin routines also include the addition of a clay or other purifying mask 1-2 times a week. This can help to reduce oiliness and remove impurities that are deeper in the skin. 


Caring for oily acne-prone skin requires consistency using the right products and implementing the right practices.

If you have persistent or severe acne, make sure to consult with a dermatologist to treat skin concerns. They’ll be able to tailor a specific plan to help in the more severe acne cases.

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