How to Reduce Oily Skin

Oily skin mask

Whether it’s causing glare in your selfies or acne breakouts before date night, oily skin can be a major nuisance to deal with. But if you’re trying to learn how to treat oily skin, the first step is understanding that skin oil isn’t the enemy (hear us out!).

Healthy skin produces natural oil to keep skin supple, moist, and protected from damage. This only becomes a problem when your sebaceous glands (the glands that produce natural oils) work overtime, leaving you with more moisture than you need—and hence, oily skin. 

Luckily, by learning the causes of oily skin and some skincare techniques to confront them, many oily skin types can bring their skin back into balance. Let’s review.

What Causes Oily Skin?

Skin experts don’t know what causes some people to have oilier skin than others, but there are several factors suspected to play a role: Genetics, diet, hormonal changes, climate (both humidity and temperature), and even stress may all contribute to a shinier face.1

The heart of the matter, though, is simple: oily skin is caused by an excess of sebum1. 

Sebum is the technical term for the natural skin oils produced by your sebaceous glands. It’s an important component of your skin barrier, protecting your skin from the elements and retaining moisture in the upper layers of the epidermis (the outer layers of the skin).

That said, too much sebum can often contribute to:2 

  • Clogged and enlarged pores
  • A greasy or unwashed appearance
  • Blackheads
  • Acne

Best Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

No matter the cause, dermatologists agree that tailoring your natural skin care routine can help temper overly oily skin. Let’s look at how to do it, step by step.

#1 Start With A Clean Slate

With oily skin, it’s important to cleanse twice a day and right after exercising. This helps remove dirt, dead skin cells, and sweat before they contribute to clogged pores. 

Be sure to stick to these techniques for your cleansing stage:

  • Don’t Scrub – Harshly scrubbing or rubbing the skin can cause more irritation. A gentle, circular motion with your fingertips is all you need to work cleanser into your skin.1
  • Use a Gentle Cleanser – Avoid using cleansers with harsh soaps and detergents, which can overdry your healthy skin. Stripping too much sebum can backfire and trigger the sebaceous glands to pump out even more sebum.1
  • Double cleansing is really powerful tool - try an oil cleanser followed by a targeted cleanser.

#2 Don’t Skip Toner

We know, we know—it’s tempting to pass over toner. But this product is a vital step for balancing skin’s pH levels, catching excess dirt, and sloughing off dead skin cells. 

Rather than an alcohol-based toner, look for a formula that includes one of these non-irritating exfoliants:3

  • Salicylic acid
  • Glycolic acid
  • Lactic acid

#3 Find The Right Moisturizer

When you have oily skin, adding more moisture may feel like adding fuel to the fire—it’s not. By hydrating skin with a lightweight moisturizer, you’ll discourage your sebaceous glands from overproducing skin oil.2

Keep these tips in mind before you moisturize:3

  • When browsing products, look for terms like “water-based,” “oil-free,” and “non-comedogenic”
  • Opt for serums or gels rather than thick creams
  • If you’re dealing with blemishes, seek out a moisturizer designed for acne-prone skin

#4 Layer On Sunscreen

In your morning routine, always follow your moisturizer with sunscreen. This is vital for preventing UV damage that can speed signs of aging, contribute to skin discoloration, and even lead to skin cancer.1

If you have an oily skin type , use these guidelines to find the best SPF for you:1

  • Simplify your routine by opting for a daytime moisturizer that includes sunscreen (look for a broad spectrum with an SPF of 30, minimum)
  • Opt for fragrance-free and oil-free formulations to avoid acne breakouts
  • Mineral sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide may also assist with acne prevention3

More Tips for Reducing Oily Skin Naturally

Skin isn’t always predictable, and you may need a little more help some days depending on factors like humidity levels, hormone shifts, or stress. 

Let’s take a look at three tools to keep in your skincare arsenal that can help give your oily skin type that extra bit of TLC, no matter the circumstances.

Face Masks

Different types of Face masks can help hydrate oily skin and remove impurities while reducing inflammation. Ingredients that work well in facial masks because of their anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties include:4

  • Honey
  • Oatmeal 
  • Niacinamide (vitamin B3)5 
  • Aloe vera gel4

Green Tea 

That’s right, the same green tea you brew for an afternoon pick-me-up may be able to help reduce excess sebum production. Several studies have found that participants who applied a green tea emulsion daily for 60 days to 8 weeks showed a significant reduction in sebum production.2

You can try this for yourself by trying a moisturizer, toner, or cleanser that contains green tea—look for a 3% extract strength.2

Pamper Your Skin Naturally With HPPY

Skincare consistency, a gentle hand, and keeping your skincare cabinet stocked with clean ingredients are key for reducing oily skin naturally. 

Lock in hydration and reestablish your skin’s balance with our Clarifying Mask, made with soothing, fresh ingredients like Manuka honey, niacinamide, and oat flour. With HPPY Skin, you can trust you’re getting simple ingredients derived from non-toxic, food-grade sources that can be absorbed into your skin without exposing you to harmful toxins and preservatives. 

For more skin-soothing products ideal for oily skin, shop the HPPY Skin’s complete collection today.


  1. American Academy of Dermatology Association. How to Control Oily Skin. 
  2. Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. Oily Skin: A review of Treatment Options. 
  3. Healthline. A Daily Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin: 4 Key Steps.
  4. Medical News Today. Top Six Home Treatments for Oily Skin. 
  5. Medical News Today. 19 ways to get rid of oily skin. 

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