There’s a fine line between dewy skin and an oil slick—and many of us who have tried to pull off the glowing look have asked ourselves “why the hell is my face looking so oily?”
Sometimes an oily face strikes even when you’re not trying out dewy makeup. You painstakingly apply your full face of foundation in the morning, but within minutes of walking out the door you’re super shiny—and not the good kind of shiny. Your pores naturally release oils that keep your skin from drying out, but when they mix with your makeup you can end up with a greasy mess.
To help your skin look fresh and shine-free all day long, we’ve got some of our best tips for how to deal with oily skin.
Be sure to check to make sure you’re properly cleansing your face in the morning. If you don’t have a cleanser with at least 2% salicylic acid and you’ve got oily skin, you should look into switching to one. Salicylic acid will break down the oil your skin produces without over-drying your face. Also, wash your hands before you wash your face to avoid putting oils from your fingers onto your skin.
2. Rubbing alcohol
Add a very, very small amount of rubbing alcohol to a cotton swab and swipe it over your T-Zone (forehead, nose and chin). This will help to take the shine away, but use this sparingly to avoid drying out your face too much.
3. Mattifying primer
Use a matte face primer before applying foundation (or on its own to keep shine at bay), resulting in much less shine throughout the day. It’ll instantly absorb excess oil and give your skin a smooth, velvety finish.
4. Be mindful of what you eat
Skip the cocktails and spicy food. They dilate blood vessels and cause you to sweat. Limit yourself to one drink a night (or only one night of drinks a week), and eat spicy foods no more than once a week. Also consider loading up instead on carrots, cantaloupe and spinach. Foods like these that are high in vitamin A can actually slow oil production. Of course, also stay away from greasy foods as much as possible.
When choosing foundation be sure to pick one that is oil-free or opt for a mineral powder foundation, which absorbs excess oil like a sponge. Mattifying foundation also works wonders.
6. Experiment with face masks
Exfoliation and following up with a mask at night is key to great, oil-free skin. Make sure you are exfoliating once or twice a week and if that isn’t enough for you, try a peel with glycolic acid to get the job done.
7. Pull back on creams
Don’t go so heavy on night cream each night. Instead, try and switch to a light lotion that your skin will absorb. You can also try out a nice hydrating serum to illuminate your skin without shine.
8. Blot away
Blotting papers are your best friend throughout the day. The second you see some oil peering through, whip out the papers and blot away.
Originally published July 2015. Updated April 2017.