How to Skirt the Fine Line Between Dewy and Greasy Skin

Rachel Krause


One of the toughest beauty battles we face, both during the summer and beyond, is maintaining a healthy glow without veering into greasy, overly shiny territory. It’s especially difficult if you have oily skin, because a radiant complexion oh so quickly becomes a greasy-looking mess. If you’re stuck trying to bridge the gap between glowing skin and shiny slickness, we’re here to help. These easy tips should keep oil production in check while still allowing your natural glow to shine through.

Use a lightweight mattifying product where you need it.
Forget powder: While you’ll definitely want to reduce shine in certain areas, powder tends to mattify things a little too much to the point of looking flat, not to mention that it’s not always the best at fending off oil breakthrough. Instead of setting your foundation and concealer with powder on your T-zone, apply a tiny amount of a mattifying or silicone-based primer to shine-prone areas, like your nose, the center of your forehead, and your chin. Peter Thomas Roth Pore Putty is our current favorite for smoothing over skin as a penultimate step to creating a soft-focus, but not matte, finish.

Finish off with a facial mist.
Facial mists aren’t just for post-cleansing toning or a midday pick-me-up—they’re also a great way to infuse skin with a fresh, healthy glow by spritzing on top of makeup. A formula with natural, non-drying ingredients, like Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater, really helps to impart a bit of a glow that looks soft and dewy rather than over-the-top oily.

Prep properly.
We know, it sounds counterintuitive, but most primers that promise radiance should be avoided, as they’re more likely to exacerbate greasiness, especially if you have oily skin. You should start with a smooth canvas rather than a “glowing” one—save the glow for later, like when you’re dabbing on highlighter or applying a foundation with a dewy finish. If your skin tends toward dryness and you find that these kinds of smoothing primers dry your skin out, just be sure to use plenty of moisturizer before you get started.

Avoid sparkles.
Shimmer, sparkles, glitter, what have you—they all work against you in the fight against a greasy finish, as they really draw the eye to any flaws, so they can make skin look shiny even when it’s not. Opt instead for highlighting and glow-enhancing products with a subtly illuminating finish rather than anything that’s outright shimmery. For the perfect powder highlighter, we love Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder Compact for its velvety, long-wearing finish and the natural luminous finish it imparts.

Read more from Daily Makeover: How to Hide All Evidence of Sweaty Summer Skin