11 Best Makeup and Skin Care Products for Oily Skin

Best Makeup and Skin Care Products for Oily Skin

Finding the best makeup and skin care products for oily skin can be tough. The market, especially, is rife with misinformation and products that just mess up oily skin. Instead of balancing it and making it look beautiful, too many products are way too harsh, stripping it of moisture and leaving it dehydrated.

Best Makeup and Skin Care Products for Oily Skin

There are a few tricks to choosing the best skin care for oily skin ” skin care that will leave your oily skin radiant, hydrated, and matte. Choosing makeup for oily skin is a little bit easier. In fact, those with oily skin can sometimes have an easier time getting a flawless makeup look than those with dry skin!

What is Oily Skin?

While breakouts, blackheads, and redness often come hand in hand with oily, they are not signs of oily skin. Oily skin is skin that overproduces oil due to overactive oil glands. Oily skin usually looks somewhere between a little shiny and like a total oil slick.

Those with oily skin will have larger pores, especially in the T-zone. Despite the oiliness, this skin type can still become severely dehydrated, especially because people with oily skin types tend to use very harsh cleansing agents. Flakiness, tightness, and rough texture, despite the oiliness, can be signs that your oily skin is dehydrated.

Best Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

The secret to maintaining beautiful skin is having an excellent routine with the best skin care products for oily skin. A routine like this will keep your skin glowing, healthy, and balanced.


1. Wash skin with gentle, non-stripping cleanser that is pH balanced (I’ll have some recommendations coming up). I find using a cotton pad or a face cloth helps the process along and gives a more thorough cleansing.

2. Apply an alcohol-free toner rich in powerful active ingredients that will also improve the penetration of the products you apply on top.

3. Apply a light moisturizer with nourishing non-comedogenic ingredients. Bonus points if it also has a high SPF. If it doesn’t, apply a sunscreen next.

4. Follow with your makeup routine.


1. Remove makeup with a creamy or oil based makeup remover and a cotton pad or face cloth.

2. Do a second cleanse with a light, pH balanced cleanser.

3. Apply a toner or serum laden with actives ” preferably something different from what you use in the morning. This is a good step for your chemical exfoliant.

4. Finish off with a light moisturizer, or skip it altogether and just use a serum.

It Is True That I Can Balance My Skin’s Oil Production?

The ONLY way to minimize the amount of oil the oil glands produce is by taking isotretinoin orally. There is absolutely no other way, especially not with a topical product that will make your skin produce less oil. As time passes and as you grow older, your skin will naturally stop producing as much sebum as it did in your youth.

Some people notice that their skin seems to behave better when they keep it hydrated ” they misunderstand that to mean that by moisturizing their skin, they are somehow “balancing their oils’, and slowing their oil glands overactivity. In reality, our skin’s mechanisms are much harder to change. Instead, it is just that moisturized skin has healthier barrier functions, so it looks overall healthier, smoother, and clearer, and makeup lasts longer on top of it.

Best Makeup and Skin Care Products for Oily Skin

How to Get a Flawless Matte Base That Will Last All Day

The secret to perfect makeup for oily skin is layering and powdering. What you want to do is create a flawless and impenetrable base by using products that work together to become immovable. I have some amazing product suggestions, but this is how you get it done:

1. Start with a mattifying, silicone based primer. This will fill in your pores, instill a mattifying effect, and create a cushion between your foundation and skin,

2. Apply a super thin layer of a cream based foundation, all over the face. My favorite way to apply cream foundation is with a damp beauty blender. If you are using a creamy foundation, a stippling brush is best for applying, and you can wipe off and blend away the excess with a damp beauty blender or sponge.

3. Next, apply your concealer only on the parts of your face where you needed additional coverage. This can be under the eyes, on blemishes, around the nose, or around the mouth.

4. Now is the crucial part, when you ensure that your makeup will not move no matter what happens. This is the part where you powder with a mattifying powder that will keep you shine free, and your makeup forever lasting. Apply your face powder with a thick powder brush or kabuki brush.

Swirl your brush in the powder, tap off the excess, and stipple it onto the skin, rather than brushing it. By tapping the powder into the skin you are fully setting your foundation, making sure that it will stay put even through sebum and sweat throughout the day.

5. The last place where you need to get things truly primed and set is the eyes. Apply a thin layer of eye makeup primer before passing on to the eyeshadows, mascara or eyeliner.

11 Best Makeup and Skincare Products for Oily Skin

1. Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser

I’ve mentioned earlier that for oily skin types, a cleanser with a low pH is mandatory. This cleanser from Boscia has a 5.5 pH, which is perfect to balance the skin, cleanse it, and prepare it for the next steps.

This cleanser provides a deep cleansing with a touch of black charcoal, while vitamin C and licorice root extract brighten the skin. This is one of the best skin care products for oily skin because it is somehow able to tighten and minimize the pores, while leaving the cleansed skin otherwise soft and hydrated.

Be warned, it does warm up once it comes into contact with the skin. It also contains a bit of glycolic acid, but don’t expect this to replace a dedicated chemical exfoliant. You can purchase this cleanser from Sephora.

Best Makeup and Skincare Products for Oily Skin: Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser

2. Julep Love Your Bare Face Hydrating Cleansing Oil

Yes, that’s right, a cleansing oil for oily skin! There is nothing wrong with oil ” quite the opposite. Since like has an affinity for like, oil based cleansers actually do an excellent job of binding to the skin’s sebum, allowing it to be effectively removed.

This oily cleanser’s primary ingredient is grape seed oil, an oil known for its mattifying and pore-minimizing properties. There is also green coffee bean oil, an antioxidant rich ingredient that invigorates the skin, and rosehip fruit oil, an oil-loaded with beta carotene, which is also widely considered the best acne-clearing oil.

You can use this for a nighttime double cleanse, as well as in the morning as a light cleanser. Pick it up at Ulta.

Best Makeup and Skincare Products for Oily Skin: Julep Love Your Bare Face Hydrating Cleansing Oil

3. Peter Thomas Roth AHA BHA Acne Clearing Gel

My obsession with chemical exfoliants is well documented, but for oily skin types it can be especially beneficial. Regular exfoliation will keep your pores clear, and over time it can actually make them look smaller!

This gel is a heavy-duty product with both 2% salicylic acid (an exfoliant that also keeps acne away), and 10% glycolic acid (this acid penetrates deep to seriously improve skin texture).

While there are some lightly hydrating ingredients here, chances are you’ll still want to apply a light moisturizer on top. You can buy this exfoliator at Ulta.

Best Makeup and Skincare Products for Oily Skin: Peter Thomas Roth AHA BHA Acne Clearing Gel

4. Philosophy No Reason to Hide Multi Imperfection Transforming Serum

So I really like how philosophy’s product names are not capitalized ” their names are just so understated, while their products are serious contenders. In addition to having some previously mentioned salicylic acid to lightly exfoliate and deal with acne, this serum includes my favorite pore-erasing ingredient: niacinamide.

Other active ingredients in here are all about protecting and brightening your oily skin ” because, after all, oily skin can still suffer from sun damage and premature aging. It is super light, so it won’t leave a greasy residue.

The skin absorbs it quickly, and you just know that it penetrates deep. You can purchase this lovely serum from Nordstrom.

Best Makeup and Skincare Products for Oily Skin: Philosophy No Reason to Hide Multi Imperfection Transforming Serum

5. MAC Blot Powder

I’m usually not a big fan of MAC products, but this powder is true perfection. The big misstep when it comes to makeup for oily skin is applying powders that are too heavy. This pressed powder perfectly sets foundation and creates a matte finish, without ever looking cakey or dull.

It includes a little bit of oil-absorbing kaolin clay, which explains why it works so well. While this powder has been on the market for a long time, the original translucent color didn’t really work for all skin types. Nowadays, there are 5 different colors, so you could find a match with ease.

This blotting powder is very lightly pigmented, so don’t expect it to give you coverage ” it’ll just match your foundation nicely. Pick up the Blot Powder at Nordstrom.

Best Makeup and Skincare Products for Oily Skin: MAC Blot Powder

6. Mario Badescu Rose Hips Nourishing Oil

That’s right, rosehip oil is one of the best skin care products for oily skin. You can quote me on it. This incredible oil is oh-so-skin-rejuvenating, because it is just loaded with vitamins and nutrients. It is also super light, and primarily contains non-comedogenic fatty acids.

After regular use, many people notice acne and blemishes totally disappearing, likely thanks to a bit of tretinoin that naturally occurs in this oil. You can use this skin care oil every day, as a final step in your evening routine.

It is especially wonderfully layered over thinner serums. You can purchase it from Ulta.

Best Makeup and Skincare Products for Oily Skin: Mario Badescu Rose Hips Nourishing Oil

7. Shiseido Urban Environment Oil Free UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 42

I always say that sunscreen is the most important skin care product, and this is also true for oily skin types! However, finding a great sunscreen for oily skin can be tough. This offering, from Shiseido, offers amazing protection, a matte finish, no white cast, and even some skin care benefits. It’ll leave your skin looking matte, while some silicone will help reduce the look of your pores.

You can layer it over a serum in the morning, and totally skip your moisturizer step. You can pick it up from Nordstrom.

Best Makeup and Skincare Products for Oily Skin: Shiseido Urban Environment Oil Free UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 42

8. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup

A great light or medium coverage foundation is not hard to find, even with an oily skin type. Disaster can easily strike when you apply a full coverage number, especially when your oily skin and large pores are already prone to that cakey look.

When it comes to full coverage makeup for oily skin, there is probably not better than the Double Wear foundation. This liquid foundation has a matte finish but doesn’t catch on flakey or dry spots, and it never ever oxidizes.

True to its name, it stays in place, and keeps your skin from getting greasy (especially if you pair it with a good primer, but it’s not mandatory). This foundation comes in 36(!!!) shades, so you are sure to find a perfect fit. You can purchase this from Sephora.

Best Makeup and Skincare Products for Oily Skin: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup

9. Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Dear Brachiosaurus Blotting Paper

While powder does a great job mattifying the skin, if too much is applied the skin starts looking cakey. Instead, it is much better to use blotting papers. They take away the shine, without leaving a drop of oil behind.

While technically, even the Clean & Clear Blotting Sheets will do the trick, if you’re going to be pulling some paper out of your purse and tapping your face with it, it’d better look friggin’ cool. These blotting sheets come in an adorable carrying case with a built in mirror, and a puff with an adhesive layer that you can pull out and tap onto your face without ever touching the sheets.

Functional and beautiful, this is one of the best makeup products for oily skin. Buy it from Sephora.

Best Makeup and Skincare Products for Oily Skin: Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Dear Brachiosaurus Blotting Paper

10. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

Silicone based primers are a must for any lady battling oily skin. A layer of primer before foundation will help keep the skin from getting shiny, while also extending the life of your foundation.

The moment after applying this primer you’ll notice that your pores become nearly invisible, and a few moments later when you apply your foundation you will be so impressed with how smoothly and easily it glides on.

Another fun bonus is the SPF in this primer. SPF 15 is not quite enough for a sunny day out, but on cloudy days it more than suffices. You can purchase this primer from Sephora.

Best Makeup and Skincare Products for Oily Skin: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

11. NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

Those with oily eyelids know the struggle of keeping eyeshadow from creasing. You create a gorgeous eye look in the morning, and by lunch everything is smudged and messy looking. Maybe you’ve even used a primer ” a primer that everyone’s been raving about.

But what you really need is a primer made to deal with oils, not just sweat or water. This eyelid primer from NARS deserves all the raves, because no matter how oily your eyelids get, your eyeshadow will not move.

Just a small dab is all it takes for perfect eyes. You can purchase this eye primer from Sephora.

Best Makeup and Skincare Products for Oily Skin: NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

Do you have any secret remedies that help you deal with oily skin? Have you given any of the products on this list a chance? What did you think? Please comment and share your thoughts!

Photos courtesy of @esteelauderrussia, Sephora, Nordstrom

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Written by Maya Adivi
Maya is a makeup artist and skincare expert based in Yerevan, Armenia. She eschews buzz words, in favour of giving accurate and science-based advice. A citizen of the world, she was born in Israel, and has also lived in the US, Canada, and, of course, Armenia. Aside from beauty, she is also passionate about literature, beer, politics, and playing the ukulele.