Oily skin must-haves

Beauty Must-Haves For Oily Skin

Oily skin must-haves

Being a victim of oily skin, I’ve tried a LOT of products to help control it. Whether that be throughout a long work day, spending the day outside, or needing heat-resistant products so your makeup doesn’t slide all over your face.

I’ve learned to tame it through trial and error and am here to share my wealth of knowledge (kidding, but really though). My routine is a combination of makeup and skincare, and here are my top suggestions.

Makeup for Oily Skin

Mattifying primer

Try out the Makeup Forever Step 1 Mattifying Primer. This product is awesome once you understand how to use it. Don’t rub it onto the face all over, but rather press it into the oily areas only – it dries quickly so if you rub it in it will ball up. Just FYI. I put a super small amount in my t-zone areas and it holds up well throughout the day. Another benefit is this stuff will last a long time because you barely need any.

Makeup forever mattifying primer


Note: I’ve seen some newer (and much less expensive) options at the drugstore recently but haven’t tried any yet. 

Oil controlling foundations

Oh boy, I could go on and on here because I have tried out dozens of foundations that claim to control oil. These are the two I will continue to recommend to my fellow oily skin gals.

Estee Lauder Double Wear – this is a thicker consistency, so I recommend using a beauty sponge for this one. However, it blends great, it’s matte, and is full coverage. I wear the color 1W1.

Tip: Purchase a Mac foundation pump for this – it works great and is a lot cleaner.

estee lauder double wear

Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless – This stuff is amazing and it’s super affordable! I like it applied with either a brush or sponge and it blends beautifully. It’s not AS matte as Estee Lauder Double Wear, but it controls oil well for me. I wear the color #220 right now and am about a Mac NC 20-25 with a “tan”.

Maybelline Matte and Poreless

Crease-proof concealer

I like several different concealers, but Mac’s Pro Longwear Concealer has been the best in my opinion. You don’t need much, it’s full coverage, and it sets quickly with no creasing or melting off throughout the day. The point is, don’t use a concealer that’s too creamy – especially for spot concealing.

Mac pro longwear concealer

Oil controlling powder

Specifically, a loose powder. These babies will soak up that oil right away and will continue throughout the day. Gross? Maybe. But necessary.

I have found that the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder works the best for me, although it’s pricey. You could experiment with some drugstore versions like the Nyx HD loose powder, etc., but I find this controls it best, especially when you “bake” your oily areas.

Laura mercier translucent loose setting powder

Also, I would avoid cream products as much as possible if you’re oily (cream blushes and bronzers) unless you intend to set them with a powder version. Creams and oil just don’t play nicely, especially in the summer months.

Skincare Regimen for Oily Skin


I cleanse my skin with two main facial cleansers: Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser and Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser. Although I am not opposed to trying others.

Whether I wear makeup that day or not, I cleanse my face morning and night. This is super important since you sweat and smash your face in a pillow each night. Get that face clean, girl.

At night, I will remove my makeup using an oil-based makeup remover, then I will wash my face in the shower with the Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser, which does a good job getting all the gunk off in a very gentle way. It doesn’t foam so it’s very mild.

pixi glow mud cleanser

The Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser is serious stuff. This stuff burns your eyes, so do NOT use it to remove eye makeup. Use this ever other day, max. I use this on a Clarisonic once or twice a week for deep cleaning and it does an awesome job. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to see if you can find something a little more gentle. But I like my products to beat my face up and get them squeaky clean.

Mario Badescu glycolic cleanser


This is a super important step that I do morning and night. I put some of the Mario Badescu Cucumber Cleansing Lotion (for combo and oily skin) onto a cotton pad and apply to my face after cleansing. It will remove any excess dirt and even out your skin’s pH. Also, this is not a lotion – it’s liquid toner. Not sure why they call it a lotion…?

Mario Badescu Cucumber cleansing lotion


You may be thinking that since you’re oily, moisturizing is counter productive. Wrong. Your skin is still thirsty, but you just need to use a different form of moisturizer. Specifically an oil-free gel form, such as the Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream.

The body shop Seaweed oil control day cream

At night, I use a richer, thicker moisturizer. My favorite is Origins Night-a-mins, but I am using the Simple brand’s rich moisturizer right now because it’s inexpensive and gets the job done.

Also, don’t skip out on the serums or oil treatments just because you’re oily. It won’t make you more oily unless you use it during the day. I’ve been enjoying the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair oil recently. I use it underneath my eye cream and moisturizer every night.

Estee lauder advanced night repair


At least once a week I like to use a mask on my face. Mostly I go for deep pore cleansing masks like mud masks. I also enjoy a good brightening or peel-off mask if I’m feelin crazy.

The Pixi Glow Mud Mask is a great drugstore option (although pricier than other drugstore masks). It’s so good!

Pixi glow mud mask

Best Practices

  • Don’t go to sleep without removing your makeup and washing your face.
  • Keep blotting sheets on hand, especially for hot days.
  • Don’t forget to moisturize day and night.
  • Set all cream makeup products with powder.
  • Avoid “luminous” finishes in Makeup unless they are powder blushes and highlights.
  • Stay hydrated and eat well.

oil absorbing sheets

It has taken me a long time to get to a point where I almost never break out anymore. I have some super pretty scars and dark spots on my face unfortunately, but they’ll fade over time. Keeping my skin balanced while also not breaking the bank is the goal here.

If you have oily skin, what products are your go-tos?








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