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Here to find the best skincare routine for oily skin? You’re in the right place. I really geek out on skincare and I’m going to incorporate my second love into my blog going forward. I’m starting this new era with one of my most highly requested posts via Instagram – my skincare routine . Over the years, I’ve tried a bunch of products to find the best skincare routine for oily skin. I’m very happy with how my skin looks right now and I’m going to share my secrets.
So, full disclosure on my skin situation. My skin is on the oily side and I have occasional blemishes which leave dark spots. My key skincare concerns are hydration, hyperpigmentation/dark spots and generally brightening my skin. There’s been a lot of trial and error to work out which specific ingredients work with oily skin so I wanted to save you the trouble and share the best skincare routine for oily skin and which products which keep my skin glowy.
Please note: Some of the products I use are only available on US websites, you can order them to be delivered in the UK but you may incur extra custom charges. Where possible, I’ve found UK stockists 🙂 Also, I switched from cotton pads to reusable microfibre face pads to apply my toner and micellar water as it’s more sustainable. I’d 100% recommend making the switch.
Step one: Cleanser
Pixi Beauty Milky Hydrating Cleanser
As I do a thorough cleanse at night, the first step in my skincare routine for oily skin is using a light, gentle cleanser in the morning to refresh my skin and wash away any skincare remenants. This is particularly important at this time of year as I’m more likely to use heavier, nourishing masks and oils in winter.
I’m slightly hesitant to admit that I wash my face in the shower, one of Caroline Hirons‘ cardinal sins. In my defence, it’s difficult to leave my bed in the mornings so I try to multitask as much as possible.
I’m currently using Pixi Beauty’s Hydrating Milky Cleanser in the morning. It works well on my skin and it never feels tight or uncomfortable after cleansing. One of the main ingredients is Glycerin which is a humectant, meaning it has the ability to retain moisture and keep your skin hydrated.
Step 2: Facial roller
Yu Ling Facial Roller
I’ve been using a jade facial roller for about 3 years now and it’s become my favourite part of my beauty routine. I believe in the power of crystals and jade is such a beautiful stone to use on your face. It’s a naturally cool stone and the rolling motion applies gentle pressure to aid with lymphatic drainage as well as boosting circulation and blood flow. I love the facial roller by Yu Ling as it’s double-ended with a mini roller on one side which is suitable for the under-eye area.
I’m not going to make wild claims about the benefits of using a jade facial roller but I have found that my skin looks a little more glowy and my cheekbones are slightly more defined when I regularly use a jade facial roller vs. when I don’t use it. I enjoy the meditative motion of using it each morning too.
Step 3: Toner
Son & Park Beauty Water
A few years ago, I heard about k-beauty, started learning about the key principles and fell hard for a bunch of cult products, including Son & Park’s Beauty Water.
Part cleanser and part toner, Beauty Water includes ingredients such as willow bark and papaya extract which help to sweep away dead skin cells resulting in a clean, bright and smooth canvas for your make up in the morning. Paired with hydrating ingredients like rose water, lavender water and orange fruit extract, Beauty Water also leaves my skin hydrated and prepped for the day. Its pH is 4.5 so it resets my skin to its natural pH after cleansing and rolling.
Alternatives: I also highly recommend Missha’s Time Revolution First Treatment Essence, which is another cult k-beauty product and a dupe of SKII’s Treatment Essence. It’s super hydrating and helps to even out your skin tone. I also just picked up Ole Henriksen’s Glow2OH Dark Spot toner to help treat my hyperpigmentation.
Step 4: Eye cream
Saturday Skin Brightening Eye Cream
I’m convinced that finding a good, hydrating eye cream which lives up to its promises is my life mission. As a skincare junkie, I love hunting down the perfect product for my skin and I don’t mind the trial-and-error it takes to find the one. The most difficult product in my arsenal is eye cream. I’ve tried and discarded dozens in the past in my attempt to find just one which lives up to the hype.
I currently use the brightening eye cream by Saturday Skin and it’s a pretty solid choice. I heard tons about it in beauty forums and when I tried it out it was a dream. It’s formulated to be hydrating and brightening, ideal for me as I suffer from horrendous under-eye bags and dark circles. Key ingredients include date seed extract and avocado protein which helps to illuminate and improve hydration while protecting your moisture barrier respectively.
Alternatives: I’m a little Goldilocks with eye creams so while the Saturday Skin one works pretty well, I also picked up Volufiline15 Eye Essence which I’ve heard is INCREDIBLE.
Step 5: Serums
Peach & Lily Glass Skin Serum + The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
Ok, this is where things get interesting. I have a serum wardrobe and love layering different serums together depending on what my skin needs the most. For a while, I exclusively used The Ordinary serums. In my opinion, they changed the skincare game by focusing on the active ingredients and empowering consumers to treat their specific skincare concerns rather than relying on wonder creams which claim to solve all of your life problems.
My current favourite combination is Peach & Lily’s incredible Glass Skin Serum followed by The Ordinary’s Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA. As a woman of colour, my skin is more prone to hyperpigmentation and this combo helps fade dark marks and keep my skin looking glowy.
The Glass Skin Serum is the hardest working product in my skincare arsenal, I noticed a difference within a week of trying it and I currently have three spare bottles as I can’t bear to live without it! When I use it, my skin breaks out less, looks clearer, brighter and smoother. The dream. Glass Skin Serum has a powerful concoction of ingredients including peach extract (to keep your skin firm, radiant and resilient), niacinamide (to brighten skin and reduce inflammation) and hyaluronic acid (to hydrate all layers of the skin).
The Ordinary’s Alpha Arbutin is the perfect partner for the Glass Skin Serum. It’s great for reducing pigmentation. They have used a 2% formulation which is much more potent than the standard 1% which is widely used in the beauty industry. The serum also has hyaluronic acid as a key ingredient which helps keep your skin hydrated.
Alternatives: I’ve heard good things about Good Molecules and recently picked up the Discoloration Correcting Serum which includes tranexamic acid and niacinamide which help brighten skin and also the Super Peptide Serum which contains peptides and copper tripeptides to help stimulate collagen and elastin production as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Step 6: Moisturiser
Mizon All-in-One Snail Repair Cream
I don’t want to brag but I think I found The One. No, no not a man! A moisturiser. As someone with oily skin, I’ve struggled to find the perfect one. Pretty much everyone I’ve tried sits on my skin and my makeup doesn’t sit well on top of it. I persevered to find the perfect moisturiser. It’s an essential step as hydration is key, even for oily skin.
I tried this cult k-beauty moisturiser by Mizon and let me tell you, it’s perfect. It’s very light and absorbs easily so it’s suitable for oily skin, Mizon advises layering a heavier moisturiser on top. The game-changing ingredient in this moisturiser is snail extract. Yup, snails. Snail extract is a mixture of glycolic acids, proteins, hyaluronic acid and peptides. This powerful cocktail is brilliant for healing skin and moisturising.
The Mizon moisturiser contains a whopping 92% snail extract! I find that it keeps my skin hydrated which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines. It also helps to reduce the appearance of blemishes and dark marks, keeping my skin looking even and radiant.
Step 7: Sunscreen
Heliocare Oil-Free Gel SPF50
Ok, so sunscreen should be fundamental to your skincare routine. Not just when you’re on holiday and not just when it’s sunny outside. The general rule is: If you can see without a light or torch, you need to wear sunscreen. It protects your skin from free radical damage and UVA/UBA rays and also helps prevent premature skin ageing and discolouration.
I stumbled upon Heliocare after trawling through Caroline Hirons’ blog posts about sunscreen. She rated Heliocare highly as they produce broad-spectrum sunscreens with high SPF and PA++++. I often find sunscreen doesn’t sit well on my skin as it feels quite heavy. This oil-free gel is super light, absorbs quickly and is mattifying. It’s a great base for makeup and works well with my skin.
Alternatives: I really liked Giorgio Armani’s Maestro UV Make-Up Primer SPF50 too but it doesn’t travel well at all, it always exploded when I flew so I ended up wasting a lot of product sadly!
Step 8: Body Oil
The Chemistry Brand Retin-Oil
The final step of my skincare routine for oily skin is applying a body moisturiser. This is an essential step for me, smooth and moisturised skin shouldn’t be exclusive to your face. In a previous post, I mentioned that I had chronic eczema when I was younger and still have scars. I love using The Chemistry Brand’s Retin-Oil, which contains 1% retinoid along with vitamins C and E. These ingredients help reduce the look of scars, dehydration and discolouration. It’s a dry oil so it absorbs instantly, making it the ideal body moisturiser in the morning.
So there you have it, the best skincare routine for oily skin. If you have any questions or want any skincare routine recommendations, drop me a comment below!