My Top 10 Oily Skin Care Commandments

Got oily skin like I do? Then you’ll want to know my 10 oily skincare commandments.

All of these are tips that have helped me to better control my oily skin and keep it from constantly breaking out.

a relaxed gal in a blue robe with bare but clear skin.

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1. Avoid touching your face

Not touching your face unless absolutely necessary is so important. Did you know the palms of your hands have natural oils which can contain bacteria? When you touch your face or makeup tools, bacteria is transferred to them which can cause skin irritation, breakouts, or (gasp) the creation of more oil.

When I realized how bad touching my face could be I made it my mission to stop touching my face so much. It took me a while and a lot of will power to no longer touch my face except when I’m applying a product to it or I’ve done commandment number 2.

2. Only touch your face with clean hands

I don’t quite remember how I came to the conclusion that I should be washing my hands before I touched my face. It could have been an article I read, one of those morning talk shows, or I just came to the realization on my own. However it really doesn’t matter, I’m just glad it did.

When you touch your face with dirty hands you are transferring the bacteria, dirt, oil, and just gross stuff from your hands to your face. This can cause contamination or irritation leading to breakouts, blemishes, or an increase in face oil production. That is so gross and could be why I’ve had so many breakouts in the past.

What I do now is right before I wash my face at night and in the morning, I wash my hands with soap and water. I also do the same before I do my makeup.

If I touch something or go do something not related to my makeup or skincare collection in the middle of either routine like make up my bed, put some dishes away I wash my hands again before continuing.

Honestly, I feel like this has played a large role in how well my skin has been doing.

3. Ice your skin

Skin icing has become really popular and it’s great for those of us with oily skin because it helps with
  • Unclogging and shrinking pores
  • Improving circulation in the skin
  • Reducing puffiness and swelling
  • Toning and smoothing the skin
Having oily skin means my pores can look pretty large and regularly icing my skin, at least once a day sometimes twice a day, has really helped with that.

Some say skin icing can help to decrease oiliness. All evidence for that is not scientifically confirmed and personally, I can’t attest to it helping with that but I can to the pores shrinking because mine do.

To ice my skin all I do is take an ice cube, hold it with my washcloth to melt it a little bit, and then rub it over my face a few times. You can watch me icing my skin in this Instagram Reel.

If you’d like to get fancy you can make ice cubes that contain a few drops of rosewater, some cucumber, or green tea.

Or you can buy an ice roller like one of these here.

A few words of caution when doing skin icing with ice cubes: 
  • Don’t do it for too long at a time. Most experts say less than 15 minutes unless the cold starts becoming uncomfortable.
  • Don’t rub the cube straight out of the freezer, let it melt a little bit so it’s not harsh on your skin.

4. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

I always thought that since I had oily skin I should only be using a little moisturizer or no moisturizer at all. Boy was I wrong.

No matter the skin type you need to apply moisturizer because it keeps the skin hydrated. And hydrated skin produces less oil.

Yeah, one of the reasons your skin may be so oily is that you’re starving your skin of moisture. When your skin is dry it produces more sebum, which is what makes your skin look and feel oily, to compensate.

Once I learned how important it was for my skin I started moisturizing both in the morning and night because I wasn’t always moisturizing both times of the day. I also started using more hydrating and even thicker oil-free moisturizers, especially at night and during the winter.

Within the last few years, I’ve added The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid Serum to my skincare routine which helps give my skin some additional hydration help.

A little tip for applying moisturizer: apply it to damp skin because it helps to lock in the moisture from the water on your skin.

5. Wear sunscreen all year

Yes, even in the wintertime, it’s important to wear sunscreen. The reason is the sun is shining all year long even if it’s not as strong in the winter. So if we’re anywhere near a window or outside we’re getting exposure to UV rays.

The benefit of sunscreen is it helps to prevent sun damage that could lead to wrinkles, age spots, and even skin cancer.

I like to use face moisturizers that also have sunscreen in them which means it takes less time for me to get ready in the morning. Two of my favorite moisturizers with sunscreen are Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizer - SPF 50 and Neutrogena Hydro Boost City Shield Water Gel - SPF 25.

Some things to think about when you have oily skin and are picking a sunscreen are to look for sunscreens that have zinc oxide and titanium dioxide ingredients and don’t have fragrances or oils.

6. Wash your face but not too much

Washing or cleansing oily skin is a must but it needs to be done properly. It’s important to make sure you completely clean your face without drying it out or harming your skin's surface level.

Simply put, washing your face twice a day - morning and night is good. Washing your face more than that throughout the day when it’s not dirty could do more harm than good.

If you wear makeup throughout the day you may want to double cleanse to fully wash away the makeup.

I personally will triple cleanse when I’m wearing a full face of makeup. This isn’t something that is recommended for everyone. It works best for me which is why I do it.

7. Use proper cleansing techniques when washing your face

Did you know there is a proper way to wash your face to make sure the cleanser is actually doing its job?

For a long time, I didn’t know that. Apparently, you’re supposed to
  • Wet your face by splashing a little water on it
  • Take the cleanser and gently massage it into your skin using gentle small circular motions
  • The cleanser should be massaged in for 30-60 seconds as it helps to soften the skin and remove all the dirt, makeup, and sweat accumulated during the day

Proper cleansing of oily skin allows for the removal of all of the dead skin, dirt, and makeup that can clog up pores and kick in additional oil creation. All while not stripping the skin of natural oils.

8. Live a little healthier

When I say live healthier I don’t mean you have to go vegan and exercise 5 hours a day 7 days a week.

What I mean is ease up on junk food, eat more leafy greens or fruits, drink more water, exercise some each week, and get a good night’s sleep.

I’ve found the more healthy foods I eat and the more water I drink the better my skin looks and feels.

When I’m internally hydrated my skin has more of a glow. I’ve also noticed that my skin starts to itch and feel dry when I’m not properly hydrated. I also feel like my skin looks more refreshed when I get enough sleep and exercise several times a week.

9. Don’t use hot water

I love taking hot showers and the feel of hot water on my skin. For a long time that included my face. But then I learned how bad hot water was for my skin, especially my oily skin.

What I learned is that really hot water can dry out the skin, removing the skin's natural oils (which makes sense if you stop and think about it). And what does oily skin do when it’s been dried out? If you said to create more oil you’d be correct!

Using hot water to wash my face was another reason my skin was so oily. I stopped using hot water on my face by not washing my face in the shower anymore and using warm or lukewarm water instead.

10. Keep your hair off your face

When I had longer hair I wore it down all of the time. And a lot of that time it was in layers so I always had some strands of hair in my face.

I even went through a period where I had bangs. When I started growing them out I always had hair on my face. I eventually discovered that the oils and fragrances from my hair products can sometimes irritate my skin.

While I still wear my hair down a lot I like to keep my hair away from my face as much as possible. This is why I will wear my hair up in buns and ponytails sometimes. I also wear headbands to help with this.

Once I started wearing my hair up more I noticed I’d get fewer pimples near my hairline and forehead.

Do you do any of these things or do you have other skincare tips that work for you? Share in the comments below.