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Ask Dr. Schultz | Skin Care Guides | The Best Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

The Best Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

If you’ve dealt with oily skin for any amount of time, you know how frustrating it can be to have excess oil clogging up your skin. And what’s even more infuriating is thinking those oily years are behind you just to reach your forties and notice breakouts and extra greasiness cropping up again. But never fear. Dr. Schultz is here with advice on how to deal with your oily skin and give you a glow without the grease.

For over four decades, Dr. Schultz has seen every skin type there is and helped over 100,000 patients find their freshest skin ever. He knows skin, and with just a little bit of knowledge and the right arsenal of products in your medicine cabinet, you can understand and help combat your oily skin as well. Read on to learn how to transform your excess oil into the freshest, most beautiful skin you’ve had at any age.

What is Oily Skin?

If you have oily skin, chances are your skin looks shiny, greasy, and may even be prone to breakouts and acne, especially in your T-zone. This happens because of overactive oil glands that simply produce too much oil. This excess of oil begins to mix with the dirt and debris on your skin from buildup of old skin cells—all of which can turn into breakouts, clogged pores, and even discoloration. If this sounds like your skin, it’s important to choose skincare products that will either reduce the buildup of oil on your skin or that won’t create any more excess oil.

Best Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

For oily skin, the core of your daily routine should always be exfoliating. But you shouldn’t settle for just any exfoliant. Exfoliate with an ingredient like Dr. Schultz’s next generation Tetrafoliant®, which gives you the potency you need to decrease the excess oil that leads to breakouts, discoloration, and clogged pores while also being gentle enough to use every day.

Daily Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

Your daily skincare routine for oily skin won’t stray too much from a good basic skincare routine, believe it or not. In just three minutes in the morning, you can decrease excess oil, remove pore-clogging dirt and debris, and protect your skin from UV rays. Use a balancing cleanser first, followed by a toner with astringent ingredients to give your face an allover clean to start the day. You may recognize the benefits of cleansing, but don’t forget that a quick spritz and swipe of a toner after you cleanse removes any remaining dirt and oils off your face that your cleanser may have missed. Your next and final morning product is your lightweight sunscreen.

Throughout the day, you can use your toner as often as you need to get rid of dirt and debris that could mix with excess oil and clog up your pores. Give yourself a spritz or bring makeup pads to thoroughly swipe your face with your toner to get rid of excess shine and hit refresh whenever you need to.

Nighttime Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin

Your evening routine will again start with your cleanser and toner, giving you a fresh base for the superhero nighttime products for oily skin. After giving your skin a refresh, you’ll use the key product in reducing your excess oil: your daily exfoliant. Using a chemical exfoliant helps remove what Dr. Schultz calls “pore sludge” from your clogged pores—it helps decrease fine lines and wrinkles, and it evens your skin tone to reveal fresh, glowing skin when you wake up in the morning. Dr. Schultz developed his proprietary exfoliant Tetrafoliant®, the next-generation exfoliating complex, to be both effective (you’ll see a reduction in oil, discoloration, and even fine lines) and non-irritating (you can use it daily). After you exfoliate, your final nighttime product is an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect your skin even further from free radicals like UV rays as well as helping to even your skin tone and remove any brown spots or discoloration caused by excess oil, pore sludge, and environmental factors.

Skincare Routine for Oily Combination Skin

When you mainly have oily skin, but also deal with patches of dry spots, this is considered oily combination skin. You’ll treat your oily skin the exact same way as described, but if you have dry patches, you should use products to treat that dryness as well. Here Dr. Schultz explains how to understand and treat this kind of combination skin:


Use the oily skincare routine outline above, but make a small adjustment: add a moisturizer. Adding a non-greasy, oil-free moisturizer that packs a punch of hydration for those dry patches on your face is key when treating your oily combination skin.

Skincare Routine for Oily Sensitive Skin

If you have oily skin, but also sensitive skin, that means you might experience consistent irritation due to common products and ingredients at least once a month to three times a year. But if you have oily skin, you still need something to combat excess oil without causing you irritation. That’s why Dr. Schultz’s developed Tetrafoliant®, his perfected glycolic technology, and combined it with synergistically enabling ingredients that collectively deliver the next generation of amazingly effective yet gentle exfoliation. Because Tetrafoliant® is pH-adjusted and buffered properly, it’s gentle enough that it won’t cause redness, downtime, or even visible peeling.

If you have sensitive skin and want to slowly try Tetrafoliant® products, start with the Balancing Glycolic Cleanser, containing 3% Tetrafoliant®, as your cleanser. Once you feel comfortable with that, you can switch to a regular cleanser and a higher strength exfoliating serum with 8% Tetrafoliant®. As with any sensitive skin issues, go slowly and give your skin time to adjust to each new product before adding the next product to your routine.

Skincare Routine for Oily Acne Prone Skin

Because acne is caused in part by excess oil buildup, one way to decrease your excess oil buildup is with daily exfoliation. Using progressive exfoliation, in which you increase the strength of your exfoliation over the course of a few weeks, is a great way to strategically combat that excess oil that may be leading to breakouts.

So how should you progressively increase your exfoliation strength? Dr. Schultz recommends for his patients to start with an 8% exfoliating serum. It's an effective starter strength to jump start the process. After a few weeks, you'll gradually progress to 10% exfoliating pads. And after a few more weeks, you finally use a 15% exfoliating cream.

Best Products for Oily Skin

When you’re ready to get serious and transform your skin, you don’t want the solution to be complicated. You just want it to work. So we’ve rounded up the best, most effective products for your oily skin so you can get back that fresh glow you know and love.

Best Cleanser for Oily Skin

To get the extra benefits of oil-busting Tetrafoliant® while cleansing, use our Balancing Glycolic Cleanser to remove dirt, debris, and excess oil. With 3% Tetrafoliant®, this foaming cleanser brightens and leaves your skin fresh and clear.

Best Toner for Oily Skin

Using a toner with astringent ingredients like Cypress Extract will help remove excess oil and thoroughly cleanse your skin. Our Purifying Toner will help restore your skin’s overall water and oil balance and freshen your complexion.

Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin

For the oiliest and most breakout prone skin, the best moisturizer to use is our Light Rehydrating Lotion. This moisturizer is formulated to not clog pores and to maximize hydration with natural humectants, emollients, and other hydrophilic compounds.

Best Products for Oily Skin and Large Pores

Winner of SHAPE Magazine’s Best Pore Treatment, our Dermstick for Pores is formulated with Dr. Schultz’s proprietary Pore Complex: a blend of Tetrafoliant®, pumpkin seed extract, tea tree oil, and other ingredients to help minimize pores on your nose and face.

Best Exfoliator for Oily Skin

Tetrafoliant® 8% Peel Solution and 10% Peel Pads are the most effective exfoliating products for oily skin. With next-generation technology developed by Dr. Schultz to be effective yet gentle, you’ll see visible results of brighter, fresher skin in just two weeks.

Best Serum for Oily Skin

With three of the most effective forms of vitamin C, our award-winning Triple Vitamin C Serum works for all skin types to brighten and protect your skin from free radicals. After a consumer study, 100% of participants said their skin looked smoother, brighter, softer, and more youthful.

Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin

For oily skin, a lightweight sunscreen is key. Our Solar Defense Sheer Sunscreen with SPF 50 gives you all the protection you need without any of the weight. In fact, it’s so lightweight that you can use it as a base for your makeup.

Your At-Home Regimen

Beyond cleansing and toning, the most important thing you can do for your oily skin is to exfoliate every day. Start with a lower strength exfoliant and work your way up to a higher one. With consistency, you’ll see incredible visible results in just two weeks.

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