Ask Lauren: Help! I Have Oily Skin

Ask Lauren: Help! I Have Oily Skin

Today’s post was inspired by the following private message I received a few weeks ago:

Hi Lauren, I have very oily skin. Even though I use oil-free products, toner, and wash my face every single day (twice a day!!) the shine just won’t go away and I break out all the time. What products do you use and do you have any tips for an oily skinned girl like me?

Great question! Many women believe that because they have oily skin they must abstain from oil-based products. However, you might be surprised to learn that more oil might just be what your skin needs…

Cleanse your face with a botanical oil-based face wash.
It may sound counterintuitive but when you have oily skin, it’s important to use a botanical oil-based face wash. Many of us have been trained to shop for “oil-free” products, but more recently dermatologists have learned that it’s not necessarily the best rule of thumb to apply to every aspect of your face wash routine. So why use a botanical oil-based face wash? Cleansing botanical oils adhere to the sebum deep inside your pores and when the skin is rinsed with water both the sebum and botanical oil both get washed away!

Use products with oil-absorbing ingredients.
If you’re prone to shine, start your beauty regimen by applying a mattifying gel or lotion (primer). Make Up For Ever has a great micro-perfecting primer that feels pretty weightless and gets the job done. At night, use an alcohol-free toner after you have washed your face and before you apply your moisturizer.

If you’re dealing with constant breakouts…
Apply a retinol exfoliate to unclog pores and limit oil production. I suggest putting this on at night since retinol makes the skin very sensitive to sun exposure. Also, because retinol is especially drying, I would recommend that you slather some Egyptian Magic on top (it’s the perfect mix).

You still need to moisturize.
Since stripping the skin of it’s natural oils can encourage increased oil production, be sure to keep your routine balanced by applying a good moisturizer both morning and night. Non-comedogenic, water-based moisturizers are best for those with oily skin. (For the morning, use a moisturizer with SPF in it.)

Drink up!
Last but not least, remember to drink plenty of water to keep your skin calm and properly hydrated.

I hope you find these tips helpful!

Do you have an Ask Lauren question for me? Any topic is okay—relationships, fitness, beauty—anything. Leave your questions below or send me a private message via my profile page if you’d rather it be anonymous.

For more pointers on dealing with oily skin, be sure to check out this thread in the Fourm!

XO Lauren

Photo: Pinterest via Glamour

Categories: Lauren Conrad, Primp, Skincare
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  • Monica_in_Heels
  • Katie-Greta Lester

    Hey Lauren!

    I just want you to know, that just last night I was thinking about what I should do about my oily skin. I just noticed it being so oily in the last couple of weeks. When I saw this email I thought to myself,’s like she reads my mind! :)
    Thanks so much for the post! You are great!!


  • Lailka

    great post! the majority of woman has combination to oily skin! thanks for that post.
    lots of love.

  • Sarah Heckle

    If you wear makeup, finishing your makeup with a matte powder can help, too!

  • Brenna Gray

    What about us girls with dry skin?

  • Rachel Trampel

    These tips are great! I have oily skin and the most important thing I learned a few years ago is that you must still moisturize!

  • My Style Diary

    These are some great tips! Even though I have combination skin, I can really use some of these tips. :)

  • Jennifer Woodring

    These are some great tips! I have oily skin that is prone to breakouts as well. I take skin, hair and nails vitamins to keep my breakouts at bay. My face is still oily, but it really keeps my skin clear. Some people take prenatal vitamins to help with this as well, but they didn’t help as much as skin, hair and nails vitamins.

  • Jaymo

    What is a good oil based dash wash to pick up anywhere?

  • Anne Giordano

    I have super oily skin and I found a great product from Image skincare that is a daytime matte moisturizer that also has a SPF. I wear it under my makeup and my skin never get shiny looking or oily throughout the day.

  • NidLid

    Using mattifying products when you have oily skin is the best!
    And I would love it if you guys would take a took at my fashion/beauty blog! :)

  • Courtney L

    Great post! I don’t like that I have oily skin and breakout and I’m about to graduate college! I was looking up face washes that are botanical oil based and I didn’t have much luck. Do you have any specific products or brands that you would recommend?

  • Shannon Burke

    My friend’s birthday is coming up soon and i don’t know what to wear. Most likely a dress, but i am small and pale. So anything to help with that would be great. Thanks Ask Lauren

  • Vicky C.

    i have combination skin! on the T zone is oily and on the cheeks is dry!! i need help to keep my face balance

  • LMGR

    the GLAMGLOW mask has made my oily skin look amazing! i put it on once every other day for about 20 minutes and it ends up looking smooth, feeling soft and its breakout and blackhead free!!

  • Abby

    Great post! I used to have oily skin and then I went down to washing my face once at night time and then rinsing with water in the morning and applying moisturizer each time – now I have clear and normal skin! Sometimes washing your face two times a day makes it even more oily. Just food for thought :)

  • Kelly S

    I have dealt with oily skin & acne since puberty & have tried everything under the sun! I finally gave up & was just “”washing”” my face w/ water because I was sick of spending money on products that don’t work! Now I’ve starting using the oil pulling method & I make my own “”face wash”” out of organic coconut oil (I get mine from & a few drops each of tea tree & lavender essential oils; both from Whole Foods (I throw it all in my mixer for a few minutes to soften the coconut oil)

    All I do is take a marble size dollop of it & massage it into my skin every night then take a warm (borderline hot!) wash cloth & gently wipe it off! No moisturizer needed if you don’t want it! Then I add some more around my eyes before bed to prevent wrinkles! I started doing this just before Christmas & for the first time in my life I don’t have a single pimple & haven’t for months! IT’S AMAZING & simple & CHEAP!

  • Heather Lansford

    What is a good botanical oil based face wash?

  • Kelly S

    Read my post & make your own :) that way you know it’s botanical & pure!

  • Kelly S

    This has also worked for friends & sisters who have normal/dry skin :)

  • Kelly S

    Read my post & make your own :) that way you know it’s botanical & pure!

  • Sarah Spiegel

    I’d like Lauren to recommend something, too!

  • Chelsea Dacey

    I have combination and once a day I use Noxzema which is great and twice a day in the morning and at night I use makeup removing and oil removing wipes for my face then wear a light mineral powder during the day =]

  • Amanda Kretchmer

    Great tips. The Egyption Magic is amazing too. I bought some after the post about the give away and this being one of the prodcits in it. So glad I did!

  • Tatum

    I have the essentially the same routine, except I use Noxzema twice a day and the oil/makeup removing wipes at night before washing my face, and it works wonderfully! Noxzema is really just a wonderful product to have around.

  • Heather Lansford

    how much do you use of coconut oil and how do you store it and in what?

  • Kelly S

    @Heather I use about a cup of coconut oil (roughly) & 5-10 drops of each of the oils! The tea tree oil helps w/ acne & lavender oil helps w/ skin color/acne scars! I store it in a mason jar & use a spoon to get it out so it stays fresh :)

  • Heather Lansford

    what brand do you use for vitamins?

  • Crystal Maskiewicz

    I have struggled with acne most of my life. However, just recently I started selling this new company called alex+von where they sell all natural 100% organic products. I started using the Suki line since they specialize in cystic acne and I’m getting AMAZING results!! Check the site out!

  • Jennifer Woodring

    I use the Spring Valley brand from WalMart.

  • Jennifer Woodring

    Do you use this in place of face wash? Or do you use face wash and this?

  • Jackie Blake

    As someone who suffered for years with oily skin the best thing I ever did was to ditch the toner. Ever since then the oil is under control and while I still suffer from hormonal acne, not being an oil slick all the time is a wonderful feeling. Toners can really mess up the ph of your skin.

  • Kayla

    I recently found out that I have oily skin, I went to a makeup store and one of the workers helped me pick out some foundations. My chin and my nose are definitely the oilyest and these tips will so help! I really want to try the Egyptian magic cream and a retinol exfoliator because I still deal with breakouts! Thanks!!

  • Kelly S

    In place of–it is great at removing make-up!

  • Alex taylor

    Hey there! Lauren actually posted some tips not too long ago about how to deal with dry skin. Check out her blog here: Hope that helps! (I have dry skin too and I swear by a product called Eqyptian Magic) Xx

  • Linn

    I have always had a very oily skin. Since I use products of Clinique, it gets better every day.
    I use the products for skin type 2 and/or 3. And I use an extra gel creme “”moisture surge extended thirst relief””.
    And just like Lauren said: you need to drink a lot of water.

    Hope you will all get an oily free skin!
    Love, Linda

  • Kamila

    Thanks for the great tips that’s what I needed :)

  • Deborah Hudson

    Does anyone have a botanical oil-based face wash that they like to use and would recommend? I’m not sure I know what one would be.

  • redheadrachel

    I struggled with acne for years, but never had very oily skin. My acne was never severe, but it was persistent and got really bad at times. My dermatologist ended up prescribing me Accutane, which was such a lifesaver. My skin is MUCH better now. But now that I’m off Accutane, I’m using fresh lemon juice to keep my skin clear and it helps keep the oil away too!


  • Ashley McDougall

    This is a helpful post. I don’t have the oiliest skin in the world but, when summer comes around, it does get worse and i’m never sure how to deal with it! I’ll have to try these tips (also, you’ve mentioned egyptian magic so many times that I think i’ll have to break down and buy some :) )

  • Annie

    I struggled with acne in my teen years and early adult life. It was brutal. I was also prescribed Accutane by my dermatologist which cleared up EVERYTHING. I break out occasionally, and still have some left over scarring. I now moisturize, user toner AND use vitamin C serum to address the scars. Changing my diet (cutting out red meat) has reduced some inflammation in my skin as well. It’s been super helpful!

  • Kara Gilbert

    What brands/meds had you used before? I’ve been looking into a more natural regimen but it is SO pricey!

  • Anabel O

    Hi Lauren!! Hope u are doing fine!! I have a question about blackheads on my nose. I can’t get rid of them and I’m hoping u can help me, thank u very much :)

  • Jess Harmon

    I’ll definitely be trying your recipe! Sounds awesome!

  • Morgana

    I’ve been using the oil treatments (with coconut oil) and I was wondering how long it takes to see improvement in skin condition (uneven skin tone, acne, etc.). I’ve been doing it for several days now, and my skin FEELS better, but no visible improvement.

  • stelawn

    Hey Deborah ..i would like to recommend you some organic products that are made with only natural ingredients. For more information check out the product url

  • Melanie Erwin

    I’m a few months late to this (ha!) but when you wash your face with this, do you just put your mixture straight on a dry face? @kelly_s

  • Kelly S

    I tried everything from Proactive, Accutane–& more natural Arbonne cleansers (I use their makeup but the skincare didn’t work for me!)

    This method is SO CHEAP & I love that I know everything in it is not harmful!

  • Kelly S

    Have you tried it? What do you think?

  • Kelly S

    I put it on a dry face but if I’m in the shower & it’s wet it doesn’t seem to matter!

  • Breigh

    Can you please recommend a botanical oil based face wash that’s not too expensive? I have tried everything for my skin and it’s more broken out than ever and I think from trying so many things to help with acne that haven’t worked has damaged the over all quality of my skin.

    • MeganYann

      All Josie Maran products are 100% natural and easily accessible from her website or most Sephora’s.

  • Trish Mc sweeney

    I Never really have acne problems but around my hairline and of course my nose get extremely oily and almost like I have grease on my face throughout the day. I take care of my skin quite well but I would really like to know how to calm the oils down a notch. Thanks xo

  • Charlotte

    I’ve been doing that too, and it took me 2 to 3 weeks to really see an improvement. I’ve found you can speed up the process a bit if you also use it as a night cream!

  • Lori Peek

    Bobby brown has an oil cleanser-it is great!

  • Chloe

    Oh my goodness thank you so much for this information! This is definitely what I needed to here x

  • YaYa

    I have tired Loreal youth code pore vanisher and it helped a lot with my oily skin because it literally closed up my pores within two weeks!

  • Layla

    I’ve heard that using essential oils helps and is much better for the skin to use as a moisturizer, is this true and can you recommend any good ones?

  • Danielle
  • MeganYann

    Josie Maran products have worked WONDERS for my skin. Always a victim of super oily, greasy skin after mere hours of applying make-up, I made the decision to try these products. I use the Oil Cleanser, Milk, Argan Oil (at night) and the Argan Suncreen (daytime). Putting oil on your skin definitely seems like the last thing you would want to try, but I encourage you to go for it! It was also a little strange to put the cleanser on dry skin but when you slowly add water and feel the change in viscosity of the cleanser (it gets really silky!), it leaves your skin feeling so soft and refreshed. I would recommend using a gentle make-up remover for any eye make-up you have on, but other than that this does the trick! Three steps morning and night may seem a bit much, but after using these products for a couple of months I have noticed a HUGE difference in my skins tone, texture, and even some of my wrinkles have disappeared.The sunscreen is actually very smooth and doesn’t leave a shiny residue like most products tend to, and has a great scent! Also, you get the benefit of knowing that all products are 100% natural, all ingredients are plainly labeled and readily available for double check on her website. CHECK IT OUT!

  • Lena

    I used to have oily skin and it’s been a lot better since I am using products from La Roche Posay, the series is called Effaclar. They offer a face wash which is gentle, yet effectiv. I use the moisturizer Effaclar Mat twice a day and it really does help without being harsh to your skin or over drying. You’ll probably get in online…

  • Emily

    Hey Lauren, Can you please do a tutorial on how to achieve this girls makeup?!

  • georgina backhouse

    My skin gets oily within 1 and half hours im 14 btw iv tried everything mattifing
    Gel special press piwders I tone and cleanse I dont know what to do!!! Its always on my
    Tea zone and it always lowers my confidence any ideas???/also when I put
    Liquied foundation on it melts of by lunch any ideas plesea comment I need them! X

  • mekhla

    Hi, I am 44.I do yoga and have gooseberry and aloe Vera empty stomach and 4 glasses of water.Still Don’t see much improvement on skin.Please suggest me something that improves elasticity.I don’t want to use anything harsh.Eagerly waiting for your reply.

  • Marifer

    Hey Lauren! Could you give ideas for gifts for my boyfriend?

  • Jenny Crane

    I found using pure hemp oil (buy it at whole foods or online) really helps clear my skin and keep it moisturized. I use it to remove makeup and also apply a bit as a moisturizer. It will not clog pores

  • Disqo

    Unfortunately if you have oily skin none of these tips will help you. The only way out is Accutane and other expensive prescription drugs.

  • Carissa

    Girls try mukti or raw both are (organic Australian product)..I use an oil cleanser (takes of eye make up too!!) and treatment oil as night moisturiser..2 products, both oil 100 percent and no more shiny t zone by lunchtime…simple, organic, 2 products are all you need.

  • Zeie

    For toner, you can also use apple cider vinegar for toning, best used during nighttime. It works to help prevent breakouts too! I usually follow up with double moisturising, using gel moisturisers from The Face Shop and Shiseido. These are my must-do night skincare routine.

  • Rissa

    I have oily, acne-prone skin, and my DIY mattifier is an epsom salt toner. I just dissolve epsom salts in water and wipe it on, let it dry, then put my moisturizer on top. The “strength” can be adjusted by adding less salt. If you use a lot of salt make sure to moisturize as it leaves a white-ish cast on your face, but moisturizer will do the trick. It apparently helps with acne too, but all I really care about is how matte m face is(but it did help my acne, but there was a minor purging period). I also love how cheap it is.

  • kay1989

    I have literally the worst oily face ever. Even my hair gets oily just n hour of washing it. It only takes 5 minutes after washing my face to see oil again. I also have redness. I can’t find a makeup that will stay on my face. Even if i use matte shine control within 5 mins the oil will go right thru the powder and my face will look fuzzy and caky and oily. It really sucks. I’ve tried so many products over a period of time and nothing works. HELP i am 25yrs female



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