Chapter 5: Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin

Beauty Book

We started the Beauty Book with an introduction to a Korean skin care routine. In this chapter, we’re bringing you the same routine, but this time with products targeting oily skin.

Having oily skin can be problematic as you’re more prone to breakouts and blackheads as well as sensitive skin. Dealing with large pores is also inevitable. Instead of envying other skin types or wishing you could change yours, there are ways to treat and maintain your skin and achieve a dewy look without the extra shine. Don’t fight it – since you’re born with that skin type, you might as well embrace it, right?

Check out this skin care routine for oily skin featuring a curated selection of products.

Step 1: Oil Cleanser

If you have oily skin and wear makeup daily, make sure to always remove it before you go to bed. If you  skip this step, you allow the build-up of excess sebum and dirt to clog your pores. Once you’ve reached that stage, there’s no turning back and acne will start to develop. You can prevent future breakouts by simply incorporating an oil cleanser as the first step of your everyday routine.

Oil cleansers help dissolve makeup, stubborn dirt and excess oil without stripping skin of its natural oils. The aim is to wash away impurities gently without leaving your skin feeling tight and dry. BANILA CO’s Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm is a great option for oily skin; it’s hypoallergenic and formulated with non-irritating ingredients including acerola extract, which is rich in Vitamin C while simultaneously brightening complexion and naturally exfoliating your skin. It also contains spring water which soothes and hydrates.

Banila Co | DHC | Dear, Klairs

Step 2: Cleanser

After washing off your makeup, use a foam cleanser to complete the double cleansing process. Since oily skin is more vulnerable to blemishes, it’s important to get rid of all the dirt and excess oil on your face before applying more products. This keeps skin free from any bacteria that may enter your pores, so remember: Cleansing should be your top priority!

An effective cleanser for oily skin would be one that removes excess oil but is non-drying. The Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam from innisfree features a mix of green tea extract and mineral water that leaves your skin feeling clean (but not squeaky clean), soft and smooth. The cleansing foam also helps clarify skin and purify pores to prevent those imperfections from popping up.

innisfree | Dear, Klairs | Mizon

Step 3: Exfoliate

Dealing with skin that continuously produces an abundant amount of sebum can be frustrating, especially when you want to avoid looking like an oil slick all day. This is where exfoliating comes in. Exfoliation is your best friend – it helps slough away dead skin cells to reveal a new and improved layer of skin. Your skin may love it but don’t go overboard. Add this step to your regimen a maximum of three times per week.

If you have oily and troubled skin, opt for NEOGEN’s Dermalogy Real Cica Pad. Soaked in Centella extract and hyaluronic acid, these pads soothe irritated skin, reduce redness and boost collagen while gently sloughing off those dull skin cells. Another great alternative is the Pore Gentle Black Sugar Charcoal Soap from Dear, Klairs, which removes excess oil and is gentle on the skin. Get your scrub on!

NEOGEN | Dear, Klairs | Secret Key

Step 4: Toner

After you’re done with the cleansing steps, it’s time to use a toner to bring your skin pH level back to normal while prepping it for the next products. Dear, Klairs’ Supple Preparation Facial Toner is a toner that restores moisture and also the pH level of skin after cleansing. To prevent blackheads and whiteheads from developing and emerging, use COSRX’s AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner to treat your skin before blemishes even surface!

COSRX | Etude House | Dear, Klairs

Step 5: Essence

No matter the skin type, essences are something everyone should incorporate into their routine. They may not have instant results but your skin will benefit greatly in the long run. People with oily skin might think, “I already have oily skin so I don’t need extra hydration, but this is a misconception. Hydration is just as important for oily skin. Despite producing more sebum, drying out the skin can cause it to produce even more oil. So instead of trying to get rid of the natural oils, keep your skin hydrated with an essence. Secret Key’s Starting Treatment Essence is formulated with rose water that brings moisture back to the skin and leaves it soft and supple.

Benton | Secret Key | Huxley

Step 6: Serum or Ampoule

The next step is to slather on a product that contains more concentrated formulas like a serum or an ampoule. These products can be game-changing as they cater to your specific skin concerns, such as dryness, dullness, hyperpigmentation, or rough or uneven complexion.

SOME BY MI’s AHA, BHA, PHA 30 Days Miracle Serum is a dream come true for oily skin types. Not only does it help minimize the appearance of pores, but it also gets rid of excess sebum and impurities with its BHA formulation. The serum also contains AHA to slough off dead skin cells and PHA to prevent moisture loss. It’s suitable for acne-prone skin as it’s infused with tea tree leaf water and 14.5% Centella extract, which won’t irritate skin.

Since SOME BY MI’s serum contains chemical acids, don’t use it if you’re already using an acid-based toner or exfoliant beforehand. Otherwise, you’ll end up over-exfoliating your skin and damaging its barrier. One option is to apply this serum in the morning but skip it at night when you use another acid-based product.

SOME BY MI | Dear, Klairs | COSRX

Step 7: Sheet Mask

Treat this step as a daily treat for your skin. You can apply masks on a weekly basis or every day if you prefer. If you have oily plus acne-prone skin, you can’t go wrong with Dear, Klairs’ Midnight Blue Calming Sheet Mask. It’s formulated with tea tree leaf oil and Centella to cool the skin down and relieve any redness or irritation. The sheet mask is also enriched with white willow bark extract, which removes excess sebum.

During summer, I like to pop my sheet mask in the fridge before I use it for an added cooling effect – feel free to try that out! Don’t make the mistake of leaving the mask on longer than instructed or even overnight! Overuse will lead to the opposite effect; instead of benefiting from the sheet mask, you’ll end up damaging and drying out your skin.

Dear, Klairs | By Wishtrend | TONYMOLY

Step 8: Eye cream

One of the great things about having oily skin is not having to worry about wrinkles as much as those with dry skin. Unlike dry and dehydrated skin, oily skin contains more moisture and therefore delays the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. However, this shouldn’t serve as an excuse to postpone using anti-aging products, particularly around the eyes.

The skin around the eyes is a thin and delicate area and, no matter your skin type, taking care of it is essential. Even if there aren’t any visible fine lines yet, it’s still important to keep the skin around your eyes hydrated. Innisfree’s Jeju Orchid Eye Cream is a lightweight cream packed with antioxidants that prevent signs of aging, and ingredients that nourish skin and keep it firm.

Milkydress | innisfree | Etude House

Step 9: Moisturizer

Most skin types can get away with using the same moisturizer both in the morning and at night. It’s a different case for oily skin types because you have to factor in the season. During summer, oily skin tends to produce more oil so using a night cream for a morning moisturizer might be a bit too rich for your face and could end up clogging your pores. Instead, opt for a gel-type moisturizer like Benton’s Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel during the day. You may use the same gel at night but come winter, you should be reaching for a richer cream to prevent dryness.

Benton | Pyunkang Yul | COSRX

Step 10: Sunscreen

This final step is only necessary for your morning routine and the product is none other than sunscreen. Personally, I can be pretty picky when choosing sunscreens as many that I’ve tried felt too thick for my combination skin. It can be quite difficult to nail the perfect sunscreen that works for your skin. But it’s not impossible! Based on its positive reviews, many YesStyle customers can testify to Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 PA+++ from COSRX being suitable for oily skin. It absorbs into skin quickly, isn’t too thick and, more importantly, doesn’t leave a white cast!

MISSHA | COSRX | A’PIEU

And there you have it, a skin care routine for oily skin. Are you interested in reading about a routine for dry or sensitive skin next?