Skincare Essentials For Oily Skin

Unlock the secrets to skincare for oily skin including which skincare products are best for oil control and refining the appearance of enlarged pores.

Darlings, if you have an oily skin type, it’s important to use skincare for oily skin that can help to keep excess oil at bay. By using my best skincare products for oily skin, you can follow a skincare routine that’s perfectly tailored to your oily skin type and addresses common oily skin concerns such as enlarged pores, breakouts and unwanted shine.

Discover my best skincare tips, tricks and product recommendations for oily skin, and learn the answers to more frequently asked questions!

Bella Tilbury Magic Water Cream still life

What Causes Oily Skin?

Oily skin is a natural skin type where the skin is predisposed to producing excess sebum. This sebum is beneficial to keeping our skin hydrated; however, having an excess of sebum production often leads to the complexion looking shiny and oily, and can also cause skin irritation, breakouts, and acne. The oiliness of your skin can fluctuate due to biological factors like rises and dips in hormone levels and environmental factors like humidity, moderate stress, and poor diet. If you experience oily skin as well as dry skin on the face, this is known as having combination skin.

Discover Charlotte’s Best Skincare for Oily Skin

Darlings, below is a list of my must-have skincare products for oily skin. Each of these products help to hydrate, balance, revive and nourish an oily complexion. Discover these skincare essentials for oily skin and you’ll never look back, darling!

Skincare for Oily Skin still life

Charlotte’s Best Moisturiser for Oily Skin: Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream

Charlotte’s Best Pore-Minimising Serum for Oily Skin: Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir

Charlotte’s Best Night Cream for Oily Skin: Magic Night Cream

Charlotte’s Best Primer for Oily Skin: Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer SPF50

Charlotte’s Best Pore-Refining Toner: Glow Toner

Charlotte’s Best Deep-Cleaning Face Mask for Oily Skin: Goddess Skin Clay Mask

Charlotte’s Best Exfoliant for Oily Skin: Super Radiance Resurfacing Facial

Learn More about Charlotte’s Skincare Products for Oily Skin

  1. Charlotte's Magic Water Cream ultra-lightweight, skin-drenching gel moisturiser

    Moisturiser for Oily Skin: Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream

    Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream is inspired by my award-winning moisturiser, Charlotte’s Magic Cream, but takes on a NEW! ultra-lightweight, gel consistency with a dreamy, bouncy, water-break texture that’s perfect for oily skin types. What makes Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream so magical for oily skin is its ability to glide onto the skin and deliver intense hydration without clogging pores or feeling thick or greasy. It’s also infused with niacinamide to help refine the appearance of pores and oil balance extract to help rebalance an oily complexion. Magic Cream is Magic Skin, darlings, and Magic Water Cream is the secret to giving oily skin its ultimate, hydrated, fresh water glow.

    Shop Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream

    Discover the differences between gel vs cream moisturiser

  2. A thick and luscious dark champagne-coloured face cream in an open glass jar with a black and gold coloured lid next to it.

    Night Cream for Oily Skin: Magic Night Cream

    Every skin type needs a restorative night’s sleep, and Magic Night Cream is like beauty sleep, bottled! In the daytime, oily skin is exposed to daily stressors including pollutants, the effects of weather, and a busy life schedule – all of which can lead to skin becoming oilier as the day goes on. Because of this, it’s important to take advantage of the night time and apply a rich night cream that helps to lock in smoothing, firming and hydrating skin benefits without being disturbed. With my retinol-infused night cream, you’ll wake up to the best-looking skin of your life that feels bouncy, nourished, and ready for your morning skincare routine.

    Shop Magic Night Cream

  3. A primer in a white-coloured tube with a white-coloured lid with text on it that reads, 'invisible UV Flawless poreless primer SPF 50 PA++++'.

    Primer for Oily Skin: Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer SPF50

    For oily skin, primer is key to getting a smooth makeup application. Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer with broad spectrum SPF 50 is my primer-meets-sunscreen hybrid that works to prime, protect and hydrate the skin. This multi-purpose face primer is perfect for giving oily complexions a flawless, poreless look while providing pollution defence. Applying this primer every day is the secret to healthy-looking, hydrated skin with crucial sun protection. It also creates a barrier between skin and makeup to help minimise makeup entering pores.

    Shop Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer

  4. A glowy toner in a large, white-coloured bottle with a silver-coloured lid.

    Pore-Refining Toner: Glow Toner

    Glow Toner is a gentle, acid-free toner with pore-refining properties that are perfect for oily skin types that are prone to experiencing enlarged pores. Formulated as a daily radiant glow solution, this toner exfoliates the skin with acid-free alternatives including EXFOLACTIVE™ and Super Peptide Royalepigen P5 to leave skin looking and feeling baby-soft with a gorgeous glow. The niacinamide-infused formula is suitable for all skin types and helps skin to lock in moisture, but it’s the presence of PORETIGHT – a plant-derived pore minimiser - that makes it particularly beloved by those with oily skin.

    Shop Glow Toner

  5. An open clay mask in white and rose gold tube with a rose-gold metallic lid.

    Face Mask for Oily Skin: Goddess Skin Clay Mask

    Clay masks are ideal masking options for oily skin as they absorb oil and can help prevent breakouts. My Goddess Skin Clay Mask is a glow-giving clay mask formula that uses Spanish Clay and Sweet Almond Oil to mattify the look of the skin while helping the complexion to appear smoother and brighter. The refining and correcting clay formula helps oily skin to look glowy and revived while helping to manage excess oil – it’s a Mediterranean-inspired beauty recipe from me to you!

    Shop Goddess Skin Clay Mask

  6. A luminous, ivory-coloured facial serum in a glass bottle with a white and gold-coloured dropper lid,

    Pore-Minimising Serum for Oily Skin: Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir

    Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir is a water-based formula which is ideal for oily skin types that want to minimise the use of oil in their routine. The beauty of Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir is its ability to flood every skin type with multiple skincare benefits. Oily skin types can benefit from this research-powered serum’s deeply hydrating, polyglutamic acid-infused formula, as well as the youth-boosting qualities of REPLEXIUM™, the brightening effects of vitamin C, and the pore-refining properties of niacinamide. Apply a few drops of this supercharged serum day and night to help pores appear tighter and more refined! 

    Shop Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir

  7. A closed, exfoliating, wash-off, chemical mask in a white-coloured tube with gold-coloured text on it.

    Exfoliant for Oily Skin: Super Radiance Resurfacing Facial

    Exfoliating is a key skincare step for refining the appearance of pores, but some exfoliants can be abrasive on the skin. I created Super Radiance Resurfacing Facial as a dual-action formula that uses non-abrasive and bead-free AHAs, BHAs and PHAs to effectively exfoliate the skin while also cocooning it in hydration and radiance. The formula is perfect for helping to unclog pores and leaves skin looking resurfaced and more radiant. When purchasing Super Radiance Resurfacing Facial, you’ll also receive a FREE 8ml bottle of Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir in the box – it’s the perfect moisture-boost to give your skin after exfoliating!

    Shop Super Radiance Resurfacing Facial

  8. Makeup remover in a clear bottle with text on it that reads, 'Take it all off' with a white-coloured lid.

    Makeup Remover: Take It All Off

    Take It All Off is a biphase makeup remover that removes even long-wearing makeup from the face, lips and eyes. Following Charlotte's SHAKE, SOAK and SWIPE method, shake the bottle then apply to a clean cotton pad, then swipe onto the skin to watch makeup melt away. The gentle, conditioning formula comfortably removes makeup which can easily build up in larger pores which commonly occur with oily skin.

    Shop Take It All Off

Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

Darlings, I’ve curated my skincare routine for oily skin so that everyone, everywhere that’s experiencing oily skin can care for their complexion with a tailored and targeted set of supercharged skincare products. Follow these six simple steps to help manage your oily skin!

  1. Edna with Take It All Off makeup remover

    1. Remove makeup and cleanse the skin

    When the skin produces an excess of oil, pores can become clogged and skin can be more prone to breaking out. The key to avoiding these skin concerns is giving the face a thorough cleanse that removes oils and impurities, deeply cleans your pores and leaves your complexion freshly cleansed. If you have been wearing makeup, I recommend using my Take It All Off makeup remover to remove any leftover makeup from the face which may otherwise sit in your pores, then using a gentle, oil-free face cleanser for oily skin.

    Tilbury Tip: Use my SHAKE, SOAK and SWIPE method, taking a soft cotton pad and gently swiping your skin to melt away makeup.

    Discover how to remove makeup

  2. Goddess Skin Clay Mask with sensorial texture swatch backdrop

    2. Apply a hydrating clay mask

    When time permits you to luxuriate with a magical face mask, apply your clay mask to mattify, smooth and brighten the look of your complexion. The mattifying, pore-refining properties of a clay mask like Goddess Skin Clay Mask are perfect for absorbing excess oils and helping pores appear reduced. To apply Goddess Skin Clay Mask, apply a thin layer of the moisturising clay formula onto the face, then leave it on for 10 minutes to let it nourish the complexion. To remove, use a clean, soft cloth and lukewarm water to rinse your face to reveal baby-soft, glowing skin.

    Discover how to apply face masks

  3. Viola applying Glow Toner with a soft cotton pad

    3. Refine the appearance of pores with toner

    Onto cleansed skin, apply a toner that refines the appearance of pores and provides gentle exfoliation. Using your fingertips or a soft cotton pad, lightly press toner into the skin to help your complexion appear more radiant while providing a pore-minimising effect. Glow Toner is a high-performance toner that’s infused with pore-refining niacinamide and PORETIGHT, making it a perfect choice for oily-skinned people that experience enlarged pores.

    Tilbury Tip: Every 3 or so days, switch out your toner for an exfoliator for a deeper, resurfacing effect. I recommend alternating Glow Toner and Super Radiance Resurfacing Facial to tone, balance and renew the look of your complexion.

    Learn why Glow Toner is suitable for your skin type

  4. Model holding Charlotte's Magic Serum Crystal Elixir

    4. Reach for a lightweight, water-based face serum

    When choosing a face serum, it’s important to select a formula that suits your oily skin type. A lightweight, water-based option like Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir is a perfect face serum for oily skin; using a water-based serum avoids adding more oil to your complexion, and choosing a silky, lightweight serum helps to minimise the risk of clogging pores and product build-up. Apply a few drops of supercharged serum into your hands, then lightly massage the hydrating formula into the complexion for an immediate moisture boost.

    Tilbury Tip: Avoid touching your face with the serum dropper as this can result in contamination that leads to breakouts.

    Discover how to apply face serum

  5. Aliana applying Charlotte's Magic Water Cream gel moisturiser to the cheek

    5. Massage gel moisturiser into the skin

    I recommend using a gel moisturiser when moisturising oily skin rather than reaching for a cream formula. Gels are more lightweight than creams and are generally water-based which is a key factor to consider when choosing skincare for oily skin. A gel moisturiser like Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream will glide onto the skin and absorb quickly to deliver deep hydration while being less likely to clog pores or feel greasy or oily on the skin.

    Tilbury Tip: You can use Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream to flood the skin with hydration in the morning and at night, darlings. For even deeper moisturisation, you can switch out your gel moisturiser for Magic Night Cream to give the skin decadent, overnight nourishment.

    Discover how to apply your moisturiser with my signature Tilbury Tap technique

  6. Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer SPF50 with shield graphic

    6. Prime and protect the skin with sunscreen

    The final step in every skincare routine is applying sun protection. I recommend that everyone applies a high-factor sunscreen no matter their skin type or skin tone to protect from sun damage and harmful UV rays. Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer is my SPF primer with SPF 50 protection; massage the triple-action formula into moisturised skin to prime, protect and hydrate your complexion. After applying your SPF primer, skin looks blurred, flawless and poreless!

    Learn more about SPF

Skincare for Oily Skin: More Frequently Asked Questions

Bella Tilbury Oily Skin model shot

Should you wash your face more when it’s oily?

No – while you may feel that you want to wash your face more regularly when experiencing oiliness, the key to cleansing oily skin isn’t to wash your face more, but to use an effective, high-performance cleanser that helps to successfully balance your oils. Choosing the best cleanser for oily skin allows you to target oiliness within your skincare routine – when you use a cleanser that specifically addresses oiliness, there shouldn’t be the need to wash your face more than the recommended twice a day.

Discover how to wash your face

Should I Moisturise If I Have Really Oily Skin?

Yes – it’s important to moisturise your oily skin to keep it feeling healthy and hydrated. Some people assume that applying moisturiser on oily skin will make the complexion feel greasy and oily, but this isn’t the case. Every skin type can experience dehydration - even oily skin - and moisturising the face is an essential step in every skincare routine. For oily skin, reach for a lightweight gel moisturiser like Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream and you will notice that skin feels smooth and hydrated without any of the heaviness or oiliness that you may associate with moisturiser.

Are you dehydrated darling? Discover the signs of dehydrated skin

How Can I Stop My Face Being Oily During the Day?

The solution to stopping your face becoming oily starts in the morning with your skincare routine for oily skin. By consistently using skincare products for oily skin that help to train your skin to manage its natural oils, oily skin becomes easier to manage.

If you continue to experience oiliness throughout the day, reach for blotting papers that are designed to remove oil and unwanted shine, or apply a translucent setting powder that helps to mattify the look of your complexion.

How can oily skin types manage enlarged pores?

The best way to manage oily skin with enlarged pores is to reach for pore-refining skincare products that help to reduce their appearance. Skincare products that are infused with ingredients like niacinamide are perfect choices for oily skin types with enlarged pores as the superpowered ingredient helps minimise and tighten the look of pores to help the complexion appear clearer. I recommend Glow Toner, Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir and Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream as the perfect pore-refining trilogy!

Discover how to cover pores with makeup

Does wearing makeup make oily skin worse?

No – makeup won’t make your skin oilier or irritated as long as you follow a dedicated skin prep and makeup removal routine and use high-quality, breathable products that work for your skin type. Makeup that’s rich in oils can be prone to clogging pores which can be problematic for all skin types but especially for oily skin. When you follow a skincare routine for oily skin; apply a face primer to create a barrier between your skin and makeup; and thoroughly remove your makeup with a high-performance makeup remover, you can create beautiful makeup looks on oily skin while protecting your complexion.

EXFOLACTIVE™ is a trademark of Silab.

REPLEXIUM™️ is a trademark of BASF Beauty CareSolutions France SAS

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Author Details

Charlotte Tilbury

Founder, President, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty

With over 30 years experience, Charlotte Tilbury MBE is the world's number 1 makeup artist and British beauty entrepreneur. Charlotte established Charlotte Tilbury Beauty in 2013, which is now a record-breaking beauty brand that has won over 400 awards.

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