Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

Do you wake up with with your face looking like a grease-pan? Or your makeup just breaks down really fast before the clock even strikes 12.00pm, especially around your T-Zone (forehead, nose & chin)?

Then my friend, your skin type is oily!

As a person with oily skin for the longest time, here are some of my favourite skincare routine for both morning & night!

Morning Routine

1. Toner as cleanser

Eh eh eh, don’t roll your eyes just yet. I used to think skipping cleanser every morning is disgusting until I tried it out for a week, then a month and now for almost a year & I’m hooked! Depending on my night routine (if I don’t use a sleeping mask), I’ll just splash some water on my skin when I bathe & incorporate a lightweight toner with a cotton pad as a “cleanser” after. My skin appears more healthy because I don’t over strip my skin by cleansing twice & it gives me a somewhat natural moisture boost!

For morning toners, I like using the Round Lab Dokdo Toner or the Benton Deep Green Tea Toner (green tea is great with sebum control) with a cotton pad. They’re both very watery, lightweight & soaks in very fast, making it the perfect toner for oily skin. However, if you really do have very, very oily or acne-prone skin, I would recommend using a mild cleanser such as the Make P:rem Relief Me Moisture Cleansing Foam to remove any overnight bacteria build-up.

Disclaimer: Everyone’s skin is different, so some might benefit from skipping morning cleansing whereas some might not.

2. A light layer of serum

Choose an oil-free, lightweight serum for better absorption. Too thick, and your moisturizer/sunscreen might pill which can be very frustrating. Personal picks are the Beauty of Joseon Panthenol Serum (great for sebum control), Nacific Niacin Serum (great for brightening & sebum control thanks to Vitamic B3 aka Niacinamide) or Jumiso Brightening Serum (also great its brightening properties & absorbs well). All of these do not leave any sticky residue whatsoever, making your morning routine fast yet a pleasant one.

3. Gel moisturiser is your next best friend

Picking the right moisturizer can be tricky when you have oily skin. Too thick and it might too suffocating for the skin. Too light and you’ll feel like it isn’t enough for your skin. Try looking for a gel moisturizer that is packed with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin. My personal favourites are the L’essential Triple Cream that is infused with glacier capsules to keep skin moisturized all day long, Thank You Farmer Light Gel Cream for some cooling effect or the no-fuss Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel which is super light & infused with anti-bacterial properties.

4. Choose watery or matte-finishing sunscreen

No matter your skin type, don’t skip sunscreen. There are tons of sunscreens formula out there but the best for oily skin types are watery sunscreens or a cream sunscreen with matte finishing. Innisfree Blueberry Water Sun Cream is by far the lightest consistency I’ve ever tried, which makes it an amazing sunscreen for oily skin. Make P:rem Defense Me Sun Cream on the other hand is creamy but gives a nice, matte finish without drying the skin up, which is one of my favourite sunscreen to date!

If you like using a thicker sunscreen, feel free to skip the moisturiser step as a good, hydrating sunscreen such as the Thank You Farmer Sun Project Essence or Klairs UV Sun Essence will act as your moisturiser & sunscreen all together. 2 in 1, baybeh! Both of these have very similar consistency.

TLDR: The recommended steps for morning routine = toner > lightweight serum > gel moisturiser > watery sunscreen


1. First Cleansing – removing makeup

We get it, you’re looking like a greaseball by the end of the day. On days when I wear thicker makeups (foundation, mascara, eyeliner, etc), I love using a good cleansing balm & cleansing oil to remove my makeup. Personal favourites are the Im From Fig Cleansing Balm, iUnik Calendula Cleansing Oil & Round Lab Dokdo Cleansing Oil. All of these remove makeup effectively, very gentle on the skin & doesn’t leave an oily/film after cleansing. These 3 do not sting the eyes too, yayyyy.

If you do not wear makeup much & use just plain sunscreen, you may opt to use micellar water to just remove a layer of dirt & impurities from the skin before hopping in the cleanser step. Bioderma’s micellar water is a no-fuss, great cleansing water that is great for most skin types. If you feel like splurging, my personal favourite is the L’occitane Cucumber & Thyme 3-in-1 Micellar Cleansing Water. It just smells so fresh, effective in removing makeup & makes me so happy everytime I use it.

2. Second Cleansing – cleanser

Hop into a foam or gel cleanser right after the first step to further remove any leftover makeup from the skin. Some people skip this step, but I prefer to incorporate cleansers because I do wear foundation daily to work, therefore I want to ensure every grime is removed from every inch on my face lol, so it’s entirely up to you! Read more on the different type of cleansers I’ve tried here.

3. Exoliate once a week

Our sebum production is definitely more active than any other skin type so regular exfoliation is key to prevent clogged pores. Once a week is recommended but if you think your skin is a lil’ bumpy at the end of the week, feel free to exfoliate one more time. Twice a week, max, is my recommendation.

For physical exfoliation, you know my favourite is the Axis-Y Mugwort Wash Off Pack which is made in heaven for our skin type. Another gentle yet effective physical exfoliating product I enjoy is the Benton PHA Peeling Gel. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s not aggravating on the skin as PHA is the gentlest exfoliating alternative in the market. If you prefer a chemical exfoliation, the expensive but effective Farmacy Honeymoon Glow Serum that contains 10% AHA, 1% BHA & 3% Flower Acids will be a great choice (recommended to those that are used to incorporating acids in their routine. NOT RECOMMENDED for beginners).

4. Hydrating toner

Even if you have oily skin, hydrating is key to prevent your oil glands from producing more oils. When your skin is dehydrated, it thinks that “heyyy, the skin is dry. Cmon’ oil glands, pump up more oils to keep it moist!” hence… grease ball face lol. Your skin will thank you for keeping it well hydrated with good layers of toner at night. Some recommended hydrating toners that are not too thick, delivers a great amount of hydration and do not leave any sticky feelings are Celimax Noni Moisture Balancing Toner, I’m From Rice Toner or the Klairs & Pyunkang Yul Toner.

5. Serums with actives

Actives such as retinol, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, AHA, BHA are great to incorporate at night so it does its magic when your skin heals during your beauty sleep. If you have exfoliated before reaching the this step, use soothing serums such as Propolis & Niacinamide Serum or the Ginseng & Snail Serum, both from Beauty of Joseon. The Innisfree Black Tea Youth Enhancing Ampoule that is high in anti-oxidant is also another great serum to try out as its 80% fermented black tea will help to restore fatigue skin. Do not incorporate any more serums with exfoliating actives in it (AHA, BHA) or your skin will be inflamed.

6. Moisturiser

Yes, you can use cream moisturiser at night as long as it is not too emollient which might eventually cause some small bumps. Your skin definitely needs a lil more TLC and some moisture protection after all the exfoliation & cleansing. The Jumiso Centella & Snail Cream has such a lovely, creamy texture that is very lightweight on the skin but you can definitely feel it hugging your skin the moisture your skin needs. The Mamonde Ceramide Hibiscus Cream which also shares a similar texture, is packed with ceramide to strengthen skin barrier & retain skin moisture throughout the night.

TLDR: The recommended steps for evening routine = 1st cleansing (optional) > 2nd cleansing > toner > serum with actives > moisturiser


  • eye-cream
  • facial oil (at the end of the routine)
  • sheet masks (before moisturizer, after toner. You may skip serum if needed)

However, do note that our skin type can change over time due to a few factors – weather/environment, aging, hormones & stress. For instance, my skin used to be extremely oily but only until recently, it is slowly changing to oily + combination (dry cheek area). Signs of aging, I guess? *cries

Hope you find the right skincare products for your skin! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions (disclaimer – not a pro, just an avid skincare collector/tester)

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Till the next post! xx


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