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The best skincare routine for oily skin.

Last Updated: June 25, 2021

"Shiny happy people" isn't always the case when your skin is oily. That's why we're here to help you create an easy, effective skincare routine for oily skin.

Those of us with oily skin can commiserate, from the middle of the afternoon makeup meltdown to the new outcropping of acne from the mere mention of the word "period" (even in reference to punctuation!).

Oily skin has its challenges, but we at Grove have access to experts in health, beauty, and natural skincare, and we're here to share our findings. If you're looking for an easy, effective skincare regimen for oily skin, welcome! Let's drill down to find what works.

What exactly is a skincare routine?

Orange illustration of face with product

A skincare routine is a set of steps you take to care for your skin, especially the skin on your face. Dermatologists recommend three basic steps to keep in mind when developing your own ideal skincare routine:

  1. Cleanse
  2. Treat
  3. Moisturize

For each of those steps there is an endless array of products to choose from. Scroll down for the steps (plus some product recommendations), but the main thing to remember about a skincare routine (and dermatologists agree) is consistency.

Green calendar illustration with every day checked off

Just like eating salads for one day doesn’t automatically grant you all the benefits of a long-term healthy diet, healthy skin doesn't happen overnight. However, if you develop a consistent routine that works for oily skin, chances are that your skin will improve and you'll feel better because healthy equals hot.

A daily routine yields the following:

Turnover of cells

Many skincare products work to renew the cells on your face, but it requires time to get rid of dead skin cells and reveal the fresh, bright skin underneath.

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Acclimating to new products

Your skin needs time to adjust to any new product. While your skin might show reactions, such as slight irritation or redness, this should disappear within a week or two. (Of course, if you happen to have a strong allergic reaction, stop using the product immediately.)

Skin hydration illustration

Penetrating the skin's layers

As you continue to use these products, your skin will become more and more glowy and radiant. Because your skin absorbs the product's ingredients, it’s important to look for products with natural ingredients — no chemicals — that you can use with full confidence.

Getting started with a skincare routine for oily skin

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How to determine if you have oily skin

So, do you actually have oily skin? Here are three characteristics:

  • Does your skin get shiny and feel greasy as the day progresses?
  • Does your makeup seem to fade or slide off throughout the day?
  • Do you have larger pores and/or blemishes, pimples, or blackheads?

If so, you probably fall on the side of oily skin.

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Daytime vs. nighttime skincare routines

You don't need a countertop full of products for a great skincare routine, but do note that some items are created specifically to work on your skin as you sleep as opposed to others that help you put your best face forward at the start of your day.

Protect and prevent

Experts recommend basic product steps for daytime when your skin is exposed to sun and pollutants:

  • Cleanser
  • Toner
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen

Treat and repair

These product steps are recommended for nighttime when your skin can soak in the benefits and not be irritated by the sun:

  • Makeup remover
  • Cleanser
  • Toner
  • Treatments/serums
  • Moisturizers & masks

Basic skincare routine: A step-by-step guide for oily skin

Good morning, sunshine! Here's your morning routine:

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Cleansing gel or foam

The idea here is to cut the oil without drying out or stripping your skin. Dermatologists recommend gentle cleanser gels or foams without harsh ingredients. We at Grove have personally tried the cleansers from SuperBloom and are big fans.

Learn more about natural face cleansers here.


This is a very important step for oily skin because today's natural toners include ingredients that can tone, exfoliate, balance, and nourish oily skin. Try the Nourish Organic Refreshing Face Toner, which features witch hazel, rose water, and aloe.

Grove Tip: You can apply any blemish or spot treatments after your toner is dry and skip the face oil if you have oily skin.

Skin hydration illustration

Light moisturizer

Your instinct might be to avoid moisturizer if you have oily skin, but you should not skip this step! Oily skin still needs to be hydrated. Be sure to choose a lighter product without heavy oils, such as the Indie Lee Active Oil Free Moisturizer.

Read more about natural moisturizers here.


The days of applying sunscreen only when you're outside in the summer are long gone. Dermatologists recommend making sunscreen part of your morning skincare routine to avoid UVA and UVB rays that damage skin in different ways, and we couldn't agree more.

Look for a sunscreen with SPF 30. The reef-friendly Bare Republic Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion contains zinc oxide, is nongreasy, and is good for both your skin and the environment.

Find more on natural sunscreen here.

Your bedtime skincare routine should go a little something like this:

Makeup remover

This is crucial to remove those daytime beauty products, no matter what time you get home. We love the light, yet effective, Erase Your Face makeup remover that removes gunk without clogging your pores.

Gel cleanser

Dance however you want, but when it comes to your face, don't be a stripper. Choose a gentle cleanser so that your skin doesn't overcompensate and make itself even oilier. Customers at Grove swear by the Tree to Tub Balancing Face Wash for Oily Skin, thanks to its soothing, balancing effect.


Like your cleanser, your toner should be the same one you use in the morning, providing a fresh dose that tightens pores, balances the moisture, and nourishes dark spots, and leaves your skin feeling fresh.

Serums and treatments

Here's where you can really zero in on your specific issues, whether they be acne, aging, amplified pores, eye creams, or more.

One widely loved serum perfect for oily or combo skin is the Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum. It addresses fine lines and hydrates both oily and dry skin like magic. Or look for a serum with retinol or hyaluronic acid to hydrate, which are great ingredients to use at night.


You can use the same lightweight moisturizer from your morning routine, but many people prefer a slightly more emollient product for nighttime.

If you find the right one, you needn't worry about breakouts. Customers really like the lightweight SuperBloom's Illuminating Gel Moisturizer, as well as the Beauty by Earth Oil Control Moisturizer.

One more step: A weekly mask

Illustration of person wearing face mask

Treat your skin and your senses to a special dose of self-care once or twice a week. Masks, especially clay-based ones, are wonderful for oily skin.

They naturally tighten pores and revitalize dull skin, leaving it baby-butt-soft and smooth. We recently tried the Terra Beauty Bars Matcha Sea Dry Facial Clay Mask and la-la-loved it.

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