Create an Oily Skin Routine in 3 Steps

Atolla is here to help you identify the signs you may be dealing with oily skin, and teach you how to create an oily skin routine in just three simple steps!

Dylan Mustapich

Esthetician at Atolla

Dylan Mustapich

Dylan Mustapich is a NYC-based lead esthetician who has been featured in New Beauty, Teen Vogue, Wired, and The Huffington Post. With a lifelong love of all things skin, he is incredibly knowledgeable about skincare ingredients, routine refinement, and personalized skincare, and follows emerging technology closely.



Atolla is here to help you identify the signs you may be dealing with oily skin, and teach you how to create an oily skin routine in just three simple steps!

Even though we here at Atolla don’t believe that there are only four skin types in the world, we know that oily skin is still a real problem that people deal with everyday. We can’t help what type of skin we’re born with, but what we can help is how we support it. 

Creating an oily skin routine that works with your skin instead of fighting against it is key to bringing out your best skin yet. Here’s what to know. 

What Are the Signs of Oily Skin?

The difficult thing with skin can be trying to figure out how to deal with your skin on your own. There is so much information out there, and not all of it is correct. Being able to separate fact from fiction is essential to being able to bring the best out of your skin. 

So, with that in mind, here are a few things that can clue you in to the fact that you may be dealing with oily skin.

Your Skin Is Shiny By Lunchtime

If your skin gets shinier and shinier throughout the day, no matter what type of skin care products you’re using to combat the oil, it’s a sign you may be dealing with oily skin. While our skin needs natural oil known as “sebum” to keep its moisture barrier healthy and intact, oily skin doesn’t have that natural “off” switch to go with it.  

Your Pores Appear Larger in Your T-Zone

Healthy pores are only slightly visible. When you have skin that is on the oilier side of the spectrum, they are stuck pumping sebum out all day long. That can also lead to clogged pores, especially in the T-Zone. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, the T-Zone is the area in the middle of your face that forms a “T” — i.e. your nose, your chin, and your forehead.

You May Struggle With Breakouts

While it isn’t a requirement to have naturally oilier skin in order to struggle with breakouts, it definitely doesn’t help. Unfortunately, that overproduction of sebum definitely doesn’t help. With an increased risk of clogged pores also comes an increased risk of breaking out, as the sebum can mix with dirt, debris, and bacteria inside the pores. Blackheads, whiteheads, and other non-cystic forms can definitely cite clogged pores and excessive sebum production among their triggers.

You Can’t Remember The Last Time Your Skin Felt Dry

After you wash your face, does it feel dry? People with oily skin don’t have the same experience that others do where their skin feels tight and dry. That natural oil production keeps it feeling more “greasy” or “congested,” instead of dry. 

How To Create an Oily Skin Routine in Three Simple Steps

First and foremost, before just assuming that you have oily skin, do an assessment; you may be surprised at the results! 

After that, it’s time to make sure that your skin care routine is working to help support your skin and help manage the sebum production. That’s where Atolla comes in.

#1) Cleanse, Clease, Cleanse

Cleansing your skin is incredibly important for all skin, and especially important for people with oilier skin. Before you cleanse your skin, take the time to remove any makeup that you may have been wearing that day. It helps your cleanser to be able to work directly on the skin, instead of having to work through layers of makeup and all the other dirt and grime that can end up on your face through the course of the day. 

Work with your esthetician to find a cleanser that works with your skin, and always follow through with your reassessment and skin testing to ensure it keeps working as well as possible even as your skin changes. 

It’s recommended that people with oily skin wash their face at least twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, and also after exercising or sweating. However, try to avoid scrubbing at your skin when you cleanse it. When you scrub your skin, it can actually trigger even more oil production. Be gentle!

#2) Use A Supportive Serum

Once your skin has been thoroughly cleansed and dried (remember to pat dry versus rub), the next step in any oily skin routine is to use a supportive serum. Serums are an amazing tool for those looking to increase the health and appearance of their skin; serums fill that middle space between cleansing your skin to remove all of the oil and debris and moisturizing it to keep it hydrated. 

Serums are incredibly customizable, and there really are options for nearly every skin care goal you may have. Ingredients like salicylic acid have proven their worth when it comes to helping with oily skin, but your esthetician will help decide which ingredient combination is best for you.

#3) Don’t Forget About Moisturizer

It’s a common misconception that people with naturally oily skin don’t need to use moisturizer. After all, the skin seems excessively hydrated, so why would you need to? 

Unfortunately all that sebum isn’t actually working to hydrate the skin. In fact, not using moisturizer can create a kind of vicious cycle in the skin. Dehydrated skin tends to produce more sebum as an attempt to protect itself, so if you don’t moisturize regularly with the right products for your skin, it can end up triggering even more oil. 

Custom moisturizers, like the kind we offer at Atolla, will help you without all the trial and error guesswork that leads to excessive waste, both of money and of products that end up in the landfill. 

Moisturizer should always be the last product in your skin care routine (with the exception of sunscreen with your morning routine). It not only hydrates, but also acts as a kind of seal to hold in your other products more efficiently. 

Other Tips For Managing Oily Skin (and Other Skin Attributes)

While we’re discussing creating an oily skin routine, there are a few tips that can be adapted for anyone. 

One of the most important things that you can do for any type of skin is to make sure to focus on using moisturizer every single day. There are different recommendations out there, depending on where you look, but overall there are a few things that most professionals recommend you look for. 

The first is SPF, which should be at least 30 (50 is even better). You’ll also want to verify that the sunscreen you’ve chosen is considered to be “broad spectrum,” which means that it can protect your skin from UVA and UVB radiation. Water resistant is best as well, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Always try to reapply sunscreen every two hours (at least) to continue that sun protection as long as you’re spending time in the sun.

If you notice that your skin starts to get visibly oily during the day, especially if you spend a lot of time in public, you may want to invest in blotting papers. These papers have a consistency similar to tissue paper (the kind you find in gift bags), and you can gently press them against your skin in the oiliest areas when you notice that oil is building up. Using these papers throughout the day, especially as your skin adjusts to a new routine, can really help decrease the shininess.

It’s also always a good idea for you to avoid touching your face as much as possible throughout the day — we know, this one can be tough to get used to for some people. For a lot of us, it’s something that we tend to do absentmindedly. Boredom, stress, just being fidgety — all of these things can cause us to unconsciously touch our face. Unfortunately, this actually spreads bacteria around your face. For people who are prone to breakouts, the combination of sebum and bacteria can increase the risk of developing blemishes. 

And finally, if you choose to wear makeup, check the ingredient list. Look for makeup that won’t clog your pores or add even more oil. Water-based makeups are best, but check with your esthetician if you have questions about ingredients or want to explore what might be the most supportive for your skin. 

Don’t forget to always take makeup off before bed, too. Sleeping in your makeup can clog the pores even further, and create dull, unhealthy skin. It’s worth the few minutes before bed, trust us.

In Conclusion

Creating an oily skin routine can really help you learn to love and embrace the skin you were born with. Although we don’t buy into the hype of there being only just a few specific “skin types,” oily skin is definitely something a lot of people deal with. 

With the right advice, and the support of professionals to help guide you toward the right products and ingredients, you can put your skin woes in the past and move forward into a more confident future with Atolla


The Importance of Moisturizing | UTMC

Salicylic acid | HOC6H4COOH | PubChem

Best sunscreen: Understand sunscreen options | Mayo Clinic

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