For as long as I can remember, I have battled with some sort of breakout, pigmentation or a shiny T-zone, no thanks to a recipe of teenage acne, hormonal blemishes and oily skin. But before I was able to educate myself on the importance of looking after my skin affectively, I would use with products that stripped my skin of its natural oils and applied makeup that would be too thick for my skin and only exacerbated the problem in some cases.
Thankfully, over the years, I have learnt little tips and tricks that have helped to keep my skin balanced without breaking out or constantly blotting when I applied makeup throughout the day. Changing my pillowcase 2–3 times a week and drying my face with a fresh towel daily really helped to keep my skin from coming back into contact with bacteria and dead skin cells. Another great help was booking myself in for monthly facials that gave me a deeper exfoliation and targeted the problem areas.
More importantly, I've learnt how to work oils and hydrating products into my routine to keep my oily skin in check. I've also slowly removed mattifying and drying products that were in fact causing more harm than good. By making these little changes to my routine and working with some hero products I am able to keep my oily skin at bay all day with little to no touch-ups—minus a lipstick for my day-to-night transition.
Any makeup artist and beauty professional will tell you that seamless makeup is a result of great skincare and working with makeup that embraces your skincare is the key to a flawless finish. This is why just putting mattifying makeup over oily skin is a problem: you can often face a battle that includes an excessive oily T-zone, clogged pores and a rough skin texture. As a result, underneath makeup, this can look uneven, patchy and shiny and if not removed efficiently, can break you out even more. However, the power of exfoliation and concentrated oil treatments will work at breaking down the excess sebum production and slough away the dead skin cells, both revealing smoother, brighter and more refined skin underneath.
Below, I've given you my ultimate edit of the best makeup products for oily skin. I've also recommended the kind of skincare products that are not only great for helping oily skin but are essential for giving yourself a great base from which you can apply makeup. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know…
Retinol, a vitamin A derivative, is a hero ingredient that many people are reluctant to use. There's a misconception that it only tackles anti-ageing and pigmentation but aside from these properties, retinol is a great overnight oil treatment that resurfaces the skin and promotes cell turnover. In relation to oily skin, as retinol supports collagen production and firms the skin it will help to keep the pores tighter which will help the pores to emit less oil. Controlling excess oil production is a saviour for oily skin underneath makeup, controlling the excess means makeup will last longer without needing to blot or touch up during the day.
Thorough, effective and a key product in controlling my oily skin. Step one is packed with rejuvenating and powerful exfoliating acids that leave a slight tingle on the skin and step two controls the alpha hydroxy acid and keeps my skin balanced. Leaving a slight tingling sensation on the areas that need the most work, the exfoliating duo leaves my skin smooth and radiant. When it comes to priming my skin and applying my base products, I focus them around hydrating formulas rather than mattifying.
Having oily skin doesn’t necessarily mean hydrated skin, and applying mattifying products to your skin to help keep makeup lasting longer can, in fact, dry your skin out and cause excess oil production to compensate the dryness. Opting for hydrating formulas, therefore, provides my skin with the nourishment it needs as well as gives it a nice healthy glow as a base before my foundation and concealer.
Delivering hydration, brightening and firming, this gel-cream gives skin an energising burst with a refreshing result. With a dime-sized amount, it creates a smooth canvas for my makeup application and leaves my skin hydrated and balanced.
Lightweight and silky smooth, this primer is designed to extend foundation wear. Absorbing expertly into the skin, the primer instantly nourishes and hydrates my skin allowing any of my base products to blend seamlessly.
I've used this foundation for many events, nights out and dinner dates—it's just that good. Delivering a full yet natural-looking coverage whilst being oil-free is a combination that my skin craves. It's also long-wearing so that I don’t need to apply more in the day. The tone correcting technology that combats discolouration, and dullness means that I have very little need to apply thick layers allowing my skin to breathe whilst covering up any blemishes and dark marks.
No look is complete with this powder, which is feather-light and finely milled. It's ideal for setting my under-eyes as well as the rest of the face with a light dusting. Creating a soft-focus effect, the micro-refine silica leaves my makeup looking fresh, shine-free and long-lasting.
All beauty cabinets should have a version of this setting spray, especially for oily skin types. Not only does it provide your skin with an instant boost and radiance, but the Beauty Elixir also sets your makeup in place without it gathering and shifting your look. I use this right after my powder to lock everything in place and once applied my makeup is effortless for the day.