Oily skin is a rather common problem[1] that many people face. It’s something that often affects teenagers, especially as they enter puberty, but it can also be something older adults struggle with. If you have oily skin, then you may be concerned about its appearance as well as the fact that it sometimes leads to breakouts. Choosing the right cleanser for oily skin is the first step that you should take, as this can help to get rid of oiliness and make your skin look great. We take a closer look at tips to help you pick a cleanser that’s perfect for you.

Understanding Oily Skin

Your skin naturally produces a substance known as sebum. It is your sebaceous glands that make this substance, and sebum has an oily texture, almost like a type of wax. Sometimes, these glands make too much sebum, which results in your skin having an oily appearance.

Sebum does have an important role to play in skin health. It serves as a lubricant for your skin and also helps to provide protection. Sebum also ensures your skin does not get too much moisture.

When there is too much sebum on your skin, however, it can become problematic. Apart from that oily appearance, it’s also something that can significantly increase your risk of acne breakouts.

Choosing the Right Cleanser for Oily Skin

When you want to learn how to clean an oily face, it’s important to start with a good cleanser. The ingredient list and the type of cleanser are two of the most important considerations that you should not overlook. One of the key factors here is to ensure you opt for a cleanser that is not going to be harsh on your skin. Some cleaners can also remove too much oil from your face, which can aggravate the problem you are already facing.

Skin cleansers like Rejuvoderm use safe ingredients that are suitable for oily skin and won’t cause problems with sensitivity.

Some ingredients that have shown potential when it comes to controlling oily skin include:

  • Salicylic acid: An excellent ingredient for unclogging your pores[2], which can help with acne breakouts. Salicylic acid is also good for reducing the oil on your skin.

  • Tea tree oil: A natural extract, tea tree oil is also well-known for its ability to reduce oiliness on the skin[3]. It’s also a popular ingredient for people who struggle with acne, as the oil features antimicrobial properties.

  • Hyaluronic acid: This particular compound is already present in your skin. Using a skincare product that contains hyaluronic acid can help increase skin hydration without making your skin appear oily.

  • Retinol: An ingredient that’s excellent for people with acne-prone skin. Retinol is known to boost cellular turnover. It’s also a good preventative option when you want to avoid acne breakouts if you have oily skin.

  • Clay: A mask or cleanser that contains clay can be a great way to absorb all of the excess oils on your face. Additionally, clay can also be used as a detoxifying element for your skin.

Apart from the ingredients, keep in mind the texture and type of cleanser. You should avoid using an oil-based cleanser, as this could make your troubles worse. Gel- and foam-based cleansers can be a good option when it comes to reducing excess oil on your skin. If your skin is not sensitive and the oiliness is not excessive, then you can consider a normal-to-oily skin cleanser.

The Benefits of Using Cleansers for Oily Skin

If you do not use a cleanser to help control oil on your skin, then you may start to notice adverse effects. As the excess oil continues to collect on your skin, it causes your pores to become clogged. This, in turn, can cause you to experience acne breakouts. Your pores may also appear large and be much more visible if oil is not under control.

The main benefits that you get with an appropriate cleanser for your oily skin include:

  • The ability to remove excessive amounts of sebum and oils from your face, which helps to leave behind a matte texture.

  • Cleansers for oily skin also help to reduce the shine of your skin, which is something that can have an impact on your self-confidence.

  • As excess oil is removed from your face, you’ll also notice improvements in pore size and appearance.

  • The cleanser can also help to treat existing acne as well as serve as a preventative option as it ensures excess oil does not clog your pores.


Tips for Using Cleaners for Oily Skin Effectively

When you decide to integrate a cleaner for your oily skin into your daily routine, it’s important to know how to use it. You should use the cleanser twice daily, but only if it is gentle on your skin. Scrubs and masks should be used sparingly to ensure they do not dry out your skin, which can stimulate the production of excess sebum.

Follow these tips to ensure you use your cleansers for oily skin the right way:

  • Make sure you have access to warm water. The water should not be too hot, but still warm enough to help wash away oils from your skin. Start by washing your hands, as bacteria, germs, and debris on your hands can clog pores on your skin.

  • Once your hands are clean, wet your face with warm water.

  • Now, apply a very small amount of the cleanser to the tips of your fingers. Gently massage the cleanser onto your skin without being harsh. Make sure you cover your forehead, cheeks, and all other parts of your face. Do not use a cleansing tool that scrubs your face, as it may be too harsh.

  • Wash your face with clean water, then pat your skin dry with a towel. Make sure the towel is also clean to avoid getting new debris on your face.

Additional Skincare Tips for Oily Skin

Using a cleanser is a great way to keep oily skin under control, but there are a couple of extra steps you can take to make the process more effective. Let’s take a closer look at some additional skincare tips that you can follow for your oily skin:

  • Hydration is crucial when it comes to skin health. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, with a main focus on water, throughout the day. Research has found[4] that dietary fluid intake is associated with improved hydration levels in the stratum corneum.

  • Apart from using a cleanser for oily skin, make sure you also incorporate other appropriate products into your skincare routine. This includes the use of a toner and a high-quality moisturizer.

  • Apply sunscreen to your face every morning. Even if you’re not going to spend a lot of time outside and the sun is not out, it’s still important to ensure you protect your skin against UV exposure.

  • Your diet also counts when it comes to improving your skin’s overall health. Certain foods contribute to the hydration of your skin and its well-being in general.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a cleanser suitable for oily skin?

A cleanser should contain ingredients that effectively reduce sebum production on your skin without causing dryness. The ingredients are the most important factors to consider when trying to identify the right cleanser for oily skin.

How often should I cleanse my oily skin?

If you are using a gentle cleaner, then you can use it in the morning and at night. Using the cleanser more than this may cause your skin to dry out too much, which can also stimulate excessive sebum production.

Can a cleanser for oily skin help reduce acne breakouts?

Yes, but it is not the only factor that accounts for a reduction in your breakouts. Use the cleanser as part of your overall skincare routine, and avoid touching your face with your hands.

Can I use a cleanser for oily skin if I have sensitive skin?

It depends on the specific cleanser in question. Try to avoid cleansers that have fragrances added to their formula. You should also carefully assess the ingredients to help you understand if they may cause problems with your sensitivity.


The best skin cleanser for oily skin may differ from one person to another, as you also have to take factors like whether you have acne-prone or sensitive skin into consideration. With this said, there are universal options that seem to work great for many people, such as Rejuvoderm. Carefully choose an appropriate cleanser and follow an appropriate skin care program to keep your skin looking great.


1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605215/
2] https://dermcollective.com/salicylic-acid-blackheads/
3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22998411/
4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29392767/

Melissa Feldman

Melissa Feldman

Melissa Feldman lives in Toronto, Canada and works as an independent research writer. She has undergraduate degrees in both Teaching and Psychology, and a Master’s degree in Immigration. Melissa is skilled at writing compelling articles and producing academic, marketing, and creative content. She writes about a range of lifestyle topics, including health, fitness, beauty and nutrition. She has more than two decades of experience reviewing and editing publications intended for both public and professional audiences.

Written by Melissa Feldman

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