1: Wash Your Face
In most cases, oily skin can be treated at home. However, you’ll want to call a doctor if you develop acne that doesn’t respond to home remedies or notice any sudden and/or unusual change in your skin (if it goes from dry to oily seemingly overnight but it isn’t time for your period, for example). Otherwise, first try keeping skin squeaky clean.
As anyone with oily skin knows, the oilier the skin, the dirtier the skin looks and feels. To help combat this feeling, it’s important to keep the skin clean by washing it at least twice a day. Some doctors recommend detergent-type soap. You might even try adding a drop or two of dishwashing detergent to your regular soap; the extra kick will act as a solvent for the oil. However, other dermatologists say detergent soaps are just too harsh even for oily facial skin, recommending instead twice-daily cleansing with a glycerin soap. If you try a detergent soap and find it too irritating for your skin, try the glycerin variety, generally available over the counter in the skin-care aisle of most drugstores.
2: Absorb Extra Oil
Try aloe vera. Apply aloe vera gel (available in many drugstores as well as health-food stores) to your face to absorb oil and clear out pores. Dab the gel onto your face two to three times a day (especially after washing), then let it dry. The gel will feel more refreshing if it’s cool, so keep it in the refrigerator.
Wipe with astringents. Wiping the oily parts of the face with rubbing alcohol or a combination of alcohol and acetone (a mixture found in products such as Seba-Nil Liquid Cleanser) can help degrease your skin just as well as more expensive, perfumey astringents. Many drugstores even sell premoistened, individually wrapped alcohol wipes that you can keep in your purse for quick touchups throughout the day.
Carry tissues. Even if you don’t have an astringent with you, paper facial tissues can help soak up excess oils in a pinch. You can also purchase special oil-absorbing tissues at the cosmetics counter that are very effective in removing excess oil between cleansings.
Chill out with cold water rinses. If you don’t want to apply chemicals to your skin, simply splashing your face with cold water and blotting it dry a couple of times a day can help remove some excess oil.
3: Ban Moisturizers
While advertisements are forever urging women to apply facial moisturizers, oily-skinned folks shouldn’t use them — their skin is already doing a more than adequate job of keeping itself supple and warding off dryness. Applying a sunscreen to the face before going outdoors in daylight is still a very good idea, however; check labels for products that are designed for oily skin or that are noncomedogenic (meaning they’ll be less likely to plug up pores, which is especially important for oily skin that is already more susceptible to acne blemishes).