Oily skin is a tricky one to work with. On one hand, your face turns into an oil slick no more than two hours after cleansing. On the other hand, you’re frequently told that oily skin is actually dry skin that’s overcompensating on the sebum. 

Whatever your concerns, there’s only one thing you need to keep in mind when caring for oily skin – don’t use overly harsh products to rid your skin of sebum. In the same vein, you should pay attention to suitable cleansers for oily skin to ensure that you’re giving it the right attention. 

Cleansing is the first and most important step to any basic skincare routine. Even if you’re not investing yourself in the famed Korean 11-step skincare routine, you should at least have the four basic steps covered: cleansing, toning, moisturising, and sun protection

While you might be tempted to get one that will strip you clean of oil, it’s highly advisable to not do that. Over-cleansing is a serious problem that will leave your skin tight, dry, and itchy. You want to absorb excess sebum, not suck your skin completely dry. 

Several types of cleansers are perfect for oily skin, but one relatively unknown type is clay cleansers. This ingredient is perfect for removing and absorbing excess oil. A light foaming cleanser is also suitable for oily skin. Whenever possible, try getting a product that has added ingredients to help you out with your skin type. 

For example, if your oiliness tends to give you breakouts, pick a cleanser with salicylic acid to prevent more acne from forming. If you find that the oiliness impedes your skin cell turnover rate, pick one that has a low percentage of AHA (glycolic acid) to help with exfoliation. However, ensure that you apply sunscreen after using a cleanser like this because AHA has a tendency to increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. 

Lastly, hydration is still key when it comes to caring for oily skin types. Moisturised skin and hydrated skin are two very different things as we’ve explored before, so you want a cleanser that continues maintaining skin’s hydration with hyaluronic acid. It also goes without saying that you should continue moisturising your skin (with a lightweight moisturiser) and using hydrating serums. Now, go forth and invest in these cleansers for oily skin:

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction. Reach out to Poh Nee via email at pohnee@lifestyleasia.com.