Few combinations are as stressful as being stuck in a country with a tropical climate and having a face that is often an unforgiving sebum production factory beneath the surface. Your makeup won’t stick, your zits won’t quit, and you’re constantly relying on blotting paper to stay matte.

Oily skin is not just dependent on genetics, but factors like the weather, your hormones, and what you’re doing day-to-day tends to contribute to just how much oil is secreted. Though applying mattifying primers and setting your makeup thrice over with loose powder eases up some of the oiliness, the right way to manage an oily complexion is to go back to the roots with targeted skincare.

In the name of looking glowy and not greasy, here are five simple aspects to pay attention to when choosing new skincare products, or even when making minor adjustments to your current regimen.

Counter oil with oil

Instead of using water-based cleansers, use a cleansing oil as the first step in your routine. It removes makeup and reaches deep into your skin to cleanse any impurities lodged in your pores. Opt for something gentle, especially if you have acne-prone skin. It is imperative to avoid cleansers with any alcohol, as alcohol strips your skin dry and forces it to produce more sebum to counter the effects. Temporary relief is never the solution.

Products: Fresh Seaberry Skin Nutrition Cleansing Oil and Shu Uemura Ultim8 Cleansing Oil

Keep your skin hydrated

Dehydrated skin causes your oil-producing glands to undergo stress, resulting an oilier complexion. To keep that in check, drink lots of water throughout the day to ensure your body is hydrated, then supplement with hydrating moisturisers both morning and night. Look out for hyaluronic acid in the moisturisers you purchase — it is a deeply hydrating component that prevents blemish-causing bacteria from lodging in your skin.

Products: Edward Bess Deep Hydration Cream and For Beloved One Hydration Cream

Clay masks: your new best friend

Clay masks are intended to rid your skin of impurities, like excess sebum, while imparting beneficial minerals below your skin’s surface, resulting in clean, hydrated skin. If you’ve ever found clay masks to strip your skin of moisture, it’s probably because you’ve been letting it dry before rinsing off the hard cask. Not only is that the wrong way to utilise clay masks, it aggravates your complexion. Instead of letting the mask dry, rinse it off once it starts to feel sticky, and bask in the glowy aftermath.

Product: Glam Glow Mud Mask

Use less liquid foundations

Liquid foundations may promise to be long-lasting and have full coverage, but the last thing you want to do with oily skin is to suffocate your pores and clog them. Keep to mousse foundations, powder compacts (which also helps to absorb surface oil), tinted moisturisers or a light BB/CC cream instead. These are gentler on the complexion and impart a dewy finish, with less propensity to lodge itself in the more porous areas of the skin. More importantly, always remove your makeup before you sleep to let your skin regenerate.

Products: SK-II Auractivator CC Cream and Urban Decay Powder Foundation

Cut your reliance on blotting papers

Blotting papers are a decent stopgap during the day, but that doesn’t mean you should whip one out every time there is a smidgen of shine. It does the good of keeping your oily areas matte while ridding any bacteria clinging to the sebum, but it doesn’t do anything in terms of addressing the core issue of having oily skin. Keep it to one or two papers a day if possible, and avoid those with powder if you have acne-prone or sensitive skin, as the usual additions of rice powder in blotting sheets could cause a flare.

Product: 3CE Blotting Paper

Beatrice Bowers
Features Editor
Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.