skincare ingredients for oily skin

Famous Dermatologists Share their 7 Best Skincare Ingredients for Oily Skin

Categories : Skincare

Get oily skin under control, once and for all! We ask dermatologists for the best skincare ingredients for oily skin. “You don’t need to spend a lot of money to build an effective skin routine. As long as you know the active ingredients you need, you can find budget-friendly alternatives,” says Dr. Debra Jaliman, author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist.

Salicylic acid or glycolic acid

Instead of washing your face five times a day (which can really dry out your skin and make your skin produce more oil) pick a powerful cleanser that can dissolve oil and purge dead skin cells and dirt from your pores. Dr. Christie Kidd, the dermatologist who helped Kylie Jenner get her acne under control, recommends salicylic acid and glycolic acid. These gently clean out pores and exfoliate, for less breakouts and lighter acne marks!

If you’re using a cleanser with acids, don’t use a facial brush. You’ll be over exfoliating and drying out your skin. Dr. Kidd suggests using a soft facial towel instead. (Find out what other skincare habits can be ruining your skin)

Willowbark extract

Into natural skincare? DermTV founder and celebrity dermatologist Dr. Neal Schulz says willow bark extract contains salicylic acid and can calm red, irritated skin. (Get more natural skincare tips!)


“Oily skin still needs hydration, especially after using aggressive anti-acne products or treatments,” says Dr. David Loscher, dermatologist and founder of customized skincare brand Curology.

Niacinamide locks in moisture and provides other benefits that oily skin needs. It’can reduce the redness and inflammation and make pores look smaller. Your skin looks and feels more even!

Bentonite and kaolin clay

“Kaolin absorbs oil and mattifies the skin,” says Dr. Dennis Gross. (Yes, the Dennis Gross who created the eponymous skincare line. You can find kaolin clay (and other natural clays like bentonite) in many masks.

Apply clay masks once or twice a week. Since clay masks will dry out your skin and can throw your skin PH off-balance, always apply a hydrating toner or serum right after.


Dr. Jeremy Brauer,  the Director of Clinical Research at New York’s Laser & Skin Surgery center, says that retinoid clears your pores and helps boost cell renewal. They’re one of the best skincare ingredients if you’ve got acne scars or cystic acne.

Just stop taking retinoids if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, since there’s research that it can increase risk for birth defects. (Find out what other skincare ingredients to stop during pregnancy)

Hyaluronic Acid

The last thing you want is a heavy cream! Look for oil-free moisturizers with hyaluronic acid. One of the best skincare ingredients for oily skin, it can trap 1,000xmoisture than its body weight. So even the smallest, lightest amount will make your skin soft, supple and smooth.


Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research at the Mount Sinai Medical Center Department of Dermatology, says to avoid any products that use petrolatum or mineral oils, which clog pores. Even facial oils that use plant extracts can be problematic. “While they’re not bad (and can even be beneficial), they’re not the best skincare ingredient for oily skin.

He suggests dimethicone, which mimics oil’s benefits of deep moisturization but doesn’t clog the pores. It also fills in pores and fine lines, which is why it’s a top ingredient in primers.