Having oily skin can feel like a constant battle. The shiny T-zone, the makeup that seems to slide off by midday, and the ever-present risk of breakouts are familiar struggles. But through trial and error, I’ve discovered a regimen and some fantastic products that keep my skin looking matte and my makeup in place all day long. Here, I’ll share my personal experiences and tips, backed by expert advice and scientific research.

My Personal Oily Skin Journey

I’ve had oily skin for as long as I can remember. In high school, I was the girl constantly dabbing her face with tissue to soak up excess oil. By the time I hit my twenties, I had tried every product under the sun, from harsh astringents that dried out my skin to heavy powders that clogged my pores. It wasn’t until I started paying attention to what my skin really needed that I began to see improvements.

Discovering the Right Primer

One of the first game-changers for me was finding a good mattifying primer. I remember the first time I used a primer recommended by a friend who swore by its shine-control properties. The difference was immediate – my foundation went on smoother, and my skin stayed matte longer than ever before.

Daniel Martin, a makeup artist and Dior Brand Ambassador, agrees. “For oily skin, I love using a mattifying primer before foundation. It helps to create a smooth canvas, control shine, and prevent makeup from sliding around.” (Source: Daniel Martin Instagram: @danielmartin)

The Power of Setting Powder

Setting powder has become my best friend. I use it generously on my T-zone and any other areas prone to shine. The right setting powder not only controls oil but also blurs imperfections, giving my skin a flawless finish.

Erin Parsons, a makeup artist, emphasizes the importance of setting powder. “Setting powder is a must-have for oily skin. Apply it generously to your T-zone and any other areas that tend to get shiny throughout the day. You can also use a setting spray to lock in your makeup and give it a longer-lasting finish.” (Source: Erin Parsons Instagram: @erinparsonsmakeup)

Blotting Papers: My On-the-Go Savior

Despite all the best products and techniques, oil can still creep up throughout the day. This is where blotting papers come in handy. They’re compact, easy to use, and incredibly effective at removing excess oil without disturbing my makeup.

Priscilla Ono, the Global Makeup Artist for Fenty Beauty, swears by them. “Don’t be afraid of blotting papers! They’re a lifesaver for oily skin. Keep a pack in your purse for quick touch-ups throughout the day.” (Source: Priscilla Ono Instagram: @priscillaono)

Choosing Long-Wear Makeup

Investing in long-wear makeup formulas has been another essential step in my journey. These products are designed to withstand the oil and stay put for hours.

Sir John, a celebrity makeup artist, recommends long-wear formulas. “Choose long-wear makeup formulas that are specifically designed for oily skin. These products will help to control shine and keep your makeup looking fresh for hours.” (Source: Sir John Instagram: @sirjohn)

Essential Products for Oily Skin

Mattifying Primers

A mattifying primer is the first step to controlling shine. Look for primers that are specifically designed for oily skin, as they usually contain ingredients that absorb oil and provide a smooth base for makeup.

Oil-Free and Mattifying Foundations

Foundations that are oil-free and have a matte finish are ideal for oily skin. Powder foundations can also work well, but if you prefer a liquid foundation, ensure it’s lightweight and specifically formulated for oily skin.

Katie Jane Hughes, a makeup artist, suggests, “Focus on oil-free and mattifying products. Opt for a powder foundation or a lightweight liquid foundation with a matte finish. Use a mattifying setting powder to lock everything in place and control shine throughout the day.” (Source: Katie Jane Hughes Instagram: @katiejanehughes)

Setting Powders

Setting powders are crucial for keeping makeup in place and controlling oil. Translucent powders are great because they set your makeup without adding any extra color or cakiness.

Blotting Papers

Blotting papers are perfect for quick touch-ups during the day. They absorb oil without disturbing your makeup, making them an essential item for your handbag.

Long-Wear Formulas

Long-wear foundations, concealers, and eyeshadows are designed to stay put all day, even on oily skin. Look for products that advertise longevity and oil control.

Insights from Research

The Role of Sebum in Acne Pathogenesis

A study published in Dermatoendocrinology investigates the relationship between sebum production and acne, shedding light on the underlying causes of oily skin and potential treatment approaches. Understanding sebum production can help in selecting the right products to manage oily skin effectively. (Source: Dermatoendocrinology)

Evaluation of Anti-Shine Products

Research published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology assesses the effectiveness of various anti-shine products, such as mattifying primers and powders, in reducing sebum production and improving the appearance of oily skin. This study provides valuable insights into which products can genuinely help manage oily skin. (Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology)

Tips and Tricks for Managing Oily Skin

Gentle Cleansing

One of the most common mistakes people with oily skin make is using harsh cleansers that strip the skin of its natural oils. This can actually cause the skin to produce even more oil to compensate. Instead, use a gentle, foaming cleanser that removes excess oil without being too harsh.

Regular Exfoliation

Exfoliating your skin 2-3 times a week can help to remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores, which are a common issue for those with oily skin. However, be careful not to over-exfoliate, as this can irritate the skin and increase oil production.

Hydration is Key

Even if you have oily skin, it’s important to keep it hydrated. Look for lightweight, oil-free moisturizers that provide hydration without adding extra shine. Hydrated skin is healthy skin, and maintaining a good moisture balance can actually help control oil production.

Sun Protection

Using sunscreen daily is essential, but finding one that doesn’t make your skin greasy can be a challenge. Opt for a mattifying or gel-based sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection without the shine.

Dietary Considerations

While topical treatments are crucial, your diet can also impact your skin’s oil production. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can help manage oily skin. Additionally, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can help keep your skin in balance.

Personal Anecdotes

When I first started working in a corporate environment, I struggled with my oily skin, especially during long meetings and presentations. My makeup would start to slide off my face by lunchtime, and I constantly worried about looking shiny and unprofessional.

After experimenting with different products and routines, I found a combination that worked for me. Using a mattifying primer and setting powder kept my makeup in place, and carrying blotting papers for touch-ups throughout the day was a game-changer. I also made sure to stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet, which helped improve my skin from the inside out.

Another personal breakthrough came when I discovered the importance of regular exfoliation. I noticed that my skin looked less shiny and my makeup stayed on longer when I exfoliated regularly. This simple addition to my skincare routine made a significant difference.


Managing oily skin and keeping your makeup in place can be challenging, but with the right products and techniques, it’s entirely possible to achieve a matte, flawless look. From using a mattifying primer and setting powder to incorporating gentle cleansing and hydration into your routine, there are many ways to keep shine at bay and maintain your makeup throughout the day.

Remember, everyone’s skin is different, so it may take some trial and error to find what works best for you. By understanding your skin’s needs and using products designed for oily skin, you can confidently face the day without worrying about excess shine.


  • Daniel Martin (Instagram: @danielmartin)
  • Erin Parsons (Instagram: @erinparsonsmakeup)
  • Priscilla Ono (Instagram: @priscillaono)
  • Sir John (Instagram: @sirjohn)
  • Katie Jane Hughes (Instagram: @katiejanehughes)
  • “The Role of Sebum in Acne Pathogenesis,” Dermatoendocrinology
  • “Evaluation of the Efficacy of Anti-Shine Products in Subjects with Oily Skin,” Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology

By following these tips and using the right products, you can keep your oily skin under control and ensure your makeup looks fresh all day long.

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Hello there! I'm Rebecca Silver, a beauty aficionado with a diploma from the International Beauty Institute. I've devoted my time to crafting articles that break down the world of beauty into easy, actionable tips. Whether it’s about nurturing your hair, caring for your skin, mastering makeup, or pampering your nails, I make sure each piece of advice is simple to follow and effective. My mission? To guide you through enhancing your natural beauty with routines that are tailored just for you. Beauty is a journey, and I'm here to navigate it with you—one fun, confident step at a time. Let's embrace and celebrate the beauty in all of us.Linkedin

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