Diary / Beauty / Oct 11, 2023
6 Makeup Tips if You Have Oily Skin
Written by: Piper Gray
Photography by: Ben Ritter & Jon Paterson
Oily skin isn’t just a complaint for teenagers. While you may outgrow regular breakouts, the feeling and appearance of shiny, slick skin may follow you (and stick around) until adulthood.
If this is still a recurring issue, you’ve probably become an expert at checking your makeup to make sure it hasn’t slid down your face by the end of the day. It’s not all bad though. You’re not worrying about uncomfortable, dry skin, and you likely have a built-in glow that makes you look lit-from-within.
If oily skin is a nuisance, let’s go over how to modify your routines and other easy-to-implement tips so you can enjoy a flawless-looking complexion.
Assess Your Skin
Yes, you probably know if your skin is oily, but ask yourself—is it always oily? Pay attention to when you seem to deal with extra oil or blemishes. Perhaps it’s only in summer or only during certain times of the month?
If oiliness is not a constant complaint for you. The telltale signs are there, sometimes—greasiness, the need to blot—but it’s entirely possible that, yes, your skin might be oily—but it may not be your skin type. But if you frequently suffer from blemishes or your skin is almost always greasy-feeling, then yes, your skin is oily, and you may benefit from seeing a dermatologist.
Should your skin settle down when you’re not battling some of these temporary stressors, keep a few types of complexion-correcting products on hand.
Meaning, go for lighter products, and apply less, when you know you’re going to be fighting oil-producing situations—you’re traveling to a particularly humid area, for example—and save the heavier, and heavier-hitting, moisturizers and makeup for drier climates and times of year. Relying on the wrong formula of concealers and foundations will weigh your skin down and make you feel slippery.
Regardless, always make sure your skin is routinely cleansed, taking care to remove your makeup. It sounds counterintuitive when your skin is oily, but an oil-based cleanser like The Cleansing Stick will adequately and gently remove dirt and accumulation of old makeup.
This is important: Resist the urge to use harsh cleansers or scrub. It can be tempting to over-clean when you have oily skin but that will likely dry out your skin too much….which will lead your skin to overcompensate by creating more oil.
How Often Are You Moisturizing?
No matter your skin type, establishing a consistent moisturizing routine, morning and night, is so important.
If you’ve dealt with oily skin for a while, then you are probably diligent about your cleansing routine, but when your skin is feeling especially oily, we understand that the last thing you want to do is to add more moisture.
Sufficiently nourished skin supports your skin’s natural barriers. And if you’re skimping on moisturizer, it’s possible that your skin may actually be feeling dry, and is instead overproducing oil, creating a slick appearance and perhaps even blemishes. But keeping your skin moisturized helps your skin produce oil consistently and evenly.
However, the one time we do recommend skipping moisturizer is if you are going to use What The Foundation and have oily skin. WTF is ultra-moisturizing on its own.
Consider a water-based option, like our Oil-Free Moisturizer. The presence of niacinamide helps control sebum production, and it won’t make you feel sticky. We have a slightly heavier, but still comfortably lightweight, option, Light Moisture Cream, which we recommend for an overnight mask for oily skin types.
The Amount of Product Is Important
We love buildable products so you can control the level of warmth, light, and dimension, depending on the look you’re going for and how much your skin can handle. One great example of this is our Miracle Balm.
A little goes a long way—so take care to apply to only areas that will benefit from it, and blend, blend, blend before you apply more. And dab, don’t swipe.
Same goes for What The Foundation. While not exactly the same formula or texture, WTF is part balm, and it doesn’t take much to get the job done (evening out your complexion).
Even if you’re not using a Jones Road product, using too much of any product is the easiest way to feel greasy. Take it slow and go light.
Look at the Order of Your Products
It’s possible that your skin may feel oilier than usual because you’re not applying products in the correct order.
While we are all about experimentation and figuring out what works best for you, there is a particular order to applying different textures, finishes, and formulas so they sit nicely and seamlessly atop one another.
Here’s what we recommend:
- -Foundation first, like What The Foundation for baseline coverage
- -Then for additional coverage and correction, The Face Pencil(s)
- -Powders for color (blush like The Best Blush) and warmth (bronzer such as The Bronzer)
- -A powder like Tinted Face Powder to set your coverage and minimize shine
- -This goes last: an emollient highlighter or a luminous product like Miracle Balm
You can forgo WTF and use Gel Bronzer on bare skin for a light blend of correction plus warmth. (Then you wouldn’t need The Bronzer, which is a powder.)
Speaking of powders, they are a dream for those with oily skin. They control shine, set your products, and even help makeup stay on longer.
It comes in an array of colors so it looks like you’re not actually wearing any powder, and you won’t look ashy. The result is a completely natural, soft finish. Find the hue that will match your skin tone right here.
Even if you don’t have oily skin, oily eyelids are a common problem across all skin types, causing smearing and an unfinished look. If that’s the case, reach for Tinted Face Powder in Untinted to suppress greasiness.
Just lightly dust on before you layer on your eye makeup, and opt for eye color in a powder as well. A cream or liquid eyeshadow isn’t ideal for oily skin types.
Quite simply, many with oily skin have an enviable, built-in luminosity. Oil isn’t always something to fight—it can make you look lit-from-within and keep your skin naturally well-nourished.
You may be able to skip radiance-adding products when that’s the case. No need to add highlighter or shimmer.
The Bottom Line
Simple tweaks are all it takes to get a handle on oily skin. It’s about striking a balance between using the right products, not too much of them, and learning the right order. That may sound like a science, but you’ll be able to feel, quite literally, if you’re headed in the right direction.