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5 Step Skincare Routine For Oily Skin

Written by: Swisse Wellness
Swisse Wellness

Sebum, or oil, plays an important role in maintaining your skin’s health1. From keeping your complexion smooth to slowing the signs of ageing and protecting skin moisture, having an oily complexion isn’t all bad. However, too much oil can lead to congestion, breakouts and acne. 

Striking that balance can be hard to manage. But with the right skincare routine for acne-prone skin, you can say goodbye to excess oil and breakouts and say hello to a clean, clear complexion. Read on to learn how to get blemish-free skin with the right skincare routine. 

The importance of having a routine for oily skin 

If you have an oily complexion, setting yourself up with the right skincare routine is key to managing your skin. A good acne skincare routine can help you to balance oil, refine the appearance of pores and manage your breakouts2. 

When it comes to oily skin, the last thing you want is to use products that could clog up your pores. Instead, it’s important to use skincare products specially formulated with ingredients that are suitable for oily skin types. Look for oil-free and non-comedogenic products that will help to reduce excess oil production and unclog your pores.  

The best skincare routine for oily skin 

Great skin starts with a good skincare routine. Here’s how to get started with a skincare routine for oily skin.  

Step 1: Cleanse 

When it comes to oily complexions, cleansing is one of the most important steps in an oily skin routine3. Thoroughly cleanse your skin morning, night and after exercise to help control oil and minimise breakouts.  

Foaming cleansers, like the Swisse Beauty Salicylic Acid Daily Balance Cleansing Gel, are a great choice for keeping acne under control. They help to remove impurities, make up and excess sebum whilst being gentle on the skin and non-stripping. 

Step 2: Exfoliate 

Just don’t be tempted to overdo it with your exfoliator. Over-exfoliation can affect your skin’s natural barrier, leaving your skin feeling irritated, so a couple of times a week is enough to do the trick.  

Step 3: Use a serum  

Skin serums tend to contain high levels of powerful ingredients to help you enhance your oily skin routine. From improving skin texture and preventing breakouts to reducing the appearance of fine lines, serums are often formulated to target specific skin concerns. Depending on the ingredients in the serum, you can use them as part of your AM and PM skincare routine after cleansing and before moisturising.  

The Swisse Beauty BHA 2% Clear Skin A.M. Balance Serum is ideal for all skin types, including acne-prone skin. Formulated with a combination of salicylic and mandelic acid, this serum can help to visibly improve skin texture and clarity revealing a smooth and clear complexion. Alternate it with Swisse Beauty Retinol 0.1% Clear Skin P.M. Balance Serum in the evening to improve skin tone and keep your breakouts under control with the inclusion of niacinamide. For first-time retinol users, start by using  Retinol 0.1% Clear Skin P.M. Balance Serum 2-3 times per week, and gradually build it up from there.  

Step 4: Moisturise 

While it can be tempting to skip the moisturiser if you already have oily skin, it’s important to keep your skin hydrated. In some cases, your skin may overproduce oil to compensate for a lack of moisture and hydration. So, moisturising actually helps to balance oil production4 

With that said, it is important to opt for moisturisers specifically formulated for oily skin. Our Swisse Beauty Ceramides B3 Daily Balance Moisturiser is formulated with Niacinamide to improve skin hydration, while keeping breakouts under control.  

Step 5: Use a spot treatment 

Lastly, using a spot treatment can help target blemishes and prevent new breakouts from forming. Our Blemish Remedy Fast-Acting Drying Lotion has been expertly formulated with sulfur to tackle stubborn acne spots, Zinc oxide to minimise redness and salicylic acid to prevent new breakouts. Keep in mind that once applied, you should avoid touching it and allow the product to dry on your skin overnight, so whether you use this after or before moisturising is a personal preference. 

Keep your oily skin care consistent  

When it comes to oily, blemish-prone skin, skincare efficacy often comes down to patience and consistency. Chances are you won’t see results overnight, but with a bit of time and a good oily skin routine, you may start to notice a difference in your complexion. In some cases, you may need to explore other factors, like diet and lifestyle. If you’re still concerned about your skin or your breakouts persist, seek help from a qualified healthcare professional. 

For more beauty tips, head to our Wellness Hub to read up on all things skin and beauty.  


  1. Endly DC, Miller RA. Oily Skin: A review of Treatment Options. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology [Internet]. 2017 Aug 1;10(8):49–55. Available from: 
  2. Del Rosso JQ. The Role of Skin Care as an Integral Component in the Management of Acne Vulgaris: Part 1: The Importance of Cleanser and Moisturizer Ingredients, Design, and Product Selection. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology [Internet]. 2013 Dec 1;6(12):19–27. Available from: 
  3. Mukhopadhyay P. Cleansers and their role in various dermatological disorders. Indian Journal of Dermatology [Internet]. 2011;56(1):2. Available from: 
  4. Lotus. Do I Need To Moisturise If I Have Oily Or Combination Skin? - Cutis Dermatology [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2024 Feb 22]. Available from: 
Swisse Wellness

Swisse Wellness - Swisse Wellness

The copywriting team at Swisse Wellness plan, research and generate blog content with inputs from multiple teams across the business. With access to our industry-leading Science team, Product Development team, Customer Service team as well as informative Brand Managers, we have the contacts to deliver a well-rounded suite of blogs tailored to an array of wellness interests....