The Best Powder for Oily Skin

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

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Your skin is your main line of defence from the elements. Think about what it has to withstand on a daily basis; sun, wind, pollution, and chemicals from products you use. So, how can you keep skin in optimum health so it can do its job?

The health of your skin is the result of the choices you make. Your skin has to deal with a lot, so the least you can do is look after it, so it can look and feel as healthy as possible for a lifetime. Here’s what your skin does for you, and what you can do to look after it:

It protects you from harmful things in the environment: Cleanse skin regularly with a gentle cleanser. Use a sunscreen every day to protect the skin from UV rays, even on cloudy days.

It provides a waterproof barrier: Moisturise skin daily after bathing to keep it hydrated.

Your skin regulates your body temperature: When you’re too hot, sweat glands in the skin release sweat which cools you down by evaporating. When you’re cold, the blood vessels narrow, which reduces blood flow to minimise heat loss. Always drink enough water if you’re sweating a lot to maintain the body’s fluid balance.

It contains sensors that protect you from danger: Nerves in the skin sense pain, temperature, and pressure which can help you to avoid, or get away from, something that will potentially cause you injury. Tap into the more pleasant side of this however, and get a massage which will nourish your skin and revitalise your tissues.

Your skin is very absorbent: Use products that are natural where possible as everything you apply to your skin absorbs into the body.

The Different Skin Types

The Different Skin Types

Your skin type can be dry, oily, sensitive, combination, or normal.
What determines your skin type?

  • How much water is in your skin, which affects how plump and elastic it is
  • How oily it is, which affects its softness and proneness to blemishes
  • How sensitive it is

Normal Skin Type

The Gel

  • This skin type is not too dry and not too oily
  • It has no or very few imperfections
  • It has no particular sensitivity
  • Pores are barely visible
  • The complexion tends to look radiant

Combination Skin Type

  • The skin can be dry or normal in some areas and oily in others, such as the T-zone (nose, forehead, and chin). This type of skin usually needs different products for the different areas of skin.
  • Pores can look larger than normal, because they’re more open
  • Blackheads can be present in the oily T-zone
  • The skin can appear shiny in the oily areas

Dry Skin

Who Is Affected by Skin Infections?

  • Pores are almost invisible       
  • The complexion can appear dull and rough
  • The skin can have red patches
  • The skin is less elastic
  • Lines and wrinkles can appear more visible
  • The skin can crack, or become itchy, irritated, or inflamed.

Dry skin is often caused or made worse by:

  • Hereditary factors
  • Ageing or hormonal changes
  • Weather conditions such as the wind, sun, or if it is cold
  • Central heating
  • Hot baths and showers
  • Harsh ingredients in soaps, cosmetics, or cleansers
  • Some medications

To look after dry skin:

  • Take shorter showers and baths, no more than once each day. Don’t bathe in hot water.
  • Use mild, gentle soaps or cleansers. Avoid fragranced products.
  • Don’t scrub the skin while bathing or drying.
  • Apply a rich moisturiser immediately after bathing.
  • Use a humidifier, and don’t let indoor temperatures get too hot.
  • Wear gloves when using cleaning agents, solvents, or household detergents.

Oily Skin Type

Oily Skin Type

  • Pores are often enlarged
  • The complexion can appear shiny
  • Blackheads, pimples, or other blemishes can develop due to clogged pores
  • Oiliness can change depending upon the time of year or the weather. Things that can cause or worsen oiliness include:
  • Puberty or other hormonal changes or imbalances
  • Stress
  • Heat or humidity

To take care of oily skin:

  • Cleanse it no more than twice a day and after you sweat a lot.
  • Use a gentle cleanser and don’t scrub the skin as this encourages oil production
  • Used skincare and cosmetic products that are classed as non comedogenic, which means they won’t clog pores.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive Skin

  • Tends to have areas of redness
  • Can be itchy    
  • Can feel like it’s burning    
  • Can be very dry
  • If your skin is sensitive, try to find out what triggers sensitivity so you can avoid it. Try to use hypoallergenic products wherever possible.

Oily Skin

Oily Skin

Oily skin can be quite problematic for people of all ages, not just for teenagers. For some people, oily skin can be genetic in origin, and for some people, it can be caused by hormones.

Of course, acne and oily skin can occur in puberty, but it can also occur throughout your life at times of hormonal change, such as during menstruation, pregnancy, and the menopause.

Oily skin can even be caused by stress, the weather, or overzealous scrubbing or washing.

The oil the skin produces is called sebum and it is produced by the sebaceous glands. Some people have overactive glands that produce too much oil. There are more glands on the face, neck, chest, and back, and that’s where oiliness tends to be more noticeable.

How to Look After Oily Skin

Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder

Whatever the cause of your oily skin, there are ways that you can control the oiliness, so your skin looks less shiny and healthier.

Keep It Clean

But don’t use harsh cleansers, or scrub the skin, as tempting as this may be to remove the oils. This irritates the skin and stimulates the oil glands to produce more oil which is the last thing you want. Use a mild cleanser, and gel cleansers are usually effective for oily skin types.

As oiliness can vary at different times of the year, you might need a few different products. In the colder weather, your skin might dry out, so use a mild and gentle cleanser, but in the summer, your skin is likely to be oilier, so use a deep cleansing product.

If you suffer from acne as well as oiliness, choose a product that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

Use Oil Free Cosmetics

If you have oily skin, use powder or mineral based cosmetics rather than oil based products, and avoid crème blushers and eyeshadows. Look for ‘non-comedogenic’ on the label which means the product should not block the pores and cause breakouts.

Don’t Neglect Moisturiser

You may think you can neglect moisturising your skin when you have oily skin, and it might seem counterintuitive to add more moisture if your skin feels greasy, but oily skin does still need moisturiser.

Avoid greasy products, instead, opt for a light oil-free moisturiser. Keeping your skin hydrated is even more important as you get older, no matter what type of skin you have. When you need a sunscreen, make sure it’s an oil-free product too.

What else can you do?

You can use cleansers, toners and moisturisers that are specifically designed for oily skin.

You can also use blotting paper anti-shine sheets and topical mattifying products to soak up the excess oil.

If you still can’t control your oily skin, your doctor or a dermatologist may be able to prescribe stronger creams which reduce oil production.

If your oily skin is causing acne, your doctor can prescribe medications to help. In more severe cases, laser treatments and chemical peels may help to treat the oiliness.

Face Powder

Cover FX Illuminating Setting Powder

After applying foundation, powder is an essential item that sets the makeup in place and finishes off your look. Face powder diffuses the light which makes your skin glow, it makes pores appear less visible, and it prevents makeup from sliding off, which can be a problem if you have oily skin.

Types of Face Powder

Face Powder

Loose Powder

This gives the skin a smoother and soft texture. This powder can be applied with a makeup brush, or the puff that often comes with the product. Loose powder can be messy to apply so make sure you tap off the excess before you apply it to the skin.

Pressed Powder

This is a convenient way of touching up your makeup if you’re on the go.

Matte Powder

This will absorb excess shine and give the skin a smooth and healthy finish.

How to Apply Face Powder

To get the best results from applying face powder, apply foundation and concealer evenly. This will prevent the powder from looking cakey on your skin. If you have very oily skin, use blotting paper or tissue paper to remove excess oil before applying powder.

Use a Powder Puff

Apply a sensible amount of the face powder to the puff.

First, lightly apply the powder to your face, and take care not to smudge your foundation. Blot the powder onto the skin rather than wiping.

For smaller or narrower areas such as around the eyes or the nose, fold the puff in half and carefully apply the powder to get into all the nooks and crannies.

An easy way to check whether you’ve used the right amount of powder is to feel your cheek with the back of your hand. It should feel smooth and dry after applying powder. Then use the puff or a finishing brush to dust off any excess powder and buff the skin.

Use a Powder Brush

Use a larger-sized brush for applying face powder.

Place a generous amount of face powder on the brush, and make sure you tap off any excess product. Apply the powder starting from the centre of the face, concentrating on the cheeks, forehead, and nose. Then move outwards. Buff the powder into the skin gently for a natural finish which gives your skin a healthy glow.

If You Have Dry Skin

Apply your powder after making sure that your foundation has been spread evenly onto the skin. Take care to powder especially lightly around the eyes, or on areas where the skin is dry as the powder can look flaky. Then finish by brushing off any excess powder.

If You Have Oily Skin

Dust extra powder on your T-zone, or anywhere else on the face where your skin tends to be oily.

Apply a thin layer of powder under the eyes to set makeup and help it to last longer.

If you powder the area under your eyes before applying eye makeup, you can remove traces of mascara or eye shadow from your skin without ruining the rest of your makeup. After your eye makeup is done, just dust away the excess powder.

The Best Powders For Oily Skin

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Beauty Balm SPF 25 PA++

Try these powders for beautiful skin that’s free from grease and shine.

Fit Me! Matte + Poreless by Maybelline New York

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This is one of the best powders for oily skin. It matches your natural skin tone and texture, keeps shine away for up to 12 hours, and its light oil-free formula won’t clog pores.

The Pros:

  • Good for when you’re on a budget
  • Lightweight
  • Buildable coverage
  • Fragrance-free so it’s good for sensitive skins

The Cons:

  • Coverage isn’t that great, which might be a problem if you have problem skin
  • It might look a little too ‘powdery’ for some people, especially on lighter skin tones

Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder by Clinique

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ir?t=balancemebeau 20&l=li2&o=1&a=B000JYNJBY - The Best Powder for Oily SkinThis powder is long-lasting and doesn’t rub off easily, so it’s a great choice for adding a finishing touch to your makeup if you have oily skin. There are a range of shades, including one called ‘stay neutral’ which is good for paler skins.

The powder provides sheer-to-moderate coverage. You can apply it just where your skin is oilier, and you can wear it alone or over foundation. The powder blends very well and gives a natural finish. You will rarely need to touch your powder up throughout the day, as it helps to control the skin’s oil production.

The pros:

  • Buildable coverage
  • Easy to apply

The cons:

  • This brand is quite expensive
  • Powder can become quite crumbly over time

Stay Matte Pressed Powder by Rimmel

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This is the best drugstore powder for oily skin. It does not need regular touch ups and it does not look cakey on the skin as it is buildable and easy to apply. Testers reported that the powder kept shine at bay for up to 5 hours. The powder does have a slight fragrance, though it’s not that noticeable. This product does not have overpowering yellow or pink tones so it is perfect for people with very fair skin.

The pros:

  • Cheap price
  • Lightweight feel
  • Works well, even without foundation

The cons:

  • Doesn’t control oil for that long when compared to other products
  • The lid can crack quite easily, so it’s not really suitable for travelling

Smooth Skin Loose Face Powder by NYC

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This absorbs excess oil from the skin, and leaves it soft and smooth. Even if you aren’t used to wearing a lot of makeup, this product will look great on your skin, almost as if you have nothing on your skin at all.

Calendula extract is one of this powder’s main ingredients, and it has been renowned for hundreds of years for its skin-restoring properties and for making skin glow with health.

The pros:

  • Cheap price
  • Good coverage
  • Gentle on under-eye area and doesn’t appear cakey

The cons:

  • Does not reduce shine for that long compared to other products

Clean Matte Pressed Powder by Covergirl

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This powder is oil and fragrance-free, plus it’s been put through rigorous testing by dermatologists and so it’s great for problem skin that is prone to breakouts. This product is excellent at absorbing oil, so it won’t go clumpy when shine strikes.

You can wear this product alone or under foundation, and it gives the skin a nice matte finish. Expect fresh and flawless skin with this product.

The pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight feel
  • Fragrance-free, so it’s good for sensitive skins.

The cons

  • Contains parabens which is not great for sensitive or problem skin
  • May need frequent reapplication
  • Can be hard to blend on top of foundation

Final thoughts

We spend a lot of money on products to improve the look and health of our skin. But the products that we buy in the quest for better skin may be exactly the problem. They can clog our pores and make any existing skin issues worse.

If you have oily skin, it’s very important to read labels to check for ingredients that won’t clog your pores and cause breakouts.

When using makeup, it’s important not to put on layer after layer to cover up skin problems as this can make things worse. The right type of makeup for our skin can make it look healthy and glowing.

If you have oily skin, check for words like non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, non-irritating, and oil-free on the label, which means that it won’t clog your pores and cause breakouts.

Mineral-based products contain added ingredients like silica, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide, which absorb oil, so they are a good choice for this skin type.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.