Natural Moisturizers for Oily Skin

Oily Skin mostly feels like a bane to everyone who has it. And, most likely, it is. Because, the skin is prone to the onslaught of acne and pimples and regular outbreaks. A slight imbalance of food habits can also tip the scales and result in more oil production. And, there seems to be nothing one can do about them. But, the boon part of having oily skin is that you are not prone to wrinkles and fine lines as much as people with dry or normal skin are. But, this seems like a small compensation when you have to invest so much amount of care to tend to oily skin. 

Cleansing is not that big a concern. There are a number of natural ingredients which can clean the oily skin. Milk, citrus fruit juices, tomato, besan or any other flour, baking soda, clay masks are all great cleansers when it comes to oily skin and they also tend to control the oil (sebum) production in the body. Green / Black Tea can act as a toner. But, my concern today is how to moisturize oily skin? I have been asked by many of my readers how to take care of oily skin. But, I am, honestly, clueless when it comes to moisturizing the oily skin. You can not use any ingredient like milk cream or oils like you can for normal or dry skin.
I would say that there are two ingredients in my mind which can be used to moisturize an oily skin. And, yes, oily skin also needs to be moisturized. Otherwise, it gets dull and greasy. 
First ingredient I would vouch for is aloevera. Aloevera gel, fresh from the plant, can be used to moisturize any skin type. But, aloevera is actually a little drying. So, I think it will suit oily skin well. And, it is great for acne and pimple prone skin.
Second is a product – any calamine lotion. More commonly, one we get in India, is called Lactocalamine. The blue bottle is suitable for normal to oily skin. The main ingredient of any calamine lotion is Kaolin clay which is very good for oily skin. 
But, I am confused as to is there any other natural ingredient which can be used to moisturize oily skin. I would not vouch for honey as a moisturizer because commercial honey has lot of preservatives. 
Another thing I was wondering was how does application of oil affect the oily skin? I know many of you would be horrified on the mention of such a thing and cast it directly as outrageous. The obvious answer would be that it would lead to more inflammation and acne and other kinds of outbreaks. But, is it really true. 
Update: I recently visited Marie Veronique Organics site and found this which I am directly copy-pasting from their site:
Most people get a bit nervous when they hear the words oil and skin in the same sentence. But there’s no reason to get nervous. In fact, waxes, not oils, are the major cause of skin congestion. Applying oils to the skin, without the interference of a wax barricade, gives your skin the essential fatty acids it needs. These fatty acids, called lipids, form an environmental protection barrier that prevents the elements from assaulting our skin, keeping all skin types healthy. Research indicates that a compromised lipid barrier may be at the root of skin problems such as eczema, acne and wrinkles.
MVO oils maintain the integrity of the lipid barrier, preventing moisture loss and dehydration. At the same time they inhibit peroxidative and oxidative damage. The reason you should care about that is, in a word, wrinkles. Upon contact with light, lipids will undergo what is known as peroxidation. These peroxidized lipids lose their barrier ability and gaps occur in the lipid matrix, resulting in a loss of skin resilience and the formation of wrinkles.
A word (or two) about acne. Treating oily skin with oils may seem even more counter-intuitive. But think about this:
  • Scrubs, harsh soaps and other drastic treatments that strip off your topmost lipid barrier do a number of things that may actually aggravate the problem.
  • Oil-stripping actually prompts your skin to produce more oil, but it may be more of the oil that you’re trying to control.

Topical applications of fatty acids alleviate breakouts by re-stabilizing the lipid barrier, thus restoring anti-microbial activity on the skin’s surface. What’s more, because lipids dissolve lipids, MVO oils actually break up congestion at the source.

Marie Veronique is a former chemistry school teacher who got into making her own products because she could not find any good sunscreen. And, now she is one of the biggest names of the industry. The best thing is that her products are all organic. And, she is one to advocate oils for all kinds of skin. So, I hope I have convinced you to try applying oil and see the results.

[Do share with me how you control your oily skin]


  1. says

    Yes oily skin can be a pain since it increases your chances of acne. Keeping those pores clogged is key.

    The beauty of having oily skin though is your skin is more resistant to wrinkles. (yipee you didn’t think there were any positives to having oily skin did ya?)

    For moisturizing, if you were to use honey, organic Manuka honey would be your choice.

    However you have to rinse it off so that kind of defeats the purpose right?

    There a number of oily skin moisturizers available on the market. Look for oil free with no parabens or other harsh chemicals. A natural oil free sunscreen is great since it works double duty to protect your skin from the suns damaging rays.

  2. says

    Hi Michelle
    Yes, oily skin is great for not having wrinkles. I think that is the only positive aspect of having oily skin. Otherwise, it feels greasy and dull all time.
    But, I have a question. You wrote “Keeping the pores clogged is the key.” That would be kinda contradictory. Would it not be even more disastrous for the skin because one prefers to keep the pores unclogged all time.

  3. says

    I personally suffer from oily skin most of the time, and it can really be a pain. First aid is blotting paper, to wipe away excess oils from your skin. You don’t need to buy the expensive cosmetic ones – cigarette rolling paper works just as well!

    You can make your own skin toners by infusing one or more herbs that are good for oily skin. Some of my favourites are: achillea millefolium (probably can’t be found everywhere, we have it up here in the nordic countries), calendula, basil, daisy, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, lavender…

    Face masks or washes with clay are also really good for oily skin. If you don’t have clay at hand, cornflour works too. Just mix some clay with a liquid, maybe aloe vera, rose water or honey, until you have a thick paste, and apply to face for about 20 min. Or try my blueberry face mask:
    Speaking of honey, you can always check the ingredients of the honeys that you buy to make sure it doesn’t have any additives. Or try a farmer’s market or similar.

    Then when it comes to applying oils to your face – definitely! Applying a vegetable oil to your skin will mean that your skin feels the need to produce less oil itself – and so the oil production will (hopefully) balance itself out! Apply a bit of oil morning and evening, or only once a day if you find it’s too much. Try one or a blend of: grapeseed oil, hemp oil, thistle oil, walnut oil, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, almond oil. You can also make your own herb oils with one or more of the herbs I mentioned above. Read more in my blog post:
    I also suggest trying the oil cleansing method:

    Sorry for the loooong comment and for all my linkings to myself, but I hope I have answered some questions :)

  4. says

    Ok I feel like a crackhead. That’s what happens when you mobile type and get auto corrected! I meant unclogged.

    Hilda mention oil blotter sheets. they are great for absorbing excess oil through the day. I wouldnt use cigarette paper though. It’s a similar material but not the same. Plus think about what they potentially come in contact with because of where they are manufactured.

    Do you really want that up against your skin? Oil blotter sheets are not expensive. You can get them for under $3 if you buy a generic brand.

    But remember, oil blotter sheets are just for touchups. You want to control the oil flow.

    I wrote about some ways to do that on my blog. Please let me know if its ok to share the link.

  5. says

    Hey Michelle
    Please, by all means, you are welcome to share the link. I am sure it would be really helpful for everyone as I am not particularly knowledgeable in oily skin type.
    And, yes, using blotter sheets for a start is fine. But, I was thinking if you can use paper napkins as blotters? Or, are they different in texture? I have only seen face wipes till today and frankly, never paid any attentions as I was never in need of one.

  6. says

    Hey Hilda
    Thanks a lot for sharing such valuable information. And, it is no problem in sharing your links. I am sure they would be extremely helpful. Btw, I wanted to ask if you are sure about cigarette rolling paper. Would using paper napkins be fine?
    And, thanks for saying that people with oily skin can apply oils on the face. I know many people would not agree but as you have personal experience, I do hope people would try it for a start and see how it goes.

  7. says

    Sure, you can use paper napkins, but they are a different thing. Blotting paper will be more effective than napkins when it comes to removing oils.

    I understand that you might have concerns with using cigarette rolling paper, I however have always found they work equally well. I also use them to remove excess moisture from the pads of my flute, as do many other flutists both professional and amateurs.
    If you can buy blotting paper for three dollars, go for it. Here (in Finland) they are much more expensive than that, and also a lot harder to come by. That’s why I prefer the cigarette paper, because there’s a clear price difference and no much quality difference i.m.o.

    By the way, I forgot to mention some essential oils that I have found to help me control my oily skin: tea tree, rosemary, ylang-ylang and most citrus oils (orange, lemon, grapefruit, lemongrass….). Don’t put them straight on your face, mix with for instance aloe vera or some vegetable oil.

  8. says

    I used to be plagued with oily skin as a teenager. I remember using those blotting papers constantly! I also avoided anything with mineral oil in it as I know it clogs pores. I eventually broke out of the “oily skin syndrome” as I matured. I never thought this would happen! I believe using natural oils on even oily skin is a beneficial treatment. The natural oils, such as almond, coconut, or olive, are different from the oils (or sebum) produced in the skin. Here’s a mask for removing excess oil in the skin from my favorite book:

    5 green grapes
    1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    2 egg whites
    3 tbsp mineral water

    Squeeze juice from the grapes and combine the juice with the lemon and egg whites. Mix, apply to face, let sit for 20 minutes. Wash with warm water and apply mineral water all over the face.

    The egg white will make the skin feel tight, so be warned!

    Robin @

  9. says

    Oil dissolves oil, so you should not be afraid under any circumstance of applying oil to your skin. As a great example is OCM (oil cleansing method), for oily skin mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of castor oil with a few drops of tea tree oil. This provides anti-bacterial benefits while cleansing the skin to reduce breakouts.

    I love aloe vera too. If you have oily and acne prone skin use preserved aloe vera juice. To preserve aloe juice, mix the juice with spirits in the ratio of 4:1, and store it in the refrigerator at a temperature of no more than 15°C. Wipe your face every day before going to bed.

  10. says

    Jojoba oil is said to be very good for oily skin. I think as far as oily skin is concerned, it is cleansing that is the most important step, rather than moisturising. If you cleanse well, remove all excess oil, clean out the pores and remove dirt and dead cells, any plain moisturiser will do the trick :)

  11. says

    I really do not think that jojoba oil is easily available in India and if at all it is, the purity of the oil is not guaranteed. Do you know where it is available. Of course, people can buy it online but if you have any info on any brand easily available, that would be really helpful.

  12. says

    well i have an oily skin too, and very oil, plus acne prone, wht has reallie worked for me, is St ives scrub, do it daily for a week, and its voila, great skin, i have not got a pimple after that, and i have heard a lot about oil cleansing method, but m too scared of trying it, cos i have seriously very oily skin…….
    oh by the way, m ur new follower :)

  13. says

    Hi Rentu…thank you so much…btw I would like to tell you that oil is not bad even for oily skin and this time I have many people advising the same thing…if you had read all the comments, you would have seen Hilda’s comment that applying oil is not at all a bad idea for oily skin. I had one more friend confirm that fact. She has oily skin and she used olive oil. In fact she recommends olive oil as it helps drying up acne and other breakouts.

  14. says

    someone with oily skin (acne prone) can use light moisturizing oils like grapeseed oil, watermelon seed oil, fractionated coconut oil & kukui nut oil blended with essential oils with astringent or calming properties like neruli, lavender and germanium. :)

  15. says

    I have oily & acne prone skin, too. What has worked for me is the oil cleansing method for balancing my skin. Jojoba, grapeseed, and hazelnut oils are good for oily skin, as they do not add extra oil to skin and absorb quickly. My new personal favourite is hazelnut oil, which has worked wonders for my skin, especially now that it is summer. Plus, it has astringent properties, which tone the skin. I have tried just about every “oil free moisturizer” on the shelf, and this is the only one that last throughout the day.
    If anyone can answer this for me, it would be helpful. Is there a way to control oily skin internally? I am currently drinking 2.5-3L of water a day and taking 2tbsp of cod liver oil. Don’t know if it’s helping, though.

    • says

      I am so sorry for missing out your comment!!! I don’t think there is a way to control oil internally but I shall be on the look out and thanks so much for the other thing!! haven’t used hazelnut oil yet…will try it soon :)

  16. says

    When dealing w/ oily skin, keep in mind that it comes down to balancing the sebum, since the skin overproduces it. W/ any skin care product used, it cannot be oil-based, instead water-based. Make sure they have ingredients that balance your skin’s oil, not over dry or saturate your skin w/ oily substances. Try not to rub, but dab.

  17. Anonymous says

    Hi , I have extremely oily skin therefore I wear no makeup other than Eye makeup! I found if I have a shower & I don’t use soaps or shampoo . ( baking soda & an apple cider rinse) I then use morrocan oil for my hair & on my face and body! If I need extra moisturizer I use Glaxal Base over top .

    • says

      you shouldn’t use baking soda and acv every time you wash hair. it dries it up!!! also, you can use handmade natural soaps if you don’t want to go for chemical alternatives. there are a lot of options in the market.

  18. says

    Oil problem………swati.plz help me …m totally confuced????nw i cnt carry it any more
    My skin z tooo oily thats the reason I had left using all my skin creams any nd use jst only face wash…give some natural home made tips to remove this …..
    And one more thing I want to discuss ,my friend once told me that she just use baby cream (jhonsons baby cream) Is this cream safe for us …?

  19. says

    Though oily skin needs more protection from dust and various infectants.. It can also be healed and converted into refreshing and flawless skin.
    Many techniques have come up now a days which change your skin into one fresh skin.

  20. Anushrii says

    My problem is that I had an extremely oily skin and lots of acne in my teens
    Somehow I got too concerned and tried all sorts of medicines which had eventually taken away oil from some parts like upper forehead and I got wrinkles there
    So finally now my skin is very oily but also has wrinkles along with scars on my cheeks
    I really don’t know what to do
    Trying every possible thing to get rid of scars and wrinkles and also maintaining glow along with cleansing extremely oily skin but with aging also have to take care of moisturizing
    Ahhhhhhh too much
    If someone could advice me something

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