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My Oily Skin Care Routine for Summer

oily skin care routine for summer-

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As the weather starts warming up, changing your oily skin care routine for summer is important! With increased heat and sun exposure, using your heavier, winter-appropriate face creams won’t suit your skin!

In this post, I’m sharing my hot weather skin care routine for oily skin, including affordable skin care options!

Morning Oily Skin Care Routine

Wash your face with a gentle, low pH cleanser

Low pH cleansers are better because they do not strip your skin of its natural protective barrier, called the acid mantle. This barrier helps protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays! You can read about low pH cleansers here.

Here are some of my favorite low pH cleansers:

COSRX Low Ph Good Morning Gel Cleanser is a super popular low pH cleanser. It foams nicely, is SLS free, and has BHA that’s good for acne prone skin. I will note that it smells mildly of tea tree oil, so if you don’t like that scent, try a different cleanser!

Tree to Tub Soapberry for Face is a wonderful product I stumbled upon. I love this cleanser because it’s made from organic soapberries which naturally foam up, and all natural ingredients. It’s so gentle on the skin and doesn’t aggravate my acne! I noticed many reviewers said it helped to heal their rosacea, eczema, and other skin problems too!

Hada Labo Tokyo Gentle Hydrating Cleanser is another popular Asian skin care brand that makes great low pH cleansers. This is a creamy, foamy cleanser that is sulfate-free and has hyaluronic acid to hydrate your skin! I think this is a great choice if you have combination skin with both oily and dry spots.

Apply a light, hydrating toner or beauty water

This is one of my favorite tricks to add weightless hydration to your face, without slapping on another layer of product! You may be tempted to skimp on hydration in the summer, especially if you have oily skin. But remember, the sun and heat can be very dehydrating! You can apply this with your hands by patting into your skin or using a cotton ball. Here are some of my favorites.

son & park beauty water for oily skin routine

Son & Park Beauty Water is a fan favorite Korean beauty toner that exfoliates, hydrates, and preps your skin before makeup! It can also be used as micellar water to remove makeup at night. This is a versatile item to keep in your oily skin care routine.

herbivore jasmine green tea for oily skin routine

Herbivore Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner. If you’ve read my other blog posts, you might know Herbivore is one of my absolute favorite natural skin care lines! I love their hydrating mists because it’s so easy to use. This one contains ingredients like green tea and white willow bark to soothe acne prone and oily skin. Just spritz on your face and pat it into your skin. It’s also great to spritz throughout the day if you need a refresher.

Teddie Organics Rose Water Facial Toner Spray is 100% organic rose water, nothing added. I love rose water because it’s naturally hydrating, softening, and anti-inflammatory. I also like traveling with a small bottle to spritz on my face on planes, or to use after applying makeup to give a nice glowy finish!

Apply a light gel or serum moisturizer

Now that your skin is already hydrated from your toner or beauty water, you just need a light moisturizer to lock that hydration in! If I’m wearing makeup, I usually use an oil-free moisturizer because I find my foundation holds up better. Here are some of my favorite moisturizers for oily skin in this post!

best moisturizers for oily skin and acne prone skin in the summer

Apply a mineral, non-toxic sunscreen

This step is so important, I can’t stress it enough! I spent many years not wearing sunscreen because I couldn’t find anything that worked with my oily, acne-prone skin. Now I have permanent sunspots on my face! I learned my lesson and did my research trying many sunscreens.

Here’s a post of my favorite mineral sunscreens for oily skin! (If you’re wondering why I mentioned mineral, non-toxic sunscreens specifically, I explain in detail in this post, so please check it out!)

Best sunscreen for acne prone or oily skin

After this routine, apply your makeup as usual!

Evening Oily Skin Care Routine

Use a cleansing oil

Cleansing oil is the best way to remove all traces of sunscreen, makeup, oils, and dirt! A regular cleanser alone may not be enough, because most face washes are water-based. And no, cleansing oils will not make your skin more oily! Good quality ones will not leave an oily residue.

Check out my guide to cleansing oils for a step-by-step and my favorite cleansing oil recommendations!

Cleansing Oils for oily skin

Wash your face with a gentle, low pH cleanser

This step will remove any residue or cleansing oil left from the previous step. You can use the same cleanser from the morning routine!

Apply serums, essence, or other treatments

Depending on your skin type and what problems you want to address, apply the appropriate treatment. I tend to use a BHA/AHA to exfoliate clogged, oily pores and to help get rid of my acne scars. On alternate days, I’ll use a retinoid-based product for its anti-aging and anti-acne benefits. Here are some of my favorites!

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme is an affordable 5% glycolic acid treatment that also contains lactic acid, salicylic acid, plus blue daisy and hyaluronic acid to moisturize the skin. This is a great exfoliating product for acne, oily skin, and dark spots.

Personally, I didn’t find the Extreme version too strong at all (I’m used to using acids like AHA/BHAs). If you have sensitive skin, you might try the version with a lower concentration of 2.8% glycolic acid.

the ordinary granactive retinoid is an affordable oily skin care product

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion is a really great retinoid product at an amazing price. A lot of retinoids irritate my skin and cause flaking if they are too strong, this one doesn’t irritate me at all! I love The Ordinary’s products and this is no exception. It’s less than $10, so I highly recommend giving this a try!

Apply a more intensive moisturizer or facial oil

After a long day of sun and heat exposure, your skin may be pretty dehydrated. Evening is a great time to really care for your skin and get it rehydrated. You would be surprised, but a lot of people with oily skin also have dehydrated skin because they neglect to hydrate and moisturize properly. As a result, your skin compensates by prodcuing more oil!

Since I’m not putting on makeup, I go a little bit heavier on my nighttime moisturizer. I typically use a facial oil that’s appropriate for oily and acne prone skin. Here are some of my top picks!

Organic Rosehip Seed Oil is amazing for anti-acne AND anti-aging! It will reduce age spots and acne scars, improve skin elasticity, and reduce fine lines. It can also help seal split ends.

Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil

Herbivore Lapis Balancing Facial Oil is my favorite facial oil, as you might already know from my review about the Lapis Facial Oil and Blue Tansy Mask. It’s light and absorbs into my dry spots, but doesn’t make my oily spots more oily. I wake up with super soft skin!

Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil is a wonderful facial oil for acne-prone, oily skin. If you want to splurge on a luxury skincare item, I recommend Sunday Riley’s facial oils. This medicated facial oil has salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and other ingredients to help treat acne, clogged pores, and dark spots. There is an herbal smell which I found pleasant and not overpowering.

If you’re thinking about trying U.F.O., the Sunday Riley Space Race Fight Acne, Oil + Pores at Warp Speed Kit is a great way to try their whole acne line at a discount!

Note: Since this facial oil is medicated, you may want to skip any similar treatments for the night and only use this, so you don’t irritate your skin!

Keep your skin fresh this summer

So that’s pretty much what I do for my oily skin care routine in the summer! To recap, the most important parts of my skincare routine are: always protect your skin from the sun, thoroughly remove all makeup/dirt/oil, and take care to rehydrate the skin!

What’s your skincare routine for the summer? What are your fave summer skincare products? Leave a comment and let me know!

My Oily Skin Care Routine for Summer


  1. littlecatposts

    I LOVE this post, so informative – I love that you give natural product recommendations. I am excited to try these items since summer is just around the corner and I have problems with always being oily. I am not quite sure if you’ve mentioned any think about an app called Think Dirt or know what it’s about but It rates your products and mentions if it’s good for your skin AND the environment.

    I wrote a post about it if you want to check it out?

    Good luck to your blog, excited to follow you on your journey!

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