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How To Prevent Oily, Shiny T-Zone Skin

Updated on October 27, 2014

Oily T-Zone Skin: The Pros and Cons

Oily skin tends to look greasy, dirty, and unattractive. Oily skin produces excess sebum (the oily substance secreted by the skin's sebaceous glands), keeping the skin lubricated around the clock.

The good news is that this type of skin ages at a slower rate than other skin types. Not too bad, right? The same oil that we hate so much actually protects our skin almost like a good cream. The result is fewer fine lines and wrinkles in the future.

But let's get back to the present: How can you reduce the oil production? Controlling oily and shiny skin on your face's T-zone (that's the forehead and down along the nose) is not easy. Anyone who has it knows what I'm talking about.

Nowadays there are great products on the market that really can absorb the excess oil, reduce the appearance of open pores throughout the day, and help oily skin look matte.

My Five Steps for Managing Oily Skin

I have experimented with various techniques and products to manage my oily T-zone skin. What I have learned is that there really are some tricks to maintaining a cleaner, more matte appearance. Follow my five steps (below) and find out for yourself.

1. Clean Daily

Cleanse your face daily and never more than twice a day. Use a gentle cleanser that is designed for oily skin. Just because your skin produces too much oil doesn't mean it will respond to harsh treatment! Avoid alcohol-based cleansers.

2. Moisturize

That's right. Your oily skin still needs to be moisturized. Even though the skin in your T-zone is creating its own lubrication, the rest of your facial skin is not. Moisturizing is crucial if you have combination skin (dry or normal cheeks and skin around the eyes). Use water-based moisturizers. (For more on finding the best moisturizer for oily skin, read this article.)

3. Diagnose Pimples or Acne

Pimples require special care. Acne requires different treatment. Be sure to diagnose which you have (if any!).

While individual pimples respond to isolated topical treatments to dry the skin, acne tends to appear as a persistent rash. Acne treatments may include medication taken internally.

4. Use Light Makeup

No sense putting more gunky oil on your face. Use makeup that is oil-free and will not clog your pores. There are good foundations available for oily skin that will control shine and keep your skin matte.

5. Use Products Containing Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Alpha hydroxy acids penetrate the skin easily, promoting exfoliation and a smoother skin appearance. Many people like to use products with these acids because they can help manage wrinkles. I have found, however, that alpha hydroxy acids also help minimize large pores and control oil.

My Favorite Alpha Hydroxy Product

Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Lotion - 6 fl oz
Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Lotion - 6 fl oz

By promoting exfoliation, the acids unclog the skin's pores and remove dead cells. This helps prevent blackheads. I have found these products to be excellent for clearing up my skin and controlling sebum production.

 

My cheeks and chin are so dry. When I put on Alpha Hydrox, it burned so bad. My skin started to get red. But it was just temporary. Now, my skin is so smooth. It evened out my skin tone. My cheeks and chin get enough moisture and my T-zone gets the moisture it needs without over-doing it. I only use Alpha Hydrox at night. It hydrates my skin when I'm sleeping and relaxing.

— Customer Review

A Great Peel for Oily Skin

M.D. Forte Facial Cleanser II, Soap-Free, Oil-Free with Glycolic Acid - 8 fl oz
M.D. Forte Facial Cleanser II, Soap-Free, Oil-Free with Glycolic Acid - 8 fl oz

We know how important it is to keep oily skin clean. The trick is finding products that are effective, but gentle. This peel helps clear and reduce pore size. The down side is the cost, but I found it to be so effective on oily skin that I think it's worth every penny.

 

This is a little pricey, but well worth it! I have been reading about this peel for a while and am very glad I finally bought it. I have noticed a difference in my complexion after using four times (twice a week). My skin is clear and not too dry or too oily. It is easy to use and smells like oranges. Very nice!

— Customer Review

Makeup and Foundation for Oily T-Zone Skin

Caring for your skin is the best way to achieve a healthy, shine-free complexion. If you still find that you want to wear makeup, choose one that is suitable for your skin type.

Always choose oil-free foundations. These are lighter and will not clog your pores. Clean your face well (but gently!) and apply an oil-free face gel or cream before the foundation. Gels are best because they are water-based and lighter.

For best results, dab powder on your T-zone after applying foundation. I recommend the lightest shades or translucent loose powder, no matter your complexion color. This way the powder will always be invisible.

Professional tip: Use a blush brush to apply powder. This way the powder will spread evenly and create a fresh, matte look.

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    • profile image

      pillar 19 months ago

      I have suffered with a very oily T zone for years but the other areas of my face are very dry and because I use powder make up this has become a problem for me as I get older because these patches are becoming more noticeable.

      I have tried numerous moisturisers which claim to be for all skin types but the ONLY one that worked for me was the pH Equilibrium Moisturizer from Made from Earth. It balances out my face and does not irritate my sensitive skin. I bought mine online at the Made from Earth website.

    • profile image

      JenniferWestbrook 3 years ago

      You are right that Oily skin makes its own lubrication and we should also want to moisturize it as well. i am using compatible replacement brush heads for my skin, they suited it and working very well. They are real good to prevent oily shiny skin. If someone wants to buy original compatible replacement brush heads here they are amazon.com/Compatible-Replacement-Cleaning-Cleansing-Guaranteed/dp/B00J2EJNUS/ but you must first clearly know about your skin type before using any sort of cream. They may have side effects on rough dry skins.

    • profile image

      bishopxman2 3 years ago

      As a man with oily skin, using foundation is out of the question. I carry a handkerchief that I wipe my face with every 30 mins or so. After exploring different ways to control my shiny, I came across youtube videos that suggests milk of Magnesia as a base before face cream or make up. I haven't tried it yet but I think its worth looking into.

      One thing a shiny face does help with is making you look younger when you get to your 30's or 40's.

    • profile image

      ChrisLowery 3 years ago

      It's quite interesting to know about having an oily skin, never heard of it as protector of our skin as we age. However, let's face it having oily skin is very embarrassing to most of us. There are clinical and natural ways of getting clear skin which I read from clearupacne dot org. Also, I've tried most of these clinical products and moisturizers but I've been using natural ways of controlling oil production. A mixture of lemon juice and rose water usually works for me.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: ok so people get emotional-don'thave to be haters!! by saying get over your self you suck.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      These products seem like they work but right now i'm in love with Nu Skin Clear! Its well worth the money because i notice imdediate results in a week! :) i would highly* recommend this to anyone that has been struggling to find the right product!!! & your welcome in advance :D

    • profile image

      Torrs13 5 years ago

      I like the products that you have chosen here. They seem like they would be helpful to anyone with oily skin. I notice that I get really shiny throughout the day so I'm trying to find something that will lessen the oil. For now, I just blot with a paper towel, receipt, or napkin every hour.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I've always had problems with oily skin ever since I was a wee little teenager. I'm 25 now and the only thing that has really worked for me is the oily skin solution. Search it up, i think their website is oilyskinsolution.com

    • profile image

      blooming_complexions 5 years ago

      Great lens, i have tried several of your suggestions and they really do work! Thanks for the wonderful information.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have such oily skin- I'm talking solvent to a national oil crisis. I can apply makeup I use makeup forever matte foundation and a translucent powder and 45 minutes later I can touch my t zone and the makeup will wipe straight off onto my hand if i like scratch my nose. So annoying! My skin is never dry or has acne and I have tried so many things grrr ! I have good routines like washing and moisturizing but only moisturizing at night. Someone helppp

    • profile image

      oiloflife 5 years ago

      I find much useful information here. ! many many thanks for sharing. Great lens !

      Try olive oil based soaps!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      HI , I have an oily skin too which results in pimples and blackheads but I suggest all to use cinthol old soap alone without any cosmetic products and see the result in 3 month .

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      thanks for the information! great lens

    • BillyPilgrim LM profile image

      BillyPilgrim LM 5 years ago

      Great advice, looks like a good product. I've had oily skin for years, tried almost everything!x

    • profile image

      PrettyandSmart 5 years ago

      I know plenty of homemade mask recipes for oily skin. (oily skin is my problem) Here is one of them: Mix 1 yolk wath a juice of 1 lemon and 1 teaspoon of any oil. It is very simple and doesn't take a lot of time. On http://prettyandsmart.net I found this recipe: Peel one apple, slice it, add a little milk and boil it until it looks like porridge. Apply it to your face while it is warm for 20 minutes the wash it away with lukewarm water.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great tips for oily skin

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: @shiney i so totally agree with you i have suffered from oily skin all my life i have tried EVERYTHING there is to try to nothing has worked and i can honestly say that it has truly brought down my self-esteem. i have spent plenty of money going to the dermatologist and nothing has work. my oily skin is so bad i hate going in public.. i wish i had a better skin

    • profile image

      oiloflife 5 years ago

      Great lens, lots of fun.

    • JaneEyre9999 profile image

      JaneEyre9999 5 years ago

      I've had oily skin all my life! Good news- you get much less wrinkles (untouched photo of me at 58 at left). Bad news - shiny, greasy, even breakouts into middle age. I finally put a stop to them with home lactic acid peels. They cost less than 50 cents, you can do them once a week or once a month and the oil is totally under control.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Good tips, very helpful lens....It is very useful.Hopefully it will be useful to everybody.Thanks :)

      Visit:-http://facedoctor.ca/blog/2011/05/13/tashi-cardiop...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Actually not all alcohols are bad there are just some specific ones that one should avoid. I think it's important to specify this as many people don't really know that some types of alcohols, like fatty alcohols are actually good.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i have seen how people comend the guality of your product.so how will i get in torch with you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: My face has actually gotten oily since I started drinking only water and natural

      Juices like apple and orange. I do agree it is great to be healthy but I do not agree that it helps with the oil..

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Try using the product for at lease 1-2 months. Acne creams and treatments initially bring out all of the bad stuff in your skin so your skin is going to get worse before it gets better. I use Philosophy brand facewash (its comes in a yellow bottle) - you can get it at Sephora. It's really light but it cleanses really well. Use a benzoyl based treatment before you go to bed (it doesn't need to be more than 5%). and a salacylic spot treatment (usually 2%) in the AM. Always have a good moisturizer (i use Cerave, my Dr. recommended it) you can get it at walmart.

      AM routine

      - wash face

      - treat any pimples with spot treatment

      - apply moisturizer

      - put an makeup etc on afterwards

      PM

      - wash face

      - apply benzoyl treatment to entire face (avoid nostrils, it wil cause it to dry and flake)

      - apply moisturizer

      I hope this helps.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: do not feel that bad, i bet you i have way worse oily skin than you. In the summer I swear I can fry an egg on my face theres so much oil. And don't even get me started with the comments and laughs people aim at me.. the ONLY thing that will help is accutane.. don't even waste your time trying anything else.. oily skin that is severe is hormonal and no cream, lotion or powders will work.. u have to shrink and close the pores and only accutane will do this.. good luck my fellow oily skin brother or sister.. im with you. may we shine and ooze in peace.. forever more.. LOL

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i have very oily skin ,i get pimples very quick and acne i have marks , i have TRIED SO MANY STUFF THEY WOULD WORK FOR THE MARKS CREATE MORE PIMPLES , BUT IF I GET FOR THE PIMPLES BUT WON'T CLEAR THE MARKS

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice tips. I think the most important thing is to keep our skin hydrated because dry skin can make our face even more oily. Beauty comes from within. So eat more fruits and vege, and drink more water. I would recommend a product from Sothys - Hydra Matt Fluid. This product really good at keeping you face looks matte all the time and you won't feel oily when you apply on your face.

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 5 years ago

      Very informative lens. Well done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have really oily skin and I am so young! I'm almost 15 and I already use foundation that truns into powder later. But I still get oily skin. I wash my face everyday whether it's once or twice but I need help. I hate the oilyness. I used to use a powder from MAC but then it finished. It was really nice and it looked nice on my face. it made my skin look fresh and light and I could have a good time then. Now It just annoys me.

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Oily skin can be real problem. I found best solution is cleaning with non-aggressive products at least three, better five times a day. With persistence and proper use you kindly present, you got a winner!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @Mushball: I found a product by Boots that is sold only in Target here in the United States that works great. The liquid can be used under on on top of makeup. Expert Instant matte is the name. So far it has helped and you can reapply as needed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm a 19 year old male college student that has had acne for about 4years now, its really stressful and on top of that, my skin is VERY oily. when i shower in the morning, by the time I'm ready to leave the house, my face has a shiny oily look, i wipe it off with a towel and begin my day. its really irritating and causes lower self-esteem. I want it over NOW :/

    • profile image

      Mushball 5 years ago

      Hey, I have extreemly oily skin and serious acne scars. I think, after years of looking, I have finally found a foundation that doesn't look hideous on my skin (estee lauder double wear) but I still get oily after just 30mins of applying it!! I have heard a lot of good things about Mattify! Cosmics, and I was wondering if anyone could tell me where to purchase them? I don't want to purchase online, as I am still at school and therefore would have to ask permission from my parents - who i know will refuse as they 'dont trust' online shopping!!!

      Additional information: I live in the UK and have already looked in Superdrug, Boots, Debenhams etc.

      Thankyou:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have combination skin, that is usually under the duress of nature's wrath. My skin would be dry one day, oily the next, and acne prone in between. Over the years, I have accumulated a plethora of facial products that have all seen the same fate:(collecting dust in a box at the back of my closet). I am now on the verge of thirty, and am starting to see the ravages of age. I had just about had it with my skin until I tried the Olive Night Creme from Made from Earth. After only one application, the stress on my face began to disappear. I don't know how it worked, but it worked. My skin is now moisturized without being oily or blotchy, and I haven't had a breakout since. My personal life has even improved. I swear, that this is a face cream from God!

    • profile image

      seosmm 6 years ago

      Great info. Very nice lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Facial is the other method to make skin more attractive. Toning removes all traces of make-up, detergents, or dirt that is left behind after cleaning. After the toning you can use cotton ball or tissue paper to clean the skin. After toning your skin, you should pay attention to the crevices around the nose. mascarillas para la cara

    • danzuc76 profile image

      danzuc76 6 years ago

      Great tips, nice lens. Thumbs up!

    • Hip and Hot profile image

      Hip and Hot 6 years ago

      good tips.... everyone should be washing their faces anyway! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: i have the same issue! all of my friends have perfect skin and im the only one with oily skin! i feel like an outsider sometimes honestly. bu t i am gonna try the Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle and hopefully it works! :( and i know, i ramble on and on all the time but its ok! lol it keeps you stress free1

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: People have varying degrees of oil production in their skin. Shiney's problem may not just be in the T-zone, which is easy to handle in comparison to an entire face dripping in oil.

    • bangcool profile image

      bangcool 6 years ago

      Thanks for your share great tips

    • profile image

      eet0101 6 years ago

      My skin looks crazy oily during the day, yuck, hate it. Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: which pill did u use? Iv heard a lot of ppl saying that medication neva helped them so cn u tell us wat exactly u used?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Uh, yeah oily skin IS like a disease. If you had chronically oily skin, you would understand. I seriously spend sooo much time and money trying to not look like a big nasty grease ball. My skin gets oily only half an hour after washing it. Itâs so nasty. And products for oily skin cost a fortune and donât do much to stop it. Iâve finally found a couple of good ones. A place called Mattify Cosmetics makes a powder called Mattify Ultra and it stops me from getting shiny for like 3 hours. That is a very long time for me. Then, I use oil blotter sheets, and re-powder, to be oil-free for another 3 hours. Recently I found a makeup setting spray from Urban Decay that is supposed to set makeup and stop oil. Iâve ordered some and will write a review once I try it out. Anyway, oily skin is like this constant plague â I hate how I have to always worry if my skin looks greasy instead of just enjoying the day. This was a good post â kudos to the writer!! I learned a lot and will be trying that AHA Souffle to see if it might get rid of some blackheads.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Uh, yeah oily skin IS like a disease. If you had chronically oily skin, you would understand. I seriously spend sooo much time and money trying to not look like a big nasty grease ball. My skin gets oily only half an hour after washing it. Itâs so nasty. And products for oily skin cost a fortune and donât do much to stop it. Iâve finally found a couple of good ones. A place called Mattify Cosmetics makes a powder called Mattify Ultra and it stops me from getting shiny for like 3 hours. That is a very long time for me. Then, I use oil blotter sheets, and re-powder, to be oil-free for another 3 hours. Recently I found a makeup setting spray from Urban Decay that is supposed to set makeup and stop oil. Iâve ordered some and will write a review once I try it out. Anyway, oily skin is like this constant plague â I hate how I have to always worry if my skin looks greasy instead of just enjoying the day. This was a good post â kudos to the writer!! I learned a lot and will be trying that AHA Souffle to see if it might get rid of some blackheads.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      All products with AHA are great for oily skin, not many people know it. But, it should be more than 10%, like the one you recommended.

    • profile image

      gerovital 7 years ago

      added the lens to my favorites. I don't have oily skin but the lens is well written.

    • profile image

      totalhealth 7 years ago

      having an oily T-zone was never an issue for me, until i started working but i am not comfortable in wearing make-up or foundation so i just use a face powder.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: I do. I actually have combination skin (very oily t-zone, dry and cracking cheeks and jawline) which is something I battle with every day.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: i bet you would feel different if YOU had an oily face!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: I felt exactly the same. I was embarrassed and felt dirty and unclean all the time. No matter what I tried I could not get rid of my acne. I drank lots of water, went on a fruit and vegetable diet, tried chinese herbs, homeopathy, but nothing worked. In the end, I went on the pill and within 3 months my face had totally cleared up. I stopped taking the pill after 3 months and the acne has not come back. I get the random pimple but no major brakout, even though i still have oily skin.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: I felt exactly the same. I was embarrassed and felt dirty and unclean all the time. No matter what I tried I could not get rid of my acne. I drank lots of water, went on a fruit and vegetable diet, tried chinese herbs, homeopathy, but nothing worked. In the end, I went on the pill and within 3 months my face had totally cleared up. I stopped taking the pill after 3 months and the acne has not come back. I get the random pimple but no major brakout, even though i still have oily skin.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My GOD, shiney, it's not like you have cancer! Get over yourself. You have an oily t-zone. So do thousands of other people. Breath. Great article, by the way!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      nice lense - good products - thanks !!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      no offence, but get over yourself. its not a disease and you are not the only one with this 'curse', theres plenty that's why i'm here. you've got to concentrate on the good, oily skin gets better as you age, dry skin develops wrinkles easier, more prone to sunburn etc. ok we havn't got the greatest skin i've also got acne, so yes its sucks a bit but its certainly not a disease, think or others with worse. you obv wrote this when you felt down, but you get better @ handling it so keep trying:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Oily skin is my downfall everyday it gets worse. I try my best to combat and destroy it however it doesn't work i feel so so bad all the time like im a freak as i am the only person with this curse. I stare at myself in the mirror for ages just looking and looking i feel as if god made me wrong in this high passion world where how your look is everything ive hit rock bottom. I wish there was a cure for my disease if i could switch to dry skin or normal skin but i can't after years of batling myself no more can be done. I appologise for rambling on but sometimees it helps to write to get things out as i feel sometimes i will explode,,,