Dermatologists agree that the most effective way to manage oily skin is to cleanse your face both morning and night. "Always use a gentle cleanser since harsh soaps can trigger the skin to increase oil production," April Armstrong, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of California, Davis, says. Also, beware of the buff. A washcloth or buff puff can actually stimulate more oil secretion.
If a basic facial cleanser doesn’t cut oiliness, try a product that includes an acid such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or beta-hydroxy acid. "Many products containing these acids are marketed as acne facial care products. They’re great for people with acne, but they’re also fine for people whose problem is just oily skin," Armstrong says. "Since some of these ingredients can be irritating, buy a small size to see how your skin responds. People often have to try several products before they find the one that works best for them." Wash with warm water, not hot, because temperature extremes can irritate skin.