Best Serums for Oily Skin: A Guide to a Clearer Complexion

Best Serums for Oily Skin: A Guide to a Clearer Complexion

Best Serums for Oily Skin: A Guide to a Clearer Complexion

Oily skin is a result of the skin overproducing sebum from sebaceous glands located under the skin’s surface. Sebum is made of fats and often has an oily texture. Sebum isn’t a bad thing, it helps protect and moisturise your skin. However, too much sebum can result in oily skin, which may result in acne and clogged pores. Other factors such as hormonal changes, stress and genetics can also increase the production of sebum. Oily skin can happen to anyone, though it’s usually seen more prominently in teenagers and young adults. 

So how can you get rid of oily skin? There are a number of ways to manage oily skin and reduce clogged pores and acne as a result. Some methods to manage oily skin include finding the right skincare routine, implementing a facial serum to target specific concerns, moisturising the skin, using a clay mask weekly, using blotting paper and reducing stress. 

When looking for a facial serum to treat oily skin, some ingredients to look out for include:

  • Salicylic Acid - Treats breakouts by reducing the redness and swelling, unclogging pores and reducing dead skin cells
  • Hyaluronic Acid - Increases skin moisture levels and reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Niacinamide - Helps minimise enlarged pores, improve uneven skin tone and reduces skin dullness
  • Glycolic Acid - Increases luminosity of the skin by exfoliating the outer layer of the skin

By implementing a facial serum for oily skin, it can help unclog pores, smooth uneven texture, even skin tone and remove excess oil. Some serums may create a smooth and mattifying effect after application.

Keep reading to learn more about the best serums for oily skin.

Best Serum for Oily Skin

Osmosis MD Correct

osmosis md correct

If you’re looking to restore radiance in your skin, increase collagen and elastin production and reduce inflammation then the Osmosis MD Correct is the right serum for you. This Vitamin A serum is ideal for strengthening the skin barrier, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, fading pigmentation and calming  inflamed skin. Ingredients like Niacinamide to balance oil and sebum production, Sodium Hyaluronate, to moisturise the skin and Lactic Acid to eliminate dead skin cells. You can expect your skin to be radiant, your barrier function to be improved and oil production to be regulated.

The Osmosis MD Correct is suitable for sensitive skin, acne prone skin, ageing skin, sun damaged skin, normal skin and those with rosacea. This serum is also vegan, gluten free and cruelty free.

It can be applied onto cleansed skin in the morning and/or evening in 1-2 pumps. It is recommended to use an activating mist alongside this serum, to increase serum absorption. Follow through with additional serums if needed and moisturiser. Ensure you follow through with sunscreen in the day time to maintain best results.

Osmosis MD Calm

osmosis md calm

Similar to the Osmosis MD Correct, the Osmosis MD Calm is ideal for calming inflammation, repairing the skin barrier and rebuilding the dermis. This Vitamin A serum encourages the skin’s natural renewal process and features Niacinamide, Lactic Acid and Retinal. Niacinamide supports the skin’s barrier and balances oil production, Lactic Acid provides a smoother complexion and Retinal reduces cells and debris clumping together to eliminate clogged pores. The Osmosis MD Calm can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, protect against free radical damage, minimise skin redness, and control oil flow. 

This facial serum is suitable for sensitive and irritated skin, dry skin, ageing skin, rosacea skin and oily skin. It is vegan, gluten free, cruelty free and recyclable.

Apply 1-2 pumps in the morning and/or evening, onto cleansed skin. It is recommended to use an activating mist when using this product. Follow up with additional serums if necessary and moisturiser. Use sunscreen in the day time for best results.

Aspect Dr Hyaluronic Serum

hyaluronic skin serm

Hyaluronic Acid is ideal for repairing dry or inflamed skin. As oily skin overproduces sebum, adding moisture back into the skin is essential. The Aspect Dr Hyaluronic Serum utilises Aloe Vera to treat dryness and acne prone skin, Glycerin to draw moisture to the skin, Hyaluronic Acid to retain moisture in the skin and Niacinamide to minimise the appearance of pores and regulate oil production. When using this serum, you can expect smooth and plump skin, with transepidermal water loss reduced.

The Aspect Dr Hyaluronic Serum is suitable for all skin types, especially those that experience dehydration. It is effective at treating those with concerns of ageing, acne and sensitivity. It also benefits those with oily skin as the ingredients will not clog any pores.

This serum can be used day and night as the final serum in your routine. Apply 1 pump onto cleansed skin and follow with moisturiser.


Cosmedix Clarity Serum

cosmedix clarity serum

Problematic skin and clogged pores can be controlled with the Cosmedix Clarity Serum, to reveal a clearer and smoother complexion. This serum has Salicylic Acid to exfoliate the skin from within and help balance oil production and Retinol to exfoliate the skin and reduce the appearance of oil. The additions of Willowherb Extract, Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera help soothe the appearance of problematic skin. When using this serum, you can expect skin to be exfoliated, congestion and clogged pores to be reduced, and skin to be soothed and moisturised. 

The Cosmedix Clarity Serum is suitable for oily, problematic and acne prone skin types. It does not strip the skin of moisture, but helps clear clogged pores that can cause blemishes or breakouts, while leaving the skin calmed and soothed.

This serum can be used day and night. In the day time, apply a pea sized amount onto cleansed skin and follow with moisturiser. At night time, apply a pea sized amount onto cleansed skin and follow with a hydrating serum like Cosmedix Reboot or Cosmedix Surge Hyaluronic Acid Booster.

Osmosis MD Clarify

osmosis md clarify

The Osmosis MD Clarify is ideal for oily skin as it promotes clearer skin, calms inflammation, minimises breakouts and helps balance oil production. This serum is formulated with Niacinamide to ease inflammation, Mandelic Acid to exfoliate the skin and prevent acne, Retinal to diminish acne scars, and extracts like Cucumber, Olive Leaf and Basil to calm and soothe the skin.

This serum is suitable for acne prone skin or oily skin types. When using this facial serum, you can expect sebum production to be regulated, skin to appear smoother and healthier and skin redness to be reduced. It is recyclable, vegan, gluten free and cruelty free.

The Osmosis MD Clarify can be applied twice a day by applying 1-2 pumps onto cleansed skin. Follow through with moisturiser, like the Osmosis MD Hydrate and sunscreen in the day time.

Aspect Dr Problem Skin Serum

problem skin serum

If you struggle with excess oil, problematic or dry skin, the Aspect Dr Problem Skin Serum can help alleviate your skin concerns. This serum is formulated with Vitamin C to brighten the skin, Amazonian rainforest extracts to reduce redness and calm irritation, and Canadian Willowherb Extract to soothe the skin.

The Aspect Dr Problem Skin Serum is suitable for all skin types, including acne prone skin, problematic skin, ageing skin, dehydrated skin or oily skin. When using this serum, you can expect congested skin to be cleared, your complexion to be glowing and balanced, excess oil and blemishes to be diminished. This serum is formulated without synthetic fragrances, SLS, parabens and animal products. 

This serum can be used twice a day by dispensing 1 pump and applying onto cleansed skin. It can be used in conjunction with other Aspect Dr skincare products. Follow through with moisturiser, like the Aspect Dr Ultra Light Hydration.


What causes oily skin?

Oily skin can be caused by a number of factors including:

  • Genetics - if one of your parents have oily skin, it is likely that you will inherit oily skin as well
  • Age - as we age, we produce less sebum, that’s why people with ageing skin tend to have dry skin
  • Place of residence and time of year - people who live in hot and humid clients tend to have oily skin. These people are also more likely to have more oily skin during summer
  • Enlarged pores - larger pores are more likely to produce more oil
  • Using the wrong skincare products for your skin type - oily skin can be exacerbated by using the wrong products. You may need to change your routine depending on the season and climate. Using the right products can make a difference in how oily your skin gets 
  • Overdoing your routine - excessive exfoliation can strip your skin of its natural moisture, causing your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Washing your face daily, exfoliating weekly and wearing sunscreen daily will help protect your skin
  • Skipping your moisturiser - it’s a common misconception that oily skin doesn’t need moisturiser. If you are using products with ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, then you definitely need a moisturiser to prevent your skin from drying. Lightweight, gel or lotion moisturisers are suitable for oily skin

What skin care routine is best for oily skin?

For oily skin, consider having the following steps in your routine:

  • Cleanser - using a gentle cleanser will help remove all excess dirt, oil and makeup accumulated throughout the day. We recommend the Aspect Dr Deep Clean Facial Cleanser
  • Serum - a serum can help keep your skin looking calm and clear
  • Moisturiser - a lightweight moisturiser can help hydrate your skin and protect it from excessive oil production
  • Sunscreen - sunscreen provides you with the best protection against sun damage. We recommend the SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF50, it’s oil-free, hydrating and lightweight


Why is my face oily in the morning?

Your skin loses water as you sleep, this causes the sebaceous glands to work with the sweat glands to produce more oil. This oil is thicker than oil produced by your body in the day time, and it isn’t easily lost in sweat, that’s why your face appears oilier in the morning. 

Does oily skin need a moisturiser?

In short, yes. Your skin needs moisturiser to reduce hydration loss, even if it’s oily or acne prone. Opt for oil free, non-comedogenic moisturisers that are lightweight. Gel, water-based or lotion moisturisers are ideal for oily skin.

What are the do’s and don’ts for oily skin?

If you have oily skin, consider the following do’s and don’ts:


  • Cleanse your face daily - opt for a cleanser that removes oil and shine from your face without stripping your skin of its natural oils. 
  • Use sunscreen daily - sun exposure and sun damage  can cause acne to flare up. Opt for a lightweight, non-comedogenic and oil-free sunscreen
  • Choose appropriate makeup - if you wear makeup, consider looking for products that are labelled as “mattifying”, “shine-free”, “smudge-proof”, “crease-proof” or “budge-proof”
  • Clean your makeup brushes - if you use makeup brushes, clean them regularly as they accumulate germs over time which can cause breakouts and irritation. Try to minimise using fingers to apply your makeup. Spot clean your brushes in between uses with rubbing alcohol, alternate brushes by using one set of brushes in the first half of the week and then another set for the other half of the week, and ensure you wash your makeup brushes weekly


  • Skip moisturiser - all skin types need moisturiser to replace hydration loss
  • Touch or pick your face - minimise touching or picking at your face as this only adds more dirt and germs to your skin which can lead to bigger problems
  • Sleep on a dirty pillowcase - regularly clean your pillow and pillow cases as they absorb dirt, grime and grease over time. Aim to change them every second day or so and stock up on pillowcases when they’re on sale and aim to change them every other evening

What ingredients help with oily skin?

There are a few ingredients that are beneficial to those with oily skin, these include:

  • Retinol - Vitamin A speeds up skin cell turnover, therefore it quickly regenerates new skin cells which helps unclog pores
  • Salicylic Acid - as an anti-inflammatory acid, Salicylic Acid breaks down dead skin cells and penetrates your pores to clear out debris and dirt
  • Hyaluronic Acid - by moisturising the skin, it helps stop excessive oil production. When skin is hydrated, there is no need for it to produce more oil, which causes oily skin
  • Niacinamide - helps soothe the skin, calm inflammation and supports collagen production

Oily skin can be caused by a number of reasons including genetics, environmental and lifestyle factors and over-exfoliating the skin. The good news is that oily skin can be treated and minimised overtime by implementing a few changes like adding a serum into your skincare routine, adding moisture into the skin and maintaining hygienic practices like refraining from touching your face and cleaning your pillowcases regularly. Over time you can expect your skin to be less congested, pores to be unclogged and complexion to be even and bright.

Please patch test and discontinue use if irritation occurs.

Shop our oily skin range here.

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