The 9 Best Serums For Oily Skin


When we think of serums, many of us picture magical elixirs that transform dry, dull skin and unearth a more radiant complexion. Only one part of that definition is accurate. Serums are magic, but the best serums for oily skin are targeted, concentrated treatments aimed at unclogging and minimizing pores and keeping skin balanced and clear. The key to unlocking a brand new skincare regimen complete with incredible serums that are going to make your oily skin look better than ever? As always: ingredients, ingredients, ingredients!

So, let's start there: when choosing a serum for oily skin, you aren't going to benefit from a formula that is extremely drying or one that contains alcohol — stripping your skin of moisture will only encourage pores to increase their production of sebum, which leads to more pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Instead, be on the look-out for hydrating ingredients that are light — green tea and hyaluronic acid are perfect examples. Used at night, glycolic acid and retinol help unclog pores, exfoliate dead skin cells, and brighten skin by increasing cell turnover.

No matter which serum you choose, make sure it's non-comedogenic — and it helps if it has actually been tested on oily skin. Mattifying formulas work wonders to reduce shine and minimize pore size. You won't regret incorporating one of these serums for oily skin into your skin care routine.

1An Oil-Controlling Serum With Botanicals & Sea Plants

Be The Skin Botanical Pore Serum, $38, Amazon

Formulated for normal to oily skin, this Korean serum is rich in natural botanical herbs, sea plants, and Alaskan glacial water that control oil production, eliminate excess sebum, and minimize the appearance of large pores.

2A Natural Serum With Quinoa Extract & Tea Tree Oil To Treat Acne

Kypris Clearing Serum, $67, Amazon

Whether you have hormonal acne or are concerned about the effect of pollution and environmental toxins on your oily skin, this is a natural solution that addresses it all. This serum contains ingredients like quinoa extract with eight essential amino acids and Vitamin E, green tea, zinc, and tea tree oil to heal blemishes, and lilac leaf stem cells to help control sebum production and lighten dark spots.

3The Perfect 'Beginner' Retinol For Sensitive, Oily Skin Types

First Aid Beauty Skin Lab Retinol Serum, $58, Amazon

When you love how retinol serums transform your skin into a smoother, glowier version of itself, but can't get on board with how most retinol formulas leave sensitive, oily skin types unbalanced and irritated, this is the serum for you. With 0.25 percent pure retinol concentrate, Vitamin C, and soothing ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, aloe vera, and ceramides, this is the ideal "beginner" retinol for all skin types — one that will take it easy on your skin while addressing your concerns.

4A Glycolic Acid Serum That Keeps Pores Clear

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Serum, $45, Amazon

The glycolic acid in this serum gently exfoliates skin to keep pores clear, and it's fragrance and paraben free, non-comedogenic, and has been tested on oily skin. A few drops at night after your cleanser and before your night cream is all you need to improve your skin's texture. Start off slowly by using this serum one or two times weekly and increase usage as your skin becomes accustomed to it.

5A Light Serum With 50 Percent Hyaluronic Acid That Leaves Skin Plump, But Never Greasy

Mizon Original Skin Energy Hyaluronic Acid, $11, Amazon

A blend of 50 percent hydrating and cell repairing hyaluronic acid and botanical extracts in this serum helps improve skin elasticity and texture, while minimizing the appearance of pores and balancing your skin's natural oils. This Korean beauty cult favorite delivers a grease-free finish and tons of hydration for smoother skin.

6An Antioxidant Serum With A Water-Light Texture

Paula's Choice RESIST Ultra-Light Antioxidant Serum, $36, Amazon

Packed with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, resveratrol, and niacinamide (all of which work together to balance oils, add hydration, improve skin texture, and reduce the appearance of pores), this made-for-oily-skin serum is free of fragrances and harsh chemicals and has not been tested on animals. It won't feel like a weight on oily and combination skin and can be used at night and during the day under your makeup.

7A Serum Packed With Antioxidants & Salicylic Acid

Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum, $25, Amazon

Reviewers say that after using this serum for a few weeks, their skin appears clearer, softer, and is more hydrated. It contains a patented antioxidant ingredients, aloe and ginseng extracts, and — the kicker for oily and acne-prone skin — salicylic acid to prevent blemishes.

8A Lightweight And Cooling Green Tea Serum For Acne-Prone Skin

Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Serum, $20, Amazon

Relying on 100 percent organic green tea water and oil, this serum creates a moisture barrier that locks in hydration without leaving a greasy film on your skin. It provides a cooling effect, is lightweight, and has been hailed by reviewers with oily skin as the perfect serum that absorbs quickly and provides enough moisture (with no heavy added oils) to combat the drying effects of acne medications. And, this one comes with a free sheet mask!

9A Soothing, Cooling Red Skin Serum With A Stainless Steel Roller Applicator

Proactiv+ Redness Relief Serum, $50, Amazon

One of the most trusted brands when it comes to acne care, Proactiv+ knows oily skin types that suffer from blemishes also need an anti-redness serum like this one to help reduce inflammation. Store this serum (which has a stainless-steel roller applicator) in your fridge and enjoy the cooling effects on your skin the moment you apply it — its blend of botanical extracts will moisturize and calm irritated skin.

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