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How to Care for Oily Skin: A Man’s Guide for 2024

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David has been covering men's style and grooming topics for The Adult Man as a writer and photographer since 2020. We asked David to sum himself up in four sentences, and here it is. Serial learner. Aspiring wordsmith. Bourbon enthusiast. Jack of some trades. Read full bio.

Last Updated: Feb 16, 2024
11 min read
how to care for oily skin for men
Key Takeaways

You can easily begin a skincare routine to combat oily skin in just a few steps:

  1. Use a gentler face wash
  2. Wash your face with warm, but not hot water
  3. Try a toner to balance your skin
  4. Use a moisturizer that’s not oil-based
  5. Exfoliate once a week

Oily skin can be a real buzzkill, especially for men. 

Throw that on top of skin-irritating facial hair maintenance and you’ve got a strong recipe for low self-confidence. 

Luckily, those of us who look like we just dumped a quart of olive oil over our heads don’t have to continue living this way. 

In this article I’ll cover some simple steps you can take to care for oily skin and achieve a balanced, healthy complexion.

Say goodbye to that oil slick you call your face and read on to see how it’s done.

What You’ll Need to Care for Your Oily Skin

man looking into mirror at facial skin

Before laying out the roadmap of the path to balanced skin, let’s take a look at what you’ll need. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but the items I’ve chosen are products I use myself and highly recommend. 

  • A gentle face wash (I like Tiege Hanley
  • An exfoliating scrub to clear away dead skin cells
  • A moisturizer that isn’t oil-based or particularly heavy
  • A toner to balance the skin on your face and make your moisturizer more effective

These are the products we’ll use to care for your oily skin, but there are also some habits to get into that will make the skincare routine more effective. We’ll discuss these in the next section. 

Tiege Hanley

Often hawked by YouTube superstar Aaron Marino, Tiege Hanley offers varying levels of skin care systems based on how much care and attention you're willing to give your face. Despite the hype, the brand lives up to their word with an uncomplicated skin care system that offers surprising value.

Sign Up Now Read Our Review

The Best Skin Care Routine for Men with Oily Skin

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In order to care for oily skin it’s important to understand what causes this suboptimal skin environment in the first place.

Oily skin is the result of the sebaceous glands producing too much sebum. 

…What now?

If that sounds like a lot of made up words, you’re not alone. I’ll explain.

Sebaceous glands are typically attached to hair follicles, and release a fatty substance called sebum onto the surface of the skin. Sebum coats, moisturizes, and protects your skin from harsh environmental factors like UV rays. 

sebacious gland

So, when your sebaceous glands go off the rails and pump out too much sebum, you get that oily sheen on your face. This begs the question, “What makes the sebaceous glands produce too much sebum?”

There are a number of causes, in fact.

Some unlucky blokes were just dealt the wrong hand at birth. Oily skin is often genetic, so if your parents had oily skin, you’ll likely deal with the same thing. 

Another factor is age. As your skin ages, your sebaceous glands slow down and produce less sebum, which is why older folks typically have dry skin. Thus, if you have oily skin now, you might actually keep a younger, healthier look longer, since your skin won’t dry out and start to develop fine lines. 

older man using skin care

People might still have to wear sunglasses around you to protect their eyes from the glare of your oily skin, but hey, gotta pick your poison.

Oily skin can also be brought on by where you live and the time of year. Warmer and more humid climates tend to enlarge the pores on your face, which can lead to excess sebum production. 

Lastly, oily skin is often caused by an excessive skincare routine. Sebum is technically a natural oil that your skin needs to stay healthy. So, if you’re scouring your skin and all of its natural oils away, multiple times a day, those sebaceous glands are going to step it up a notch to keep your skin protected.

This may sound counterintuitive, since you’re likely washing your face to rid yourself of that oily feeling in the first place. However, in many cases oily skin was brought on by too much washing and harsh face soaps, so adopting a more gentle skincare routine will help correct this.

We’ll dive into the step-by-step process now.

Step 1: Use a Gentle Face Wash

man using face wash on skin

In many cases, oily skin can be treated by using a more gentle face wash. The skin on your face is the most thin and sensitive of anywhere on your body, and therefore requires products that take this sensitivity into account. 

Household soaps and body washes tend to be harsh cleansers that are meant to strip away heavy oils and dirt. This works for your hands and body, but not your face, unfortunately. 

If you’ve been rocking a massive bottle of 3-in-1 body wash, shampoo, and face wash, it’s time to pitch it. 

Tiege Hanley rinsing off face wash

Most men are creatures of convenience, and no longer washing your oily face with hand soap or body wash can seem like a serious inconvenience. I’ve been there.

In highschool I worked in a 50’s-themed restaurant as a runner, meaning I was back in the kitchens near the fryers all day just soakin’ up that grease. My solution for the heavy sheen of oil on my face was to take the alcohol-based cleansing wipes meant for your hands and scrub the oil off.

While this provided quick relief from that oily feeling, my face skin suffered. Alcohol-based cleansers are the opposite of being gentle, so my skin started to produce excess sebum to replace the protective barrier I was scouring off on a daily basis.

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So, what face wash should you be using?

I recommend Tiege Hanley’s daily face wash, which is aptly named, “WASH.” This daily cleanser is specially formulated to be gentle on men’s skin through the use of natural ingredients. 

Inclusions like coconut oil, willow bark extract, cucumber extract, rosemary, and eucalyptus work together to gently clear away excess dirt and oil, while preserving your skin’s healthy barrier. 

WASH is intended to be used twice a day, in the morning and evening. This consistency can be difficult to commit to for guys just starting a skincare routine, so if you only start with washing in the evening, that’s better than nothing. 

Tiege Hanley

Often hawked by YouTube superstar Aaron Marino, Tiege Hanley offers varying levels of skin care systems based on how much care and attention you're willing to give your face. Despite the hype, the brand lives up to their word with an uncomplicated skin care system that offers surprising value.

Sign Up Now Read Our Review

Step 2: Wash Your Face with Warm Water

man washing face with warm water

Since we’re on the topic of face washes, now is a good time to mention that the water temperature you use to wash your face is an important consideration.

Unlike your dirty dishes, washing your face with the hottest possible water isn’t actually a good thing. Hot water can strip away the natural oils from your face too quickly, and can unnecessarily dry your skin out. 

If you already suffer from overenthusiastic sebaceous glands and decide to wash with hot water, your dried out skin is only giving more reason for those glands to go ham on the sebum production. Thus, your oily skin ailment continues.

It’s recommended that you wash with warm water instead. Warm water helps to cleanse away the excess oil and dirt, but not too much. 

Step 3: Use a Toner

Bulk Homme the toner

Now that we’ve established the proper etiquette to wash your fickle countenance, it’s time to consider what comes after. 

A little-known secret to optimizing your skin’s health is the use of a toner. But what is it?

In my experience, toner is still this mystery liquid that looks like water but basically does a factory reset on your skin. 

Scientifically speaking, toner is a fast-penetrating liquid that delivers slight hydration to the skin and helps clear away dead skin cells. It’s essentially an agent that primes your skin to be in the optimal state to receive a moisturizer.

Toners are ideal for oily skin because they can penetrate deep into the pores to clear out dead skin cells and rehydrate the skin as they do it. Your complexion is left balanced and primed for the moisturizer to be most effective.

I recommend using BULK HOMME’s THE TONER or any facial toners from Thayer’s.


BULK HOMME’s THE TONER has been a real game changer in my skincare routine. If you’re trying to convince people you slept under the stars because there’s no other way your skin could be that dewy and glowing, THE TONER is a must. 

Check Price

To use, simply put a few drops into the palm of your hand, lightly spread it between your hands, and then pat the toner onto your face. You want to avoid rubbing the toner in, because excess oil from your hands could transfer to your skin and make the toner less effective.

Step 4: Use a Moisturizer That’s not Oil-Based

Tiege Hanley bathroom detail shot

Now that your skin has been prepped and the stage has been set to tame those wild sebaceous glands, it’s time to bring your skin to the optimal level of hydration.

This is done through the use of a gentle moisturizer, and works because your sebaceous glands won’t feel that they need to produce any excess natural oils if your skin already has its healthy, protective barrier. 

So, this leads us to consider which moisturizer will best suit the needs of oily skin. Right off the bat we can rule out oil-based moisturizers. 

If you’re struggling to control the oil spill you call your face, adding more oil to it obviously isn’t going to help. Many heavy, cream-based moisturizers will be oil-based, but we want something more lightweight.

An ideal moisturizer for oily skin will be one that is dimethicone-based. Dimethicone works as a smoothing agent and works to prevent moisture loss from the skin by creating a protective barrier. This results in skin that is neither too dry nor too oily. 

As Goldilocks has often said of her dimethicone-based moisturizer, “It’s juuuuuust right.”

Where does one find these gentle and protective moisturizers?

Tiege Hanley provides two, actually, and I recommend them both. Titled “AM” and “PM”, these moisturizers are meant to be used in the morning and evening, respectively. Since Tiege recommends you use their WASH twice daily, they’ve also provided moisturizers to use after each wash.

Tiege Hanley AM Moisturizer

The main difference between the two moisturizers is the inclusion of sunscreen in AM. This SPF helps protect your skin from damaging UV rays, which can also dry your skin out and cause excessive sebum production. 

Tiege Hanley PM Moisturizer

Apart from that, both moisturizers are formulated with dimethicone beeswax, niacinamide, and aloe to naturally hydrate your skin as gently as possible. 

Step 5: Exfoliate Once a Week

The last step of this oil-busting skincare routine is to exfoliate once a week. 

Oily skin is especially prone to acne, as the excess oil can mix with dirt and dead skin cells to clog your pores. 

To avoid this, it’s important to exfoliate your skin at least once a week. This helps to remove dead skin cells from your face and clean out dirty pores. This is only recommended to do once a week because over-exfoliating can damage your skin and cause dryness. 

Tiege Hanley also provides an exfoliating scrub to add to your skincare routine. Like their other products, it’s aptly named, “SCRUB.” Men are simple creatures—it’s best to stick with simple names.

Tiege Hanley exfoliating scrub

While they recommend using SCRUB twice a week, this is already a fairly lengthy skincare routine and exfoliating once a week is a great start. If you’re about the SCRUB, up it to twice a week.

Best Facewash and Moisturizer for Men with Oily Skin

Tiege Hanley on mirror for title shot from side

Our top pick for a face wash and moisturizer combo to treat oily skin is Tiege Hanley’s WASH, combined with their AM and PM moisturizers.

WASH is specially formulated with coconut oil, willow bark extract, rosemary, and other natural ingredients to gently cleanse your sensitive skin, without unnecessarily stripping away healthy oils.

Tiege’s AM and PM moisturizers are both dimethicone-based, meaning they gently hydrate your skin with natural ingredients and create a protective barrier on your skin. These moisturizers will help bring your skin to the optimal level of hydration and keep your sebaceous glands from overproducing.

No More Oil

Dealing with oily skin can be a challenge, but with the right products and routines it’s not something you have to live with permanently. 

Oily skin can keep you from feeling your best and sap your confidence, so finding a treatment that will also put you on the path to healthy, nourished skin is important. 

A good skin care routine like Tiege Hanley with gentle cleansers and oil-free moisturizers will help restore your confidence and get oily skin under control.  

If you found this article helpful and know someone who might benefit from these tips, share it with them!


Does oily skin ever go away?

Oily skin will go away with age, as your skin gets more dry, and also with the right skincare routine.

Why is my nose so oily?

Oily skin occurs when the sebaceous glands in your skin produce too much sebum. Your nose can become especially oily because the pores on your nose are naturally larger than other pores on your face, meaning more oil will be produced.

How can I shrink my pores?

You can shrink your pores by committing to a daily skincare routine and exfoliating at least once a week.