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Say Goodbye to Greasy Skin With This Summer Skincare Routine

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If you want to glow like a goddess sans the stickiness, check out our detailed skincare guide to keep excess sebum at bay.
Nykaa’s Top 50 Skincare Essentials

While summer has a lot to offer (imagine beach vacations, relishing mangoes, and clear, blue skies), it can mean a bumpy ride for your skin. The rising heat and humidity in the summer often trigger the skin’s sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, which makes the skin look greasy and oily. Result: You reach out for blotting papers more than your phone. Sounds familiar? However, with certain tweaks in your skincare routine, you can tackle excessively oily, greasy skin and achieve a picture-perfect, healthy glow. So, bookmark this summer skincare routine for oily skin, along with some recommendations that you can rely on.

Causes Of Oily Skin During The Summer

Before building a summer skincare routine, it is pivotal to understand the causes of oily skin during the summer months. According to a study, the amount of sebum produced by the body varies from person to person, at different ages, and at different times of the year. When we are born, our sebaceous glands produce a lot of sebum, and over the years, it gradually decreases. Then, when we hit puberty, sebum production skyrockets once again, causing acne and pimple breakouts. This goes on until women hit menopause, and for men, until they turn 50–60 years of age. But this consistent production of sebum has its ups and downs – let’s look at a few reasons why we face excessive greasiness during summer.

  1. High Heat & Humidity: When the temperature spikes, our bodies produce excess sebum to generate enough moisture to be absorbed by the heat and humidity.

  2. Dehydration: The blazing sun can cause your body to get easily dehydrated. And, to compensate for this moisture loss, the sebaceous glands release excess oil to keep your skin hydrated.

  3. Perspiration: Since summertime is peak perspiration season, our sweat often mixes with sebum, giving off a greasy finish on the skin. Sweat can also clog pores, which in turn, exacerbates oil production.

  4. Lifestyle Choices: An improper diet, inadequate skincare routine, and a lack of exercise can cause our bodies to work in ways that worsen skin oiliness.

  5. Genetics & Hormonal Fluctuations: Finally, if you are doing everything right, hormonal fluctuations or genetic factors could be the culprit.

Skincare Routine For Greasy Skin

Read ahead for the perfect summer skincare routine for oily skin. For ease of understanding and the sake of consistency, we have bifurcated a daytime and nighttime routine for the summer.

Daytime Skincare Routine For Oily Skin

Step 1: Cleanse Your Face

Oily skin attracts more dirt and pollution than other skin types, which makes it more prone to clogged pores and acne. Start your skincare routine with a mild cleanser that gently cleanses off all the dirt, oil, and grime from the epidermis. Pick a foaming facial cleanser to eliminate excess oil and sebum and gently massage it in circular motions before rinsing it off with warm water.

While washing your face with a gentle cleanser is enough to kickstart your morning routine, opt for double cleansing at night to make sure your skin is deeply cleansed before you hit the bed. However, avoid washing your face more than twice a day, even if it feels greasy or oily. Excessive washing can strip off the natural oils from your skin’s surface, causing the sebaceous glands to produce more oil to balance the moisture level. Instead, you can use blotting paper to soak excess sebum and sweat or rinse your face with water.

Nykaa Recommends:
best face wash for oily skin care in summer
Dr. Sheth's Neem & Salicylic Acid Face Wash
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Step 2: Use A Toner

Toners help restore the pH level of the skin and control sebum production. They are important for oily skin as they shrink enlarged pores to give you a smoother appearance while helping refresh and calm the skin in summer. It also helps prep the skin for the next few steps of your skincare routine, such as a serum and moisturiser and allows for better absorption of these products.

Nykaa Recommends:
best mattifying toner for oily skincare routine in summer
The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner
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Step 3: Apply A Serum

Serums are a powerhouse of antioxidants that penetrate deep into the skin’s layers for faster and better results. During the summer, opt for non-comedogenic serums with a lightweight consistency that’ll get easily absorbed into the skin. You can look for serums enriched with vitamin C, niacinamide, or salicylic acid to help brighten your skin and reduce breakouts.

Nykaa Recommends:
Best face serum for oily skin care in summer
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
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Step 4: Apply A Moisturiser

Contrary to popular opinion and according to research, you should moisturise your skin in the summer, even if it feels oily or greasy. Moisturisation maintains your skin barrier, controls sebum production, and keeps your skin healthy and hydrated. Experiencing greasiness does not suggest that your skin is hydrated, instead, it may indicate the lack thereof. When you do not moisturise your face, your skin produces more oil to make up for the lost hydration. This sweltering summer season, use a non-comedogenic, water-based moisturiser that is lightweight and suitable for your skin type.

Nykaa Recommends:
Best oil-free moisturiser for summer
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Mini Face Moisturizer With Hyaluronic Acid For 72 Hours Hydration
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Step 5: Slather On Sunscreen

While sunscreen is non-negotiable across seasons, you need to be more generous with its application in the summer to avoid issues like sun damage and pigmentation. Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen helps protect your skin against harmful sun rays and early signs of ageing. While looking for a sunscreen, opt for an oil-free formulation if your skin tends to get greasy quickly. You can also opt for lightweight formulations with an SPF of 50 and above that absorb quickly into the skin and don’t leave any white cast.

Nykaa Recommends:
best sunscreen for oily skin in summer
Dot & Key CICA Niacinamide Face Sunscreen SPF 50 PA+++, UV Protection for Oily, and Acne Prone Skin
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Nighttime Skincare Routine For Oily Skin

You can follow the cleanser-toner-serum routine at night as well. Since there is almost no sun exposure at night, you can skip sunscreen and finish your routine off with a night cream and an under-eye cream instead. Swap your day moisturiser and sunscreen with a revitalising night cream and eye cream that controls oil and rejuvenates your skin overnight.

In your nighttime routine, steps 1 through 3 remain the same; simply swap step 4 with a night cream and step 5 with an undereye cream.

Step 1: Apply Night Cream

A night cream is meant to melt into your skin overnight so it can enter the deeper layers of the epidermis and work its magic. It exfoliates the skin, doesn’t let dead cells clog pores, and more importantly, absorbs oil so you can wake up feeling fresh and light. It balances sebum levels and hydrates from within, leaving your skin soft and supple sans any greasiness.

Nykaa Recommends:
best night cream for oil skin in the summer
Plum Green Tea Night Gel Cream With Glycolic Acid - Fights Acne For Clear, Oil-Free, Youthful Skin
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Step 2: Roll On Undereye Serum

Undereye creams work best at night as your eyes are completely resting and the product can seep into your skin without you rubbing or disturbing your eye area. This roll-on undereye serum has proven to reduce up to 49% of the pigmentation while reversing UV damage and signs of ageing in your eye bags. The glycolic acid, niacinamide, and vitamin C brightens, renews, and repairs.

Nykaa Recommends:
 L'Oreal Paris Glycolic Bright Dark Circle Eye Serum
L'Oreal Paris Glycolic Bright Dark Circle Eye Serum
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Summer Skincare Tips For Oily Skin

  • For oily skin in the summer, use a mattifying mask like clay or neem face mask, once a week, to absorb excess sebum from the skin. However, do a patch test before use.
  • Exfoliate your skin once a week with a non-abrasive face scrub to unclog the pores and eliminate dead skin cells. You can also try chemical peels, however, consult your dermatologist before including them in your regimen.
  • Avoid skincare products with a heavy emollient base, as they can cause breakouts during the summer.
  • Opt for lightweight, oil-free formulations in makeup. It is best to limit the application of heavy foundations and creams as they can trap dirt and grime in your skin and clog pores.

Now that you have a dedicated summer skincare routine for oily skin, load your cart with the best skincare products and say goodbye to greasy skin.


  1. How do I take care of my oily skin in the summer?

    • Cleanse your face twice a day to remove all impurities and trapped dirt.
    • Use a water-based moisturiser and sunscreen.
    • Exfoliate your skin up to twice a week without overdoing it.
    • Use a mattifying face mask to control sebum production.
    • Keep blotting papers handy and drink enough water to hydrate your skin from within.

  2. Should people with oily skin use moisturiser in summer?

    Yes, you should use moisturiser in the summer even if you have oily skin. If your skin is dehydrated, the skin produces more sebum than required to replenish the moisture level. Pick a lightweight moisturiser for oily skin in the summer to regulate sebum production and keep your skin hydrated.

  3. Why is my skin more oily in the summer?

    Due to the excessive heat and humidity in summer, the sebaceous glands produce more oils than required, which results in undesired facial greasiness and oil.

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