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NOW READING 4 Steps to Dealing With Super Oily, Shiny Skin (While Still Keeping the Glow)
July 26, 2018

4 Steps to Dealing With Super Oily, Shiny Skin (While Still Keeping the Glow)

We love dewy, glowy, even mul-gwang skin. But oily, greasy, shiny skin? Not so much. Here, one (reluctant) shiny skin expert shows us how we can manage our shiny skin in 4 easy steps.


Raise your hand if you’ve been victimized by shiny skin.


*raises hand*


*raises both hands*


*raises both hands and both legs*


*sobs hysterically*


Listen. Shiny skin is the bane of my existence. Like, I’ve sorta, kinda learned to live with it, but honestly, if a magic genie came and offered me $100,000 or the option to never have shiny skin again … I’d actually give it some pause. (C’mon. I’m choosing the 100k. Mama has student loans, OK?)


And during the summer, that shiny skin is just on level 10. Code red. Emergency status. We’re not talking dewy or mul-gwang or even glass skin. We’re talking I-could-probably-fry-an-egg-on-my-face-if-I-really-tried shiny skin.


shiny skin


But over the years, I’ve come up with my own tips and tricks to help minimize and deal with my shiny skin. Let’s take a peek, shall we?


Step 1: Accept your fate


I know. This is not what you wanted to hear, but the first step of shiny skin is accepting it. It is a part of you. It is one with you. The more you try to banish it and dry it out and hurt it, the more it comes back to haunt you. You gotta be friends with your shiny skin, and it’ll help you out. Like DJ Khaled says, this is a major key.


Step 2: Use chemical exfoliants to help balance the skin


After you’ve accepted that your shiny skin is your friend, it’s time to introduce a chemical exfoliant into your routine. Which one you choose will be largely up to your skin type. (For more information, read about skincare acids in general and AHAs in particular here.) One thing is for sure though, by mildly exfoliating your skin even twice a week, you’ll help balance out the oily skin, so over time, you’re producing less oil overall, which means your skin will be less shiny. Yay for science and chemicals!


hormonal acne


Step 3: Don’t skip the moisturizer


I know. It seems counterintuitive to slather your skin in moisturizer, especially during the summer when your skin is already super shiny and sweaty, but using a moisturizer helps to hydrate and moisturize the skin so your skin doesn’t overcompensate and produce even more oil.


If you’re worried about a moisturizer leaving too much shine, look for ones with mattifying properties, like my ultimate favorite Swanicoco Bitamin E Extra Matte Emulsion. Using the brand’s unique “Evermat” complex (which includes oleanolic acid and chlorantha bark extract), it helps to both balance out oil production while smoothing, firming, and tightening the skin. It wears well under makeup too and doesn’t leave your skin SUPER matte (which looks dated and old to me) but that nice, soft, airbrushed matte. It’s amazing! If you want to level up, there’s also the matching toner. Thank me later!


Step 4: Make powder your friend


I know finishing your makeup with powder to reduce shine is something mostly everyone knows how to do, but I also love to use powder even when I’m not wearing any makeup! I like to powder the most shiny parts of my oily face (my nose, forehead, and chin) and then go about my day. This way, I still look natural and not super matte all over (which isn’t my jam).


Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder 5g K-beauty color cosmetics


When you do your makeup, the same rule applies. After like six years, I still swear by my holy grail Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder. It’s translucent, so you don’t have to worry about it leaving any harsh white tint to your skin. It leaves such a soft, pretty finish, and it’s so affordable! I would go through these like water during summer in Korea. It even comes in a compact, so you can take it with you for touch-ups throughout the day.


For a complete guide on skincare for oily skin, check out my article here.


How do you manage your shiny skin in the summer? Let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for tips and tricks!



Sheryll Donerson got her start as a beauty writer by writing K-beauty reviews for her blog, The Wanderlust Project. These days, she's lifting heavy weights, eating tacos, drinking (too much) coffee and is 1/4 of the beauty podcast, Beauty Beyond Basics (or Triple Bees for short). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @sheryllrenata.




I have oily skin, and let me tell you these tips are a MUST !! I use a daily cleanser that is also an exfoliant because if I don't, you can see the oil build up in my pores. I also use the baking method for my makeup routine to minimize shine. I still like the glowy look, but am not a fan of too much shine.


Normally, I don't get very oily 'cuz I'm old as dirt. But if the weather is humid, I reach for my Sooryehan Pore Care ampoule. I use it only on my T-zone, and it seems to keep me from getting too shiny. I also have Neogen's Sebum Clear Pore Mist that I spritz before and after applying makeup. It's never done a good job when I'm already oily, but if I get it on under my foundation, it seems to do the trick.


Lol "accept your fate", that's the best advice tbh. I had fought so long to keep my skin as matte as I could and ever since I just understood that it was going to be shiny and I should try to concentrate my overly shiny skin into just "glowy" for most of the day, my whole life has been so much easier.


I definitely used to make the mistake of skipping moisturizer, and always ended up with dry patches plus dehydrated-but-oily patches! Light layers of hydration and moisturizer are definitely working better.

Tea tree products work well for me, as long as they don't contain drying ingredients like alcohol.

I got the Innisfree mineral powder recently and keep forgetting to try it. Gotta put it out with the rest of my routine, otherwise I won't think about it because I haven't been wearing makeup lately.


I fought shininess for years, trained to think like a good American girl that shiny was bad. When I discovered K-beauty, I thought it was so weird that the women looked super shiny all the time. But after learning to embrace the shiny, I have to admit, my skin looks better, more glowing, and surprise: the dewy, glowy look actually helps reflect light and obscure my dark spots!

I've also noticed that paring down my AM routine also helps with the oiliness on my T-zone. And while I dislike most makeup setting sprays for their alcohol content, I have to... Read more


Thanks, I've made a note to check out that Boscia spray once I start wearing makeup again! I always had trouble keeping it on my face in hot weather. Or even in overheated rooms during the winter!


The white charcoal spray? I love that one! I apply it BEFORE makeup and it really keeps my oil in check.


YES! That one. And ooo, good tip! I've never used it before makeup. It does a pretty good job controlling oil post-makeup, too.


I found that if I wasn't careful I would get some white spots from the charcoal, but applying it before makes that irrelevant and it still does a great job!


Does it also work as a mattifyer on shiny sunscreen, do any of you know? Because my current mission is finding something that works like that but isn't powder.


@kimmy I've never tried it directly on top of sunscreen, but based on how it looks when I spritz it on top of my makeup, I'd say it's not mattifying. But you know what I have used that is mattifying but without alcohol and works on top of skincare products and even makeup? Skinn Matte Manager. It's not a well known brand, but this product is pretty incredible for mattifying without using a lot of silicones nor that gross powder feel (I hate both). Aloe juice is its first ingredient. You can use it as a serum or on top... Read more


Ooh! I haven\'t heard of Skinn Matte Manager before, that sounds very promising. tracyannteel recced me Koh Gen Do’s Maifanshi Powder recently, which apparently has hyaluronic acid in it and so is not at all drying. I\'ve now decided I\'ll test them both :D


"I've also noticed that paring down my AM routine also helps with the oiliness on my T-zone."

I wonder if my issue is that simple. Maybe I need to simplify!


I agree! I finally realized that I need to pare down my AM routine in the summer when my T-zone oiliness goes into overdrive. In the winter, my T-zone is fine with much more hydration, but in the summer, it definitely helps my makeup last longer if I simplify.