Ever wondered if your skincare routine is winning the battle against that persistent shine? Figuring out the ideal skincare ingredients for oily skin can be quite the challenge. But don’t you worry, besties! We're here to break it all down for you. We've got the scoop on the top-notch ingredient combinations that will help you achieve a fresh, radiant complexion without the greasy feel. 

The power of natural ingredients for oily skin:

When it comes to oily skin, some natural ingredients have remarkable properties that can tame the excess oil and promote a harmonious complexion. One incredible natural ingredient is Tea Tree Oil, a powerful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient that helps fight acne-causing bacteria and soothe irritated skin. 

Another great natural ingredient is Jojoba oil. Now we know that the word "oil" might sound scary to you oily skin hotties, but jojoba oil is actually a chemical composition that mimics your skin's natural sebum, helping to balance oil production. If you're on the lookout for a recommendation on a Jojoba oil product, check out BOOST LABS's Jojoba + Bio-Nourishing Oil. It's a liquid balm that nourishes your skin deeply without clogging those precious pores of yours!

Which skincare ingredients are best for oily skin?

Salicylic Acid:

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that works wonders for oily skin. It penetrates deep into your pores, exfoliating away those dead skin cells, banishing clogged pores, and keeping that oiliness in check. Plus, it's got some anti-inflammatory powers, so it's great for tackling those annoying breakouts that love to show up on oily skin.


This versatile skincare ingredient is a form of vitamin B3 and it's a game changer for those with oily skin. It's amazing to regulate oil production and keep that shine under control. No more worrying about looking like a disco ball. Niacinamide also has anti-inflammatory properties and minimises the appearance of those pesky, enlarged pores, calming your skin and giving it a smoother and more refined look. Our rebound serum is a powerhouse product that contains ceramides and other key ingredients, including Niacinamide, to support the skin’s natural barrier.

To learn more about your skin barrier, read here!

Tea Tree Oil:

As previously mentioned, Tea Tree Oil is a natural ingredient that helps combat both oily skin and acne. Tea Tree Oil's robust antibacterial properties do wonders in combating acne-causing bacteria, a common factor of having oily skin. This essential oil is also an excellent astringent, which means it helps shrink those large pores, keeping your skin looking smooth and refined. The best part is that Tea Tree Oil is light and non-greasy, so it won't weigh your skin down or add any extra shine! Fun fact: Tea Tree Oil is a key ingredient in our everyday pimple patches!

Hyaluronic Acid:

Let's dive into the intriguing world of oily skin and hydration! You might be surprised to learn that oily skin can sometimes be a sneaky sign of dehydration. Yes, you heard that right! When your skin is lacking moisture, it goes into overdrive and produces more oil to try and compensate for the lack of hydration. But don’t worry, our hydration hero, hyaluronic acid, is here to help! Hyaluronic acid has this incredible ability to attract and retain water, which is perfect for oily skin that's in need of hydration and doesn’t leave it  feeling greasy. This lifesaving ingredient doesn't just sit on the surface of your skin, it dives deep into it, plumping it up and smoothing out those fine lines. Even oily skin needs proper nourishment, and that's where Hyaluronic acid shines! It keeps your skin moisturised and balanced, so it doesn't go into overdrive with oil production. Hyaluronic acid is also another essential component in our rebound serum!


Despite being primarily known for its anti-ageing properties, Retinol, also known as Vitamin A, offers a number of benefits for oily skin. Retinol is extremely effective in regulating oil production and minimising the appearance of pores. It is also a powerful exfoliant as it increases the rate our skin cells turn over, which helps to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells while at the same time reducing the likelihood of breakouts. Retinol also stimulates collagen production, making it an absolute powerhouse in the anti-ageing department. So, despite having oily skin, you can still enjoy the bonus of smoother, firmer skin over time. 

tbh tip: Start slow with retinol, it can sometimes be a bit intense for some skin types. So we recommend gradually introducing it to your routine, slowly increasing your usage, and always teaming it up with an SPF during the day!

Aloe Vera:

This plant-derived gem comes with a multitude of benefits that make it a perfect match for those battling excess oil. Aloe vera’s soothing and anti-inflammatory properties work wonders to calm down irritation and redness caused by breakouts, or any inflammation, for that matter. Despite its light and gentle texture, it's amazing when it comes to hydration. Say goodbye to greasy residue, because Aloe vera knows how to quench your skin's thirst without any of that sticky feeling. Aloe vera is also a natural astringent, meaning it helps to absorb excess oil and banish impurities, keeping your pores clean and clear. Our rebound serum is packed with the goodness of aloe vera!


This mighty mineral is like a secret weapon for those of us with oily skin. Zinc works wonders in regulating oil production, preventing our skin from going into overdrive and producing excess oil. This means fewer clogged pores and reduced chances of breakouts. By doing so, it prevents that dreaded shiny and greasy look and keeps your complexion more balanced! Zinc also has some anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, it can calm down pesky inflammation and fight off those nasty free radicals that cause damage to our skin.

Which skincare ingredients are best for oily, acne-prone skin?

When it comes to oily, acne-prone skin, there are some fantastic skincare ingredients that can work wonders for your complexion! Here are some of the superstar ingredients to include in your routine:

Bio-film breaking technology

It would be remiss of us not to STOP RIGHT HERE and explain that while effective ingredients are one thing, the way they’re formulated and combined together is even more important. Which leads us to what makes tbh Skincare’s patented technology so ‘world first’ and effective at fighting acne. While one of the core ingredients in our cult acne hack spot treatment is Citric Acid, for example, beyond the hero ingredients included, the secret to why it’s so effective is actually how the ingredients combine to form a ‘mechanism of action’ that breaks down the gluey layer in your skin that protects the bacteria and helps them to survive. (Scientists call this ‘biofilm’.) Spoiler: Not a single other ingredient on this list can do what our patented technology can do, which is why it’s so novel and groundbreaking. So while you’re doing all that ingredient research, just remember that while there are definitely certain ingredients that shouldn’t go together in one routine (looking at you guys, AHA and retinol!), the trick is actually to use a range of products that have been formulated in a way that means they work well together. (Our amazing Ultimate Bundle will cover all bases and is a great place to start!)

Benzoyl peroxide:

This ingredient is well-known for its acne-fighting potential. Its ability lies in targeting acne-causing bacteria on the skin's surface while also reducing inflammation and clearing out clogged pores. Its anti-inflammatory properties help calm and reduce the redness and swelling associated with active acne lesions.

Alternatively, if you are experiencing oily, acne-prone skin and want to target those unwanted blemishes, check out our acne hack spot treatment! It is a gentler alternative, it won’t bleach your sheets and has been clinically trialled against benzoyl peroxide (and outperformed it!) You can read more about the clinical trial here.

Salicylic acid:

Salicylic Acid is another ingredient for oily, acne-prone skin. It is known for its ability to penetrate deep into the pores and exfoliate dead skin cells. It also helps to unclog pores, and reduce oiliness. Salicylic Acid has anti-inflammatory properties that help calm the skin, reduce swelling, and soothe irritated acne-prone skin. This ingredient can actually be found in our everyday pimple patches


As previously mentioned, Niacinamide is a multi-tasking ingredient found in our beloved rebound serum that helps regulate sebum production, reduce inflammation, and improve the overall texture of the skin. By controlling oil, Niacinamide curbs the breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria, reducing the likelihood of new blemishes. Also, Niacinamide enhances your skin's natural barrier function, improving its overall resilience and reducing sensitivity. This is crucial for oily, acne-prone skin, as it helps protect your skin from external irritants and prevents further breakouts. 

Which skincare ingredients go together?

When it comes to oily skin, certain skincare ingredients can work together like a dream to tackle excess oil, prevent breakouts, and promote a balanced complexion. Here are some powerful ingredient combinations for oily skin:

Salicylic acid and Niacinamide:

This dynamic duo helps regulate oil production, unclog pores, and reduce the appearance of blemishes. As Salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant, it can occasionally cause dryness for your skin. By introducing Niacinamide into your routine, you can neutralise potential side effects from Salicylic Acid, as Niacinamide soothes and calms the skin, making it an excellent complement to the exfoliating properties of salicylic acid.

Niacinamide and Zinc: 

Due to their complementary properties, Niacinamide and Zinc work wonders together. Niacinamide regulates sebum production, keeping excess oil at bay, while Zinc works as an astringent to tighten pores and control shine. Together, this combo has a variety of benefits, such as increased skin protection, improved skin elasticity, reduced skin irritation, and an overall healthier-looking complexion!

Salicylic acid and Hyaluronic acid:

Salicylic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid create a perfect combo for oily skin. Salicylic Acid, being a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), effectively penetrates the pores, exfoliates dead skin cells, and controls oiliness. Meanwhile, Hyaluronic Acid is the hydration hero that is lightweight and non-greasy without adding any extra shine. So when they team up, they unclog pores and lock in moisture, giving you that perfect balance for a glowing, radiant complexion! 

Vitamin C and Niacinamide: 

Vitamin C and Niacinamide make an incredible duo for oily skin. While Vitamin C works its magic by brightening your complexion and fighting off free radicals, Niacinamide takes charge of regulating your skin's oil production and reducing inflammation. Together, they're a dream team, giving your skin that radiant glow and keeping it in check so you can rock that shine-free and flawsome look!

Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid: 

Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid work harmoniously together to address different concerns of oily skin, making them an effective duo for achieving a balanced and healthy complexion. Retinol helps regulate oil production, reduces breakouts, and promotes skin cell turnover, which can sometimes lead to dry, irritated skin. That's where hyaluronic acid comes to the rescue. It helps keep retinol in check, providing lightweight hydration without adding excess oil to keep the skin balanced and moisturised! 

Which skincare ingredients should I avoid if I have oily skin? 

If you have oily skin, it's essential to steer clear of certain skincare ingredients that can exacerbate oiliness or clog your pores. Below are some ingredients to avoid:


Some fragrances can irritate and sensitise the skin, potentially causing more oil production and breakouts. 

Alcohol-based products:

Strong alcohol-based toners or astringents can strip your skin of its natural oils, triggering an overproduction of sebum, leading to more oiliness. 

Harsh exfoliants or scrubs:

Exfoliation is great for removing excess oil and impurities from the skin. However, some harsh exfoliating scrubs can be a bit too aggressive and strip away your skin's precious natural oils. When that happens, your skin might freak out and go into overdrive, producing even more oil than before (and potentially more breakouts!) 

Face oils: 

For all of you with oily skin, it’s time to play it safe and steer clear of heavy, comedogenic oils like coconut oil, cocoa butter, and mineral oil. These sneaky oils have a talent for clogging pores, and we definitely don't want that! So, opt for a lighter, non-comedogenic oil that won't mess with your pores and keep those breakouts at bay.

Thick, occlusive moisturisers:

Heavy, thick creams or rich moisturisers that are made specifically for dry or dehydrated skin often contain occlusive ingredients such as petroleum. This may feel too greasy on oily skin and can block pores, leading to an increase in breakouts. So, if you want to keep your skin happy and breakout-free, go for lighter, non-greasy moisturisers that won't weigh you down!

High concentrations of exfoliants: 

Exfoliants like salicylic acid can be pretty great for oily skin, but you've got to be careful with them. Using them in super high concentrations or too often can actually irritate your skin and make it super dry, which then tricks your skin into producing even more oil! So, besties, it's all about finding the right balance and not overdoing it with those exfoliants!

Understanding the best skincare ingredients that work harmoniously for oily skin can be a game-changer in achieving a clear, balanced complexion. By incorporating these powerhouse combinations into your routine, you'll be well on your way to embracing your naturally radiant and shine-free skin! So say goodbye to excess shine and hello to a flawless complexion!