How do I decrease the oil on my skin?

Gender: Female / Age: 18 - 29
Question: I have a lot of oil on my face. How do I decrease or remove it?
Dr. Schultz: Since one can't easily decrease oil production (especially without the use of prescription-only antibiotics like Accutane), it would make more sense to instead try to remove the existing oil. One can accomplish this with oil-removing cleansers and toners, used two to three times per day. When choosing a cleanser, find one labeled for oily or acne prone skin, preferably with 1-2% salicylic acid (Note: if you have sensitive skin, you shouldn't be using a cleanser with salicylic acid). Just as important as cleansing is following your cleansing by wiping your face with a cotton pad with toner (a.k.a., astringent) on it. The toner should contain less that 10% alcohol (if you have sensitive skin, then choose an alcohol free toner). Lastly, apply oil free moisturizer to cheeks only if needed. Also, one should consider carrying pre-moistened toner pads during the day to remove additional oil as it's made (i.e., in-between washing).
Ben on January 18, 2010 at 4:05am

Glycolic acid will also reduce oil production for a while, I believe, as well as retin-a.

Neal Schultz, M.D. on January 26, 2010 at 3:48pm

@Ben: I'm not aware of any beneficial effect of glycolic acid in reducing oil production (it may help in oil removal) and in fact most clinical studies suggest retin-a actually makes the skin a little oiler.

Ben on January 27, 2010 at 2:34am

Thanks for you reply and thanks for setting me straight on that!