Yes, I love a fresh, dewy makeup look. But what I don’t love is a makeup look that quickly turns from fresh and dewy to greasy and oily. Now, we can’t help it if we have oily skin, but we do have control over which products we use to help or hinder our predicament. To enhance and celebrate our skin without clogging our pores, the R29 Shopping editors have shared our must-have oil-free products and hot-weather makeup tips.
And wow, do we have opinions on what the best mattifying products are to keep our faces and scalps under control. From skin care (mattifying sunscreens) to makeup (mattifying primers and setting sprays) to hair care (mattifying shampoos), we’ve got you covered. So whether you yourself have oily skin or simply prefer a mattified look, scroll on to learn about oil-busting products to purchase, especially ahead of the steamy summer.
"As someone whose skin is so oily it could probably set some kind of world record, I need a good mattifying primer to ensure my makeup stays on for more than 15 minutes — and trust me, I’ve tried them all. Jane Iredale’s Smooth Affair Mattifying Face Primer is the only one that has ever worked for me, keeping my makeup on all day long and my skin from looking like a recently greased pan. I apply the primer, wait for it to dry completely (it’s a pretty liquidy formula compared to most primers I’ve used in the past), apply my makeup, and voila!" —Sarah Crow, Affiliate Director
"I’m pretty convinced there’s no beauty product on the market that delivers the value-to-cost ratio of NYX Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray. For under $10, you get a bottle that will last months and months (even with my intense overspraying technique), and it really does keep your face looking matte-r than a porcelain doll (but, like, in a good way). I simply mist it on after I’ve applied my makeup, let it dry, and the oil slick I call a T-zone ceases to surface." —Sarah Crow, Affiliate Director
"I first got into Black Girl Sunscreen because, like many Black girls, I knew it wouldn’t cause white cast. Unfortunately, the original normal formula clashed with my oily skin and greased up my face too much for my liking. But then I stumbled across the brand’s Make It Matte edition, and I thank the universe every day. It’s perfect. The slippery silicone consistency is similar to Supergoop!’s Unseen Sunscreen and it easily glides across my face like a primer. Whether I wear it by itself or apply makeup on top of it doesn’t matter — my skin stays protected, smooth, and most importantly, matte for hours." —Alexandra Polk, Affiliate Lifestyle Writer
"I wish I could look cute as a glazed donut or glow in the sun with dewy makeup products. However, as someone who gets extra oily around my T-zone, I try to stick to mattifying products and only apply a bit of shimmer when it comes to my eyeshadow or blush. Thus, my holy grail mattifying makeup product I won't leave the house without applying is Laura Mercier's Translucent Loose Setting Powder Ultra-Blur.
Even if I'm just wearing base makeup — a few pats of my compact and a bit of concealer — I must apply this setting powder. I love how it's not heavy, especially for humid summer days. You can't feel it on because it's so lightweight and leaves no residue. Additionally, I'm obsessed that you can see the results almost instantly as your face gets a nice subtle blur effect to conceal pores and oiliness by leaving a soft, smooth canvas. It makes me feel like 'I'm set for the day,' and I appreciate how nothing smears when I accidentally touch my face." —Vivien Lee, Affiliate Fashion Writer
"I swear by blotting papers for on-the-go touchups. Not only do they take up virtually no space in a crowded tiny bag, but they instantly absorb oil and shine — and it’s so satisfying to see what the sheet picks up. Another plus: It’s a great way to mattify skin without packing on layers of powder, which can start to look cakey. I especially love the Tatcha papers since they’re made of super-delicate rice paper, and even have flecks of gold leaf in them for an extra-luxe touch." —Karina Hoshikawa, Senior Writer
"I have combination skin, with a veryyy oily T-zone. It’s been a long journey for me to find skin-care and makeup products that don’t make me look more oily than I already am and don’t clog my pores. So when I found this TikTok-viral Korean sunscreen stick, I was excited to try it out. I really like how easily it glides over my face, leaving a cooling effect and a smooth, matte finish. I wear this after applying my morning skin-care routine and reapply throughout the day. When I reapply it over makeup, there’s a noticeable difference in mattifying my skin from the natural oils produced throughout the day. I haven’t been using this sunscreen for too long, but I’m especially excited to try it throughout the upcoming sweaty summer." —Victoria Montalti, Associate Affiliate Writer
"My oily skin doesn’t stop at my forehead; it travels to my scalp, too. I have to wash my hair every other day to maintain the dreaded grease, but I usually also have to spray dry shampoo once or twice in between said showers. I’ve always been a fan of Batiste’s dry shampoos, which seemingly suck the oil from my roots and leave an invisible, matte finish. And since dying my hair, I’ve been loving the brand’s color-protecting dry shampoo. It works just as well as the other formulas but also features a UV filter that protects and prevents my hair color from fading sooner than usual." —Victoria Montalti, Associate Affiliate Writer
"No matter the time or season, I have oily skin. I have since puberty. But I will say it’s gotten better since learning more about skin-care and beauty products. One of those amazing products for a grease monkey like myself is Etude House’s Zero Sebum Powder. It’s light, it’s easy, and it doesn’t require me to reapply it every hour. But usually I apply it to my face as needed, keeping it in my purse in case of emergencies." —Becca Sax, Affiliate Coordinator
"Oil has always been something I’ve struggled with — whether in my T-zone, my chin, or my scalp, so finding a shampoo that works with my natural oils and doesn’t result in having to wash every other day or train my scalp for a week has been a journey. For an Asian woman with straight hair, I have found that alternating between Function of Beauty’s straight hair shampoo and conditioner and using another shampoo and conditioner combo works best. Usually, once a week I use a deep-cleaning shampoo and then the rest of the time I use the Function of Beauty one." —Becca Sax, Affiliate Coordinator
"I don’t typically look for anything super-mattifying in terms of skin-care or makeup products, but sometimes I feel like I could use a little help during the sticky humid New York summer. I’ll brush on a little bit of this translucent powder by Saie with a fluffy brush (usually just on my T-zone), and it helps absorb some of the oils I produce throughout the day without looking cakey or obviously matte." —Kate Spencer, Senior Affiliate Strategist
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