Winter Makeup and Skincare Products for Oily Skin

           It’s the most wonderful time of the year – if you ignore that it’s midterm season. This is my favourite season to experiment with new makeup looks, products, and skincare. It’s cold enough outside to keep me from sweating off my masterpiece, but not cold enough for a runny nose to ruin things either. With all of that to say, I love autumn.

            I have oily skin, but in the winter it becomes combination – oily in my T-zone with more dryness in my cheeks, and sometimes chin. With less moisture in the air and less time in the sun, all of our skin changes slightly from summer to winter. For all my oily/combination sisters out there, I have curated a list of skin care, and makeup products that are best suited to control our excess oil, while still accounting for that bit of extra moisture we need this time of year.



            As the first step in a daily routine, it’s extremely important to make sure it’s doing the right things. A common misconception with oily skin that is prone to blackheads, or breakouts is that you need an exfoliating face wash to really get the bad stuff out. In reality, skin that is prone to breakouts is quite sensitive, and exfoliating any skin type too often can lead to irritation, or more excess oil being produced.

            Sticking to a foam or cream cleanser is our best bet. In my experience, face wash isn’t something you need to break the bank on for it to work well! Here are some of my favourites for this winter:

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser

Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser

Vichy Normaderm Cleansing Mattifying Foam

These 3 cleansers are a good place to start if you’re in need of a new face wash, but it’s all about personal preference!

Some take away tips: Daily exfoliating isn’t necessary and “Oil-Free” in a face wash doesn’t need to be deal breaker.



Toner is an easy step to boost your skin care game. There are plenty of arguments for, and against toner. But my take on it, as a girl with oily skin, is that it is a quick step that brings balance to the chemicals and pH after cleansing, as well as target specific needs my skin has. - This list of DIY toners that will allow you to save some coin. As well as specifically target exactly what you feel your skin needs!


Don’t feel like playing mad scientist?

Tea Tree Water by Lush is an excellent blend for oily or blemish prone skin without being too harsh and drying.



            Moisturizer is arguably the most important step! No matter how oily your skin is! If you wash your face, always moisturize after! Denying your skin the moisture it needs this time of year can actually lead to more oil production, as your body’s way of compensating.  The key for oily or combination skin is to find an oil free, or water based “gel” moisturizer. They deliver a great amount of hydration, without clogging pores, being too thick or greasy.

Neutrogena Hydro Booster Water Gel

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30

Clinque Moisture Surge



For oily or blemish prone skin, clay or mud based masks will always be a holy grail type of product. They draw excess oil out and can help accelerate getting rid of those nasty pimples. I use masks about once a week depending on what I feel like my skin needs. In the wintertime, masks that deposit a bit more moisture aren’t a bad thing. However, I will often go for “brightening” masks instead of full on “hydrating” masks. Facemasks that claim to be brightening will give your skin a little extra dose of hydration, and they are often mildly exfoliating and rich in vitamins – which is where the glowing, baby skin comes from. With facemasks, it is important to know your skin; a tingling sensation, tightness as the mask dries are definitely normal. But any excessive itching, heat or burning feelings are definitely not right and you should take the mask off with warm water ASAP.

The Body Shop Seaweed Oil-balancing Clay Face Mask

Just to Clarify Face Jelly by Lush

And if you’re feeling extremely boujee… I highly recommend GLAMGLOW’s line up of masks, in particular; Supermud clearing treatment or Flashmud brightening treatment.



            I would definitely recommend that oily/combination skin steer clear of moisturizing primers, but there is more room to explore beyond purely “mattifying” primers. Sephora has a massive selection of primers. Many come in sample packages or travel sized containers - which is a really cool way to find one that works for your skin without spending too much money. Again, ensure your product is oil-free, and a silicone or water based primer will likely hold up the best underneath your makeup.

E.l.f Mineral Infused Face Primer

Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer*

Benefit The Pore-fessional Face Primer

Urban Decay Optical Illusion Complexion Primer

Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer**


* This primer is considerably more moisturizing than the rest. It is even suitable for dry skin, but it is lightweight and non-greasy. So, it is great to ensure your skin is evenly hydrated and that your foundation won’t stick to any dry patches of skin

** Mineral Veil primer is a massive splurge. But if you have the means to purchase it, it is extremely worth it, in my opinion. Be warned: this primer does leave a faint white cast on the skin. It won’t affect your foundation colour, but it probably shouldn’t be worn on its own.



            In the winter, matte foundations can sometimes be too drying. However, tinted moisturizers or BB creams are too thick and greasy for oily skin. Moisturizers, primers and powders are an excellent way to combat all the damage oily skin can do to a flawless base. I find I am able to branch out in the winter time to foundations that have more natural or satin finishes, instead of just being limited to matte foundations. In my opinion, with oily/combo skin it’s definitely better – but not necessary - to find a more liquid formula, as opposed to something thicker or creamier. A more liquid consistency is easier to apply with a variety of tools (brushes and sponges), and the coverage is generally easier to control and build if you want. Drugstore foundations have recently become drastically better in quality than when we all first started experimenting with makeup. Here is a list of products I have personally tried that I deem to work pretty well in this never-ending battle against oiliness.

L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation

Maybelline Fit Me! Matte and Poreless

Urban Decay Naked Skin

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation


Setting Spray

            For oily or combination skin, a final setting spray to melt all your layers together and lock everything in place is very important. Setting spray helps keep your look from breaking apart due to oiliness, as well as keeping it from looking cakey or heavy.

NYX Setting Spray – Matte

Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray


Modifying your skin routine to accommodate for the ways the environment will affect you this winter is important. But drinking water, eating healthy and avoiding touching your face while studying and washing your makeup off thoroughly are truly the best ways to ensure your skin is balanced and looking healthy.


There you have it, all my oily skin meets Canadian winter wisdom. Get your new routine on and slay!