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If you haven’t given blotting papers a second thought since you were in high school, it’s time to reconsider. Blotting papers have come a long way since the ones you used during your teen years. The ones of today are formulated with more effective ingredients that sop up excess oil without ruining your makeup.
“Blotting sheets are highly absorbent papers that help to absorb oil from the skin leaving a more matte complexion,” explains Ramya Kollipara, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology in Dallas. And if you wouldn’t necessarily classify your skin type as “oily,” that doesn’t mean blotting papers can’t play a useful role in your skincare routine. “Anyone can use them when their skin is feeling oily, especially in the summertime or when wearing lots of products on the face,” says Kollipara.
Some of Kollipara’s favorite ingredients in blotting papers are rice, cotton, and flaxseed. As for how to use them, Kollipara suggests gently pressing the sheet against your skin and leaving it on for a few seconds while the oil is absorbed. “Don’t rub the paper on the skin as this can be irritating and can spread the oil around instead of absorbing it,” she says.
Ready to add this nifty product back into your beauty routine? Here, we’ve rounded up the best blotting papers available today.
Best Overall: Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers
These blotting papers receive top honors for the way they remove excess oil from the skin, leaving a soft-feeling, matte-looking complexion behind. The papers are formulated with 100% natural abaca leaf and gold flakes and help to absorb oil without interfering with your makeup. They're free of synthetic fragrances, powder, and mineral oil, making them a great pick for sensitive skin—and they’re also biodegradable.
Best Budget: NYX Professional Makeup Blotting Paper
One of the best things about blotting papers is that you can find some very inexpensive options that still work really well. This budget blotting paper pick seriously gets the job done. The 100% pulp paper blotting sheets can be used before or after makeup application to reduce shine for a matte look. Plus, customers rave about how easy they are to carry.
Best Drugstore: Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets
Sometimes you just can’t beat a classic: This drugstore find has stood the test of time, and for good reason. These blotting papers are designed to remove excess shine especially around the nose and T-zone, two areas that are particularly prone to getting oily. The sheets themselves have a soft and silky feel, and you can use them throughout the day without any risk of smudging your makeup.
Best Luxury: Shiseido Oil-Control Blotting Paper
For those who want something a little more luxurious, turn your attention to these splurge-worthy blotting papers. They’re coated in powder to immediately eliminate shine and freshen up your complexion. Reviewers like how easily they get rid of oil while keeping makeup intact.
Best Splurge: Serge Lutens Powdered Blotting Paper Petit Buvard
If you need another reason to splurge, then look no further than these chic blotting papers made in France. The double-sided sheets have a fancy floral scent and work fast to sop up excess oil when you’re on the go. Use them throughout the day anytime you need a touchup.
Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Boscia Clear Complexion Blotting Linens
Oily skin and acne often go hand in hand, so if you’re prone to pimples, you’ll want these blotting papers in your makeup bag. They’re formulated with willow bark extract and abaca tree fiber. They help absorb excess oil and sweat, and can also help prevent breakouts as well.
Best K-Beauty: Etude House My Beauty Tool Oil Control Film
Following a 10-step K-beauty routine? Make these blotting papers part of the action. The super-thin sheets remove excess shine ASAP without doing a thing to your makeup so you can rest assured your foundation won’t be ruined.
Best Eco-Friendly: Mai Couture Bamboo Charcoal Blotting Sheets
This formula of these blotting papers, made with charcoal, helps draw out impurities for a fresh, matte look without messing up your face makeup. They are hypoallergenic and work wonders on all skin types, from acne-prone to dry. The biggest draw: They are biodegradable, making them an earth-friendly option.
Best Packaging: DHC Blotting Paper
Blotting paper packaging doesn’t have to be plain. DHC’s blotting papers come housed in the prettiest printed packaging. The sheets also do serious work: The blotting papers are made from hemp fiber, which is soft and natural, to blot away shine.
Best Powder: Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Powder
Rihanna is always being photographed, whether on the red carpet or by paparazzi. So her makeup always has to be on point, which is why it’s not surprising that she’d develop blotting papers designed specifically for on-the-go touchups. These sheets are covered in a translucent powder that helps absorb oil and blurs the look of pores without budging your makeup.
Best Post-Workout: Palladio Rice Paper
Headed to a boxing class, then brunch, with no time for a shower after class? Stash these blotting papers in your gym bag. They’re made from natural rice, which is an excellent oil- and sweat-absorber. Just remember to pack the dry shampoo too.
Best Cruelty-Free: Payot Emergency Anti-Shine Sheets
Payot Paris has been formulating high-quality skincare backed by science for many years, so it's no surprise that the brand continues to impress with its blotting papers. They're cruelty-free, paraben-free, and formulated to mattify skin and gently reduce shine in the T-zone.