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Oily skin can be tough, but not when you've got a great serum in your arsenal. Believe it or not, serums aren't just for turbocharging your line-fighting regimen. With the right ingredients and texture, this beauty product can do wonders in helping to rebalance oily and spot-prone skin. If you find that moisturizing creams tend to clog your pores or feel too heavy (cue more breakouts), a lighter, thinner serum could be the answer to keeping your skin properly hydrated while encouraging lower sebum production (the main cause of constantly shiny, oil-flooded skin).
It's important to find the right formula to suit your skin type, however. The power of serums lies in the fact that they're loaded with higher concentrations of damage-repairing ingredients and contain more potent combinations of skin-healing molecules that conventional creams and lotions just don't have room for. But given that they're so power-packed, you need to make sure you've got the right fit for your skin to really reap the benefits.
A light, water-based version is best for oily or acne-prone skin, as too many rich plant oils can leave you feeling greasy and lead to clogging. Oily skin is often in need of moisture deep down to help regulate the skin's production of natural oils called sebum, so look for effective hydrators like hyaluronic acid and glycerin (a great alternative to oils), plus vitamins A, C, and E.
Now that you know what you're looking for, we've rounded up the best serums for oily and spot-prone skin to help you get started. Start scrolling to find your perfect match.
We're pretty obsessed with this serum. Why? Well, for spot-prone skin, it’s ideal, as it contains salicylic acid to help exfoliate any dead skin cells and give you a brightened complexion.
Salicylic acid (also known as beta-hydroxy acid) is both a soothing anti-irritant and an effective exfoliant, which can even help to clear bacteria from inside the skin's pore lining, as well as on the surface. Blackheads, whiteheads, fully formed spots—they don’t stand a chance.
Some members of the Byrdie team swear by Evolve Beauty's serum to clear up spots left behind by overzealous sebum glands, thanks to willow bark and açai.
Willow bark extract contains salicylic acid, a BHA that is a natural exfoliant and is used in many acne treatments.
Once you've decided on your chosen serum, be sure to use it every single day. While some will offer instant results, you'll probably need a good few weeks to see those changes you're after.