Matte Attack: 6 New Ways to Fight Shine & Oily Skin

Prevent excess sebum production and display a glowing matte face for all the days of summer

Isabel Marant Spring 2013; Photo by Anthea Simms

Isabel Marant Spring 2013; Photo by Anthea Simms

Clogged pores and the summer sun can wreak havoc on your face, resulting in a less-than-flattering reflective T-zone. If oily summer skin is your cross to bear, you may feel tempted to use astringent toners and skip moisturizer all together to counteract the oil, but these actions will have the opposite of your desired effect. Stripping your skin with drying products, then avoiding hydrating skin care will actually irritate and dehydrate, causing your pores to release even more oil. Instead, look for purifying cleansers and masks that will gently cleanse the skin (salicylic acid and purifying clays are good blemish-fighting ingredients to look for) followed immediately by a hydrating toner and light lotion or cream to balance the skin’s moisture levels. Exfoliate once or twice a week to cleanse pores, and look for mattifying sunscreens, primers and BB creams that will absorb shine throughout the day.


1. Philosophy Total Matteness Pore-Minimizing & Mattifying Cleanser + Mask, $25, at Sephora.

Start your routine with a purifying cleanser applied to a slightly damp face. After 30 seconds to a minute of massaging, rinse thoroughly. Cleansing helps to remove excess makeup and sebum and prep the skin to absorb toners and moisturizers. Philosophy’s new cleanser/mask combo contains glacial clay to unclog pores and can be used as a weekly mask to further reduce shine.

2. Nivea Aqua Effect Purifying Toner for Combination to Oily Skin, $7, at mass market retailers.

Next, use a toner to increase hydration and reduce sebum production. Nivea’s new Aqua Effect line for combination/oily skin also features a Purifying Cleansing Gel ($9) and Mattifying Day Care moisturizer ($9).

3. Sephora Collection 8hr Mattifying Moisturizing Sunscreen, $26,

To fight the dreaded shiny T-zone, look for a single mattifying sunscreen/moisturizer duo that combines hydration and sun protection. Sephora Collection’s sunscreen features HydroSenn+, a moisturizing ingredient that holds on to moisture in the skin while UVA/UVB barriers prevent burning, sun spots and fine lines.


4. Smashbox Photo Matte Anti-Shine, $25,

When it comes to choosing makeup, a creamy primer will smooth out oily and dry patches alike. Apply it with your fingers and let it absorb oil, hide pores and seal the skin for up to eight hours. Wear it with or without makeup, depending on your coverage needs.

5. Dr. Brandt BB Matte with Signature Shinerase, $39,

If you want a little more coverage, try an oil-free mattifying foundation or BB cream. Dr. Brandt’s BB Matte offers two shades as well as broad-spectrum SPF of 30. Shy away from products with reflective or illuminating properties, as they will only accentuate shine on the skin.

6. Aqualillies for Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonion Clay Finishing Powder, $35,

As a final step, set your face with a dusting of translucent loose powder such as Tarte’s new limited edition Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder. It will not only perfect the appearance of your makeup, but will also give a glowing matte finish. Afterwards, avoid reapplying products or touching your face with your hands throughout the day. Instead, dab your face with blotting papers as necessary.

More tips for achieving this season’s matte-faced glow