Oily skin is notoriously difficult to treat with topical treatments. However, the following ingredients have shown potential.
- Green tea
- Sea buckthorn
- Java tea/cat’s whiskers (Orthosiphon stamineus)
- Vitamin B3 (niacin/niacinamide)
Unfortunately, we don’t have enough evidence to conclusively say which treatments work and which don’t. For most treatments, we only have a single relatively poor quality study. Which is to say that I don’t put much faith in them.
And I would be remiss not to also mention Botox. I understand that many people reading this page are looking for natural solutions (incidentally, Botox is natural) and Botox wouldn’t be their first choice. Regardless, I feel it’s my duty to present you with all the options and let you make up your mind.
Please see the study summaries section below for details on the effect Botox has on sebum production.
Given the poor quality evidence, I would recommend you try either green tea, l-carnitine or a combination of them. I have no data to say which is better, or whether combining them works better than either individually.
- Olympian Labs, Skin Support Serum
- Contains green tea and l-carnitine, though l-carnitine is listed in the bottom half of the ingredients list, which makes me doubt this product has enough to make a difference.
- NIVEA, Skin Firming & Toning Gel Cream
- Contains l-carnitine and lotus extracts.
- Meant to be applied on the body, not sure how it feels and sits on the face.
- Madre Labs, Camellia Care EGCG Green Tea Skin Cream
- Contains a high dose of green tea catechin ECGC.