You could have a perfect skincare routine—and be completely dedicated to it—but if you have oily skin, keeping shine under control can be tricky. This is especially true if you live in a hot, humid climate (soaring temperatures often correlate with higher sebum production) or wear liquid makeup, like foundation. Of course, shine in and of itself isn’t a huge issue, but it can be annoying when you can’t seem to get a handle on it. Since washing your face in the middle of the day isn’t always possible (or advisable), you need something to reduce shine while you’re on the go. And that’s where blotting sheets come in.
Also known as blotting papers, these small, compact sheets absorb excess oil to help give your skin a more matte finish. If you’re not familiar with blotting sheets and how they work, that’s okay: We’ll explain it all ahead. We’ll also clue you in on a few skincare tips to help keep excess oiliness under control. Read on to learn how to keep your oily skin looking balanced and fresh.
What Are Oil Blotting Sheets?
Originally, in the days of writing with quills and pots of ink, blotting sheets were pieces of highly-absorbent paper used for absorbing excess ink when writing. At some point, skincare enthusiasts realized that they could apply the same principle to their skin, using absorbent materials, like paper, to help absorb excess oil from the skin’s surface. Blotting papers are often preferred over other mattifying products, like face powder, because they can be used as often as needed without giving your skin a cakey-looking finish. Plus, they’re highly portable: Most blotting sheet packages can easily fit in a pocket or small bag.
While they’re sometimes called blotting papers, the actual sheets aren’t always paper; they can come in a range of different materials. Some include a light dusting of powder (to help further mattify the skin and extend the life of your makeup), while others contain ingredients designed to help address skin concerns like blemishes. The best blotting sheets are the ones that work for you—your preferences are what matter most here.
How To Use Blotting Sheets
Blotting sheets are designed to be easy to use: All you have to do is press the sheet to oily areas on your face. For example, if you’re prone to T-zone shine, you’d remove a sheet from the package and gently press the paper against your nose, forehead, and chin to blot your skin. The sheet will absorb excess oil and help give your skin a more matte appearance. Once the sheet is “full”—that is, it’s absorbed all it can—you just toss it in the trash. Note that you may need more than one sheet to blot your entire face. You can also re-blot your skin as often as needed to keep oiliness to a minimum.
Kiehl’s Tip: If you’re wearing makeup, take care not to rub the blotting sheet onto your skin, as doing so could smudge or otherwise disturb your makeup.
4 Tips For Keeping Shine Under Control
Oil-blotting sheets are undeniably a useful tool to have in your skincare arsenal, but there are plenty of other things you can do to help keep oiliness at bay. Keep reading for our top four tips for managing visibly oily skin.
Use an Exfoliating Kiehl’s Cleanser
Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser
Washing your face should be the first step in your skincare routine, regardless of your skin type. But if you have oily skin, cleansing is especially important because it can help minimize excess oil. We recommend washing your face with a gentle exfoliating cleanser, like Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser. It’s made with Amazonian white clay and diatomaceous earth and helps remove oil, dirt, and other impurities without stripping the skin. Over time, it also helps reduce the appearance of large pores (a common concern for those with oily skin) to reveal fresher-looking skin.
After cleansing, use a mattifying toner, such as Rare Earth Pore-Refining Tonic, to help remove any impurities that remain. This dual-phase formula helps reduce visible oiliness while rebalancing the skin’s natural moisture levels. Like the aforementioned cleanser, it also helps minimize the look of enlarged pores with consistent use. You can use a cotton round to apply the lightweight treatment or simply splash the pore-minimizing formula onto your face.
Keep Your Skin Hydrated
Using hydrating products may feel counterintuitive if you’re excessively oily, but it’s actually incredibly helpful. Oftentimes, people with oily skin skip moisturizing products out of fear that they’ll leave the skin looking greasy. But if you don’t give your skin enough moisture, it can become dehydrated. If left unaddressed, dehydration can trigger your body to overproduce oil to make up for the lack of natural moisture in your skin. In short: Neglecting to hydrate your skin can end up making it appear more oily.
Still, it is important to choose products that suit your skin’s unique needs. To hydrate without adding weight, try incorporating Hydro-Plumping Hydrating Serum into your routine. This hydrating facial serum helps maintain your skin’s hydration and elasticity. The ultra-gentle formula is dermatologist-tested and suitable for all skin types, including oily and blemish-prone skin. We suggest applying a thin, even layer of the lightweight serum to clean skin morning and night to promote a smoother, plumper appearance.
Reach For a Mattifying Kiehl’s Moisturizer
Ultra Facial Oil-Free Moisturizer
Even if used religiously, a serum isn’t enough to keep your skin hydrated: moisturizer is also a must. We recommend looking for a mattifying formula that can help minimize visible oiliness, such as Ultra Facial Oil-Free Moisturizer. Made with glycerin and micronized amino acid, this unique gel-cream provides lightweight hydration to help maintain skin’s natural moisture balance. The non-comedogenic formula absorbs quickly (sans sticky residue) and helps control shine for up to 24 hours. Over time, it also helps reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. It’s dermatologist-tested and can be used morning and night for skin that feels hydrated, balanced, and fresh.
For guys with excessively oily skin, we recommend Oil Eliminator 24-Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer For Men. The ultra-absorbent formula helps absorb sweat and surface oil to keep the skin looking shine-free all day long. The lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer also helps diminish the appearance of large pores over time. It’s best suited for men with oily skin and can be used morning and night for smooth, clean-feeling skin.
Treat Yourself To a Weekly Facial
Rare Earth Deep Pore-Minimizing Cleansing Clay Mask
Blotting sheets are a great quick fix for excess oiliness, but for lasting shine control, we recommend masking weekly with Rare Earth Deep Pore-Minimizing Cleansing Clay Mask. The award-winning mask with Amazonian white clay and bentonite clay helps deep-clean pores to visibly refine the skin. It’s clinically-demonstrated to diminish surface oil by 46% in a single application, while continued use helps reduce the appearance of clogged pores for visibly clearer, smoother-looking skin.* Learn how to apply your face mask properly in our article How To Use a Face Mask To Pamper Your Skin.
*Results based on a two-hour instrumental test vs. untreated skin on 24 subjects.