A good sunscreen strategy for oily skin!

Thanks Dr. Irwin for this wonderful blog/site. I'm 58 and just moved to Florida. I have very oily skin (even at my age) and had bad acne in my younger years. I use glycolic acid/retinol rotating at night with moisturizer. For day I only use SPF 50 with no moisturizer yet my face gets very greasy by mid morning and I dread re-applying the SPF. Any advice?

This is a problem isn’t it – you’re probably oily by mid morning anyway, but the sunscreen just makes it a little worse. Here are some suggestions for oily skin control. Also, see if you can get the Shisheido paper blotter with rice powder on them. You can just blot without disturbing your make up. Try:


  • Wash with a alpha/beta glycolic wash – like this one
  • Vitamin C serum similar to this one.
  • Sunscreen formulated for oily skin like the Elta Clear 
  • I like the Jane Iredale mineral powder compacts over this one but find someone in your area who can color match you


  • Wash with a alpha/beta glycolic wash but this time with the Clarisonic
  • Then your glycolic or retinol like you’re doing
  • If you need more moisture, a  very light oil-free hydrator/moisturizer like the vitamin B5 gel

ALWAYS START NEW PRODUCTS ONE AT A TIME –  a few days apart at least so if you get irritated, you know which one it is.

Hope this helps,  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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