The Definitive Guide: Best Anti-Aging Serum for Oily Skin in 2018

Updated 3 years ago

You’ve spent months - no, years - perfecting your skincare and makeup routine with products that work for your skin. With oily skin, incorporating a new product into your routine can be scary. You think you have created the perfect anti-aging skincare routine, but then you hear that you definitely need to be using a serum. What? Since when? Panic mode sets in when you think about all the different products you will have to buy and try in order to find the one that works with your skin.

Wait, there are still so many questions. What are anti-aging serums? What do they do? What is the difference between serums and creams? So many questions! But fear not - we have all the answers to your questions...and more!

The Basics: What to Know

What are serums?

Face serum is a highly concentrated liquid or gel for your face that helps repair and reinvigorate your skin. Serums are essentially power packed super boosters for your skin. They are typically lightweight and contain powerful ingredients with small molecules that allow the product to reach deeper into the skin than most other skincare products.

How do anti-aging serums work?

Anti-aging serums are made with ingredients that fight wrinkles and lines in your skin and can help make your skin appear fuller, brighter, and smoother. Certain ingredients have anti-aging properties. Since serums are highly concentrated, these ingredients can truly help reinvigorate and repair your skin.

Our Top Anti-Aging Serums for Oily Skin

Trying a new product - especially one meant to hydrate skin - can make those with sensitive skin weary. The last thing you need is a shinier complexion. But, good news! There are products created specifically for people with skin like yours!

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions + Line Correcting Serum

Clinique’s small but mighty serum is multi-functional. Just a few drops diminishes wrinkles and fine lines while also absorbing excess oil and preventing breakouts with salicylic acid.

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Daily Serum

This serum promises to firm, protect, and correct skin, while also protecting your skin from the harmful environmental effects that cause skin damage. Reviewers have not been let down by the high standards set by the company in the product’s description. Users have found that the product goes on smoothly, absorbs quickly, and saw visible improvements on their skin. This serum even helps improve sun-damaged skin and also reduces all appearances of age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines.

Rodial Snake O2 Serum

Maybe it’s the name, or maybe it’s the powerful ingredients in this serum that scare away wrinkles and fine lines after just a few uses. Syn-ake dipeptides is an anti-aging treatment that is known as an alternative to botox by beauty professionals and dermatologists. Still wondering why it’s named Rodial Snake O2 Serum? Syn-ake is a synthetic form of snake venom, and claims to freeze the muscles in your skin so as to smooth fine lines and decrease wrinkles. Though there are many fans of the product, those with sensitive skin should take caution when using this product, as the syn-ake has been known to cause redness, itching, and swelling to sensitive skin.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

Many serums can be used both day and night. This one is specifically for use at night. While you sleep, this serum is at work refining and resurfacing your skin, revealing a smoother and more radiant complexion in the morning. If you notice that your skin is looking dull or has an uneven skin tone, this is the product for you. The ingredients in this gel pack a powerful punch and gently fights fine lines, skin discoloration, and other signs of aging by lifting dull and dead skin cells.

Plus, you’re supporting a good cause with every purchase with this brand. Drunk Elephant supports the International Elephant Foundation. The brand only uses clean and non-toxic ingredients in every product.

Dragons Blood - Nature’s Botox Alternative

Tighten and sculpt your skin with the Dragons Blood serum, which is actually a gel. This lightweight gel promises to repair and restore your skin and act as a natural botox. Users love the smooth feeling of the serum on their skin and noticed brighter complexions. It has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe and repair skin while reducing redness. Definitely good to use after a long night.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid

This little gem has received a lot of praise from experts, dermatologists, and users alike. It’s weighless and goes on smoothly and doesn’t give you too much moisture - it’s just the right amount of hydration. This magical serum also gently exfoliates, which is an extremely important part of skincare. Reviewers noticed brighter, clearer complexions and softer and more youthful skin after using this product. This serum also reduces pores and fights blackheads while also evening skin tone and brightening skin. It is suitable for oily skin, too!

Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum with Willowherb

Users with oily skin love this serum because it can act as a lightweight moisturizer as well as an anti-aging serum. The Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum does just what its name implies: it restores and renews the glow of your skin to appear younger, fresher, and brighter. The willowherb in the serum helps reduce the appearance of pores and imperfections. It’s Paraben, sulfate, and synthetic free.

Boots NO7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum

Fun-fact: this serum became really popular about 10 years ago when BBC featured the product in a documentary after researchers found that this product was the only one on the market that actually provided anti-aging benefits. Even dermatologists praised the product and recommended it over pricier products and brands. Users love the product - and the price - as well, giving it rave reviews because of its wrinkle reducing properties. Not only does this serum help restore more youthful skin, but it also protects skin from future signs of aging.

RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Facial Serum

Dermatologists recommend this reasonably-priced product because of its anti-aging properties and ability to erase sun damage. This serum complements your skin’s renewal process, helping to reduce wrinkles and reduce fine lines. It is lightweight and absorbs quickly, making it suitable for oily skin.

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment

This is the kind of product you can recommend to any friend, neighbor, or colleague without the fear that you’ve recommended a bad product. This serum works well on all skin types. It clarifies and smoothes fine lines with the lactic acid. Users love the serum and their results, which include younger looking radiant skin and visibly reduced lines and wrinkles.

Pro tip: make a detoxing facial by mix two pumps of this serum with the Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser. Leave on for 10 minutes then wash off to reveal beautiful, radiant skin.

La Roche-Posay Substiane Anti-Aging Serum for Visible Density & Volume Replenishing

This firming and hydrating anti-aging serum leaves your skin denser and fuller, making it a great product if you’re looking to replenish your skin to look younger and refined. It is suitable for oily skin. Users did not find this product to be greasy or too moisturizing.

Serum: A Skincare Necessity

Serums are an important part of any skincare routine, but especially so for people with oily skin. Serums - especially ones rich in antioxidants - help control oily skin because the serum delivers a potent amount of nutrients that help control oil. That, along with their proven anti-aging capabilities, makes serums a crucial part of your skincare routine.

What’s the difference between serums and creams?

Not sure your beauty routine has room for another product and another step? You already use cream, so why add serum to the mix? In fact, while creams are great at hydrating the skin and creating a protective layer on the surface of your skin, most of the times, they do not go beneath your skin. Serums, on the other hand, penetrate your skin and allow the nutrients in the serum to make a more significant impact on a cellular level, resulting in real results.

Some skincare professionals actually recommend a lightweight hydrating serum instead of using a cream because the serum delivers enough hydration without the extra emollients found in a cream. With oily skin, you may find that a serum is moisturizing enough, and that you can replace your cream with a moisturizer. Though this certainly isn’t the case for everyone, you may want to try a serum in place of a cream to see if this swap is right for your skin.

An alternative to a cream moisturizer is face oil. That’s right. Oil for oily skin. It sounds wrong, but actually, using oil on your skin is moisturizing and prevents your skin from going into overdrive and creating excess oil.

Choosing Your Product

What should you look for in a serum? If you have specific areas you would like to improve, we are here to help you demystify the process. You read the overwhelming number of labels boasting about all the different things in that product - words you’ve never even heard of - but have no idea what any of those actually do.

When should you start an anti-aging treatment?

You can start using anti-aging treatments at any age. In fact, the earlier you start, the better. Starting in your 20s allows you to prevent aging, rather than fighting wrinkles and fine lines after you already have them. By starting early, your skin has a better chance against wrinkles, dull skin, and fine lines. Plus, a good skincare routine is a great habit to form at young age.

Do you need to start anti-aging treatments if you have oily skin?

Absolutely. Everyone should use anti-aging treatments, regardless of skin type. Serums can actually help control against excess oil being created. If you buy anti-aging products with the right ingredients, you will be able to manage oily skin.

Here’s what those ingredients actually do:

  • Aminofil: Helps volumize, renew, and smooth skin.
  • Gallic acid: Brightens your skin.
  • Glycolic acid: Improves the tone and texture of your skin.
  • Hyaluronic acid: Deposits moisture and leaves your skin soft and hydrated. It is lightweight and great for oily skin and also helps plum skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines. It also minimizes pores, which often appear larger on those with oily skin.
  • Idebenone Ester: Fights free radicals.
  • Thiotaine: An antioxidant that protects skin cells from being damaged.
  • Retinol: Causes skin to turn over faster, improving skin texture, fine lines, and wrinkles. Also shrinks pores. It is very drying though, so use with caution.
  • Salicylic acid: An exfoliant, revealing younger skin by helping to shed extra dead layers.
  • Stem cells: Found in many anti-aging products. These stimulate collagen production.
  • Vitamin C: Corrects skin discoloration, events and brightens skin tone, and helps with anti-aging and protects skin from free radicals.
  • Vitamin E: Hydrates your skin.

What type of serum is best for oily skin?

You want to be careful when selecting your serum. Having oily skin, you probably already have your skincare routine down to a science. Adding a product and an additional step can throw off your routine. But, choose the right product and it will help considerably.

  • Oil-based serums: Oil-based serums can help regulate your oily skin.
  • Pore-minimizing serums: Because oily skin tends to make pores look larger, look for a product that minimizes pores.

How do you apply serum?

Now that you are convinced of the importance of using a serum, let’s make sure you apply it correctly in order to maximize its effectiveness.

  • Cleanse your face with face wash and dry your skin thoroughly.
  • Because serums are highly concentrated, you do not need much. Apply just a few drops into your hands and gently pat on skin.
  • Massage the serum into your skin in a circular motion and let dry.
  • Once product is dry, apply moisturizer, if desired.

How to Prevent Aging?

Aging is a natural part of getting older. But there are certainly lifestyle choices you can make to slow down the aging process.  

General Causes of Aging Skin

Many of the causes of aging skin can be attributed to our lifestyle. Here are some of the biggest causes of aging-skin.

  • Dehydration: Water flushes out toxins from your body. Keeping your body hydrated also keeps your skin plump and radiant.
  • Unhealthy Diet: This one hurts. All that pizza and ice cream isn’t just bad for our bodies, it’s also bad for our skin. Though it’s probably not a surprise that what you eat affects how you look. A diet full of healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables provides your body with the nutrients it needs, including antioxidants, resulting in a healthier, glowing complexion.     
  • UV Exposure: Sun wreaks havoc on skin. Wearing sunscreen daily is a must. See the best sunscreens for oily skin.
  • Not Enough Sleep: Our body goes into repair mode while we sleep. It’s the time that our skin restores itself. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t have as much time to recover. Sleep is so important.
  • Alcohol Consumption: Have you ever noticed that your skin looks duller and a little haggard the morning after a heavy night of drinking? That’s not a coincidence. A glass of wine a night is fine, but much more than that and your skin will suffer.

Aging is a natural part of growing older. But, there are so many ways to preserve a youthful glow at any age. Now that you understand why a good skincare routine that includes a serum is so important, along with the lifestyle choices that can help you fight wrinkles, dullness, and fine lines, you are on your way to looking your best version of you!