These Anti-Aging Serums Work Great On Oily Skin To Fight Wrinkles And Congestion At The Same Time

Brand courtesy / Youth To The People
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Finding some of the best anti-aging serums for oily skin is one way to tackle fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots without clogging pores and having a greasy appearance.

You may have heard that oily skin is slower to show aging signs, but that’s only partially true. Oily skin is characterized by increased activity of the sebaceous glands, an abundance that contributes to moister skin and a plumper appearance. However, aging signs like loss of firmness and wrinkles are linked to collagen and elastin production, proteins that provide skin structure, strength, and elasticity.

While the depletion of these proteins is an unavoidable by-product of getting older, a lot of external factors, including UV damage, diet, and stress, can exacerbate the process. So, in choosing a serum to address aging signs, it’s essential to look out for formulas with ingredients that increase the production and slower the destruction of the primary structural components: collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans (polysaccharides, like hyaluronic acid, that support the skin’s natural ability to retain moisture). As an oily skin type, you also want your serum to be lightweight, absorb quickly, and give moisturizing and brightenings benefits without feeling heavy or clogging the pores.

Spoiler: All serums we found for you do just that, and then some.

Our favorite anti-aging serums for oily skin


1

SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense

True to its name, this oil-free serum fights excess sebum, adult acne, clogged pores, and blemishes while improving fine lines and wrinkles. Responsible is a blend of chemical acids that gives mild exfoliation to reveal a more a radiant, smoother, and clear complexion. Reviewers attest to it and especially people with oily skin love the formula. “I have very oily skin and use the product twice per day. It is not drying and has done and excellent job of controlling my blemishes and oily shine,” says one. P.S.: Since this serum is chocked-full of exfoliants, it’s essential to follow up with a hydrating, non-comedogenic moisturizer to counteract possible dryness.

SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense

2

Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum

Your oily skin will love to drink up every drop of this serum since it’s made with vitamin C, peptides, and salicylic acid. This trio help skin age healthily by promoting collagen growth while the added cucumber extract, hyaluronic acid, and squalane balance sebum and deliver a burst of hydration. The lightweight formula absorbs readily in a matter of seconds, it never leaves skin greasy, and it’s free of oil and fragrances, both of which can trigger breakouts.

Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum

3

Youth To The People Triple Peptide Hydrating + Firming Serum

The key ingredients in this formula are three types of peptides that play an important role in collagen synthesis and degradation, strengthening the skin and reducing fine lines.[1] There are also four molecular weights of hyaluronic acid in the mix, which help increase hydration on multiple layers of the skin while also balancing oil production. When oily skin is hydrated, the sebaceous glands are less likely to produce an excessive amount of sebum. So to hang onto hydration even longer, the formula is loaded with cactus extract, rich in linoleic acid, a fatty acid that’s incredibly great at balancing sebum.

Youth To The People Triple Peptide + Cactus Oasis Serum

4

The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane

Retinol reigns supreme in the world of anti-aging ingredients because it encourages cell renewal and boosts collagen production, leading to youthful-looking skin.[2] This serum is made with 1% retinol to improve the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and even tone and texture over time. Additionally, the serum is supported with squalane, a sebum-like substance that moisturizes without feeling heavy or clogging the pores. However, if you’re new to retinol, consider starting with a lower strength formula, like 0.2 or 0.5, and gradually work your way up to 1% as your skin builds tolerance.

The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane

5

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum

This is one of the best anti-aging serums that tackles excess oil and aging signs with a non-comedogenic formula that won’t ever clog the pores. It’s made with 10% vitamin C, which in addition to spurring collagen growth, brightens dark patches and provides antioxidant protection. Three ceramides work to reinforce the protective barrier—a damaged barrier can trigger an increase in sebum production—while hyaluronic acid increases hydration to soften fine lines and regulate sebum.

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum

6

Good Molecules Niacinamide Serum

Niacinamide is a great ingredient in any anti-aging routine, and it’s also incredibly effective at balancing sebum, evening tone and boosting hydration.[3] Good Molecules’ serum loads 10% niacinamide, which, along with two humectants (glycerin and betaine), help the skin stay hydrated, plump, and youthful without heaviness or stickiness. Formulated at a pH of 6.9 and keeping fragrances and alcohol out of the mix, the gentle formula won’t ever leave the skin parched.

Good Molecules Niacinamide Serum

7

Alpyn Beauty Instant Glow Serum

For those who want to address aging signs and oily skin with a natural and delicate formula, Alpyn Beauty Instant Glow Serum stands out. It targets dullness and loss of elasticity with bakuchiol (natural retinol alternative), a slew of humectants that attract water into the skin to plump fine lines, while antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, protect cells from free radical damage. And if it wasn’t enough, the formula also packs glycolic and lactic acid and licorice root to minimize dark spots. Color us impressed.

Alpyn Beauty Bearberry & Vitamin C Glow Serum

8

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

Glycolic, tartaric, citric, and salicylic acids in this cult-favorite formula not only deliver delicate exfoliation but also curb excess oil and reveal clearer and more luminous skin. And this serum delivers all that without dryness since it’s laced with soothing compounds, such as grape juice extract, hyaluronic acid, and green tea. Apply it at night and wear SPF in the morning to get the most out of it.

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

9

The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Don’t be deceived by the price tag—The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum is just as potent as the pricier options on this list. Thanks to 2% multimolecular hyaluronic acid, it delivers hydration across multiple layers of the skin and helps inhibit excess sebum production. What’s more, it contains Matrixyl 3000, a chain of peptides that support the production of extracellular matrix components, collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid.[4]

The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum

What to look for in anti-aging serums if you have oily skin

To find an effective anti-aging serum for your oily skin look out for products that contain the following ingredients:

  • Retinol: This vitamin A derivative is the strongest anti-aging molecule and goes a long way to speed up cell turnover and boost collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid production.
  • Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant with collagen-stimulating effects that reduce sun damage and brighten dark spots. It should be on your radar especially if you’re dealing with an uneven skin tone.
  • Niacinamide: A vitamin B3 derivative that packs all the good stuff for oily skin. It splur collagen growth, balance excess sebum, shrink large pores, and strengthen the skin’s antioxidant defense.
  • Peptides: They act as messengers that send signals to your skin cells to build elastin and collagen.
  • Humectants: Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, vitamin B5 are all humectants that work the keep your skin hydrated by drawing moisture from the environment. It’s good to have them in your serum since they deliver the perfect amount of lightweight hydration without feeling greasy or sticky.
  • Salicylic acid: This BHA is one of the best friends of oily skin and a good anti-ager too. It exfoliates and retexturize the skin’s surface while also going into the deeper layers to clear the pores of bacteria and sebum. Moreover, it reduces sun damage, meaning it can prevent dark spots and photoaging.
  • Glycolic and lactic acids: They’re exfoliating acids that work to renew the skin. However, due to their large molecules, they can’t penetrate the skin as much as salicylic acid, which makes them work more on the surface. But they provide other benefits such as increasing collagen and helping skin retain moisture.
  • Antioxidants: They help counteract the effects of sun damage and pollution that the skin receives over time, reducing the degradation of collagen and elastin.

Consistency also matters. A water-based, lightweight and oil-free serum that sink quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy or sticky feeling is ideal for someone with oily skin. Last but not least, make sure that the serum you use doesn’t dry out your skin. That’s because dehydration can force the body to produce more sebum to replenish the moisture loss, which can make your skin even more greasy.

The verdict

Women’s Concepts top pick for the best anti-aging serum for oily skin goes to SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense. The formula does an amazing job eliminating blemishes and age marks and keep congestion and excess sebum at bay. Reviewers love how it leaves skin clear and reduces breakouts, most noticing a considerable improvement in the texture with less noticeable fine lines. It’s really a no-brainer for oily skin folks. However, we understand not everyone is willing to pay $96 for a 30ml serum, which is why we also included more budget-friendly alternative such as The Ordinary Retinol 1% In Squalane and Good Molecules Niacinamide Serum.


Footnotes

Women’s Concepts uses reliable sources, including dermatologists’ insights, clinical trials, and scientific journals, to find accurate information and support all the facts shared in our articles. All statements and claims have clear and legit references. Read our editorial policy to learn more about our sources of information, our process of researching and fact-checking the content, and how our team strives to keep all articles updated, completed, and trustworthy.

References
  1. Trookman NS, Rizer RL, Ford R, Ho E, Gotz V. Immediate and Long-term Clinical Benefits of a Topical Treatment for Facial Lines and Wrinkles. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2009 Mar;2(3):38-43. 
  2. Mukherjee S, Date A, Patravale V, Korting HC, Roeder A, Weindl G. Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety. Clin Interv Aging. 2006;1(4):327-48. doi: 10.2147/ciia.2006.1.4.327. PMID: 18046911; PMCID: PMC2699641.
  3. Draelos ZD, Matsubara A, Smiles K. The effect of 2% niacinamide on facial sebum production. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2006 Jun;8(2):96-101. doi: 10.1080/14764170600717704. PMID: 16766489.
  4. Aldag C, Nogueira Teixeira D, Leventhal PS. Skin rejuvenation using cosmetic products containing growth factors, cytokines, and matrikines: a review of the literature. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016 Nov 9;9:411-419. 
Who wrote this?
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu is the founder and editor-in-chief of Women's Concepts. She has over 5 years of experience working in the beauty editorial industry and dermatological research and was an acne sufferer for over a decade. Ana is now an IAO and CPD-accredited skincare consultant keen to teach others about the importance of a consistent routine. She covers a wide range of topics in skincare—from buzzy ingredients to anti-aging and acne advice. She holds a BA in Sociology and Political Sciences from the National School of Political and Administrative Studies. Find her on LinkedIn or Instagram.
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