Oily skin is usually prone to breakouts, enlarged pores, and shiny look, due to overactive oil glands.  Similarly, skin prone to acne may produce thicker sebum, have a damaged lipid barrier, and show signs of pustules, cysts, nodules, etc. 
Evidence suggests that those two skin types can benefit from using cosmetic products, which balance the sebum production, shrink the open pores, boost the natural skin exfoliation and strengthen the skin barrier. 
Such products may contain both natural (oils) or chemical ingredients.
Here is a list of the best ingredients for oily skin
- Grapeseed. This oil penetrates deep into the epidermis and reacts with the sebaceous glands to balance the sebum production. At the same time, it can moisturize the skin and prevent dryness. 
- Hempseed oil. It has similar effect to the grapeseed oil, but at the same time, it introduces essential fatty acids and can shrink the pores without clogging them. The reason for this is the fact that hempseed oil has a comedogenic index of 0. 
- Tea tree oil. It has strong anti-inflamatory and antimicrobial properties. As a result, it can reduce the signs of acne and calm the skin. However, as this oil is really concentrated, it should be applied on its own only on certain acne areas, blackheads or pimples. NOT to the whole face, because it may cause burning and irritation. 
- Clay. It is usually used as an ingredient in face masks, as it absorbs the excess sebum and impurities from the skin. Keep in mind that some clays can be quite drying, so do not leave them on your face for too long. 
- Salicylic, glycolic, hyaluronic acid and retinoids. Those ingredients can exfoliate the top skin layer, increase cell turnover, renew the lipid barrier of the skin, and get all the “gunk” out of the pores. This way, those ingredients can make the skin brighter and with more even tone, while reducing fine lines and signs of aging. 
- Niacinamide. Because of its antimicrobial properties, niacin is associated with reduced risk of inflammation and improved overall skin condition in individuals with oily and acne-prone skin 
Do not forget that hydration is essential for oily skin! Producing more sebum is not equal to moisturized skin, so don’t underestimate the effect of moisturizing products!
Which ingredients to avoid for acne-prone skin?
Some of the worst ingredients for oily and acne skin are the ones that create artificial lipid barrier on the epidermis and seal all oils and sebum inside the skin. Those ingredients can easily clog the pores and may cause further skin complications.
- Dimethicone. It is a kind of silicone that creates a barrier on the skin to lock the moisture inside and prevent transepidermal water loss. However, it may also lock dirt and sebum in the skin, causing comedones and blemishes. 
- Coconut oil. It may clog the pores, as it has very high comedogenic index. 
Other cosmetic ingredients which are not suitable for oily skin are the ones that leave the skin dry, dehydrated and thirsty for oils and water. Such ingredients may stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce even more sebum to compensate for the dryness:
- Alcohols. All kinds of cosmetic alcohols with the exception of “fatty alcohols” are associated with dryness, tight skin, worsened acne symptoms. 
- Sulfates. Those foaming agents (mainly SLS, SLES, and ALS) can strip off the natural oils from the skin and may cause irritation, itchiness and flaking in individuals with sensitive skin.