Oily skin winter survival guide - Round Lab
The Good Skin Blog

Oily skin winter survival guide

Dec 30, 2022

"Oily skin needs to moisturize, too."

That's a popular advice we absolutely do NOT stand behind. 

HOLD OFF! Don't reach for that cancel button just yet. We're not saying that because the advice isn't true, but without further "how-to", the notion is as promising as someone telling you "we should see each other sometime." Without a follow-up. 

Moisturizing oily skin is a dilemma, and moisturizing oily skin in winter is particularly difficult. You need to hit that sweet spot of no tight dryness without turning into an oil slick, or else you're breeding a whole new set of breakouts, and… it's a slippery slope from there.

The nuances of keeping hydration on oily skin is a balancing act that deserves proper attention. 

So, we're here today to fill in the missing pieces of the above popular advice and help you find ways to achieve your moisturized sweet spot for this winter.


Crank up your hydration intake

No need to completely change your current routine, you just need some tweaks. 

The 7-skin method


Scared of skincare overload? The 7-skin method is for you scaredy cats. 


Exercising the 7-skin method is a no-brainer. All you need is a hydrating toner and clean hands to pat 3-7 layers of the toner onto your skin, and voila, you're done! 


By delivering thin and digestible amounts of hydration instead of one thick layer, the 7-skin method helps you achieve soft, hydrated skin without the heavy feel so that you don't have to constantly worry if your pores are getting clogged at any moment. 


For this to succeed, there are three things that you need:

  • A toner WITHOUT alcohol, fragrances, witch hazel, or AHAs and BHAs: Choose a simple toner that works solely to provide hydration, like our Birch Juice toner. If you're a fan of the milky texture, our favorite Soybean Toner will do the trick. 


  • An awareness of your skin intake: Though the method calls for 3-7 layers, take the liberation to go under this number if you feel like your skin needs to take 3. As long as you don't go over the magic number 7, you're all good!


  • Patience: Wait 2-3 minutes between each layer for your skin to fully absorb the product. This way, you'll have a clear sense of whether you need to top up another layer or not and prevent overloading. 


Add a hydrating serum to your routine

You'll need a formula with lots of hydrators. Look for ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Panthenol, Aloe extract, Saccharide(s), and Sorbitol.


It's even better if your serum has soothing ingredients like Beta-Glucan, Oat extract, Adenosine, Allantoin, and Corallina Officinalis (Red Algae) extract. 


Press for time? Our Round Lab team has done all the research and collected all the goodies for your skin into our Birch Moisturizing serum


Designed to be an IV shot for dull, oily yet parched skin, the serum is fast-absorbing and full of hydrators, soothing agents, and antioxidants. With this serum, one pump daily is all you need to get from dull and oily to bright and dewy skin. 


Moisturize your way to repel heat attack

While heaters can keep you cozy and warm all winter, they can also be a source of troubles for your skin. Think of Peking duck's skin. Crispy with a sheen is desirable on a roast duck, not so much on your own skin. 


You know the drill, when your skin gets dehydrated, your sebaceous glands must work harder to compensate for the lost moisture. This cycle continues for the entirety of winter as it gets colder and colder outside, and you turn up the heater more and more each day. 


In this case, toners and serums alone won't be much help to fend off the heater attack. While hydrators in toners and serums can bind water to the skin, the moisture will soon evaporate under the attack of heaters.


You'll need the emollient-rich formula of moisturizers and facial oils to cushion the heat wave and retain the moisture longer. 


For moisturizer, we suggest you opt for a product with Ceramides. The ingredient can not only moisturize the skin but also nourish your skin barrier to become soft and plump. The Round Lab Dokdo cream, which contains not 1 but 4 types of Ceramides to serve your skin moisture needs, is an excellent choice for those wanting some extra care for your skin barrier. 


If you want something light and simple, our Birch Moisturizing cream does moisturize beautifully with a texture that's light enough to not clog your pores yet nourishing enough to give you the hydration boost you need. The cream has been our oily skin customers' favorite for both summer and winter. 


For facial oil, jojoba oil, rosehip oil, hemp oil, and grapeseed oil are your best friend. Find a facial oil with a high concentration of these oils, and you'll be sorted. 


Spot treat and multi-moisturizing

We get it, slathering your face with winter-duty skincare can be scary since oily skin is likely (if not always) accompanied by acne-prone tendency. 


But guess what? You don't have to use one product for the whole face. Much like spot treatment when you have one or two acne that pops up, you just need to apply the treatments to the problematic area and keep everything else the same. 


For example, when using your summer moisturizer for winter, you find that your cheeks are dry but your T-zone is perfectly alright. There's no reason to force your T-zone to the skincare diet that your dry cheeks need for the risks of a bumpy forehead. Keep using your staple moisturizer for the T-zone and swap to something more heavy-duty for your cheeks. This practice is called multi-moisturizing.


When targeting smaller areas with heavier products to combat dryness and flakes, try spot slugging. If you haven't caught up with slugging, click right here to learn more about this amazing SkinTok trend. 


This is also a great tip for your friends with combo-oily skin.


Dial-down cleansing and cleaning

Watch your frequency


When your overworked sebaceous glands lead to acne, don't immediately jump to increasing your exfoliator use or cleansing more often to clear those bumps out. Instead, consider the idea that your excess sebum and acne might be rooted in your off-balanced moisture level, and drying out your skin will only make things worse. 


So instead of increasing, try cutting back your usual usage of exfoliators (including scrubs and leave-on products) or even switching your morning cleanse routine to just water. 


Be aware with ingredient swapping


If your skin has the innate ability to work extra hard at producing oil and cutting back exfoliators and cleansers is an absolute no-no, consider swapping out for these ingredients. 


  • Choose exfoliants like enzymes, LHA (a Salicylic Acid derivative), or PHA (an AHA). They are milder than Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid, and Glycolic Acid, but for winter, they should be powerful enough to take care of unclogged pores and dead skin cells without leading to dryness or irritations. 


Speaking of gentle exfoliators, have you met our Pine Calming Cica pad? Well, you must! We have a feeling that you guys will get along real well. 


  • For cleansers, look for Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate or Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate in the ingredient list. They are known for being the gentler among the surfactants fam but still cleanse out the sebum and dirty gunk beautifully. 


Nowadays, they are the standard must-have in cleansers, so they shouldn't be hard to find in your CVS and the likes. Still, if you're overwhelmed by all the choices available, we have narrowed down to two of the best in our arsenal: the Mugwort Calming cleanser and the Dokdo cleanser.


Either one will leave your skin thoroughly cleansed and soft, but if you want a more soothing effect, definitely try out the Mugwort. If you want something creamy that you can take your time massaging in, the Doko cleanser is your best friend. 


Change your lifestyle for winter

It's not always about applying the right thing. Sometimes, it's eating, drinking, and wearing the right thing that will save your skin from the winter hazard. When you think about it, it's basically free skincare. 

Try these tips below: 

  • Avoid showering and cleansing with hot water.


  • Cover up to block environmental impacts. Protect your skin from the whipping cold winds with a scarf or a mask. 


Also, don't forget to put on some SPF. SPF is still a must, even on cloudy winter days. 


  • For the sake of your thirsty skin, do drink up. When your body is hydrated, so is your skin. Water, tea, juice, take your pick and indulge. Just limit yourself to alcoholic drinks. 


Whether it's tweaking, swapping, or mixing up new tips, one thing you must keep is to always listen to your skin. Hear what it has to say, and only then, you're able to help it be prettier, healthier and better. 


Thanks for reading our guide to winter-proof for oily skin! Till next time, our Round Lab lovelies!