Five must-have products for banishing midday grease

Having a tropical climate means being able to enjoy beach-ready weather, fruity treats, and summer dresses all year-round. Unfortunately, it also means having to deal with our faces oiling up in the middle of the day. The combination of heat and humidity makes skin produce oil faster, even those with naturally dry skin types. As an oily-skinned gal, sopping up midday grease is something I have to contend with daily so I make sure to have at least one of these four shine-free savers on hand at all times!


Do you keep a packet of tissues in your purse? You should! They’re great for a number of quick beauty fixes, including saving your face from an oil slick. Don’t wipe it off though, or else your makeup may come away with it, or worse, smear all over your face. Just hold the tissue over your shiny spots for a few seconds to absorb the excess oil, press firmly, and peel it away carefully.

You can use any brand available but here’s a beauty insider tip: Starbucks napkins are the absolute best for oil blotting. It’s such a favorite beauty discovery that it even has its own MakeupAlley rating! They’re thicker and more absorbent than regular white tissues, plus you can easily grab a few when you get your caffeine fix. You can also try other unbleached recycled paper napkins like the ones from Jollibee, Family Mart, and Coffee Bean.

Blotting sheets

I was so happy to come home after living in the US for a while, not just because I was homesick but because blotting sheets were so hard to come by there! We’re so spoiled for choices here, and you can easily get one from the grocery or even convenience stores. The cheap, papery-looking ones are blotting papers, which work well enough for mild blotting. For more heavy duty oil-soaking though, blotting film is your best bet as the material is sturdier and more absorbent. If you want one-step retouching, however, then go for powdered blotting sheets like the Palladio Rice Powder Tissues (P250 at Beauty Bar) so you can blot excess oil and powder your face at the same time.

Retouching powders

So what's the difference between a blotting powder and a powder foundation? The former is specifically designed to absorb oil better, while a powder foundation is more for providing coverage and evening out the skin tone. BPs are usually sheer and sometimes even has zero coverage. They are better to use in the middle of the day since you don't want to pile on any extra coverage that'll look too thick.

If you are as oily as I am, it’s best to follow a two-step process that involves blotting with sheets first before retouching with powder. It’s important to remove the oil first because it may otherwise cause your powder to cake under your product. It may look okay when you powder over oil but that stuff is going to seep out sooner than it should and cause your makeup to crease!

Now when choosing a retouch powder, look for oil-absorbing ingredients like silica, kaolin and rice powder for extra oil control. You can check out our staff picks for our tried-and-tested faves. You may also try the Tony Moly Panda's Dream Clear Pact (P678) and the classic MAC Blot Powder (~P1,200) which we are loving currently.

Final tip: keep your application light by patting on a sheer layer; you don’t want your face to look cakey and unnatural, or erase what you already have underneath! Bring a small powder brush if you can since it is a more effective tool versus the typical sponge applicator.

Mattifying balms

Even oily skin can experience dry patches and flakiness, which are emphasized when you use powders. Instead, use a specially-formulated absorbent balm to lightly pat on areas that are prone to oiling up, after blotting with tissue or sheets. In addition to keeping you shine-free, Benefit’s The Porefessional License to Blot Stick (P1,100) has the added effect of blurring your pores. You can also opt to apply this before putting on your face base to act as primer!

Facial mist

Once you're done with any of the products mentioned earlier, mist your face with a toning liquid to keep your skin balanced and refreshed. The Etude House Wonder Pore Freshener Mist (~P300) is a fave of oily-skinned women here because it re-hydrates their face while sealing makeup. It's always out of stock! We recommend transferring some of the liquid in a smaller spray bottle so it's easier to bring around.

How often do you need to blot your face in a day? What products and techniques do you use to stay matte and fresh?