Oil-free, oil control and matte effect: what’s the difference?

When it comes to identifying the information on the cosmetics label, it is easy to get confused with so many different terms. This is the case, for example, of the products recommended for oily skin that have the indication: oil-free, oil control and matte effect.

What’s the difference? Better understand the subject and check out some product tips:


What is the difference between an oil-free product, oil control and matte effect?

It is normal for those with oily skin to always seek to use products that do not increase sebum production or leave it with a shiny / oily appearance.

In this sense, there are three main types of products, each with a respective action:

  • Oil-free – are those that do not contain (or contain minimal amounts) any type of oil in their composition, so they do not leave the skin more oily;
  • Oil control – has a formula with substances / actives with sebum regulating action, which makes it control the oiliness of the skin, leaving it less oily;
  • Matte effect – it is a product with a touch and / or dry and dull finish.

Remembering that the same product can present one or more of these qualifications. For example, a base can be oil-free and have a matte effect at the same time.

Which is the most suitable for my skin?

To find out which type of product is best for you (oil-free, oil control or matte effect), it is ideal to first seek a dermatologist . This (a) professional will recommend what is most appropriate, according to the characteristics of your skin.

Second, you need to understand what you want. For example, if you have skin with oil only in the T zone, you may want to opt for an oil control product . That is, to help control oiliness, but not necessarily be completely dry (matte).

But if you have a very large production of sebum, you are likely to prefer an oil-free product (without oil in the composition) and even with a matte effect , leaving the skin free of oil.

Even if your skin is normal, for example, you may like a more dry and luminous finish on your skin. In that case, products with matte effect are an excellent option.

Therefore, the choice of the product is related to two factors: the needs of the dermis and what you want. Thinking about these points, it will certainly be easier to decide!

Product tips for oily skin

Many products have in their packaging the indication “for oily skin” (or acne), however, even so they can be distributed in the categories we mentioned: oil-free, oil control and matte effect.

So, we separated some tips for different products of these 3 types, check out the options:


The foundation is an indispensable product for many people, being commonly used to cover blemishes, pimples and / or leave the skin with a more beautiful and uniform appearance.

It is possible to find many options with different proposals: matte, moisturizer, with light, medium or heavy coverage. Therefore, the alternatives cover the most diverse tastes and can please everyone.

For those with oily skin there is also a certain variety, see some of them:

  • Hypoallergenic Matte Base Pause for Feminices – matte and oil-free effect;
  • Ultra Dailus Matte Cover – matte and oil-free effect;
  • Fit Me Maybelline Liquid Foundation – matte and oil-free effect;
  • BT Skin Vegan Liquid Base – oil control and oil-free;
  • Clinique Stay Matte – oil control, oil-free and matte effect;
  • Ruby Rose Soft Matte Liquid Foundation – oil control and matte effect;
  • CC Cream Vult Antipollution Base 10 in 1 – oil control and matte effect.


The sunscreen is an indispensable item for all people, because in addition to protecting the dermis from damage such as premature aging, it also helps in the prevention of skin cancer .

Therefore, it is necessary to have a filter with an adequate protection factor (at least SPF 30) and that is also compatible with the characteristics of your skin. In this case, those who have oily skin should choose a protector such as the following:

  • Darrow Actine SPF 30 Sun Protector – oil-free, oil control and matte effect;
  • Isdin Fusion Water Oil Control SPF 50 – oil-free and oil control;
  • Episol Sec SPF 60 sunscreen – oil control and matte effect;
  • Filtrum Ultra Dry Oily Skin Sunscreen SPF 30 – oil control and matte effect;
  • Anasol Oil Free Facial Sunscreen – oil-free.

Remembering that it is also recommended that the choice of sunscreen is made with a (a) dermatologist, considering that different types of skin may need a different protection factor. Therefore, the professional will be able to indicate the best option!

BB cream

Some people do not understand exactly what the function of BB cream is, but it is quite simple. The difference of this product for a foundation is the fact that it was developed to give a natural finish to the skin, evens out its tone and provides extra care.

Therefore, it is common that in its formula they have assets that contribute to the health and good appearance of the skin, in addition to a sun protection factor. Thus, making it a very practical product for everyday use.

Who has oily skin, can choose from some options like the following:

  • Anthelios BB Cream La Roche-Posay Sunscreen – oil-free;
  • BB Cream L’oréal Paris Matte Effect 5 in 1 SPF 50 – oil-free and matte effect;
  • BB Cream Antiacne Anasol Viso SPF 30 – oil-free, oil control and matte effect;
  • BB Cream Whitening Latika SPF 44 – oil-free;
  • Super BB Cream Maybelline SPF 15 – oil-free and matte effect.

It should be noted that, although BB cream has some protective factor in its formula, it does not replace the use of sunscreen before its application.

Oily skin requires some special care in order to keep it healthier and look more beautiful. Therefore, having practical and useful product tips for everyday life is really an excellent thing.