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I tried three different oil-absorbing products to fix oily, shiny skin

They fight shine and mattify the skin instantly.
Three images of Writer Cailey Rizzo using different oil blotter products and showing her skin after
TODAY Illustration / Courtesy Cailey Rizzo

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Between meeting deadlines, catching the bus for your back-to-office commute and already preparing for what's bound to be another hectic holiday season, it's safe to say we're all extremely busy these days. For me, simply living day-to-day life is enough to break a sweat — which doesn't bode well for someone with skin that is naturally predisposed to grease.

The only shine I like on my face is from a highlighter, not an oily T-zone. So, after growing tired of seeing an unflattering glaze on my skin in all my photos, I decided it was time to blot it out. For good.

With the hope of finding the perfect tool to help me stay matte in even the sweatiest of situations, I tried three different types of oil-absorbing products: a face roller, sponge and blotting papers.

Revlon Oil-Absorbing Volcanic Face Roller

My personal favorite is the Revlon Oil-Absorbing Volcanic Face Roller, a palm-sized tool made from real volcanic stone that swirls in its holster as you glide it across your face. The stone is porous, so it can easily soak up any hint of excess oil, which is saying a lot considering how much grease builds up on my face daily.

This is a godsend for on-the-go touch-ups. I keep it in my purse and use it while waiting on sweltering subway platforms. Sure, it may look bizarre to roll this small tool across my face in public — but it works. And I know that I’ll walk into any situation looking as fresh as when I left the house. The best part is you don’t even need a mirror to use it. You can just roll it across your face a few times and trust that the rock is soaking up all the grease on your skin.

If you’re a fan of the gua sha method, you’ll quickly become as addicted to this product as I am. I feel like I'm giving myself a mini facial every time I swipe the roller across my face. And since I don't have to press too hard to enjoy the benefits, I never have to worry about disturbing my makeup, which always stays firmly in place.

If all that isn't enough — this product is reusable! When the volcanic rock stops working as well as it once did, pop the stone out of its holder, wash it with soap and let it air-dry overnight. It will be ready to go again in the morning.

Beauty Blender Blotterazzi Pro

For something a little more discreet, I like to keep the Beauty Blender Blotterazzi Pro in my makeup bag. Like Beauty Blender’s more famous products, this one is also a sponge. It comes in a tear-shaped case, complete with a mirror. I recently brought it to a wedding on a 90-degree day, and it was perfect for blotting out my shiny forehead and cheeks between the reception and the ceremony. And the personal mirror came in handy while doing touch-ups in the crowded powder room!

This mirror is perfect for on-the-go touch-ups!Courtesy Cailey Rizzo

While this product works extremely well, it doesn’t quite have the no-fuss aspect of the volcanic roller. But it's still simple to use! The sponge advises you to “Press. Pause. Lift.” For the best results, I keep it pressed against my skin for at least a few seconds to allow the sponge to soak up the oil. Be patient, because if you don’t hold it down long enough, all that pressing, pausing and lifting will have been for naught.

You do absolutely need a mirror to use this sponge correctly. But be warned, the Blotterazzi mirror is not kind. It gave me an up-close look at the gunk and pores that I had no idea were on my face. It is not for the faint of heart, but it's a nice reminder to make that facial appointment you've been putting off for ages.

NYX Professional Makeup Matte Blotting Paper

By this point, we’re all familiar with oil-blotting papers. These kinds of products have been around for years, and they're a tried-and-true staple for slicking away grease. But the thing with certain papers is that, a few minutes after dabbing away oil, your skin can end up even slicker than when you started. However, this is a problem I haven't experienced since discovering the NYX Matte Blotting Papers.

This is one of those rare products that does exactly what it advertises — and exceptionally well, at that. Not only do these papers instantly soak up grease, they also completely mattify my skin (unlike other blotting papers).

Unlike other blotting papers I've tried, this NYX product actually picks up all the grease on my face.Courtesy Cailey Rizzo

They are both easy and satisfying to use. Just hold the blotting paper to your face until you feel it start to change texture. Then, lift and move onto the next spot. It brings me a certain pleasure to have visual confirmation that the blotters are really working, as they change color and turn greasy after a few seconds on my face. And, in the age of Covid, the single-use aspect of these papers is an excellent blotting option for people with an eye on contamination.

Although you can’t stop yourself from breaking a sweat, with these stellar oil-blotting tools, you can at least help your skin look like it always keeps its cool.

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