The best blotting paper for men
Oily skin isn’t just a problem that women deal with. Plenty of men struggle with an oily T-zone, which leaves them with a shiny forehead, nose, and chin by the middle of the day. Powder can help soak up the oil, but blotting papers are a much more discreet way to eliminate the shine.
These thin slips of paper absorb a significant amount of oil without drying out the skin or leaving any residue behind. Packages of blotting papers are small enough to toss in a pocket, so they’re convenient to use anywhere.
With our buying guide, you’ll be armed with all the tips you need to find the best blotting paper for men. We’ve also included several specific product recommendations at the end, like our top pick from Shiseido, which are slightly powdered to provide an even more mattifying effect.
Considerations when choosing blotting papers for men
Before choosing blotting papers, consider your skin type. For extremely oily skin, you have to be sure to select blotting papers that are absorbent enough. If you choose papers that don’t soak up enough oil, you’ll go through multiple papers to get rid of your shine. The most absorbent blotting papers are usually made with flax, abaca, or rice powder.
If you have only slightly oily skin, cotton or linen blotting papers typically do an effective job of soaking up the oil.
Consider your skin tone when shopping for blotting papers. If you have a deeper skin tone, avoid blotting paper with powder. It can leave behind a pale residue unless it’s specifically meant for darker skin.
You can find blotting paper made of natural and synthetic materials, which vary in absorbency and softness.
Cotton blotting papers are the most common because cotton is soft and reasonably absorbent. These work well for mild to moderately oily skin.Synthetic fiber blotting papers are soft and fairly absorbent but not the best option for those who prefer natural products.Linen blotting papers feature another natural material that’s reasonably absorbent. Linen has a rougher texture than cotton.Rice paper blotting papers are also made from a natural material. They’re very thin but highly absorbent. Some rice papers also contain rice powder for extra absorbency.Flax and wood blotting papers are natural options. They’re soft, absorbent, and gentle on sensitive skin.Abaca leaf blotting papers are among the most absorbent natural option and work well for extremely oily skin.
Added active ingredients
Many blotting papers for men are simply made of paper to absorb excess oil, but you can find some varieties with added ingredients to help them soak up more oil or treat acne.
Some common additives include:
Rice powder is added to blotting papers to increase their absorbency. It can leave behind a residue that’s especially obvious on deep skin tones.Activated charcoal can boost blotting papers’ absorbency and help remove bacteria from the skin.Green tea is often added to blotting papers because it contains antioxidants and can help soothe redness.Willow bark is sometimes added to blotting papers to soothe redness and reduce acne. It can also help lighten dark spots.
Some inexpensive blotting papers contain oils like mineral oil, but they can clog pores and actually make your skin look oilier. For the best results, look for oil-free blotting papers.
If you’re concerned with the environmental impact of your beauty products, look for biodegradable blotting papers. Natural materials like flax, wood, or abaca leaves are usually the most environmentally friendly options.
Most blotting papers for men are fragrance-free, but some options have a slight fragrance. If your skin is sensitive or you don’t enjoy strong scents, opt for fragrance-free blotting papers.
Blotting papers with powder are extra absorbent, but they can leave a residue behind. The residue is less noticeable if you wear makeup, so these papers may not be the best option for some men.
Some blotting papers come in highly decorative packaging that’s also very sturdy. The packaging doesn’t matter that much, but it’s best to choose blotting papers that come in an envelope or container that won’t fall apart in your pocket or bag.
You can spend between $2 and $20 for blotting papers for men. Lower-quality papers from the drugstore or those that come in smaller packages go for $2 to $6, but you can pay between $7 and $15 for natural fiber papers that are oil-free and feature sturdy packaging. The highest-quality papers from luxury brands can go for $20 or more.
Q. How often should I use blotting papers?
A. You can use blotting papers as often as necessary — whenever you notice excess shine, blot your face. For most people with oily skin, you’ll need to use the blotting papers every few hours.
Q. Can I use blotting papers if I have acne-prone skin?
A. Using blotting papers can actually help acne-prone skin. By soaking up excess oil, the papers can prevent clogged pores that lead to acne. Many papers also contain added ingredients that help soothe acne, such as activated charcoal, green tea, or willow bark.
Blotting papers for men we recommend
Best of the best: Shiseido Oil Control Blotting Paper
Our take: Excellent blotting paper for those with mild to moderately oily skin that’s also sensitive.
What we like: Contains a light amount of powder to provide a matte finish. Doesn’t leave any noticeable residue behind. Includes 100 sheets.
What we dislike: Hard to tell which side of the paper to use.
Best bang for your buck: Boscia Clear Complexion Blotting Linens
Our take: Super absorbent blotting papers that can help reduce shine and keep skin clear.
What we like: Sheets absorb a great deal of oil. Gentle but durable papers. Packaging makes it easy to carry the papers with you.
What we dislike: Some buyers aren’t fans of the scent.
Our take: Highly portable blotting papers that are effective at reducing oil and shine.
What we like: Doesn’t contain any powder, so there’s no residue left behind. Works well for most skin types, though they’re most effective for oily skin. Absorbs sweat to reduce breakouts.
What we dislike: Can require multiple sheets to remove all oil.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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