Oily skin can be frustrating; it’s a delicate creature and striking the right balance can feel like a quest for the Holy Grail.
Go hard with your skincare regime to eliminate oiliness and there is a good chance that you could kickstart your sebaceous glands into overdrive, a topic discussed in detail in the article oily skin remedies. But overload that emollient train and chances are, you risk suffocating your skin.
In order to return peace and balance to your skin, and because most people have a combination of symptoms, I recommend a customised, multidimensional approach.
Matte morning skincare routine
You’ll need a cleanser that can cut through the oil your skin produced overnight, so wash with a cleanser that is not too stripping – avoid any ingredients that have the word ‘sulfate’.
Next, spray your skin or pat on a toner specifically formulated for oily skin to help neutralise its pH.
Follow with a balancing serum such as B+ niacinamide complex, to encourage your skin to produce less oil, preventing excess oil from clogging your pores.
Oily skin can be dehydrated.
If your skin is dehydrated, later with a hydrating serum such as H20 hyaluronic complex, around the areas where you tend to get dry, once sunk in apply your moisturiser. It is best to layer with a water-gel moisturiser such as equilibrium balancing gel which is lightweight, balancing yet extremely hydrating.
Double cleanse! Start with an oil cleanser first, then wash again with your morning cleanser. Normalise your oily skin by using a toner and a balancing serum, topped off with a water-gel cream.
“A” is for “Absolutely, you should be using Vitamin A!”. It has been researched and proven to improve almost any skin issue and works extremely well for oily skin. Start out with a low-strength serum and gradually build up to a higher strength if needed. Use twice a week at first, gradually working towards every other night. A+ retinoid complex is a great place to start and then top off with your water-gel moisturiser.
Good to have as needed
Every week or so, apply a clay mask for 20 minutes. Masks containing clays can reduce oil for a few days, leaving your skin soft, smooth, and shine-free. Remember that over-drying can lead to more oil!
What to avoid
Have an intimate knowledge of your ingredients and don’t rely on marketing jargon to tell you if something will make you break out. Look out for these common irritants in your product’s ingredient list: SD alcohol, Menthol, Peppermint or Eucalyptus.
Oil is not the enemy
The same is true with products labelled “oil-free”. Use lightweight oil serums containing Jojoba, Rosehip, and Cumin oils.
If you are very oily and suffer from breakouts, Glycolic and Salicylic acids should become your go-tos. These flush out the pore lining and prevent an overload of oil which can lead to breakouts and acne. If you are however experiencing inflamed breakouts then avoid these ingredients until things have settled down.
Even if you do all the right things for your oily skin, you may still need some extractions occasionally especially if you are suffering from blackheads. Find an experienced aesthetician and have a facial a few times a year to keep your skin clear and get your skin’s health back on track. The article on how to get rid of blackheads for good should become your go-to guide if you are struggling to get rid of them.
Embrace blotting paper
Whilst it may seem trite, it’s true. They help to soak up excess oil throughout the day and won’t strip your skin, so it’s almost impossible to overuse them.
Don’t ignore your internals
Get cozy with Omegas, Fatty acids, and Vitamins galore, nicotinamide or niacinamide, zinc, nicazel, which you can read all about here.
Treat breakouts with care
If you are prone to breakouts, you need to treat them carefully. A study on acne found that in an attempt to dry out lesions, patients often use too many products or apply excessive amounts all over the skin rather than just carrying out spot treatments, resulting in further irritation and over-drying. Resq anti-blemish complex is ideal for this.
Vigorous scrubbing and using harsh exfoliants will cause tiny micro-tears, which can lead to long-term sensitisation and an impaired barrier. It can also rupture whiteheads, spreading bacteria and making them red and painful – remember, no matter how satisfying it is, picking and popping your pimples will only increase inflammation, reinfection, and hyperpigmentation.
The most important part of treating your oily skin is combatting it daily with a well-thought-out, customised routine, waiting at least four to six weeks before you deem a product ineffective, as this is how long it takes for cellular turnover to occur on your skin.
The Naked Truth
I’m often asked about peels, but although I run a skincare clinic, I’m not a big fan unless a client has really oily skin with no sign of inflammation, or a mature thick and skin again without any signs of sensitivity.
I’m all about keeping inflammation out of the skin and restoring the barrier with a good skin barrier cream – not breaking it down with invasive treatments. The cons far outweigh the pros as far as I am concerned, and the long-term damage can be irreversible if administered incorrectly.