- daily shine
- enlarged pores
- blackheads on the T zone
- pimples and breakouts
Does that sound like you? Then chances are you have oily skin.
Fortunately, the good news is, by implementing a correct skincare routine; you can stop an oily face in its tracks.
Join us for the second article in the series, on how to care for your oily skin.
Skin science behind an oily face
Before we can begin to treat your oily skin, it’s important to understand a little about why we get oil in the first place.
Our skin contains sebaceous glands that produce sebum, an oil that keeps it soft and supple.
Over-productive sebaceous glands, hormonal imbalances, stubborn skin cells, and incorrect skincare products, can create a buildup of sebum in the skin’s pores, this buildup starves the skin of oxygen, which is why an oily face will often look dull and depleted.
Bacteria thrive in these conditions, feeding on the oil which creates the inflammation, creating breakouts – our natural reaction is to squeeze these pimples, but this will only spread bacteria, creating a vicious circle. That’s why having a good home care regime is really important if you want to have healthy skin.
Why harsh ingredients cause excess oil
When your skin is stripped of the right amount of oil it requires to function healthily, it attempts to balance itself, by stimulating the nerve endings at the base of the pore. These nerve endings are connected to sebaceous glands, and when stimulated by astringents, they relay a message to make more oil.
When the oil starts pushing through, it may also encounter a clogged pore, and as bacteria thrive on oil and dead skin cells in the pore, this creates more breakouts. On some occasions, painful, deep-seated cystic acne is why it is essential to keep your skin balanced, so it doesn’t overcompensate on oil.
The perfect routine for oily skin
1. Find the right cleanser
It’s essential to avoid stripping cleansers like foaming formulas that contain surfactants, that leave your skin tight, sensitised and robbed of valuable lipids. These formulas make sebaceous glands go into overdrive and create more oil; so look for a gentle, natural formula that won’t upset the delicate pH.
Whilst it may sound counter-intuitive, oil cleansers are a great choice for oily skin types, the oil in the cleanser attracts your skin’s sebum, so you can rinse both away without stripping your face. Your skin will feel soft and replenished after washing.
Miracle cleanse is a great example that protects the skin as it cleanses.
2. Toning should not be overlooked
Most people see toning as the boring precursor to cleansing, but the real role of a toner is to balance the skin’s pH, really important if you are trying to ward off that daily shine and prevent bothersome breakouts.
Many toners for oily skin are formulated with harsh ingredients like alcohol, menthol, and camphor; these will only lead to inflammation and dry the skin further, causing it to produce more oil as discussed above.
Ideally, it would help if you chose toners without alcohol, that contains gentle ingredients, that will naturally bring your skin into balance.
3. Hydrate your skin to prevent oily secretions
One of the biggest problems I see with oily skin is dehydration; many of my oily skin clients don’t realise that their skin requires water. When your skin lacks the water, it needs to function healthily; it attempts to balance itself by stimulating the nerve endings at the pore’s base, which instead creates more oil. So remember that your cells are like fish they require water to live, and without it, your skin will appear oily with an increased chance of breakouts.
H20 Hyaluronic acid complex contains humectants that pull moisture into the skin and hold it there; making this the perfect formula to be layered under your moisturiser.
4. Moisturise to protect your skin
Some people with oily skin feel that they should avoid using a moisturiser. This is a misconception because moisturising is vital to keep the skin’s barrier intact – the stratum corneum, your outer layer of skin, prevents external irritants like bacteria and environmental toxins, whilst keeping important moisture locked in the tissues.
You don’t need to use heavy creams, an oil-free moisturiser like equilibrium balancing gel offers your skin all the protection it requires, mopping up excess oil off the surface of the skin. It works deep in the dermal layers to regulate oily secretions, instantly absorbing and blocking the cycle of over-productive oil glands.
5. Masks act like tiny microsponges
If you have an oily face, you can get some really great results from simple cleansing clay masks. Fullers Earth is one such clay; when mixed with Witch Hazel, it helps absorb oil, draw out impurities, and tighten pores.
A mask doesn’t have to be placed all over the face; it can be used just on the T zone, or even as a spot treatment, making it a great treatment for those with combination skin types.
6. Consider Vitamin A
The normalising vitamin such as A+ retinoid complex.
7. Don’t over-exfoliate
It’s tempting to want to scrub your breakouts to oblivion. Still, harsh scrubbing will only aggravate the problem further, allowing bacteria deeper into the skin, which will cause further irritation and inflammation.
Avoid walnut, sea salt, and apricot facial scrubs; the grains aren’t completely spherical in shape and can cause tiny micro-tears in the skin upsetting the protective barrier function. Instead opt for gentle AHA and BHA’s formulas including acids like Glycolic, which flushes out the pore freeing the skin from impurities.
8. Don’t pick those zits
I know it’s tempting, but picking at your skin can create a vicious cycle forcing bacteria deeper into your skin, resulting in scarring and further breakouts.
Instead use a spot treatment like the type that comes with Resq anti-blemish complex, which will naturally break down the build-up of bacteria in the pore and help reduce inflammation.
My advice, instead of continually over-analyzing your skin switching between products, and picking it which can make your oily skin conditions worse, choose to use natural products that are free from stripping ingredients, that will keep your skin happy and balanced.
And most importantly, throw away that magnifying mirror.