Are you plagued by daily shine?
Whiteheads or blackheads on the T zone?
Bothersome breakouts or enlarged pores?
Or occasional bouts of inflammation?
If this sound like you, then chances are you have oily skin.
Fortunately, the good news is by implementing a good skincare routine; you can stop an oily face in its tracks.
First, the skin science
Before you can begin to treat your oily skin type, it is important to understand a little about why you get oil in the first place.
Your 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 your skin’s pores. This buildup starves your 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 inflammation and breakouts. Our natural reaction is to squeeze these pimples, but this will only spread bacteria, creating a vicious cycle. That’s why having a good skincare routine is important if you want to have healthy, balanced skin.
Incorrect products can make your skin oily
When you use incorrect products or harsh ingredients, your skin is stripped of the right amount of sebum 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 harsh ingredients, 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 and can also stretch your pores. On some occasions, painful, deep-seated cystic acne may occur, which is why it is essential to keep your skin balanced and not overcompensating 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, which can 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 your skin’s 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 your 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 your skin’s pH; really important if you are trying to ward off that daily shine and prevent bothersome breakouts. This article on what toners are and their role on the skin is a good read.
3. Hydrate your skin to prevent oily secretions
Did you know, one of the biggest causes of oily skin is dehydration? Many of our clients with oily skin 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, creating more oil. 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.
H₂O Hydrating Complex contains humectants that will pull moisture to your 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 your skin’s barrier function intact. As discussed in this article, the barrier prevents external irritants like bacteria and environmental toxins from penetrating your skin’s surface, whilst keeping important moisture locked in your tissues.
You don’t need to use heavy creams; an oil-free moisturiser like Quench Ultra-Hydrating Gel offers your skin all the protection it requires, mopping up excess oil off the surface of your skin.
5. Masks act like tiny microsponges
If you have an oily face, you can get some really great results from simple, cleansing clay masks. Fuller’s earth is one such clay; when mixed with witch hazel, it helps absorb oil, draw out impurities, and tighten your pores.
A mask doesn’t have to be placed all over your 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.
6. Consider Vitamin A
The normalising vitamin such as the form found in A+ Retinoid Complex can really help balance oily skin. A double bonus is that it is one of the most researched ingredients when it comes to anti-ageing.
7. Don’t over-exfoliate
It’s tempting to want to scrub your breakouts to oblivion, but harsh scrubbing will only aggravate the problem further. Avoid walnut, sea salt, or apricot seed facial scrubs; the grains aren’t completely spherical in shape and can cause tiny micro-tears in your skin, upsetting the protective barrier function.
Instead, opt for beta-hydroxy acids which help to flush out your pore lining, freeing your skin from impurities.
8. Don’t pick those zits
We know it’s tempting, but picking your skin can create a vicious cycle, forcing bacteria deeper into your skin. This can result in scarring and further breakouts.
Instead, use a spot treatment like the type that comes with RESQ Anti-Blemish Complex. It works deep in the dermal layers to regulate oily secretions, instantly absorbing and blocking the cycle of over-productive oil glands, whilst breaking down the build-up of bacteria in your pore to help reduce inflammation.
As you can see, there is a lot to think about when it comes to treating oily skin. The key is to keep the oil balanced; you can achieve this using natural products that are free from stripping ingredients and will keep your skin happy and balanced.
And instead of continually over-analysing your skin and picking at it, throw away that magnifying mirror.