The 3 need-to-know rules of oily skin

Unsure how to get to grips with oily skin? Before you get too frustrated, know that oily skin has some real unsung benefits. Rich in natural lipids it’s strong, supple, plump, and resilient. Because it’s well protected it’s less likely to be prone to the roughness, sensitivity and fine lines that are the hallmark of dry skin. The obvious downside? It’s more prone to blocked pores, blackheads and blemishes.

And this leads to the biggest mistake people with oily skin make - harsh regimes that actually make the problem worse. Oily or blemished skin needs a gentle approach. Here are our simple need-to-knows…   

Don’t overwash
You might love the squeaky-clean feel of a freshly-washed face but too much cleansing or using harsh detergents makes oily skin even oilier. How? Sebum is produced naturally by skin to help seal in moisture, and keep it supple and protected against irritants. Stripping away oil sends a signal to oil glands to produce even more. It also destroys the microbiome, the ecosystem of friendly bacteria that helps keep skin calm and healthy, making skin more prone to breakouts.

DO: Wash no more than twice a day with very mild foaming cleansers.

Don’t miss out on moisture
Yup, you might be tempted to miss this part, but adding moisture won’t overload oily skin, in fact it’s essential. It’s easy to get confused, but oil and water are two different parts of skin’s defence mechanisms that keep it working efficiently. Oily skin needs hydration to stay healthy, and avoid dehydration. Humectants like hyaluronic acid, which draw water to the skin and keep it there are ideal. 

DO: Use lightweight hydration and hyaluronic-based serums daily. Avoid occlusive formulas containing mineral oils or petrolatum that seal skin completely and block pores.

Don’t be afraid to use oil
In the same way that washing away oil zaps skin into producing more, adding oil to your regime can help balance skin by calming down overproduction. Nutrient-rich oils are also packed with calming, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and soothing antioxidants. 

DO: Use ultra lightweight, breathable oils that leave skin feeling fresh, and won’t clog pores or leave a greasy residue. The best? Jojoba, technically a wax ester and the closest thing to human sebum, is rapidly absorbed and helps regulate oil production. Packed with linoleic acid and antioxidant powerhouse polyphenols grapeseed oil is naturally anti-microbial, purifying, soothing and astringent. What not to use? Coconut oil, which is heavy and pore-clogging.