Unsure how to get to grips with oily skin? Before you get too frustrated, know that oily skin has 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 make the problem worse. Oily or blemished skin needs a gentle approach.
Here are our simple need-to-knows for oily skin…
Don’t over-cleanseYou 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. The result? Skin is even more prone to breakouts.
DO: Wash no more than twice a day with very mild foaming cleansers.
Don’t miss out on moistureYup, you might be tempted to miss this part, but adding moisture won’t overload oily skin. In fact it’s essential. Oil and water are two different parts of skin’s defence mechanisms that keep it working efficiently. Oily skin needs hydration to stay healthy. 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 and clog pores.
Don’t be afraid to use oilIn the same way that washing away oil zaps skin into producing more, adding oil to your regime can help restore balance to skin by calming down overproduction. Nutrient-rich oils are also packed with calming, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, along with skin-loving fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and soothing antioxidants.
DO: Use lightweight oils that leave skin feeling fresh, and don’t clog pores or leave a greasy residue. The best oils for oily skin? 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 polyphenols grapeseed oil is naturally anti-microbial, purifying, soothing and astringent. And what's on the no list? Coconut oil. This popular oil is too heavy for oily skin and will block pores.