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 3 simple need-to-knows for oily skin…
1. 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 to help seal in moisture and keep skin supple and protected. Stripping away that oil sends a signal to the 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.
2. Don’t miss out on hydrationYou might be tempted to miss this part, but adding hydration won’t overload oily skin. In fact it’s essential. Oil and water are two different parts of skin’s defence mechanisms. Oily skin needs hydration to stay plump and healthy. Humectants like hyaluronic acid, which draw water to the skin, 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.
3. Don’t be afraid to use oilIn the same way that stripping away oil kickstarts skin into producing even more, adding oil to your regime can help restore balance by calming down overproduction. Nutrient-rich plant oils are packed with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, along with fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and soothing antioxidants.
DO: Use lightweight oils that leave skin 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 can help 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.