Before we share all the tips and products for oily skin, there's one thing to remember: you can’t ‘get rid’ of oily skin entirely, and nor should you feel compelled to: real, healthy skin doesn't look like an Instagram filter.
But, keeping your face on the right side of shiny? That is totally possible.
We caught up with our Skin Therapist Cathy to get her expert advice on how to care for an oily skin type.
In this article:
- Where Does Oil Come From?
- How Can You Recognise Oily Skin?
- What Time Is Normal To Have An Oily Shine?
- How Should I Manage My Oily Skin?
- Skincare Products and Ingredients To Reduce Oily Skin
- How To Prevent Oily Skin Throughout The Day?
WHERE DOES OIL COME FROM?
The oil produced within the skin is called sebum, which is produced in the sebaceous gland and makes up part of the hair follicle. There are 3 types of hair follicle found on the skin, the vellus hair follicle, the terminall hair follicle, and the sebaceous hair follicle. The sebaceous follicle is often multi lobular which means it has more than one sebaceous gland producing oil; these glands are mainly found on the T-zone, chest, upper back and the tops of the arms, which explains why these are the oilier areas of skin.
Oily skin is genetic, however, it is normal for most skin types to experience some increase in oil production in the mentioned areas throughout the day and at times of hormone fluctuations.
HOW CAN YOU RECOGNISE OILY SKIN CHARACTERISTICS?
We can identify an oily skin due to slight differences in appearance and texture. Oily skin will have what we describe as open pores, it will appear:
- Greasy to touch
- And in some cases, skin texture will be course
WHAT TIME IS NORMAL TO HAVE AN OILY SHINE?
It is normal to have an oily shine around midday, if you are experiencing an oily shine earlier in the day then this would indicate that you have an oily skin type. Having excess oil on the skin can leave us more vulnerable to other skin conditions such as blackheads, congestion and breakouts all of these issues can be managed with healthy skincare habits.
HOW SHOULD I MANAGE MY OILY SKIN?
When we have excess oil we often feel we need to strip the oil from the skin, this is a common mistake and unfortunately it will lead to dehydration, increased sensitivity and over time you may find your skin gets oilier. Over-processing is also a common mistake - over-cleansing, overuse of product, and over-exfoliation will only make oily skin worse.
Mastering your double cleansing routine is half the battle. You need to choose cleansers that are pH balanced to the skin and will effectively cleanse the skin removing oil, dirt and impurities without stripping and drying the skin. Using a double cleanse at night is particularly important to make sure that you are thoroughly removing make-up, SPF and impurities from the skin. We recommend using a balm or milk cleanser for a first cleanse as these types of cleansers are particularly efficient at removing make-up and build up from the skin and follow with a targeted cleanser for oily skin, one that will really assist in removing excess oil from the skin.
Using The Right Toner
Toners aren’t only used as a source of hydration for the skin; if using the correct toner, it should also help to reduce oil production on a cellular level rather than stripping the excess oil off the skin’s surface. When choosing a Toner for oily skin, make sure to look out for mattifying and spot fighting ingredients. It should feel refreshing on the skin and a Top Tip is to keep one in your bag or your desk so you can refresh skin during the day!
Don’t Skip The Moisturiser and SPF
The biggest myth we want to debunk is that oily skin types shouldn’t use a moisturiser as it will just add more oil to the skin. Even with the excess oil production, it is still very important to apply a moisturiser, as it helps oily skin maintain healthy hydration levels in the skin and often include antioxidant ingredients that protect the skin from free radical damage. It’s the choice of moisturising product that is key here. Oily Skin Types should avoid heavy moisturisers that will be too rich and cause congestion and instead focus on moisturisers such as gels, oil-free solutions or lightweight moisturisers.
SPF is also commonly thought to cause break-outs in oily skins and again this is untrue. As long as you are using an SPF suitable for an oily skin type and correctly cleansing skin in the evening to remove it it shouldn’t cause any further oil on the skin.
Exfoliation and Clay Masks
Exfoliation is recommended for oily skin and will help to reduce the number of blackheads, breakouts and congestion you experience, about twice a week is enough as over exfoliation can cause further oil production to compensate for stripping the skin.
A great way to help oil production is the addition of a clay mask into your routine. The clay in the mask will work to absorb excess oil which will help to tighten and constrict the opening of the sebaceous follicle and skin will appear less porous. Oily skin types that experience congestion and breakouts should use a clay mask to help draw out oil and impurities from the skin, leaving skin clearer.
SKINCARE PRODUCTS AND INGREDIENTS TO REDUCE OILY SKIN
Below, we take a look at the oily skin products we recommend to reduce oily skin, the skincare ingredients that make a difference to oily skin, tackle oil production, and oily skin care tips.
Witch Hazel is a natural astringent included in our Purifying Cleansing Gel. A great ingredient for oily skin types as it removes excess oil from the skin and promotes the healing of the skin’s barrier. An ingredient that has been used for years in skincare, Witch Hazel is a botanical extract derived from a flowering plant and it has a number of skin benefits including being soothing, acting as an anti-inflammatory, and having antioxidant properties.
Our Purifying Cleansing Gel doesn’t just remove makeup, it also works to reduce excess oil production and unclog pores – reducing the likelihood of breakouts and excess shine. And if your skin is red and inflamed, the formula works to calm and reduce inflammation, making it an essential first step in your acne skincare routine.
Zinc PCA is a natural compound that is known for its skin tightening properties. Zinc PCA is a powerful ingredient, with multiple benefits for skin, which is why it can be found in a selection of our skincare products. The benefits of Zinc PCA include:
- Controls oil production and mattifies the skin.
- Highly effective at treating and reducing skin breakouts and blackheads as it contains anti-inflammatory properties
- Promotes skin healing
- Effectively penetrates the skin to maintain skin hydration level
Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a naturally occurring water-soluble derivative of vitamin C. A great ingredient that brightens and evens skin tone, has the ability to reduce blemishes and blackheads. Found in our Purifying Toner, this product works to soothe and refresh oily and acne-prone skin, while reducing breakouts, redness and excess oil – making it the perfect toner for acne and oily skin types.
Mattifying agents are great for oily skin types as they absorb oil and reduce shine, leaving the complexion look mattified and shine free.
The Purifying Day Moisturiser not only contains mattifying agents, Zinc PCA and Vitamin E but also contains SPF30, perfect for oily skin types that need a lightweight hydrating moisturiser and SPF Hybrid.
Fruit Acids and Enzymes
Looking for a gentle yet effective way to cleanse and brighten oily skin? Fruit Acids and Enzymes work to dissolve the bonds holding dead skin cells together, for a mild exfoliating action. This also stimulates the lower layers of skin to produce new cells, so skin looks healthy and radiant. It also contains prickly pear which has been proven to remove densely pigmented cells and speed up cell turnover for a brighter and more even skin tone.
Our Pro-Radiance Enzyme Cleanser is an all-in-one foaming cleanser and exfoliator formulated with AHAs to improve the appearance of fine lines and pigmentation for a radiant complexion. Perfect for oily and break out prone skin types as it helps to remove dead skin cells and clean oil from the skin, meaning pores are less likely to become congested.
Green clay is an age old skincare ingredient used for drawing out impurities from the pores, exfoliating dead skin cells, toning and firming the skin, stimulating circulation, helping heal blemishes and used to absorb excess sebum.
The SKINICIAN Purifying Mask is formulated to fight breakouts, gently draw out excess oil, purifies the skin and refines pores for a smoother, clearer complexion that feels cleansed and refreshed.
How to Prevent Oily Skin Throughout the Day
The key to preventing oily skin throughout the day starts with your morning routine. Ensure skin is cleansed and hydrated appropriately using products that help to tackle oil production. Take a look at some of the ingredients mentioned above and ensure your products contain these oil fighting ingredients. Make sure you are using the correct make-up for your skin, for example, mineral powders are highly recommended for oily skin types as they are largely non-comedogenic (meaning they won’t clog your pores), they’re great for oil absorption and can be easily layered throughout the day to mattify oily complexions.
For more articles to help combat oily skin, read:
- Oily Skincare Routine For Women In Their 40s
- Vitamins To Take And Apply To Help Combat Oily Skin
- AM/PM Skincare Routine for Oily Skin
- Skincare Ingredients For Oily Skin
Or read real life oily skin journeys: