How to Care for Oily Skin
Oily skin is a skin type that is characterised by an overproduction of sebum - our skin’s natural oil. If you’re oily, it’s most likely to be hereditary as it’s a skin type which means you’re predisposed to it. However, hormones can also come into play. Many of us will experience oiliness during hormonal fluctuations in our menstrual cycle or in stressful times. Whilst the increased presence of oil can mean that breakouts are more likely, not everyone with oily skin experiences acne. Sebum is an incredible substance and our skin needs it to function properly so when you’re looking to target oiliness, make sure you’re managing levels, not completely stripping it away.
Method of self diagnosis
You can recognise if you have oily skin by looking:
- Does your skin have a shiny appearance?
- Do you have enlarged pores around your forehead, nose and chin?
- Does your make up run off easily and not last through the day?
- Are there blackheads present?
- Does your skin feel oily to the touch?
- If you apply a tissue, does it leave an oily residue?
What can you do?
As oiliness is caused by our genes or hormones, there’s not a lot you can do to prevent it, but there are some lifestyle tricks that will help you manage it. Drinking water is an easy win as it will help to regulate sebum production and reduce dehydration so the skin doesn’t overproduce oil to stay hydrated.
In your quest for less oily skin, do not use stripping products such as sulfates and alcohols. They’ll have a temporary mattifying effect but over time they’ll damage the barrier function and lead to inflammation, sensitivity and more oiliness. Zinc is an important mineral for skin health and when incorporated into a balanced diet can help to regulate sebum production. Sources of zinc include shellfish, nuts, seeds and legumes.
What products support improvement?
Whilst it might be tempting to go for a squeaky clean feeling with oily skin, don’t reach for the overly foaming cleansers! An important cleansing routine is important. Double cleansing in the evening will help to remove excess oil from your skin. Go for an oil cleanser as a first cleanse - oil dissolves oil - so it will help to attract excess sebum from the skin. The reach for a creamy or light gel cleanser for a second cleanse. You can also use a cleanser with salicylic acid in it to dissolve excess oil day to day. Hydration is key in managing oily skin but it’s important to go for lighter textures that won’t clog the skin. Synergie Skin HydroGel and Pfeffer Sal Essential Serum are both light hydrating serums. Don’t forget your vitamins; both vitamin A and niacinamide regulate sebum production and are great allies for oily skin.
Clay masks may be old school, but they’ve stayed around this long for a reason! They act like sponges, absorbing the excess sebum and impurities too. Applying oil to oily skin may sound counterintuitive but the right oils can make a real difference. Grapeseed oil is rich in linoleic acid which helps to manage oil production and jojoba oil mimics the texture of sebum, tricking your skin into slowing production. And finally, to exfoliate, salicylic acid is a fantastic option. It’s lipophilic which means it’s attracted to and dissolves oil.
How can treatments help?
Professional treatments can help to remove excess oil and target any related congestion. Our Correct, Prevent and Perfect treatment includes a salicylic acid resurfacing treatment, extractions, and LED. If you’re looking to target oiliness and breakouts, our Absolutely Flawless uses ClearSkin laser which kills p.acnes bacteria and reduces sebum production and is a great advanced option for acne and congested skins.