Oily skin can be a blessing in disguise. People with an oily skin type can benefit from fewer wrinkles, softer skin, and greater protection from environmental damage. It does this by providing a light barrier against pollutants that can damage your skin as well as locking in moisture, which is essential to keep your skin looking plump, youthful, and nourished.
However, too much oil will make your skin constantly look shiny and feel greasy. So, it’s important to know how to manage it to maintain a balanced complexion and that killer glow we are all after.
It’s important to note that you can’t get rid of oily skin, and nor should you. It’s perfectly normal and healthy for your skin to maintain some level of oil. Therefore, this blog is not going to tell you how to suck the moisture out of your skin with a dehydrating skin routine. Instead, we’re simply going to let you know how to stay on the right side of shiny so you can maintain the benefits of your beautiful oily skin.
Why do we get oily skin?
People with oily skin have overactive sebaceous glands which are responsible for the production of sebum. Sebum is the oily, waxy substance that is vital for keeping the skin healthy by hydrating and protecting the skin from environmental damage.
There are several factors that can cause oily skin. Firstly, genetics can play a role and oily skin tends to run in the family. So, if you have oily skin, it’s likely that your parents do too – feel free to throw them some shade!
Next, age is another predominant factor that influences your skin’s oil production. You are much more likely to have oily skin during your teens and 20s because your skin naturally produces more sebum. However, as your skin ages it’s not as good at producing collagen and the sebaceous glands also slow down. So, while you may have oily skin now as you get older you might achieve a more balanced complexion or even dry skin as you age.
Environmental factors can also play a role in the oiliness of your skin. If you live in a hot and humid climate, you are much more likely to have oily skin. Also, skin tends to produce more oil in the summer months compared to the winter. For those of you that live in cities, air pollution could be the leading cause of your oily skin. Toxins from industrial emissions and vehicle exhausts irritate the skin and can cause sebum production to increase.
Finally, using the wrong skin care products is another very common cause of oily skin. Mistaking oily skin for combination skin is an easy mistake to make and will result in people using products that exacerbate their oil problems.
5 steps to manage oily skin
Now for the important bit, how do you keep a lid on your oily skin and maintain a healthy complexion? The following 5 steps will help you do exactly that…
1. Basic oil cleanse
While it might seem counter-intuitive, using a natural, non-comedogenic oil like our Absolute Cleansing Oil is a great way to cleanse your oily skin and to kick-start your beauty routine. Simply apply the oil to your dry skin and gently massage it into the skin for 1-2 minutes. This will help to remove impurities like makeup and dead skin cells. Then, use a damp, warm wash cloth to gently remove the oil. It’s important to avoid rough and abrasive wash cloths as the extra friction can stimulate the production of sebum – the opposite of what you want!
2. Use a toner
There have been studies that show some toners will have an anti-sebum effect when used regularly. Toners can remove the build-up of makeup, dirt and other skincare products that can clog pores. However, choosing a toner with the right ingredients is important to get the desired effects. Looks for toners with beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or poly hydroxy acids (PHAs) in lower concentrations. Some examples of PHAs include salicylic, glycolic & lactic acids.
If you have oily skin, it’s vital to avoid astringent toners with alcohol-ridden formulas. This is because if you strip your skin of all its sebum, it will be left dried out and irritated. This will signal to your body to ramp up sebum production and ultimately, leave your skin oiler than ever.
3. Blotting papers
Blotting papers are specifically designed to absorb oil from your skin making them a girl’s best friend when it comes to managing oily skin. Although they can’t prevent or treat sebum production, they can help you mop up the excess to help you maintain an even glow. It’s best to have blotting papers on hand and ready for when you need them. Exactly how often you use them will be down to how oily your skin is. For some, one a day will be enough to manage your skin’s excess oil, while for others you might have to use them every couple of hours.
4. Facial masks
Unlike blotting paper, face masks can actually help treat and decrease oily skin. Face masks with the right ingredients can pull and cleanse the oils on the surface of your skin. You should use natural face masks that include ingredients like bentonite clay (which can draw out impurities) and activated charcoal (that has a deep cleaning effect). Face masks that include tea tree oil or avocado oil will also help to manage your skin’s production of oil, creating a more balanced complexion with just the right levels of shine.
- Find the right moisturisers
People with oily skin tend to avoid moisturisers out of fear of making their problems worse. However, the right moisturiser (like our Active Rosehip Day Cream) can provide anti-sebum effects. This is because the skin sometimes produces more oil when it’s dehydrated. You will want to look out for moisturisers that are noncomedogenic (which just means it won’t clog your pores), have no alcohol in their formula, and are oil free.
Final thoughts on how to manage oily skin?
Regardless of the causes of your oily skin, the best way to help manage it is to find a skincare routine that works for you and stay consistent. The above tips will help you to manage your shine but remember your skin is unique to you. So, you will probably want to experiment a little to find the perfect routine. Good luck and remember oily skin is a blessing, not a curse.
- Dr Michael Prager. n.d. Why Skin Oils are the Ultimate Environmental Protector - Dr Michael Prager. [online] Available at: <https://drmichaelprager.com/why-skin-oils-are-the-ultimate-environmental-protector/>.
- Timudom, T., Chaiyasut, C., Sundaram, B., Tiampasook, P. and Nacapunchai, D., 2020. Anti-Sebum Efficacy of Phyllanthus emblica L. (Emblica) Toner on Facial Skin. [ebook] MDPI. Available at: <https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3417/10/22/8193/pdf>