As skin and body experts, we understand that skin type can vary massively from person to person. That said, most people fall into the categories of dry, normal, oily, combination and/or sensitive.
While maintaining healthy skin is always a challenge, those with oily or combination skin often struggle the most. This is because normal skin is pretty straightforward and dry skin requires hydration (simple enough if you know what products to use). But oily skin literally produces sebum whether or not we want it to.
Many things can cause oily skin, and much of it comes down to genetics. However, the wrong diet, stress levels and certain climates can have an effect, too. Thanks to an increase in sebum production, those of us with oily skin often also struggle with other concerns; this is because the excess oil on our faces can lead to blocked and enlarged pores.
This is part of the reason a good skincare routine (day and night) is so important for people with oily skin. Especially in warmer months, when many find their sebum production increases.
But with the right skincare products, your skin can be easier to manage and overall, can really improve.
If your skin is dry, you might get away without cleansing in the morning (though it’s not very hygienic!)
But if your skin is oily… whoa boy, stop right there! Most of us with oily skin wake up looking like we slept in cooking oil. On a bad day, anyway.
The thing is, while we sleep, dirt, oils and all kinds of impurities rise to the surface of our skin and build up, clogging out pores. This is why it’s so important to gently cleanse them away with a mild (preferably water-based) cleanser.
Plus, it’s a bit pointless to apply any other products to dirty skin, isn’t it?
Thanks to all that excess oil, oily skin is particularly prone to building up a lovely layer of dead skin cells, ripe and ready to block your pores.
To avoid this, you need to be exfoliating your face at least twice a week. If not three times with a gentle exfoliant.
Though a harsh scrub might feel like it’s really sloughing away all that old, dirty skin, chemical exfoliants are actually better for oily skin, as they encourage cell turnover. This means they also help to brighten up dull skin and lighten dark spots.
Toners work much the same for oily skin as they do for all skin: they remove residual dirt from the upper layers of your skin and prepare it for the rest of your routine, allowing the ingredients to absorb properly.
The best toners for oily skin work to reduce shine throughout the day, but do so without drying you out. Anything that minimises pores, refines texture and balances moisture will work well.
4. Serums & Targeted Treatment
This step is mostly for those with oily skin who have additional skin concerns.
Oily skin can actually be quite dehydrated (partly due to all the drying products we throw at it, hoping to reduce the shine). So if you need hydration, now’s the time for your hyaluronic acid.
Whatever your additional concerns, this is the step where you apply your bits and pieces. Before you moisturise, and after you tone. Got it?
5. Moisturise & Eye Cream
A lightweight eye cream or gel is ideal for oily skin; it’ll absorb more quickly without adding to the shine. A light moisturiser (or gel) will also work to seal in all the goodness you’ve already applied.
Rich, intense and heavy creams are a no-no for oily skin, as most aren’t comedogenic. They will only block up your pores and make you look even shinier.
Slapping on an SPF on a daily basis is non-negotiable, people. The last (ish) step to any good skincare routine, no matter your skin type.
Not only will sunscreen protect your skin from the sun, it also works to prevent premature ageing. So select something in the SPF 30 range. And the SPF included in your foundation isn’t enough, unfortunately.
If your skin is oily, some sunscreens will make you feel even oilier. Which is why we’d recommend looking for a chemical sunscreen. This will keep you matte and free of shine whilst keeping you protected.
But don’t forget: if you tend to regularly clear away oil from your skin throughout the day, you’ll have to reapply your SPF more regularly.
7. Lip balm
Did you know that although your face has sebaceous glands, the lips have none at all?
That’s why keeping your kisser hydrated is just as important as controlling the oil on the rest of your face. A hydrating lip balm can go a long way to softening and smoothing your lips, so finish with something moisturising.
Just like in the morning, it’s important to cleanse your face at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter if you wear make-up or not; oily skin will benefit from a deep double cleanse, regardless.
If you do wear make-up, then an oil-based cleanser is an excellent choice for gently removing make-up and dissolving any excess sebum. Once you’re done, follow this with a water-based cleanser, which will remove anything left on your skin and cleanser the oil-based cleanser away.
As we said earlier, tone tone tone!
If you prefer to exfoliate at night, by all means do so! Most of us find we have more time to commit to a proper routine in the evening, even if we’re really just pining for our beds.
However, this doesn’t mean exfoliate morning and night. Just stick to two to three times per week.
4. Sheet Masks
Ooh, we love a good sheet mask!
Pre-cut to fit your face and soaked in nutritious serums; they load sheet masks with all kinds of beneficial ingredients like vitamins, minerals, acids and antioxidants. Plus, there’s no fuss washing them off, because you can literally chuck it in the bin when you’re done.
As with exfoliation, you don’t need to use a sheet mask every day. Once or twice a week is the maximum. And pick one specifically designed for oily skin.
5. Serums & Targeted Treatments
Nighttime serums and treatments tend to be more concentrated than those we apply during the day. After all, they’re targeted to work on our skin as we sleep.
However, no matter the serum, it’s unnecessary to use these kinds of products if you’ve already gone down the sheet mask route.
6. Eye Cream & Moisturiser.
As before, eye cream first and then moisturise to lock in all those lovely skin nutrients. You know the drill.
7. Lip balm
You can probably skip the tinted lip balm before bed. But a hydrating balm layered on your lips will get to work softening and smooth your pout; ready for that statement lip in the morning.