Top Tips for Oily Skin – Skin Rocks

Top Tips for Oily Skin

Oily skin is one of the four primary, traditional skin types and is caused by an overproduction of sebum (oil). It is predominantly genetic but can also be triggered by hormones and diet, or skin that is dehydrated - more on this later.

A key indication of this skin type is a consistently shiny appearance, but you may also notice a larger pore size and be prone to congestion, blackheads and breakouts.

Think you have this skin type? Here are our top tips on how to look after it:

  • Avoid over-cleansing. When you have oily skin, it can be tempting to excessively wash your face with an astringent cleanser (often foaming) to remove excess oil. However, this can strip the skin of its natural oils and exacerbate the issue. Instead, opt for a gentle formula and stick to cleansing twice a day, with an additional first cleanse in the evening if you’re wearing SPF/makeup. Cleansing gel, cream and milk formulas are all great options. Your skin should feel calm and balanced after cleansing, never tight or dry.

  • Add salicylic acid to your routine. This beta-hydroxy acid is lipophilic which means it is attracted to and helps break down oil. Working as an exfoliant in skincare, it can penetrate and unclog the pores, helping to prevent the blackheads and breakouts that often come with oily skin. A leave-on exfoliant is best here but you can also use a salicylic acid cleanser to supercharge your cleansing step – just be sure to leave it on the skin for up to two minutes so it can get to work. 

  • Niacinamide is known to regulate oil production and support the skin’s barrier, making it a brilliant ingredient for skin that is prone to excess oil. Look for this ingredient in your serums or moisturisers.  

  • Exfoliate regularly. Desquamation (the skin’s natural process of shedding old skin cells) can become sluggish in oily skin and this is what can lead to congestion and a dull appearance. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week with an acid-based product - salicylic or mandelic acid are brilliant for oilier skin types. 

  • Use a clay-based mask as a weekly treatment to draw out excess oil and clarify the skin. Bentonite, kaolin and French green clay are all solid choices - keep an eye out for them on the INCI list when shopping for face masks. 

  • Keep your skin well hydrated. Dehydration can actually lead to an overproduction of oil as the skin tries to compensate for the lack of water. It’s a common misconception that those with oily skin don’t need to moisturise. However, moisturiser plays an important role in maintaining moisture levels and preventing dehydration. Opt for lightweight textures such as gels or fluids, rather than thick, heavy creams that may congest the skin. For extra hydration, add a hydrating serum or mist underneath.  

  • Pay attention to stress and your hormones. Linked to oil production, the androgen hormone is released during periods of stress or when there are hormonal changes in the body (think puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause and conditions such as PCOS). When levels of this hormone are high, it will send messages to our sebaceous glands, which are responsible for secreting oil, telling them to produce more. Consider how you can adapt your lifestyle to better manage stress levels and always seek advice from a medical professional if you are concerned about your hormone levels.