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If you’ve got oily skin this scenario will be all too familiar. You leave the house relatively pleased with your makeup and go about your day. You pop to the bathroom mid-morning and BAM! You’re nearly blinded by the shine bouncing off the mirror from the slick of oil on your chin, nose and forehead.
Okay, so maybe it isn’t that bad, but when you’ve got oily skin it feels like that. It can make you feel self conscious, frustrated and like everyone staring at your shiny complexion.
“Many people struggle with oily or greasy skin, especially on their faces. Oily skin can be disheartening, especially when it causes other skin problems like acne and spots,” Ella Baché’s National Training Manager, Carly Bennett, told HuffPost Australia.
“Oily skin occurs when the sebaceous glands produce more oil than usual, leading to an imbalance in your system.”
Emma Hobson, Education Manager for the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica, said that the cause of oily skin is most commonly genetic.
It’s perfectly normal to have oily skin. In fact it’s a great skin benefit since it means you’re likely to age less quickly
“Oily skin is caused by overactive sebaceous oil glands. Oily skin is most common when one is in one’s teens, or in adulthood when you have a genetic background whereby you have an olive skin tone.”
“Oil production can also be affected slightly by the climate — in particular when heat and humidity are combined — or by some medications and incorrect product use, especially when stripping the skin with harsh ingredients such as SD alcohol found in some acne skin lotions and toners,” Hobson said.
Therein lies a big part of the problem. Many products targeted at treating acne (which are often marketed to oily skins) use drying agents to ‘mop up’ excess oil, but this signals to the skin to make more oil, and a cycle ensues.
The good news is that having oily skin isn’t as bad as it seems. The oil helps ‘preserve’ the skin, so wrinkles and fine lines stay away for longer.
“It’s perfectly normal to have oily skin. In fact it’s a great skin benefit since it means you’re likely to age less quickly,” Hobson said.
When it comes to compiling a skincare regime for oily complexions it can be tempting to avoid face cream, but that’s not the best approach.
“Please don’t skip your moisturiser. All skin types need a moisturiser to protect them from the environment and keep them hydrated and smooth. Simply chose one that is feather light and oil free. You can even get treatment moisturisers which reduceethe skin’s oil flow and are mattifying to reduce the oil shine on application,” Hobson said.
Hobson makes the following suggestions when it comes to caring for oily skin:
- Thoroughly clean the skin by ensuring you double cleanse. Double cleansing means cleansing your skin twice in the morning and then repeat the same process in the evening. A single cleanse just doesn’t get your skin clean. Double cleansing ensure you remove the dirt, grime, dead skin, excess skin oils, makeup and sunscreen off the surface of the skin, preventing congestion, breakouts, dull and rough textured skin.
- Always apply an oil free, hydrating and protective moisturiser, ideally with an SPF30+. Even an oily skin needs vital hydration and protection from the environment.
- Use Activated Charcoal – this latest ‘genius’ of an ingredient works by virtue of its increased surface area which readily adsorbs substances onto its surface. One teaspoon of activated charcoal can have a surface area of as much as 10,000 square feet. That’s a lot of adsorption power! Activated charcoal readily adsorbs oils, toxins and impurities from the skin’s surface.
- Niacinamide and Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid are both fantastic at reducing an oily shine.
- The best way to reduce pore size is to control oil flowm and an ingredient I’d recommend is Enantia Chlorantha Bark which has a 36 percent in reduction in pore size, 49 percent reduction in sebum flow and 55 percent less skin shine.
- Use clays such as Green Clay and Kaolin. They are fantastic as acting like ‘blotting paper’ on the skin surface, eliminating excess skin oil without drying the skin.
Now that you’ve got your skincare in check your makeup should automatically last longer and not get so shiny as the day progresses. Still, there’s tricks and products to help you look glowy, not oily.
“Using a primer that’s formulated for large pores or oily skin will help your foundation look more uniform and last a lot longer. Apply it a few minutes before foundation. If your t-zone is the only problem, just apply it there,” makeup artist Natalia Sprem told HuffPost Australia.
“Choose a long-wear or matte foundation and apply it to the centre of the face, working outwards. Use your fingers, a brush or a Beauty Blender sponge.”
Makeup aficionados will know all about the cult foundation, Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk, that Kimmy K, Rihanna and Cate Blanchett all use. Well, now oily girls can get in on the action with Giorgio Armani’s newest foundation launch, Power Fabric, which is formulated to be long wear.
Other great long wear foundations for oily skins are Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation, Rimmel London Fresher Skin Foundation, Revlon 2-in-1 ColorStay Compact, Genie Mineral Foundation and Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation.
“Finish your base with a setting powder, in addition to bronzer if you wear it, and keep blotting papers with you just in case,” Sprem said.