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7 Of The Most Effective Skincare Hacks For Oily Skin

7 Of The Most Effective Skincare Hacks For Oily Skin

Excellent news, people of the oily skin persuasion: you might not be able to change the structure of your skin but you can definitely help balance oil production with smart skincare choices. Step this way…

If slick skin and sweaty bangs are the story of your life you’ve probably asked yourself time and again, when are the benefits of an oily complexion going to come to light? Hark back to your teenage years when puberty, and all the things that came with it, seemed like a never ending battle. Difficult times. Now you’re well into adulthood, and your skin is still as oily as ever. Granted, the wrinkles aren’t too bad, but your makeup rarely stays put and, tbh, monthly breakouts are still a struggle.

Not. Fair.

Oily skin can be tricky, we get that. But it’s who you are and, when you think about it, sebum – the oil of which we speak of – is absolutely crucial for the health of your skin. All manner of components like triglycerides, fatty acids, wax ester, cholesterol and squalene come together in sebum to seal moisture into your skin, repel environmental stressors and help transport antioxidants to the surface so your skin can heal and regenerate efficiently.

Sebum also plays an important role in helping your skin maintain its slightly acidic pH level which prevents bacteria and viruses from penetrating the top layers. Without sebum, therefore, your skin would be a shadow of its former self. Try not to forget that the next time you look in the mirror and will it to go away.

The amount of sebum your skin produces can’t be drastically altered – because, genetics – but there are many tweaks you can make to your skincare routine that can improve the balance and therefore the shininess of your complexion. Keep scrolling for seven of our favorites…

1. Never Go To Bed Without Cleansing

Taking your makeup off before turning in for the night is important whatever your skin type, but if you have oily skin, it’s absolutely non-negotiable. The reason for this? For one thing, oily skin attracts dirt and bacteria more than dry skin. And for another, when oil and bacteria combine with dead skin cells at the surface of your skin, you’re basically inviting acne breakouts to come and do a number on your complexion.

Lesson learnt: don’t go to bed without cleansing your face. Like, ever. It’s just not worth it. And, heck, cleansing takes, what, three minutes of your time so it’s not like it’s a real chore.

One of our favorite cleansers for oily skin is our Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser which contains activated coconut charcoal to mop up unwanted debris and detoxify the skin without complete drying it out.

2. But, Don’t Be Tempted To Over-Cleanse

While we’re on the subject of cleansing, it’s easy to overdo it as you try to rid your skin of every last drop of pesky sebum. But that’s a very bad idea. Over-stimulating your skin fools your sebaceous glands into thinking they’re not doing their job properly. So then they ramp it up big time, producing more and more sebum to compensate for all the stuff you’ve stripped away.

Keep your cleansing routine gentle, but effective, and regular but not too often. Twice daily and always after exercising is the rule of thumb here.

3. Remember That All Skin Needs Moisturization

Oily skin has its own built-in and very hard-working moisturizing system, so it has no need for more, right? Wrong. So. Very. Wrong.

Just like every other skin type, oily skin needs to be moisturized after cleansing. Contrary to popular belief, the right moisturizer won’t block up your pores or make your skin even more oily and pimply. Instead it will help to balance sebum, keeping your skin hydrated, healthy and less open to irritation and redness.

You really must choose the correct moisturizer, however. And that means avoiding anything that contains rich, occlusive ingredients like cocoa butter and heavy oils which form a layer over the top of your skin and clog your pores. Instead, look for lighter gels or lotions that contain humectants like hyaluronic acid. We love Retinol Moisturizer which has the added benefits of retinol to help boost regeneration for clearer, more balanced skin.

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4. Underestimate Exfoliation At Your Risk

One of the best tools for oily skin? An awesome exfoliant that’s effective but super gentle on your skin. Whether you go for a chemical, leave-on formulation that contains things like glycolic acid or salicylic acid to break down dead skin cells, or prefer a face scrub that manually sloughs away those darn dead cells, exfoliating oily skin is imperative.

Excess sebum is like a magnet for bacteria, you see, and when this mixes with dead skin cells it can block your pores, resulting in blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and any other kind of acne spots you might think of.

The simple way to avoid all this? Keep your skin regularly exfoliated to accelerate cell turnover and make sure all that dead stuff doesn’t overstay its welcome. Try our Vitamin C Gentle Face Scrub two or three times a week after cleansing.

5. Make Tea Tree Oil Your Friend

Tea tree oil has been known and revered for centuries for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. And this makes it a shoo-in for balancing and soothing oily skin – specifically those that suffer problems with breakouts.

Not only does tea tree oil help kill acne-causing bacteria on the surface of the skin, but it also works hard to calm and reduce facial redness. Be afraid, inflammation, be very afraid.

The one thing to remember about tea tree oil, however, is that it’s potent – like, really potent – so, it’s much safer when thoughtfully blended with other skincare ingredients. Our Tea Tree Super Serum +, for example, contains a whole bunch of ingredients that work in harmony with tea tree oil to hydrate and balance the skin. It’s packed with aloehyaluronic acid and glycerin to draw in moisture, niacinamide to aid healing, plus two other awesome acne-fighters: salicylic acid and retinol. Try it a couple of times a week before bed for visible results within just a month or so.

6. Tone, But Do It Wisely

Toning your skin can be a fabulous way to balance excess oil – but don’t fall into the trap of choosing a super astringent formula that will soak up too much oil as this will cause your skin to produce even more sebum as it tries to overcompensate for all the stuff you’ve stripped away. Instead, tone, for sure, but choose a more balanced, refreshing product that helps finish off your cleanse while preparing the skin for the rest of your regime. We love Ocean Minerals Super Toner which also contains glycolic acid for a little extra boost of exfoliation.

7. Keep Your Hydration Topped Up

OK, here’s the thing about dehydrated skin: ANY skin type can be dehydrated. This is because unlike dry skin which is genetic and thanks to insufficient oil, dehydration is a skin condition that can occur at any time and is all thanks to a lack of moisture. Oily skin, in particular, can get dehydrated very easily because you’re more likely to use more powerful skincare products on the reg while applying less intense moisturization.

To avoid your skin becoming unnecessarily dehydrated, make sure your routine contains plenty of humectant ingredients which draw moisture to the surface of your skin. Good ones include aloe vera, glycerin and the most popular of all, hyaluronic acid which you’ll find aplenty in our Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum. We like to apply this daily, after cleansing and toning, but BEFORE moisturizing.

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Georgia Gould

Georgia Gould

Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.