Those with oily complexions will probably say it’s the bane of their lives. With excess oil tends to come enlarged pores, shiny skin and a tendency to develop blemishes, so it’s unlikely that the old saying “oily skin will age better” will be of little comfort.
If you’re wondering how to tackle the shine and to balance out your skin’s sebum production, we have just the tricks for you. Here, consultant dermatologist Dr Sharon Wong (www.drsharonwong.com) explains why skin becomes overly oily and how to combat it with some simple skincare swaps and ingredient additions.
Why do I have oily skin?
“Oily skin is due to the overproduction of the skin's natural oils known as sebum. This is mainly a genetic trait but is also heavily influenced by hormone changes that increase the amount of male hormones (androgens) in the system,” explains Dr Wong.
”Androgens stimulate the grease glands in the skin resulting in excess production of sebum. Changes in climate and also using products that disturb the oil balance on the skin can also trigger an overproduction of oils.”
How do I tackle the shine?
Master your skincare regime
“Wash your face twice a day, in the morning and evening, and ensure all makeup is removed before going to bed,” recommends Dr Wong. “Oily skin has nothing to do with poor hygiene, so washing more frequently is not necessary. If anything, doing this can dry out your skin too much and actually trigger even more sebum production.
“Toners are not a necessity. In fact, many toners contain alcohols which can damage the barrier function of the skin making it more sensitive and irritated.”
We love: Eclat Skin Charcoal Black Peel-Off Mask
If you’re looking for a way to remove dirt and old skin cells from your pores, try this luxe weekly treatment. It’s made with bamboo charcoal, which works like a magnet to suck out dirt and excess oil from the skin.
Snap up a full size tube of this, worth £34.95, in this month’s OK! Beauty Box Treat Time Edit. The contents of the box are worth over £95, but new subscribers can shop it for just £4.95. It contains everything you (and your skin) need for a pampering night in.
Treat your complexion
“Using a retinoid (a vitamin A derivative) based product at night can help regular oil, as can occasionally using glycolic acid, lactic acid or salicylic acid peels,” suggests Dr Wong. “These are known to reduce the oiliness of the skin and prevent breakouts of acne.”
Exfoliate but don’t overdo it
“Gentle exfoliation encourages healthy skin turnover. It also helps to remove surface dead skin cells and prevents blocking of pores – but again, being over aggressive with exfoliation can leave your skin sensitive but can also cause a breakout,” says Dr Wong.
We love: Monu Skin Exfoliating Enzyme
This 10 minute treatment is an excellent alternative to harsh scrubs. Papaya enzymes work by gently breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to be whisked away to reveal a brighter, clearer complexion.
A full size bottle is usually worth £30, but it’s also available in this month’s OK! Beauty Box Treat Time Edit.
Make sure to moisturise
“Although the skin is overproducing oil, it still requires hydration to maintain a healthy barrier function. Many acne-busting products can overly dry out the skin, so it is important to keep it hydrated to prevent more sebum being produced to combat this dryness,” Dr Wong adds.
Pay attention to your diet
“Cutting out refined sugars, highly processed foods and saturated fats can help in some individuals to reduce sebum production,” says Dr Wong.