How to Care for Oily Skin
Having oily skin can mean a constant battle with the shine. Most of us want glowing skin, but people with oily skin tend to experience far more than a glow, with shiny, sometimes greasy skin, a daily occurrence. But it doesn't have to be that way. With a little extra care, you can help to combat shine and protect your skin throughout the day.
In our series of articles on oily skin, we’ve covered lots of information on what causes oily skin, caring for oily skin types and the products formulated for oily skin that you can use to help manage your oil production. Learning how to keep oily skin healthy will help you feel more confident in your own skin.
In this article, we give useful advice on the best skincare for oily skin, with tips on everything from how to control your oily skin naturally to how often to wash and moisturise your skin.
The Best Skincare Routine for Oily Skin
Oily skin is caused by an excess of sebum. Sebum is the natural wax-like substance naturally produced by the skin. It forms an important part of the skin barrier, protecting your skin and helping to keep your skin hydrated. But if you produce too much, as a result of your hormones, genetics, lifestyle or stress, you have an oily skin type.
Getting into the right daily skin care habits is crucial for reducing oily skin naturally. You could use all the oil free moisturisers in the world, but if you’re caring for your skin in the wrong way, then they won’t be very effective. And it all starts with cleansing, as any dermatologist will tell you.
Cleanse Twice a Day to Get Rid of Oily Skin
Washing your face twice a day is essential, whatever your type of skin, be it sensitive skin, dry or oily. Oily skin produces a greater amount of oil, but don't be tempted to cleanse your face more than twice a day. Having oily skin, you may feel like you need to keep washing or cleansing to get rid of the oil.
But doing so will indicate to your skin that it needs to keep replenishing the oil that you keep stripping away. The skin is clever, and if you’re predisposed to having oily skin, the more you clean away the natural oils, the more your skin will produce more oil to compensate for what it thinks is a deficiency, to avoid dry skin developing.
So, wash in the morning to help remove sweat and dirt from overnight and at the end of the day to remove makeup and grime that’s accumulated during the day.
When it comes to the best products for oily skin, wash your skin using a mild face wash that’s free from harsh artificial chemicals and fragrances and is designed for oily skin.
Never rub your skin dry too vigorously either, as this will irritate the skin. Instead, pat dry with a towel (see the section on exfoliating below to understand why).
Using a Toner to Control Oily Skin
Using a toner can feel a little like a step too far, but we really do recommend one. Toners are designed to be used after cleansing and before moisturising. They help to remove any oil left over after cleansing.
Avoid using alcohol based toners or anything that feels too harsh, as they’ll strip the oil and trigger the oil producing response in the skin that we’ve mentioned. Rose water or a gentle astringent such as witch hazel is ideal.
Exfoliate Regularly Help Prevent Acne
Don’t be tempted to use harsh mechanical exfoliants such as loofahs and skin brushes with hard bristles. These will aggravate the skin and could lead to more sebum production leading to even oilier skin. This will be especially pronounced in those with various skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, leading to skin that feels hot, red and inflamed.
Instead, use a gentle exfoliating product such as salicylic acid. It will help to remove excess oil from your pores, along with skin dulling dead skin cells and dirt. In turn, this helps to reduce the size of the pores, making them less visible and less likely to produce excess sebum.
However, beware. Using salicylic acid too frequently will have the opposite effect. Stick to once a week as any more frequently and your skin may become dry, triggering the release of extra oil.
Moisturising: An Essential Step in Oily Skin Care
You might be tempted to completely avoid moisturising your skin if it’s prone to excess oil. But this is a big no no!
Even oily skin needs to be kept well moisturised. Skin without moisture will eventually become even oilier as it overcompensates with excess sebum production. The best moisturiser for oily skin is a lightweight one, preferably one that is water based or made using natural plant oils that protect the skin, to avoid adding to your oil problem.
Avoiding a moisturiser could even make your skin oilier. If you leave your skin dry and un-moisturised, it will trigger the sebaceous glands within the pores to release more sebum to deal with the dryness. Using a light moisturiser will help to avoid this trigger.
Moisturising oily skin is essential if you have oily and acne-prone skin and you’re using acne products such as benzoyl peroxide. These kinds of products can lead to drying and flaking, so you need to combat this with a moisturiser.
The Best Moisturising Products for Oily Skin
Always use a moisturiser that says it’s oil free, or non-comedogenic (this means non pore blocking) as it will help to keep your pores free from blockages which can cause oil build-up and spots, especially if you have acne prone skin.
Adding a Night Moisturiser into Your Oily Skincare Routine
Overnight, our skin tends to sweat more, especially so if we sleep in a warm room with our duvet covering our head! Which is why it’s so important to wash our face in the morning to clear away dried on sweat that can block the pores and cause an increase in oiliness.
But it’s also vital to moisturise at night, normally with a slightly heavier cream than we’d use during the day, but still a non-comedogenic, oil free moisturiser. This will nourish the skin whilst you’re asleep, whilst not overloading it with heavy duty oils. Oily skin doesn't react well to mineral oil, so choose a night cream with natural, plant based oils instead, to help ensure clear skin.
Consider a Serum for Oily Acne-Prone Skin
A serum is an optional extra for oily skin, but you may find using one significantly helps your shine, and allows your makeup to stay fresher for longer.
Serums are designed to be worn under moisturiser or mixed with your moisturiser. Look for one that contains an ingredient called niacinamide, which is a vitamin B derivative. Niacinamide helps to tighten enlarged pores, reduce sebum production and prevent pore blockages.
Unlike many serums, which can be oily and heavy on the skin, niacinamide serums tend to be lighter, water based varieties. They still add moisture to the skin, but give your skin a fresher look and feel. They're especially useful if your skin becomes oiler and oiler throughout the day.
Care for Oily Skin with a Deeply Cleansing Face Mask
If you’d like to use a face mask, do so no more than once a week, and try one that has clay as a main ingredient. Clay is excellent at gently drawing excess oil from the skin, helping to combat shine and improve skin texture. Always follow up with a gentle moisturiser afterwards.
Moisturising Tips for Oily Skin in the Changing Seasons
The moisturiser you use may also need to change throughout the year. Your skincare routine for summer may well need to be different to your winter regime.
Winter Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin
If your skin, whilst still being oily, feels more irritated or dehydrated during the colder months, you’ll need a heavier moisturiser. (But still suitable for oily skin.) Harsh winds, central heating and being inside for days on end can make even oily skin feel rough and you may find that your skin gets oilier as it overcompensates. Read our winter skincare tips for more advice.
Summer Skin Care Tips for Oily Skin
In the warmer months, your heavier winter skincare will sit on your skin and cause more oiliness, especially as you’ll naturally sweat more. So switch to a lighter weight moisturiser, perhaps one that’s gel based or contains the lightweight hydrating agent, hyaluronic acid.
How to Stop an Oily Face During the Day
Oily skin occurs most commonly during the day as we go about our business, travelling, working, shopping and carrying out chores. But if you follow our tips here, you may find that your skin starts to settle and become less oily.
How to Care for Oily Skin with Acne
Oily skin is usually associated with acne, the two often going hand in hand, as the pores become overloaded with oil, becoming blocked and causing acne spots and breakouts. Our tips here will help to manage both conditions, but if your skin still breaks out, our tips on managing acne will help.
How to Prevent Oily Skin: Sönd Skincare for Your Skin Type
Whilst we can’t promise you the earth (since the causes of oily skin vary from person to person) we can promise you some effective skincare options. So many of our customers have told us how much our range of alkalising skincare products have transformed their lives and helped to get rid of oily skin.
From our Rebalance and Reset Cream Cleanser and our Refreshing Essence Toner to our day and night creams, we have the answer to problem skin, including oily and acne prone skin types. And we know that, because we have problem skin, and we use these products.
We developed them ourselves because we simply couldn't find decent, plant based skin care to suit our contrary, stressed out skin. We wouldn’t sell them if we didn’t believe in them 100%, and we're so excited for you to discover what they can do for you.
So give us a try. We could be just the skin care range you’re looking for!
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.