Firstly, let me define oily skin. Large pores, over active sebaceous glands resulting in oil sitting on top of the skin. Has a visible shine which can develop very quickly even after washing. If you have dark oily skin, it can unfortunately scar more easily and leave dark spots which will create an uneven tone. Having said this I believe oily skin is the best skin type to have. (Yay to you and me!) A lot of people think it’s a hinderance and embark on a pointless journey to dry it out! Oily skin tends to retains is smoothness and suppleness longer over other skin types and ages very well. So embrace it and give it a big hug as often as you can.
It’s a skin type that needs a lot of love and appreciation, especially if you want it to behave itself. I constantly find clients abusing their skin type then complain when it gets worse or isn’t settling down. It’s not a fight!
Starting with cleansers – always start with an oil based cleanser like Shu Uemura Fresh Cleansing Oil. It does contain mineral oil but I find it breaks down oil, make up and grime much more effectively than going in feet first with a cream or gel based cleanser. If you’ve got an intolerance to mineral oil, I suggest something with olive oil or even jojoba oil. If you’re thinking, why use oil to clean my oily skin, it’s because oil dissolves oil easier than anything else. They have chemistry
Go in with your second cleanser, which should have some antibacterial factor to it, oily skin is prone to breakouts and this type of cleanser will help keep the skin clean and free of germs. Try Ren’s ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser which deep cleanses and unclogs pores.
Next tone – this smooths and prepare the skin and pores for moisturiser. A lot of toners also provide anti oxidant protection which will keep your skin protected from free radicals which aggravate any existing skin concerns. Ole Henriksen Grease Relief is great for everyday use. If you have sensitive but oily skin, Pai skincare is your friend.
And moisturise – you need to be looking for an oil control moisturiser and there are many around. Dermalogica do Oil Control Lotion which is extremely light. I’ve used for many years and really like. Aesop do a great one called Oil Free Hydrating Serum which has got aloe and green tea extract. Plus a serum will sink straight into the skin unlike a cream which can sit on top and take more time and effort to massage in. No matter what people say, MOISTURISE. If you don’t your skin gets really angry and produces more oil to get you back. Skin follows the premise of karma. Period.
With oily skin, its important to exfoliate and do a face mask regularly to prevent a build up of dead skin cells which makes skin look blah and forms breeding ground for spots. For black skin that tends to mark easily, I prefer stick to fruit based acid exfoliators. You’re looking for products that contain AHA’s or BHA’s like salicylic or glycolic acid. If parabens (preservatives) don’t bother you, then Philosophy Microdelivery Peel is a good option as it brightens the tone of your skin and resurfaces with vitamin C, lactic and salicylic acid.
Mask wise – you want something that purifies and draws oil and other ‘skin crap’ from deep within the skin. Clay based masks are what you want in your arsenal. Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Masque is a good one I’ve discovered which not only purifies with clay but also hydrates with aloe vera and provides anti oxidant protection with rosehip and parsley seed extracts. If I’ve got a big day ahead, I reach for this one.
All that said, I do realise that these products may be at the high end of many people’s budget, but I truly believe that when it comes to skin care, one must invest as much as they can. How we perceive our skin greatly affects our mood and how we feel about ourselves, so I will always cut back somewhere else to afford the best for my skin. Its not always easy. Where you can, always get free tester products first, so at least you can test run before investing a big tub of something that may not work for you. Plus, even if you may pay a lot for these products, they do tend to last a long time.
Also look at what you are eating. If you have a high sugar and fat diet, this may also be triggering excessive oil production. Not drinking enough water and being dehydrated can also contribute. For some people dairy also plays a part. Point here being, don’t just look at what you are putting on top of your skin, but what also goes inside your mouth.