Okay, ‘hacks’ is probably overstating things a little. What I do everyday to control my oily skin is neither groundbreaking nor particularly innovative, but I thought it would be worth sharing to help out anyone else who struggles with 11am shine, sliding make-up and gaping pores. Of course, everyone’s skin is different and this post won’t suit everyone, but I thought I’d go into what seems to work for me, and anyone can tailor it to suit their skin’s needs.
First of all, it goes without saying that a thorough morning cleanse is essential to prevent oil build-up. Overnight, your evening skincare products (serums, oils, moisturiser etc.) mingle with sweat to create a rather unpleasant residue on your skin. A decent wash with a cleanser formulated for oily skin is needed to get rid of all that gunk and begin the day with a fresh face. I often see bloggers mention that they only use a micellar water in the morning, but I find that my skin doesn’t feel clean enough without a decent soap-and-water cleanse too. While it’s tempting to achieve that squeaky-clean feeling that a foaming cleanser delivers, you need to be careful not to strip the skin of all its oils – it produces them for a reason, and it’ll only pump out even more to compensate for an overly harsh cleansing routine. I’ve been trialling the Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser (above), which I’ve found to be rather mattifying and purifying without sapping my skin of all its moisture. However, if your skin is on the sensitive or combination side, a gentler cleanser such as the Origins Checks and Balances maybe more suitable.
I tend not to use a toner for the purpose of helping my oily skin, rather to combat blocked pores, so I’ll leave that aspect of a morning routine open. But I will say that moisturising is vital for oily skin, as counter-intuitive as it seems. Sometimes it feels like the last thing my skin needs is extra hydration, but skipping a moisturising step tends to lead to flakiness on either side of my nose and a rough texture to my skin, both of which create problems for make-up application. Again, choosing a moisturiser specifically for oily skin is key, as richer ingredients such as shea butter, lapped up by dry skin, will sit in its shiny glory atop oily faces and potentially block pores, leading to even more strife. Believe me, I’ve learned this one the hard way. One moisturiser I’ve come back to recently which I never gave a fair chance to before is The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Lotion. Granted, this is targeted towards blemish-prone skin, but I actually love it for its mattifying properties and fresh, light formula. It never feels heavy on the skin (a pet hate of mine), and things definitely don’t get shiny as quickly. The Seaweed Skincare range from The Body Shop is also work a look, especially as the Mattifying Moisture Lotion contains SPF15. For tackling the crater-like pores that come part and parcel with oily skin, I thoroughly recommend the Lush Cosmetic Warrior Mask, or Soap & Glory’s Scrub Your Nose In It.
Primer is essential for oily skin, in my opinion anyway. A pricey favourite of mine is Smashbox Photofinish Primer Light, which is fantastic for extending the wear-time of any foundation. A less spendy and silicone-y option would be the drugstore gem, Rimmel Stay Matte Primer – this really helps foundation adhere to the skin while smoothing over pores and blemishes, without the heaviness of a silicone-heavy formula. Foundation is definitely a subjective thing; what I love in a foundation could be detested by another oily-skinned lady. However, two foundations I love are Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet (I know, I need to stop harping on about it) and Estée Lauder Double Wear. The Chanel is a lovely, satin-matte option with sheerer coverage for those of you blessed with clear skin, while ELDW is a true matte that covers everything you need it to. But oily skins don’t need to shy away from dewier finishes either; a good primer and a little blotting powder can go further than you’d think. Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream is definitely in the dewy camp, but I still enjoy wearing it when my skin is lacking in radiance (which is often when you’re as sallow as me). A setting powder such as the NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder can perfect the overall appearance of the complexion. Oh, how I need this in my life!
Of course, it’s all well and good leaving the house looking fresh as a daisy, but typically I’ve got some T-zone shine creeping in within a couple of hours. Until recently I was a blotting powder fiend; obsessively powdering my nose until my boyfriend started to ask why my nose was ‘dusty’. Blotting powder definitely has its place in my day, of course, but I’ve started to relax a little, and not let every tiny glisten get on my nerves. Instead, I blot with a piece of tissue, and try not to layer powder on top of oil every half an hour. All types of skin need to breathe, and I was smothering mine. Really, 2-3 powder top-ups in a day is plenty to prevent things from looking caked and ashen. A healthy glow isn’t a bad thing, remember!
Lastly, I always make sure to cleanse my skin properly at the end of the day. A few swipes of micellar water followed by my usual cleanser, toner and moisturiser usually does the job nicely. Oily skin can often feel clogged and greasy after a full day spent under a layer of make-up; something really simple I do to get rid of that sensation is to rub in my cleanser, then soak a facecloth under the hottest water I can bear and drape it over my face for thirty seconds. It’s possibly all in my head, but I feel as though this helps to purify my skin by opening my pores and really helping my cleanser to get to work. It feels ever so slightly like a facial, for those of us who can’t afford regular ones, at least!
So there you have it, my oily skin damage control. I’d love to know if any of this helped you, and how you deal with it!
Also, I may finally be getting a proper camera soon; cross your fingers for me!