The world of skincare is ever evolving, and it’s not always easy to know what’s best for your skin.
Trust ELEMIS’ Ultimate Guide series to answer your questions and simplify your skincare routine. This week, we discuss how to combat oily skin.
What is oily skin?
In oily skin, the sebaceous glands are overactive and so produce more oil than the skin typically needs. This causes enlarged pores and shiny excess oil on the surface. As a result, this type of skin is more prone to blemishes and blackheads.
Oily and greasy skin can be one of the trickiest skin types to manage. It is tempting to strip, cleanse and mattify with abandon, but these efforts often only make things worse.
What causes oily skin?
The primary cause of oily skin lies in your genetic make-up. Everyone’s skin produces oil as a natural way to relieve dryness and keep the skin supple. And while an oily skin type does have its benefits – it is generally less susceptible to fine lines – it is not without downsides. When excess oil cannot travel to the surface, it can become trapped and cause spots, blemishes and large pores.
Another cause of oily skin is fluctuating hormone levels. When stress upsets the balance of the body, androgen levels can increase, prompting the sebaceous glands to produce more oil.
How to stop oily skin
If you’re battling a shiny face by lunchtime or constantly reaching for the powder, it could be time to examine your daily skincare routine.
For a flawless start, consider ELEMIS’ Anti-Blemish Mattify and Calm Facial. This deeply detoxifying treatment uses the proven power of Lavender alongside blemish-banishing Linalyl Acetate to regulate excess oil, calm the skin, and restore micro-circulation for a clear and bright complexion.
At home, your first step to stop oily skin is to steer clear of alcohol-based cleansers and toners – they essentially strip the skin of oils and fatty acids, which may make it feel squeaky-clean at first, but will only lead to increased oil production in the long term, as the skin looks to counteract the enforced dryness. Instead, look for balms, creams and oils – yes, oils! - to cleanse, and follow with a pH-balancing toner.
So, you’ve cleansed and balanced your skin, but what about targeted treatments? The biggest myth when it comes to controlling oily skin is that facial oils will only exasperate the problem. In fact, the opposite is true. “Believe it or not, oily skin needs oil!” explains Noella Gabriel, Co-Founder of ELEMIS. “It can be a difficult concept to relate to, but oil on oil results in stabilising the oil flow and calming the skin.” Look for products with oil-balancing properties. “Brazilian Babussu Oil, Moringa Oil, Lavender, Myrhh, Willow, Nettle and Silver Birch all stabilise oil flow and reduce shine – great for healing blemishes.”
Not convinced? Read about the many benefits of using a facial oil in your skincare routine.
After cleansing and toning your skin, and adding a targeted treatment, remember to layer a lightweight moisturiser with sebum-balancing actives on top, as it will seal in the nourishment beneath.
Finally, it is wise to re-think your make-up, as you wouldn’t want your cosmetics compromising the hard work of your skincare. Anything too heavy will clog the pores, again accelerating oil production. While a dense foundation stick or pressed powder may make a satisfying quick fix, they could lead to excess oil production in the long term. Instead, opt for a smoothing primer beneath an oil-free liquid foundation for coverage that won’t slip throughout the day.
The best ELEMIS skincare products for oily skin
The Best Cleanser for Oily Skin - Cleansers for oily skin need to deeply cleanse and purify without upsetting the delicate balance of the skin barrier. Balancing Lime Blossom Cleanser is a balancing and repairing lotion that dissolves make-up, daily grime and pollutants to leave skin intensely cleansed and renewed. For a double-cleanse, follow with ELEMIS Gentle Foaming Facial Wash.
Use: Every morning and evening.
The Best Toner for Oily Skin - With lavender at its core, ELEMIS Balancing Lavender Toner will help regulate the excess oil flow of problem-prone skin, keeping the barrier’s PH balance in check while ensuring a soft, nourished result.
Use: Every morning and evening after cleanser.
The Best Facial Oil for Oily Skin - Every ELEMIS oil is formulated for all skin types, but the Superfood Facial Oil is a nutrient-dense blend that is particularly good for controlling oily skin. It is packed with anti-oxidant and omega-rich extracts of Broccoli, Flax Seed and Daikon Radish to feed the skin, ensuring a balanced, healthy-looking complexion with remarkable radiance.
Use: Morning and/or evening after toner.
Tempted to skip this product? Read about the benefits of facial oil for oily skin.
The Best Facial Mask for Oily Skin - Sometimes, breakouts happen. When emergency strikes, the balancing and calming Herbal Lavender Repair Mask is ideal for restoring the peace. Clarifying and soothing Rosemary, Thyme and Lavender essential oils are blended with Kaolin Clay to purify dull, blemished and congested complexions.
For very blemished skin, use ELEMIS Papaya Enzyme Peel followed by Herbal Lavender Repair Mask 3 times a week. For breakout-prone periods, you can leave a thin layer of Herbal Lavender Repair Mask on overnight.
Use: Twice a week after cleanser and toner.
The Best Moisturiser for Oily Skin - Hydra-Balance Day Cream is a lightweight moisturiser that is ideal for oily skin. It will seal in hydration and nourishment while keeping the skin balanced, thanks to oil-regulating Meadowsweet and water-retaining Hyaluronic Acid. Skin is left feeling perfectly hydrated, balanced and supple.
Use: Every morning after cleanser, toner, and facial oil.
The Best Night Cream for Oily Skin - Switch out your day cream in favour of an intense night-time formula each evening, and wake up with refreshed, revitalised skin. ELEMIS Dynamic Resurfacing Night Cream with revolutionary patented Tri-Enzyme technology acts as the catalyst in this innovative formulation for safe and effective resurfacing within the skin’s upper layers. A synergist lipid complex is expertly blended with anti-oxidant rich Rice Hull and Samphire to restore skin’s balance and clarity, replenishing skin from daily environmental stresses and pollution.
Use: Every evening after cleanser, toner, and facial oil.
Related article: The Ultimate Guide to Product Layering