When it comes to having a greasy complexion, how much oil is too much? And why, oh why do you have extra oily skin when your bestie’s complexion remains perfectly matte 24/7?
We spoke to the experts to decipher just why some of us end up with super shiny mugs come 3pm, and guide you through how to battle the oil for a fresher complexion.
Is it normal to have oily skin?
In a single word, yes, and having an oily complexion can actually be beneficial for slowing down the ageing process. “Yes, it’s perfectly normal to have oily skin,” says Education Manager for the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica, Emma Hobson. “In fact it’s a great skin benefit since it means you’re likely to age less quickly!” Music to our ears!
How much oil is too much?
As a victim of an oily T-zone, I’ve always thought my extra-shiny skin was in excess of what’s actually normal, but Emma points out that the amount of oil on your skin comes down to the individual and their skin type. “There’s no standard rating for what is too much oil, that’s a very personal thing. It’s more a matter of how you control your oil flow so it doesn’t lead to excess congestion and skin breakouts or an excessively oily shine,” explains Emma.
What causes skin to get oily?
Excess oil production can – on the most part – be blamed on your hormones, however the environment and skin care products do play a part. “Primarily hormone fluctuations especially our androgen (male) hormone [cause skin to get oily as they] stimulate oil production. Oil production can also be affected slightly by the climate, in particular when heat and humidity are combined, as well as some medications. Also incorrect product use, especially when stripping the skin with harsh ingredients such as SD alcohol found in some acne skin lotions and toners.”
What are the best ingredients to help treat oily skin?
To help you deal with your greasy mug, Emma recommends looking out for products that contain activated charcoal, niacinamide and nordihydroguaiaretic acid, as well as green clay and kaolin to combat oil and balance oil production.
“Activated charcoal readily absorbs oils, toxins and impurities from the skin’s surface,” explains Emma. “This latest ‘genius’ of an ingredient works by virtue of its increased surface area, which readily adsorbs substances onto its surface. One teaspoon of activated charcoal can have a surface area of as much as 10,000 square feet, that’s a lot of absorption power!” We think it’s time to stock up on charcoal, ladies!
Niacinamide and nordihydroguaiaretic acid
Green clay and kaolin
If you’ve never heard of clay as being excellent for clearing up excess oil, it’s time to get clued-up. “These [clays] are fantastic as acting like ‘blotting paper’ on the skin surface, eliminating excess skin oil without drying the skin,” says Emma. Try a weekly clay-based mask such as Dermalogica MediBac Sebum Clearing Masque or 7th Heaven Glacial Clay Spa Masque to absorb excess oil.
bh also loves these oily skin fighters: Timeless Truth Pore Minimising Green Tea Serum, jane iredale Mineral Makeup Blotting Papers
Should I skip using a cleansing oil if I have oily skin?
No matter how greasy your skin may be, one thing’s for sure – you need to make a cleansing oil your skin’s best friend, stat! “You absolutely should not skip using a cleansing oil. Cleansing oils are designed to ‘power through’ and remove surface make-up, sunscreen, dirt and oils,” explains Emma. “They work on the principle that ‘like attracts like’. The oil in the product attracts and ‘grabs’ the oil on the skin’s surface, as well as the dirt, make-up etc. Therefore, when you emulsify (with water) and wash off the cleansing oil you will thoroughly wash everything else away with it for fantastic squeaky clean skin.”
Do you have oily skin? What are your tips for dealing with it?