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Oily skin can be a blessing and a burden. On the plus side, it will generally age slower than other types, retain its volume and resist signs of ageing, including wrinkles, over time. But when you’re contending with clogged pores, excess shine and foundation sliding off your face by midday, it can be trying to remember the positives. While we can’t completely stop oil in its tracks—it’s a function of our sebaceous glands and impacted by factors such as hormones—we can control the flow with a few simple tips and also learn to embrace it.
First step, double cleanse your skin, starting with an oil-based product. A common misconception about oily skin is that we need to dry it out. But stripping away our skin’s precious and protective surface oils can trigger the production of excess oil. So, while it’s important to deeply cleanse and thoroughly remove makeup, we need to work with our skin’s natural defence system. A product like Bare Minerals Oil Obsessed Cleansing Oil is the perfect solution. With a base of sunflower, cucumber, bilberry and borage oils, and infused with nourishing sea salts, this lightweight cleanser emulsifies with water and effectively dissolves all makeup. Follow with an exfoliating cleanser like Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Cleansing Gel as step two.
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that dissolves oil, de-clogs pores and breaks up dead skin cells that obstruct oil flow. If you haven’t already added it to your arsenal of treatments, now is the ideal time to do so. You can use a high concentration (up to 2%) in a serum or exfoliating peel pad, or opt for a less intense dosage in a daily hydrator such as Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Exfoliating Moisturiser. Laced with a clever combination of salicylic, lactic and glycolic acids, it gently exfoliates your complexion but leaves it supremely moisturised too. It’s also a great product for summer, when oil production increases and dead skin cells start to cover over the pores, resulting in tiny bumps or congestion in the T-zone.
Retinol is a star ingredient for many reasons, but it has also been found to regulate skin’s oil production. Overnight treatments such as Goldfaden MD Wake Up Call help to refine the skin’s texture while you sleep. A light application is all that’s required for the combination of retinol and antioxidant ingredients to mitigate oil flow and minimise the appearance of open pores. Remember to apply sun protection during the day, since retinol products can render your skin a little more photosensitive than normal.
You’ve likely noticed how slick your skin can become on a warm day. Or that your makeup is gripping on for dear life after a gym session. Oil production can be triggered by many factors, and heat is one of them. By keeping the skin cool, we can help to keep shine at bay. In summer months, we recommend a moisturiser with a lighter texture, such as Skyn Iceland Antidote Cooling Daily Lotion. This refreshing lotion, which goes on with an immediately cooling sensation, contains mineral-rich Icelandic glacial water to hydrate and detoxify, mint to calm skin and meadowsweet extract to help control oiliness. It’s ideal to use before a workout, or if your skin’s oil glands feel as though they are in overdrive.
A complexion primer is a game-changer for an oilier complexion. Not only will it help to control oil production, it will give your foundation and complexion products something to grip on to. Urban Decay De-Slick Complexion Primer is a matte-finish primer powered by an oil-absorbing combination of clay and silica. Its soft velvety texture will prevent your carefully applied makeup slipping and sliding off and help to blur the appearance of open pores. Apply a small amount using your fingers, concentrating on the T-zone.
A water-resistant, oil-free and longwearing formulation will ensure your makeup stays put over the course of a day. As its name suggests, Stila Stay All Day Foundation and Concealer is seriously reliable. It combines botanical ingredients with kaolin clay to inconspicuously soak up unwanted oil. The finish is soft, flattering and the coverage is in your hands. This beauty can be built up and layered for full coverage, or softly buffed into skin for a barely-there effect. Conveniently, it also comes with a matching concealer inside the cap.
Keep some blotting papers on hand to reduce shine on the nose and chin. Leading contenders such as Tatcha Blotting Papers banish oil without disturbing your makeup. Tatcha’s Victoria Tsai discovered an oil absorbent paper made from abaca leaf, a Japanese beauty secret. Not only are these papers easy to use on-the-go, they are stored in a handbag-friendly pocket. They are a must when you want to prolong special occasion makeup, or when you want your look to last well into the evening. Tip: use a sheet of blotting paper before applying your usual powder to avoid product and oil building up on the skin and looking overdone.
The final step in your mattification routine is an oil-absorbing powder that sets your makeup. Some powders can appear thick or cakey, but RMS Un-powder is designed to combat oil and shine and blur imperfections with an almost undetectable touch. It’s made from high-grade Japanese silica, one of the most absorbent ingredients in the world. Un-Powder is available in translucent or three tinted shades. This beauty also comes with a powder puff, to firmly press the product into troublesome areas, such as above the brows, around the nose and the chin. Oily skin, handled.
Words by Lucy SimpsonDecember 2018
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