As you might be aware, I have combination-oily skin with an oily t-zone and more normal cheeks. It used to be an oily mess until I started looking into things online and finding out more about skincare.
My skin is also quite prone to spots if I don't look after it well. I was quite spotty as a teenager and it was something I was really self conscious about. Little did I know that what I was doing to it was doing more harm than good. My mum told me this but I thought I knew best, as you do when you're a teen haha.
These days, it's must more under control with just the odd couple of spots, mainly at a certain time of month (you know what I'm talking about ladies). I'm far from a skincare expert, but I have learnt a few points along the way that has really helped me get my skin under control.
1) DO NOT use anything that strips your skin completely of its oils. Foaming cleansers can be very drying and products aimed at oily/ spot prone skin are often laiden with alcohol. Products with alcohol as a main ingredient will dry out the surface of your skin so try to avoid them. Stripping your skin of its oils causes your skin to start freaking out and producing more oil to replace what you have taken away, therefore making you more oily in the long run.
2) Treat your skin gently. I went through a phase of using Clearasil Ultra face wash as a teen and let me tell you it was the worst thing I ever did. My skin hated me for it. I did, however, use the Clearasil Stayclear Sensitive face wash (£4.49 buy one get one free here) with some success and have used it more recently because it is a much more mild version. It contains salicylic acid, which is a great ingredient for chemically exfoliating the skin and helping to keep the skin clear, but is creamy and reasonably gentle. My current favourite of this style of wash is the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Cream Wash (£4.49 but currently on buy one get one free at Superdrug here).
3)Cleanse your skin properly, twice a day. This might sound obvious but it's not something I always did. In the morning, I just use a simple face wash like the one mentioned above. At night, if you use makeup removing wipes or makeup remover, you should still be washing your face afterwards to remove every last trace of makeup and actually clean your skin. I used to be guilty of just using wipes and it just wasn't good enough. Leaving makeup on your skin at night will clog it up and cause more spots. Everyone has the occasional night when they're just to tired to get to the sink, but generally I take my makeup off when I know I'm in for the night to avoid this. After I've removed my makeup with wipes or Micellar waters etc, my favourite evening cleansers are Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (£15.50 for the cleanser and 2 muslin cloths here) or for a budget alternative, Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser, which is currently on offer for £2.98 here.
4) Oily skin still needs moisture. When my skin was a spotty, oily mess, I used to skip moisturiser. However, if your skin doesn't get any moisture it will make its own (i.e. yet more oil). You can of course make this a light moisturiser but make sure you use one. My favourite light moisturisers are La Roche Posay Effeclar Mat (£14 here, this one is great for under makeup) and Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser (£4.50/ 3 for 2 here).
5) Try nourishing your skin with oil. This might sound crazy but since I started using Clarins Lotus Oil, I haven't looked back. Lighter oils, like this one designed for oily skin, will actually trick your skin in that if you put oil on it, it's got enough so won't need to produce so much of its own! I like to use it at night in place of or in combination with my moisturiser, depending on how my skin feels. You can find the Clarins Lotus Oil here for £33. That might sound pricey but a bottle lasts a good few months because I only need a few drops to cover my face and neck.
6) Don't overload your skin with all sorts of new products. I used to try one thing, give it a few days, think it wasn't working and move onto the next. I didn't realise at the time that I was upsetting my skin constantly bombarding it with new products. Sticking to a routine of simple products really helped my skin to calm down. It's not very often that I try a new skincare product because I know how my skin can sometimes react.
7) Use acids on your skin to chemically exfoliate. That might sound like a scary prospect but it's a much more gentle alternative to facial scrubs, which provide physical exfoliation. If you don't go easy with these, you can actually damage the surface of your skin. Chemical exfoliants, on the other hand, get rid of any dead skin cells and help to unblock pores more gently. I like to only use a physical scrub once a week and my favourite is the Nip and Fab Glycolic Scrub Fix (£9.95 here but it's often on offer for less) as it exfoliates without being too harsh and has a lovely fresh citrus smell. For a chemical exfoliant I like the Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix pads (£12.99 here, but again you can quite often get them for half price in Boots/ Superdrug). I use them as a toner step after I cleanse in the evening and I feel like they really help to smooth my skin and keep it clear.
8) Blotting papers are a God send. My favourite are the Kleenex Oil Absorbing Sheets, which seem to be discontinued now but they seem to sell in Home Bargains...I recently stocked up on 10 packets for 29p each. You can also get them on Amazon for £1.99 with free delivery here. Any brand will do but I would get the powder free ones, which remove the oil from my skin more efficiently without disturbing my makeup. I can then top up my powder afterwards if I feel I need it.
Do you have any other tips for dealing with oily skin?