Things you need to know if you have oily skin

The expert tips you need to read

Beauty Crew Editor / May 25 2017

For those with oily skin, trying to manage the shine and keep skin in balance is one of the biggest beauty challenges – especially as the weather starts to warm up. 

So we spoke to some of the beauty industry’s top skin care experts to shed some light on the things you need to know if you have oily skin. 

#1 / What an oily skin type actually is

If you’ve got a tiny bit of shine, you may not actually have an oily skin type. According to Danielle Williams, Jurlique Education Specialist, this is an easy way to tell if you have oily skin: “A slight oil flow in the T-zone will indicate a combination skin, whereas oil flow on the cheeks as well shows that the skin type is a true oily skin.” 

Other indicators of an oily skin type are a being prone to congestion, blackheads and pimples, large pores, lots of shine, and interestingly, “thick, bouncy skin,” according to Laura Berger, Beauty Therapist & Skin Specialist at Mecca Cosmetica. 

#2 / The ingredients you should be looking for

When it comes to picking your skin care products, you should look for ones that contain ingredients that can help balance the oil production, minimise shine, and maintain a healthy, hydrated complexion. 

“All products should have oil absorbing or oil reducing ingredients and look for products that have a mattifying effect on the skin,” says Emma Hobson Education Manager from Dermalogica and the International Dermal Institute. 

“The best ingredients for oily skin are astringent botanicals as they will help to control the oil flow without being harsh on the skin,” says Williams. She recommends looking for witch hazel, daisy, and echinacea in your products.

Another popular ingredient for those with oily skin is salicylic acid, as “it’s one of the only ingredients that can exfoliate inside a pore, unclogging and neutralising bacteria," says Berger.

Clay-based products can also work wonders to help absorb excess oil to keep shine to a minimum, so look for kaolin clay in masks and even cleansers.

“All products should have oil absorbing or oil reducing ingredients.”
Emma Hobson
Education Manager

Jurlique Citrus Purifying Mist

Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

#3 / Oils are your friend

Yes, using an oil on your oily skin is actually beneficial. 

“Surprisingly, one of the best things for oily skin is oil. Oil attracts oil, so an oil cleanser will help to dislodge trapped sebum in the skin that can lead to breakouts and congestion,” says Berger. 

So which oils should you use? Charlotte Turner, beauty therapist and head of training at Clarins says, “Essential oils of sage, geranium and lotus help balance sebum,” while Samantha Menzies, Face Plus Medispa, Skincare & Laser expert, recommends “jojoba, geranium, tea tree and lavender to control sebum flow.” 

Try: Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil for Combination/Oily Skin; The Jojoba Company 100% Natural Australia Jojoba; The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil

Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil for Combination/Oily Skin

The Jojoba Company 100% Natural Australia Jojoba

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil

#4 / Be careful not to strip your skin

Your instinct may be to use products that will strip your skin of excess oil, but you could actually be doing more harm than good. 

When you strip and dry out your skin, your oil glands actually work to produce even more oil, leaving you in a worse position than when you started. And besides exacerbating the oiliness problem, harsh products actually strip the acid mantle on your skin’s surface, which compromises the protective barrier, and that can be quite damaging for skin. Common ingredients that can strip skin include excess amounts of benzoyl peroxide, alcohol, glycolics and even soap-based facial washes. 

Other ingredients to avoid are ones that can clog your pores or cause excessive oil production, like shea butter or mineral oil.

Looking for some quick fixes for an oily complexion? We've got 3 expert tips that'll help control that shine in a flash.

Image credit: Getty

Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.