Skin Series: Oily Skin

Oily skin (Seborrhea) is caused by excess skin oil. Androgen levels increase during puberty. Androgen is a hormone that is in both males and females. It signals to the Sebaceous of the skin telling it to mature, causing an increase in production of the oil. For some people however this glands goes into overdrive and produces too much oil making the skin look oily and can cause the skin to breakout more, in the extreme cases causing acne.

Generally the excess oil begins to subside after puberty but unfortunately for some this condition does persist into adulthood. Seborrhea is generally a genetic trait, if your mother and father had it chances are you will have it too. However it can also occur sporadically in humid weather or be set off by stress. The good news is that oily skin helps skin age more slowly and with fewer wrinkles!

What to avoid:

Like with every skin condition there are products that you mustn’t ever use. The important thing to remember about oily skin is that even though it may be tempting to scrub away and use harsh products on the skin to clean it, that will only make the situation worse.

Do not use harsh soaps or anything products containing alcohol. This will dry out and irritate the skin. Irritation can cause the skin to increase its oil production as a way to compensate for the loss of oil caused by using such products. It’s a vicious cycle. The same rules applies for over scrubbing and over cleansing, the same thing will happen.

No heavy creams or make up that will clog up your pores. The heavy product will mix with your oil and cause nasty breakouts and make any acne worse.

What to use:

Use a gentle cleanser to remove make up and clean your skin, whilst using an oil free moisturizer to keep your skin at the right amount of hydration. Don’t wash your face too much, twice a day is plenty. Try to use water based make up instead of oil based make up as the water won’t mix with the oil, it’s lipophobic. Ask and try before you buy you make up if your not sure which to buy. Clinique Superbalanced Makeup is a good one. Lastly be sure to keep blotting sheets in you bag, which you can get at superdrug, just in case.

Superstar Ingredient: Salicylic Acid 

Salicylic acid causes the cells of the epidermis to shed rapidly and also neutralizes bacteria in the process. This prevents pores from clogging up which helps stop break outs and acne. It also will help reduce redness.


The picture shows Salicylic acid as an organic chemical drawing.

A few good products that contain this ingredient are; Nip and Fab’s Glycolic cleanser and Vichy Normaderm Purifying Cleanser Gel.

Hope this was helpful!