“I’ve tried everything to keep my oily skin under control but nothing works. Help!”
Sometimes, dealing with oily skin seems like a hopeless battle. No matter what you try, your face keeps shining brighter than a frying pan, your pores refuse to shrink and those pimples won’t budge from your face. Argh!
It’s not your skin playing tricks on you. It’s the skincare products you’re using. Truth is, most skincare products marketed to oily skin DON’T contain anything that can really deal with excess shine, large pores and breakouts. To add insult to injury, sometimes they have ingredients that can make things way worse!
So what works? Here are the best ingredients scientifically proven to keep oily skin under control and keep pimples at bay once and for all:
What it is: a member of the beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) family. It’s the only BHA used in skincare.
What it does: it’s an oil soluble exfoliant. This means it can penetrate deep inside the pores, removing all the excess oil and other crap that’s clogging them from within. Plus, it dissolves the glue that holds skin cells together on the surface of the skin . This dual exfoliating action prevents and remove blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples, roughness and dark spots. Like that weren’t enough, salicylic acid also has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe redness and irritations.
Side effects: if you’re allergic to salicylicate, including aspirin, stay away!
- Paula’s Choice Resist BHA 9 Targeted Solution ($43.00): available at Dermstore, Nordstrom and Paula’s Choice
- Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant ($29.00): available at Dermstore, Look Fantastic, Paula’s Choice and Selfridges
- The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2%: available at Adore Beauty, Beauty Bay and Cult Beauty
Hyaluronic Acid & Glycerin
What are they: humectants that attract water from the environment into the skin.
What they do: they infuse your skin with a waterfall of moisture, keeping it hydrated without adding more oil to it (that’s the last thing your skin needs). Hyaluronic acid is particularly good at this: it holds up to 1000 times its weight in water!
Side effects: if there’s not enough water in the atmosphere, humectants can steal it from the deepest layers of your skin, drying it out. Hyaluronic acid puts up better with lack of water than other humectants.
- Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel ($52.00): available at Cult Beauty, Sephora and SpaceNK
- First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Oil-Free Mattifying Gel ($30.00): available at Dermstore, Feel Unique, Sephora and Ulta
- Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief Moisturizer Normal To Oily ($29.00): available at Dermstore and Paula’s Choice
What are they: ingredients that feast on sebum. They eat it all up, getting rid of the grease and shine on your face. A few examples include bentonite clay, kaolin clay, silica, magnesium aluminium silicate and sulphur.
What they do: they have oil-absorbing properties that soak up excess oil, keeping excess shine and breakouts at bay.
Side effects: if your skin is dry, soaking sebum will dry it out even more. But for your oily skin type, they’re a godsend.
- Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask ($25.50): available at Asos, Blue Mercury, Feel Unique, Nordstrom and Ulta
- Niod Flavanone Mud (£29.00): available at Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty and Feel Unique
- Paula’s Choice Skincare Clear Ultra-Light Daily Mattifying Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 30+ ($33.00): available at Dermstore, Feel Unique, Nordstrom and Paula’s Choice
What it is: a peroxide, i.e. an unstable bond of two oxygen atoms that can generate free radicals.
What it does: it has a peeling action that prevents and treats breakouts. Plus, it kills P.Acnes, the bacteria that causes acne. The best part? Bacteria don’t grow resistant to it.
- La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Action Acne Treatment ($36.95): available at Dermstore and Feel Unique
- Paula’s Choice Clear Daily Skin Clearing Treatment With 5% benzoyl peroxide ($18.00): available atDermstore, Nordstrom and Paula’s Choice
- PProactiv Emergency Blemish Relief ($20.00): available at Sephora and Ulta
Related: Benzoyl Peroxide: Friend Or Foe?
Don’t know how to incorporate these oily skin saviours in your skincare routine? Click the image below to sign up for my newsletter and receive the “Oily Skin Skincare Routine Cheat Sheet”:
Oily Skin Cheat Sheet
Sign up to receive the best skincare routine for oily skin cheat sheet.
Do you have oily skin? Which ingredients are you using to deal with it? What’s working well for you?
Take The Guesswork Out Of Skincare Shopping
Get access to the “Pro Skincare Library” for exclusive skincare routine “cheat sheets” and tricks to help you navigate the beauty aisles jungle like a pro and immediately know what to pick off the shelves to achieve the gorgeous skin of your dreams - even when you’re drowning in an endless sea of skincare products.