Top-3 oily skin game-changers
Holy grail skincare tips that helped me get a grip on my oily skin
If you are like myself, a 'not-so-proud' owner of oily skin, you may have also spend a better part of your life fighting the oil... Most of my teenage years were spent trying to dry the oil on my skin out with harsh exfoliants, which lead to the production of even more oil (as I later realised). More oil lead to more imperfections, clogged pores, and acne. Pair that with my denial of moisturisers which I believed to be clogging my pores even more and extensive use of makeup to conceal the imperfections, we get the perfect formula for disaster. For the better part of my life, I have been rigorously fighting my skin and inevitably losing.
Partially thanks to lockdown that I have stopped wearing makeup, as there was nowhere to go out, and started getting more into skincare. I have learned of the various benefits of certain ingredients, as well as the wonders that Korean skincare can do with such problematic skin like mine. The following are my top-3 skincare things that have made me realise that my oily skin is not that bad after all and that there are solutions to the problems I was experiencing.
Cleansing is a very important part of any skincare routine. Make it a double cleansing, and wonders can happen. I found that when I started to use a double cleanse system rather than just a single cleanse, my skin improved significantly. The first step is an oil-based cleanser, it could be a cleansing balm or cleansing oil, which will remove the heavy part of the dirt, makeup, sunscreen, etc from your skin. After washing all this off, using a water-based cleanser to cleanse the rest. The two steps leave no room for anything to stay on your face before you move on to the next steps in your routine.
Using makeup wipes or micellar water to remove makeup before using a water-based cleanser will not work as efficiently as an oil-based cleanser. Apart from being quite wasteful, neither of those products will be able to penetrate makeup well enough to remove every last bit. Once you try to use an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup (or sunscreen), you will never go back to wipes or micellar water.
One of my personal favourites is the From Green Cleansing Oil from Purito, which can be purchased on Beauty and Seoul*, with 10% off using the link here (#AD).
Niacinamide is an ingredient that has a plethora of benefits: from reducing sensitivity, redness, and breakouts to oil control and blemish reduction. Using a serum that contains niacinamide has made a significant impact on how my skin felt and appeared. I've quickly noticed the effect and benefits of this ingredient listed above, especially rewarding for me was the well-reduced about of breakouts as well as much better oil control. There are many serums that have this ingredient, from single-ingredient ones found in drugstores to more complex ones with other ingredients that supplement the formula - there is a great choice, for every budget.
As I mentioned before, I used to be in complete denial about moisturisers because they always felt too heavy on my skin. I thought they clogged my pores in addition to the oil so I just avoided them most of the time. Big mistake! Moisturisers can actually help the skin to get the right amount of hydration which leads to less oil production, it's just about finding the right one. For oily skin, gel moisturisers can work wonders as they are not heavy, usually absorb fairly quickly into the skin, and do not leave any trace behind - giving the skin their hydrating benefits and not clogging up the pores, especially in the morning when it's not the last step of your routine.
After I started using a gel moisturiser consistently, twice a day, morning and night, my skin's moisture barrier has been restored and there was much less oil production than there used to be. The moisture barrier is a very important part of our skin, it partially determines what kind of skin each person has and with oily-skin individuals, it sometimes may be hard to find a good middle-ground between not feeling like there's a puddle on your face but also not drying it out to the point where the skin is damaged. I've learned the hard way that a moisturiser is an essential part of my skin's health, my face now feels dry when I don't use it (and I do still have oily skin).
I hope these easy pointers can help individuals with oily skin find the right approach to dealing with it. There are, of course, many other steps that can be taken to help deal with oily skin, however, these are my personal favourites which I found had the most significant effect on me. I may write more about other things that I've done on this journey that also helped me sometime soon. I should mention that I was lucky to have the lockdown time which allowed me to not use makeup while going through the learning journey of what can be done to get the oily skin under control. However, as one of my favourite skin-fluencers, James Welsh, says "skincare is all about progression over perfection", I would encourage you to try and incorporate these three things into your skincare regardless of whether or not you also use makeup and seeing if there is any progress/improvement. Good luck on your skincare journey!
*Beauty & Seoul is the leading K-Beauty curator in the UK, founded by a Korean adoptee, Maree Kinder. Beauty & Seoul was one of the first companies to introduce K-Beauty in the UK and strongly believe that skincare can be a form of self-care.
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