Oily skin can sometimes be tricky to work with. Your skin may be oily but dehydrated; you want to control sebum but don’t want to strip your skin and cause other issues; you may be dealing with acne; you just want your skin to be balanced. Sound familiar? In today’s post we’re going to look at the steps in your skincare routine that can truly help keep your skin balanced and healthy while controlling oil production.
What is my skin type?
There are basically 4 different skin types: normal, oily, dry or combination Oily skin is quite straight forward and you probably already know if you have an oily skin type! Your skin produces excess sebum and can often appear “shiny” or “greasy”. You may be more prone to pimples, blackheads, and clogged pores. If you have combination skin, you may also experience some oiliness. This is common on the T-zone: forehead, nose, and chin.
Something to bear in mind is that while your skin type may be oily, skin condition can change. For example, oily skin (the skin type) can be dehydrated (the skin condition); dry skin (the skin type) may be very red (the skin condition). It’s good practice to consider both your skin type and skin condition when you’re personally curating which products you want in your skincare routine.
Let’s get into the ideal skincare steps for oily skin!
Good cleansing is the basis of any skincare routine and that’s no different for oily skin. There can be a tendency with oily skin to gravitate to a product that leaves your skin feeling squeaky clean, thus giving the illusion that it is ridding your face of excess oil. While it certainly may be ridding your face of excess oil, a harsh cleanser will also be stripping your skin of its natural oils and can then cause the skin to produce even more oil! It can be a vicious circle.
The best option for all skin types is a gentle cleanse, preferably with a low pH formula. This means it’s inline with our skin’s natural pH and will not dry out the skin. Drying out the skin can cause overproduction of oil or even weaken your skin’s natural barrier, making bacterial acne more likely to occur. At Kosame, we love the Dr Althea Amino Acid Gentle Bubble Cleanser. It gives us that light foaming feel and thoroughly cleanses while keeping skin balanced and healthy. It can be used both morning and night.
Exfoliation is important to help control sebum production and for an oily skin type, a BHA (beta-hydroxy-acid) exfoliator is a solid option. BHA exfoliators can penetrate oil and help reduce the appearance of pores and blackheads. COSRX Blackhead Power Liquid is our go-to for getting those sebaceous glands to behave! It contains betaine salicylate (which is the BHA active ingredient) in an optimal formula for targeting the pores. It’s also extremely easy to use and absorbs quickly. Simply pat or swipe with a cotton pad onto your face after cleansing then continue with the rest of your routine. It’s gentle enough for daily use but it’s always best to start slow, at a couple of times a week, then work your way up to more frequent use.
Hydrating toners and essences are a fantastic way to rehydrate and even moisturize oily skin, without the concern of greasiness or “heaviness” from a cream. They often have a watery consistency and can easily be patted into the skin after cleansing and exfoliating. The best thing? Absorption is usually extremely quick, and you can move on with your routine! Even better, decant the product into a misting bottle for the quickest application.
The Dr Ceuracle Tea Tree Purifine 95 Essence is a lovely light essence that hydrates and helps treat any breakouts. It contains 95% tea tree extract which soothes the skin and reduces inflammation. Tea tree extract is also known globally for its antibacterial properties, ideal for active acne.
Firstly- don’t feel like you HAVE to use a moisturizer in every routine. There are not many rules in skincare! In fact, if you’re getting moisture from a toner or essence, you probably don’t need a moisturizer and that may be particularly true for a morning routine. If you do want to use a moisturizer, a light gel cream is perfect for oily skin. But the only rule is to use whatever sits well on your skin and feels good!
The Korean beauty industry has every treatment you could possibly need and there’s no shortage for treating oily skin. Sheet masks are an easy starting point and can help soothe inflamed skin while returning hydration to your skin. Remember oily skin still needs hydrated. We particularly enjoy a chilled sheet mask during the summer! Lighter options for oily skin include Mizon Joyful Time Essence Aloe Sheet Mask and Dr Ceuracle Tea Tree Purifine Soothing Mask.
One of our star treatments for oily skin is the Dr Ceuracle Jeju Matcha Clay Pack. The cool mask applies smoothly to the skin with a refreshing feel and a delicious green tea scent. Kick back and relax while the clay works its magic. Clay masks should always be rinsed off right before they’re fully dried and cracking- if you leave them on too long, they will strip your skin of moisture. On removal of this matcha mask, skin is visibly revived, smoother, and sebum is reduced. It’s a great prepping step for treating excess oiliness before an event, followed by your hydrating layers!
Ultimately, although oily skin can be hard to navigate, working out which skincare steps can keep your skin balanced are key. Too often we’re taught that oily skin needs to be treated aggressively and stripped, and yet that can create more problems. Gentle is key, hydration is key, and combining those two approaches with treatments and exfoliation can truly help keep oily skin under control and healthy. Let us know your go-to products for oily skin in the comments!