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How to prevent oily skin and a shiny face

How To Prevent Oily Skin And A Shiny Face

Is oily, greasy skin getting you down? We’re here to help! Read on for our tips on how to prevent oily skin and control shine.


You can help prevent oily skin by using a gentle cleanser with active ingredients for oil and breakout control.

Some traditional acne and oily skin face cleansers contain ingredients that are extremely strong. They remove every trace of oil and moisture from your skin.

If you’re trying to prevent oily skin using a cleanser that removes all oil might sound good, but you’ll actually make the problem worse.

When the skin is stripped of all oil your sebaceous glands (responsible for creating sebum) are triggered to create even more to make up for what’s been lost. It’s like a continuous oily feedback loop!

Use A Lightweight Oil-based Moisturiser

Yes, you read that right!

Oil can be extremely beneficial for oily skin and to prevent an oily face - but only if you use the right kind.

Choose lightweight oils with a low comedogenic rating and those with calming, antibacterial properties. Jojoba, acai, rosehip, and almond oil are the most beneficial for oily skin.

A common mistake when attempting to prevent oily skin is to skip the moisturising step in your routine. After you’ve cleansed your skin you need to follow up with a moisturiser to prevent water evaporating from the surface - once your skin becomes dry, oil production increases.

Using a moisturiser helps it hold onto water and stay hydrated. In turn, hydration helps balance skin and control an oily face.

We recommend: Acai Skin Balancing Face or Peppermint Green Oil (Excellent for oily, acne-prone skin in teens)

Be Cautious About Using A Toner

Traditional toners contain high levels of alcohol which is extremely drying for the skin.

Just like a harsh cleanser will trigger an oily ‘feedback loop’ a strong toner causes the same issue because alcohol strips the skin.

If you can’t do without the toning step in your routine, opt for alcohol and astringent free formulations.

Introduce a Retinoid (Vitamin A) Product Into Your Routine 

Vitamin A actually targets oil glands directly to aid in the control of oily skin by slowing down the production of sebum.

There are 3 different types of retinoids. The strongest is retinoic acid which is available by prescription-only. Due to its strength, it can be highly irritating for the skin.

Retinol is a weaker version and available over the counter. Although it isn’t as strong as retinoic acid, don’t be surprised if you still experience irritation. Finally, retinol derivatives like Retinyl Palmitate and Retinyl Proprionate are even gentler and also sold over the counter.

Known for their initial irritating side effects on the skin, it’s important to introduce any retinoid product into your routine with care.

Good skin comes to those that wait. Retinoids don’t deliver overnight results but with regular use, you should see a significant improvement in your skin in about 3 months.

Switch Up Your Diet

Food high on the glycaemic index (GI) cause insulin levels to rise which can trigger sebum production.

A 2010 study shows that eating sugar spikes insulin, which leads to an inflammatory response in the body and also produces androgens. Androgens are the hormones mostly responsible for sebum production.

If you’re on a mission to prevent oily skin, you could try limiting high GI foods in your diet and observe how your skin reacts.

Keep A Stash Of Blotting Paper Handy

How to control an oily face when you’re on the go? A tried and true instant fix for oily skin is blotting paper.

Using blotting paper is something you can do quickly and discreetly when you’re out and about to address shiny issues.

Take a piece of blotting paper and press it gently but firmly on the areas of oily shine. Your T-zone - the area of your nose, chin, and forehead - is usually the oiliest.

Keep the paper against your skin for a few seconds to allow it to absorb excess oil. It’s important to use a blotting motion to soak up the oil, rather than rubbing or moving the paper around your skin.

When choosing a blotting paper, opt for a brand free of synthetic fragrances and powders so it won’t irritate the skin.

Use Glycolic Acid In Your Oily Skin Routine

The smallest of the alpha hydroxy acid family, glycolic acid is a favourite for helping control oily skin.

It works to reduce excessive oil and unclog pores to assist in preventing acne breakouts and balancing oil production.

Glycolic acid is usually formulated in cleansers, serums, and masks designed to target oily and congested skin. Be careful to not overwhelm your skin by using different products that all contain glycolic acid. Stick with it in one or two steps of your routine.

We recommend: Detoxifying Exfoliating Charcoal Serum

Treat Your Skin To A Mattifying Clay Mask 

The mattifying benefits of clay can help prevent oily skin blues!

Cosmetic clays, in general, do a great job at absorbing excess oil and assisting in detoxifying the skin. The two types of clay to look out for in a face mask for shiny skin are kaolin clay and bentonite clay.

Kaolin clay is rich in silica and has a soft, fine texture. It’s the gentlest of the cosmetic clays and absorbs oil without stripping the skin. An excellent choice for sensitive complexions.

Bentonite clay is a product of aged volcanic ash. Like kaolin, this clay absorbs excess sebum from the skin’s topmost layer. It helps to mattify the skin, control breakouts and acts as an exfoliant leaving skin softer and brighter looking.

Always follow a clay treatment with a moisturiser to prevent skin from drying out.

We recommend: Soft Skin Refining Charcoal Clay Booster Mask

Chill Out

Is stress making it hard to control your oily face?

When we’re stressed the level of cortisol (commonly known as the stress hormone) in our body rises. This boost in cortisol can trigger increased oil production leading to oily skin, acne and other skin concerns. We’ve covered a few easy ways you can calm your mind and your skin here.

Have questions about how to avoid oily skin? Book your free skin consultation with our esmi team of skin experts!

How To Prevent Oily Shine