Guide on How to Care for Oily Skin

3 minutes to read


If you have an oily skin type, your concerns are probably around blackheads, visible pores and breakouts. You may also find that your makeup looks great as soon as you apply it, but an increase in oil throughout the day leads it to slide off and look shiny in photos.

Sound familiar? Our expert guide can help you understand the needs of extremely oily skin and find the best oily skin care regime that works for you.

What are the characteristics of oily skin?

Oily skin tends to look greasy and shiny, particularly on the T-zone (across the forehead, the nose, chin and back). Pores can also look very large and noticeable and become clogged with visible blackheads. You may also be prone to breakouts of spots in oily areas of your face and body.

What is causing my oily skin?

According to a study named The Irritancy of Soaps and Syndets by Strube DD and Nicoll G, oily skin is caused by a release of excess sebum on the skin’s surface - a natural product of the glands that helps to keep the skin healthy. In addition to reducing water loss from our skin, sebum also helps to protect against bacteria and fungi.

These glands increase in sebum production during puberty which can lead to the skin appearing oily and congested. Hormonal changes, genetics and stress can also lead to oily skin conditions.

Oily skin results in sticky skin cells which can clog pores leading to acne breakouts,” says Dr. Zac Handler, a dermatologist consultant. “This occurs in puberty, where a rapid increase in androgen hormones such as testosterone and progesterone occur. In pregnancy, an increase in progesterone occurs, resulting in increased oil gland production and a tendency for increased acne breakouts”.

"Oily skin results in sticky skin cells which can clog pores leading to acne breakouts,"

Dr Zac Handler


Oily skin care advice

Face cleansers

While there is no harm in having oily skin, there are care tips that can help you to reduce it. This includes products such as cleansers with a higher pH level of 9 or gentle soaps. Make sure that you don’t over cleanse your face however, as this can result in the skin becoming dried out. Once or twice a day is enough to keep oil levels at bay.

It's also advisable to try to avoid anything fragranced or harsh such as physical exfoliants as they can result in more sebum being created. Look out for cleansers containing gentle chemical exfoliants such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid as they can help with the skin’s natural cell turnover process and reduce levels of congestion and oiliness. Natural toners containing anti-inflammatory ingredients such as witch hazel can also help improve the appearance of oily skin.

Body washes

If you have oily skin on your body, follow the same principles as you do with cleansing your face and wash with a gentle cleansing product every day. Sanex Expert Skin Health + Micellar Revitalising Shower Gel is another great option as it can be used on the face and body. It helps to clean the skin from oil and impurities, leaving it purified, hydrated with its natural barrier balanced. Use every day to keep your skin looking balanced.

Zac Handler, M.D. is a board-certified academic dermatologist and an assistant clinical professor in dermatology at Rutgers University New Jersey Medical School and New York Medical College. Dr. Handler holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of California, San Diego, and received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Nebraska.


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