Like Kanye West and screaming babies (same thing, really), oily skin demands constant attention. Aside from a shiny schnoz, this common complexion – caused by an excess of a sebum-producing hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – also comes with clogged pores, spots and the fear a neighbouring country may invade your face.
Luckily, it can be combatted with the right kit. To put your best face forward, here are eight products that’ll help mop up your mug.
When it comes to skin that’s slicker than snot on a doorknob, it’s important to avoid harsh soaps and cleansers that strip it of essential oils and stimulate further oil production. Like its excellent Original range, Bulldog’s alcohol- and fragrance-free Oil Control remedy relies on natural ingredients including witch hazel, willow bark and juniper to leave skin mattified.
Available at Bulldog, priced £4.50.
In addition to a glistening forehead and greasy chin, oily skin also tends to come with an extra-thick coat of built-up dead skin cells on the surface. Use an exfoliator like Aesop’s Purifying Facial Paste, which contains finely ground quartz, to slough away any flakes that can make skin appear dull and grey.
Available at Mankind, priced £35.
Oil and hydration are not the same, so don’t skip moisturiser. Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator 24 Hour Lotion is formulated with Aerogel, a material so lightweight it’s used in space. Plus, it’s able to absorb four times its own weight in oil so even on skin that looks like a BP spill, the results are out-of-this world.
Available at John Lewis, priced £32.
Oily skin is more likely to suffer from enlarged pores that fill with gunk and turn into breakouts. So once or twice a week, use a facial mask to provide to a deep clean and remove any impurities. Clinique’s natural clay-based mask penetrates deep but is oil-free and non-drying so won’t irritate skin.
Available at Boots, priced £23.
Toner may seem like an unnecessary extra step, but daily astringents (as cosmetic bods call them) suck up oil on the skin’s surface and reduce the size of pores. Lab Series’ specially formulated Oil Control Solution contains salicylic acid, which dissolves pore-clogging sebum to help prevent blackheads. Use after cleansing, but before moisturising.
Available at Boots, priced £19.50.
It’s not just teenagers who have oily skin, and therefore it’s not just the young ones who are prone to spots. If a breakout occurs, try using a topical gel for problem areas. Murad’s fast-acting formula pulls on a whole alphabet of ingredients to get rid of blemishes and prevent new ones from developing.
Available at Murad, priced £15.
An on-the-go weapon against shiny face syndrome, oil-absorbing blotting sheets are small enough to slip into any pocket for a quick touch-up in-between meetings. Plus, they turn dark when oil hits to provide a deeply satisfying (if not disgusting) “look what came off of my face” result.
Available at Superdrug, priced £2.69.
Along with sweating more, exercise can send sebaceous glands into overdrive. Perfect for keeping in a gym bag, Ole Henriksen’s Grease Relief Cleansing Cloths help prevent post-workout acne with a mix of glycolic, lactic and citric acid to cut through dead skin cells and deeply cleanse.
Available at John Lewis, priced £12.