How to manage oily skin and acne.
Where oily skin exists, acne often follows - but it needn’t be that way. By carefully managing the needs of your skin type, you can wave goodbye to a greasy face and excess oil, and see off those pesky blemishes at the same time. Read on for your ultimate guide to dealing with oily, acne-prone skin, from what causes it to the one product you mustn’t skip in your skincare routine.
What causes oily skin and acne?
There are plenty of reasons why you might have oily skin and acne - and because skin is never that simple, you may just have one or both. Whether you were born with a shiny skin type or you’re used to an oil-free face and wondering what’s disrupted your skin, here are some potential triggers:
Genetics: Oily, acne-prone skin may simply be in your genes - those larger sebaceous glands are often passed down the family tree.
Hormone imbalances: Oily, breakout-prone skin may be down to your hormones going haywire, which could be caused by stress or other changes such as medication.
Diet: High glycemic foods may stimulate sebum production, which will cause excess oil
Over-washing: Stripping your skin with harsh products or over-washing will cause it to overcompensate with sebum production.
Environmental factors: Hot and humid weather can mean an oilier face, which in turn can lead to acne.
How to tell if you have oily skin?
Unlike combination skin, where you may have some dry areas and most likely an oily T-zone, oily skin means just that - you're experiencing excess oil all over. Your skin will look shiny and may feel greasy to the touch, while your pores may look visibly enlarged, especially on your nose, chin and forehead. Larger pores will also become clogged more easily, meaning breakouts of blackheads and acne.
If you are still not sure where your skin sits on the spectrum? Why not see how it feels within an hour or so of using a gentle, basic cleanser. If your bare, moisturiser-free skin starts to feel oily, it's safe to say that's your skin type.
How to care for oily skin and acne
While oily skin has its benefits (it ages better, for one), if you’re struggling with both oil and acne you’re probably keen to get it under control. The good news is there are steps you can take to manage it. Read on for our easy guide to caring for oily, acne-prone skin - a few mindful changes and your complexion will feel clearer in no time.
Don't touch your face!
This is applicable for all skin types but honestly the best piece of advice you can possibly receive is to try and minimise touching your face too much. For a start, your fingertips have their own natural oils - and the last thing you need is to add fuel to the fire. But more importantly, touching your face can spread the existing acne bacteria that's living on your skin, or spread any dirt or germs that are on your fingertips if your hands aren't completely clean - leading to more blemishes and acne.
Face-touching is usually a subconscious habit, so keep your hands clean to minimise any issues (a clear benefit from COVID is the constant need to wash your hands)- but keeping them busy and away from your face will keep your skin happy. If you're usually dabbing your skin in a bid to reduce shine, you can also use blotting papers or pads to absorb excess oil throughout the day.
Wash and cleanse regularly
While over-washing is something to avoid as it can trigger excess oil and acne, regular cleansing is essential to keep your skin on an even keel. Washing will help to reduce the amount of oil on the skin, as well as helping to unclog pores and get rid of acne-causing bacteria.
The key is to use the right cleanser - you want to avoid harsh detergents such as SLS or SLES (as they'll dry out the skin and exacerbate your issues), and opt for nourishing formulas that keep your skin balanced. We would recommend giving the evolve cleanser a try because it really does help calm your skin.
If you think the last thing your greasy face needs is extra moisture, think again. Excess oil can be caused by a lack of moisture - due to either external or internal factors - which triggers your skin to think it’s being oh-so-helpful by speeding up its sebum production. Applying a moisturiser will help to keep your skin balanced, healthy and hydrated; all you need is the right product. A light, non-greasy, mattifying formula will help keep shine at bay, while natural ingredients such as camellia oil can help to reduce the appearance of large pores.
As part of our manifesto we are committed to ensuring that we are here to make everyone feel empowered in themselves and often it takes something like managing and reducing acne to help get the ball rolling on this. We would recommend the REN day cream, evolve moisturiser and also the evolve rainforest serum to try and help with managing your acne as these products contain very few irritant ingrediants that could set off your skin.
We'd also recommend watching this incredibly inspiring video from beauty journalist and all round skincare guru Annie (watch here).