A potential upside of oily skin is less tendency to wrinkle. But that's about the only one. Oily skin is complex to deal with — it can be sensitive, prone to breakouts and enlarged pores, or confined to a T-zone with the rest of the skin having a whole other set of problems. While there are no slick (pun intended) answers for oily skin, there are some treatments, tips and products that can help. So if there are days when you feel that you fry chips on your nose, read on.
A good — if unconventional — place to start would be to try vitamin B. For the sensitive and oily, vitamin B (rather than the more commonly prescribed, but usually irritating, vitamin A) can be really helpful. According to a scientist in Hong Kong, if the body has a shortage of coenzyme-A it will allow lipids to accumulate in the sebaceous glands and, as a result, sebum excretion is increased. And how does the coenzyme-A deficiency come about? A shortage of pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5.
There are some good potions and lotions with vitamin B5. A TIA community favorite is Your Best Face Hydrate B Concentrate ($45 in the shop), which has three forms of vitamin B – 3,8 and 5. Prana Active Vitamin Lift Serum ($75 in the shop) has a balanced formula of vitamin B5, vitamin E, apple stem cells, natural glycolic from sugar cane and much more besides. Sevani Hyaluronic Wrinkle Defense Serum ($68 in the shop) also majors on vitamin B5.
Cleansing is essential for oily skin control and there are a few cleansers that I would recommend:
Skinfinite Purify Facial Cleanse ($30 in the shop) is ideal for oily and acne-prone skin with a blend of citrus fruit with L-lactic acid (AHA), and Salicylic acid (BHA).
For those with sensitive as well as oily skin (that would be me), Arcona White Tea Purifying Cleanser calms, balances pH, closes pores and provides antioxidants.
Let's accentuate the positive and recognize that oily skin can handle active ingredients that may have a drying effect, such as vitamin C. So those with oily skin might be tempted to try Medik8 CE-Thione Rechargeable Vitamin C Serum ($150 in the shop) with a hefty 15% vitamin C.
Then there are some that are formulated especially for you. Your Best Face Balance ($45 in the shop) is a day cream specially designed to control breakouts, calm irritation and regulate shine. Niacin and nylon-12 help absorb excess oil but without causing dryness.
The last thing that oily skin craves is an unctuous cream. BRAD's unique and perfect hydrid of a gel and cream Biophotonic Sublime Youth Creator Gel-Cream ($245) delivers cutting-edge ingredients including a encapsulated retinol complex in a form that oily skin can take.
It is hard to find a moisturizer for skin that is prone to breaking out — but Sevani's Rapid Renewal Resurfacing Crème ($65 in the TIA shop) could be it. I reach for it whenever the pores on my nose are beginning to crater. In addition to the sugars and fruit acids, responsible for the gentle exfoliating action (and the citrusy smell), there are brighteners in the form of willow bark and licorice.
For combination skin where an oily T-zone is offset by the rest of the skin being dry and dull. As I mentioned in an earlier post, both of these conditions will respond really well to a glycolic exfoliator such as Juice Beauty's Green Apple Peel or La Vie Celeste's Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask ($60 in the TIA shop). These will freshen up dull skin and keep sebum under control at the same time.
Note: This article was last updated on March 17, 2015.