Oily Since Birth: Ten things that help me manage my uber oily skin

I’ve struggled with oily skin all my life. I thought that it was just part of puberty and would lessen later on but here I am in my late twenties, just as oily as ever. Aside from having to deal with a constantly greasy face, the bigger problem is that my oily skin makes me very acne-prone. Every little thing clogs my pores! I’ve tried so many different products in the hopes of controlling my oily skin and in the process, I learned that there is no magic product that will solve my skin woes. Rather, it is a combination of habits and products working together that help me keep the shine in check and the pimples away. I swear by these tips, and they should work for my fellow oily-skinned gals as well!

Never, ever sleep with makeup on

We’ve repeatedly stressed the importance of facial cleansing before hitting the sack but it’s an especially important non-negotiable for oily skin. While other skin types may not get any reactions from one night of neglect, my uber oily skin ensures that I wake up to pimples and bumpy skin! I’m so done with making this mistake so I always keep a bottle of Bifesta Sebum Cleansing Lotion handy for removing all traces of my makeup and toning my face all in just step! I like how it doesn't leave a sticky residue on my skin so it sucks that I’ll need to replace this soon as Bifesta has pulled out of the market. On nights when I don't feel like using micellar water, I reach for my Nivea Exfoliating Wipes (P140 at leading department stores). One side is smooth just like a regular makeup remover wipe, while the other side is textured so I can exfoliate my face without washing.

A sonic cleansing brush can do wonders

A sonic cleansing brush can cleanse our face more thoroughly than our fingers, plus it helps remove dead skin cells. I invested in a Clarisonic (P8,890 at BeautyMNL) three years ago, and I am happy to say that it still works fine until now. Although it costs a pretty penny, I do not regret my purchase at all. My skin definitely feels smoother with regular use, and I feel confident that I don’t have an ounce of makeup left on my face. For those who are not ready to bite the bullet though, there are more budget-friendly alternatives worth trying out.

Exfoliate twice a week

Did you know that oily skin can tolerate more exfoliation than other skin types? And let’s face it, when even the smallest amount of oil and dirt can turn into a blemish, we could surely use it! I love my Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser because it uses a combination of chemical (glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid) and physical (jojoba beads) exfoliants to polish my skin.

Moisturizers are your friends

It is a common misconception that oily-skinned people don’t need to use moisturizer, and it’s one that myth that should be immediately busted! When our skin lacks moisture, our oil glands go into overdrive in an attempt to compensate. If you’re afraid to add a greasy texture to an already greasy face, it may be that you simply haven’t found the right type of moisturizer for your skin. Gel moisturizers are usually best because they aren’t sticky or heavy. I’m currently loving The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet (P999 at The Body Shop) because my skin absorbs it so quickly that it feels like I have nothing on!

Not all sunscreens are sticky

When I first started wearing sunscreen around eight years ago, there weren’t a lot of options that didn’t make me feel like a white ball of grease. Luckily there are now so many lightweight options that don’t give that ugly white cast! The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Ice Air Puff Sun SPF50 (P995 at The Face Shop) is the lightest facial sunblock I’ve tried to date. It is like a sunblock spray with a sponge tip at the end, so it goes on very sheer and dries quickly. It has a nice cooling effect on the skin, too!

Don’t be afraid of oils

Contrary to popular belief, not all oils are comedogenic. When I first read about the oil cleansing method, I was skeptical. After all, why would I want to put more oil on my face? I still tried it though, with the cult favorite Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils, and I’m a convert! I loved them so much that I seriously tried out every variant that the company has ever produced. They’re expensive but worth every penny and last quite a while. The Porefinist variant, in particular, has noticeably made my skin less oily so this is something that I keep coming back to.

Add a clay mask to your routine

Sheet masks are in the limelight right now but I still use clay masks as ,well, for a different purpose. Compared to sheet masks that are mostly designed to infuse the skin with moisture, clay masks work to draw out impurities and help reduce oiliness. They are cheaper than sheet masks in the long run, too, because one tube can last for 30 or more uses. I currently have four in rotation that I either alternate or do a mask combo: Laneige Pore Minimizing Pack (P1,150 at Laneige), B&Soap Mamie Blue Pack (P550 at AltheaPH), Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, and Origins Out of Trouble 10-Minute Mask (both P1700 at Origins).

Primers need not clog pores

While admittedly, silicone-based primers can help a lot in controlling oily skin and making makeup last longer, I don’t use it on a daily basis for fear of clogging my pores. Thankfully, there are primers that are not as silicone-heavy, and have added ingredients that are beneficial to oily skin. My favorites are Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner (P1,748 at SM Beauty) with salicylic acid, and The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimizer (P895 at The Body Shop) with tea tree oil. These mattify my face without breaking me out.

Setting sprays are a great add-on

Even the most long-wearing foundations slide off my greasy face so I’ve found that using an oil-controlling makeup spray really makes a huge difference in the longevity of my makeup. My favorite is Skindinavia The Makeup Finishing Spray Oil Control (starts at P550 for 20ml, for pre-order at Digital Traincase). I spray on three layers as directed, and it keeps my face matte for up to an additional two hours on top of all the other mattifying products I apply. It may not seem like a lot but those couple of hours are a lifetime for me!

Oil control powders are your best friend

For us oily-skinned gals, oil control powders and blotting sheets are our constant companions. Oil control powders are key products because I use them to both set my makeup and retouch throughout the day. If you’re worried about your makeup caking from too many layers of powder, make sure to use a powder with very sheer or translucent coverage. I find that silica-based products are the most effective in keeping my face matte. My favorites are Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder (P260 from AltheaPH) and Ellana Sheer Velvet Primer Powder (P399 for a refill at ellana.com.ph).

Do you struggle with oily skin as well? What are your beauty mantras for keeping your skin healthy, shine-free and pimple-free?