A certain amount of oil (also known as “sebum”) is needed to keep our skin healthy and soft. When pores are clean, oil flows freely from the inside of the follicle to lubricate your skin’s surface, giving you oily skin but a clear complexion. But when the sebaceous glands create too much oil this can commonly cause breakouts. Oily skin predominantly affects adolescents and younger persons.

The signs (what you see) and symptoms (what you feel) of oily skin are:

  • Shiny and thickened skin
  • Enlarged pores
  • Blackheads and whiteheads
  • Acne

Oily skin becomes extremely frustrating when too much oil is produced. This causes pores to be stretched beyond capacity to handle the amounts of oil being generated. It gets worse as the pore lining thickens, which blocks oil from getting to the skin’s surface, resulting in blackheads and white bumps.

Normally, the body will shed excess dead skin cells once they reach the skin’s surface. But too much oil can cause dead skin cells to stick together and become trapped inside the pore. This build-up clogs the pore and when combined with the P. acnes bacteria, becomes inflamed, resulting in acne.
You may be surprised but oily skin does not age less than dry skin. Oily skin may look less wrinkled because it is often less dry, but the cause of wrinkles is not something oily skin can stop or change.


Because our skin is exposed to so many elements, there are many external factors that can exacerbate oily skin. Oiliness can change, depending upon the time of year or the weather.

Oily skin can be caused or worsened by:

  • Hormones: Puberty or other hormonal imbalances.
  • Sweating: An increase in sweating from excessive exercise can overstimulate the sebaceous glands and can contribute to acne.
  • Stress: Increase stress levels can activate an increase in oil production.
  • Medications: Certain medications can impact your hormones, e.g. birth control pills, androgens and particular antibiotics.
  • Environment: Exposure to heat, too much humidity, irritants or pollution.
  • Incorrect Skin Products: Using certain skincare or cosmetics that can clog pores.
For women, oil production can vary with the monthly cycle and will decrease with age and lower oestrogen levels in perimenopause and menopause. For men, the hormones that trigger more oil production (known as “androgens”) are at much higher levels during puberty and teen years and tend to normalise in adulthood. 


Unfortunately, there is no treatment that can simply switch off oil production but you can help your skin look more balanced with the correct skincare products.

  • Gentle, oil absorbing Cleanser: Using products with drying or harsh ingredients may make your skin feel less oily, but will only makes matters worse. A Daily Cleansing Mask containing kaolin clay will help draw impurities from your pores and absorbs surface oil.
  • Active Toner: An alcohol-free toner loaded with antioxidants, clarifying and skin-replenishing ingredients is an incredibly important step for oily skin. Toners that contain these ingredients help skin renew and recharge and minimise the appearance of enlarged pores.
  • Exfoliant: Exfoliation is one of the most important skincare steps for oily skin. Oily skin tends to be thickened with a build up of dead skin on the surface, along with a thickened pore lining. Our Micro-Dermabrasion Paste is an effective way to remove that build up and unclog pores. 
  • Sun Protection: A sunscreen is essential for reducing the risk of early signs of ageing and preventing skin cancers. People with oily skin, tend to avoid sunscreens finding them too thick and greasy. A lightweight moisturising SPF will provide weightless protection that helps keep your skin matte.
  • Night Hydration: At night, choose a light but exceptionally effective hydrating and skin-renewing cream giving your skin the essential antioxidants and skin-replenishing ingredients it needs to look as healthy and revived as possible.


Self-care tips for managing oily skin:

  • Avoid Emollients: As a general rule, ingredients that keep bar products in solid form (such as bar soaps or stick foundations), or that are present in emollient lotions and creams are likely to clog pores and look greasy on your skin.
  • Cleansing: Wash your skin no more than twice a day, and after you perspire heavily.
  • Don't touch: Touching, picking, popping or squeezing not only prolongs healing time but spreads bacteria to other areas of your face.
  • Cosmetics: Use products labelled as 'non-comedogenic' as they don't tend to clog pores.
  • Reduce stress: Stress can stimulate your sebaceous glands and encourage oil production. Try to reduce stress levels and take time out to relax and stay refreshed.