Ask the expert: Oily skin
People often make mistakes when it comes to managing their oily skin.
In our new skincare series we look at ways to deal with a wide range of complexion complaints. This week we are focusing on greasy skin with the help of expert Katherine Jackson. As a renowned London-based facialist, she is well–equipped to answer any complexion query.
To kick things off, we asked Katherine about the most common mistakes people make when it comes to keeping oily skin under control.
“People with this complaint often use harsh cleansers containing sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a surfactant commonly found in face wash, shampoo, washing up liquid, car wash, carpet shampoo. It makes lots of foam but it strips the skin and scalp of natural oils and very often causes allergic reactions and eye irritations. When skin is overly dry it makes more oils and is also prone to infections,” Katherine told Cover Media. “Other issues include using lots of make-up to hide any imperfections. Oily, scented products that clog up pores – this includes products such as sunscreen, primers, make-up and concealer – are also problematic.
“The use of neat essential oils can also be detrimental.”
Oily skin can become a bigger problem when people assume it doesn’t need to be moisturised. While it may seem logical to avoid adding oil to a greasy complexion, depriving the body of emollients may worsen the issue. Worrying too much about keeping your face clean and oil free is another common mistake.
“Over drying the skin is uncomfortable and it leaves the skin vulnerable to infections,” Katherine explained. “Using a light unscented gel serum that contains skin identical actives to help moisturise and repair scar tissue is best.
“Avoid over cleansing, twice a day should do and after exercising. Don’t use exfoliators which can scratch the skin, such as products containing seed kernels. Be gentle with your face and avoid scented products where possible.”
It’s best not to attempt applying strong chemical peels at home as this can be damaging to your body. Instead treatments such as these should be done by experienced therapists who can properly assess your needs.
While it may seem like there’s a long list of things you shouldn’t do, here are some positive ways to tackle an oily complexion.
Katherine believes gentle cleansers, masks and serums should keep this skin type in good condition.
“I make a gel herb cleanser that is gentle and water soluble. It is important that its sebum balancing and unscented,” she explained. “It’s also a good idea to apply clay or enzyme masks on a weekly basis. In terms of moisturisers and sun protection, stick to a light serum and a light, non-greasy SPF. You could also try using mineral powder as SPF.”