WHAT IS THE BEST SKINCARE FOR
Have oily skin? We’ve rounded up the best skincare routine for all your shine-fighting, pore-purifying needs.
For those of us with oily skin, walking that fine line between greasy and glowy can be especially challenging. Or, it used to be. Enter the Balance collection.
As someone who struggled with oily skin in his youth, Ole Henriksen made it his mission to create the products he wished he’d had—formulas that deliver mattifying oil control, reduce the look of pores and purify without stripping skin.
FIRST OF ALL,
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOU HAVE OILY SKIN?
If your makeup seems to break up throughout the day or if you feel like your skin gets shiny or feels greasy soon after you wash your face, there’s a good chance your skin is producing excess sebum (the natural oils in your skin) and/or accumulating.
However, oily skin isn’t just skin that produces excess sebum. The oil that accumulates on your skin includes a buildup of sebum, dirt, sweat and product residue.
WHAT IS SEBUM?
Sebum is an oily or waxy substance that’s produced within the skin. It’s composed of hydrophobic compounds including fatty acids, fatty alcohols, squalene (different from squalane) and lipids. Sebum plays a vital role in skin health because it forms a
water-resistant seal in the skin and helps to prevent moisture loss.
WHAT CAUSES EXCESS SEBUM IN SKIN?
Sebum production is largely dictated by hormones in the body. Sometimes hormonal imbalances, diet and emotional stress can signal your skin to produce excess sebum. When sebum builds up with other impurities like makeup, sweat, residual products and dirt, it can get trapped in pores and cause inflammation such as closed comedones, blackheads, whiteheads or acne.
CAN YOU HAVE OILY AND DRY SKIN?
Yes, you can absolutely have skin that is both dry and oily. Contrary to popular belief, oily skin and dry skin are not mutually exclusive. Both skin states can happen at the same time. This is because one “skin type” is defined by a lack of water and the other is defined by an excess of oil. You might remember that oil and water don’t mix—they’re fundamentally different substances and they each have their own unique functions within the skin.
Like we mentioned before, your body makes sebum out of fats—which can’t be penetrated by water—to help seal moisture in the skin. However, dynamic factors like humidity, air quality, water consumption and environmental stressors can weaken or irritate your skin barrier and allow moisture
to escape. This is called transepidermal water loss and it results in dehydrated skin.
DOES DRY SKIN CAUSE EXCESS OIL PRODUCTION?
In the skincare industry, it’s not uncommon to hear people say that your skin produces excess oil to make up for dryness. However, this isn’t always true. Sebum production is largely determined by your genetics and hormonal conditions. These underlying factors typically react to you using stripping face cleansers unless there’s irritation from severe dryness. Your endocrine system (aka your body’s hormone regulation system) will keep chugging along, potentially signaling to your skin to produce oil, because it isn’t controlled by your skin. Instead, your moisture barrier is the part of your skin that reacts to depletion from harsh skincare, sunburn, humidity, air quality changes and pollution effects on the skin.
The big takeaway here? A dehydrated moisture barrier doesn’t tell your endocrine system (the biological system that deals with hormones) to chill out with the sebum factory unless it’s irritated. It’s more concerned with quenching its thirst.
Hormones, Diet & Stress > Sebum Production > Oily Skin + Buildup > Clogged Pores > Breakouts
Environmental Conditions > Stressed Skin > Transepidermal Water Loss > Dehydrated Skin
HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF COMBINATION SKIN?
“Combination skin” can be a confusing idea. Your skin’s natural state is always changing. It’s dependent on things like how much water you’re drinking, the humidity around you, how your environment changes, your hormones and your genetics. For the sake of simplicity, we like to think of your “skin type” as the state your skin is in at any given moment.
While you may not be able to control life stressors, hormones and sebum production, you can control oil on the surface of your skin and hydrate your skin to support your moisture barrier.
Help dehydrated skin with ingredients that humectants that attract moisture into the skin + occlusives that prevent moisture from escaping. Here are some of our favorites:
- Humectant ingredients: Glycerin, hyaluronic acid
- Occlusive ingredients: Ceramides, sodium PCA, shea butter, jojoba, borage oil
Help oily skin by clearing surface impurities from your skin with pore-purifying clay and chemical exfoliants that help shed pore-clogging buildup on the outer layer of the skin. Here are some of our favorites:
- Chemical & physical exfoliants: AHAs like glycolic and lactic acids, BHAs like salicylic acid, ultra-fine sugars and sands
- Pore-purifiers: Kaolin clay, green tea extract
NORMAL VS. BALANCED
WHAT IS “NORMAL SKIN” ANYWAYS?
First off—skin texture, acne, scarring, hyperpigmentation, redness, fine lines and wrinkles and uneven tone—are all very common skin conditions. Sure, some people have fewer things going on with their skin and their skin type is generally classified in the skincare industry as “normal.” We prefer to say balanced.
HOW TO BALANCE YOUR SKIN
It’s simple! Oil control + hydration = balance. Ole Henriksen created Balance Collection to target pore-clogging buildup and oil on the surface layer of the skin. This salicylic acid oil control skincare regimen is made with AHA, BHA, LHA and skin-freshening botanicals (green tea, eucalyptus, algae and Irish moss extracts) to help purify pores and keep skin feeling nice and balanced.
TELL CLOGGED PORES TO PACK IT UP & CLEAR OUT
Clear skin starts with clean pores. Make sure you’re using a cleanser that unclogs pores and removes surface impurities that can get trapped in pores and potentially cause acne. If you wear SPF and makeup, a good cleanser is invaluable. If you want to be thorough, you can start with an oil cleanser to break down SPF, makeup, excess sebum and dirt. Then, you can follow with a second-cleanse cleanser that doesn’t strip skin.
WHAT IS THE BEST NON-STRIPPING FACE CLEANSER TO USE?
Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser helps unclog and purify pores, while the invigorating fresh eucalyptus scent awakens the senses. Find Your Balance is a BHA cleanser, meaning that it is made with salicylic acid to help shed dead skin cells and unclogs pores. This salicylic acid cleanser is also formulated with our proprietary Green Fusion Complex—a blend of active botanicals including green tea extract, eucalyptus, algae and Irish Moss—to help absorb excess oil and refine pores. If you’ve been on the hunt for an oil control green tea cleanser, give Find Your Balance a try! Plus, neem seed oil is rich in skin-loving fatty acids and antioxidants. We formulated this toner with neem seed oil to help refresh the complexion while it deeply cleanses.
WHAT IS THE BEST SALICYLIC ACID TONER OR BHA TONER?
Put simply, the best salicylic acid or BHA toner is one that won’t feel stripping to your skin. If you’re looking to get the benefits of all the potent active ingredients from Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser, in a more targeted skincare step—Balancing Force Oil Control Toner is a must-have. This BHA toner is loaded with salicylic acid to help sweep away dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. Just apply to a cotton round and gently drag the cotton-soaked pad across the skin in an upward motion. Ever worried that you have leftover makeup, dirt and SPF on your skin after cleansing? Well, this salicylic acid toner is your insurance. With algae, Irish moss, eucalyptus and green tea, it helps suck up oil on the skin while deeply purifying pores. If you’re looking for a toner to visibly shrink pores—we recommend Balancing Force!
WHAT IS THE BEST NON-GREASY MOISTURIZER?
Finding the right moisturizer for oily skin can be tricky—especially if you have oily skin that’s dehydrated. Hydrating oily skin means using moisturizers with humectants (water-attracting ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin) that pull hydration into the skin. Make sure your moisturizer has the right occlusive ingredients (oils, butters and other film-forming agents) for your skin and won’t clog your pores.
OleHenriksen’s best non-greasy moisturizer for oily skin is Cold Plunge Pore Remedy Moisturizer. This salicylic acid moisturizer is non-comedogenic, making it excellent for oily skin types. Cold Plunge is also our best moisturizer for oily and dehydrated skin because it is packed with glycerin—a humectant that draws moisture into the skin. Because Cold Plunge is so lightweight, it’s great for layering on top of hydrating essences or beneath non-comedogenic face oils. Another benefit of this oil-control moisturizer is that it doesn’t contain harsh, stripping alcohols like ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. The gel cream’s cetearyl and stearyl alcohols are fatty alcohols (conditioning waxes) that are compatible with skin.
If you need a little extra hydration in the wintertime or want to use a richer moisturizer in the evening, reach for Strength Trainer Peptide Boost Moisturizer after cleansing with Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser and toning with Balancing Force Toner. For an extra splash of hydration, use Barrier Booster Orange Ferment Essence between toning and moisturizer. Then, use our best moisturizer for aging skin: Strength Trainer. That’s right, this moisturizer can be used for aging, oily skin to help build strength in the skin.
WHAT IS A GOOD FACE MASK FOR OILY SKIN?
Now, if your skin is really oily and feeling congested, it can be helpful to use a more targeted skincare treatment like a face mask. Maybe you fell asleep in your makeup or sweat through your SPF behind a face mask while you were out and about for the day. Or maybe your hormones are throwing you and your skin for a loop. In these cases we have two words to say: clay mask. Kaolin? Bentonite? Green clay? We love them all.
Clay masks are great for extracting impurities from the skin. Our favorite detoxifying face mask for oily skin is Cold Plunge Pore Mask. This innovative salicylic acid clay mask helps loosen and lift dead surface skin cells while deeply purifying pores. This AHA/BHA face mask also contains a superstar alpha hydroxy acid: lactic acid. We love our lactic acid because it’s vegan-friendly and it has hydration benefits too.
This non-comedogenic face mask helps absorb excess oil on the skin’s surface with Kaolin clay and OleHenriksen’s Green Fusion Complex. But, for all its high-potency ingredients, it doesn’t feel stripping to the skin. That’s why Cold Plunge Pore Mask is a part of Balance Collection—it’s in the name! This pore-refining face mask imparts a refreshing cooling sensation and helps to relax the senses with its fresh eucalyptus scent.