Large, visible pores and skin that looks shiny and feels greasy by the end of the day? Congratulations, you have oily skin. A skin type like dry, normal or combination, oily skin is largely genetic. Meaning? Baby, you're born with it. But that doesn't mean you're destined for a life of shine.
With a targeted oily skin skincare regime and a balanced lifestyle, those sensitive sebaceous glands can become much less reactive. And the first step to a shine-free complexion is to stop believing all the oily skin myths doing the rounds.
Which myths? We're glad you asked. In this handy article, we’ll debunk the 5 most common for you, our oily (and acne-prone) pals. Read on.
Myth #1: Oily skin needs more aggressive cleansing
One of the most common skin myths is that oily (especially oily AND acne-prone) skin requires rougher treatment. Many oily-skinned folks are therefore obsessed with stripping their skin of oil. Some turn to harsh, irritating cleansers or (shock horror) soap, while others wash their faces three-plus times a day to try and keep shine at bay.
Sound familiar? Not only is this cleansing obsession unnecessary, but it’s also counterproductive. Oil is not the enemy—and over-washing will simply strip the skin of moisture and cause dehydration. Tight and uncomfortable, your squeaky-clean skin will then compensate by producing MORE oil. Which is obviously the last thing you want.
TIP: Stick with a gentle cleanser specially formulated to balance oily skin. Try our pH-balanced Clearing Cleanser. Formulated with salicylic acid, prebiotics, and soothing botanicals, it removes excess oil and congestion, while supporting the skin barrier.
Myth #2: Oily skin is a sign you’re a junk food junkie
There’s also a common (and unfair) misconception that people with oily skin and pimples live on greasy food. Not true. While a healthy diet full of veggies and vitamins is undoubtedly good for your skin, the occasional burger won’t do any harm. It’s unlikely to show up on your face as it’s genes and hormones—not diet—that are the major contributors to an oily complexion.
Indulging in oily and fatty foods from time to time is totally fine. So long as you do it in moderation.
And if you did overindulge? Don’t sweat it. Stress is a known trigger of breakouts—so freaking out about your fried chicken splurge is not going to do your skin any favours.
TIP: Eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, stay active and try to minimise stress. And if it’s Pizza Friday in the office? Enjoy yourself—guilt-free.
Myth #3: Oily skin doesn’t need moisturising
Let’s get one thing straight—all skin needs moisturising, even oily and acne-prone. As we’ve already mentioned, oily skin is just as likely to become dehydrated as dry skin. Especially if you’re using harsh anti-acne products or medication.
To keep oily and acne-prone skin hydrated and protected, stick with a lightweight moisturiser that’s non-comedogenic—meaning it won’t clog pores and lead to breakouts.
And if you’re thinking of skipping the SPF, don’t do it. Sun exposure may temporarily dry out your skin, but this won’t last long. And if your oily skin is also acne-prone? You’ll make any post-acne hyperpigmentation or scarring darker and slower to fade. Ouch.
TIP: Go for a lightweight moisturiser formulated with hydrating, but not overly nourishing, ingredients like hyaluronic acid. For a fast-absorbed dose of daily hydration, try our Tasmanian Spring Water Hydration Boost Cream—suitable for all skin types. For extra hydration, pop on our Splash Serum beforehand. And make sure you make a broad-spectrum sunscreen part of your morning routine.
Myth #4: You should exfoliate every day to keep skin clear
Exfoliation is an important part of keeping your skin smooth and clear. But far too many people think you need to go to town on oily or acne-prone skin. While it might seem like a good idea to scrub away excess oil and dirt each day, this will only aggravate the skin. (And remember that dry, irritated skin will often respond by producing more oil...)
Some harsh physical scrubs also have large, rough particles that can irritate—and potentially spread—acne. It’s therefore important to choose a gentle exfoliant that sloughs away dead skin cells to reveal clear, healthy skin.
TIP: For a super-thorough yet gentle exfoliation, opt for a product that combines physical and chemical exfoliators, like our Flash Perfection Exfoliator. As well as super-fine bamboo and macadamia particles and AHAs from Australian Finger Lime, the scrub contains Australian Pink Clay to detoxify and tighten pores.
Myth #5: You can’t reduce oiliness – and acne is unavoidable
As excess oil, dirt and dead skin cells can become trapped in pores and create blockages, acne is a common oily skin issue. But that doesn’t mean all oily skinned individuals are destined for breakouts. Or that you’re stuck with skin that resembles an oil-slick for life.
A targeted oily skin regime can go a long way to balancing your skin—reducing greasiness, removing breakout-causing congestion, and shrinking the appearance of pores. Specific skincare ingredients that can help reduce sebum over-production include niacinamide (Vitamin B5), salicylic acid and retinoids—with the first two having starring roles in our Oil Control range.
As well as balancing sebum production, niacinamide has soothing, anti-redness and barrier-boosting properties that make it ideal for acne-prone skin. A popular chemical exfoliant, salicylic acid is an oil-soluble beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that cuts through sebum to penetrate pores. Once inside, it helps to dissolve blockages. And it also helps decrease oil production for a more mattified complexion.
Clearing Face Mask draws out toxins and impurities before your eyes
TIP: To visibly reduce oiliness in 10 minutes, try clay—another star of our Oil Control range. Formulated with Australian White Clay, salicylic acid, and AHAs from Australian Finger Lime, our Clearing Face Mask draws out impurities and excess oil, while stimulating skin cell turnover for a fresh and healthy glow. Meanwhile, Old Man Weed and Tasmanian Pepperberry join niacinamide and prebiotics to soothe skin and rebalance the microbiome.
The bottom line
Some oil is important for a balanced, hydrated complexion. But too much oil can become bothersome and contribute to shine, enlarged pores and acne. To help reduce your sebum production and keep pores clear and congestion-free, the right skincare products are key. Look for those with purifying and balancing properties, such as the products in our Oil Control range. Here's everything you need to know about this range!
Shop the range now, or follow us on Instagram for more skincare tips, routine inspo, and info on new releases.