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Oily skin needs these four key ingredients

Are you a fan of clay masks? Can’t live without your blotting papers? Avoid thick, cosseting moisturisers at all costs? If you answered a resounding “yes” to all three, then we’re willing to bet you’ve got an oily complexion. But are you using the best skincare for oily skin?

What is oily skin?


There are widely considered to be three key types of skin: normal, dry and oily, with combination as an added extra to cover skin that is both dry and oily all at once. Which category you fit into is determined by genetics, so other than blaming your parents, there’s not a huge amount you can do about it.


Our skin produces oil (also known as sebum) in order to keep our complexion soft and supple. Think of it like a built-in moisturiser, nourishing skin from the inside out. In the case of oily skin, the sebaceous glands make more sebum than is needed. The goal of skincare for oily skin is to normalise sebum production, so skin looks and feels more glowy than greasy.


Before we get onto which ingredients will help with that aim, let us first say that having oily skin is a good thing. Oily complexions tend to be more comfortable than dry ones, which can feel tight, and have less prominent fine lines and wrinkles.


Ingredients to look out for in skincare for oily skin


Muddled by marketing? Bamboozled by ingredients lists? These are the key ingredients to scout out in skincare for oily skin.


Salicylic acid: A beta-hydroxy acid (or BHA for short) salicylic acid is oil soluble, making it perfectly suited for oily skin. It dives deep into pores to give them a good clear-out, helping with common oily skin gripes like breakouts and congestion.


Succinic acid: An ingredient on the rise, succinic acid isn’t normally the star of the show, but plays a good supporting role when it comes to the best skincare for oily skin. It ever-so-gently exfoliates to prevent blocked pores and keep breakouts at bay.


Niacinamide: Niacinamide is an ingredient on a multi-tasking mission, boasting a myriad of skincare benefits. On oily complexions it helps to balance excess oil and soothe angry blemishes.


Hyaluronic acid: There is a common misconception that because skin is oily, it can’t be dehydrated. When in fact, your skin might be thirsty, which can make it uncomfortable. Hydration hero hyaluronic acid has the ability to hold over 1000 times its own weight in water, delivering a generous glug of moisture to your complexion.