Oily skin can be one of life’s biggest frustrations.

No matter how much makeup you use, you can’t escape the shine that lets everyone know you have an over-active sebaceous gland.

Oily skin not only leaves a made-up face looking greasy, but it can also lead to breakouts, enlarged pores and stubborn blackheads that can be hard to cover up.

But, as with most skincare concerns, treating oily skin is much more effective once you understand the cause.

Why do we get oily skin?

The oil that gives your skin it’s shine is a combination of sebum – a natural solution that moisturises the skin – skin cell lipids and sweat.

The amount of sebum produced varies from person to person and can be caused by many factors including:


Stress puts the body in a fight-or-flight response which triggers the release of cortisol. The stress hormone, as cortisol is better known, can lead to the over-stimulation of sebum and an oily complexion.


Food intolerances can push the body into overdrive to remove foreign invaders if consumed. The body’s response can cause inflammation, and excess oil to remove the unwanted substance.


Hormonal changes and imbalances at certain stages of life and throughout the menstrual cycle can lead to an increase in sebum production.

Skin type

For some, it’s as simple as their skin produces more sebum than is needed to hydrate which results in oiler skin.

How to control oil flow

While we’ve been conditioned to treat oily skin with harsh, alcohol-based toners and products that dry out skin cells, the body needs sebum to hydrate and protect cells from harmful bacteria.

Rather than reach for products that eradicate oil completely, and damage cells in the process, follow our tips to reduce sebum naturally to control shine and leave your complexion glowing.

Introduce alpha hydroxy acids into skincare (AHAs)

AHAs such as lactic acid and glycolic acid are commonly used in skincare products because of their natural exfoliating and replenishing properties.

AHAs penetrate the skin at a deeper level to regulate oil flow and stop sebum from backing up on the skin’s surface.

While they benefit the skin, we advise that you use acids in skincare with caution. Due to their potency, it’s essential to use acid in its most natural state. Before using any acid on your face, check the ingredients in the product carefully to make sure the product isn’t formulated with synthetic chemicals which can harm already-sensitised skin.

Use an enzyme exfoliant

A daily gentle enzyme exfoliant balances the skins natural oil production by gently cleansing away excess sebum that can cause the skin to become too oily.

Fruit acids such as tartaric acid (naturally occurring in Davidson plum) work to break down the protein bonds that can clog pores and lead to oily skin.

Avoid product build-up

We recommend double cleansing at the end of every day, but this can lead to product build-up which can impact oil flow. Wash off makeup and grime from the day with a face halo which is a natural alternative to cleanser and works with nothing more than water.

The oil level of skin ebbs and flows and can change alongside lifestyle, age and hormone levels.

To find out more about how to control oily skin, send a DM on Instagram or Facebook, or email us today.

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