I’ve always had such a hard time with oil & breakouts and finding the right routine.

So I got this question in my question box:

“Do you have any tips for taking care of extremely oily skin? Or any must have products (makeup or skincare) for a very oily complexion? I’ve always had such a hard time with oil & breakouts and finding the right routine.” Lacy, USA

Dear Lacy,

First of all, I completely get where your coming from. Being someone who suffers from an oily complexion I struggle with skincare and makeup because there’s so much out there!

Luckily this is an area which I’m really trying to tackle but as there is quite a lot involved it’s going to take a little thinking on your part and research on my part. So where do we begin?

Step One: why do you have oily skin?

We need to start with the root of all our skin problems and they stem from a variety of factors such as:

  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Climate & Environment
    • UV Exposer
    • Temperature
    • Chemical-based Products: skin is naturally mildly acidic, overuse of products will not benefit your skin
  • Lifestyle
    • Nutrition – you don’t need to give up your luxuries but take it back to basics, how much water do you actually drink in a day?
    • Stress
    • Exercise
    • Sleep
    • Drug abuse: yes, this includes smoking and drinking.

It’s important to try and narrow down which categories cause your skin problems. If it’s genetic or hormonal there is little you can do but if they stem from any other area try monitoring and changing these before mixing up your skin care routine.

If you’re stuck between a few factors change one at a time, give your skin 2-4 weeks to adjust and monitor your skin over this time. I know this can be a lengthy process but if you currently suffer from oil skin because you’re stuck inside all day and drink very little water no matter how many products you invest in they will not get to the root of your problem.

Our goal is to relieve your oily/blemished skin and to improve your skins balance. If we continue living our life the same way then you’ll continue waking up with the same skin.

If you’ve narrowed it down then you’re ready to go to the next step… your skincare routine.

Step Two: Skin-care

Now before we start, a huge tip for those with oily skin: don’t scrub your face as this can stimulate oil production. This is so important and trust me I know first hand that this will make a difference, when I say to exfoliate, you want to feel the grains brushing your skin not scrubbing at your precious skin!

Wash your face twice a day – once in the morning and once before bed.
Washing more often can strip your skin of all the natural moisturizers and increase oil production, only do this if you have been perspiring.

What you’ll need:

Cotton pads
Face mask

This is the routine to try twice a day, once in the morning and once before you go to bed:

  1. Wash your hands. It’s so easy to forget all the things we’ve touched during the day and all the dirt they gather – your hands will transfer all that dirt to your face if you don’t wash them first.
  2. Wet your skin with warm water to open up your pores.
  3. Apply the cleanser and massage it into your skin in upwards, circular motions. Continue to gently rub the cleanser in – this is the first step in cleaning the face, it will need time to attack the dirt. Easy tip: slowly count to 60 in your head whilst cleansing.
  4. Remove the cleanser using warm damp cotton pads or a cleansing sponge. Never leave any cleanser on your face, as this encourages irritation, spots and imperfections.
  5. Exfoliate once to twice a week to help loosen and remove dirt and oil in your pores. Do this in circular motion and then switch directions.
  6. Finish off by rinsing your skin with cold water to close up the pores and prevent dirt getting back into them. It will also leave you looking more fresh faced, and less red. Tip: wet a clean flannel and let sit on your face until it no longer feels cold – by letting it rest on your face you won’t be scrubbing your face thus preventing red spots.
  7. Dry your face gently by dabbing it with a clean towel or paper towels. Dirty towels transfers bacteria to your skin which can lead to dirt build up.
  8. Apply a small amount of toner to a cotton pad and simply wipe over your entire face, but being careful to avoid the sensitive eye area.
  9. Next you need to apply a moisturiser, I know what you’re thinking but you can’t skip this step. The trick is to find a moisturiser that is right for your skin this can be tricky if you suffer from oil build up so start with a cost effective one.Final Tip: Either once a week or once every two weeks set 30 – 60 minutes aside to give yourself some pamper time and use it as pamper time. Don’t see this as inconvenient or unnecessary, we spend our lives working and the stress builds up, learn to love treating your skin.
    1. Start by steaming your face rather than just wetting it. This is easily done by filling the sink with hot water then rest your face about 3-5 inches above the water with a towel over your head to lock the steam in. Do this for 5 minutes to really open your pores up.
    2. Cleanse.
    3. Apply face mask as directed on the packaging.
    4. Exfoliate.
    5. Continue from Step 6-9.

In all the products you choose go for “water based” or “oil-free” and stay away from Purity Made Simplecreams and moisture heavy products.

These are the products I suggest trying are:

Cleanser: Aveda Outer Peace™ Foaming Cleanser or Purity Made Simple

Tonic: Murad Clarifying Toner or Aveda Green Science™ Replenishing Toner

Moisturiser: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel or Nivea Oil Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 01.07.17Free Moisturiser

Aveda Botanical Kinetics™ Exfoliant or Clinique Exfoliation Scrub

Face-masks: Try different ones and mark your results out of 10 after each use

Note: if you constantly have spots on your face you may want products such as Clean & Clear, Oxy or Clearasil to use every other day. These products strip the skin of it’s natural oils and aim to rid the skin of dirt build up.

If your skin feels tight, dry or sore after cleansing, your facial wash is too harsh for your skin and it’s time to invest in a more gentle one.

Step Three: Make-up

Make-up clogs skin, the benefits include: hiding blemishes, mattifying skin and minimising pores. I’m not going to tell you to minimise your make-up usage because well… I don’t but it is important to use products that aren’t destroying the whole skin-Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 01.09.38care regime you have just been through!

The make-up which affects our skin the most is:

  • Primer
  • Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Powder

Again, focus on finding “oil-free” products. The trick with make-up for oily skin is to always remove it at your earliest convenience, if you’re not comfortable with taking your make-up off once you’re home then that’s absolutely fine but do you need to leave it until you’re so tired that you wake up the next morning realising you completely forgot to take it off?

When applying make-up always use clean brushes/sponges. With oily skin it’s so important to minimise the use of your fingers. They will transfer dirt and bacteria so if you hate using brushes/sponges make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before applying make-up!


Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 01.08.54

For your primer, try something a little out of the ordinary. When we have oily skin we think we need to use the luxurious, widely-known and expensive make-up brands. Well… not exactly, try this Neutrogena Shine Control Primer.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 01.09.53Foundation:

When choosing foundation and other make-up, pick those with gel, liquid or powder bases. If using a liquid make-up make sure it is water based, not oil based. Makeup labeled “non-comedongenic” contain ingredients that won’t clog your pores.


Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 01.09.46This we use to conceal any extra imperfections in the skin, funnily enough it can then clog pores further and can become a vicious cycle. As always opt for a light concealer


Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 01.12.36Powder is used to help seal our make-up and also helps soak any extra oils. Either loose or pressed powder is fine but try to go for one that feels weightless on your face. Opt for a mineral powder and always use a clean brush or sponge!



You need to give yourself time. After 4 weeks your skin will be fully adjusted to your new routine. If you are not seeing any improvements at all at the end of 4 weeks then you may want to consider different products.

Extra tips:

  • Get your beauty sleep – a proper nights sleep makes a real difference to your skin.
  • Never go to bed with your makeup on.
  • For puffy eyes, apply cold cucumber slices, used teabags stored in the fridge or a cold gel mask.
  • Smoking, drinking and drug taking have substantial affects on the skin from an early age.
  • Open Windows – staying in stuffy, dry rooms is no good. Open a window and let some nice fresh air in.
  • Drink plenty of water, if you’re well hydrated, your skin will be too. Have a bottle to hand and drink every 15 minutes rather than large glasses every few hours.
  • Eat a good diet, what you put into your body, shows on the outside.
  • Change your pillowcase regularly to prevent a build up of bacteria.


I hope this helps you, thank you Lacy for your question!
Love Georgia x

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