Ask Lady Clare: How can I stop my skin from being excessively oily without drying it out? Refilwe, South Africa


Q: How can I stop my skin from being excessively oily without drying it out?

Refilwe, South Africa

Dear Refilwe,

Oily skin is one of the great misconceptions and confusions in skin care and beauty. Popular belief is that your skin is excessively oily because you use too much oily products, or eat too much oily food. This couldn’t be far from the truth.

Most black women have oily skin. This generalisation is true because most African women are dehydrated, with a low intake of water to flush out toxins and dehydrate the skin. Secondly, most African women are using European products to maintain their beauty, which is full of humectants (effective ingredients with draw out moisture from the skin). Your average ‘moisturiser’ is actually a sponge zapping out the natural oils in your skin. Hence the reason why our skin starts to go into overdrive and begins producing its own oil – leading to classic Oily Skin.

So I hear you say; “well what can I do about it, I’ve tried everything from Powders to exfoliating to change my skin type and it still persists!”

The point to note is that it is absolutely reversible. The best place to start is by replacing your current skincare products with products that contain lightweight oils including:

Grapeseed Oil

Sunflower Oil

Safflower Oil

Coconut Oil

Jojoba Oil

Olive Oil

Grapeseed Oil (great for men)

The next thing to do is swap your face wash, face wipes or exfoliating cleanser with an Oil based cleanser. This will condition your skin whilst it comes into contact with water, which is when it is most likely to loose good natural oils and over-produce unneccessary oils to compensate.

The last thing to do is to tone the skin, constantly throughout the day. Our pores are constantly open. When we perspire (sweat) or pores and sweat glands expand and cause us to excrete oils and salts from the skin. When you spray a Face Tonique to the skin, preferably one that is Alcohol-free, this keeps your pores refreshed, hydrated and keeps them closed tight, making it more likely for you to retain the good natural oils mentioned above.

What will happen over time is that your skin will relax and not produce as much oil as it currently is. The healthy oils found in natural skincare will aid your skin to have a great radiance boost and lustre, not the sweaty, greasy look that needs blotting with tissue or powder. In the end, using oil based products will preserve your youth and lessen wrinkles. For most women, this is the ultimate goal, to stop the hands of time from ticking, without indulging in unnatural services and products.

Good Luck.

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