#ANITAANSWERS – HTF do you cope with oily skin?

Here’s a good question…


This is so close to my heart – pull up a pew, I’m going off on one….

I struggled SO MUCH when I was younger with oily skin. My teenage years were spent furiously blotting my face with The Body Shop pressed powder in a shade that was too light for me but was the darkest I could find in the recesses of South Wales in the ‘90’s (props to them for doing darker shades back then though, nobody else really did on the high street!) I remember everything about that compact. The smell of it, the furry little pad that came with it to apply it, and the way it turned into foundation, basically, as it mixed with my skin’s natural oils (powder + emollient = foundation, crudely speaking.) By the end of the day I’d wind up looking like I was smothered in Nutella. Bad. times. No wonder nobody fancied me (because of that and the fact I listened to Slayer, and my favourite item of clothing was this Slipknot t-shirt, below. )

292472b-empPeople do in fact = SHIT


So, fast forward to now and working with my still-oily skin has become much easier because I’ve tried fucking everything to help with it. Here’s what I’ve learned….

1.Wash your face
Controversially, I’ve found that cleansing oils, cleansing creams and milks do not work for my oily skin – even though they’re supposed to. Balm’s are ace for getting grime and make-up off (I like the Erborian Solid Cleansing Oil, £29) but ALWAYS follow it up with a gentle, not-too-foamy face-wash. I rate Neal’s Yard Rejuvenating Frankincense Face wash, £17 that is super kind to your skin. Anything too harsh will cause oil to overproduce oil and we want that like a hole in the darn head. But I do think a ‘wash’ of some kind is neccesary to get rid of some of the bacteria/excess sebum on the face that can clog pores and cause spots etc.

2. Nail the moisturiser
Too heavy and you’ll cause spots, too light (or going without) and you’ll cause your skin to overproduce oil as it tries to lubricate (LOL) your face. What should an oily-skinned gal do, you ask? Get an awesome oil-free moisturizer. The best I’ve used was an old Estee Lauder one, but just had a search and I think it’s been discontinued – GREAT STORY RIGHT? So, my next suggestion would be Estee Lauder Daywear Advanced Multi protection Antioxidant Crème Oil-Free, £42. Apply it to the palms of your hands and pat it on your face, rather than just smearing it all over – it’s a much lighter way to apply a cream. Alternatively, if you’re struggling with blemishes (or are prone to the odd clogged pore) give Dermalogica Clear Start Oil Clearing Matte Moisturiser SPF 15, £16.15 a whirl, or try one of my fave skincare lines ever La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo +, £15 which is also oil-free and has a shit-tonne of anti-comedogenic (anti pore-blocking) and skin-reviving ingredients in it.

3. Prime it up
I’m a new convert to primers – and Laura Mercier Foundation primer Oil Free, £29 is so awesome at helping to keep oily skin in line. It also makes an instant visible difference to your skin – without being full of silicone. Follow that with an oil free foundation if you’re so inclined (I like Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation, £24.30.) 

4. Set this stuff
Even if you don’t use the foundation, get a really GOOD translucent setting powder like Youngblood Hi-Def Setting Powder, £28.50 (the peach is nice on darker skin tones) and use a flat puff to press it into the skin rather than a brush which doesn’t ‘set’ it like a puff can (wash the puff regularly, BTW. Like once a week ideally.) (NB: The Laura Mercier and Kat Von D loose powders are also very good!) That should keep you going till lunchtime.

5. Maintain this shit
If you want a compact for on the go, do not buy a traditional pressed powder unless you want your skin will look GROSS by the end of the day. Use a blotting powder instead (MAC do one, as do Cover FX) which removes shine without depositing too much powdery gunk on the skin. They’re always used on photoshoots for this VERY reason. Or use oil-absorbing sheets (NYX do some good ones and the Chanel ones are beautiful and come with a mirrored case of joy) if you can’t even be bothered with powder. I actually use the sheets before I use the blot powder to keep the shine down.

6.Hydrate yourself
Drink loads of water – if your skin is dehydrated your oil glands will overproduce to compensate for it.

7. Fuck it
Right, now go have fun and don’t worry about the shine. If I could tell myself anything back when I was tormented by oily skin, it’s that skin that reflects light looks healthier and more youthful – I’m passing that nugget of wisdom on to all the oil-plagued women out there. People are ‘strobing’ now – that’s basically what out faces do naturally!


Any more for any more? Holler at #ANITAANSWERS @itsmeanitab


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