We love a heatwave, but the oily skin that goes with it? Not so much. Here’s our pick of the best skincare solutions out there
You don’t need a degree in dermatology to know that oily skin is more prevalent in summer. Or that there’s a fine line between a dewy supermodel complexion and a slick of sheen that gets worse as the day wears on, leaving planet-sized pores and blackheads in its wake. There’s just one thing to blame: sebum. ‘When humidity rises, two things happen: your skin loses water and your sweat glands start to produce more oil [also known as sebum],’ says cosmetic doctor Dr Michael Prager. ‘This oil then mixes with dead skin cells, clogs your pores and feeds the bacteria that cause spots.’ While you can’t control the weather, there are some oily skin triggers you can avoid. The first is over-washing your face. It may be tempting, but too many suds can make matters worse by drying out your complexion – something that causes your sebaceous glands to go into overdrive and produce even more oil. Stick to a gentle cleansing regime, using a soap-free product twice daily. Another way to outsmart grease is to re-evaluate what you’re slathering on your face every morning. Switch to lightweight, water-like serums, containing humectants, such as hyaluronic acid, which draw water from the environment, rather than overloading the skin with a heavy layer of cream. If you’re breaking out in a sweat just thinking about how to stay matte this summer, try this tailored arsenal of skincare…
L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Normal To Combination Skin, £9.99
Spiked with aloe-vera sap and hyaluronic acid – two potent water-locking ingredients – oily skin drinks up this essence-like formula for an instant hydration hit.
Cover FX Mattifying Setting Spray, £22
This ultra-fine spray locks in make-up and ousts oil on T-zones with a blast of kaolin clay and mattifying bark. Perfect for nixing that 11am shine.
Kenzo Kenzoki Mattifying Jelly, £34
White-lotus plant essence and hydrating hyaluronic acid melt into skin, without leaving a greasy film behind. The jelly texture deserves a special mention, too. It’s cool, then magically matte – and totally addictive.
BareMinerals Skinlongevity Vital Power Eye Gel Cream, £23 (Fabled.com)
Oily eyelids? Eyeliner is probably your enemy, so save heavy creams for night and apply this light gel in the morning. It contains Japanese Long Life Herb, which is rich in minerals to reinforce the fragile skin under your eyes.
Clarins SOS Pure Rebalancing Clay Mask, £30
This combination of white and green clay is like a sponge for oily skin, absorbing excess sebum and drawing out any infections in your pores. It makes for good Instagram mask selfies, too.
Crème de la Mer The Moisturizing Matte Lotion, £180 (Fabled.com)
Capsules in the cream burst on contact with skin, allowing powdered clay, sea minerals and kelp to defy grease, while tiny spheres of moisture are propelled into the deeper layers. Win-win.
Estée Lauder Nutritious Micro-Algae Pore Purifying Cleansing Bar, £20 (Fabled.com)
A soap-free chlorella bar from Japan that still gives a satisfying lather, with vitamins, minerals and amino acids to leave skin perfectly balanced.
Words by Fiona Embleton