9 Ways To Keep Oily Skin In Check This Summer


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Though we oily-skinned hunnies may strive for that effortless dewy look, it’s usually a look we can only pin down for about an hour… and then it’s oil alert time, and we look like we’ve just come back from a session of Bikram yoga. We love the summer, but it’s not our best friend – the heat does things to our skin that messes with our cake face, so come lunchtime, we’re a hot shiny mess. Well, fear no longer; here are nine ways to keep your skin under control this summer:

Don’t Over Cleanse

The more oil we see, the more we feel like we need to wash our face. Unfortunately, washing your face doesn’t mean you will wash away oil – if only it were that easy! The thing is your face has natural oils, and when they get stripped away by harsh chemicals in face washes, your skin goes into overdrive and produces more. Look for face washes without parabens, sulfates, oils, and perfumes and try to find a gel formula, that only foams a little – this will be more gentle on your skin. And it’s not just about using the right face wash either, don’t overwash your skin: twice a day is more than enough, but the most important time to wash your face is after makeup – a makeup wipe just won’t cut it.


I know, I know, it goes against all your instincts, but our resident Skincare Queen and award-winning dermatologist, Dr. Doris Day, swears moisturizing is essential, even if you have oil-prone skin. Dr. Day explained dry skin sends your sebaceous glands into overdrive, and they end up producing even more oil to compensate for the lack of moisture. So, keeping your skin hydrated in the summer will balance oil production. Try an oil-free moisturizer, which will hydrate without adding oil, and always leave about ten minutes for it to soak into your skin before you apply primer or foundation.

Put Down the Ice Cream

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It’s summer, you’re hot, and you want an ice cream, but the truth is dairy can cause a major unbalance in your hormones… and we all know what hormones can do! Dairy milk is full of hormones, and when you consume it, it causes all your other hormones to rise, including your testosterone and progesterone levels, which are the main causes of excess oil and sebum production. Switch to almond milk in your coffee and try an iced tea to keep you cool instead… OKAY, okay, maybe one ice cream is allowed!

Try Milk of Magnesia

If anything can keep oil in check, it’s Milk of Magnesia. It’s not actually milk; it’s a laxative. It works by absorbing surface oil on your skin, making it an incredible primer. MUA Hrush Achemyan uses this on her celeb clientele to create a barrier between the skin and makeup to stop foundation from seeping into pores under hot camera lights. To use, apply moisturizer and then with a cotton pad, blot the Milk of Magnesia onto your skin or oil-prone areas like your T-zone and gently rub it in (use sparingly). Leave it for a few minutes to ‘set’ and then apply your foundation as usual. Although this is king for balancing oil, don’t use it too often: It’s not directly harmful to your skin, but its PH levels are much lower than your skin’s PH. If you use it too frequently, it could cause breakouts or dryness – save it for a special occasion or day in the sun.

Use a Mattifying Primer

Use a mattifying primer to avoid the dreaded mid-day foundation cake. The oil-free Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, $54, is universally appreciated for its magical anti-oil formula, which contains powerful absorbents, a mineral-based sunscreen, and a silicone base. It makes your skin incredibly smooth, poreless, and silky, and it’ll keep your makeup set in place all day, all while warding away excess oils. Look out for primers with silica in them, as this plays a major role in balancing the appearance of shine. Too Faced’s Primed & Poreless skin smoothing face primer is also an amazing primer that will do more than just control your T-zone.

Curb Your Weekend Antics

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We’re sorry to be the ones to tell you, but if a boozy weekend with the squad is on the cards, your oil glands won’t thank you for it. Drinking too much alcohol causes your body’s heat index to rise, increasing your temperature and the amount you sweat; this can lead to clogged pores, excess oil, and eventually breakouts too. So go have fun, but not too much fun!

Blot Oil Away With Blotting Paper

If you’re not yet aware of this trick, blotting paper will become your best friend throughout the day. Plus, in the midst of summer, we’re all prone to a little extra oil on our T-zone, so mini blotting paper sheets are the easiest thing to carry around in your purse to balance your shine levels through the day. There are a ton of options: Clean & Clear have a pack of 50 mini Oil Absorbing Sheets for just $5, while Tarte’s green tea-infused Not So Slick Oil Absorbing Blotting papers, $10 for 50 sheets, offer soothing relief for your skin while soaking excess oils. You can also find blotting papers that have a thin layer of powder on them, which mattify your skin too. If none of those are on hand, a tissue will do!

Bake Like You’ve Never Baked Before…

For special occasions, there’s no doubt that Jamsu will put your oil back in its place. It’s a Korean beauty hack that involves an all-over face-baking technique. After using a ton of powder, you submerge your face in water. The result is a completely matte finish that lasts all day. Watch me try this crazy water-setting technique here – it really works!

Try a Clay Mask

A clay mask at least once a week is an amazing way to draw out excess oil, calm and soothe your skin. I’ve been a long time fan of the GLAMGLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment, it leaves my skin super smooth, and the mud formula works to balance your skin’s PH while activated charcoal draws out dirt and impurities that block pores.

When it comes to treating oily skin, the main thing to remember is not to rush to drastic measures. Take small steps to balance your diet and find products that will help your skin. Try to adopt a few of these tricks, and you’ll be sure to notice a difference. Until then, check out my tips for Melt-Proof Makeup, to keep your look flawless in the sunshine.