I've mentioned several times now that I have oily, blemish-prone skin that also gets very congested and has visibly large pores. All in all, a total joy, I'm sure you'll agree. Over the last few months I have sought advice (from Beauty Mouth) and made an effort to overhaul my skincare routine and finally, I am seeing some positive changes, so I thought it high time I shared my new routine.
I wash my face in the shower with a basic gel cleanser to remove any leftover mascara and residue from the day before. Currently it's this Simple one but any will do (although The Doctor Brand is my all time favourite). Sometimes I second cleanse with a proper treatment wash, which is currently this La Roche Posay Effaclar Foaming Wash.
Before moisturiser, I always apply The Doctor Brand Pore Cleansing Gel (shown above). A detailed review of The Doctor Brand is coming up but essentially, I adore it. This gel acts as a clarifying barrier between my clean skin and a moisturiser and helps keep my pores slightly less clogged. After that, I apply an oil-free moisturiser. Currently I'm using a Botanics one as I need to use it up but after that I will return to The Doctor Brand or Alpha-H. I also have the La Roche Posay Effaclar oil-free day fluid (pictured) which I'm trialling, and so far I really like it.
Make up removal:
Eye make up remover: I am totally wedded to my Botanics Soothing Eye Make Up Remover, which for £3.05 is pretty unbeatable. However, I admit I caved to curiosity recently and ordered a bottle of Bioderma and I must say, it might be my favourite ever make up remover. Just for the sheer ease - you can do your whole face, including eyes, with two cotton pads - and the simplicity of it. I love micellar (water) cleansers because, frankly, I'm lazy, however at £14 or so a pop, this might be an expensive habit.
So I don't zoom through the Bioderma too fast, I'm also using the Boots Vitamin E 2 in 1 Cleansing Lotion, which I have to say I really like. It's a lightweight lotion that I just apply and remove with cotton wool and it does a decent job of cleansing, and hasn't really broken me out. Well worth it for a budget option or if your skin doesn't require anything fancy.
If I am being diligent or have been wearing a lot of make up, I follow this by cleansing my face with the Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser, a lovely creamy wash that leaves my skin smooth and soft, but not stripped of natural oils or loaded with product.
After cleansing, I religiously apply the La Roche Posay Effaclar K night treatment, a light cream that promises to keep blemishes and clogged pores at bay, as well as evening skin tone over time. I adore this. It's the first night treatment I've used that doesn't leave me with a shiny, over-stuffed face in the morning but it does deliver a good layer of moisture and I have definitely seen an improvement in the clarity of my skin since using this too.
Lastly, my secret (not so much now) weapon, Alpha-H Liquid Gold. You can read the proper review here, but I am using this once or twice a week now and the difference it makes to my skin is just unbelievable. I cannot recommend this product highly enough for all over toning, brightening, clarifying, smoothing, refining, etc. etc. etc. It's just amazing.
Once a week I apply a clay-based face mask, and the best I've used is this Alpha-H Purifying Face Mask. Clay masks are brilliant for people like me with oily skin with enlarged pores, helping to draw out impurities and balance the oil in the skin. This one smells like lavender; I apply it and sit in front of some crap TV (and apply lipstick) for 15-20 minutes before removing it with a muslin cloth and applying my Effaclar K night treatment. Next day, beautiful skin.
The one big difference I have made to my routine is not using a face scrub any more. I used to use products like Clean & Clear Daily Blackhead Remover scrub or similar such products, thinking they were clearing out my pores and getting rids of spots, but actually they were too harsh for me and left my skin over-compensating for what I was stripping away and instead over-producing oil. Not a good look.
So there we have it, my routine for oily skin. It might seem like a lot but unfortunately I don't have that skin where the less you do, the better it seems. I require work. In terms of prices, I totally appreciate that Alpha-H is higher than high street prices for skincare but for me, it's absolutely worth the money. Having good skin makes the world of difference not just to looks and make up application but also to confidence. La Roche Posay sits in the middle of high street prices (averaging £10-£11 a product) but again, they very much work and if you buy them in Boots, you can rack up those Advantage Points! It's also worth keeping an eye on websites like Escentual for amazing deals on their skincare.
If you have oily skin and a tight budget, you can't really go wrong with the Neutrogena range. Their Oil-Free make up remover (reviewed here) is brilliant and they have a huge range of facial scrubs and washes to suit all skin types.
As ever I'd love to hear your tips and products for oily skin.