Treating oily skin which produces excess sebum isn’t simply a matter of usiing sebum controlling or sebum reducing products (typically aimed at teen skin)  as sebum is the skin’s natural moisturiser and protector so drying it up and reducing it then leads to a different problem, especially in adult skin prone to adult acne, which is patchy dry and sensitive skin.

Dr Eva Melegh, consultant dermatologist, gives her five tips on controlling oily adult skin;

Tip 1 – Keep Sebum Pure

What works better for controlling pore blockages from increased sebum production while not reducing sebum is to keep the sebum preserved and clean as it passes out through the skin pore amd helps prevent acne, blackheads and break outs.


Clarol Sebopure is a sebum purifying product that contains a unique plant-based sebum ‘preserver’ taken from a concentrated leaf oil extract from the Cleome Gynandra (wild mustard) plant which has been scientifically proven as an active sebum preserver due to naturally derived Rutin and hydroxycinnamic acid present in the plant extract.

Tip 2 – Focus on Exfoliation

Exfoliation is another key skin care habit to adopt if you suffer from oily skin as it’s the most effective way to remove sebum that has pooled in the hair follicles to avoid infection which leads to acne.

Exfoliation for oily skin should be done more regularly than for dry skin and especially during the summer months when oily skin is often worse.

Manual exfoliation every other day with a gentle and natural exfoliant and then a mild acid exfoliation with an AHA of 1-2% every 3-4 days is a safe routine for oily skin. This is to gently remove or dissolve any pooled and potentially rancid sebum from the skin pore.

Clarol Silver & Birch Exfoliating Wash contains an extract of birch bark, that contains natural plant-based equivalents of both salicylic acid and methyl salicylate, two synthetic chemicals commonly used to break up pooled sebum in oily skin.

Products containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA’s) help exfoliate multiple layers of the skin and are good for use 1-2 times a week for a more profound acid exfoliation in oily skin.

Tip 3 – Double Cleanse

To remove make up and dirt, both on exfoliating days and on non-exfoliating days, I recommend a gentle water-free cream cleanser to clean away dirt and make up such as Kalme Cream Cleanser  - followed by a pore tightening toner as a double cleanse, such as Clarol Birch Water Pore-Minimising Toner

Avoid foaming cleansers as these tend really strip the skin of its natural oil, often making skin prone to oiliness produce even more sebum to compensate.

With oily skin that produces exess sebum the key is to find a careful balance between making sure the skin pore is not clogged while at the same time not constantly stripping the skin of its natural oils.

If the skin begins to become at all sensitive then the exfoliation with the acid exfoliant can be reduced to once a week, but most oily skin will not become sensitive to this level of exfoliation.

Tip 4 – Wear a Daily Zinc Mineral SPF

Always wear an SPF even if you have oily skin as inflammation is a problem for oily skin as it stretches skin pore and lets even more sebum pool in the pore giving the impression of open pores. Pores are in fact not open or closed, they are simply accentuated by inflammation and pooled sebum.

Many people with oily skin are put off by wearing an SPF as they think it makes their skin ever oilier. However mineral SPF’s, in particular zinc oxide, not only offer barrier UV protection but is also an anti-inflammatory so if it gets into the skin pore it doesn’t cause issues for oily skin.

Kalme Day Defence SPF25 contains a micronized pure zinc mineral SPF plus an anti-inflammatory super antioxidant and anti-redness ingredient from young caper buds to keep inflammation constantly under control throughout the day.

Tip 5 – Use a Treatment Primer

Make up is not ideal for oily skin as most foundations are oil-based formulas and tend to attract more dirt and bacteria to already oily skin. However, if make up is essential then a protective primer is a must under any make up. I’d recommend a mineral loose powder used over a primer, as opposed to a liquid foundation.

Clarol Nordic Birch & Willow Primer is bioactive mattifying primer for oily skin containing two Nordic tree bark extracts. Willow bark, incorporated in the patented ingredient Trikenol ™, is proven to help repair skin microbiota and offers an instantly mattifying effect without restricting sebum production and Birch Bark Sap offers an immediate skin-smoothing effect due to the natural film-like composition of the birch sap as well as an anti-inflammatory action.