Ingredients To Avoid If You Have Oily Combination Skin

Updated: Feb 8, 2020


What Is Oily and Combination Skin?

Firstly let's have a quick run through on what these two skin types are. Oily skin is used to describe a skin type that has heightened sebum production; that is, the glands in you skin produces an excess of oil. This is called seborrhea.

Oily skin is characterised by:

  • enlarged, clearly visible pores

  • a glossy shine

  • thicker, pale skin: blood vessels may not be visible

Oily skin is prone to comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), redness and blemishes and prone to the varying forms of acne.

Combination skin is simply having oily skin in some areas of your face and dry skin in other areas. Typically, there’s a mix of oily and dry areas on dif­ferent parts of your face, with the t-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) being slightly to very oily. Combination skin is characterised by:

  • an oily T-zone (forehead, chin and nose)

  • enlarged pores in this area perhaps with some impurities

  • normal to dry cheeks

Choosing products for oily skin isn't about banning oil entirely from your skincare regimen. On the contrary, research shows that the composition of sebum of oily skin is often lacking in an essential fatty acid called 'linoleic acid' (omega 6). Studies have found that acne patients who applied a natural oil high in linoleic acid for a month saw a 25% decrease the comedone size and it's severity.


Yes, you have read that right: some oils can actually benefit oily skin and help prevent spots and pimples.


Ingredients To Avoid

These are the family of ingredients you should avoid using if you have oily combination skin:

  • Ingredients that strips the skin of its natural oils.

  • Pore-clogging ingredients- synthetic and natural.

  • Harsh scrubs/exfoliants (and over-exfoliating).

  • Fragrance/Parfum.

Let's dive a bit more deeply into the above to understand what they exactly are.


Ingredients that strips the skin of its natural oils

The two main culprits here are alcohol/denat alcohol and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as Sodium dodecyl sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). Denatured Alcohol is used in many personal care product, including makeup, lotions, fragrance, shaving, oral care, skin care (cleansers and toners), and hair care products, where it functions as an antifoaming agent, cosmetic astringent, solvent, and viscosity decreasing agent. SLS and SLES are ingredients used in cleansing products, creams and lotions. This synthetic ingredient helps to create that foaming texture in cleansers. Studies show that within a few hours of using skin-stripping ingredients, oiliness returns to its original level. When your skin's natural oils is stripped, it causes your oil glands to produce more oil to compensate for the dryness. This means harsh, astringent, solvent-based skincare products do not have a long-term effect of drying out your skin by reducing it's oiliness. It may help to remove excess oils from the skin in the short term, but in fact, the effects don't even last until lunchtime. You simply end up with skin producing more oil and with regular use of these two ingredients on a daily basis, your skin becomes a breeding ground for acne, pimples and spots.


Oil stripping ingredients can have a negative long-term effect on the overall health and condition of your skin. With continued use, these skincare ingredients make it harder for your skin to keep itself hydrated. This means skin is not only oily but can also become dehydrated and flaky!


For gentle cleansing, i would highly recommend the oil cleansing method. Oil cleansing works by the chemistry that oil dissolves oil. Gently massaging the skin with a good oil based cleansing product will dissolve excess sebum, make up, dirt and dust from the skin. Depending on the product, it can then be rinsed off or wiped off with a damp cloth. Our 100% natural Strip Back Cleansing Oil with Moringa and organic lavender will gently cleanse your face from all traces of make up and dirt, and then is effectively rinsed off.


Pore Clogging Ingredients.

As oily combination skin is characterised by large pores, it comes to no surprise that when it comes into contact with ingredients that can clog it, it can result in blackheads, whiteheads, and acne. Clogged pores are the result of dead skin cells getting trapped in your skin instead of being shed into the environment. Pores are tiny openings in the skin that release oil and sweat. One 'family' of ingredients that are the main culprits of pore clogging are ingredients known as 'occlusives'. Occlusives are a type of ingredient that forms what i call a second skin on top of your own. Occlusives form a seal to prevent transepidermal water loss (water escaping the skin). Preventing water loss sounds like a good thing right? Absolutely, it is particularly important for dry and dehydrated skin. Sadly, for oily skin, using an occlusive that, as the saying goes 'stops your skin from breathing' will clog pores, creating the environment for breakouts and acne, by trapping bacteria and dirt in the pores. You will be pleased to know though, that not all occlusives are made the same (read on). The two main types of occlusive ingredients fall into the categories- Synthetic and Natural.


Synthetic occlusive ingredients-

  • Mineral oil such as liquid paraffin, liquid petroleum, paraffin oil, paraffinum liquidum, petrolatum liquid, petroleum oil, white mineral oil and white oil are all mineral oils. These are all derived from petroleum and are widely used in skincare products.

  • Silicones- Dimethicone, Methicone, Phenyl trimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Dimet