Beauty // Skincare Products for Oily/Combination Skin


Skincare is something that I've never really taken seriously, throughout my teenage years and up until quite recently you could barely call it a skincare routine it was that basic. My skin isn't exactly bad, but I do find that it gets oily very quickly leaving me with a shiny T-zone and skin that generally feels quite clogged up and greasy. I never really got acne as a teenager so in that respect I was quite lucky, but even though I'm in my twenties I still found myself getting a few angry red spots popping up on my chin and forehead. What I've mainly had trouble with since I was a teenage are blackheads around my T-zone and chin, no matter what products I used they either had little or no effect and the blackheads always returned. In the winter months I also suffer from dry skin, especially around my nose and cheeks which I find particularly embarrassing as make up just exaggerates any dryness that appears. I never leave the house without make up, even on holiday or whilst exercising I will wear make up to conceal my skin's flaws as I just don't feel comfortable going bare faced in public and get extremely self conscious that people will stare at me (even though I know that most likely they wouldn't even notice). 

A couple of months ago I was generally going through a bad skin phase thanks to the cold weather and I knew that I had to try and do something about it. I did a bit of research on the best products to try out for oily/combination skin - and encouraged by some French pharmacy skincare offers on Escentual and Boots' trusty 3 for 2 promotion I decided to completely overhaul my entire routine. Since starting to use all of these products collectively I have noticed a vast improvement in my skin, I'll admit I did have a purging period of about a month where my skin did break out more than normal, but I persisted with my routine and my skin now looks smoother, I hardly get any red angry spots and even my blackheads have started to reduce in size and slowly disappear. My skin is still not perfect but hopefully with these products I will be on my way to clearer, blemish free skin. I'm not a skincare expert but I wanted to share with you which products I have been using as collectively they have been working for my oily/dry skin, and maybe if you have similar skin problems to me it might help you decide which products to buy/not buy.

I know a lot of beauty bloggers will be gasping at the thought of me even mentioning face wipes on a skincare routine, but when incorporated into a complete routine with numerous products that work to remove make up and care for your skin I don't really see the harm. As I wear a full face of make up on a daily basis I do like to use a face wipe first to quickly remove the majority of  make up and dirt on my face ready for cleansing afterwards, I also think this helps to reduce the amount of cleanser I would have to use afterwards and the time it takes to remove all of my make up. I really like these L'Oreal Skin Perfection face wipes as they are specially formulated for dry/sensitive skin and they leave my skin feeling really soft and refreshed - I know with cheaper face wipes they leave my skin feeling quite tight but these really nourish my skin and don't strip everything away. Considering these L'Oreal face wipes are hypo-allergenic and kind to your skin, they work really well to remove stubborn and waterproof make up so you won't leave sensitive eye areas feeling sore from excessive rubbing. You might think £3.49 is quite expensive for a pack of face wipes, but I think you can definitely feel the difference when compared to cheaper wipes and the condition they leave your skin in afterwards.

Micellar waters have become a must-have staple in almost every blogger's skincare routines over the past year and have been hailed as a holy grail product for removing make up quickly and efficiently. At first I tried the L'Oreal Skin Perfection micellar solution and was happy with it overall, but when I was running low and heard from other bloggers that Garnier's micellar water was supposed to be better than L'Oreal's and even Bioderma's I knew I had to give it a go. Micellar water works by drawing away any make up, dirt and impurities from the skin in one easy step. I think Garnier's micellar water works really well at removing make up without using any harsh chemicals and leaves my skin feeling soothed. The bottle claims to hold a massive 200 uses; and at £4.99 for a 400ml bottle this makes the cost per use literally just pennies! The Garneir micellar water is twice the size of L'Oreals and Bioderma's offerings and in my opinion works just as well at removing make up; it would cost almost triple the price for Bioderma and double the price for L'Oreal to match the equivalent size so Garnier is the go to product if you want an effective Micellar water for a fraction of the price. I think micellar water is great as a pre-cleanser or when you want to just remove make up quickly, it's easy to incorporate into your skincare routine and although its' formula is very basic it does what it says on the tin and lives up to the hype. 

You may think just using one product to cleanse your skin is enough, but according to beauty experts double cleansing is the best way to make sure all make up, excess oil and dirt are thoroughly removed from your skin as different cleansers are effective at removing different things. Whilst micellar water is good at removing make up, you could still be left with some bacteria on your face that will cause your skin to break out. I picked up this Vichy Deep Cleansing Purifying Gel as it belongs to the Normaderm range - which specialises in oily/spot prone skin so is perfect for mine! This deep cleanser contains no soap or alcohol which could cause skin to dry out and contains effective ingredients such as salicylic acid and Toterol that inhibits spot causing bacteria - helping to keep your skin free of unwanted breakouts. Vichy Deep Cleansing Purifying Gel is also non-comedogenic meaning that it will help to unclog your pores and prevent future blackheads from appearing. With anti-redness and soothing properties, this is the perfect cleanser if you want to use something stronger on your skin to prevent and treat spots whilst still being sensitive. I love the lightweight foamy texture of this cleanser, it has a really fresh scent and leaves my skin feeling deep cleaned and soft.

Toner - Vichy Normaderm Purifying Pore Tightening Toning Lotion - £12

At the same time I picked up the Vichy Deep Cleanser I also decided to buy the accompanying Vichy Purifying Pore Tightening Toner. As it belongs to the same Normaderm range it also contains salicylic acid and toterol to help prevent any spot causing bacteria. Although this toner is soap and paraben free, unlike the deep cleansing gel it does contain alcohol and I've found it does sting my face if I happen to have any tiny scratches or areas of broken skin and does have quite a strong scent. I did notice that my skin was starting to dry out when I first used this - especially around the eye area, I looked on the internet and this seems to be quite a normal effect with this product (albeit a annoying effect to have). So following Vichy's instructions in case of dryness or peeling, I now use less of the toner at a time and avoid going near my eyes and my skin has now returned to normal. Although this toner is a bit tougher on skin it is effective at reducing oil production and does mattify my skin after use. My skin has become a lot clearer and I do think that this toner is contributing to that due to the anti bacterial properties alongside the matching deep cleanser. If you do choose to buy this I would recommend using this toner sparingly to avoid drying your skin out.

Serum - Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum* - £17

I was sent this Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum by Escentual a couple of months ago, I decided not to do a review straight away because everyone seemed to be writing one and I didn't want to bore all of you with a post on the same product at the same time as everyone else! However this has given me a large stretch of time to be able to try out the product effectively and notice any differences to my skin over a few months. As my skin is quite sensitive and can become quite dried out due to the weather I was quite intrigued to try this out. The serum is hypoallergenic, kind to your skin and helps to prevent it becoming irritated by external conditions as well as to rehydrate and soothe your skin. Within a few weeks I noticed that the redness in my cheeks had started to reduce and my skin felt plump to the touch. The pump dispenses enough product to cover my face in one go and the silky serum soaks easily into my skin without leaving behind a filmy or sticky texture. After using the Vichy toner which can be quite drying on the skin, this serum definitely prevents my skin from becoming irritated and is a great step to incorporate into your skincare routine to add an extra boost of hydration before moisturising - especially if you feel your skin is prone to dryness or easily affected by weather conditions. 

Moisturiser - La Roche-Posay Effaclar H Multi-Compensating Soothing Moisturiser - £9.50

Similar to the serum, this La Roche-Posay moisturiser aims to soothe your skin and build up your skin's natural barrier against external irritants. This Effaclar H moisturiser is specially formulated for oily or blemish prone skin and is perfect to use if you have been using any harsh skincare products that have dried out your skin. This moisturiser has an almost gel-like and lightweight texture, it's another product that's non-comedogenic so it won't leave your skin feeling clogged up or greasy which is especially important if you already suffer from oily prone skin. This paired with the Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum is an excellent combination at tackling dryness but without causing your skin's oiliness to go into overdrive, so if you do have combination skin I would highly recommend these two products as they will suit your skins characteristics and not compromise one skin problem to treat the other. 

Blemish Treatment - La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo + - £15.50

The Effaclar Duo + has become a cult product amongst beauty bloggers due to its' super fast blemish and spot fighting abilities. As I said before I never suffered from acne as a teenager, but I always seemed to have a few big angry spots break out; the majority of spots I would get would be blackheads that would never ever go away. When this was recommended to me I knew I had to include it in my Escentual order whilst it was on offer. The Effaclar Duo + is a complete skin treatment that not only aims to correct any blemishes but also promises to unclog blocked pores, control shine and improve your skin's texture - sounds pretty good, right? This is the second version of the best selling Effaclar duo and this updated version now contains Procerad - which will help to prevent and reduce acne marks left behind by spots. After finishing my skincare routine, I would sweep a small amount across my face and then add a bit more to any spots or red blemishes. When I first started to use this, I noticed after 15 minutes or so my skin would start to tingle to the point where I started to think I was having an allergic reaction. I asked others on Twitter who said that it was normal to experience some form of tingling- it wasn't that it hurt but it was quite an uncomfortable sensation. However I put up this and carried on using the Effaclar Duo + every night. Now a couple of months down the line, my skin has improved dramatically; when applied to angry spots overnight they will have reduced to almost nothing by the morning and will have completely gone within a couple of days. Even more remarkable, I very rarely get angry spots or breakouts any more (I've also noticed my skin has stopped tingling when I use this, I don't know if that's because there are no angry spots any more or that my skin has just got used to it). I have found my complexion has improved, become noticeably clearer and my blackheads have slowly started to reduce in size and numbers - they haven't disappeared completely but there is a difference. For the first time in years, I finally feel I'm getting the clearer skin I have always dreamt of and I will definitely be repurchasing and keeping the Effaclar Duo + in my skincare routine for a long time! The is the holy grail product for banishing spots and blemishes for good.

Monu Skincare were looking for bloggers to test out some of their products and so I jumped at the chance. I received this Pure Control Mattifying Lotion which I was really pleased about considering I get quite self conscious about how shiny and oily my skin can get - you will always see me constantly touching my face up with powder to blot away any shininess. This mattifying lotion is filled with multi-vitamins and contains active ingredients such as willow bark extract and natural salicylic acid to help control sebum production and enhance the skin's surface. I really love the smell of this Monu lotion - it has a incredibly zesty scent of oranges and limes with a hint of herbs. It has a lightweight, creamy texture that easily sinks into my skin to leave it feeling refreshed; the lotion has soft focus technology which helps to mattify any shininess and to keep your skin hydrated all day. I like to apply this lotion almost like a primer, in the mornings before make up I will apply a small amount to my face and let it soak into my skin for a couple of minutes, then afterwards I will start my make up routine as normal. I have found that when using this before any make up it extends the life of my foundation and prevents my skin from becoming as shiny as quickly as it used to. My make up will last at least 2-3 hours longer before any shininess will appear and even when it does it's a lot less noticeable. So if you want to make your make up stay in place for longer this is a handy product to use as a base for a flawless, shine free finish. 

Face Masks

Face masks are an easy and effective way to treat your skin if it's feeling a little neglected or in need of a pick me up. There are numerous face masks on the market that will cater to your skins needs, whether you need one to deep cleanse, intensely moisturise, mattify or to brighten and rejuvenate. With oily/combination skin the needs of my skin are constantly changing so I have several face masks that will treat my skin in different ways; depending if my skin is on the more oily or dry side of the spectrum.

I remember my mum would always get some sort of No7 skincare set at Christmas and it would usually have this hydration mask in. I would always steal borrow this when my skin was going through a dry phase as it really does inject some much needed moisture back into your skin. When I was in Boots quite recently I saw that No7 skincare was included in the 3 for 2 offer, and knowing how much I have loved this in the past I had to get it for myself - plus I also got to use my £5 off No7 skincare voucher so it really was a bargain! The swirly cream mask combines to create a really thick gel like texture and you only need one pump of this product to cover your face - a little goes a long way! I like to leave this mask on for longer than the 10 minutes it suggests and the mask really does soak into your skin and turns clear after around 10-15 minutes. Afterwards, just tissue off the excess and wash off with water. This mask really does leave my skin plump, hydrated and intensely nourished, if you feel your skin is in need of some TLC this would be ideal to banish away dry & tight skin and leave it feeling  nourished.  

Every now and then, especially in the colder months my skin can become quite dull looking and lifeless. I received this product at a blogger's meet up in a prize draw, as I'd never tried anything from the Balance Me range I was pretty excited to give it a go and see if it would add a glow to my complexion. This is a bit of a hybrid of a facial scrub/mask as it contains ground walnuts to gently exfoliate your skin, kaolin clay to draw out impurities and fruit acid complex to brighten. First you gently massage the product into your skin to allow the ground walnuts to buff away any dead skin cells - which is great for me to eliminate any dry patches and to smooth the texture of my skin. Afterwards simply leave for 5 minutes to allow the product to work its' magic and wash away. Even with one use, I noticed my skin was instantly softer and had a subtle glow that I had never really had before. I was seriously impressed and wasn't surprised that it was an award winning face mask, it really does deliver on its' promise to add radiance to your skin. I think this would be a perfect product to use during the summer months as well to make sure your skin is fully prepped to achieve a dewy, natural looking complexion.

I picked this up at the same time as the No7 Beautiful Skin Hydration mask as part of the 3 for 2 offer, though I have only used it a couple of times. I bought this primarily because it promises to reduce visibility of pores and I thought it would help to banish my blackheads. It contains purifying clay to open up pores and draw out any dirt and excess oils so I was excited to give it a go. When I used it for the first time, I must admit I ignored the instructions and instead of just applying it to my T-zone, I also applied it to my chin and cheeks - I also have blackheads here so I thought why not? I applied a layer and left for a good 10-15 mins and the mask is then supposed to peel off. I can only compare this to ripping a plaster off slowly, not only does it seem to rip any tiny hairs out, it also seems to come off in tiny, tiny pieces - it does hurt quite a bit and I wish I hadn't applied it to those extra areas! I braved this mask once again last week and applied the mask only on my T-Zone in quite a thick layer and left as instructed. It still seemed to rip the hairs out and does make quite a mess peeling all of the pieces off your face, although it didn't seem to hurt as much this time. My skin felt smoother after using this (probably because it had ripped all the tiny hairs out!) and it did make my skin more mattified but I'm still undecided about whether it is doing anything to my pores or not - I guess I will have to try it out a few more times but I'm a bit reluctant! 

This is another impulsive purchase from Boots and I was attracted to the new look branding of the Soap & Glory skincare products - they just look so much cleaner and more luxurious than the standard Soap & Glory range. A hybrid between a scrub and a leave on mask - this is the ideal product for oily/ combination skin as it not only smooths away any dead skin cells that could clog up pores but it also promises to soak up excess oils, refine pores and stimulate oxygen to your face. The scrub is formulated with D-Clog Micromud for deep pore detoxing and de-clogging to leave skin purified and rebalanced. I love the 2 in 1 properties of the mask as it targets both dry skin and oiliness and basically kills two birds with one stone. When applied to the skin, as it contains Menthol it leaves your face instantly feels cool, fresh and zingy, the scrub is gentle on skin yet effective at removing any dead skin and rough patches; to give skin an extra boost simply leave on for a couple of minutes. The mask slightly hardens in that time but I love how invigorated and tingly my skin feels with it on. After washing the mask off, I instantly noticed the difference as my skin felt softer and all traces of oiliness had disappeared, I really like how my face felt really fresh, unclogged and clean for hours after using this thanks to the Menthol and D-Clog Micromud formula. If my skin is feeling greasy and in need of a good scrub this is my go to product to instantly refresh and is the best scrub I have used to treat flaky skin, large pores and oiliness. 

Although this is quite similar to the Scrub Your Nose In It in terms of colour, texture and the minty formula, the Fab Pore is definitely more of an indulgent mask rather than a scrub - although it does also have tiny exfoliating beads I don't think it's as effective as a scrub as Scrub Your nose In It. The Fab Pore is also specially designed for oily/combination skin and contains a Poreshrink-R complex which contains salicylic and lactic acids that not only fight spots by peeling away dead skin cells but also tightens pores and soaks up excess sebum. Due to having Menthol again in the formula, it has a similar fresh and tingly feeling as the Scrub Your Nose In It although it is a thicker texture due to being more of a mask. you leave this mask on for slightly longer to give the Poreshrink-R complex a chance to work its' peeling magic, so if you have the time I'd use this as an indulgent treat and the Scrub Your Nose In It as more of a regular treatment - especially as The Fab Pore is significantly smaller and would be used up a lot quicker if used a few times a week. Again, The Fab Pore has an instantaneous effect and leaves skin feeling really fresh, matte and smooth, I also notice a small reduction of pores on my cheeks and chin and definitely leaves my skin looking clearer. The pore reduction is only temporary, so it's important to carry on with the routine if you want to maintain the effect. 

I know this post has turned into an essay but I hope it proves helpful to all you oily/combination skin girls and that it's shown you some great products to keep your eye out for if you feel like changing your routine up. I have definitely noticed the difference in my skin since buying all of these, so hopefully they will work for you too! I wouldn't normally indulge in these higher priced skincare items but thanks to Boots' 3 for 2 skincare offers and Escentual's French pharmacy 1/3 off deals these helped to make all of these a lot more affordable!

Always keep your eye out on Boots for their skincare offers, at the moment Soap & Glory has 1/3 off selected lines, No 7 is part of the current 3 for 2 offer and from June 1st, Escentual will bring back it's 1/3 off French pharmacy products for a whole month, so it's an excellent time to stock up on La Roche Posay, Bioderma, Avene, Vichy and more, so make sure to put that in your diary!

What are your favourite products to use for oily/combination skin?

Amie xx

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  1. Fantastic post you have here! I've been meaning to try a lot of these products for awhile now, and these products seem perfectly suited for my oily skin type! New follower, looking forward to seeing your posts!
    <3 Pauline, ­­Addicted to Makeup

    1. thanks for reading!

      Have you tried any of these products yet? :)