Guest Editor Kate Shapland on…Oily skin management

People tend to look at me oddly when I mention primers – I can see them thinking ‘what’s she talking about – some kind of Polyfilla for wrinkles?’

But primer – and by that I mean anything from a light day fluid to foundation – can do marvels for your skin, and as such I think it’s one of the most underrated cosmetics at the counter.

Where it can be really helpful is in managing the oiliness that shortens makeup’s lifespan: they mattify skin and in doing so hold foundation – and therefore blusher and eyeshadow – in place, so you don’t have to do so much retouching during the day.  But while primer is a good stabiliser, one thing it can’t do is to stop your skin producing the sebum that makes it oily – no product can do this actually, so if you buy one that claims it does, buy it for its other benefits, not this one.  If you have oily skin, primers are really worth investigating – two I rate are Smashbox Anti Shine (best for managing oiliness on the T-zone) and Chanel Base Lumiere (better for full face cover).  But it’s not just your primer or moisturiser that matters with oily skin; if shine is an issue you need to think about – and maybe tweak – your whole routine:

•    Stay calm – oily skin’s worst enemy is stress and over-stimulation: but while staying calm all the time is easier said than done, it’s not difficult to avoid over-stimulating your skin.  How?  Easy: cut down (or out) abrasive exfoliation (I’m not a big fan, you’ve probably gathered) – especially if you do this everyday.  Instead use a soft flannel to massage skin when you cleanse.  Don’t splash your face with hot and/or cold water.  Don’t use chemical-rich creams which promise exceptional radiance.  Just go for nice simple products that do a practical job and give your skin a chance to look after itself.  Try Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions Clearing Moisturizer and Clarins Hydra Matte Lotion.
•    Stay clean – oily skin is prone to spots because its pores get clogged more readily.  Regular cleansing can stop this happening, but go easy!  Alcoholic toners are not being kind to oily skin – actually, they’re not being kind to any skin.  Stick with a wash-off cleanser like Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser.
•    Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water or herbal tea.
•    Stay rational – no topical can stop your skin producing natural sebum or close pores.  These are two of beauty’s more silly claims…

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