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Lifestyle: Skin care for oily skin

the ideal state for healthy skin is one of balance: not too dry, not too oily. While people often confuse dry skin with dehydrated skin, oily skin can cause even more difficulties.

Noella Gabriel, director of product and treatment development for Elemis, explains: "Oily skin can be a result of many things: hormones, lack of a good skincare routine, lots of cleaning and washing with a detergent, incorrect use of a moisturiser -- one that hasn't been prescribed -- medication or poor diet."

As with all skin conditions, a good regime is key to getting it under control. "It is very important to keep oily skin clean," says Gabriel. "This prevents the build-up of dirt and grime which results in blackheads and pimples -- a classic breakout to an oily skin."

The first step is to cleanse skin until it's squeaky clean. Gabriel suggests introducing a prescribed cleanser and toner into your routine and, if possible, cut out all washing with water because this will alter the skin's pH level, stimulating oil flow. "For clients who prefer to wash, choose a low detergent facewash with ingredients that keep skin well-moisturised and hydrated," she says.

Some people have a tendency to skip moisturiser if their skin is oily, but oily skin needs protection just like any other skin condition. Oily skin is challenged as it adjusts to environmental changes; the answer is to protect the skin with a suitable moisturiser. "A prescribed moisturiser will protect, while also ensuring make-up sits comfortably on the skin, shine-free," Gabriel explains. She suggests something like Elemis Daily Shine Control (€56), a purifying treatment moisturiser formulated for oily and combination skin types, with ingredients to sooth and regulate skin.

If you have oily skin, give facial oils a try. It may seem strange, even wrong, but Gabriel's suggestion is a method widely recommended by beauty experts.

"My advice is that oil flow can be stabilised by putting oil on oil -- a very difficult concept to get across to a client," she says. "In fact oil can regulate skin and its oil flow, reducing shine. This results in reduced blemishes and acne which is normally the end result of very oily skin."

For Elemis stockists, call +44 1278 727 830 or visit www.elemis.com