Beauty School: How To Get Rid Of Shiny Skin

I have combination skin, and I tend to get oily as the day goes on. I use anti-shine primer in the morning, but I find myself looking shiny by the afternoon. What’s the best way to prevent looking greasy by day’s end without totally drying out my skin in the process?

Skin produces an oil called sebum, which keeps it supple and healthy and protects it from environmental aggressors. Overactive sebaceous glands result in greasy skin with larger, open pores. It can be more prone to breakouts, as the excess oil blocks the pores and makes the surface shiny, which also makes it harder for some kinds of makeup to stay on (especially on a hot day). On a positive side, women with this type of skin tend to have fewer wrinkles!

Here are a few tips to restore the balance:

1. Keep the skin hydrated, as it will try to produce more oil if it feels dry. Use water-based moisturizers or those formulated for oil control.
2. Don’t overwash the skin, which will stimulate the production of sebum. Use an oil-based cleanser to dissolve excess sebum.
3. Avoid oil-stripping products with high alcohol content. These make the skin feel fresh in the short term, but they are too harsh and will actually make the problem worse!

The good news is there are some makeup tricks to help combat this issue. Start by using a mattifying primer under foundation to help it to stay on. This will also enable you to use less foundation, reducing the risk of clogged pores and blemishes. Silica helps to absorb oil — look for it in primer, foundation, and powder. Silica can hold a large amount of oil and keep it locked away from the skin’s surface, preventing blocked pores.

Mineral powder foundations are also perfect for very oily skin, as the oil helps the powder to be absorbed, giving a natural finish. Alternatively, use a light foundation and buff your skin with a fine loose powder. Be sure to avoid cream blushes, bronzers, and eyeshadows which are often wax-based and sit on the skin’s surface, leading to blocked pores. Lastly, oil-free makeup and moisturizers will help to keep you shine-free. Steer clear of products that claim to give a glossy or satin finish as these contain fats.

My no-fail top tip? Blotting tissues come in booklets that are easy to carry in your handbag. These are better for quick fixes than powder, which may absorb the oil, but will also clog pores and sit on the skin’s surface.

Jemma Kidd is a world-renowned makeup artist who has painted the faces of Naomi Campbell and Jerry Hall, and now she’s here to solve all of your beauty dilemmas. Not only does she have two makeup lines of her own — Jemma Kidd Make Up School and JK Jemma Kidd — she’s also worked with Max Factor, Rimmel, and Stila. Yes, she’s a total beauty guru. Have a question for Jemma? Email it to!

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