Finding the right anti-ageing products to use can be tough when your skin tends to err on the oilier side. It seems unfair that many products made to battle the signs of ageing can feel heavy and simultaneously clog your pores. So, what type of anti-ageing formulas should you look for when you have oily skin? We ask the experts.

Formulas that are easily absorbed and lightweight when applied on the skin are a must if you have oily skin, especially since most anti-ageing formulas on the market tend to be of a thicker consistency. Dr Joseph Hkeik, founder and Director of All Saints Clinic, tells us there’s no point trying to use formulas such as these if oily skin is an issue – you have to look for products designed for your skin type. “Products designed specifically for an oily skin will have the correct combination of active ingredients to combat both anti-ageing and oiliness.”

Creams and emulsions

Ageing can also accentuate changes in texture and pore size that are associated with oilier skin, so looking for products that both refine and hydrate the skin are a must. “Depending on the ingredients, emulsions can be an excellent option for oily skin as they’re light weight in consistency and will hydrate without triggering acne or problematic skin,” Dr Hkeik says. “Oil- free creams are additionally perfectly fine for an oily skin type and can regulate hydration thus ensuring harmony and balance.”

Sam Allen, Aspect Skincare Education Specialist, agrees, adding, “Creams and emulsions can be an effective method to support a weakened skin barrier, limit water loss and improve skin texture. The ratio and balance of nourishing and hydrating ingredients in a cream or emulsion will determine suitability.”

“Lightweight moisturisers that contain anti-ageing peptides and protective anti-oxidants are also a great alternative, as they address the signs of ageing while remaining comfortable on the skin.”

Occlusives are a no go

Occlusive formulas on the other hand have no major benefit for an oily skin type and when used will leave it feeling heavy, sticky and greasy. However, Sam says they can be used for a short term period while the skin is impaired, “Which may be the case after a professional treatment like a chemical peel, or if you suffer with skin conditions such as dermatitis,” he explains.


So, what are the best ingredients to look for if you want to tackle ageing and manage your oily skin at the same time?

Dr Hkeik recommends the following:

AHAs: such as lactic and glycolic acid to help refine the skin.

BHAs: such as salicylic acid to help clean out the pores.

B3 Niacinamide: to help balance excess oil and even skin tone.

Zinc oxide: because consistent, diligent sun protection is a must.

Retinol: to help smooth the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and pores.

Hyaluronic acid: for a boost of hydration.


Toners aren’t necessary, however people with oily skin often like the fresh feel of a toner. Dr Hkeik says, “Toners are good for de-greasing the skin and removing any extra cleanser you may have applied whilst removing your makeup but are not essential.”


If you’re an oily skin type, any cleanser with a gel base is excellent. “Gentle fruit enzymes and salicylic are amazing for cleansing the skin without stripping its NMF (natural moisturising factor),” Dr Hkeik says.

“Cleansers with exfoliating agents can also be beneficial, as they smooth and refine skin texture and pore size while controlling excess oil,” Sam adds.


“The biggest misconception with moisturisers and hydrators is that if we apply them they will stimulate our sebum production,” Dr Hkeik says. “The most important thing to remember is if we use the appropriate hydrators, whether that’s an emulsion, serum, or cream with the appropriate ingredients – like retinol, AHAs, BHAs,  or B3 – and the correct delivery system, you will avoid contributing to oiliness.”

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Story by Yadira Galarza Cauchi

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