Female Chefs Told Me How They Sort out Oily Skin

How to control oily skin: plates of food from a diner

Oily skin is no fun. In the summer, particularly, we all find it a nightmare. There are few of us who manage to escape the shiny forehead situation come the warmer months. Now, unless you're going for the extra-dewy look (which in that case, go you), it can be a daily, nay, hourly struggle to battle the shiny skin situation. There are a few solutions, of course, when it comes to products, but we thought we'd speak to women who are in a hot environment all the time to see how they cope. 

Chefs work in hot environments for a living, so we decided to call upon a couple of female chefs to give us the lowdown on how they deal with shiny skin and what they do to control it. I spoke to pastry chef and founder of Bakes Box, Amanda Perry, and Elizabeth Haigh, chef-patron of Shibui. Both revealed that it is exceptionally hard to keep skin from being oily in such a hot environment. 

"It's really hard to avoid oily skin working in kitchens, although less so in a bakery," says Amanda, "but a kitchen is really hard. Heat plus grease plus long hours, and a relatively unhealthy lifestyle (generally) equals bad skin." However, both gave me a few tips on what they do to help.

Keep scrolling for their advice on how to control oily skin.

#1: Keep a pack of wipes handy

"A pack of wipes in your bag is a must for after your shift," says Amanda. This means that you can get rid of any excess oil and dirt quickly. However, it's worth investing in some wipes that won't dry out your skin. Try something like The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Facial Cleansing Wipes (£7).

#2: Look after your skin at night

It makes sense but after skin being hot and shiny all day, both chefs impressed upon me the importance of looking after your skin at night. Amanda revealed that her "hero product is Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate (£37) for treating your skin after a punishing day," and Elizabeth was similar, saying that she loves Kiehl's but also that she "always cleanses, tones, and moisturizes every night." While it's tempting to use products that will completely mattify your skin, you still want to keep it balanced, so use products that work for your skin type rather than stripping it completely of its oils. Check out our guide to your daily skincare routine to find the right products for you.

#3: Keep it light during the day

So perhaps the biggest question of all is knowing how to look after the skin during the day. Amanda says that you don't want to whack on a load of makeup but keep it simple with "good moisturizer and light foundation through the day." She loves Kiehl's while Elizabeth loves Aesop's moisturizing products. As for a light foundation, stick to a BB cream that will give you coverage but won't be so heavy and thick it'll melt off your face. 

#4: Exfoliate once a week

Haigh says that she exfoliates once a week to help with her skin. This is a good idea as it will mean the buildup of excess oil will get cleared away and not block up pores, which could lead to breakouts. Previously, we've spoken to facialist Kate Kerr who said that it's a good idea to tone skin and look for products with ingredients such as salicylic acid. "Salicylic acid removes excess oil and impurities and gently removes dead skin cells in sluggish skin that accumulate within the pores and trap bacteria. ZO Medical Aknetrol (£34) is really effective. It helps to control surface oils and prevent future breakouts; it also contains benzoyl peroxide," she advises.

How to look after oily skin in summer: Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense
Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense $38
How to look after oily skin in summer: Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream
Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream $47
How to look after oily skin in summer: Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue
Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue $28

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