I have never had incredibly oily skin but once a month, for just a few days, my face decides to produce more grease than is either necessary or particularly polite. (It’s around the same time of the month that I have to resist the urge to batter people around the head with a frying pan – you get the drift.) In that time of Great Rage and Completely Irrational Behaviour, I like to try out stuff that has been formulated specifically for oily and blemish-prone skin. Just to give me something to do with my hands as I stare venomously out of the window and think dark and evil thoughts…
But seriously, “oily skin” issues are pretty huge, and some of the most frequently asked questions here on the website and on Youtube concern how to banish oil slicks at the centre of the face without drying all the life and soul out of the rest of it. The key here, I always feel, is balance. You want a little less oil in the T Zone (forehead, nose area, chin) but you want to retain your natural oils in the rest of your face, which is, if it’s anything like mine, completely unaffected by the Facial Armageddon that is going on in the middle. I often feel that dealing with my PMT skin is like having to care for a garden that is suffering two completely different climates; half of the plants are in this arid, sunny spot and half of them are in shadow with big stormy rainclouds hanging over them. Same plants, totally different requirements. (Worst analogy ever? Vote now.)
So with this “Jekyll and Hyde” skin behaviour in mind, the products that I like to test in my Week of Many Tantrums are ones that are sympathetic to my plight; balancing, reasonably gentle creams and lotions and washes that will help keep the central T Zone clear without aggravating the rest of my face. Nothing should be harsh anyway, really; just because an area of your face is oily it doesn’t mean that you can wade on in there with the skincare equivalent of a flame-thrower and a bucket of white spirit! Oily skin still needs a gentle touch and, more often than not, a fair bit of soothing to take down any redness and inflammation and bumpy soreness.
Latest little range to be tested, the T Zone Control range from Skin Doctors*. I had tried the Oil Control Cleanser before (read that post here) and had found it to be surprisingly gentle and non-stripping. I say “surprisingly” because so many products targeting “oiliness” are so drying and tightening that I feel as though my whole face has been turned inside out. Not so with this one, and Skin Doctors asked whether I might like to give the rest of the range a whirl. It’s only small – three products – with the cleanser, a light moisturiser and something called a “night refiner”. A quick glance through the blurb I was sent on the range told me that the moisturiser was exactly the type of thing I like to use pre-Personal Apocolypse – light, soothing, slightly mattifying – and that the “night refiner”, an overnight cream, was formulated with Salicylic, Glycolic and Lactic acids to gently exfoliate and clear the pores. Well. You know how I feel about gentle acid exfoliants – bring it on!
The wash is light and refreshing – it cleanses well, doesn’t sting my eyes and doesn’t leave my skin feeling too tight. The moisturiser – No More Oil – does a fair job of mattifying, especially beneath makeup. It feels a little sticky for the first few minutes, so I have been letting it settle in before popping anything over the top, but apart from that it’s a nice option for hydrating your skin on oil-slick days. The effects seem to last a good while – no real need to powder throughout the day – and the anti-inflammatory ingredients really do seem to help soothe and calm the skin. The No More Pores night refiner is something of a little gem; it says to apply it over the T Zone but I have been using it all over my face and it hasn’t had any kind of adverse effect! The three different acids do seem to work nicely to exfoliate overnight and give a fresh, glowy look and I’m pretty sure that they had something to do with the fact that I didn’t have any monstrous PMT blemishes last month. (Though there could be another good reason for that particular boon – stay tuned!)
Overall, a nice little comprehensive range that works well if you have oily T Zone problems but would be equally good for those with all-round oily skin. It’s gentle and simple and barely fragranced, so great for men and women and the three products are easy to slip into an existing skincare routine, especially if you just need something to wheel out once a month as a bit of a problem-solver. I should really do a big old “round up” post of my favourite PMT skincare – I’ll add that to the list!
You can find the T Zone Control range at LookFantastic.com and on their website, but everything appears to be a little cheaper on Amazon: the cleanser is £11.31, the No More Oil moisturiser is £19.56 here and the No More Pores is £23.86. Very reasonably priced, I think. For those looking for a more grown-up solution to breakouts – ie, don’t want to resort to trawling the teen skincare aisles! – but don’t want to bankrupt themselves, it’s a solid option.
*Skin Doctors approached me to review this range and have kindly sponsored this post. For more info on sponsored posts, please click here.