A Realistic Guide To Treating Oily and Blemish-Prone Skin

If you're a regular reader of Makeup Savvy then you will know I have a penchant for skincare! While I love makeup with a passion I believe creating a base for it, or even for those bare skin days, skin care is of more importance.

This is why I wanted to share how I tackle my own sometimes dehydrated but often oily/blemish-prone skin on a daily/weekly basis in collaboration with Cult Beauty*. February on Cult beauty is #skinCareMonth and they're celebrating this by talking about 'real skin' with the #ThisIsSkin hashtag, sharing advice so you can select the best products to suit your skin. There's also a competition to go alongside this to win a consultation with Cult Beauty advisers and your very own skincare regime. Plus you can receive 15% off your Cult Beauty order with my exclusive code when you spend over £20 for a limited time only!

All the details can be found to the bottom of this post!

But first, skincare for oily and blemish-prone skin. Something I know I'm definitely not alone with as both adult acne and general blemishes past teenage years is very common for countless reasons and factors. Due to my own curiosity and love of skincare, I've discovered brands and products that work for me in the past few months and years and I really want to share the very best that tackle excess sebum and breakouts without causing other problems to arise such as dry or red/sensitised skin.


Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Oil with Rose Petals
Regardless of your skin type double cleansing is important on days that you wear makeup and/or an SPF. Starting with an oil-based cleanser as your first cleanse is vital when you have an oily skin type as it will not only effectively melt away makeup but it will also draw out oil and excess sebum from the surface of the skin - so thinking your oily skin won't be able to handle a cleansing oil couldn't be further than the truth!

Mildly scented and beyond light on this skin, Nuxe’s Micellar Cleansing Oil with Rose Petals makes light work of eliminating makeup and sunscreen, leaving the skin feeling comfortable yet clean. I also really like this oil as it doesn't sting the eyes or blur vision, as it melts away eye makeup, even waterproof formulas. It really is just a good all year round first cleanse product that even sensitive skin should get along with.

Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser
Your second step cleanser is what actually cleans the skin but it's not as simple as picking any old foaming cleanser. In fact, I would highly recommend steering clear of any cleansers that contain SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) while also looking for something that is pH balanced as cleansers that aren't can affect the skin's natural barrier over time and that's when you can end up seeing excess sebum and regular blemishes! This is why Sunday Riley's Ceramic Slip Cleanser is such a favourite of mine! In fact, it's a favourite second cleanse and the cleanser I reach for most mornings. Containing French green clay this cleanser is like nothing else I have tried and works perfectly to control and balance out oil production in the skin. I also find the other ingredients to this cleanser keep my skin looking bright and feeling smooth. Facial washes for oily/blemish-prone skin can be tricky to come by but trust me, this is a particularly good one that you can rely on.

CosRx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
While toning is a totally different step to cleansing I always like to follow with a gentle skin-friendly BHA product in my morning routine, simply wiped over the face with a cotton pad, to keep blemishes at bay while also aiding maximum absorption of the products I have left to apply - such as serum and moisturiser. With 0.1% AHA and 0.1% BHA along with 10% willow bark water, this really is a mild but well-formulated toner that will lightly exfoliate the skin and keep pores clear to prevent blemishes from developing. A recent addition to my skincare routine but something I think will work well in addition to some stronger AHA treatments I love.


If I've learnt one thing about skincare in the past few years it's that all skin types can benefit from hydration. For years I denied my own oily skin of hydration and it was one of the worst things I could do for it! Hydrated skin is happy skin and believe it or not even oily skin can take a good dose of daily hydration that will make the it look subtly plumped up, calmer and more balanced.

Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum
While Hyaluronic Acid is one of my most favourite ingredients use on my oily dehydrated skin (see below) there's something about applying a milky serum with a combination of beneficial ingredients that I can't be without. For both parched skin in winter and dehydrated skin come the summer months this serum is one of the most caring products you can apply to the skin - increases skin’s moisture levels by up to 127% whilst reducing sensitivity by 61% - pretty impressive, right? This ultra-light serum quickly absorbs into the skin and gives an instant veil of hydration perfect for layering other products onto as one heavy cream simply doesn't work with oily skin! Basically a super gentle, caring shot of hydration that most will love, especially those with oily or sensitive skin.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
If you are looking for longer lasting hydration then a no-frills hyaluronic acid serum is what you want to be going for. I've tried many in the past and this specific one does just a good a job as the more expensive ones as it contains low, medium and high molecular weights so that it penetrates not just the surface of the skin, but deep down for lasting hydration.

With Hyaluronic Acid products you will find that they feel thin, almost water-like, but don't let that put you off as they do deliver hydration, making the skin look smoother and healthier. Another great product for sensitive skin as well!


Even with the best skincare routine in place, oily skin can still cause spots to appear. This could be from stress, hormonal factors, diet or even a lapse in hygiene (double cleansing). But thankfully there are some wonderful products out there, especially from Cult Beauty, that can stop blemishes in their tracks or deal with an overproduction or build-up of oil and sebum. For me, this means having a good solid spot treatment to hand that really does work and clay based masks that are effective without drying out the skin.

Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask
As a face mask addict, I'm always on the lookout for non-drying clay masks (in the literal sense) for my often oily t-zone. The reason for this is that a mask that doesn't dry is less likely to dry out or pull at the skin, meaning it can be used as often as you wish.

While this type of formula isn't common (most clay masks 'set', like the one below) Charlotte Tilbury has managed to come up with the most delicate yet effective clay mask I've tried to date. Smelling of fresh flowers this is a joy to sit with and leaves the skin feeling beyond soft yet rid of congestion and excess oil. It's also a perfect one for lacklustre skin that needs a bit of a boost. If like me you love to pamper yourself with a face mask but want it to be a truly relaxing experience then this really is a little bit of heaven and will definitely benefit your oily skin.

Sand & Sky Brilliant Skin Purifying Pink Clay Mask
Another mask that I've recently added to my stash is this fairly new cult favourite from Sand & Sky. This has been a face mask I've wanted to try for some time as it's hard to ignore the buzz online about it that really hasn't died down since it launched. Applied with a mini brush that's included with the mask the formula glides over the skin and starts to dry while you're still applying it, however, while this is a purifying mask it isn't one that sets hard so you are safe to smile without the fear of it cracking into a million pieces. Fast forward 10 minutes and an easy wash off, the pink clay mask leaves the skin with less visible pores and such smooth fresh looking skin. A mask perfect for hormonal skin or when you antisapate a breakout coming.

As this is a powerful mask I would over apply this to areas of congestion or concern as this may leave the skin dry and craving moisture. But really a great mask that I've been so far impressed with, especially for de-clogging pores.

Kate Sommerville EradiKate Acne Treatment
Lastly, a targeted spot treatment is important product within my skincare that I use as and when I need it. This has to simply work on both small pimples and more cystic acne type spots which is why I've tried a lot of spot cream and treatments in the past 10 years and believe they are worth spending on.

My new go-to spot treatment is Kate Sommerville EradiKate Acne Treatment and I don't think I've ever been as pleased with the results of a spot treatment as I have with this. Formulated with the highest level of sulphur allowed in skin care (10%) this effective treatment puts up a formidable fight against blemishes, helping to both minimise breakouts and prevent further blemishes. Alpha hydroxy acids also reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, while zinc oxide provides oil control by absorbing excess sebum. If that doesn't convince you on this spot treatment then let me tell you that a dip into the solution with a cotton bud is all you need and it is a 30ml bottle so you really can expect this to last you a long long time. On a side note - Kate Sommerville is new and exclusive to Cult Beauty and the UK and I really am excited about this launch as there are some amazing products in the range.

Read on for an exclusive 15% off code when you spend over £20 on Cult Beauty though Makeup Savvy and a wonderful giveaway that could fix your skincare needs...



To be in with a chance of winning a consultatio with a Cult Beauty skin care advisor plus a tailored skincare regime a consultation simply follow @Cultbeauty via nstagram and share an image that represents your skin care concerns and talk about it in the caption using #ThisIsSkin and #SkinCareMonth. 5 winners will be chosen and announced at the end of February. Terms & Conditions here.

Alternatively, if you have any questions about specific skincare products or want product recommendations the Cult Beauty customer service team is always on hand at beautyadvice@cultbeauty.co.uk - something I didn't even know about as a huge Cult Beauty fan until last week.


To use my exclusive discount code simply enter ‘CBXMUS’ for 15% off your order when they spend over £20 until 23rd February.

Brand exclusions include - Aesop, Alpha-H, Aurelia Probiotic Skincare, Charlotte Tilbury, Escentric Molecules, Foreo, Institut Estherderm, Kypris, Living Proof, NYX Professional Makeup, OUAI Haircare, Stila Cosmetics, Smith & Cult, Sunday Riley, The Beautiful Mind Series, Too Faced, May Lindstrom, Penhaligons, Vintner's Daughter, ZOEVA, ZIIP Beauty and Cult Beauty Gift Vouchers and Goody Bags. Discounts may not be redeemed against Sale items, or any other discounted items

*This post is kindly sponsored by Cult Beauty

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