I dedicate this post to all the oily faces out there.
So often left disappointed, underwhelmed and hanging my head in despair, I've come to learn there is more to life for my oily skin than mattifying moisturisers.
I first began my skincare journey on a mission to ban shine. Oil-free sebum-regulating formulas were my weapon of choice. What I didn't understand was that the stripping nature of my oil-free friends left my skin out of balance and aggravated, resulting in even more breakouts. I wrongly jumped from one harsh product to the next, only worsening my already problematic skin.
Eyes-opened and defiant, I broke free from the oil-vigilantes and became enticed by the hydrating casanovas who charmed their way into my skincare routine through eye-catching packaging and claims of skin boosting properties. As whirlwind romances go, my time with the casanovas was short and their luxury offerings proved too much for my oilier areas.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of all was the flakes. The flakes seemed to have it all, promising balance and hydration whilst still keeping the complexion mattified. With holy grail potential the flakes sadly failed to hang around long enough for me to sing their praises. The flakes would dry unevenly and clump on the skin making flawless makeup application an impossible feat.
In the final leg of my search, I discovered the clingers which signalled a skincare turn for the better. Clinger formulas were most effective at keeping my complexion mattified for 4-5 hours, but would take longer than the flakes and the casanovas to fully sink in. Not an issue on weekends/no make up days, but when up against the clock, the clingers were not as time-efficient as desired.
Yes, dear readers, I wanted it all: the perfect blend of mattification, practicality and some skin improving properties. It's been a process of trial and error but I have slowly learnt that my holy grail moisturiser should bring me balance; mattify and hydrate without aggravating sensitive areas or existing blemishes.
Thankfully I have since discovered two formulas from the French pharmacy which tick all the boxes and keep my skin feeling balanced and happy.
Which brings us to my second recommendation. For holidays and sunnier weather where I want to up my sun protection game, say hello to Avene Hydrance Optimale Light. Similarly aimed at normal to combination (and sensitive) skin, this formula also provides SPF 20 protection. I find it sinks smoothly into the skin and better still, it keeps shine at bay in warmer weather. Avene also offer a non-SPF version which is more gel-like in texture. I've tried it but personally would favour Hydrabio light if both were in my skincare stash.
I continue to battle hormonal breakouts and sensitivity but I'm pleased to have found reliable moisturisers which soothe and brings balance to my skin day to day. After a gruelling process of trial and error, so ends my search for the holy grail (moisturiser).