Beat oily skin on a budget

Anyone with oily skin will be familiar with an oily forehead and cheeks, enlarged facial pores that give an orange skin appearance, and the luminous shine that accompanies skin that produces excess sebum, the cause of this skin disorder.

There is a plus side to having oily skin. Because it is so well lubricated it tends to look more youthful as it is less prone to wrinkles. I have often been told that I look much younger than my 48 years, but I would prefer to look youthful without the shine!

Having done a little research on the subject, according to scientists excess sebum production is caused by having more sebaceous glands than are found in people with normal skin. It is part of your genetic make-up so you cannot change this, but many studies have focused on ways of reducing sebum production with varying degrees of success.

A Botox injection is one example. It is more associated with treatment to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. However, cosmetic surgeon Dr Anil Shah who is based in Chicago USA, conducted a small study on the use of Botox to reduce sebum production and to reduce the size of facial pores.

The majority of patients treated (85 per cent) reported reduced oiliness and an improvement in the appearance of facial pores after one month following one Botox injection. However, it should be noted that Botox injections are painful and leave a tingling sensation that lasts for several days – quite a drastic measure in my opinion.

A far less invasive and natural procedure is the use of green tea extract to control sebum production. In a study published in the Bosnian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, scientists developed a formula consisting of 3 per cent green tea extract dissolved in AbilEM90 (an emulsifier used in the formulation of cosmetics creams and lotions).

The formulation was applied to the cheeks of participants for eight weeks. The amount of sebum production was measured and showed a significant reduction after long-term use. Green tea is not only effective in controlling sebum production; other studies have shown it to be effective against a variety of cancers, oral diseases, bone disorders and cardiovascular disorders.

Studies aside, there are many expensive brands on the market that claim to be effective in treating oily skin and reducing the size of facial pores. But these harsh economic times necessitate financial prudence; therefore I decided to pursue a low budget treatment for my oily skin.

As with my hair, I prefer to use products that contain as many natural ingredients as possible, so the Garnier range came to my attention.  On their website you can select t

he specific range that best suits your skin type. It wasn’t an easy choice since on the one hand I want to address the oiliness of my skin, but on the other hand I have some blemishes and marks.

In the end I decided to focus on the addressing the oiliness, since if I can reduce the oiliness I will be less likely to get spots in the future and less likely to end up with blemishes as a result of spots! So I decided on the ‘Pure’ range.


Two products in particular were of interest. The Anti Blackhead Deep Pore Wash, designed to cleanse and unclog pores, protect against blackheads and help control excess surface sebum. The other product I decided to try was the 24 Hour Daily Moisturiser which is oil-free and helps to control shine.

I managed to pick up both products in my local Asda for £5.00 and also purchased a small exfoliating sponge in another store for 69p. The sponge is designed to boost the cleansing process. It is not too hard and is fine for sensitive skins as well.

I have been using both products for five days and can say that I am very impressed with the results. The cheeks are significantly improved, my skin looks smooth and the shine has been reduced by about 70 per cent. However, my forehead is stubbornly resistant, and although there has been improvement, the oiliness has probably been reduced by about 30 per cent. Not as much as the cheeks but still, better.

I now intend to try the Pure Shine Control Moisturiser and Pure Purifying Toner to get better results for my forehead and will report in due course on the results. But overall, considering that the Garnier Pure range is so inexpensive and uses mostly natural ingredients, it gets a big thumbs up!


Mahmood, T., et al (2010) Outcomes of 3% green tea emulsion on skin sebum production in male volunteers. Bosnian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences. 10(3): pp260-264

Shah, A.R., Use of intradermal botulinum toxin to reduce sebum production and facial pore size. Journal of drugs in dermatology, 2008. 7(9): pp847-50. 

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