I have extremely oily skin. I’ve tried mattifiers, powders, blotting papers, setting sprays, milk of magnesia (thanks Wayne Goss) and practically every anti-oil product on the market. One anti-oil product that I’ve just started dabbling in is the most counterintuitive of all: oil. I’ve been hearing for a while now that oil is actually a good way to treat oily skin, but seeing as it goes against all of my natural instincts, I wanted to be sure I was doing it right. As it turns out, many of us aren’t. I spoke with skincare expert and founder of Nyakio, Nyakio Kamoche Grieco, to learn about the mistakes she sees when it comes to using oils on our skin.. Here are the mistakes Nyakio said she sees the most - and how to avoid them.

  1. Not using oil when because you have oily skin

“When I’m in the store consulting people they’ll often say ‘I’m afraid to put oil on my face, my skin is already so oily and I’m prone to breakouts,” or maybe it’s rosacea, eczema, or any sort of skin issues – each and every one of us has something. What I say to them is that when people have oily skin that’s prone to blemishes (and I’m not talking about cystic acne) it means your skin is working way too hard to produce oil. Your skin is working in overdrive and when you’re producing too much oil that causes breakouts or blemishes. So just by feeding a couple of drops of oil into our skin it signals to our skin ‘it’s time to relax, you got this.’”

  1. Choosing the wrong oil

“I say that no two oils are the same, and not all oils are great. Within the Nyakio line we used certified fair trade organic cold-pressed oils. We cold press them in the same way that you don’t want to heat broccoli in the microwave, doing this removes all of the nutrients when you overheat them. You don’t want to overheat the oils when you extract them. By cold-pressing the oils you’re extracting all of the best nutrients and preserving what those specific oils are meant to target, so you’re getting the best results.”

  1. Applying skincare in the wrong order

Nyakio recommends applying skincare products in the following order.

  • Cleanse
  • Exfoliate - "Everyone should be exfoliating at least 2-3 times a week. You never want to over-exfoliate, if you have sensitive skin use a gentle exfoliator. Both of the exfoliators in our line are formulated for daily exfoliating."
  • Apply oil
  • Moisturize
  • Wear sunscreen - "Always wear sunscreen! I recommend sunscreen 365 days of the year."

"Our skin is made up of oil and often we’re using cleansers that are dehydrating our skin and exfoliating can also be drying, so we want to replenish that moisture immediately after we cleanse and exfoliate. It balances out the skin.”

  1. Using too much oil

“One thing I see is that when people want to try oil at our counter they fill up the whole dropper and you really don’t need that much oil. I always say 2-3 drops for your whole face. In the same way you don’t want to over-exfoliate, you also don’t want to over-oil. You want your skin to naturally know what to do with it by only feeding it what it needs.”

  1. Using oil just for your face

“People often forget that anti-aging is head to toe. Never ignore the décolletage. And I’m a side sleeper so I always include my neck so I don’t get circles on my neck."

"Oils can be used for many reasons. My grandfather was a medicine man, so he had the ability to go out into nature and extract oils to treat the skin. It worked for different ailments, skin, hair. I use my maracuja oil as a scalp relief. I use it on my split ends. I use it as a pre-shave before I shave my legs. I have eczema so when I go to sleep, it starts behind my ear and goes down my neck, I pat it into those areas to soothe. Because our skin is made up of oils you can use oil everywhere. Don’t be afraid to use it in other places that need to be hydrated or balanced.”

  1. Drying your skin out when you cleanse

“I’m a big believer that, especially as we age, we have no business depleting our skin of moisture because it’s just inviting those signs of aging to come in. I love cleansing with balms and I use our Sweet Almond Cleansing Oil Balm to melt my makeup off. I know I grew up in a generation when we felt our skin was clean once we’d completely depleted it of moisture. And as we age, from our 20s to our 30s to our 40s, that kind of behavior and dehydration of your skin causes you to break out more. I’m not asking you to give up your favorite cleanser, but I recommend using a cleansing balm first. I say a cleansing balm is the laziest and easiest way to cleanse your face, I do it sitting on the couch watching TV with my kids. You just apply it to your skin, massage it in, and it will literally lift your makeup and impurities off your face. Then you just wipe it off. Then if you’re still in love with your cleanser and psychologically you still feel like you need to use it, then use it after the cleansing balm, because the cleansing balm gives you the moisture you need. Use the balm as a pre-cleanse. I think we can all take a cue from Korean beauty with their double cleansing method.”

Using a pre-cleanse treatment to moisturize before you strip your skin of moisture sounds very similar to pre-pooing, so the Korean skincare and curly hair care communities must be onto something!

Thank you very much to Nyakio for sharing your oil expertise!

Tell me, do you use oils on your oily skin? Share how it’s worked for you in the comments below.