How To Mattify Your Shiny Skin   
How To Mattify Your Shiny Skin   

How To Mattify Your Shiny Skin   

5 minutes read

Finding a perfect balance with your skin can sometimes feel like a bit of a conundrum: lots of us want dewy, not dry skin, radiant but not oily — so where does shiny skin come into the mix? Not quite oily skin but glossier than a flat matte, shiny skin is embraced by some but unwanted by others. Seeking a solution? Read on.  

Why is my face shiny?  

The oil in your skin isn’t something to fear. Everybody produces it, making it an essential part of your skin’s barrier. Your sebaceous glands are responsible for creating and secreting sebum (an oily substance) that helps moisturise your skin. According to Harvard Medical School, “sebum is a complex mixture of fatty acids, sugars, waxes, and other natural chemicals that form a protective barrier against water evaporation.” As well as locking in moisture, it helps defend your skin from environmental stresses like pollution or the sun. Shiny skin on your face results from this sebum, often appearing as a film sitting on the surface of your skin. You’re most likely to notice shiny skin on your T-zone as this is where most of your sebaceous glands sit, which is why a shiny forehead is very common. A shiny face doesn’t mean your skin isn’t healthy; it’s perfectly normal. However, if you lack any shine, it can be a sign of poor health and you may need to drink more water, get more sleep, and take a good look at your diet.   

However, should your shiny skin be a concern, or if your skin gets very shiny quite quickly, your sebaceous glands might be making too much sebum. This can result in a greasy-looking complexion and clogged pores, which for many people, is less desirable. You may simply have more sebaceous glands than others, as your genetics determines this. You may also have shiny skin due to hormones, stress, sweat, or exposure to aggressive environmental factors. 

How To Mattify Your Shiny Skin

How can I reduce shine on my face? 

An important thing to do to reduce shiny skin is to ensure that you are gently cleansing your face every evening. Even if you haven’t been wearing make-up, sweat, sunscreen, dirt and oil can all accumulate and linger on your skin. Strong cleansers can be overly harsh and will strip your skin resulting in a trigger of oil production to compensate for any moisture lost. A non-comedogenic cleanser will remove any excess sebum, and prep your skin for the products that will follow without clogging pores. Try My Clarins RE-MOVE Purifying Cleansing Gel to banish all traces of dirt and reduce the shine on your face.  

My Clarins RE-MOVE Purifying Cleansing Gel

There are also lifestyle changes that you can make to stop your face from becoming shiny, and many people find that limiting the amount of alcohol they drink can help. This is because drinking lots of alcohol can cause both blood vessels and oil glands to enlarge. Research also suggests that high glycaemic foods and drinks raise blood sugars quickly and as a result, stimulate sebum production. So, people with very shiny skin may benefit from bolstering their daily diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, pulses, legumes, and some whole-grain oats. Stress is another factor that plays a part in shiny skin; when stressed, we release the hormone cortisol, which helps produce sebum. Think about taking up a stress-reducing hobby such as yoga or meditation and follow that wise old piece of advice: get a good night’s sleep whenever you can.  

Can you prevent shiny or oily skin? 

If you’re very concerned about shiny skin and its negative impact on your life, do seek the help of a dermatologist. Some procedures such as micro-needling utilise radio frequency to shrink the sebaceous glands. But you can also make tweaks to your skincare routine at home to reduce the shine on your face. Try introducing a chemical exfoliator, like Pixi Glow Tonic, to help slough away dead skin cells and excess oil. Retinol is a helpful little ingredient to combat shiny skin as it helps regulate cell turnover and sebum production.  

Pixi Glow Tonic

There are also natural ingredients you can turn to; clay-based products that help absorb dirt and oil from the surface of your skin. When out and about, blotting papers can help absorb any excess shine from your face and for many people, they’re a preferable option to mattifying powders. When it comes to make-up, a mattifying primer such as Mac Studio Fix Mattifine 12HR Shine-Control Primer will keep shine at bay and prevent your make-up from slipping. But do remember that it’s difficult to completely stop shiny skin in its tracks. A little oil is perfectly normal and beneficial, especially for mature skin to add glow.   

Mac Studio Fix Mattifine 12HR Shine-Control Primer

Read next: Everything You Need To Know To Get Dewy, Glowing Skin

My face is shiny but not oily 

Many think shiny skin is just an issue for those with oilier complexions. Still, people with dry skin often notice that they appear to have shiny patches. If your face feels shiny but not oily, this could be caused by over-exfoliating, which can disturb your skin’s natural barrier. When skin feels dehydrated and tight, it can start to produce more oil to compensate.

For oily, shiny skin, look for salicylic acid products. They will exfoliate, remove excess oil and dead skin cells, and help unclog pores. And again, don’t skip that vitally important moisturiser step, but instead of heavy cream, plump for a lighter gel formula such as My Clarins RE-BOOST Refreshing Hydrating Cream. And be mindful of where you apply the product. Your T-zone and nose, for example, have plenty of oil glands so you can tread lightly here. For areas that may be drier such as your cheeks and neck, feel free to be more lavish in your application.  

My Clarins RE-BOOST Refreshing Hydrating Cream


What does shiny skin indicate? 

Shiny skin is caused by sebum sitting on the surface of your skin and is a perfectly natural and expected component of anyone’s complexion.  

Is my skin oily or shiny? 

All skin is shiny to a degree, but if your skin is gleaming and produces oil very quickly, you may have oily skin which can be caused by genetics and exacerbated by diet and lifestyle choices.  

Why is my forehead dry but shiny? 

Dry but shiny skin can be caused by over-exfoliation or by skipping the vital moisturiser step in your skincare routine, causing the skin to ramp up its oil production as it tries to rehydrate.  

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