Acne Treatment

Generally, skin is classified as normal, dry, oily and combination. But what do you do when your skin is both oily and sensitive? It’s not that simple. And what’s more, tips for skin that’s both oily and sensitive are scarcer than hen’s teeth. 

The real issue is that most skin care products that are tailored to oily skin don’t work on sensitive skin. They are harsh and strip your skin. The result? Your sensitive skin is exacerbated, and becomes inflamed and irritated. 

so, what causes sensitive, oily skin?


(image sourced from



(image sourced from

We have a protective fatty outer layer on our skin, called the skin barrier. The skin barrier keeps water in, while it keeps nasties like bacteria out. When the skin barrier is damaged, irritants and bacteria can penetrate, causing issues. (inflammations and flare ups!)


(image sourced from



(image sourced from

As you now know, your skin barrier function plays a vital role. But when you over-wash and over-exfoliate your skin, it gets damaged. It’s a vicious cycle. 

You have oily skin, so you use products for oily skin. These contain harsh cleansing agents, such as sulphates, acids designed to leave your skin feeling squeaky clean. But when you use these products, they damage your skin barrier and your skin becomes sensitive. 




Oily skin doesn’t mean you have a lot of moisture in your skin. Moisture and oil are two different things. Lack of moisture causes an imbalance in your skin. That signals your sebum glands to produce excessive oil. And the bad news? Skin that is not hydrated leads to more sensitive skin. See how not using a moisturiser can make your sensitive, oily skin even worse?


We totally understand the challenges you face with oily, sensitive skin. Many clients have complained that they just can’t find products that address their skin concerns. 

Korean skincare Australia has gained massive attention and credits, due to its gentle approach in caring for oily skin. This is the opposite of Western skin care with its focus of stripping and exfoliating to control the oil.

So we’ve come up with the best Korean skincare routine that’s just right for your oily, sensitive skin. Phew. There is help – and it’s worth reading the following steps. They are your blueprint for healthy skin.


Double cleansing method

Double cleansing has given Korean skin care a huge approval rating for its effectiveness in controlling oil production by thoroughly cleansing your skin. 

It involves washing your face twice. First, you cleanse with an oil cleanser to draw out impurities, such as clogged sebum, makeup and sunscreen. 

Then cleanse a second time with a water based cleanser to remove anything that’s left behind. Now, while it’s effective and been highly regarded for leaving your skin clean, it can lead to over-washing which your sensitive skin side may not like. 

So the key to this cleanse is to first use a very gentle oil cleanser that is natural oil-based, such as Natural Mild Cleansing Oil. Then use a pH-balanced cleanser as the second cleanse, so it’s as gentle as a whisper on your skin. Our super gentle, low-irritant Etude House SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanserwill be your ideal second step cleanser.


Korean toner

Toning is a step that’s often underestimated. Toners in the Western beauty industry are normally known as astringent, meaning that they are formulated to cleanse impurities and close the pores. And in many cases, they include alcohol to make your skin feel refreshed, although this view is changing. Using an alcohol for oily and sensitive skin dehydrates and sensitises skin. 

Korean toners are hydrating. They’re designed to quench your skin with a burst of hydration straight after cleansing. Choose a hydrating toner that is filled with skin barrier strengthening ingredients, such as Panthenol, to replenish moisture in the skin after cleansing and soothe a fragile skin. We highly recommend Dew Skintoner.


If your skin is oily, it’s tempting to skip the moisturiser. In your mind, moisturiser will make your skin oilier. But a carefully-chosen moisturiser can make a huge difference to your skin’s oil production. It also provides a wonderful support for your sensitive side. 

A moisturiser forms a protective layer on your skin to stop moisture from evaporating – and it provides nutrients your skin hungers for. 

Remember the importance of your skin barrier function? This is where ceramides help. They hold your skin cells together, forming a protective layer that plumps your skin and holds moisture. They also act as a barrier against bacteria and environmental pollutants. You can apply these hardworking little ceramides in a moisturiser to help strengthen your skin barrier. 

Our Swan Cream Intensive Vitalis the perfect option for sensitive and oily skin. This multi-tasking moisturiser has less oil content so it minimises the shininess of your skin. It also provides a protective barrier - through its high ceramide content - to promote healthy skin barrier function.

Swanicoco Swan Cream Intensive Vital


Sunscreen can sting, cause an allergic reaction and be too oily for oily and sensitive skin. 

There are two types of sunscreen:

1. Physical susncreen

Which works by creating a physical barrier between your skin and the sun. It forms a protective barrier on the surface of the skin to protect it from the UV rays

2. Chemical susncreen

Which has agents that penetrate into the skin. The chemical filter absorbs the UV rays to protect the skin. Because chemical sunscreens absorb the active ingredients in the skin and cause heat.

It’s obvious that physical sunscreens are gentler. Also, the active ingredients of physical sunscreen, such as Titanium and Zinc, are preferred for oily and sensitive skin as they can absorb excessive oil. Now that’s a great bonus for oily skin!



Oily skin can get congested and it’s good to exfoliate from time to time. However, since we are dealing with oily, sensitive skin, we must be careful which exfoliants we use.

There are 2 types of exfoliant: 

1. Physical exfoliant

These are commonly called scrubs. They contain tiny beads or grain substances to help buff the dead skin cells away.

2. Chemical exfoliant

These use either an acid such as AHA (Alpha hydroxy acid) or BHA (Beta hydroxy acid). The acids remove dead skin cells by dissolving the “glue” that binds them to other cells.

While you might prefer a scrub and enjoy the actions that are visible by physical exfoliation, these are quite harsh and abrasive for your skin which – you guessed it – can lead to increased sensitivity. 

We recommend a chemical exfoliant to give your oily, sensitive skin a gentle exfoliation. But which acids should you choose? While AHAs and BHAs share similar benefits, AHAs cause more allergic reactions on sensitive skin. 

Given that BHAs are oil soluble (they love oil!), they can penetrate deep down into your pores to unclog that yucky oil. So we suggest BHAs for oily, sensitive skin. 

Bonajour Eggplant Daily BHA Toner
is a great choice to treat sensitive oily skin. It’s formulated with BHA and Lupeol that is anti-inflammatory to calm down irritated skin. Treating sensitive and oily skin really takes an expert’s advice, so you understand which ingredients are likely to cause a reaction, and which will offer a calming, sebum-control solution.If you have any other questions, we are always here to help with personalised skin care routine advice that will help with your specific skin. 

Korean skin care Australia - BHA

Treating sensitive and oily skin really takes an expert’s advice, so you understand which ingredients are likely to cause a reaction, and which will offer a calming, sebum-control solution.


If you have any other questions, we are always here to help with FREE personalised skin care routine advice that will help with your specific skin.