If you have oily sensitive skin with dark spots and live in South Africa...

I get how frustrating it is. Nearly all sensitive products seem too rich and nearly all oily products seem harsh and irritate you.

Two reasons why you need a routine if you have oily sensitive skin with dark spots:

  • It easier to deal in case you have (even more) issues.

  • Dark spots, which we shall call PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) from here on, take weeks, even months of consistent application of skincare and patience to go. No shortcuts, no overnight cures.

So what does your routine need?

Let’s look at the issues and break it down.

Issue: Excess oil

Your skin is producing excess oil because: genetics, hormones, harsh products and whatever else. This leads to excess shine, clogged pores, breakouts


Reducing the amount of excess oil being produced by proper cleansing and exfoliation.

Issue: Sensitivity

Your skin is being irritated by something: food, skincare, meds, water, Trump, whatever. This leads to itching, swelling, rashes, breakouts etc


Figure out the irritant, cut it out of your routine and calm the skin down. You can’t be reasonable when you’re angry, same thing with the skin. It needs to be calm for you to properly handle the other issues like excess oil and dark spots.

Common irritants in skin care are alcohols, essential oils, bar soaps. If your skin is still mad, figure out what could be causing it by elimination aka trial and error. Make sure to have calming skincare on hand in case of anything.

Eucerin DermoPurifyer Adjunctive Soothing Cream in Clicks is a good one.

Issue: PIH

Your skin has been injured by acne, eczema, sun damage, bruises etc. and in defence mode, excess melanin was hailed to protect it. Making that area darker and your tone overall, uneven.


Get rid of the darker spot and protect your skin from further injury through exfoliation, brightening and sun protection. Like I have said here before, I don’t advocate for bleaching.

Brightening isn't bleaching. I'm talking about get your skin back to its original tone, not making it lighter than God intended. That can be accomplished with Vitamin C, niacinamide, alpha arbutin, bearberry extract etc


So you have the solutions, what does that look like in a routine for oily, sensitive skin with PIH?

  1. Removing makeup, SPF etc in the PM with Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. It's available at Clicks and Clinique South Africa. It’s fragrance free, takes everything off and lasts forever!

  2. After removing makeup/ waking up in the AM,  it's time to clean the skin with Eucerin Dermo Purifyer Cleanser. It's available at Clicks. Or you can use the Clinique again. Whatever works for you.

  3. Exfoliating 1-2 times a week with Clinique Clarifying Lotion 1.0. The 1.0 is alcohol free. Or try the Eucerin Dermo Purifyer Toner. It has the gentlest of them all, lactic acid, which will help get rid of PIH. Unlike cleansing which is daily, exfoliating 1-2 times a week is enough for many people, especially with sensitive skin.

  4. AM and/or PM brighten with @OutpostBeauty Vitamin C serum or DermaFix Vitamin C Serum. The treatment serum will easily be the most expensive part of your routine, because if you need results, bite the bullet. Rubbing lemons on your skin will only make issues worse.

  5. AM and PM moisturize with the Eucerin cream I mentioned above or @kuducosmetica squalane. Best.Moisturizer. For. Sensitive. Skin. Ever. You can read my review on it. Sebamed Clear Face Care Gel is another good basic moisturizer for oily skin. Get it at Dischem or Clicks. Actually, you know what? Get both.

  6. Every single day in the AM, use SPF. Otherwise the sensitivity and dark spots will forever stay. I've heard great things about Eucerin Sun Protection SPF50 Mattifying Face Sun Fluid. No shine or white film, fragrance free and available at Clicks.

  7. Once a week, use a clay mask to get rid of excess oil. @kuducosmetica has the Clay Masque. I reviewed it here and wrote about how I like to mix it with plain water, aloe, honey or oil. There is no need to use ACV if you already exfoliate properly. Save it for your food.

Remember, this is a sample routine, it's just meant to guide you on what oily sensitive skin needs. You can switch products to whatever suits your skin. Let me know which sample routine I should share next!