If you have oily skin, you know that overactive oil glands can lead to a whole host of skin issues, including excess shine, blackheads, whiteheads, enlarged pores, and acne. Genetics play a huge role in the oiliness of your skin, but a number of other controllable factors influence your skin’s shine factor. It may seem counterintuitive, but the key to keeping excess oil under control is to keep your oily skin moisturized with healthy, nourishing ingredients that keep pores clean. Why? Because drying out your skin will only lead to your oil glands working harder to moisturize your face. Follow these tips to get your oil production under control and restore balance to your skin.
Tips for Oily Skin
Oily skin is more likely to attract dirt and pollution, so it’s important to keep your skin clean to prevent clogged pores and acne. Wash your face once in the morning and once in the evening - any more will dry out your skin.
Be careful not to over-exfoliate. Like over-cleansing, this will actually lead to more oil production. Avoid rough physical exfoliants (like apricot scrubs) as these can cause microtears in the skin, leading to premature aging. Instead, try a chemical exfoliant, which will remove dead skin without damaging the healthy, delicate layers underneath.
Apply a face mask designed to target oily skin after exfoliating each week. Although clay masks are rather effective for absorbing excess oil, new scientific evidence suggests that a sheet mask containing green tea extract can greatly reduce skin’s oiliness. One study found that topical green tea can cut down on sebum production by 70%! Additionally, green tea can protect the skin against inflammation, including reactions to the types of bacteria that cause acne. If you suffer from excessively oily skin or acne, try our Green Tea Detox Purifying Sheet Mask to balance and calm your skin.
Topical vitamin A in the form of a retinoid promotes skin cell turnover which is helpful for all skin types, but can be especially beneficial for those with oily skin. To get started, select and over-the-counter retinoid and apply before bed twice per week, eventually working your way up to nightly applications. Too much too soon can cause skin irritation.
We can’t reiterate this enough: over-drying oily skin will only lead to more oil production. Moisturize each time you wash your face with an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer to keep your skin supple and pores clear.
Many people with oily skin skip sunscreen for fear that it will make their skin look more shiny. The key is to choose the right kind of sunscreen to keep your skin protected from UV rays while looking matte. Try a gel sunscreen or a mineral-based sunblock, both of which will keep your skin from getting too shiny.
If you find that your forehead is turning into an oil slick by the end of the day, try applying a silicone-based mattifying primer before applying makeup. A mattifying primer will absorb excess oil and prevent your makeup from slipping off of your face. Even if you don’t wear foundation, a primer will keep your skin matte throughout the day.
Mineral foundation tends to work better on oily skin types as the powder absorbs excess oil. The recent trend towards matte makeup has also led towards a number of matte liquid foundations on the market, all of which will work great for oily skin.
If you prefer non-matte liquid foundation, always set your look with a matte translucent powder. This will absorb extra moisture from the foundation and mattify your look. For best results, tap powder onto skin with a makeup sponge, concentrating on the forehead and nose, which tend to get the most shiny. Remove any excess powder with a large, soft brush.
Keep a pack of oil blotting sheets in your bag for soaking up extra shine when you’re on the go. In a pinch, you can also use a disposable toilet seat cover to absorb excess oil. Kind of gross, but it works.
It can be frustrating to deal with oily skin. But on the plus side, oily skin tends to be more resistant to aging because sebum locks in skin’s nature moisture and provides a barrier against harmful UV rays and pollution. There’s lots of ways to keep excess shine under control. However, if you follow these tips and you’re still struggling with excessively oily skin and acne, visit a dermatologist for further treatment.
"Written by Colleen Welsch"