Is there anything more annoying than oily skin?
Ok, probably yes. But, when you have oily skin that makes you look like a greasy frying pan ALL day long, it certainly doesn’t seem like that. It’s annoying like hell, and you just want it to stop.
You’re in the right place then, my beautiful smart friend. There are lots of things you can do to take care of your oily skin and finally say bye bye to all that excess oil:
How do I recognize oily skin?
You probably already know if you have oily skin. I mean, why else would your face be shiny ALL the time? But, in case you’re still not sure, and you need some help figuring out if your skin is really oily, here are the symptoms you should look out for:
- Your skin is shinier than a frying pan.
- Your pores are so big, they can be seen from Mars (ok, maybe not, but it definitely feels that way).
- Breakouts galore! Whiteheads, blackheads, pimples… you have them all.
- Your skin ages more slowly and you get less wrinkles – there had to be something positive about it, right?
What causes oily skin?
Workaholic sebaceous glands.
You see, skin must produce sebum. Yes, really. Sebum is skin’s natural moisturizer. It’s what keeps skin naturally smooth and hydrated, and the reason why your skin ages so much better that your dry-skinned’s best friends.
So, sebum is a good thing. In moderation. It’s when your skin starts producing way more than it needs that problems start. But, why are you cursed with it, while lots of your friends aren’t?
You’re not gonna like this. It’s hormones and genetics.
Basically, it’s the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that controls the production of sebum. And, hear this, its levels are genetically determined – that’s why you have to put up with all that oil, and your friends don’t. DHT levels also tend to be higher during puberty and menopause. That’s why oily skin is worse during those awful high school years and after your 50s.
I told you you weren’t gonna like this. But, if it can make you feel better, you can blame this one on men. DHT is a male hormone. It just so happens that both men and women have it.Is your oily skin driving you crazy? Here's the perfect skincare regime to keep it under control.Click To Tweet
So, how do I treat oily skin?
The key to saying “goodbye oily skin” is to keep oil production under control WITHOUT drying out skin. Here’s how to achieve this seemingly unachievable balance:
1. Choose a mild cleanser
The biggest mistake you’re making? Cleansing skin with a harsh cleanser in the hope it’ll remove ALL that oily from your face. But, trust me, you don’t want that. As you already know by now, sebum is skin’s natural moisturizer. Skin needs it. Take it all away, and your skin is gonna go into a frenzy and start producing even more to compensate!
What you need is a gentle foaming cleanser that removes the EXCESS oil, but still leaves some behind, so skin won’t be tempted to produce too much oil again too soon.
- Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Oil-Free Foaming One-Step Cleanser ($35.00)
- Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser ($6.99)
2. If You Must Use A Toner…
(You totally don’t) choose one with salicylic acid. SA is going to be your new BFF. This beta hydroxy acid is a powerful exfoliant that penetrates inside the pores, removing all that gunk inside them that stretches them out and causes breakouts. And, of course, it removes dead cells from the surface of your skin, as well. It’s a total game-changer, I tell you.
Whatever you do, don’t be tempted by astringents (you know, those crappy toners that contain alcohol and little else). Like harsh cleansers, they strip all sebum from your skin, tricking it into believing it needs to produce more (as if!).
- DHC Salicylic Acid Toner ($16.50)
3. Exfoliate the right way
Your skin needs salicylic acid. But, it doesn’t need to be in a toner. You can just use a SA-based exfoliant. After all, that’s what salicylic acid is, an exfoliant.
Just don’t go overboard and use too many products with SA. One (either toner, exfoliant, or even moisturizer) is more than enough. A little exfoliation keeps excess oil and breakouts under control. A lot of exfoliation irritates skin. Ouch!
- Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant ($26.00)
- Paula’s Choice Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA ($30.00)
4. Use An Oil-Free Moisturizer
Let’s face it, most moisturizers don’t work for you. They’re way too heavy and greasy, and turn your face into a shiny war zone. That’s because they contain oils to add, and lock in, moisture. But, your skin SO doesn’t need more oil.
That’s why you should choose oil-free moisturizers. They contain stuff like silicones that behave like oils, locking in moisture into your skin, without adding more oil. And, they’re rich in humectants, which is a smart way to call ingredients like hyaluronic acid that attract and bind moisture to the skin. Again, without adding more oil. Awesome, right?
- Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Hydra-Pure Oil-Free Moisture ($78.00)
- Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel ($52.00)
5. Wear Sunscreen
I’m serious. I know, it’s an extra layer, and, often a super greasy one at that. But, you need to protect your skin from UV rays too. It’s not optional. You’re already dealing with shine, breakouts, and excess oil. Do you want to add wrinkles, sun spots, and maybe even cancer to the list? Thought so. Pick a lightweight sunscreen and wear it daily, then.
- Paula’s Chioice Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 50 For Normal To Oily/Combination Skin ($17.00)
- Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 ($34.00)
6. Use Clay Masks
Covering your face in mud may not make for a good look, but it certainly helps keep all that oil in check. Clays like bentonite and kaolin are very absorbent, and can soak up all excess oil, so that it doesn’t end up trapped in your pores and brightly shining all over your face.
- Elizavecca Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask ($10.60)
- Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask ($19.00)
7. Don’t forget a mattifying primer
Oily skin and makeup don’t go that well together, do they? You spend all that time putting makeup on and, after a few hours, it’s all gone. Shine is reigning supreme again.
To give your makeup a fighting chance, always use a mattifying primer. It’s an extra layer and an extra step in the morning, but it can really make a world of difference.
- Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($52.00)
- Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Blemish Control Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment ($42.00)
8. Blot, blot, blot
When you have oily skin, you always have to be on the alert for any sign of shine starting to appearing on your face. If you notice any, no problem. Blot it away with an oil-blotting paper. It gets the job done without ruining your makeup.
- Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens (100 sheets, $10.00)
- Paula’s Choice Skincare Oil-Blotting Papers (100 sheets, $8.00).
When should I see a doctor?
Don’t be scared. Chances are, you’ll never have to see a doctor for your oily skin. But, sometimes, you can follow all the tips above and do everything by the book, and still your skin will insist on producing wayyyyyyyy more oil than it should. That’s when it’s time to bring in the big guns, and those can only be prescribed by dermatologists.
Do you have oily skin? If so, how do you take care of it?