Between large pores and unwanted pimples, there’s no doubt that oily skin can be difficult to control. And as oil production is tied to natural hormonal changes in the body, the amount of oil produced is largely out of our hands. While we cannot stop the production of oil, there are some tweaks that can be made to our daily skin care routine that can make it easier to manage. Read on for some tips on how to make your oily skin feel clearer and more in balance.
Skin care routine for oily skin: Wash often, blot often
It is an obvious one, but it’s worth repeating: cleansing the skin is a vital step for oily skin types. Wash your face 2-3 times today depending on how much you have sweat in order to clear the oily buildup and keep your pores clear. Look for a gentle cleanser free of sulfates and other harsh ingredients that can dry out your skin and cause it to produce more oil to compensate. Cleansers that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or beta-hydroxy acid can help with clearing up acne and blackheads. If you aren’t able to run to the bathroom with your facewash, then be sure to keep the blotting sheets close at hand. Simply absorbing some of the oil throughout the day will really help keep the shine down.
Light moisture are the magic words
While the first instinct if you have oily skin is to avoid any moisturizer or oil on the market, oily skin is actually in vital need of moisture because a lack of moisture can actually spur oil production in the skin, thereby worsening the problem. The key is to look for lightweight water-based moisturizers that are oil-free and non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog pores). Renée Rouleau, skin care expert and esthetician, advises looking for a formula with “glycerin and sodium hyaluronate, a water-based hydrator that keeps skin cells plump with water.”
Skin care routine for oily skin: Avoid the T-zone
The T-zone (the area from the forehead down the nose to the chin) has more sebaceous glands (glands that produce oil) than other areas of the face. This means that it can be particularly problematic for people with oily skin. To prevent breakouts and blackheads around this area, it is best to avoid it altogether when applying serums and liquid based foundations. If you are still in need of a foundation, try using a powder formula on this area instead.
Stay away from drying and clogging ingredients
People with oily skin will want to prevent two things from happening: creating more oil production and trapping oil against the skin. Sulfates, especially sodium or ammonium lauryl sulfate, and alcohols dehydrate the skin. That’s why it’s important to look for sulfate and alcohol-free products when you hit the store. Mineral oil and petrolatum work to seal the skin, which can have a pore-clogging effect you’ll want to avoid as well.
Skin care routine for oily skin: Can you say exfoliate?
Exfoliation, while good for all of us, is especially beneficial for those with oily skin who have an extra thick layer of buildup and dead skin cells. Exfoliating sloughs off those dead skin cells, helping to clear pores and preventing pimples from occurring. Exfoliate up to three times a week, depending on how your skin feels. You want to be careful not to exfoliate too much as it can be damaging to your skin. Try an exfoliator containing salicylic acid (BHA). This ingredient penetrates deep inside the pore lining, helping to clear up blemishes.
And don’t forget the SPF.
The sun is extremely drying and damaging to the skin. For people with oily skin, the drying effects may seem nice at first as it can help dry out the shine. But like we discussed above, this will only lead to more problems in the long-term, with the added risk of skin-cancer to also consider. Keep your skin safe and pimple free by applying a lightweight, non-greasy sunscreen or a powder sunscreen. Mineral powder sunscreens have come a long way since their original versions. These non-greasy powder formulas are made up of titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and iron oxide particles that won’t clog pores yet still block infrared rays and offer broad spectrum protection.