For oily skin types, skin care can often feel like a constant battle of blotting sheets and face powder — anything to mask the shine. But your skin isn’t the enemy and taking care of it doesn’t always have to be a fight. With a few basic skin care tips, you can care for your shiny pores in a way that works with your skin’s nature, not against it.
But first, what are the symptoms of oily skin? It’s important to understand what you are dealing with and ensure you are treating the right skin type before delving into the dos and don’ts of treatment.
Oily skin symptoms
Oily skin is marked by large pores and a shiny, thicker feeling complexion. It produces more than enough oil so hydration isn’t the issue, but blackheads and pimples usually are. People with oily skin struggle with keeping shine down during the day, and usually feel the need to wash their face often.
Oily skin can be caused by hormonal changes, cosmetics, genetics, diet or certain medicines. One benefit of this skin type is that it usually ages at a slower pace because of the extra moisture, keeping skin hydrated and less prone to wrinkles.
How to care for oily skin
Oily skin needs a mix of cleansing, hydration and exfoliation to look its best. Everyone’s skin is a little different, so it’s important to pay attention to how your skin feels and decide what works for you. But the following tips can help you on your way to keeping your skin clear and the oil under control.
· Wash your face at least twice a day
Cleansing is key for oily skin to keep the oil out of pores and prevent pimples and blackheads from occurring. Depending on how oily your skin is that day, wash your face two to three times throughout the day, especially in the morning and before bed. If you aren’t able to wash your face, keep blotting sheets close at hand to remove excess oil from the skin.
· Tone it out
Toning may seem like an unnecessary step to some, but it can be a real asset for managing oily skin. Toning can help remove excess oils and finish the job of your cleanser, getting deep into your pores. But be sure to use a gentle toner free of alcohol and other harsh ingredients such as menthol or witch hazel. These ingredients can dry out the skin, causing already oily skin to produce more oils to compensate.
· Moisturize, but lightly
While the first instinct, if you have oily skin, may be to run away from the moisturizer, it is actually still a very necessary step. Even though oily skin creates a lot of its own natural moisturizer, it can still dry out, and oil is not the same as moisturizer. When oily skin is dry, it can spur even more 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 they won’t clog pores).
· Avoid drying and clogging ingredients
People with oily skin need 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, mineral waxes, vitamin E and petrolatum work to seal the skin, which can have a pore-clogging effect. So it’s important to stay away from these ingredients as well.
· Keep it simple
With all of the skin care products on the market, it can be tempting to constantly try out new wonder ingredients to help combat the shine. But sometimes the products can actually be the culprit, causing the skin to over-produce oil. Our skin needs time to breathe and adjust to new products. That’s why it’s important to slowly introduce new products and to pay close attention to how your skin reacts after trying something new. In the case of skin care, less is more.
· Scrub it off
Exfoliating sloughs away dead skin cells and clears pores of pollutants. This step is especially important for oily skin as it helps to remove the extra buildup that comes with an oily skin type. The important thing is to choose a gentle scrub that doesn’t dry out or aggravate the skin. Look for an exfoliator containing salicylic acid (BHA). This ingredient penetrates deep inside the pore lining, helping to clear up blemishes. Most dermatologists advise exfoliating up to three times a week, depending on how your skin feels.
· And yep, you guessed it, always apply that SPF
Of course, as with all skin types, sun protection is vital. For people with oily skin, the drying effects of the sun may seem nice at first as it can help dry out the shine, but this will only lead to more oil production in the long-term, with the added risk of skin-cancer to also consider. Keep your skin protected and pimple free by applying a lightweight, non-greasy sunscreen. Mineral powder sunscreens are also a good option. 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.