When it comes to the various different skin types, there is none more frustrating than oily skin. At least that’s probably what you’ll hear from the countless people who are affected by their oily skin on a daily basis. For them, the one thing that is supposed to help keep skin healthy and in its top condition is the very thing that causes them so much distress. While oily skin can be difficult to understand, treat, and maintain, there are still many things you can do to help balance your oily skin.
It all starts with understanding what oily skin really is, how to create the best skincare regimen to neutralize oil production, and choosing the right products that will help keep oil at bay.
What is Oily Skin
Regardless of your skin type, all skin produces a normal amount of oil throughout the day to aid in the health of the skin. Oil, as man people wrongly believe, is not bad for your skin. It’s actually essential to the keep the skin feeling and looking well. What causes oily skin is when-when too much oil is produced. This excessive oil production leads to more than just a shiny or greasy appearance to the skin. Excess oil can adversely work to enlarge and clog pores, lead to blemishes, and increase the appearance of blackheads. With that said, before you jump to conclusions and officially categorize yourself in the oily skin type box, be sure you’re not mistaking your skin’s normal oil production as oily skin. Unlike other skin types, truly oily skin will look shiny soon after cleansing. Sometimes within the hour. With oily skin, you’re more likely have visibly large pores and may find that you suffer from blackheads often. You’ll also find that it’s hard to apply and keep makeup on your face if your skin is particularly oily. If any of these characteristics ring true for you, the next step is figuring out a skincare routine that helps to combat oil and treat the surface of the skin.
Oily Skin Care
One of the reasons why oily skin care can be so difficult to get right is because the main thing that causes oily skin is genetics. Your unique chemistry and hormones are the cause of excess production and there is no skincare product that can change that. However, not all is lost. There are still many methods and many products that can help improve your oily skin. The overall skincare goal with oily skin to decrease oil production. Secondary oily skin goals would be to reduce the size of pores and eliminate breakouts. A standard skincare routine using the right products can help you easily achieve this goal.
Cleanse: The easiest way to fight oily skin is by cleansing. Many people debate what is the optimal amount of times to cleanse skin with some preferring just once a day. However, with oily skin you want to be sure you’re thoroughly cleansing your skin twice a day, in the morning and at night. Not only will this help keep the oil at bay but, it will help pores stay clear. For your oily cleanser, you want to choose something super gentle and without any harsh or irritating ingredients. A common misconception about oily skin is that doesn’t need to be hydrated or that too much moisture is the problem so many people will use a cleanser that dries the skin out. This is a huge mistake. Harsh or drying cleansers actually work in the opposite fashion and will trigger the skin to produce more oil. Using a cleanser on your skin that is powerful enough to remove all traces of impurities but gentle enough not to stimulate oil production is key. To start your search for the best cleanser for your oily skin, seek out natural ones or those that explicitly state that are gentle or even created for sensitive skin. If you need something a bit more robust for your oily skin, cleansers that contain ingredients like beta hydroxy, glycolic, or salicylic acid will get you achieve optimal results.
Tone: People have always been divided on the use of a toner for every skin type and with oily skin it is no different. Some feel a good toner is essential to keeping oil production low while others feel it makes little to no difference. If you’re serious about improving the condition of your oily skin, a toner is, at the very least, worth a shot. The right toner for oily skin can help soothe skin, remove any residue left over after cleansing, and reduce the size of pores. Use a toner immediately after cleansing and focus on the oiliest areas of the skin. When choosing a toner, you’ll want to steer clear of anything that will dry out the skin. This will be hard as toners have been known for their drying properties. The trick is finding a toner for your oily skin that is alcohol-free and packed with antioxidant ingredients.
Exfoliate: Although exfoliating is a step you can skip on an everyday basis, at least once or a week you should incorporate this into your oily skin care routine. The main purpose of exfoliating is to remove dead skin cells and help stimulate circulation. Oily skin tends to have a significant amount of dead skin cells which further promote clogged pores. With a good exfoliator, you can effectively remove buildup while helping the skin look noticeably fresher and smooth. For exfoliating products, you want to keep your eyes open for exfoliating cleansers if you can. These kind of products are best for oily skin as you reduce the chances of over exfoliating which can lead to drying and ultimately trigger oil production. If you prefer a stand-alone exfoliator, look for ingredients similar to that of your cleanser. Remember, things like salicylic acid and beta hydroxy acids are great for oily skin. Charcoal is another ingredient found in many exfoliators which work particularly well on oily skin as it both gently exfoliates and helps to absorb oil.
Moisturize: While it’s common for many people with oily skin to skip moisturizing altogether in fear that it will cause the skin to look even oilier or shiny, it’s truly important to understand that oil does not equal hydration. The two are completely different things. As we’ve mentioned, dry skin is one of the most common triggers of oil production so skipping the moisturizer is not the way to go. The secret to hydration for oily skin is limiting your moisturizing session to once a day (preferably in the evening) and using a lightweight, oil-free serum. With your oily skin moisturizer, you want to ensure you’re getting the hydration and nourishment that skin needs in a formula that won’t sit on skin or clog pores. That’s why serums are the best moisturizers for oily skin as they can be specifically tailored to provide just the right amount of moisture and essential skincare benefits.
Cosmetics for Oily Skin
Next to an effective skin care routine, people with oily skin tend to have a difficult time with makeup. Whether that’s finding cosmetic products that won’t clog pores or finding a foundation that will stick around long enough to make it through the day, makeup for oily skin can be tricky. But like skincare, with the right products, you can be just as successful with makeup as anyone else. A couple tips to start would be to always use a mattifying primer before applying any makeup. Mattifying primers are best for oily skin because they help to smooth the surface of the skin while controlling sebum production. This ensures your makeup will glide on smooth and stay put throughout the day. It’s no secret that powder is an oily skinned girl’s best friend. You can use a powder foundation as your base, a setting powder to lock any liquid or cream based products in place, and blotting powder is great for touchups when you find yourself frustrating asking “why is my skin so oily?” halfway through the day. As a general rule, when it comes choosing makeup products for your oily skin, look for keywords like mattifying and oil-free to start your search. These products generally will help your makeup go a long way and last throughout the day.
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