Oily skin is a problem that afflicts many men and women. Excess oils can produce a shiny appearance, especially around the chin and nose, and people whose skin produces more oil than necessary often also have problems with acne.
It’s not all bad news though, oily skin types are actually less prone to the signs of aging, because oils work to keep moisture trapped within the epidermis. That, however, is cold comfort to those of us who have to live with skin that looks slick and greasy no matter how much it’s cleaned.
Oils are a necessary part of our skin’s protective mechanisms, so we have to find a balance between removing the excess, and overdoing it, which can lead to dry skin. Unfortunately, using harsher skin treatments, which will strip away the oil, will also cause the body to start producing more oil to compensate and can make the problem worse over the long term.
Oily skin is a common problem, and there are many products designed especially to reduce the appearance of shiny patches.
Our first line of defense against overproduction of skin oils is cleansers. They will remove the worst of the problem, but it’s important not to wash too often. You may be tempted to wash your face several times during the day to reduce its shine, but excessive cleansing can cause skin to become unhealthy, produce even more oils, and may be the cause of acne breakouts. It’s far better to limit cleanser use to the morning after you wake up, and in the evening before you go to bed.
Occasionally using a cleanser more often, when you are going out in the evening, for example, won’t do much damage, so long as you don’t do it every day.
Many dermatologists recommend that people with oily skin avoid cleansers containing detergent, which, although effective for oil removal, may be too harsh for those with sensitive skin.
When you’re choosing a cleanser, keep an eye out for those that contain salicylic acid or glycolic acid. If you go for a medicated cleanser designed for people with acne, it will also help reduce the amount of oil.
As with all skincare products, you should experiment to find the one that works best for you.
If you feel your skin is oily during the day, you can use medicated cleansing pads to remove the excess, but a better solution can be to use medicated blotting paper, which is designed to soak up oils without exposing the skin to harsh products more often than necessary.
We’re often told to avoid astringent products that contain alcohol, however, when it comes to toners, low-alcohol content products will do little to help with oily skin.
The best products are those with a higher quantity of alcohol; they will help to reduce the amount of oil on the skin surface, while also providing a humectant to keep it hydrated.
Everyone’s skin is different though, so if you experience excessive drying when using a product with a lot of alcohol, experiment with a less astringent product until you find the perfect combination of ingredients.
Witch Hazel is a great, natural product for toning oily skin.
Moisturizers designed for normal and dry skin can have a negative impact on oily skin. However, even with oily skin, dermatologists recommend that you moisturize. You will probably be using products that remove much of the skin’s protective barrier, and moisturizing helps replace and retain moisture.
Avoid oil-based moisturizers for obvious reasons. Choose an oil-free product that will hydrate and protect without increasing shininess.
For most people, maintaining a skincare regimen using the products we’ve recommended will be enough to reduce oiliness to an acceptable level, but if you are finding it difficult to manage your oily skin, talk to your dermatologist. They are experts, and can provide you with personalized advice and product recommendations based on a thorough evaluation of your skin.
Do you have any recommendations or tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.
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