Do you get that mid-day shine on your face? Does your makeup begin to ‘slip’ half way through the day? Does your face feel clogged? Chances are you have oily skin – an inherited condition that develops due to an overproduction of sebum (oil) from the sebaceous glands.
We all need the essential oils produced by the body to help keep the skin healthy. But too much oil not only leaves the face looking and feeling oily, it can lead to blemishes and acne. As a result, those with oily skin often tend to over treat their skin in an attempt to ’dry up’ the oil – this only compounds the problem as excessive stimulation strips and irritates the skin, making it dry and unbalanced. When this happens, the body reacts by producing more oil to counteract the dry skin – and so the problem of oily skin persists.
- Oily skin appears shiny, especially in the T-zone
- It is usually thick and course, or uneven.
- The complexion may appear sallow – this is due to the excess oil and buildup of dead skin cells.
- The pores are usually blocked and there may be blackheads, whiteheads and/or pimples present.
- Pores will be enlarged due to oil buildup
- The good news is that because the skin is often thicker, it will be more elastic and will age at a slower rate than someone with normal or dry skin
Caring for Oily Skin
The goal of treating oily skin is to help balance it, bringing the oil secretions under control through cleansing and exfoliation. To do that, stick to a daily regimen that includes the following steps:
Cleansing – Always use a gentle cleanser, since harsh soaps can trigger the skin to increase oil production. Gently wash your face using your hands; a washcloth or buff puff can actually stimulate more oil secretion. For excessively oily skin, try cleansers that are made for acne-prone skin – these contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or beta-hydroxy acid – these acids help cut the oil.
To Tone or not to Tone – Some people like finishing the cleaning with a refreshing toner. These can help further reduce the oiliness, but toners can leave the skin dry and irritated – which will lead to producing more oil. If you like using a toner, use a mild toner and apply it to the T-zone only, avoiding the dryer sections of the face like the cheeks and around the eyes.
Masks – Masks help draw out the oils and deep cleanse the pores and exfoliate the skin. But, like toners, masks can dry out the skin and over stimulate the production of oil. Use them occasionally and focus on the applying them to the T-zone only.
Moisturize – Although people with oily skin tend to avoid applying a moisturizer since it seems illogical – even oily skin needs to be moisturized to look its best. To avoid an oily sheen, choose an oil-free, or water-based moisturizer to protect the surface of the skin and keep it hydrated.
Other Helpful Hints
Medicated Pads – these are great for active people to use after a workout to refresh the skin and remove excess oil. Medicated pads have salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or other oil-cutting acid ingredients. They are easy to carry with you in your purse or gym bag.
Blotting Paper – blotting papers are a great ‘quick fix’ and are easy to use and take with you. They remove excess oil without drying the skin – simply blot (don’t rub) the paper on the oily parts and they will absorb the oil. Some blotting papers are lightly powdered – these not only remove the excess oil, they help reduce the shine.
- Cleansers – Which One is Right for You? (healthyskinsolutions.com)