Oily skin and acne are BFFs. They usually come together. Painful acne lesions aside, extra oil on our skin isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For one, our skin requires ample hydration to look good. That is one of many reasons why our skin produces oil. According to the Mayo Clinic, dry skin shrivels plump skin cells which leads to premature fine lines and wrinkles. In other words, oily skin = not dry = no wrinkles = win!
But for those who are not as convinced with the upside vs some extra shine, I've got us covered with some skin care tips for oily skin to give us the best of both worlds. Ready for some oily skin hacks? Let’s hop into it!
1: choose the right cleanser
If you’re like me, always wondering how to stop my face from looking oh so dewy shiny, there’s a good chance you’ve been on the lookout for a power cleanser. While it’s just human instinct to clean, like really clean the oil from our face away, stripping our skin of natural oils exacerbates oil production causing us to have oilier skin and we’re now back to square one, minus one – believe it or not. Nonetheless, it’s important to keep excess oil off our skin, since excess oil production is usually the first step to clogged pores that causes acne.
The key to hacking oily skin is balance. Use a cleanser that removes excess oil and is not stripping to your skin. Foaming cleansers are usually recommended for oily skin as they work better at deep cleansing. Those with a little more shine and experiencing acne could make use of cleansers with active ingredients like salicylic acid for the extra unclogging of pores.
As a rule of thumb, if you feel a tight sensation on your face after a cleanse, it’s stripping your skin.
2: go easy on toner
Toners were originally developed to remove mineral oil-based cleansers that contains SD alcohol that are drying to the skin. If the toner you’re using contains alcohol, it’s definitely a good idea to go easy on it. Instead of using it multiple times a day, try reducing it to once a day or on alternate days.
Products with alcohol work by drying up oil upon application and it could overly dry and cause sensitivity to the skin. Having sensitive skin is the last thing you want when you’re dealing with breakouts at the same time.
Use sparingly and look for toners with lower percentages of alcohol or try a natural astringent like witch hazel and you’re on track to healthy skin!
3: use a lightweight moisturizer
Before you pounce, let me clarify that our skin needs oil and water moisture to function properly and they sit in different parts of the skin. Water resides in the skin. Oil resides on the skin. When our skin lacks water, it is dehydrated. When our skin lacks oil, we have dry skin. This is where oily skin, dry skin, normal skin, combination skin, and any other kinds of skin type come into the picture.
Even when our skin is oily, it does not mean our skin is hydrated. In fact, those with oily skin and acne prone skin are likely to have dehydrated skin especially when they are using harsh and drying products (think alcohol-based toner). When the skin is too dehydrated, it basically causes the skin to produce even more oil as a defense mechanism to retain moisture in the skin. So, for the love of healthy skin, please moisturize even when you think you don’t have to.
A common distress we oily skin folks usually encounter is the icky and thick feeling after applying a moisturizer. In that instance, pick a lightweight moisturizer. Gel types are generally much more lightweight compared to cream and lotion types and they absorb more quickly into the skin.
4: consider a retinoid
Retinoid is a derivative of vitamin A that helps to accelerate skin cell turnover and is extremely popular in anti-aging products. On oily skin, retinoid can be helpful to help regulate the production of oil and minimize breakouts due to the accelerated skin cell turnover. Since retinoids are not photo-stable (they degrade at the presence of ultraviolet light), use it at night and allow it to work its magic while you sleep.
5: use oil-free, water-based skincare products
Keep your eyes peeled when looking to add new or replace products in your skincare routine for oily skin. Take notice of claims like ‘oil-free’ and ‘water-based’ on the products you are considering. When in doubt, always look at the ingredients list and geek out for a bit. You know what they say, no pain, no gain.
6: don’t be ashamed to use blotting sheets
When you’re out and need a quick fix, blot away! The trick here is to blot, not wipe (it’s called blotting sheets for a reason). Gently place the blotting paper on your skin, start with the T-zone where there are more oil glands, leave it for a few seconds and move on to the rest of the face. Replace with a new sheet when necessary. Blotting gently helps keep your makeup in place too!
7: use makeup products that use the term oil-control, mattifying, or noncomedogenic
Much like selecting your skincare products, look for makeup products that are mattifying, claim the ability to control oil, and that are noncomedogenic. Start with a mattifying primer and/or foundation and set your makeup with a finishing powder with oil-controlling ingredients that absorbs excess oil after makeup application. It’s important to select noncomedogenic makeup products to ensure they don’t clog pores unnecessarily.
And ALWAYS remember to remove your makeup at the end of the day before going to bed.
8: eat (and drink) a healthy diet
As the saying goes, “You are what you eat,” chocolate may not give you acne and oily skin (read our 6 B.S. Acne Myths To Stop Believing Today if you haven’t), but it is never a bad idea to incorporate healthy foods into your diet. Stay hydrated to maintain moisture in your skin and try including a wide range of fruits and vegetables in your diet, aka eat the colours rainbow. Who wouldn’t pick rainbows over Krispy Kreme?
With that, I wish you glazed no more.