There can be many cons to having oily skin. From makeup not lasting long enough on your face to endless breakouts, oily skin can be a drag. But there are pros to having oily skin too. Your skin is less likely to become dry and leathery as you age or as the weather gets chilly, so you can have plumper skin in winter and in your senior years.
To fully enjoy the benefits of oily skin, you’ll have to take care of it. Many people with oily skin tend to use products that are harsh or irritating to the skin in an effort to reduce oiliness and shine. While they might work in the short run, they can do irreversible damage to your skin with continued use. Here are some tips on how to take care of oily skin so you can manage the greasiness safely and effectively.
- Cleanse well
The first step to taking care of any skin type is to cleanse. Oily skin is more susceptible to acne from pollution and bacteria on the face. Cleansing with a face wash and water is the only way to get rid of all of that grime, so don’t think you’re good with just micellar waters or rinse-free cleansers. A foaming face wash that’s rinsed off with water is a must for any skincare routine.
Having oily skin, you might be tempted to reach for the strongest facial wash you can find. The thing about oily skin is that it can be sensitive as well. This might be a reason for the extra oil—your skin is overcompensating for something. So, when it comes to choosing the right cleanser for oily skin, remember that gentle cleansers are better. It might sound counterintuitive, but oil-based cleansers are actually good for oily skin. The oil in the cleanser binds with the oil on the skin and is washed away with water.
If you’re not a fan of oil-based cleansers, then look for a gentle face wash with ingredients like charcoal, salicylic acid, or sulfur. These ingredients help wash away any extra sebum. Stay away from products and ingredients that make your skin feel tight after cleansing.
2. Find the right toner
Toner is not the most essential step of many skin-care routines but it can be helpful for those with oily skin or acne-prone skin if you use the right one. Toner can help rebalance your skin’s pH level and get rid of any lingering bacteria or dirt on the skin. However, those with oily skin should be wary of certain ingredients found in toners. Stay away from astringent toners or toners with ingredients like alcohol, menthol, peppermint, or camphor. These ingredients can cause your skin to get too dry, which can actually lead to more oiliness and grease.
Refrain from using toner every day as this can cause your skin to become sensitive to sunlight and acne treatments. This is especially true if you’re using toners with chemical exfoliants. Tone up to thrice a week or every other day at most. Many people can tone as little as once a week and still get the benefits of the toner.
3. Exfoliate as needed
People with oily skin often reach for products with exfoliating beads because it feels like you’re getting a more thorough cleansing. Exfoliating won’t lessen the amount of oil your skin produces, but it can help make your skin look smoother and prevent any zits from forming.
Keep in mind that physical exfoliants like microbeads can be too harsh and might irritate your skin. Choose products that make use of fine sugar and clay to gently exfoliate your skin.
If you still feel like your skin isn’t exfoliating as fast as it should naturally and the oil is getting in the way, you can go for chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid and glycolic acid. These ingredients help prevent acne breakouts because they make sure your pores are free of any dead skin cells. Keep exfoliation to once or twice a week so you don’t overdry your skin and end up producing more oil.
4. Moisturize and hydrate
Many people with oily skin shy away from moisturizing or hydrating products because they’re afraid that it will clog their pores or make them look even oilier. This is a huge misconception! One reason why your skin is producing a lot of oil is because your skin is actually dry. Your skin will then overcompensate for the dryness and produce more sebum. The more oil you have on your skin, the more probable that your skin is actually dry. That’s why finding and using a moisturizer for oily skin is important and must be used daily. Moisturizer is a step that should never be skipped by those with oily skin because it keeps your skin’s barrier intact. Over time, the right moisturizer can even lessen oil production.
That being said, there are moisturizers out there that can be useless or bad for oily skin. Stay away from ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil which can be found in moisturizers for dry skin. These oily ingredients can clog your pores, which already have a lot of sebum in them, and cause pimples to form. Instead, look for moisturizers that contain hyaluronic acid and other lightweight hydrating ingredients. You can also opt for gel-type moisturizers instead of creams because these will feel lighter on your skin.
5. Choose oil-free
While oil-based cleansers can be good for people with oily skin, it’s best to steer clear of skincare products and makeup that contain oils. Oil-based cleansers are washed away, so it’s fine to be used on oily skin. But applying products with oils in them on oily skin can cause clogged pores and acne. It can also make your skin look shinier than it usually is.
When choosing skincare products, stay away from ingredients like coconut oil, essential oils, and even certain silicones. Look for skin-care that’s oil-free or water-based to lessen the chance of any breakouts. When it comes to makeup, opt for non-comedogenic products that don’t have oils as well. More natural brands use oils in their makeup to make it more nourishing for dry skin, but these can easily clog pores in oily skin.