Our skin naturally produces oil (sebum) in order to maintain hydration. However, too much of anything can become problematic, and sebum is no exception. If your skin’s oil glands are overactive, excess oil can wind up clogging your pores, causing acne breakouts. While those with oily skin might benefit in some ways (e.g., fewer wrinkles and lines), the trade-offs aren’t always worth it, especially if they struggle with oily skin during every season. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to deal with oily skin; these methods act as a proactive acne prevention regimen while ensuring that your skin doesn’t dry out in the process. Here are some crucial tips for managing oily skin year-round.
Maintaining clean skin is important for those with any skin type, including oily skin. Of course, the cleaning methods and products you use will depend on your skin type. For handling oily, acne prone skin, you’ll want to avoid oil- and/or alcohol-based cleansers, as these can irritate your skin and cause it to produce even more oil. Instead, use a gentle foaming cleanser to wash your face in the morning, before bed, and after you exercise, making sure to not scrub too harshly.
It’s also important to moisturize your skin each and every day. At first, this might seem counterintuitive considering your skin is already oily. However, don’t mistake oily skin for hydrated skin. Skin can be both dehydrated and oily -- in fact, excess oil production occurs to compensate for dehydrated skin. By properly moisturizing your skin, then you calm down your body’s urge to produce more oil. The best moisturizing products will also contain sun protection (SPF 30+ is ideal) to guard your skin against harmful UV rays that can strip away moisture.
If you regularly wear makeup, be mindful of the products you select. Steer clear of makeup that’s oil-based or comedogenic (i.e., pore-clogging). Instead, opt for water-based products, prioritizing those that claim to be non-comedogenic. Make sure you carefully remove all makeup before going to bed, too, as leaving it on overnight can further clog your pores and irritate your skin.
Blotting sheets (also called blotting papers) are useful items for those with oily skin. These sheets are meant to be gently pressed against areas of the face (the nose, especially) for a short duration to absorb any excess oil. As their name suggests, these papers are meant to be blotted as opposed to rubbed against the skin; rubbing can cause irritation and spread oils across your skin.
This is often easier said than done, especially if you’re dealing with acne, but the more you can keep your fingers away from your face, the better. Our fingertips contain natural oils and also carry several contaminants that can easily transfer to your face when they make direct contact. Wash your hands regularly before applying any skincare products with your bare hands, and make a concerted effort not to pick at pimples or scratch at your face throughout the day.
Finally, consider receiving a professional chemical peel facial treatment and/or using a deep-cleaning facial mask about once a week to keep your skin healthy, hydrated, and free from excess oils. Salicylic acid and retinol peels are recommended for those with oily skin, as these can clear up blackheads, reduce oil, and fade scarring from previous acne outbreaks. Of course, it’s important to talk to your dermatologist about acid peels and facial treatments before trying them to avoid harming your skin.
You’re not alone if you struggle with oily skin, nor are you devoid of options. By taking good care of your skin each and every day (keeping it clean, moisturizing, using the right products, etc.), you can get a grip on your oily skin year-round. If you’re looking for more advice on combating these skin concerns and more, the experts at Premier Dermatology Partners are here to help. To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.