Too much of a good thing often becomes a bad thing, and if you have oily skin, you’re dealing with that reality on a daily basis. Your skin produces natural oils for a reason – to keep your skin hydrated and strengthen the natural protective barrier. In some people, though, those oil glands are a bit overzealous and you end up with shininess, clogged pores, and a general oiliness before the day is out.
There isn’t much you can do about changing your skin type, other than talking to your doctor about potential hormonal issues that could be causing oil overproduction. There are, however, plenty of ways to manage your oily skin. Follow these top oily skin tips.
Choose Oil-Free Skin Care Products
This might sound obvious but it’s easy to overlook. When you’re shopping for skincare products, you don’t want to add more fuel to the fire, so choose products that are oil-free. Fortunately, there has been a growing push for more oil-free options in the past few years, so you’ll have plenty of selection to choose from.
Don’t Fall into the Drying Trap
There’s a common assumption that if your face is oily, you need to wash it more often to get rid of the extra oil. Unfortunately, that plan tends to backfire. Over-washing your face will dry out your skin, which triggers your oil glands to go into hyperdrive and produce even more oil. Anything that dries out your skin will cause that effect, including using an overly harsh cleanser, using an astringent often, or scrubbing your skin while you wash. Just use a gentle cleanser that won’t dry you out.
Find Your Moisturizer Soulmate
Another piece of that misconception that you can fix oily skin by drying it out is a lack of moisturizer. Using a moisturizer can give your skin a more controlled, consistent hydration so your oil glands don’t get into a cycle of floods and droughts. Make sure it’s an oil-free moisturizer that won’t clog your pores.
Try Mattifying Makeup
One of the most common frustrations among people with oily skin is that distinctive shine their face takes on throughout the day. If you have that same struggle, consider looking for mattifying makeup. There are foundations and powders designed to give oily skin a matte look, keeping your shine at bay for longer. You can also try a mattifying tinted sunscreen below your makeup.
Keep Your Hands Off Your Face
This is generally good advice for health purposes to lower the spread of illnesses, but it helps your skin too: try not to touch your face. The oils from your hands can get onto your face and add to the problem of excess oil. Plus, any debris or bacteria on your hands can transfer to your face, and this can contribute to clogged pores and acne.
Typically, the only times you should touch your face are when you’re applying skin care products. Even then, make sure you wash your hands first.
Be Diligent About Exfoliating
Exfoliating (i.e., using a rough-textured or mildly acidic skin care product to buff away dead skin cells on your skin’s surface) is a good practice for everyone but it’s even more important for those with oily skin. If your dead skin cells stay on the surface of your skin, they can mix with your excess oil and turn into a pore-clogging machine. Using an exfoliant twice per week will get rid of those dead skin cells before they have a chance to form clogs.
Keep a Stash of Blotting Papers for Emergency Use
What do you do when you’re out and about and you look in the mirror to find that dreaded oily sheen covering your face? Ideally, you’d have an emergency stash of blotting papers handy.
Blotting papers are small pieces of paper that are designed to gently and efficiently soak up oil – like a shammy but for facial oil. These are great for removing oil in a pinch while you’re on the go, and with minimal need for makeup touch-ups afterward.
A word of caution for my fellow sometimes-lazy folks, though: blotting papers aren’t a substitute for washing your face. You still need to give your skin a proper cleansing twice a day.
Keeping Your Oily Skin at Bay
For the most part, there isn’t much you can do to change your oily skin. It’s often just a matter of genetics, and we all have our burdens to bear. But with some strategizing and a keen eye when you shop for skin care, you can keep your oil to a minimum. Follow the tips above and start shopping for your oily skin-friendly skin care products today.