Dealing With Oily Skin

Having oily skin is a special kind of torture. Wearing makeup (even waterproof mascara) is a constant struggle to keep from looking like you’ve just walked through a rain storm. Tissues and blotting papers compose half the contents of your trash bin. The heat and humidity that come with summertime can seem to make it even worse.

On the plus side, it’s a studied fact that oily skin does not show age as easily as dryer skin types. So there’s that.

Oily skin is characterized by an over-production of sebum from the sebaceous glands, giving skin a shiny appearance. There are a handful of things that can contribute to oily skin and associated issues; genetics, age, hormone and stress levels, diet, and environmental factors. As a skin type, there isn’t much to do except manage its current condition. Unsightly oiliness, enlarged pores, and blemishes are the most common issues.

Cleansers. Cleansing is the most important step of any skincare routine. How you cleanse is just as important as what you use to cleanse. For oily skin, this means gently dissolving surface oil without over-stripping, which can cause the sebaceous glands to produce even more sebum. Balancing Facial Cleanser is a creamy formula that contains a mix of clays to absorb and gently remove dirt and oil without foaming.

Exfoliators. Exfoliating can help clear congested pores, but being over-zealous with exfoliators can cause irritation and opens the door to even more issues (inflammation, more blemishes, redness). Rather than reaching for a mechanical exfoliant like a scrub, opt for something more gentle. Resurfacing Enzyme Mask uses enzymatic exfoliation to gently break up the top layer of skin cells without over-drying. It also contains willow bark extract, a natural source of salicylic acid, which is helpful in keeping pores clear.

Masks. An inherent trait of oily skin is enlarged pores. While it is impossible to change the size of your pores, keeping them clear can greatly diminish their appearance. Facial masks with clay are your best weapon, as clays absorb oil and other debris that can clog your pores. Pore Refining Rose Mask has a powerful combination of clays and herbal extracts to remove dirt and oil in a light gel formula that rinses away easily.

Treatments. Specialty ingredients can get at the source of the problem. A number of studies have been performed on raw ingredients in relation to oily skin, and two of the most interesting ones (in my opinion) that have recently been found effective are niacinamide (vitamin B3) and hyaluronic acid. A controlled study with application of a cream containing 2% niacinamide showed a significant reduction in sebum production. A study published in early 2017 also showed significant sebum reduction from formulas containing hyaluronic acid. More commonly-known ingredients for oil absorption include kaolin clay, bamboo extract powder, and corn or arrowroot starch. Mattifying Priming Lotion contains a number of antioxidant-rich plant extracts and clays for a velvet-matte finish that still provides essential hydration and nutrients.

Toners. An oft-questioned step in the routine, toner can be of great value to oily skin. Herbal Skin Tonic contains hyaluronic acid, helpful in reducing sebum production, plus humectants and hydrosols to keep skin hydrated. This alcohol-free formula can be sprayed onto a cotton pad and swept over the skin after cleansing to remove traces of dirt and sebum, or sprayed directly onto the skin, followed by moisturizer or facial oil.

Moisurizers. You may think that oily skin is self-moisturizing, but healthy skin needs both oil and water. Choose a lightweight moisturizer or a non-comedogenic facial oil to replace the sebum you washed away with your cleanser. Jojoba oil (technically a liquid wax ester) is one of the best oils for facial care because of its unique fatty acid profile and its ability to blend with natural sebum. The trick to applying facial oil is to apply it on damp skin; this creates an occlusive layer that locks in the hydration. Using only oil on dry skin puts skin at risk of becoming dehydrated – it is very possible to have oily skin that is dehydrated (points to self). Another method is to add a few drops of oil to your regular moisturizer and blend in your palm before application (the “cocktail” method). If your oily skin is also causing breakouts, adding Anti-Blemish Facial Serum to your routine may help mitigate both oil and blemishes. It contains a blend of essential oils to fight bacteria plus antioxidant- and oleic acid-rich oils to regulate free-radical damage and oil production.


Related Posts:

Skin Type vs. Skin Condition

How do skin moisturizers actually work?



New finding that might explain why the skin wrinkles more on various parts of the face.

Use of nicotinamide in dermatology.

The effect of 2% niacinamide on facial sebum production.

Hyaluronic Acid Decreases Lipid Synthesis in Sebaceous Glands.

Oil Reduction Ingredients for Skincare.

Oily Skin.


One thought on “Dealing With Oily Skin

  1. Meghan Patch says:

    I’m always on the hunt for new products for my oily skin and these products sound amazing. I love all the information about which ingredients work for oily skin.

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