When it comes to oily skin, finding products to both eradicate and control the oil can be a problem. And it’s an even greater problem if you don’t know which options work best for oily skin. One of the most important steps to any great plan is thoroughly evaluating your skin care routine. Taking a closer look at your daily beauty ritual helps you to make sure the products you’re using aren’t adding to your oiliness. That’s because overly abrasive and or irritating products can create the signs of oily skin even though your skin isn’t truly oily.

Oily skin, unlike combination and dry skin, doesn’t have many characteristics except oiliness. Someone with oily skin usually experiences shine and oiliness over their entire face. Blackheads, acne, and/or enlarged pores are also characteristics of oily skin. Another great key to knowing you have oily skin is persistent oiliness, meaning when you wipe the oil, it returns.

If your true skin type is oily, applying topical solutions will help to minimize the oil, but not cure the problem. Why? Oily skin is created through the production of natural androgens within our body. Because androgens are an innate part of you, meaning created from birth, topical solutions applied on the outside of your skin cannot change your natural DNA.

However, there are effective solutions you can use right now to minimize and control your oily skin. To begin, you must eliminate some products and/or ingredients that you may love; but in the end, it’s worth it!

What to Skip >> It’s important to steer clear of products and ingredients known to make oily skin worse.

That includes:

  • Thick creams, oils, and lotions (the emollients found in heavy creams and some lotions are culprits that promote oiliness. Instead, use a light liquid moisturizer or gel moisturizer.

  • Irritating ingredients such as alcohol, witch hazel, menthol, eucalyptus, mint, citrus extracts, or anything that causes a warm, tingling sensation on skin.

  • Stick foundations.

  • Bar soaps (anything in bar form is too harsh and drying for any skin type).

  • Products packaged in jars.

Essential Oil-Controlling Skincare Routine >> To get the best from your routine and control your oil, follow the steps below:

Wash. Wash your face with a water-soluble cleanser (preferably in gel form) that’s gentle enough to use twice daily and rinses easily. My recommendation: A gel-based cleanser that is dye- and fragrance-free.

Tone. Toning skin isn’t a step to be skipped, especially for those with oily skin. Toning skin helps to minimize oversized pores while also providing the skin with healing anti-irritants. The toner you chose should be free of alcohol, witch hazel, menthol, eucalyptus, and other irritants.

Recommendation: I would recommend a light-weight, liquid moisturizing toner designed to control excessive oil production.

Exfoliate. Exfoliating skin removes the dead, thickened skin cells that lay atop skin and if you’ve read my other articles, you know I’m a huge fan of both BHAs and AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids). Both exfoliants allow the cells to function like healthy skin cells should while also improving collagen production. However, for those with oily skin, the use of a well-formulated BHA helps control the way the oil flows through the pore to the skin’s surface. Look for a BHA in a gel or liquid form and apply once every-other-day until your skin becomes acquainted with the product. After, apply exfoliant once daily or every-other-day. Remember: Do not apply exfoliants to the upper eyelid or underneath the eye area.

Protect. Sun protection is very important for all skin types but for those with oily skin, finding a suitable sun care product can be a very tricky step. One primary rule for those with oily skin is to steer clear of lotions, thick creams, or any product with pore clogging ingredients, thus making the use of sunscreen difficult. However, there are solutions.

Look for a liquid, weightless sunscreen with an SPF of 25 or better. If makeup is a must, use a combination of liquid mattifying foundation and a pressed powder with the appropriate sunscreen ranges. The two makeup choices combined will help give you proper sun protection without the need to apply a sunscreen to the face. However, better protection equals healthier skin. If you opt to use sunscreen with your makeup, apply your makeup after you’ve applied your sunscreen.

Recommendation: A light-weight sheer or liquid sunscreen with a matte finish.

Hydrate. When it comes to night time hydration, which may or may not be needed, look for extra-light options. Moisturizers in liquid form are great at providing antioxidants, nutrients, and natural hydration without the heaviness. Likewise, light-weight serum or gel moisturizers are also great options.

Recommendation: Serums work wonderful to provide hydration without the heaviness. Look for a serum filled with antioxidants such as vitamin C, cranberry, and vitamin E.

Keep in mind: Products containing irritating ingredients cause irritation on the surface and beneath the skin promoting the pores to produce more oil, so it’s crucial that you avoid them. Should oily skin become a problem during the day, use oil-blotting papers to help absorb excess oil and control shine.


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