How to Deal With Oily Skin
Dealing with oily skin can be frustrating, no one likes constantly blotting their face, and feeling like their face is giving off a glare. Trust me, I know, it took plenty of research and experience to figure out how to properly care for oily skin. Before we can touch on how to care for oily skin, we first have to start with what causes it.
What Causes Oily Skin?
The causes of excess oils on our face can be due to both internal and external factors. Some of these factors are things that we can fix ourselves, and some are things that we have little control over. Let’s take a look at the 12 most common causes of oily skin.
Genetics is one of those factors we have no control over, but it does have an impact on whether we have oily skin or not. If one or both of your parents have oily skin, you will most likely have oily skin too.
Age is another one of those factors we have no control over. As we age, our bodies change and our skin ages too. It is common to have oily skin in our teens and twenties. However, as we get older our skin loses elasticity and proteins (like collagen), this causes our skin to produce less sebum; which makes our skin become drier and this, in turn, creates wrinkles. It is not uncommon for someone that has oily skin in their twenties to find that their skin changes to a combination skin type in their thirties or forties.
3. Hormonal Changes
Changes in our hormone levels, in particular, our Androgen levels, can cause an increase in sebum production. Fluctuations or increases in our Androgen levels can occur due to several life events or factors such as stress, illness, the beginning of menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.
Another factor that can impact our skin’s production of oils is the medications we take. Some medications can cause dehydration, and we all know that when our skin becomes dehydrated, it produces more sebum to counter the loss of moisture. Conversely, other medications can alter our hormone levels such as birth control medications and hormone replacement medications. Again both will result in extra oil production.
5. Poor Diet And Low Water Consumption
The old saying we are what we eat truly applies when it comes to oily skin. Having a poor diet that consists of sugary foods, fried foods, dairy, and refined carbohydrates will have a negative impact on our health; it will also increase sebum production and cause acne. It also goes without saying that water plays a key role in the hydration of our skin. Our bodies are made up of 60% water, so if you don’t drink enough water, you get dehydrated and so does your skin. Not only will dirt and dead skin clog your pores, causing breakouts, but your skin will also produce more sebum because it is dry.
We already discussed how increased stress levels can cause fluctuations in our Androgen levels, which in turn can cause increased oil production. But it is always worth mentioning again that stress is a killer for our skin, so if you want to reduce the shine on your face, try to relax and take some deep breaths.
7. Enlarged Pores
Having enlarged pores is a factor that impacts excess oil production. Unfortunately, we can’t control whether our pores become enlarged, as we get older and our weight fluctuates our pores can get bigger. Past breakouts can also make our pores stretch and get bigger, which makes a perfect environment for oils to accumulate.
8. Climate And The Time Of Year
Both the climate we live in and the time of year have an impact on the oiliness of our skin. If you live somewhere that has a humid climate, you will have to work twice as hard to keep the oils at bay. In the summer the heat and humidity will also cause extra production of sebum. At the same time, though if you don’t moisturize your skin it will dry out, and that too will cause more oils to accumulate. You just can’t win, the key here is that oily skin requires a delicate balance of moisture to keep the oils under control. It is also crucial to wear sunscreen in the summer to prevent your skin from drying out; otherwise, your skin will become even more oily to make up for the lost moisture.
The quality of the cosmetics we use can either help or hinder our fight against oily skin. Cosmetics that contain parabens and harsh ingredients can harm our skin, clog our pores, and lead to more sebum production. Good quality, oil-free cosmetics are crucial when dealing with oily skin, so don’t settle for low-quality products. Another highly important factor in preventing oily skin is to always remove your makeup before bed. If you don’t remove your makeup before bed, it will clog your pores, causing breakouts and a gleam like you wouldn’t believe.
10. Using The Wrong Skin Care Products For Your Skin Type
Oily skin is finicky, which means you need to use products that are meant for your skin type. Each skin type has its own unique needs, so there is no one product that fits all. Oily skin does not do well with heavy creams and oil-based products because they clog pores and create more oils. Always read the descriptions on your skin products to ensure they are meant for your skin type, that they don’t contain harsh chemicals, and that they are oil-free.
11. Over Cleansing
Whether we like it or not our skin needs oils, they are a natural defense. Washing our face or exfoliating too often can strip away the oils for my face. Over cleansing, will ironically result in more production of oils to replace the oils we have stripped away. Ideally, it is best not to wash your face more than twice a day and exfoliate no more than 2-3 times a week.
12. Skipping Your Moisturizer
Moisturizing is vital for keeping our skin from drying out. While it might be tempting to skip your moisturizer when your face is feeling oily, ironically, you are creating more oils. We already know that when our skin is dehydrated, it produces more sebum. The key to moisturizers is to pick a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer designed for oily skin. It is also important to make sure you are following the proper steps for cleansing and moisturizing your face. Begin with removing your makeup, then cleanse, tone, and moisturize.
Now that we’ve covered the causes of oily skin, what are the Advantages and disadvantages of having oily skin?
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Oily Skin
While it might seem like there aren’t many benefits to having oily skin, you would be surprised. Not only does sebum serve as a protective mechanism for your face, it also naturally moisturize your skin. This slows down the aging process, which prevents fine lines and wrinkles from developing. Now, this doesn’t mean your skin won’t age, it just means that the oils slow down the aging process. Also, people with oily skin tend to fare better in hot weather because they’re skin doesn’t dry out as quickly.
On the flip side, people with oily skin do have a higher risk of breakouts. This is because excess oils can clog your pores trapping dirt and dead skin in the pores. The other disadvantage is that caring for your skin can sometimes be difficult, and finding the right products can be frustrating at times.
Now that we’ve covered the pros and cons of oily skin let’s look at some tips on how to care for your skin and reduce that lovely sheen.
Tips on How to Care For Oily Skin
Caring for oily skin is like walking a tight rope, it requires a delicate balance of moisture to prevent it from drying out or becoming too oily. Your skincare routine and the products you use are crucial factors in keeping your oil balance in check. The order in which you apply your skincare products also matters.
Cleaning your skin is important for preventing your pores from getting clogged, however, at the same time over cleansing will produce more sebum. The key is to clean enough to eliminate dirt but not strip your skin of all its naturals oils. Cleansers should always be followed with a toner and then a moisturizer. It goes without saying that you should always remove your makeup before going to bed to prevent your pores from getting bogged down with products.
While you may be tempted to skip your moisturizer, you will only do more harm than good. Moisturizers tell your skin it is hydrated and there is no need to produce more sebum. If you don’t moisturize your skin will dry out and go into overdrive to replenish the missing moisture.
When it comes to picking the right products for your skin type, make sure you pick a product designed for oily skin specifically. As I mentioned, each skin type has its own unique needs, using a thick cream on oily skin can clog your pores and cause breakouts. Try buying a cream cleanser, they aren’t as harsh which means they don’t strip as much oils away. If your skin feels tight after using a cleanser, that means it has been stripped of its natural oils and we already know what the end result is.
The best types of moisturizers for oily skin are lightweight, oil-free, non-comedogenic, and water-based. You don’t want to buy a moisturizer that has oils in it because that is precisely the problem in the first place. We have enough oils on our face as it is, we don’t need our moisturizer adding more to the mix. If possible, try to find a moisturizer that has SPF in it also, to protect your skin from the sun and from drying out.
The same rules apply to cosmetics when your buying makeup look for the same things. It also helps to find products that mattify to help combat the oils that seep out throughout the day. If you still find that all of these tips don’t full prevent oils from seeping through your makeup, keep some blotting papers in your bag or a mattifying touch-up powder.
Having oily skin is not all bad, it just requires a little more finessing to keep the oils in check. If you follow these tips, you can reap the benefits of oily skin, and show them whos boss.
The skin on our face is different than the skin on our body, find out how they differ and why!