Oily skin can clog pores and lead to increased acne breakouts, but it also has many benefits such as preserving the skin. The key is to strike a balance between having too much oil and maintaining your skin’s natural moisture. “There are many reasons for oily skin, including stress, humidity, genetics and fluctuating hormones,” says Deirdre Hooper, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist from the American Academy of Dermatology. “These factors can make oily skin difficult to manage, however, there are several things you can do at home to reduce the oil. Every person’s skin is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to skin care. If you are concerned about the amount of oil your skin is producing, or if you’re struggling with blackheads or acne, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.”
Here are a few tips to help control oily skin:
- Choose oil-free, water-based makeup, always remove all makeup before going to sleep, and never sleep in it.
- Use blotting papers throughout the day. Gently press the paper against your face and leave it on for a few seconds to absorb the oil. Don’t rub the paper on your face, as this will spread the oil to other areas.
- Although you have oily skin, it is still important to apply moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. To save time and protect your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, look for a moisturizer that also contains a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply moisturizer daily.
- Never use oil-based or alcohol-based cleansers because they can irritate your skin. Choose skin care products that are labeled “oil-free” and “noncomedogenic.”Products that have these labels including cleansers, moisturizers and makeup won’t clog your pores or cause acne.
- Scrubbing irritates your skin, which can make it look worse. Wash your face every morning and evening, and after exercise.While washing, resist the temptation to scrub your skin - even to remove makeup.
- Use a gentle, foaming face wash.Many people with oily skin believe that they need to use a strong face wash in order to dry out their skin. However, using a face wash that is too harsh can irritate your skin and trigger increased oil production. Instead, look for a mild, gentle face wash.
- Only touch your face when you’re cleansing, moisturizing or applying sunscreen or makeup, and make sure your hands are clean first. Although it’s tempting to touch your face, doing so can spread dirt, oil and bacteria from your hands to your face.
- Wear sunscreen outdoors.Sunscreen helps prevent sun damage that could lead to wrinkles, age spots and even skin cancer. To prevent acne breakouts, look for sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and do not use sunscreens that contain fragrance or oils.
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With over 30 years of writing and editing experience for newspapers, magazines and corporate communications, Kevin Kerfoot writes about natural health, nutrition, skincare and oral hygiene for Trusted Health Products’ natural health blog and newsletters.