Oily Skin Care Tips And Tricks
Greasy, perpetually moist skin can be embarrassing. Shine is typically associated with good things, just not when it’s front and center on your face. Enlarged pores don’t help matters. Fortunately, there are hacks to reduce that annoying perennial shine. Stay tuned for some oily skin care tips and tricks.
Advantages Of Oily Skin
There’s always a silver lining, right? This sentiment applies to oily skin as well. Like life, there’s an upside to everything. Here are a few advantages of having oily skin:
1. No dry-skin woes: This one is obvious, look at this way, you won’t have to constantly slather on moisturizer umpteen times a day to not feel like a prune. Nor do you have to fret over rough, itchy skin. Your own moisture took care of that.
2. You have a natural glow: I know, I know, you’d rather not have this special kind of radiance, but talk to those with super dry skin, and you may sing a different tune.
3. Your skin may not wrinkle as fast: If you’re a natural detective, and go digging for more information on this topic, you’ll find it controversial, with many varying opinions. Some say oily skin protects against wrinkle formation, and may even hide these pesky lines once they’re there. Other experts disagree. If this premise is true, you can look forward to looking younger longer.
What Causes Oily Skin?
Overactive sebaceous glands cause an overproduction of oil, or sebum, on the skin. This is why oily skin is also called seborrhea. But why the overactive glands?
Let’s discuss both the good and bad news. First, the bad news; your oily skin is caused by genetics. You can’t change what you’ve been given, but you can control what triggers oil production. That’s the good news. There are a number of factors that contribute to excess oil production, including stress, skincare products, hormones, and even the weather.
There are factors within your control, at least to a degree, to mitigate oil production. This is not an exhaustive list, but worth noting:
This includes stress of all kinds; dietary, physical, mental, emotional, and environmental. If you’d like to learn more about the effects of stress on skin, read my post here. Stress hormones, like cortisol and epinephrine, stimulate a stress response in the body, activating the sympathetic nervous system. When this system is activated, oil production increases due to adrenal gland stimulation, increasing androgen production.
[Read More: Does Stress Cause Wrinkles?]
Elevated androgens, like testosterone are implicated in both oily skin and acne. These excess androgens are also stimulated from high-insulin levels. Elevated insulin is caused by high-carb diets, and eating too frequently. Try your best to eat a whole-foods diet, monitor your carbohydrate intake, and don’t constantly snack. Keep your environment as toxin-free as possible, get appropriate exercise, and at least eight hours of sleep at night. Removing the sources of stress, and effectively dealing with the sources that can’t be removed, are critical to hormonal balance.
[Read More: Does Sleep Affect Your Skin?]
Skincare products with a lot of chemicals are irritating to the skin, exacerbating acne flares. Now you have a double bonus, acne and oil. Stick with light, matte foundations, rather than heavier types, that will trap the oil, leading to breakouts. Heavy makeup is suffocating to the skin, not allowing it to breathe, and will liquify when combined with the oil on your face.
Nothing beats a melting face. Gentle exfoliation is another helpful technique because it removes dead skin cells, and unclogs pores, but doing it too often could increase oil production. Ditch cosmetics that are oil based; no need to put oil on top of oil.
This subject deserves an entire book, that’s how complicated it is. As mentioned above in my section on stress, excess androgens are the culprit behind many skin-related hormonal imbalances. Puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, perimenopause, menopause, and oral contraceptives all affect hormone levels. These fluctuations change the way your skin looks and feels.
For instance, before menstruation, estrogen levels fall, increasing testosterone. This androgenic hormone boosts oil production. The same scenario happens in perimenopause and menopause. The birth control pill, on the other hand, decreases testosterone, improving some women’s skin. When the pill is discontinued, however the effects of the imbalance return. It’s this balance between hormones that is significant.
Hot, humid weather is not going to be your friend if you have oily skin. Grease plus sweat doesn’t feel or look good. As a bonus, you’ll sure appreciate the winter months more. The same goes for your sweaty exercise sessions. Be sure and wash your face after each workout to prevent oily sweat from coagulating on your face.
Oily Skin Care Tips And Products
The theme when it comes to skincare options for oily skin is “keep it light,” and as natural as possible. Gentle, foaming cleansers are best as harsh soaps may stimulate excess oil production.
- Acid-based solutions, such as, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or beta-hydroxy acid are typically acne-based products, but also work great for those with oily skin due to their drying effects. Acids can be irritating, so experiment with a small amount on one area of your face, to see how your skin reacts. You might want to begin by using medicated pads saturated with these different acids. They’re convenient, portable, and can be used on the go to remove excess oil.
- Blotting pads are a favorite among those with oily skin. They’re easy to throw in your purse, and use as needed. Simply press for 15 seconds on particularly oily areas, such as, the T zone. The T zone is the areas of your forehead, nose, and chin. Look for powdered blotting papers that rein in the shine even further.
- When applying sunscreen, opt for an oil-free product, or even better, choose one of the facial-powder sunscreens so popular today. UV rays break down collagen in the skin, cause free-radical damage, and decrease repair mechanisms. Get in the habit of never exposing your face to the sun without protection.
- Clays are great for absorbing oil, and have many additional benefits as well. See my clay mask recipe below.
- Lastly, I know how terribly tempting it is to skip washing your face at night. Don’t cave to this temptation. A morning and nightly skincare regime is important for all skin types. Read my post on baby wipes for a quick solution for those nights where it isn’t going to happen.
[Read More: Are Baby Wipes Safe To Use On Your Face?]
Natural Clay Masks
Clays are wonderful for balancing oily skin. I like kaolin clay so much I use it in my mineral makeup. It’s also effective as a mask due to its drying effects, the ability to draw out toxins, remove excess sebum, and tighten pores. Masks are easy to whip up, and can be used a couple times a month. See how your skin reacts to the clay to better determine how often to apply them
Here’s A Simple Recipe
2 teaspoons water. I use filtered water to reduce the chemical exposure.
3 drops of your favorite essential oil.
After combining all ingredients, cover your face completely with the mixture and leave on until it dries. Use a wooden or plastic spoon for mixing as metal can react with the clay’s properties, reducing it’s potency. Leave the mask on for approximately 15-20 minutes. Your face will get really dry and stretchy feeling. Rinse with warm water, and apply your favorite moisturizer.
One last oily skin care tip, please, oh please, keep your germy hands off your face. This is just wrong on so many levels. The extra bacteria you’re depositing on your face is only going to make matters worse!
Do you have oily skin? What hacks work for you? Let me know in the comments:)