Hormone levels, diet, environment, and genetics play important roles in your skin type and condition. However, the direct cause of oily skin is seborrhea, or the excess production of oil in the pores, which is linked to a higher presence of androgens – or male hormones – in the body.
Unfortunately, excess oil easily becomes trapped in the pores where it is produced and, when combined with bacteria and dead skin cells, can result in unsightly blemishes like blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. Oily skin is also greasy to the touch, causing makeup to move and creating the appearance of enlarged pores. Oily problem skin can also be caused by stress, too much sun exposure, using the wrong products for your skin type, sleeping with your makeup on, seasonal changes, and more.
There are many of us out there who know just how frustrating it is to complete your skin and makeup regimen for the day, only to have your face turn as slick as an oil spill an hour later. When getting ready to face the world, oily skin can undo a lot of hard work and be difficult to control as the oil is constantly being produced – even with blotting papers in tow. In order to address the problem in such a way as to banish oily skin forever, follow these five guidelines.
Avoid Harsh Treatments
While exfoliation and cleansing should definitely be part of your weekly skincare routine, harsh scrubs and astringents can lead to even oilier, angrier skin. In fact, skincare experts agree that women with oily skin should avoid irritating products like alcohol, witch hazel, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus, and camphor entirely. Instead of rubbing your skin with a sugar or salt scrub, use an exfoliating chemical product like AHA or BHA instead.
Learn to Love Acid
AHA and BHA stand for Alpha Hydroxy Acid and Beta Hydroxy Acid respectively. Both are mild exfoliating agents that gently remove dead skin cells, allow for new cell growth, correct dark spots, and improve the skin’s overall texture. As oil-soluble products, BHAs penetrate the pore deeply, while AHAs are more superficial, only treating the skin’s surface area.
Unfortunately, they are only effective if they are left to work on the skin for quite a while, meaning their absorption time can put you behind schedule on a busy morning. Therefore, skincare experts recommend using them at night, after cleansing the skin, and allowing them to absorb for a full 15 minutes or longer before moving onto moisturizing.
Use the Right Products
For the oil-afflicted, the buck stops at high-quality products that are tailor-made to address your sebaceous skin issues. From cleansing and moisturizing to exfoliating and perfecting with powder, foundation, and other makeup products, look for non-comedogenic products that do not contain irritants. Also, keep an eye out for keywords like “oil control” and “mattifying”. We’ve compiled an affordable list of expert- and user-favorites for every step of your skin regimen, below.
Live by This Makeup Artist Trick
While this simple tip is so effective, affordable, and easy that we wish we could claim responsibility for it, alas it originated from the experts. A best-kept secret by makeup artists around the globe is using Palladio ‘Rice Paper’ tissues to blot the skin thoroughly before applying makeup. By simply switching your use of this helpful product from the last step of your routine to the first, you ensure a base that is actively absorbing oil all day long.
Watch What You Eat
While everything from chocolate to potato chips has been blamed for oily skin and breakouts, the truth is that what you need to look for are high-glycemic foods that dramatically impact your blood-sugar level. These are the culprits behind surprise breakouts and an increase in sebum production.
In a study conducted for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that people with diets high in refined sugar and simple carbohydrates – i.e. foods that will spike your blood sugar instantly – have more acne symptoms. That means dark chocolate or popcorn, which have a low glycemic impact are absolutely fine, while sugary sodas and donuts are absolutely not.