We all want glowing skin but there is a fine line between dewy and greasy. If you are in a constant battle against shine, and always cart around blotting papers and pressed powder, then you know what it’s like to have oily skin. It’s a nuisance when your makeup slides off and your T-zone is constantly shiny and you probably ask yourself, why is my face so oily? Here’s a look at what causes oily skin and how to get rid of it.
What Causes Oily Skin?
Sebum is the skin’s natural oil that keeps skin hydrated and healthy – it’s actually a good thing. But when your skin produces too much sebum, that’s when oily skin happens. A few things can trigger oily skin. It can be seasonal, where skin is more oily during the hot, humid summer but it can also be chalked up to hormones and stress. Not using the right products, such as over-stripping the skin, can also cause your skin to produce more oil as it will try to compensate for dryness. Overactive sebaceous glands may also be genetic.
There’s also a difference between oily skin and shiny skin. A dermatologist or skincare professional can make an assessment by looking at the amount of sebum in pores. An easy way to check yourself is to wash your face and after 30 minutes, press a blotting paper against the face. If the sheet has oil on it, then you have oily skin.
Why Is My Nose Shiny?
Some people may have oily skin all over their face, while others have it just in their t-zone, which is the forehead and nose. Some people may just have a shiny nose while the rest of their face is dry. Chalk it up to hormones, stress or genetics. You may want to use a matte primer on your nose or finishing powder but skip the rest of your face if it’s not necessary.
How Do I Treat an Oily T-Zone?
If you have an oily t-zone and the rest of your face is dry or normal, then you have combination skin- and it must be treated accordingly. The golden rule is to separate products for the t-zone and the rest of the face. This means using a cleanser, toner and moisturizer for oily skin on your t-zone.
How Do I Get Rid of Oily Skin?
If your oily skin is down to genetics or hormones, it can be tougher to “fix” but as with any skin issues, it’s all about management and prevention. Here’s a look at some of the best ways to keep your oily skin in check, and the best skincare for oily skin.
Use the Right Cleanser
When you have oily skin it’s critical to buy a face wash formulated for your skin type, and avoid any harsh soaps or cleansers. The goal is to cleanse the skin without over stripping it, while cleaning out pores and keeping oil in check. Try a cleanser with salicylic acid which helps dissolve sebum without over drying the skin. Salicylic acid is oil-soluble which means it will cut through your skin’s own oil and help declog pores. Although it sounds counterintuitive, oil based cleansers are great for oily skin as oil attract oil (meaning it will help draw out sebum) and skin will be left feeling soft, cleansed and nourished.
Don’t Skip on Moisturizer
If you have oily skin, you may be tempted to skip the moisturizer as you’re probably hesitant to add more shine to your skin. But there’s a difference between hydrated skin- and oily skin. The right moisturizer will balance the skin and help keep oil levels under control. Look for lightweight moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin, as well as silica which absorbs oil.
Try An Oil Free Primer
One way to prevent that midmorning shine is to apply an oil free, mattifying primer before applying your makeup. It will help reduce the visible size of pores, help makeup last all day and keep shine in check.
Incorporate A Serum
Oily skin may actually be dehydrated skin – this means your face is producing more oil to overcompensate the lack of moisture. True dehydration can be fixed by upping your water intake but in the meantime, restore your skin’s optimal moisture level with a lightweight, moisturizing serum containing hyaluronic acid, which holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water.
Buy “Oil Free” and “Noncomedogenic” Products
The next time you’re stocking up on makeup and skincare, read the box carefully and select products labeled “oil free” and “noncomedogenic” as they are less likely to trigger acne and clog pores.
When it comes to exfoliation, remember that you can’t scrub your oily skin away – and vigorous scrubbing won’t penetrate deeper into your pores. You’ll just end up doing more harm than good to skin if you attack your face as if it’s your bathtub. Oily skin still needs an exfoliation but make it a gentle one that contains salicylic acid, which will help unclog pores, or one with glycolic acid.
Scale Back on Makeup
Foundation can seem to slide off oily skin, and this can be made doubly worse in the summer. Try taking a break from heavy foundation and opt for a tinted moisturizer instead which will offer coverage but in a more lightweight formula.
Use Blotting Papers
Blotting papers can do wonders when you’re out and about and just need a quick touch up. It’s easy to find beautifully packaged blotting papers that you won’t mind carting around all day. Some are made from linen while others are crafted from rice paper. Look for ones infused with antioxidants such as green tea and tea tree oil. Blot without fear as they won’t remove your makeup.
Always Use Toner
When you have oily skin, don’t forget to use a toner after cleansing. It will help rebalance the skin without over drying your face- which will just lead to more oil production. Make sure to avoid alcohol based toners or astringents as they will be too drying on the face.
Don’t Touch Your Face
This can be a tough one but try not to touch your face during the day, as it will only spread bacteria from your hands all over your face. Always wash your hands before applying makeup or any skincare product. So hand’s off, and don’t forget to regularly clean your phone with an alcohol wipe made for electronics as well.
Try A Retinol
Retinols are derived from vitamin A, and they are the all-stars of the skincare world. They boost skin cell turnover which means they help with everything from fine lines to dark spots. But they also work wonders for acne and oil prone skin as they help unclog pores. As with any retinol based product, start off slowly with just a pea sized amount and apply it once or twice a week to see how your skin tolerates it before increasing the frequency of use.
Rethink Your Diet
Some people think that eating greasy food leads to greasy skin. That is a common myth but it’s always a good idea to examine your diet in terms of health. So lay off the pizza and burgers and tuck into foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are thought to help improve skin as they have anti-inflammatory properties.
If your oily skin comes with a side of acne, there are plenty of ways to keep it under control. Resist the urge to pop a pimple as it can lead to scarring and more acne. Spot treat any blemishes with a drying lotion or a cream containing benzoyl peroxide. Medicated wipes are also an easy way to tackle acne. Looks for ones soaked with salicylic acid.
Switch Up Your Active Ingredients
In other words, don’t overdo it. This means that if you exfoliate one night, do not apply a retinol based product the same day as it can lead to irritation and more oil creation.
Don’t Sleep in Your Makeup
You already know that it is a bad idea to sleep in your makeup, but if you have oily skin and clogged pores, going to sleep with a face full of dirt, sweat and makeup will just potentially clog your pores even more. Take the extra minute to wash your face before going to bed. Your pillow, and your pores, will thank you.
Always Wear Sunscreen
If you have oily skin you may be tempted not to pile on the products but one step you should never skip is sunscreen. Anyone with oily skin should look for a mineral based sunscreen containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, as they are less likely to cause breakouts.
Take a Deep Breath
Acne and oily skin can be triggered by stress so take stock of your mental state and do what you need to do to de-stress. Some people prefer to sweat it out, destress in nature or just meet up with friends for a coffee and a good laugh.
Invest in a Finishing Powder
A brush of a finishing powder helps “set” makeup and keep shine under control. It can also work wonders if you have oily lids and will help keep eyeshadow and eyeliner from sliding off. A finishing powder can be worn alone for a bare faced but matte look, or over makeup. Look for a formula with silica and micronized pigments to stop oil in its tracks.
Apply A Mask
A weekly mask is a great way to absorb excess oil and rebalance the skin. Clay is traditionally used for oily skin as it helps draw out impurities from the pores. They can be over drying so use them carefully and always apply moisturizer after use. If you prefer a DIY approach, make your own mask out of honey, which has antibacterial qualities and may help reduce acne. Oatmeal is another at home favorite as it is soothing to the skin.