Out of all the skin types, oily skin seems to be the one that is the hardest to bring into balance. While it’s the least likely of all skin types to struggle with dryness and premature skin-aging, it’s also the most likely to suffer from chronic skin issues like acne and clogged pores.
But like most things, hard absolutely doesn’t mean impossible. If you have oily skin—or even think you might have it, but are not sure—we have a quick, easy to understand guide that’ll help you get on the right skincare path.
First things first, what exactly is “oily skin” ?
What we know as “oily skin” is caused by the overproduction of sebum from sebaceous glands that are located directly under your skin. While it seems like sebum is public enemy number one, this is actually not the case.
Sebum is entirely made of fats and without it, our skin (and hair!) wouldn’t have the protection and moisture it needed to thrive. And so, the problem doesn’t lie in the sebum itself, but in the overproduction of it. Simply put, oily skin is too much of a good thing.
How can oily skin be problematic? Are there any benefits?
Too much sebum on the skin tends to clog the pores, which is a problem all by itself, but it can also cause additional issues such as unsightly breakouts, visibly large pores, and skin that looks both rough and greasy.
It can also be especially tedious for makeup wearers to deal with as it tends to shorten the wear time of foundation and mix poorly with fine powders and oil-based products.
But of course, having a skin type that produces a little more oil isn’t inherently bad or problematic, so there are definitely some benefits to having oily skin when it’s being properly cared for. For one, the fact that a extra sebum is always present means that you’ll rarely, if ever, have to deal with dry skin.
This is a huge win because properly moisturized skin is what keeps fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of premature aging at bay. Plus, oily skin tends to be softer and more supple than dry and even combination skin.
So then, how do I care for oily skin?
Like all skin types, you have to cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, and wear some sunscreen. For oily skin, however, there are a few things you must do differently to keep your skin balanced:
- Cleanse your skin with formulas that utilize salicylic acid. This acid is a well-known solution to acne because it penetrates your skin and dissolves anything that is clogging your pores. Thus, keeping breakouts and excess oil at bay.
- Exfoliate with formulas that use glycolic acid. Like salicylic acid, this acid also combats oily skin issues by removing all impurities from pores. The difference here is that glycolic acid can have a gentle peeling effect that reveals a new layer of skin.
- Moisturize with an oil-free cream or lotion because there’s no way in the world oil on top of excess oil is going to work in your favor.
- Everyone needs sunscreen, no matter what. Get you an SPF 35 and up, and live your absolute best life, sis.
Any additional tips?
Yes! You need to frequently wash or swapping out anything that is touching your face regularly because even if they don’t appear to be dirty, they may be carrying bacteria and oil that is worsening your skin.
This includes pillow cases, sheets, headbands, masks, face towels, bonnets, and even your favorite makeup brushes. You don’t have to get crazy with it, either! Once or twice a week should be just fine.
Up next: A few budget-friendly skincare products for all skin types.