Greasy, shiny skin? Check. Acne and blackhead-prone skin? Check. Visibly enlarged pores especially on your cheeks, nose and forehead areas? Check. Chances are, you’ve got oily skin. It’s not just teens that have to struggle with this. Even if you’re past puberty, oily skin can still persist and pose a problem for many people. Our skin produces sebum (or oil) to keep it moist and supple. It acts as a film to lock moisture in. These glands are located deep within the second layer of skin, the dermis, and are most plentiful in the face, neck, chest, back, and head. Sometimes however our sebaceous glands produce more oil than is necessary thus making your skin look and feel greasy.
Here are some tips to manage oily skin:
1. Cleanse but do it right. Washing your skin and keeping it clean is certainly the first step but using harsh cleansers that strip oil and moisture from skin will do the trick, but it can actually aggravate the problem. Once your natural moisture is stripped away, your sebaceous glands will work overdrive and produce even more oil! Good cleansers will remove the excess oil while leaving the natural protective barrier of sebum intact. Stay away from drying ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate and those with fragrances. Wash your face twice – in the morning and before bed. Then follow-up cleaning with a toner to remove any leftover dirt and oil.
2. Exfoliate once to twice a week. Oily skin is prone to have an extra thick layer of skin cells on the epidermis and clogging up the pores. This is why exfoliation is key when it comes to managing oily skin. Exfoliating regularly will remove the build-up and make for a smoother skin. Use an exfoliant with BHA (salicylic acid). Not only will this work on the surface of your skin, it will also work on pore linings –allowing oil to come to the surface so it won’t get clog the pore and cause problems such as blackheads and acne. Salicylic acid is also an anti-inflammatory and helps reduce irritation while reducing oil production.
3. Use the right moisturizer. Most people with oily skin will skip the moisturizer because they think they no longer need it and most moisturizers just sit heavily on their skin. Experts disagree saying even an oily complexion needs a moisturizer. The sebum our skin produces locks in moisture but it won’t replace the oil we lose, especially as we grow older and our skin gets drier. There are moisturizer formulations especially made for oily skin. They should be light and oil-free. Combine this with glycolic acid or salicylic acid for best results.