If you’re here, you’ve probably had that moment when you’ve been out and about, and a flash catches your eye as you go past a car or store window - it’s your reflection, rocking a shiny forehead like a light-up hat.
You consider swiping your palm across your face, but then you’ll just have a greasy hand in addition to a smeared, greasy face. What you need is a little more of the right skincare for oily skin. We’re here to help.
What Causes Oily Skin?
Skin oil is natural; everyone has it, just in different amounts. The body’s natural oil is mostly sebum, which is produced by sebaceous glands, and our faces and scalps are completely covered in these bad boys. That’s why you may have an oily nose and get oil buildup in your hair, but not so much on your arms and legs.
Sebum actually moisturizes and protects our skin. Problems arise when your sebaceous glands produce too much or too little. When they’re making an excess of sebum, then you’ll have oily skin.
OK, So What’s With All the Sebum?
Excess sebum, and in turn, oily skin, may be a reaction to products you’ve applied, or even parts of your diet. But it’s also caused by things like stress, hormones, and genetics.
Have you only been asking, “Why is my skin so oily?” lately, or has it been an issue for a while? Is it an on-again-off-again issue? These questions can help you figure out what’s behind that oily forehead.
If your extra skin oil comes from hormones or genetics, the methods below can help alleviate the problem, but not stop it completely. Likewise, if your stressor doesn’t go away, you don’t switch products, or can’t reexamine your eating habits, these oily skin care techniques can only help and not halt your overactive sebaceous glands.
How to Stop Oily Skin Before It Starts
Once you know how to get rid of oily skin and see how simple the skincare routine can be, you’ll be surprised you endured that slick, shiny face at all.
Avoid Doing Things That Create More Oil
Your face secretes oil in order to hydrate and protect itself. You can inadvertently trigger that response by drying out your skin, irritating it, or causing abrasion through rubbing and scrubbing.
Don’t use physical exfoliants. Avoid dehydrating alcohol-based products and ones with fragrance or chemicals. And by the same token, anything oil-based or with added oils will only add to your problems.
Wash, Wash, Wash Your Face
Cleanse your face at the start of your day, the end of your day, and after any exercise or heavy sweating. That will not only wash away oils but keep your pores clear. Just use your hands and a gentle facial soap or cleanser with salicylic acid if you’re prone to breakouts. Pat dry to minimize friction.
Try not to over wash, though, as that will dry out your skin, and bam! Back to square one.
Moisturize and Consider Toner
After all that necessary washing, be sure to replenish your skin’s moisture. Use something lightweight, and combine it with a toner (used after the wash and before the moisturizer) for maximum benefit. Make sure you’re looking for natural, non-harsh ingredients and avoiding oil and alcohol. Aloe works great!
Once a Week, Try a Face Mask or Exfoliation
Gentle chemical exfoliation, such as a salicylic acid formula, can tend to your pores and buff away dry skin, which is another component of facial oil. The right face masks - clay-based, or made with oatmeal or honey, for example -will absorb oil and work anti-inflammatory magic. Either method should leave skin soft, calmed, and smooth.
Slather on the Sunblock
If you’ll be out in the sun and the heat, sunscreen serves the same purpose as facial oil would: it protects your skin and helps keep some of the moisture in. So, by applying generously, you can prevent excess oil production.
Opt for mineral sunscreen; pores won’t absorb it, it shouldn’t be an irritant, and it won’t add so much grease.
Adjust Your Makeup Routine
For some people, the best results will come from a bare face or much lighter coverage, without foundation, highlighter, and the like. If that’s just not how you roll, you can still combat oil while wearing a full face.
Switch to water-based, powder or mineral makeups. Tinted moisturizers may sometimes work in place of foundation. Above all, always remove all your makeup before bed - keep some moisturizing AYAM Makeup Remover Wipes packed in your bag.
How to Get Rid of an Oily Face On-the-Go
There isn’t that much you can do if your skin becomes very oily while you’re out. You can either dry-oily skin or moisten your skin before too much oil accumulates.
For the first method, always have blotting papers or small facial cleansing pads on hand. Definitely the former if you’re wearing makeup either one if your face is bare.
For the second method, you’ll want to use a face mist throughout the day to add. It will add hydration, may help mitigate sweaty situations (sweat is yet another component of facial oil), and will leave you feeling good and refreshed. You can let a mist air dry or blot a bit of the excess moisture away.
Do I Need to See a Dermatologist About Why My Face Is So Oily?
It depends on a few factors! You should always contact your health provider if you feel alarmed or concerned. But if you’re wondering when to go from, “Why is my nose so oily?” to “Houston, we have a problem,” consider the following:
- If your oil causes frequent, widespread breakouts or serious acne, for example, a visit to the doctor’s office could be very beneficial. It would be worth enlisting a dermatologist’s help, even if you didn’t have one before.
- If you have regularly worked with a dermatologist and want a professional opinion - sure, go for it. You may even be able to get some advice over the phone or through a telehealth conference without going in.
- If you’re just annoyed by your shiny skin but don’t have a regular dermatologist, it likely isn’t worth finding one and setting up an appointment. Reach out if things become unmanageable or your problems escalate - otherwise, try the usual tricks and give your skin a bit of time to adjust.
Unfortunately, an oily skin type isn’t something you can change with a bit of diligence. But diligence makes all the difference between a shiny, oily face at lunchtime with a zit by dinner and a face that mostly stays dry, clear, and manageable.
Find the skincare routine and products that work for you and ditch the greasy buildup once and for all.