Does your skin have a little extra shine? Having oily or acne-prone skin can be a trial, especially when it seems like every little thing breaks you out and causes another round of acne. Fortunately, you can do a few things to minimize breakouts and get the healthiest skin possible!
To control oily skin, it’s imperative to understand what causes it. Oily skin results from overproduction of a substance called sebum. It leads to the clogging of skin pores, resulting in the accumulation of dead cells and the formation of pimples/acne. Sebum can be overproduced for a lot of reasons. Sometimes it’s genetics, sometimes it’s hormones, and sometimes it’s just puberty!
Step One: Cleanser
No matter the reason for your oily skin, the primary aim of care for this skin type is to remedy that excessive sebum. Your skin still needs some, which is why some overly harsh cleansers can make things worse, but you might still need a cleanser that’s stronger than most. Check for cleansers containing salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid that slows down the rate of sebum production. Clean your face in the morning, at night, and after exercise. (It’s easy to forget that last one, but it’s essential – sweat can wreak havoc on your pores!)
Most oily skincare products are oil-free; however, it is always good to check their ingredients before buying them. This attention to detail is critical if a product is marked as “suitable for all skin types”, instead of specifically for oily skin.
Oily skin care is also dependent on the degree of the problem. If your problem is only mild to moderate, some skincare products marked as “suitable for all skin types” might work for you. For extremely oily skin, only skincare products designed for your skin type are appropriate.
Step Two: Toner
Add in an alcohol-based toner after your cleanser to keep things squeaky clean. Excessive toning can harm your skin, though, so monitor how you feel, and if dryness starts to creep in, dial your toner back to a couple of times a week.
Step Three: Moisturizer and Beyond
Step three is a mild moisturizer. Again, the degree of your problem will determine whether you need to include this in your routine. Look for a water-based moisturizer that won’t be too heavy, and make sure any product you choose is oil-free. It’s important to note that too much moisturizer especially if it is not “non-comedogenic or oil-free” may exacerbate oily skin and contribute to breakouts. This especially holds true with younger patients, including teenagers with acne. With this population, it is best to moisturize only when you need it where you need it, including when a product may be too drying.
If you want some extra acne-fighting power, consider using a clay mask once a week. Clay masks can draw out impurities and help your skin look clearer.
Finding the right set of products that work with your skin can be quite a journey, so don’t give up! Don’t be afraid to switch out products that aren’t working for you, and if you don’t know what products to start with, get in contact with a dermatologist! Your dermatologist knows your skin and can help you tailor a routine that will work for you, including prescribing medications, if necessary, that are stronger than over-the-counter products.