Oily skin is shinny, dull, and thick. This type of skin tends to age slower than other types. Wrinkles and sagging are less likely to appear prematurely. However, the downside is oily skin is a common cause of enlarged pores, blackheads, and even acne. Find out what causes oily skin and how to care for oil skin to prevent other skin problems.
How Do You Know If You Have Oily Skin?
- Press a tissue onto your skin. If you see oil on the tissue, you have oily skin.
- If you have enlarged pores and/or blackheads, you have oily skin.
What Causes Oily Skin?
In oily skin, sebaceous glands are overactive and produce more oil than is needed. Accumulation of oils makes the skin texture thick and greasy feeling. There are many contributing factors that stimulate the production of sebaceous glands, including
- Hormone levels: Oily skin can occur at any age but it is common in teenagers. In teenagers, hormone called androgen triggers the sebaceous glands to produce extra oils. However, as you age, the skin tends to become drier.
- Pregnancy, menopause, and the start of menstrual cycle: During pregnancy, menopause, and the start of menstrual cycle, hormonal imbalances increase the activities of sebaceous glands.
- Cosmetics: Oil-based cosmetics add extra oils to your skin.
- Diet. Foods that contain lots of fat can cause the skin to become oily.
- Hot weather and humidity.
- Heredity: If your father or mother has oily skin, you may too.
Oily Skin Acne
Blackheads develop when oils that are not allowed to drain in the skin’s surface combine with dead skin cells in your pores. This mixture oxidizes with air and turns to black. If this mixture traps acne bacteria, it will become blemish.
Products for Oily Skin
Oily skin cleanser
Don’t use harsh or alcohol-based cleansers on your oily skin because they actually encourage more oil production. Oil production is natural’s response to irritation. If you use harsh cleansers, they irritate your skin and cause the body to produce more oils. Wash the skin twice a day. More than that can also irritate your skin.
Use a gentle cleanser that contains no fatty substances or oils. A good cleanser can remove excessive oil without drying up the skin. You can also use a cleanser that contains AHAs or salicylic acid. AHAs and salicylic acid cleansers can remove surface oils, clean your pores, and temporarily reduce oils. However, they do nothing to the sebaceous glands.
Oily skin moisturizer
Oily skin still needs to be hydrated. The oils on the surface of your skin can hide the lack of moisture. Use oil-free moisturizer. Moisturizers that contain oils will add extra oils to the skin.
Topical retinoids such as prescription Retin A, Differin, Tazorac and Avita and OTC retinols can help reduce the level of oil production. However, they can cause redness, flaking, and irritation so after applying topical retinoids, follow your routine skin care regimen to reduce the irritation.
AHAs are an alternative to topical retinoids. You can try incorporating AHA creams into your skin care regimen. AHAs also help unclog pores and stimulate the production of collagen.
Oily skin sunscreen
Apply non-oil based sunscreen with SPF 15 or above. You need sun protection no matter what type of skin you have.
Makeup for Oily Skin
Many people misunderstand that they can’t wear makeup while using oil control products. This belief is not true. You can use makeup as long as it is labeled oil-free or non-comedogenic. In fact, some makeup products such as rice powder and powder-based makeup help absorb excessive oils.
Oil blotting papers
Oil blotting papers are a quick fix to reduce the shine throughout the day. Like AHAs and salicylic acid cleansers, oil blotting papers do nothing to the sebaceous glands.