How to Get Rid of Oily Skin on Face
my skin is annoyingly oily if you have oily skin then you’ll know what a pain it is to deal with your makeup slides off your face, sunscreen slides around, everything slides around and you spend a lot of your time trying not to look like a mirror ball. I’ve had so many people asking me for my tips on how to deal with oily skin so here it is!
Oily skin is genetic but sometimes if you’re using the wrong skin care products you can make oily or even dry skin over produce oil and this gives you basically oilier skin than you should have. Un-fortunately some of us like me are in the truly oily camp or technically oily combo camp because I’ve got oily t-zone and normal cheeks. Oily skin can also be dehydrated which leads to this weird dry but oily situation where your skin feels like a tight piece of leather and it’s a bit dry and maybe cracked but it’s also covered in a thin or thick layer of oil.
A lot of people who think they have dry skin might have dehydrated skin. The first thing to do if you’re frustrated with having oily skin is to make sure you’re not having that situation. If you want a detailed guide on how to do a skin evaluation and a rundown of all the different skin types and conditions.
Let’s say your skin is oily what can you do? It’s tempting to wash your skin with harsh cleansers to cut through the oil and dry it out but don’t do this it is a trap harsh cleansers will strip away both oil and what’s called your natural moisturizing factor or NMF which is a collection of chemicals that are in your skin and these hold onto water and keep it hydrated. It’s like a natural humectant moisturizer. Harsh surfactants also warp the shape of some of the proteins in your skin and this leads to dehydration because it makes your skin get leaky to water.
Now, your skin is responsive to its own hydration level when your skin’s dehydrated it’s going to produce more oil to try to keep your skin conditioned which means more oil. Gentle cleansing is the way to go here. Your skin isn’t meant to feel tight and dry after you wash it. It should feel soft and plump, almost like it’s been very lightly moisturized. If you’re used to dry clean skin after washing then having properly washed skin is going to feel a bit weird and it might even feel like you haven’t washed properly for a bit, but if you persevere you’ll eventually get used to it and your skin will be so much better for it.
Gentle cleansing was the number one thing that helped my oily skin. There are a lot of things that can go into finding a gentle cleanser but the easiest thing to do is to avoid sodium lauryl sulfate in the top ingredients of your cleanser and to also avoid soaps. The reason is the molecules of these ingredients are really skinny, so they insert themselves into your skin quite easily sort of like a pin sliding into your skin, and that means that they stay in your skin and keep irritating it even after you’ve washed it off. These ingredients are also more stripping which means they’re more likely to take away the oils and the NMF in your skin. Even gentle cleansers can cause some of these effects which is why I recommend that you try to clean your skin as little as possible.
I only cleanse my skin properly at night once a day with cleanser. In the morning I just use water I splash my face with the water and rub it around a bit and then pat it dry with a towel. Using less cleanser has helped my oily skin a lot. I found that the oil tends to come back a bit slower throughout the day instead of sort of like just flooding my entire face and it feels a lot more comfortable. There isn’t that weird tight feeling and that whole greasy dehydrated flaky, shiny, or gross leathery situation has cut back a lot.
Here is a gentle cleanser that I really like KraveBeauty Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser but remember that everyone’s skin is different so it’s important for you to work out what your skin likes and how your skin responds to different situations. It’s really tempting to think that if your skin is oily then it doesn’t need any more moisturizer because it’s giving itself way too much already but again this is another trap. Your natural sebum isn’t that good at moisturizing. If your skin is hydrated and oily then maybe you don’t need another moisturizer but if your skin’s dehydrated and oily which is the case for a lot of people then having a hydrating moisturizer that addresses your dehydration issues with lots of occlusives and humectants this will help you control your oiliness.
Salicylic acid which is commonly known as beta hydroxy acid is a chemical exfoliant and an anti-inflammatory acne treating skincare ingredient. It’s recommended for oily skin a lot because it’s oil soluble which means it’s more likely to be able to get through into your blackheads and into your acne and clear them out. As far as I know there haven’t been actual studies on whether this is true, but it sounds reasonable. Oily skin tends to have bigger pores and I’ve personally found that my pores look a lot less noticeable if I’ve been consistently using salicylic acid for a while. The product I use most of the time is Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid but there are allot of options out there.
Unfortunately there aren’t that many skincare ingredients that have been found to reduce the amount of oil on your face and, for the ones that there are, there’s usually like one single study on each of them so it’s probably not very reliable and they might not actually work.
There’s one study where they used a 2% niacinamide serum and this reduced the amount of oil that was on people’s faces. There’s another study that found that a plant extract of saw palmetto in a cream also reduced oiliness. There are also vitamin A derivatives like retinol and tretinoin and these can theoretically reshape the ducts that your oil comes out of and this slows down how much it pulls out of your skin. You can also use a clay mask to soak up any oil that’s sitting in your pores on your skin, but you do have to use these quite regularly so that you keep the oil at bay. I find that using it twice or three times a week is necessary.
I use a lot of translucent powder for soaking up the oil on my skin. I use it pretty much every day if I don’t use it then there’s no hope for me the ingredient that I found the best for this is starch things like cornstarch rice starch arrowroot powder there’s tons and tons of starches I always look for starch high up somewhere in the ingredients list. Some translucent powders also have clay which is also pretty good at soaking up oil.
Best foundation makeup
One trick that you can use for soaking up oil is Wayne Goss’s method which is where you put a really light layer of powder under your foundation so that you can soak up the oil before it hits the surface before anyone can see it and that means that your foundation isn’t going to slide around as much because you’ve just got this extra oil soaking powder in there Multi sun screening is my word for using different sunscreens on different parts of my face, so for me I’ve got lots of hyperpigmentation here on the tops of my cheeks and they get much worse with a tiny bit of Sun. I want a protective sunscreen on this area the problem is sunscreens with high protection tend to also be greasy and thick and uncomfortable.
I don’t want to use the high protection sunscreen everywhere because these are going to get super greasy so what I do is I put the normal sunscreen everywhere and then I go back and I put the high protection sunscreen on the bits that need it. If you decide to do this, you need to make sure that you pat your second sunscreen on gently to try to avoid shifting the lower layer around too much. You also need to make sure that the sunscreen ingredients are compatible, and they won’t interact with each other and just cancel each other out.
I use 2 Ultra ceuticals sunscreens that have the same active ingredients. Blotting papers are good for getting rid of oil in the middle of the day without messing up your makeup too much just grab one of these and pat it on gently on the oily bits to soak it up. My favorites are the thin paper ones. I don’t really like using the plastic ones because it just feels like I’m beating up Mother Nature when I use them. You can also use toilet paper and napkins as well.
It’s been so ingrained in my head over the years that matte is the way to go with makeup for oily skin but recently I found that using dewy makeup works better for me. The reason is when I do get oily then the contrast between the oily bits and the non-oily parts is a bit less obvious than if I have the matte foundation and if I have the matte foundation I have the oil then it looks patchy.
I either look kind of glowy or slightly sweaty or just gross and decomposing. I usually mix an illuminating sort of fluid into my foundation and then I add highlighter on the tops of my cheeks and on the end of my nose and a little bit on my nose as well. Then I put the starch powder on top and that seems to work well. There are a lot of anti-oil makeup products and pore filling primers that have lots of silicones in them, but I’ve personally found that too many silicones make me look even worse.
They look nice for about half an hour then the oil soaks into them and then suddenly it all starts moving around on my face and I look like I’m made of melting wax. There are also some medical treatments that can reduce oil production. Too many androgens which are male sex hormones can make you produce way too much oil and there are some medications that can reduce this so for example combined oral contraceptive pills and spironolactone. Isotretinoin which is also known as Accutane can also cut down on the oil.
Most of the time these prescription medications aren’t really used just for treating oily skin, but they are used for acne, and reducing oil is one of the side effects. If you’re interested in these go to your doctor and chat with them about whether it’s right for your situation.
There are also some newer treatments and ingredients that are promising for treating oily skin for example Botox and laser and light treatments but they’re still expensive now and the evidence behind them so far isn’t all that convincing. These are some of my tips for coping with oily skin.