It seems like the number one skincare question that people ask is “How do I get rid of my oily skin?!” Those with oily complexions hate their overactive sebaceous glands and are constantly whining and wishing they had less oil on their face.
We get it. And don’t worry, this article will teach you all about the ways you can manage your oily complexion. But first, lets learn about why our skin is oily — and why having an oily skin type isn’t as terrible as you think!
Why do some people have such oily skin?
It all starts with your sebaceous glands, tiny glands in your skin that secrete an oily, waxy substance known as sebum. It’s that white, sometimes brown-ish stuff that comes out of your pores. This natural oil actually does a lot of good for your skin. For starters, it coats your skin’s top layer to protect it from bacteria. It prevents moisture loss, meaning your skin and body stay hydrated, plus it prevents excess moisture from entering your skin (aka the reason you can go swimming and shower yourself). Sebum is also a natural anti-aging agent — oil prevents wrinkles from forming as quickly.
No matter how active or inactive, sebaceous glands are also home to hair follicles, which are tasked with the job of helping the sebum oil rise to the surface and escape our pores. When this process fails, aka the sebum gets trapped in the hair follicle, it becomes a blackhead or a whitehead. If bacteria gets into the mix, it becomes a red, angry pimple.
Just how much oil is produced by your sebaceous glands will depend on how large they are, and this can be determined by far more than just heat and humidity. Your genetics can influence their size and hormonal changes, stress, diet and exercise habits can then affect how much oil they produce.
Here are some effective ways to help curb your shine (in a good way!)
Don’t over-wash your face.
When you’re feeling extra oily, it can be tempting to lather on face wash more frequently than twice a day. You might assume this will taper your oil production, but it actually does the exact opposite. Over-washing does strip your skin of all that oil, but that then triggers your sebaceous glands to respond by… making more oil. In other words, you’re left with an even higher level of sebum overproduction. That said, only wash your face twice a day and just make sure the cleanser you’re using isn’t overly drying or stripping your skin, but gently exfoliating and unclogging pores.
Use blotting papers.
If you get stuck with oil overload mid-day, these blotting papers can seriously come in clutch. They usually come in tiny packs that fit right in your purse, and are designed specifically to absorb excess oil without messing up your makeup. The most satisfying part is seeing how much oil they’ve soaked up once you’re done!
Try a translucent or slightly tinted powder.
There are tons of powders out there — some may be translucent or even white, which will help to neutralize your shiny complexion. We also love powdered SPFs because they do double duty: They apply right over your makeup and give you extra protection from the sun.
Consider swapping your moisturizer with a facial oil
If you’re using the right moisturizer, it should be non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores and be too heavy on your oily skin! However, facial oils can be great for oily-dry skin types.
Remember how stripping your skin of oil actually makes your skin overproduce oil? Well, using a facial oil tells your skin that it’s got plenty of oil and can also help to quell sebum production. They also help give you a healthy glow, can unclog your pores and fight off breakouts. A great night time oil for your skin is Hyaluronic acid, because it holds 1000x its weight in water. Squalane, another deeply penetrating, moisturizing ingredient is often used added to serums with Hyaluronic. We recommend both of these to effectively hydrate, moisturize, and plump your skin from the inside out, overnight.
The trick is to stick to natural oils that are specifically formulated for oily and acne-prone skin. Ingredients like jojoba and apricot, are ideal for oily skin, especially in the summertime! Aloe vera, tea tree, lavender, and ylang ylang essential oils are also great, and can be mixed with jojoba or apricot oils.
Now, fine-tune your skincare regimen.
We want to reiterate that you should wash your face twice a day, religiously wear SPF, and feel free to throw on a face mask every once in a while to help reduce inflammation and overall nourish your skin. We love clay and charcoal masks, which really deep-clean pores, pulling all the sebum out to the surface so it doesn’t seep out during the day. Now go shine, figuratively, not literally!