Oily skin is a very common skin concern. If you feel like you’re the only one with the shiny face in the room, and overactive sebaceous glands — know it’s not just you. Also, on the bright side, according to our founder Dr. Sandra Lee, those with oily skin are bound to look more youthful than those with dryer skin as oil keeps the skin hydrated and moisturized!
Nonetheless, we’re here to help you manage your oily complexion. Read on as we breakdown exactly why our skin is oily and how to curb your shine (in the good way).
Why do some people have such oily skin?
It all starts with your sebaceous glands, tiny glands in your skin that secrete sebum AKA oil. 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. As we said earlier, sebum is a natural anti-aging agent — oil prevents wrinkles and fine lines 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, and the sebum gets trapped in the hair follicle, it becomes a blackhead or a whitehead. If bacteria gets into the mix, it turns into an angry, red, pimple.
It's hard to pinpoint exactly why some skin is oilier than others. How much oil is produced by your sebaceous glands will depend on how large they are, and this can be determined by genetics, hormones, stress, diet and exercise habits.
How To Work With Your Oil
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, leaving you with an even higher level of sebum overproduction. That said — DO wash your face twice a day with a gentle, exfoliating cleanser, like SLMD's Salicylic Acid Cleanser. Even though you might feel like your skin is still clean from the night before, your skin has been producing oils and skin cells have been shed overnight, so it’s important to clear those away in the morning to prevent buildup in the pores.
Add acne treatment products to your routine.
If you are experiencing breakouts around your t-zone (from your forehead down to your nose and chin), this could be because this area of the face has the highest concentration of sebaceous glands, the structure in the skin that is responsible for producing oil (sebum)! To treat these breakouts, you should be using ingredients like Benzoyl Peroxide or Sulfur (good for those with sensitive skin) in the daytime to help curb oil production AND kill acne-causing bacteria. In the nighttime, it’s smart to use a Retinol product to help keep pores clear and skin glowing. All of these ingredients can be found in SLMD treatments (BP Lotion, Sulfur Lotion, Retinol Serum).
Use blotting papers.
If you get stuck with oil overload mid-day, blotting papers can 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!
Use a translucent powder or a powdered SPF.
Another thing you can fit in your purse! Translucent powder or our favorite, powdered SPF, like SLMD's UV Bounce, will help to mattify your shiny complexion and protect your skin from sun damage.
Use the right moisturizer.
There is some belief out there that if you have oily skin, you don’t need to or even shouldn’t moisturize. This is NOT true - all skin types need moisturizer. If you have oily skin, you just need to be more careful with what kind of moisturizer you are using. Go for something that is lightweight, free of oils, and water-based vs oil-based, like SLMD’s Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15.. Any moisturizer that is formulated for acne-prone skin should meet this criteria