Oily skin gets a bad rap. Yeah, it can clog pores and ignite acne breakouts. But it also helps preserve the skin. Did you know that if you have oily skin, you’re likely to have fewer wrinkles than most?
Too much oil, though, feels greasy and looks shiny. But aggressively trying to get rid of it can have the opposite intended effect and cause your body to produce even more of it. Follow these five steps and you’ll strike the perfect balance between having too much oil and maintaining your skin’s natural moisture.
Wash your face every day, but no more than twice.
The most common instinct when you look into a mirror and see a gleaming forehead staring back at you is to reach for the face wash. And then repeat as needed throughout the day. While it may help in the moment, you’re also stripping your skin of its essential oils. In response, your skin’s going to make even more of it.
So, show some restraint and stick to washing your face twice a day, once in the morning to clear the way for makeup and sunscreen and once at night to rinse off said makeup—don’t sleep in it, like, ever—and the environmental pollutants you picked up during the course of the day.
While we’re on the subject, opt for a gentle foaming face wash, if you haven’t already. Using one that’s too harsh, or even scrubbing too aggressively with a gentle one, irritates the skin and triggers even more oil production.
Don’t skip the moisturizer.
It’s easy to think that moisturizer’s only feeding the problem, but using moisturizer actually helps reduce the oiliness because it’s slowing down the sebum production. Whereas, when your skin thinks it’s dry, it’s going to crank up production.
Kill two birds with one stone by seeking out a moisturizer that also contains a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. The sunscreen should also contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Steer clear of any with a fragrance or oils.
Use non-pore-clogging products.
As widespread as the term is, “non-comedogenic” is more marketing hype than it is an official clarifier. Still, it’s useful at least as an indication that the manufacturer is considering how the ingredients may affect acne breakouts, which makes them a good place to start when you’re shopping for skincare products. In theory, they shouldn’t clog your pores, but if you have oily skin, it may take some trial and error to figure out which ones work best for you.
Go easy on the toner.
Applying toner, like washing your face, can seem to have no downside. It’s pulling out excess oil, dirt, and grease from the skin, leaving it feeling and looking squeaky clean. What’s not to love? But, again, your skin’s misinterpreting your intention. As far as it’s concerned, the oil’s been stripped away, so it needs to get to work and compensate for that loss. If it’s a habit you’re not ready to break, at least find a toner that isn’t alcohol-based.
Keep your hands away from your face.
On average, you touch your face 2,000 to 3,000 times a day. Hard to believe, right? And each time you do it, you’re spreading dirt, oil, and bacteria from your hands to your face.
Telling you to not touch your face at all is unrealistic. So, just try to be more conscious of it and pull your hand back every time you manage to catch yourself doing it.
The exceptions: when you’re cleansing, moisturizing, and applying makeup or sunscreen. And when you’re using blotting papers. Pull them out throughout the day and they’ll absorb some of the excess oil. Just be sure to gently press them for a few seconds at a time. Rubbing them on your face will only spread the oil.