How do you know if you have oily skin?
This skin type is recognized by excess sebum (natural oil) on certain areas of the face like forehead, nose, and chin – known as the T-zone.
But, there are those of us who produce an overabundance of it, and we consider ourselves lucky if our entire face doesn’t start to shine two hours after applying makeup (on a good day).
If you have a shiny complexion, enlarged pores and your skin is prone to blackheads and whiteheads – your skin type is leaning on the oily side.
In this guide, I am going to show you how to control oily skin and I’ll also share with you 6 ways to beat oily skin (taken from my own experiences).
Let’s get started…
What Is Oily Skin?
It is a skin type that is determined by the number of overactive sebaceous glands present in the area that produce large amounts of sebum.
Oily skin type is most common in adolescents and young adults due to the increase in sebum production. The increase of sebum production is due to the hormonal changes each one of us experiences during puberty.
This process is mainly influenced by the male hormone testosterone which becomes active during the time of these changes. This means that after puberty, oil production might slow down for some people.
How To Get Rid Of Oily Skin?
The short answer to this question is: You cannot.
Oily skin is genetic. Just like you can’t change your eye color, you also can’t change your skin type. But no matter how annoying it can be (almost all the time), having oily skin has its perks too.
Your skin needs the naturally acidic film as a barrier to protect and maintain a healthy pH balance. Or in other words, a certain amount of natural oil is needed to keep your skin healthy, smooth and supple.
Thanks to the natural sebum your skin will always receive moisture and as hard as you might find it to believe – this is the exact reason why oily skins typically experience the signs of ageing at a slower pace than people with dry skin types. Dry skin can make wrinkles appear more pronounced.
Which is not a bad thing at all, right?
What Causes My Skin To Become Oily?
You might find battling the awkward shiny complexion and enlarged pores caused by our natural oil to be a real challenge.
Especially when everything seems to be a trigger for your skin to start greasing. But although challenging, it is by no means impossible.
Let’s start from the beginning and pay attention to recognizing the primary factors that are probably the main cause of the overproduction of sebum.
1. Poor Hydration:
The main trigger for this condition may believe it or not be poor hydration, and it’s simple:
Low water intake triggers our system into easily detecting the problem, and the sebaceous glands are immediately thrown into overwork, producing sebum to compensate the hydration our skin is missing.
You are two big bottles of water (a day) away from resolving this problem.
2. Imbalanced Diet:
I think this is self-explanatory.
A poor diet can be the main trigger for many serious health-related issues, and this always shows on the skin. Many skin concerns address an imbalanced diet including clogging of pores which leads to acne, bumps, cysts, etc.
You might want to remember having your fruits and greens daily because your skin will undoubtedly be thanking you.
I won’t be the one to tell you that you should avoid stress. We all know that stress is bad for our skin and health and we should avoid it by all cost.
But what we also know is that doing such a thing is nearly impossible in today’s world.
However, I feel compelled to list stress as one of the main factors to completely mess with our health and skin. Stress causes most hormonal imbalances which in turn stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce enough sebum to clog the pores and cause the most dreaded acne problems.
Which – I’m not going to lie – is the main reason on how I ended up with a face riddled with acne.
4. Pollution and humid climates:
A humid climate means that the air is full of water and all that water sits on your skin.
Which is not that big of a deal. But when you imagine all the pollution in the air, and all that polluted, bacteria-filled water sitting on your face, that changes the whole perspective.
This combination is a total nightmare for oily, acne-prone skin and a reason why we should use adequate protection against these daily aggressors.
What Can I Do To Control And Balance Oil Production?
There are quite a few things you can do and products you can use to help control your oily complexion. Remember that when cared properly, oily skin can appear dewy and never dull, unlike other skin types.
Having greasy skin isn’t an excuse for using harsh cleansers as this may potentially worsen the condition by making the skin feel stripped and in need of moisture.
The skin will only produce more oil to compensate for what was lost! So the desired solution is to always go with a mild, gentle cleanser as this will only complement your complexion without irritating your skin.
The function of a toner is to complete the cleansing of your skin and remove any traces of pollution or makeup that still might be lingering on your face after cleansing.
Toner serves to bring back and balance the pH of the skin after using a cleanser and depending on your skin type – to soothe and calm the skin.
Oily skins might slightly benefit from astringents (strongest acting of the toners) due to the most desired effect of pore-shrinking, but they are still drying to the skin and should be avoided in the long run.
The alcohol content, which irritates the skin also causes swelling around the pores and temporarily makes them look less obvious. A gentle, balancing and non-irritating lotion is something I would always recommend for any skin type.
I see many people making the horrible mistake of skipping on applying their moisturizer. Okay, we get it. It is greasy, and this is the last thing your oily complexion needs.
This is wrong on so many levels. Incorporating a light, hydrating moisturizer into your skincare routine has the potential of balancing out the oil production.
It all goes down to the same solution for a familiar problem. The sebaceous glands will not be thrown into overwork to provide moisture for your skin because a gentle, oil-free moisturizer will have that covered for ya’.
Sun protection is essential for healthy skin.
As we all know (and are tired of reading) sun causes the most serious damage to our skin compared to all self-inflicted injuries we expose our skins to daily.
The sun is a number one factor for any skin conditions from freckles, discolouration, hyperpigmentation, telangiectasia (dilated blood vessels under the skin), sallowness (a yellow discolouration of the skin), destruction of the collagen and elastin tissue and the scariest and most fatal; skin cancer.
Using a broad spectrum sunscreen to protect from the damaging UV rays will save your skin from all of the above.
Sunscreens include lots of silicone and acrylate polymers which make them water resistant, so typically these tend to leave that greasy film on the face which oily skins dread most.
Opting for an oil-free sunscreen dries quickly can put an end to this struggle and shield your skins from daily aggressors.
The process of this involves the removal of old, dead, keratinized skin cells that are tightly packed on the surface of our skins and are responsible for making our complexion appear dull.
Exfoliating once or twice a week promotes a healthier complexion appearance, improved skin color, and overall smoother skin.
Oily skin types are spoiled for choice between both chemical exfoliators or mechanical scrubs as this skin type can take both types of exfoliation without showing an overly sensitive reaction.
6. Clay Masks:
And my personal favorites – clay masks – are the absolute best for your oily skin since the negatively charged molecules in clay are excellent for drawing impurities out of your pores and absorbing the excess of natural oils that are on the skin.
Using clay masks once a week will significantly improve the texture of your skin, making it look and feel fresh and smooth.
Thank you very much for reading my guide on how to control oily skin;
These are just a few things that anyone who is dealing with oily skin can do to balance and improve the texture of their skin.
Following the simple steps listed above will dramatically improve your overall health and of course, protect your skin, making you notice an instant, positive change.