Oily Skin Care

Skin contains sebaceous glands that produce sebum, or oil, that is needed for skin nutrition and to keep skin soft. In people with oily skin, these glands work overtime. Fluctuating hormone levels are one reason the sebaceous glands produce too much oil, which is why teenagers are particularly susceptible to oily skin problems.

Cleansers for Oily Skin

The first step in oily skin care is proper cleansing. Many people with oily skin make the mistake of using harsh cleansers to scrub away the oil. However, the body’s natural response to the irritation of a harsh cleanser is to produce more oil. Instead, avoid soaps completely, because most strip away all of the skin’s natural oils.

Look for a gentle cleanser for oily skin that is designed to wash away excess oil without removing the fatty acids that help maintain and protect the skin. You may need a different cleanser in the winter when the air is dry and more likely to dry out your skin.

Because oily skin is prone to acne, the American Academy of Dermatology (n.d.) recommends using an oil-free, non-comodegenic foaming cleanser with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to prevent breakouts. ‘Non-comodegenic’ means that the cleanser doesn’t contain ingredients that block pores.

People with an oily complexion should avoid over-cleansing their skin. Washing in the morning and at night is enough for most people.

Moisturizer for Oily Skin

Even oily skin requires a moisturizer, since oil and moisture have different roles in maintaining the quality of your skin. The American Academy of Dermatology (n.d.) recommends a lightweight, non-comodegenic moisturizer for oily skin that also contains sunscreen. Avoid moisturizers that contain oil. However, creams that contain alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) may help.

Other Oily Skin Care Tips

Here are a few other tips for controlling oily skin:

  • Exfoliate your skin no more than once or twice a week. Avoid exfoliation during acne breakouts because the friction may make acne worse.
  • Use a clay or mud masque once a week.
  • Use astringent or toner to remove excess oil.

You can also try some oil-inhibiting products that are on the market. If your home care isn’t working, consider seeing a dermatologist, who may prescribe a drug such as Retin-A, Differin