7 tips for treating oily skin & best products to use

If oilier-than-usual skin has become a concern, we’ve got good news. You can banish excess oil and stay shine-free for good. We’re breaking down everything you need to know about treating oily skin.


Oily skin is caused by excess sebum production leading to clogged and enlarged pores. And while genetics play a major role in determining your skin type, other factors — such as your lifestyle, environment, and hormones can all contribute to oily skin.

Oily skin is characterized by a shiny T-zone (chin, nose, forehead). People with oily skin are usually prone to breakouts, have enlarged pores and typically have a hard time keeping their makeup in place. However, there are some positives to having oily skin. This skin type tends to be less wrinkled and also ages at a slower speed due to the extra oil content in the skin.

A common misconception is that you need to dry out the oils on your skin, but you actually need hydration to balance them. Healthy skin consists of both oil and water. A solid skincare routine is crucial for treating oily skin, but there are additional steps you can take to help keep your skin in check. Here are 7 simple tips for keeping excess oil at bay, so you can keep your healthy glow without the shine.

Expert Tips for Reducing Excess Oil While Keeping Skin Hydrated - Part 1

1 - Pay attention to how and when you wash your face.


Washing your face may seem like a simple daily ritual, but if you have oily skin, a lot of thought goes into how to wash your face properly. Washing is the key to fighting excess oil, just as long as you don’t overdo it. Overwashing your face can be just as troublesome as not washing your face enough. Washing your face too often can dry out your skin, triggering it to produce more oil. If your face feels tight after washing, you’re probably doing it too often. Your skin should feel soft and supple after cleansing.

No matter your skin type, you want to wash your face at least once a day — in the evening to remove any dirt, makeup, oil, and grime that's built up on your skin throughout the day. But if you have oily skin, washing twice a day is ideal- once in the morning when you wake up and once again before bed. You should note that it’s also important to wash after exercising or sweating profusely. Start with clean hands and use your fingertips to gently massage a cleansing cream into your face, using warm (not hot) water. And be sure to change your face towels daily- oil, dirt, and bacteria get trapped on your towels.


2 - Don't skip toner

Using a toner is often overlooked as a step in a healthy skincare routine, but when it comes to treating oily skin it’s an absolute must. A toner is a fast-penetrating liquid that helps remove dead skin cells and debris off the skin’s surface while delivering a quick hit of hydration. Toners balance oil production and deep-clean pores of dirt, makeup and environmental pollution.

Toner is like a primer for the rest of your skin-care routine. It preps the skin to quickly and more effectively absorb any post-cleansing treatments you apply. Look for a pH balancing toner like witch hazel that is simple but super effective at treating oily skin. Use your toner right after cleansing, while your skin is still wet. Molecules penetrate the skin better when it is wet, so applying active ingredients immediately after cleansing delivers better results. Soak a cotton pad with toner, then swipe it over your entire face, neck, and chest. Proceed with applying your treatment-focused products like serums, SPF, and eye cream.


3 - Exfoliate. Exfoliate. Exfoliate.

    Exfoliation is often thought of as only being necessary to remove obvious blackheads and blemishes from dry skin, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Oily skin is more susceptible to blemishes and spots because the oil causes the skin to shed more slowly than other skin types. The trapped dead skin exacerbates the oiliness as it absorbs sebum, which is the oily secretion of the sebaceous glands. Exfoliating removes that build up so oil doesn't get trapped, clogging pores.
    But exfoliating too much is just as harmful as not exfoliating at all or going too long in between exfoliation treatments. Oil is not the enemy of your skin; an excessive amount is. Oily skin can be exfoliated 2-3 times per week. Products like exfoliating cleansers and scrubs are ideal for loosening dirt in the pores and treating oily skin. Look for ingredients like enzymes to reduce excess oil production and prevent the plugging of pores that lead to breakouts.

    4 - Add a Retinol into your skincare regimen


    Retinol is a superstar skincare ingredient when it comes to treating oily skin. Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative most commonly used to fight problems like wrinkling and hyperpigmentation, but it’s just as effective for use on oily skin. Retinol builds collagen, firms up the skin and reshapes the lining of your pores. This means less oil is produced and any oil that is produced comes out easily as opposed to getting trapped and causing a clogged pore, blackhead, or pimple. When used regularly, a natural retinol serum helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots in addition to controlling oil production.


    5 - You still need to moisturize oily skin


    Using a moisturizer is key to keeping oil production under control. Don't skip it. People often confuse oil with hydration, so they may not think a moisturizer is necessary when treating oily skin. But not using a moisturizer can cause the skin to overcompensate and produce even more oil.

    If you have oily skin, consider using a lightweight illuminating moisturizer that won’t clog pores. After washing and toning your face, spot-treat any pimples or breakouts and dab your moisturizer only where needed, carefully avoiding your t-zone. Your t-zone is the area of your face consisting of your forehead, nose, and chin, and these are common places on the face for excess oil, acne, and blackheads for people who have oily skin.


    6 - Use blotting papers to absorb excess oils throughout the day

    Blotting papers are super affordable and portable and are an easy way to instantly get rid of excess shine. These little sheets of paper are made out of extra-absorbent materials that usually include ingredients like rice and cotton. Blotting papers work by soaking up excess sebum on the skin, making it look and feel matte. They offer quick touch-ups without disrupting your makeup and are discreet enough to stick in your bag to refresh your face throughout the day.


    7 - Your makeup could be making things worse.

    Makeup melts into your pores, clogging them and leading to more oil production, so choose your products wisely. Look for non-comedogenic products that are much less likely to clog pores, and always prime your skin first. When you have an oily complexion, a primer is an important first step in your makeup routine. A non-comedogenic primer will essentially act as a shield over the skin, keeping your makeup from seeping into your pores. And while it may seem like piling on the face powder is the way to treat oily skin, going overboard can have the opposite effect, making your pores push out more oil. Apply a non-comedogenic matte translucent powder just on the areas of your face that are shiny.


    More Tips and Tricks

    Adding a face mask formulated for breakout prone or oily skin into your weekly skincare routine is another great way to treat oily skin. Look for a mask with ingredients like tea tree oil, clay, or activated charcoal. If your cheeks tend to get dry, only apply the mask on your t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) to ensure the less oily parts of your face stay soft.


    Pore strips are also a great way to combat oily skin and clean out your pores, especially if you have blackheads. Make sure to use a toner after you remove the strip so as not to leave any residue behind on your skin from the pore strips. And as with any healthy skincare routine, make sure you are drinking enough water and eating well.

    Whether your oily skin promotes breakouts or keeps your pores clogged, stay shine free and kiss excess oils goodbye with our expert tips for treating oily skin.

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