By Janna I. Denisenko PharmD, BS, MHS, FACA
Whether you have dry, oily, or sensitive skin, we can’t change our skin composition, but we can certainly take steps to improve our skin health. Genetics influence our skin type, but the environment and internal factors (such as hormones, health conditions, and water intake) also contribute to how our skin is behaving.
As someone with oily skin, I have tried countless products to get rid of the shine. I’ve always hated how my skin felt greasy and looked slick (especially during hot and humid summer days in New York City). However, I’ve learned to embrace it and refer to it as a “natural dew”. For the oily skin people out there, who doesn’t want to shrink the size of those pores, get rid of pesky blackheads, and tame breakouts?
So why is oily skin more prone to breakouts? Well, when sebaceous glands that overproduce sebum (a natural oil) gets combined with dead skin cells, bacteria and dirt, those large pores get clogged and leads to break outs and/or congested skin.
I don’t look at skincare products to try and change my skin type, but rather use items that aid in getting my skin type under control. Read on for a few of my skincare recommendations and tips to help oily skin!
Tip: Don’t overdo the cleansing! It may seem like cleansing will remove the oil and mattify your skin, but natural oils are nourishing. You risk drying the skin out and in turn will overproduce oils to compensate.
Tip: Exfoliators are intense, but effective at removing buildup in pores for oily skin! Limit exfoliation to about twice a week. Do not combine physical and chemical exfoliators (those with acids) in one day. I recommend keeping this step in your evening routine to give your skin time overnight to bounce back, and prevent any sun damage.
Tip: Clay is ideal for drawing oil from the skin surface and impurities that can cause acne. Use it as a spot treatment overnight! Don’t keep the mask on for too long. It becomes incredibly dry and withdraws moisture, leaving your skin feeling tight and even irritated.
Tip: Look for moisturizers that are “oil-free”, especially ones to put on in the morning, so it doesn’t feel extra heavy. A gel formulation is lightweight and still moisturizing. Products with hyaluronic acid add extra hydration without the need of an extra step in your routine.
Tip: The right blotting paper is perfect for touching up and reducing the appearance of shine when you are out and about.