How to Determine Whether You Need an Oily Skincare Routine
Oily skin can be a pain—it's shiny, clogs pores, and feels greasy. Thankfully, it’s easy to treat if you know what to do. Many things can cause oily skin including weather, genetics, age, and hormones—but don't worry! There are many ways you can deal with this common skin issue.
What is oily skin?
Oily skin is a common condition characterized by excess oil on the skin, generally occurring around puberty and sometimes for the remainder of adulthood. Oily skin can appear shiny, thick, and dull colored. Pores are often enlarged, and blackheads (open comedones) may be present. Oily skin can lead to other skin conditions including clogged pores, acne vulgaris, seborrhea dermatitis, rosacea-like eruptions, and yeast infections.
Oily skin can be an inherited condition or it can develop as a result of hormonal changes due to the menstrual cycle or pregnancy (in women). Sebum production is also affected by hot weather conditions or by a buildup of stress hormones in the body such as cortisol.
What causes oily skin?
Oily skin happens when your sebaceous glands produce too much sebum. Sebum is an oil that keeps your skin and hair healthy. But too much of it can lead to oily skin, clogged pores, and acne.
You may be more likely to have oily skin if you have a family history of it. This is because certain genes can make you more prone to excess oil production.
Hormonal changes can make your body increase oil production. Oily skin is common during puberty and pregnancy, for example. It's also common in women during the menstrual cycle or when going through menopause due to hormonal changes.
Diet and medications
A diet high in processed foods or dairy products can cause oily skin. Certain medications can affect hormones and contribute to oily skin, too.
How to recognize oily skin-types
To begin, you’ll need to determine what your skin type is. Oily skin types have thick, shiny and dull-looking skin, with large pores and occasional breakouts. As we age, the oil production on our face changes so that the skin looks drier but can still be prone to breakouts. The good news is that oily skin will usually age better than other skins because it retains more moisture in the cells due to a surplus of natural oils.
Benefits of an Oily Skincare routine.
- Moisturizer helps keep your skin hydrated and soft.
- Moisturizers help your makeup go on smoothly and provide a nice base for the rest of your makeup routine.
- They also help prevent breakouts by keeping dead skin cells from clogging up pores.
- They can help prevent other skin problems like dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea by keeping sebum production in check.
How to choose the right products for an Oily skincare routine
Cleanse your skin with a gentle foaming cleanser
- You can cleanse your skin using a gentle foaming cleanser. This type of cleanser should be used only once every day in the morning or at night, depending on what other facial products you use.
- If your skin needs help unclogging pores and drying up oil, you can use a gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin cells.
- After exfoliating, you should use a toner to restore the pH level of your skin.
- A clay mask can be used as needed to draw out any excess oil from your face. It's important to remember not to overuse clay masks because they can dry out your skin and cause it to produce more oil than it did before.
- Use an oil-free moisturizer for best results — if one doesn't work for you, try another! If none seem right then make sure that whatever moisturizer is being used has some kind of sun protection factor built into it so as not to damage your delicate face further when exposed outside!
Find an oil-free moisturizer that's right for you.
To start, it’s important to think about the ingredients in your moisturizer and what those ingredients can do for your skin. Moisturizers that are oil-free will be the best choice for oily skin types because they won’t make your skin feel heavier or greasier throughout the day.
You’ll also want to look for a moisturizer that is non-comedogenic, which means it does not block pores and can help reduce pore size and acne breakouts. Generally speaking, a good idea is to stay away from products with heavy oils or butter bases like avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, or shea butter. You should also avoid products that contain artificial fragrances or sulfates (like sodium lauryl sulfate), parabens, and alcohols as these ingredients may cause you to break out, become dry or irritate your skin further.
Choose toners with hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid
It's easy to let your skin get oily, especially in the winter.
In a pinch between moisturizing and oil control, you can often use alcohol to help balance things out. But this isn't always a good thing—alcohol is drying! Alcohol-based toners can even cause acne if they're used too often or not in moderation. Take it from us, though: an oilier skincare routine doesn't have to be as bad as you think it should be. The right products will make all the difference!
A general rule of thumb for keeping your skin under control: choose products that contain ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or hyaluronic acid. These will work as a natural moisturizer and exfoliant at the same time, so you'll look healthy without necessarily breaking out. We've compiled a list of our favorite toners (we don't recommend any witch hazel-based products!) that we feel are effective on oily skin and worth trying out yourself; here's what they do:
Use a clay mask once or twice a week.
To help control your skin's oil production and to prevent breakouts, use a clay mask once or twice a week. Clay masks can help remove excess sebum from the skin and absorb the oils you do produce. Look for products that contain oil-absorbing ingredients such as bentonite clay or kaolin clay.
Should you consider an oily skincare routine?
If you have oily skin, some products can actually help reduce oil on the surface of your skin to make it appear less shiny. That’s because these products are water-based. Certain oils help keep your skin hydrated without clogging pores or creating more shine.
A few things to consider before starting an oily skincare routine:
- An oily skincare routine is only recommended if you have naturally oily skin and want to combat the appearance of a greasy complexion.
- Cleansing can be tricky with an oily skincare routine since you’re working with several different oil-based products that need special removal. This is why double cleansing (using a facial cleanser twice) is essential!
- A toner helps remove any excess dirt and makeup while balancing pH levels in your skin—and it’ll leave your complexion feeling refreshed and clean after a long, oil-filled day.