In general, people have one of three main skin types: normal, oily or dry. What’s the difference? Well, in short, it’s all about the sebum (an oily secretion within the skin):
- Dry skin is caused by the underproduction of sebum and therefore lacks the lipids needed to retain moisture;
- Oily skin is caused by the overproduction of sebum, which clogs the pores;
- Normal skin has balanced sebum levels.
Oily Skin. Photo: Istock.
Diving Deeper into Oily Skin
You know you have oily skin when your face has a shiny complexion, your pores are visible mainly on your forehead, nose and chin, and your skin could be acne prone. Among the annoying downsides of oily skin are makeup sliding off, comedones (best known as blackheads when open and whiteheads when closed) and that everlasting greasiness in all the wrong places.
Although all that sounds a bit depressing, the good news are that it’s not that hard to achieve balance and make sure that your skin is not too oily, yet still maintains it natural moisture.
The target: Balance. Photo: Istock.
The Good Stuff – How to Alleviate Oily Skin
While the main cause of oily skin is genetics, environmental, hormonal and lifestyle factors can influence it significantly, as well as stress, poor hygiene and so on. And although you cannot change your skin type, there are things you can do to keep the oiliness under control.
- Say no to alcohol and oil-based skincare products that can irritate the skin and trigger increased oil production.
- Use the right skincare products, such as anti-bacterial cleansers and lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizers (although your skin is oily, the right moisturizer will make sure it’s hydrated). These will help control your skin’s oil production, reduce inflammation and mattify your skin.
- Apply sunscreen regularly to protect from sun damage, of course. Since sunscreens could cause acne breakouts, use only those that contain micronized zinc or titanium dioxide.
- Use a gentle face wash to avoid irritating the skin.
- Exfoliate with, you guessed it, a gentle face exfoliator and resist the urge to overdo it – once a week is enough.
- If you need to soak up the oil during the day, its best to use blotting papers. Make sure you don’t rub your face with the paper (which will only move the oil around). Instead, press it against your skin for a few seconds and allow it to absorb the oil.
- Finally, opt for oil free and water-based makeup.
Use the right products. Photo: Istock.