- If your face often appears to be shiny and you find you’re prone to blackheads and breakouts, you most likely have oily skin.
- When it comes to treating oily skin, dermatologists recommend not cleansing too often and sticking to a simple skin-care routine.
- It’s best for those with oily skin to avoid thick, greasy moisturizers.
Oily skin can be a real pain, as frequent blackheads, breakouts, and slick spots can be frustrating to manage. And though you may think that a good facial mask and detoxifying cleanser is all it takes to get rid of unwanted greasiness, that isn’t always the case. Dermatologists say that there are some important skin-care dos and don’ts to keep in mind when dealing with oily skin and that there are seemingly innocent habits that you may be indulging in which can make your skin worse.
To help you determine which skin-care habits you should leave behind, we spoke to some seasoned pros on the topic. Below are some helpful hacks they recommend keeping on your radar next time your face is feeling especially greasy.
Don’t cleanse too much
“The most common mistake I see in my patients with oily skin is over-cleansing, whether with cleaning the skin too frequently or with overly astringent products,” said Dr. Inessa Fishman,facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon.
Over-cleansing strips the skin of its natural protective barrier, she explained, which can lead to redness, inflammation, acne outbreaks, and sensitivity.
Don’t make your skin-care routine too complicated
With so many new products consistently touting amazing results, it can be tempting to overdo it when it comes to your skin-care routine. But dermatologists say when it comes to your skin, it’s best to keep things simple.
“I like a simple skin-care routine, and prefer to keep the morning steps limited to cleanser, vitamin C serum, moisturizer if feeling dry, and a powder sunscreen,” Fishman told INSIDER.
Don’t use harsh products
“I always tell my patients with oily skin to avoid over-drying the skin with harsh products,” said Lisa A. Carroll, MD, FAAD, of Brinton Lake Dermatology.
Although it is tempting to do so, she explained that over stripping the skin’s natural oils will only trigger more oil production and lead to even oilier skin.
Don’t use alcohol-based products
If you suffer from oily skin or acne, Carroll said that you might be compelled to try alcohol-based skin products. She advised, however, that you avoid these products, as they can dry out your skin.
“Your sebaceous glands will get the message that your skin is too dry and will work overtime to produce even more sebum (skin oils),” she said.
Avoid super-gentle cleansers
When it comes to treating oily skin, it’s all about balance. Though you shouldn’t use harsh cleansers, you also shouldn’t use incredibly gentle cleansers.
“Avoid super-gentle cleansers since you need a little oil-cutting in your cleanser, particularly at night,” said board-certified dermatologist Dr. Anna Guanche, MD, FAAD.
Don’t avoid a dermatologist
“For individuals who have extremely oily skin, for those who also suffer from acne, or for those who wish for more aggressive therapy, it is advised to see a dermatologist,” said Dr. Fayne Frey, FAAD.
Prescription and non-prescription retinoids (vitamin A derivatives) are available that may decrease oil production, she explained. A doctor can advise you on which is best.
Don’t use a sunscreen with a low SPF
“Individuals with oily skin should apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 (or higher) to their face daily, liberally, and often,” Dr. Frey told INSIDER.
Individuals with oily skin are advised to try applying some sunscreen behind their ear (or on a small area of the face or neck), for a five-day trial to assess how it looks on their skin and the efficacy of the particular sunscreen, she added.
Don’t use hydrating primers
“If you use makeup primer, be sure not to use hydrating primer products,” said board-certified dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman. Jaliman instead recommended people with oily skin stick to using mattifying primers.
That way, when they apply makeup, their skin won’t look oily.
Don’t use greasy skin-care products
“Avoid moisturizers and foundations that are too greasy or heavy,” Dr. Jaliman told INSIDER. Try to use lotions instead of creams and ointments, as lotions are lighter in texture, she said.
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