If you struggle with super oily skin, you know what a pain it can be to experience runny makeup, breakouts, and undesirable shine, particularly when the weather is warm. But excess oil on the face isn’t exclusively a seasonal problem—visibly oily skin is the result of an overproduction of sebum, the natural oil secreted from your pores. Don’t know where you stand? If your skin grows visibly shiny within an hour of washing your face, it’s safe to say that you have oily skin.
Having oily skin means maintaining a constant balance between too much oil and too little, which creates a vicious cycle that forces skin to produce more sebum. We asked the experts for their best tips on how to prevent oily skin from getting the best of you so that you can let your natural beauty shine, not your forehead.
“Over-exfoliation is very common,” saysDr. Elizabeth Tanzi, Founder & Director of Capital Laser & Skin Care and Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the George Washington Medical Center, “particularly in women who are acne-prone or oily, because they feel they need to get the pores ‘squeaky clean’ or they will break out more.” Wrong—not only can chronic inflammation from too much exfoliation speed up the aging process, but zapping the skin of moisture will lead to more oil. Dr. Tanzi recommends exfoliating gently by using a glycolic acid-based cleanser with a Clarisonic brush.
Find the right moisturizer.
Just because your skin is naturally oily doesn’t mean you should avoid moisturizer. Celebrity facials Joanna Vargas recommends looking for one with zinc or jojoba oil, because they control oil production by signaling the skin to not produce excess sebum. Joanna Vargas Daily Hydrating Cream does just that, controlling oil production with zinc while hydrating, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and increasing the skin’s luminosity.
Choose a non-greasy sunscreen.
Sunscreens can be especially greasy on the face, so it’s key to look for one with an oil-controlling matte finish. Dr. Tanzi recommends that extremely oily skin types stick to a powder sunscreen with zinc, like Colorescience Unforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush SPF 50 to absorb excess oil like a powder while also providing plenty of sun protection.
Skip the face towel.
“Instead of wiping your face with your bath towel, use a paper towel instead,” says Vargas. “If you’re breaking out and use the same towel on your face for a few days, it will spread the bacteria [and oil] and make the breakout even worse.” A paper towel, on the other hand, can simply be tossed away after use. Just be sure to blot your face with the towel rather than rub.
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