Few things are worse than dealing with oily skin during winter. Slick faces are typically associated with summer, when high temps melt makeup and snatch whatever patience we have left to keep applying it. But the contrast between cold wind and heat sources can be just as damaging. Usually, this is when oily skin tends to go dry, unless there’s an ongoing skin issue (ie. acne, rosacea, etc.). In those cases, the skin tends to stay inflamed, oily or a combination of both.
We tend to assume that our skin can go without certain non-negotiables this time of year; sun protection being at the top of that list. “We tend to think that because our skin is oily in the summer, it won’t need as much protection or hydration during the winter, but beware of the sun rays,” says Miami-based celebrity aesthetician, Dr. Maribel Pedrozo. “The cold can make us lower our guard against solar radiation; we must be using sunscreen daily to avoid these harmful effects that can include the appearance of spots, premature aging or the appearance of tumors.”
There’s also the issue of makeup; especially if like me, you’re a bit lazy and rarely think to switch out your coverage when summer days fade out. “Many times, we do not know how to choose our makeup and some of these products can cause the skin to look greasy and shiny,” says Pedrozo. Finding the exact products that will keep your skin in check can be a longer process, but overall, it’s important for oily skin types to stay away from products that have an oil base or products that tend to clog the pores.
Fighting Oil With Oil
So less face oil and more non-comedogenics, right? Got it. But what if I literally cannot part ways with the face oil that takes care of other issues, like redness and inflammation? To further clarify Dr. Pedrozo’s previous point, oils aren’t completely off the table. Fighting oil with oil works for many, but it really depends on the type of oil you’re using. In the case of oily skin, its chemical makeup should resemble that of your face so you’re not left with the kind of greasy film you see after a hard workout.
“In some oils, its composition is similar to the ceramides that cover our skin, and therefore protects and hydrates without obstructing the pores, fights the germs that ignite and, most importantly, balances.” The most ideal ones for oily skin are jojoba, squalane, açaí, and argan.
As always, chemical exfoliation is also your best friend. Whereas beta-hydroxy acids, the most common being salicylic acid, is best for combatting breakouts and other nasty blemishes under the skin, alpha-hydroxy acids are a bit different. These water-soluble chemicals slough off dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, which make them the best choice for re-balancing oil production.
According to Dr. Pedrozo, the best type of exfoliator for oily skin types combines both AHAs and BHAs so it can not only conserve moisture, but maintain clean skin too. Just be sure to use it sparingly and in small quantities. And if you prefer a do-it-yourself product, refined brown sugar with honey is just as effective.
The Dream Routine
If you’re not sure where to start and want to avoid buying more products than you need, Dr. Pedrozo recommends sticking with a cleanser-serum-moisturizer-sunscreen combo. “Remember that in the winter weather, conditions make this routine more necessary than ever, so it is important to cleanse and care for your face with products that are oil-free, not comedogenic,” she repeats.
First, wash your face with a cream or a bar of soap that contains AHA. OLEHENRIKSEN’s Find Your Balance™ Oil Control Cleanser is not only formulated with glycolic and lactic acids–both AHAs. There’s also a small amount of neem oil and active botanicals with antiseptic properties. So you’re getting moisture, protection from breakouts and improved texture in one.
Next, Pedrozo recommends a vitamin C serum to brighten up your complexion when the sun isn’t out as much. It also eliminates the need to tan. One of newest formulas on the market is Omorovicza’s Daily Vitamin C, a gentle, serum made with one of the most stable forms of vitamin C, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, and Kiwiberry, a natural source of vitamin C. Combined with niacinamide, a water-soluble vitamin, and hyaluronic acid, you’re getting another layer of moisture that doesn’t feel heavy.
Finally, don’t be afraid to lather on a rich moisturizing cream that contains hyaluronic acid or green tea–like the Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream–and if it’s daytime, never forget your sunscreen.