Summer Tips for Oily Skin: Your Ultimate Guide

Janell M. Hickman
Paul e Joe bbt S15 004

Whether it’s seasonal or just how your complexion rolls, oily skin can seriously cramp your beauty style. And in summer, when the line between ‘radiant’ and ‘greasier than a slice of pizza’ blurs a little, we get a little more desperate than usual to control our skin’s oil production. But it’s not all bad news: it turns out that there are simple ways to de-grease your face. Here’s exactly how to score shine-free skin this summer, along with our very best (expert-approved) summer skin care tips for oily skin.

First: Know The Source.
“Oily skin is caused by the overproduction of sebum by sebaceous glands, which is influenced by genetics—if you have larger sebaceous glands they produce more oil—hormonal changes, stress and diet,” says Judit Galambosi, Lead Therapist of The Erno Laszlo Institute. “In the summer, your skin tends to be more oily because the heat and humidity increases the oil production from sebaceous glands.”

Oily Skin Does Not Mean Acne!
“They can, but not always,” shares Kim Robertson, Kiehl’s Director of Customer Experience. “One way acne forms is when oil is secreted from sebaceous glands and becomes trapped under the skin due to a buildup of dead skin cells. When oil is trapped under the skin it becomes inflamed, promoting a ground for bacteria and other pathogens to thrive, which often results in a pimple.” So what can we do to stop it? Good news: it’s really easy. “This can be controlled using a skincare routine formulated for oily skin,” says Robertson. If your oil situation is really serious, consult a dermatologist—they’ll be able to point you in the direction of a good summer skin care routine.

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Don’t Wash It All Away.
“One thing you always want to avoid is over-washing, which strips the skin can actually cause irritation and overproduction of excess oil,” shares Metta Murdaya, co-founder of JUARA skincare. “Using gentle cleansers that don’t over-dry the skin is critical for it to maintain a natural moisture balance, and hence, a healthier skin barrier. I’d recommend our Rice Facial Cleanser since it’s sulfate-free and contains rice starch to clean while keeping skin soft.”

Create Your Skincare Dream Team.
“If you have slightly oily skin, use an exfoliating cleanser like Erno Laszlo’s Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar with the Phelityl Pre-Cleansing Oil to deeply cleanse, detoxify and hydrate the skin,” explains Galambosi. “If you have oily skin, use the Oil-Control Cleansing Bar to balance the skin and reduce the appearance of pores.”

But cleansing is only the beginning: toners are especially important for oily skin. “Finish with a toner like Light Controlling Lotion or Conditioning Preparation to control oil and reduce shine throughout the day,” she says. “And once a week, make sure to use an exfoliator to remove dulling dead skin cells so that your skincare products can penetrate the skin better.”

Pat Your Face, Ladies.
“Blotting sheets are great to keep handy throughout the day,” says Robertson.“They can absorb any extra oil produced without disrupting makeup. Use them as needed.” This way you’re removing oil, but not adding tonnes of extra, pore-blocking makeup.

Oil Doesn’t Cause Oil.
“There is a great misconception that certain skin care ingredients like oil will cause acne and promote oil-production,” says Galambosi, stressing that this isn’t true—the things that actually cause excess oil production are likely other things that you don’t even think about. “Over-drying and over-stimulating the skin with a washcloth or using a rotating cleansing brush can strip the skin of its natural oils—causing the skin to compensate by producing more sebum.”

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“Exfoliating is particularly important for people who have oily skin,” explains Murdaya. “It helps keeps your pores clear, and clogged pores mixed with dirt, sebum and bacteria is what can lead to blemishes and breakouts.” So often should grease-prone ladies exfoliate? However, exfoliation should only happen once or twice a week, or you may irritate the new, freshly revealed skin.”

Find The Right SPF.
“The key words you want to look for are, ‘oil-free’ and ‘non-comedogenic’,” Robertson tells us. “This ensures that the product will not cause excess shine or breakouts.” Her favorite sunscreen? “As someone who has oily skin myself, my favorite sunscreen is the Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ because it provides broad spectrum protection with the addition of Silica for a matte finish. So it’s very lightweight and absorbs easily,” Robertson says. “I wear it alone or under my makeup. It’s like second skin: no shine and no white film!”

Consider Gel Moisturizers.
If you have oily skin and the thought of applying a heavy moisturizer makes you break out in a cold sweat, consider a lightweight gel instead. “Gel moisturizers won’t reduce oiliness, but they will feel lighter on the skin,” explains Galambosi. “It’s all about texture and preference. Gel moisturizers usually have a high water content to instantly hydrate the skin without feeling greasy.”

Learn To Love Your Skin.
And at the end of the day, as long as your skin is healthy, a little bit of extra oil isn’t always a bad thing. “Remember, you are born with your skin type,” Robertson emphasizes. And really, who wants a totally matte complexion, anyway? Shine can be totally sexy. Viva la oil!

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