Shine Control Tips When Your Skin Is on Perma-Schvitz

Sable Yong


We love tank tops and jeans shorts as much a the next girl, but one of the downfalls of summer is avoiding the glistening sheen of sweat that can be permanently on your skin after spending even 10 minutes outside in the sun. The dewy look is in this year, but there’s a fine wet line between fresh and dewy and greased up. You’re probably not that comfortable either, constantly wiping sweat from your brows, but all in all, you’ve got to roll with the weather one way or another. You can still look dewy without leaping full into “I just stepped out of a sauna/steam room” with a few simple tips.

Inject some H2O in your skincare. You may be switching from heavy moisturizers to face oils, and that’s totally fine if you have dry to normal skin, year-round. However, for those with more enthusiastic sebaceous glands, there are water-based moisturizers that may become your new best friends. By using water as the chief hydrating ingredient, these gel-like moisturizers can keep your oil-glands in check by telling them “Hey, we’re covered for moisture here. Take it easy” but also feeling like you’re wearing almost nothing at all.

MORE: Control Shine With These Mattifying Products

Take more than blotting papers wherever you go. This is a bit of a no-brainer, but also mostly just a quick fix. Blotting papers may sop up extra oil on your face, but if you’re sweating on top of it, the sweat may hog all the absorbing powers, still leaving a sheen of oil on your face. This is where the good old-fashioned handkerchief comes in. Keeping one in your purse would be a great sweat-mop for pre-blotting. Seems like a lot of steps, but it’s a seriously easy solution.

Toner is your friend. You know that grimy sticky feeling that sweat leaves on your skin? Feels yucky, doesn’t it? A spritz of water can feel refreshing but more likely it just moves the sweat around. Keeping a spray bottle of a gentle toner with witch hazel (and other calming ingredients like aloe vera, rose water, cucumber, or chamomile, if you so prefer) is a great alternative for when you want a refreshing mist that also makes your pores chill out. For really oily skin, an alcohol-based toner spray would be extra helpful.

Incorporate clay masks and gentle exfoliation in your weekly skin care routine. This is more preventative than insta-solution. The reason? When you sweat, your pores are pretty much hosing out water in your body to cool your skin. The water that’s leaving your body is also taking with it the excess sebum that your pores already create. Too much of this means that there’s more oil getting to the surface of your skin and subsequently clogging your pores—especially if you tend to have dry flaky skin even in summer. Dead skin cells can build up in pores, becoming blackheads or whiteheads. The sweat trying to escape beneath them isn’t helping that either. By using a clay mask at least once a week to absorb excess oil and impurities in your skin and making sure your skin is properly (and gently) exfoliated on the regular will at least keep clogged pores clear so you don’t have to blame your sweat for breaking you out.

Cool it on the hot stuff. Spicy food is a reason for living… for some. However, it’s also one of those things that dilates your blood vessels, making you perspire more. Maybe save the triple-hot salsa for a cooler night snack. Caffeine stimulates your nervous system (ever hear of the coffee jitters?) making you sweat more, too. If you drink more water in general, your body can process its temperature control a lot more easily. Better yet, infuse some cucumber into your water.

Save your foundation for the fall. As miraculous as it can be, foundation is not really your friend if you’re just going to sweat it off and let it melt into your pores. Switch it for a tinted moisturizer instead and your skin should feel that much lighter (and less prone to breakouts).

Keep slathering on the SPF. Sunscreen gets a bad rep for making you look and feel like a greased up hot potato. Beauty brands have caught on to this gripe though, making ones with a better textured feel. Try one with alcohol denat or SD alcohol 40 in the ingredient list because denatured alcohol gives a matte finish to a formula.

MORE: Keeping Oily Skin Under Control This Summer