As promised, we are going to go through all the skin types and give each one a more in-depth look. The type that has received the most interest and questions is Oily Skin.
So let’s begin with that!
Characteristics of Oily Skin
Oily skin is visibly shiny and feels oily to the touch. The texture is slightly thicker with larger pores, especially along the nose. Initially, the skin may look and feel normal after washing but by mid-day becomes visibly shiny and oily. This happens because of overactive sebaceous glands that secrete sebum. These glands are all over the body, but most are concentrated on the face, chest, shoulders and upper back. The areas along the t-zone (the forehead, nose and chin) are especially apt to producing too much sebum.
Causes of Oily Skin
- You inherited oily genes! Congratulations. Sometimes, it just so happens that the skin you came in has a tendency to produce too much oil. But honestly, people shouldn’t look at oily skin as a curse. When properly taken care of, oily skin can look very healthy, radiant and plump with moisture.
- Fluctuating hormones. Hormones can be especially bonkers during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. That’s why oily skin can be common for people in their teens and for women in their 20s and even past their 30s.
- You’re a guy. Although men don’t suffer as much from hormonal fluctuations, they naturally tend to have larger pores and oilier skin than women. This is because the male hormone testosterone contributes to stimulating oil gland activity.
- Heat and humidity. In hot and humid climates, some people have problems with the combination of oily skin and sweating.
Oily Skin and Acne
While oily skin is prone to acne, it does not necessarily mean that oily skin is the direct cause of acne. Sebum naturally flows out of pores onto the skin and the excess is normally rinsed away during daily cleansing. The pores however can be clogged by an accumulation of dead skin cells. Then, oil can become trapped and lead to the infection otherwise known as acne. Not everyone who has oily skin, however, suffers from acne. In fact, some people with dry skin can have acne. The key is to finding skin care techniques and habits that works specifically for YOUR skin.
Taking Care of Oily Skin
The most effective way to manage oily skin is regular cleansing. You must wash at least twice daily, in the mornings after waking up and at night before going to bed. You should also cleanse your face immediately after a workout and sweating heavily.
Use lukewarm water to wash your face since extreme temperatures can irritate the skin. Also, choose a cleanser that is oil-free and specifically suited for oily skin. Foaming cleansers are much better at leaving oily skin feeling fresh and clean rather than cream-based “milks,” which contain lipids that can leave the face feeling greasy.
People with oily skin might avoid moisturizers because they are put off by the thought of making their face even greasier. But moisture and hydration is needed to keep the skin’s water content in place. Hydration means water, and all skin types benefit from the added hydration since the skin’s internal water content tends to evaporate.
There are a variety of light, oil-free moisturizers out there that are suited for oily skin. A lot of people with oily skin swear by Cetaphil. I personally would prefer a moisturizer that’s based on more natural ingredients. But it’s up to you to look around and pick the product that works best for your skin. Also, try to look for those products labeled non-comodogenic that won’t clog your pores and includes a light SPF.
As with all skin types, adequate sun protection against the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays is absolutely essential. Look for an oil-free, broad-spectrum block with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Sunscreen gels are less likely than creams and lotions to make your skin look oily. Wear sun protection every day!
Exfoliate your skin with a gentle exfoliating scrub. For people with oily skin, try to incorporate exfoliation in your skin care routine two or three times a week. Gel scrubs are better as they are less likely to make skin look oily than creams and lotions.
Masks and Clays
Masks help to draw out oils and cleanse pores. Clay masks help to balance out oily skin but for some people, they may dry out the skin too much. If this happens, you can apply the mask just on the problem areas. Also, since masks tend to dry out the skin, it’s important to hydrate your skin after using a mask.
The oiliness of the skin may hide the lack of moisture and hydration. That’s why it’s really important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water helps to moisten and hydrate the entire body, inside and out.
Once the skin is properly hydrated, the oil glands will receive signals from the brain that excess oil is no longer needed, and will consequently slow down the oil production in the skin. This results in a normalization of skin oils and a reduction in acne breakouts.
I would like to reiterate that oil production is a normal part of healthy skin. Sebum is the skin’s natural oil, and is there to keep our skin and hair soft and healthy. It’s important to treat our face gently and to not go overboard with aggressive cleansing, scrubbing, and use of harsh chemicals.
Remember, oil on the skin acts as a protective barrier as well as a natural anti-aging mechanism. So for those who have oily skin, take delight in the thought that over time, people with oily skin tend to have fewer wrinkles and look younger than people with other skin types.
What about you, do you have oily skin? If so, what are your tips and suggestions for managing excessive oil? Share them with us.
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