In Medical Dermatology, Skin Care

People with naturally oily skin often find themselves struggling with acne as a result. As many as 50 million people in the United States experience acne per year. It’s irritating, embarrassing and sometimes painful. Even when oily skin doesn’t result in acne, your skin might still appear shiny or greasy, and that’s not pleasant either. Here, we break down exactly how to deal with oily skin.

What causes oily skin?

Your body produces the oil you might notice on your skin naturally. It’s called sebum and, while you might regard it as annoying, it’s an essential part of keeping your skin healthy and well-hydrated.

Problems occur when your body produces more sebum than it needs to in order to protect your skin. There are a few reasons this might happen, including:

  • Genetics: The amount of sebum your body produces tends to be something you share with your parents
  • Age: Younger skin tends to produce more oil, although aging is no guarantee you’ll escape from oily skin
  • Living in a warmer, more humid climate
  • Having larger pores, which tend to produce more oil than tighter pores
  • Your skincare routine

Now, there’s not much you can do about your age, the size of your pores or your genetic predisposition toward having oily skin, and you probably don’t want to move somewhere colder on the off chance that it helps. Your skincare routine, on the other hand, is something you can address reasonably quickly.

Treatments and best practices

We’re going to break down potential treatments and best practices for caring for oily skin into three categories. If you struggle with oily skin, it’s worth looking into each of them.

In addition to all of the following, we encourage you to get out of the habit of touching your face. You’re probably tired of hearing it, but doing so spreads oil, dirt and germs. It’s a challenging habit to break but worth it.

Skincare products

Take a look at the products you currently use, including any cosmetic products. Are any of them oil or alcohol-based? If possible, switch to oil and alcohol-free products to avoid irritating your skin and adding more oil.

You should also adjust your skincare routine as needed as the weather changes throughout the year. Your skin might be drier in the winter and fine with heavy products, but if you find yourself feeling oilier in the summer, it’s worth trying gel-based cleansers and more lightweight products.

In addition to looking for oil and alcohol-free products when you shop, keep your eyes open for the word “non-comedogenic.” It’s used to refer to skincare products that are specifically formulated not to block your pores and should help if you’re experiencing acne triggered by the products you currently use.

You can overdo it

It’s tempting to wash and exfoliate your face frequently if you have oily skin, but that can exacerbate your problem. When you remove too much oil, your body ramps up production to make up for it. Your skin may end up feeling even more oily than before. We recommend washing your face twice a day if you have oily skin.

When looking for a face wash, we recommend looking for something gentle and foaming. You don’t need to scrub your face with something harsh, and doing so may dry out your skin briefly and cause your body to generate more oil.

While we encourage everyone to wear sunscreen, it’s crucial for people looking to treat their oily skin. The sun can dry out your skin, causing your body to produce more sebum to make up for it.

Some foundations and moisturizers have sunscreen in them, and they’re typically lighter than traditional sunscreens. However, because they’re not as heavy-duty, you may have to apply them multiple times a day.

Blotting papers can also cause issues despite being designed to help treat oily skin. It’s tempting to use them to rub away oil. However, when you do that, you’re spreading oil to other parts of your face rather than removing it effectively. Instead, blot lightly.

Moisturizer is critical

On the topic of moisturizers, they’re critical if you have oily skin. You might have heard that they increase sebum, but that’s false. If you’re using a product to treat acne that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, it’s even more vital that you moisturize well. Both chemicals can dry out your skin and trigger increased oil production.

Lightweight, water-based moisturizers are typically the best choice if you have oily skin. You should always apply moisturizer after you’re done cleansing and applying a toner to your skin.

Treatment for oily skin in Columbia

Oily skin isn’t something that you have to live with, necessarily. There are options out there for how to deal with oily skin, and some of them are relatively quick to implement. However, if you do make changes to your skincare routine and don’t see the improvements you’d like, we encourage you to get in touch with us. One of our expert dermatologists can help identify what’s causing your oily skin and provide solutions for your specific circumstances. Contact us today to get started.

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