Did you know how important it is to take care of your skin? It’s known as the body’s largest organ, which can be a surprising fact to some people. It protects internal organs from outside factors and acts as a barrier against infection. There are a lot of ways to take care of the skin but the most basic way is to have a consistent routine, especially one dedicated to your skin type. A skin care routine doesn’t have to be expensive or consist of dozens of products. It can be simple, clean and inexpensive.
Normal describes well-balanced skin. The scientific term for healthy skin is eudermic.
Dry skin is skin that produces less sebum than normal skin. It lacks the lipids that it needs to retain moisture and build a protective shield.
Oily is used to describe a skin type with a large sebum production. This over production is known as seborrhea.
Combination skin is skin that consists of a mix of skin types.
What does oily skin look like?
Oily skin typically has more visible pores and is more prone to blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. It breaks out easily and can get quite shiny during the day. Our body naturally produces oil called sebum, which keeps our skin soft and moisturized. If our body produces more sebum, the oil glands get bigger and increase the size of our pores. All of this oil sits on the surface of the skin. It can be hereditary, but it can be a result of hormone changes.
Oily skin routine
Step 1: Cleanser
Morning – Start with a gel or foam cleanser. Gel formulas are better for oily skin since they help decongest clogged pores and remove excess oil without dehydrating the skin. Try to use formulas that have antibacterial ingredients since they will fight acne bacteria.
Night – Try starting with a cleansing oil, which will remove any makeup or sebum. You have to be careful with oils though, so they don’t clog your pores. Look for an oil with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredients like tea tree or witch hazel. Follow your oil cleanse with a gel or foam cleanser, which will remove any traces of makeup and clean deep into your pores. Massage the cleanser into your skin for around one minute and wash off with water.
Step 2: Tone
Toning is an overlooked part of skincare regimes. It helps restore the skin’s pH balance and helps control oil production. A good toner will tighten your pores, making them appear smaller while also removing any impurities on the surface of the skin. Toners containing AHAs or BHAs help to clean deeper into the pores and get rid of any dirt or toxins. If you have oily skin you should also look for natural ingredients like chamomile, rose or ginseng to tighten your skin and reduce inflammation.
Morning – Start your day with a soothing toner, as too many harsh ingredients can harm your skin. Look for toners that contain hydrating and safe ingredients like aloe vera, ginseng, or hyaluronic acid.
Night – A toner to help tighten your pores and remove excess oil as well as any pollution your skin has tackled throughout the day is best for the night time. Use a toner that contains any chemical acids, as these will penetrate deep into your pores.
Step 3 – Moisturizer
As opposed to popular opinion, oily skin needs to be moisturized daily. Some might think their skin will get even greasier, but if your skin is dehydrated it can actually produce more oil. By using a moisturizer it will help to rebalance moisture levels and oil production. Gel moisturizers have a water-like texture and are super lightweight, which makes them perfect for oily skin. They contain the lowest amount of oil, waxes, and emulsifiers. It’s important to check if they’re non-comedogenic, which means they won’t clog pores.
Morning – Start your day with a lightweight formula or a serum. Serums are extremely hydrating and packed with active ingredients but won’t feel too heavy on the skin. Always remember to test it out for a few days and see if it helps lower oil levels.
Night – Overnight, you use a heavier cream, as this is when your skin loses the most moisture and does all its repairing. Some creams even help heal acne marks and hydrate the skin without being too heavy.
It’s super important to use SPF on a daily basis. Sun damage is one of the main contributors to skin damage such as fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation. Sunscreen will actually help reduce the appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation. It should be the final step in your skincare routine before your primer or makeup.
Try using a retinol
Oily skin tolerates retinol the best. Dermatologists recommend retinol and insist that you should incorporate retinol into your routine from as early as your 20s. This is a form of vitamin A, which helps decrease oil production, thickens the deeper layer of your skin, smooths out wrinkles by increasing collagen production, tightens pores and improves the condition of acne-prone skin. Retinol should only be used at night and needs to be introduced into your routine gradually and slowly. Start by using it two or three times a week for the first month and as your skin gets used to it, you can increase to nightly use.
Exfoliation should be often a skipped step in skincare routines, but if you have oily skin it’s a must as it will help remove any dirt, sebum or dead skin that’s blocking your pores. Avoid harsh scrubs that over-dry skin – it will result in your skin increasing its own natural production of oil to compensate for the dryness caused by products.
Try a chemical exfoliator, which is an enzyme or acid-based formula that penetrates deep into the skin – this dissolves and dislodges dead skin. It’s recommended to use salicylic acid. It’s oil soluble so it’s able to deeply penetrate and unclog oil-ridden pores. It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties so it’ll help get rid of any acne bacteria in the skin. Use it only once or twice a week – over-exfoliating can damage the skin.
Face masks aren’t too popular. They can actually be used more often than once a week. Alternate between soothing masks, extracting masks, purifying masks, and hydrating masks. Masks can be used on oily skin around twice a week such as a detoxifying mask or cleansing mask. A detoxifying clay mask, as clay has antiseptic and astringent properties, which will help remove oil from your pores.
Extra tips & tricks
- Observe your diet: you are what you eat. This refers to skin as well. Try to eat a lot of vegetables, fruits and foods that won’t break you out. You will definitely observe a change in your skin. Remember to drink a lot of water too!
- Blotting sheets: If you have oily skin then blotting sheets are extremely helpful during the day. They absorb any oil sitting on your skin within seconds.
- Try niacinamide: Niacinamide, aka vitamin B3, isn’t just an anti-aging miracle, it also helps to control oil production, thereby decreasing pore size. As an added bonus, it also helps even skin tone, brighten the complexion and strengthen the skin barrier.
- Use hyaluronic acid after your toner
- Quit smoking and drinking alcohol
- Wearing sunglasses and caps
- Getting at least eight hours of sleep
Start taking care of your skin today. It doesn’t require too much effort and your future self will be extremely grateful.