Skincare routine for oily skin ----- Back

09.01.20 - Knowledge

The Best Skincare Routine for Oily Skin Should Have These 6 Things

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Words by Antoinette Barnardo

Excess oil can make your skin feel heavy and unclean. While it's important to not strip your skin of its natural oils, too much oil can lead to breakouts, whiteheads, blackheads, and other concerns. 

But what are the best products for this skin type? We've put together a skincare routine to help oily skin achieve a balanced, glowing complexion.

What Is Oily Skin?

Oily skin is a skin type characterized by overactive sebaceous (oil-producing) glands and enlarged facial pores. While it's primarily a result of genetics, oily skin may be exacerbated by other factors such as hormonal imbalances, humid climates, incompatible skincare products, outside stressors, and even diet. Excess sebum and dead skin cells can combine to clog pores, leading to breakouts. 

Combination skin types also have enlarged pores, but they're concentrated in the T-zone — the forehead and nose. If your skin is more oily in your T-zone than anywhere else, you likely have combination skin. 

What a Skincare Routine for Oily Skin Should Include

If you have oily skin, reach for lightweight products. The heavier, richer creams and lotions dry skin types crave will only add to that greasy feeling oily skin types can have. You should also be mindful of the ingredients in skincare products and avoid anything that can be comedogenic (pore-clogging).

1. Gentle Facial Cleanser

One of the best ingredients for oily skin is salicylic acid, which is a BHA (beta-hydroxy acid) that goes beneath the skin's surface to deep clean pores. Find a purifying cleanser that incorporates this popular exfoliant along with gentle ingredients that remove oil, dirt, and other impurities from the skin. 

YORA's Clarify Face Cleanser features salicylic acid, glycolic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid that provides surface-level exfoliation), soothing witch hazel (to soothe inflammation), and tea tree oil. These ingredients control excess sebum production. 

2. Balancing Toner 

A balancing toner is especially helpful for anyone with oily, acne-prone skin. Toning your skin can reduce oil and shine, remove any lingering dirt and residue, and refine the appearance of pores.

Astringent, which is often considered the same thing as a toner, can also be used on oily skin to help clear up excess oil. But many astringents have a high alcohol content, which — as we'll discuss later on in this article — can damage oily skin.

3. Chemical Exfoliant

A buildup of dead skin cells increases the risk of whiteheads, blackheads, and other blemishes in oily skin. (Not to mention, these dead cells can make skin appear dull.) Seek a chemical exfoliant with glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or lactic acid. 

Pro tip — exfoliating at least once a week will help keep your skin healthy and radiant. While a physical exfoliant can also effectively remove dead skin from the surface, it may be too harsh if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin.

4. Mattifying Wash-Off Mask

For extra maintenance (and a bit of pampering), apply a wash-off mask at least once a week. Activated charcoal is an especially beneficial ingredient in masks — especially for oily skin. It binds to and shuttles out excess oil and other impurities. YORA's Clarify Face Mask contains activated charcoal and kaolin clay, which leaves skin smoother and more matte.

5. Lightweight Moisturizer

You might have heard that oily skin doesn't need moisturizing. That's a myth. Skipping moisturizer can make your skin more oily as it tries to overcompensate for the lack of moisture. Oily skin types do need the right type of moisturizer, however. A lightweight gel, such as YORA's Revitalise Face Moisturiser, can sufficiently hydrate oily skin without making it feel too heavy. 

6. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is perhaps the most effective anti-aging skincare product, as it can effectively protect your skin from the rays that can contribute to fine lines and wrinkles (UVA). However, like moisturizer, it can be difficult for oily skin types to find a sunscreen that's comfortable to wear. 

Similar to moisturizers, look for lightweight sunscreens that are oil-free, non-comedogenic, and have at least a broad spectrum SPF 30. 

What a Skincare Routine for Oily Skin Should Not Include

Keep your skin balanced and healthy by keeping the following products and ingredients away from your oily skin.

1. Oleic Acid

Oleic acid is a fatty acid found in many plant oils, as well as human sebum. Since oily skin types produce sebum that is rich in oleic acid (but low in linoleic acid), using skincare products that contain oleic acids may clog pores and stimulate oil production. Ingredients with high levels of oleic acid include coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, shea butter, and sea buckthorn oil. 

Keep in mind that you may be able to use products that contain low concentrations of oleic acid when combined with other active ingredients. Take note of how your skin reacts to certain ingredients.

2. Oil-Stripping Alcohol

Alcohol-based products may be tempting when you're trying to reduce sebum. But too much alcohol can have an adverse effect on oily skin. Isopropyl alcohol, for instance, is meant to dry up blemishes, while denatured alcohol (alcohol denat.) is considered a key ingredient in helping products penetrate the skin more effectively. These types of alcohol tend to strip the skin of its natural oils, which in turn prompt your skin to produce even more sebum to make up for a perceived loss of moisture.

3. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Sodium lauryl sulfate (or SLS) is a key ingredient in foaming face washes and soaps. Like alcohol, SLS can strip too much from even oily skin. Again, ingredients that strip moisture away can kick your skin's sebaceous glands into overdrive to account for perceived dryness. 

Worse yet, as this 1996 study from the University of Modena, Italy found, SLS can compromise the lipid barrier, yielding a whole other set of problems such as breakouts and inflammation. Be wary of foaming face washes — stick to gel cleansers instead.

4. Occlusive Moisturizers

Occlusives are moisturizing ingredients that create a barrier around the skin to prevent moisture loss. They're tremendous for dry skin types, but if you have very oily skin, occlusives will make your skin feel like it's suffocating. Common occlusives include lanolin, paraffin, beeswax, and mineral oils. They'll usually be found in creams and lotions. 

For oily skin, humectants such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin are your best options. They're typically found in lightweight moisturizers or serums. Humectants help draw surrounding moisture to your skin.

Other Healthy Skin Habits to Follow

Building the best skincare routine for oily skin is only one part of the equation. Developing healthy routines will ensure your skin recovers and maintains its natural glow. Here are some of the best things you can do for oily skin:

  • Use blotting papers to clear up excess oil while you're out and about. These thin sheets are made of absorbent material (rice paper or cotton) and will not disrupt any makeup you're wearing.

  • Thoroughly clean anything that touches your face to avoid the spread of bacteria and the development of pimples. For instance, a dermatologist from the Cleveland Clinic recommends washing your bed sheets twice a month (once a week during the summer). Additionally, wash your makeup brushes with soap after each use.

  • Use humectants such as hyaluronic acid in a humid area (such as your bathroom after a shower). Applying a humectant in a dry climate will pull moisture away from your skin, leaving it dry.

  • Try to relax. The American Academy of Dermatology explains that the stress hormone, cortisol, can trigger sebum production. This is why you may find an increase in breakouts when you're stressed. Practice meditation or yoga, or immerse yourself in a relaxing hobby to keep the effects of stress from appearing on your face.

  • Don't overwash your face. If you're experiencing an increase in oiliness, you may think your skin needs to be cleaned more than twice a day or subjected to harsh ingredients. This will dry out your skin, which will then trigger your skin to up its oil production. Stick to cleansing no more than twice a day. 

Do What's Best for Your Oily Skin

Oily skin can be uncomfortable and brings a host of other issues. Knowing which products to use and which ingredients to avoid will help you balance your skin. Supplement your skincare routine with good daily habits, and you'll be well on your way to a glowing, healthy complexion.

Words by Antoinette Barnardo

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