Oily skin is the bane of many women’s existence. Shiny makeup at mid-day, pores the size of craters? Increasingly, derms we spoke to tell us that oily skin isn’t just confined to teenagers. Hormonal shifts mean that women (and men) suffer from oily skin all the way into their adulthood. Of course, living in a tropical climate does not help.
However, there are some things you may not know that can help you combat oily skin effectively. Use one or all of the tips below if you want to transform your ‘oil spill’ into an oasis of calm.
Myth: Washing more often and with more foaming cleansers will help to combat oil!
Truth: The key isn’t so much to wash hard but to wash smart. The more we dry out our skin with harsh foaming cleansers, the more our skin is going to retaliate by producing more oil. Use a gentle cleanser that will cleanse without leaving your skin feeling tight (a sure sign you are stripping away essential lipids from your skin). Rebalance your skin after cleansing with a toner that will restore your skin’s pH so it retains vital moisture. If you exercise regularly, make sure you cleanse your skin more often, and with a gentle cleanser. Even just splashing water on your skin regularly can help to combat the build-up of excess sebum and grime on your skin.
Tip: A trick pros use to keep the complexions looking fresh and dewy every day is to use micellar water as a facial mist throughout the day. Simply spritz on over your skin and then tissue off to remove any skin surface dirt and oil. Then spritz again for a layer of non-oily skin hydration.
2. Toner is essential
Astringent toners that contain alcohol tend to dry out the skin. However, according to a 2014 study, natural astringents, such as witch hazel, can have skin soothing properties.
The use of toners have been over looked by many, but when your complexion is on the oily side, you may want to avoid richer skincare products and use water based items such as toners to deliver the skin-enhancing, oil-controlling ingredients instead.
The case for toners include the fact they restore the skin’s pH which helps to improve your skin barrier and moisture levels. Secondly, some toners contain active ingredients such as AHA and BHA, even acne-fighting ingredients that can keep your pores small and oil at bay. The great thing about toners that come in the form of a facial mist is that they can be used under or over makeup throughout the day to refresh the skin— very useful of you have oily skin and want to freshen your makeup. Instead of applying new makeup over oil-saturated old makeup layers, spray a facial toner over your makeup, pat dry, then apply your makeup touch up. Your makeup will sit better and your skin will be recharged with fresh round of skin actives going to work for it.
3. Face Peels
Be it a home peel or a professional version you get at your doctor’s office, there is a case to be made for face peels. AHA such as glycolic and lactic acid work wonders to help exfoliate dead skin cells. BHA such as salicylic acid combat oily skin and open pores, helping to keep comedones and breakouts at bay.
Busy types who wish to have everything done at home can try Sleep mode, a controlled release glycolic acid serum helps to renew the skin overnight, giving you tamer skin by morning. Those who wants a quicker fix can pop down to their doctor’s office for an in-clinic face peel. Face peels can be customized to suit individual skin types and preference for downtime, Deep peels may leave skin red and flaky for a few days while newer versions of milder face peels can come with little to no downtime, which means all the benefits without the pain.
4. Moisturise. Really.
It sounds like a contradiction to get you to moisturise your skin especially when you have oily skin but that’s exactly what we are telling you to do. When you have oily skin, your skin may be saturated with surface oil but that does not mean that the inner layers of your skin has sufficient water.
Sometimes by using oil controlling products that dry out the surface, you are also depriving your skin’s inner layers of vital moisture that is needed to stay healthy, heal quickly and look younger. There is a way to moisturize without adding to surface oil. Choose a lighter, oil-free moisturizer that contains water-attracting molecules such as hyaluronic acid and aloe vera. They penetrate quickly into the skin without leaving any residue or greasiness.
5. Cool your skin with masks
Sebum and pores are closely related. So when your skin is hot and bothered, your pores will enlarge and unleash a torrent of oil on your face. Whenever possible, you should help your skin restore their balance and calm by cooling your skin with a cold mask. This is especially helpful for people living in warm humid climates. It is akin to simulating a temperate climate environment on your skin.
Makeup artists who have to deal with all sorts of skin tantrums on their celeb clients say one trick is to have a few pieces of sheet masks chilled in the fridge. When you meet with skin that is having a bad day, whip one out and place it on the face. Masks infused with hyaluronic acid will replenish dermal water, softening skin, while the cold temperature will shrink pores, reduce oil and sebum production and calm inflammation.
Makeup will slip on better after and stay on for longer. A perfect hack for gracing any red carpet event.
Read More: 5 Steps to Better Looking Skin