When it comes to oil on your skin, you can have too much of a good thing. Just enough oil on your skin can give it a dewy glow, but excessive oil production can leave you looking greasy, dirty and unkempt. Not to mention that oil is a magnet for bacteria, dirt and grime, a main cause of acne outbreaks and clogged pores.
Our first instinct is to scrub our skin raw and clean. But here’s the problem: Aggressively getting rid of the natural sebum, or oil, in your skin can actually cause even more oil to be produced. In fact, many of us are doing the exact opposite of what is actually good for oily skin, leading our skin into a downward spiral of sustained oil production. Here are some habits we need to nip in the bud right now if we want a matte, oil-free complexion.
Read More: 5 Steps to Better Looking Skin
Oily skin folks make the mistake of over-washing their face. They either wash their faces more frequently than twice a day or they use cleansers that are so harsh, it strips off all the natural barriers on the skin, barriers that protect the skin against moisture loss and bacterial invasion.
Overwashing your skin may feel like a short-term solution for removing the oil slick from your face, but in reality it is providing feedback to your skin that the oil is being stripped. In response, your skin thinks that this oil needs to be replaced, which results in over production of oil and irritation from overabundant cleanser use.
Do: Stick to a soap-free cleanser. SLS-free cleansers are the best way to go especially if you think you are likely to be cleaning your skin more than twice a day. They leave the skin clean but not stripped of its essential lipids.
You skip moisturizer.
Believe it or not, a moisturizer will add moisture to the skin, minimizing the skin’s perception that it is too dry. Adding moisture to the skin actually helps reduce the oiliness because it helps slow down sebum production. It is the type of moisturizer that makes a difference. Stay away from heavier creams that may make your skin feel weighted down and greasy. Instead, go for lighter serums that absorb quickly.
Do: Water based hydrators with moisturizing ingredients such as collagen, hyaluronic acid and aloe vera can soothe as well as replenish your skin.
You’re using pore-clogging products.
If you are already over-producing oil, stay away from any products that could obstruct the oil gland, hair follicle, or pores. They’ll increase the likelihood of breakouts. While sometimes it takes trial and error to figure out which products break you out and which ones don’t, but the best place to start is with ones that are labeled as non-comedogenic, which means they won’t plug up your pores, trapping oil underneath.
Do: Look through your makeup and hair products. Anything that contains silicones could potentially clog pores. On another note, never leave makeup on overnight, this may result in clogged pores from leftover makeup.
You’re scrubbing too hard.
Whether you are using an electronic facial device (cleansing brush) or relying on mechanical exfoliators, the consensus is that over scrubbing of the skin dilates blood vessels, creates micro tears on the skin surface resulting in more inflammatory changes of your skin. Your skin responds to these harsh exfoliation by becoming increasingly flushed and oily over time.
If you want to get rid of dead cells, loosen clogged pores, opt for ultrasonic deep cleansing, using sound waves to unclog pores and clean skin. For those who want a deeper cleanse, chemical exfoliators such as a face peel can be an option. The upside of getting rid of layers of dead cells is skin clarity that lasts for a long time.
Your makeup is oily.
If you have oily skin, you are already over-producing some of the natural moisturizing factors that keep the skin barrier intact, so you don’t want to add another layer of oiliness on top. Try looking for oil-free foundations, concealers, and primers. Another option is to go for BB cream which are tinted sunscreens with medicinal properties— anti-acne, anti-pigment. This way, you can conceal while treating your skin.