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How to treat oily skin

Before getting into how to treat oily skin, it is important to understand what is the causes of oily skin, the triggers and how an oily skin functions. 

Sebaceous/oil glands are found throughout the skin and are connected to hair follicles. They produce sebum, a natural oil that helps to protect the skin. Sebum is released onto the skin’s surface through the hair follicles, where it helps to moisturize and protect the skin.

Oily skin occurs when the sebaceous/oil glands in the skin produce an excess amount of sebum, leading to an overproduction of oil on the skin’s surface. While sebum is necessary for healthy skin, excessive amounts can lead to an oily, shiny appearance, and can contribute to skin problems such as acne. This can be due to a variety of factors, including genetics, hormones, and environmental factors.

Causes of oily skin:

  • Genetics: Oily skin can be hereditary, so if one or both of your parents have oily skin, you may be more prone to it as well.
  • Hormones: Hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy can increase sebum production, leading to oily skin.  Certain hormonal imbalances and fluctuations also cause your skin to produce more sebum, leading to acne. 
  • Environment: Humidity and hot weather can cause the skin to produce more sebum.
  • Skincare products: Some products, especially those with harsh ingredients, can strip the skin of its natural oils and cause your skin to produce more sebum to compensate.  

There are several factors that can make oily skin worse, including incorrect product usage and lifestyle:

  • Over-cleansing or the use of too harsh cleansers: While it’s important to keep oily skin clean, over-cleansing can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to increased oil production. Stick to a gentle cleanser that won’t dry out the skin.  Often cleanser that is also the incorrect pH, can strip the skin of its natural oils, causing the skin to produce more oils to compensate. 
  • Using heavy, oil-based products: Heavy moisturizers, oils, and makeup products can clog pores and contribute to the production of excess oil. Look for lightweight, oil-free products that won’t add to the problem.  Makeup products that are not oil-free or non-comedogenic (don’t clog pores)
  • Skipping moisturizer: It may seem counterintuitive, but even oily skin needs moisturizer. When the skin is dry, it can overcompensate by producing more oil, so make sure to use a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer.
  • Overuse of exfoliants and scrubs.  Overusing exfoliants can also strip the skin of its natural oils, causing your skin to compensate and produce more oil.
  • Using too hot water: Hot water can be too harsh for oily skin, stripping it of its natural oils and leading to increased oil production. Stick to lukewarm water instead.
  • Stress: Stress can trigger the production of hormones that lead to increased oil production, so find ways to manage stress, such as exercise or meditation.
  • Poor diet: A diet high in processed foods and sugar can contribute to inflammation and increased oil production, so make sure to eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Touching your face: Touching your face can transfer oil and bacteria from your hands onto your skin, leading to breakouts and increased oil production. Avoid touching your face whenever possible.

Knowing how to treat oily skin, it’s important to use gentle, non-comedogenic skincare products that help to balance the skin’s natural oils without stripping it. This may include a gentle cleanser, a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer, and products with ingredients such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to help control oil and prevent breakouts. 

How to treat oily skin – There are many products  that can help. Here are some of the best options:

  • Cleansers: Use a gentle cleanser that is specifically designed for oily skin. Look for products that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which can help to unclog pores and reduce oil production.
  • Toners: Toners can help to remove any remaining dirt and oil from the skin, as well as balance the skin’s pH. Look for toners that contain witch hazel or low concentrations of salicylic acid, which can help to reduce inflammation and soothe the skin.
  • Oil-free moisturizers: While oily skin needs moisturizer, it’s important to use a product that won’t contribute to the problem. Look for lightweight, oil-free moisturizers that won’t clog pores or add to the oiliness of the skin.
  • Clay masks: Clay masks can help to absorb excess oil and unclog pores. Look for masks that contain ingredients like kaolin clay, bentonite clay, or charcoal.
  • Chemical exfoliants: Chemical exfoliants, such as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), can help to exfoliate the skin and reduce oil production. Look for products that contain glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or lactic acid.

Remember that knowing how to treat oily skin requires a multi-pronged approach that includes a good skincare routine, a healthy diet, and lifestyle changes.