Skin Care for Oily Skin
The best skin care routine for oily facial skin is one that deeply cleans pores without overly drying your skin.
Look for products you can use twice a day that don’t add an additional oily or heavy product feel to your skin. Finding the perfect balance with your skin care is the trick when you have an oily complexion. Let me help. As a dermatologist, I have treated patients with a range of oily complexions over the years. I watch the scientific literature regarding the role of skin oil in causing skin problems, and I listen to my patient's observations about what works and what doesn't work to help their oily skin concerns.
FAQs about your facial oil glands:
- You have the highest concentration of oil glands on the T-zone of your face.
- Your hormones and stress can increase oil gland activity.
- The oil produced is a natural skin moisturizer and is protective. It contains antioxidants and has components that help fight skin infections.
- The exact composition of skin oil components varies in certain skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and facial dandruff. It was long ago believed that oil production was increased in these conditions, but now that is controversial. Even in acne, the severity of the acne is not directly related to sebum production! Acne lesions are probably more related to the composition of the sebum and skin oil, and this is impacted by factors like diet, hormones, and stress.
The bottom line is that your facial oil production is complicated.
What are the symptoms and signs of oily facial skin?
- People with oily facial skin complain that their skin is shiny and greasy soon after washing.
- Their pores often are larger, and can become clogged with oil and dead cells.
Because you have regional variation in your facial oil production, I recommend treating the different parts of your facial skin according to their oily or normal complexion tendencies; what your skin needs on the T-zone may be different than what it needs on the rest of your face.
What are the best dermatologist's tips to reduce the symptoms and signs of oily skin?
Use products that deeply clean oils and dead cells from your pores, especially in the T-zone.
Build your complete facial skin care routine based on any needs to correct and treat facial skin problems such as acne, rosacea, dandruff, uneven skin pigment, skin aging and sun damage, etc. Pick product bases that are light weight and don't add extra heavy or oily feel to your skin.
Use hydrating products on areas of your skin that are drier, like the sides of your face. Moisturizing products with smart water binding humectants instead of oil are preferred by people with oily complexions.
Matte sunscreens are usually the best for oily complexions.
If you wear makeup, use mineral makeup with kaolin clay to help absorb excess oil during the day.
Remember, you always get the best results when you use my Dr. Bailey Complete Skin Care Routine to help control oily skin with compatible products. The essential steps of Dr. Bailey's Complete Skin Care Routine include:
How would I build my Dr. Bailey Complete Skin Care Routine for oily skin?
Complete Skin Care gets the best results and always includes the essential steps of Cleanse, Correct, Hydrate and Protect.
- CLEANSE: Use foaming cleansers in the T-zone to remove oil. Consider adding the Clarisonic Brush to sonically cleanse deeply in the pores. Remove excess oil and help loosen dead cell build-up with keratolytic ingredients that loosen the ‘glue’ holding dead cells together. These ingredients in cleansers include glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide. My Foaming Acne Cleanser, Foaming Benzoyl Peroxide Cleanser, Triple Action Exfoliating Cleanser are great options. Twice a week consider my Bamboo and Clay Thermal Exfoliating Scrub which has exothermic clay to gently pull oil and debris from pores while the scrub exfoliates skin to a smooth and satiny appearance. After cleansing, remove excess oil with pore penetrating salicylic acid in my Acne Treatment Pads. You can also use my Naturally Hydrating Pore Minimizing Toner, which contains witch hazel to act as an astringent to tone pores and gently cleanse additional skin oil after washing.
- CORRECT: Treat skin problems with light texture products that don’t add a heavy feel to your oily complexion. Look for non-comedogenic products that don’t block your pores, especially in the T-zone.
- HYDRATE: Notice if you need more hydration on the non-T-zone parts of your face. My patients usually find that my Daily Face Cream for Oily to Normal Skin is the perfect moisturizer for oily skin. Non-oil water binding ingredients to look for to hydrate skin include glycerin, PCA, and hyaluronic acid. These are found in my popular Instantly Luminous Multi-Action Serum and my Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy.
- PROTECT: Oil-free matte sunscreens are ideal for oily skin. Great examples are Sheer Strength Pure Physical Matte Tinted Sunscreen or my Sheer Strength Pure Physical Invisible Sunscreen.
Mineral makeup powder can provide additional mattifying minerals to help absorb oil during the day.
My patients with oily complexions also like the feel of their skin when they use clay masks several times a week. They feel that the clay helps to ‘pull’ oil and debris from their pores to give their skin a clean feel without irritation. They also say that their pores often appear smaller after a clay mask is used.
Can astringents, alcohols, and harsh products cause more oil production from sebocytes (the oil-producing cells in oil glands)?
I have been asked this daily in my practice for over 30 years. Believe me, I keep my eyes open for the answer in the scientific literature. To date, I still have not seen a study that answers this question. If you have a scholarly article that shows an increase in facial skin oil production in vivo caused by removing skin oil with soaps, detergents, alcohol or acetone, or from the presence of an irritant dermatitis, please forward the reference to me!
Vivian Y. Shi, MD, Michael Leo, BS, Lauren Hassoun, BS, Dev S. Chahal, BS, Howard I. Maibach, MD, Raja K. Sivamani, MD, MS, CAT, Role of sebaceous glands in inflammatory dermatoses, Journal of American Academy of Dermatology November 2015Volume 73, Issue 5, Pages 856–863
Nishit R. Trivedi Zhaoyuan Cong, Amanda M. Nelson, Adam J. Albert, Lorraine L. Rosamilia, Surendra Sivarajah, Kathryn L. Gilliland, Wenlei Liu, David T. Mauger, Robert A. Gabbay, Diane M. Thibouto Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors Increase Human Sebum Production, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, September 2006Volume 126, Issue 9, Pages 2002–2009Author:
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Let Dr. Bailey help.
Pick products from 1) Cleanse, 2) Correct, 3) Hydrate, 4) Protect.
Build your complete skin care regimen here!