Listen, I am NOT a skincare professional and neither have I ever claimed to be. Don’t let the Doctor in my blog name fool you—I just “play” one on the internet…lol. I’m just a girl who loves skincare A LOT and has picked up some tips along the way from actual professionals and through trial and error. I write about my experiences with skincare products and also interview and quote dermatologists, but this in no way is to supplement professional advice you’d receive from visiting an actual doctor or aesthetician. I’m saying all of this because I get tons of emails asking me about sophisticated skincare issues and my answer is always “please see a dermatologist.” I can tell you which moisturizers I love for oily skin and the course of action I use to treat hyperpigmentation, but I cannot diagnose issues over email…lol.
But I do know a lot of things about skin—I mean, I DO get paid to write about skincare. Like for instance, in the time I’ve been writing this blog and in interactions with either clients (back when I did makeup) or friends and family, I’ve come to find some common circumstances around some people who have oily or very oily skin. I have oily skin as well—it’s not as oily as it used to be (which I can partly thank to a routine that’s been keeping my skin balanced but mostly thanks to aging…lol). But one thing I’ve found in common with some people with oily skin who tell me their skin is out-of-control oily is that many of these people are doing things in their routine that sabotage their sebaceous glands. And mostly it’s doing things to try to control the oil, but in actuality, they’re “forcing” the skin to produce even MORE oil. Here’s a few I’ve encountered:
1. You over-cleanse.
Washing your face often is not going to stop the oil from coming. I mean, it might appear as if it stops for a bit, but you’ll see—pretty soon you’ll be looking like Jermaine Jackson in New Orleans on the hottest day of the summer. You only need to cleanse your skin at the most twice a day. Some folks only rinse or do a gentle cleanse in the morning since they did a full routine the night before. If you need to cleanse an additional time (say because of a workout), make sure you cleanse with something gentle that won’t dry out your skin.
2. You don’t moisturize.
The reasoning some with oily skin have with not moisturizing is that they feel as if the skin’s sebum is enough to moisturize. Or they think that moisturizers are too heavy and will make them more oily. Both lines of thinking are incorrect though. It is possible to have DEHYDRATED oily skin. Yep. It is possible to have DEHYDRATED oily skin. There’s no way around it, skin needs moisture. And when oily skin doesn’t receive sufficient moisture, the oil glands go into panic mode and go into overdrive to produce more oil to compensate. So in other words, not moisturizing properly can make you more oily.
It’s true that some moisturizers might be too heavy for oily skin, but that’s why there’s so many on the market made specifically for oily skin types. You can see some I’ve tried in my Oily/Combo Skin category.
And this goes without saying, during the day you must also include sunscreen in your routine.
3. You use products heavy in alcohol.
You know, one time someone actually told me she uses RUBBING ALCOHOL to tone her skin. I was like “GIRL, WHET?” While I think most people WON’T use something as harsh as rubbing alcohol on their skin, some may be using things like toners (though thankfully many toners now are less harsh and softer on the skin than they used to be) and other harsh products to try and “stop” the oil. I had someone else tell me she uses bar soap and then witch hazel on her skin and complained about her skin being super oily before lunch time even hit.
A few suggestions
Again, your best bet is to see a skincare professional to assess your routine and any course of action, but here’s a few suggestions to consider incorporating into your routine.
* Tailor your routine to what your current—as in right this minute—skincare needs are. This is especially important if you live somewhere that has four distinct seasons like we have here in NYC. What I use on my skin in the winter differs a lot from what I use in the summer. Then sometimes my skin might need a radiance boost. Then other times (especially right before a period) I might need to fight acne. I can’t use the same products all the time and I adjust based on what my skin is doing at the moment. See my “What I’m Using on My Skin Right Now” series here. Also check out my #TSABDonSkin tag on my Instagram here.
* Asses the products in your current routine. It can be tough to pinpoint which one might be causing your skin to react out of the norm, but if you take one thing out at a time (and replace with something else if necessary) and see how your skin turns out, you might find the culprit.
* Try something new. You know I’m always an advocate for trying something new—it’s the innate product junkie in me…lol. But you don’t have to be like me and have a mini Sephora in your bathroom. There’s brands like RoC Skincare, Reviva Labs, and Boots on the drugstore and masstige levels that over great skincare at affordable prices. And at Sephora you can get a sample of damn near anything to try before you buy.