Oily Skin: The Bane of Our Existence
Having oily skin is extremely common- some of us just produce more sebum than others, it’s totally normal. Excess sebum production can occur in a variety of areas (t-zone, nose, chin, forehead, cheeks, and even under your eyes) and cause your pores to clog.
Those clogged pores can lead to acne, blackheads, and whiteheads, giving your skin a shiny, oily sheen. So, how do you combat oily skin? Here are my tips to help balance your skin.
I’ll reiterate that having oily skin is completely normal. Sebum production is your skin's way of moisturizing and protecting itself. When trying to assess the cause of your oily skin, there are several factors to consider, including:
Each of these plays a role in boosting sebum production. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to help reduce the impact of these factors on your skin.
Genetics & Hormones
Unfortunately, there is only so much you can do regarding oily skin due to genetics and hormones. But that doesn't mean you are out of luck! I recommend starting with a good, non-comedogenic cleanser that won’t dry out your skin. The goal is to cleanse without stripping away the oils necessary to protect your skin. From our selection, I recommend:
If you've exhausted cleansers without active ingredients, you may want to consider something stronger. Try looking for cleansers with active ingredients (like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, azelaic acid) which are designed to help fight acne. You could also try beginning your skincare regimen with a cleansing oil like the Purity Cleansing Oil. Cleansing oils bond to the oils and dirt on your skin - making it easy to wash them away without stripping your face of those essential oils that keep it hydrated.
After cleansing, you should follow up with a moisturizer that is non-comedogenic and does not have added oils (some common oils that can be found in skincare products (and cosmetics) are coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, palm oil, argan oil, and rosehip oil). Added oils can further clog your pores and make the problem worse. From our skincare collection, I recommend:
Another way to help combat excessively oily skin due to genetics or hormones is through exfoliation. Exfoliation is a process that removes dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin which has many benefits including: unclogging your pores, helping your skincare products penetrate deeper, and evening your skin tone.
There are many methods of exfoliation, but I'm going to focus on adding an exfoliating mask to your skincare regimen. You should always apply any type of mask to a freshly-cleansed face - so add an exfoliating face mask to your routine after cleansing and before moisturizing. From our selection, I recommend:
Stress, Diet, and Environment
High levels of stress can enhance sebum production. If you think your oily skin is due to high levels of stress or your diet, consider making some lifestyle changes:
Does your acne always seem to pop up in stressful situations? Or do you feel like you’re always stressed? Try adding the following lifestyle changes to assist with reducing stress levels:
- Exercise Daily: even a 15-minute walk can increase blood flow, which delivers oxygen to the skin. Oxygen promotes collagen production and cell turnover, enhancing skin health).
- Set Boundaries: relationships are a leading stressor in our lives. Set boundaries in difficult relationships to reduce tension.
- Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness and meditation can help you calm yourself in stressful moments.
- Take Up A New Hobby: Find something new and enjoyable to do to boost your mood.
- Consider Therapy: Talking to someone about challenges is a great way to reduce stress.
These are just a few of the many ways you can reduce your stress levels. Take care of yourself, and your skin will reward you with a healthy, vibrant look and feel!
Are you concerned that your food choices may contribute to your skin issues? Take a look at the types of foods that make up your diet.
If you’re unsure where to start, try keeping a daily journal where you log all the food you’re eating. A routine of logging your food can help reveal less-than-ideal choices - and where you can make changes. Some foods that may be contributing to your oily, acne-prone skin include:
- Foods high in fat (fried foods, fast food, dairy, and meat)
- Foods with high sugar content (juices, soda, sweets, even cereals)
Reduce your intake of these foods and opt for fruits, vegetables, milk alternatives, and meat alternatives.
By no means am I suggesting that you completely cut out the things you love (I'm never giving up dairy #cheeseislife!) However, reducing your consumption of those things and finding healthier alternatives could help improve your skin.
You may be surprised to learn that levels of stress and your diet are closely linked. Have you ever noticed that when you get stressed, you reach for those high fat/ high sugar foods that make you feel good? That’s okay!
Just remember the adage: Everything in moderation. Some days you need that cupcake, pint of ice cream, or bag of chips - but remember that too much could be increasing sebum production.
Oily skin due to your environment can be a bit more challenging to manage as it’s related to where you live.
For example, your oily skin may produce more sebum if you live in an area with high temperatures (the south) or high amounts of humidity. Similarly, you may sweat more, which can quickly clog your pores.
Obviously, you can’t be expected to uproot your life solely for the sake of your skin- but if you live in these areas, you can try cleansers and moisturizers that are meant to help combat acne. Check out the products listed above (all are meant to help combat acne). You might also want to consider a cleanser with the active ingredients mentioned above.
Ready. Set. Go!
With these tips, you can build a skincare regimen that works for you and your oily skin! At The Regimen Company, my goal is to celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of all skin - while providing you with the information you need to build and customize a skincare regimen that's as unique as you are!
Oily skin can be tricky to manage because there are so many contributing factors, but if you are patient and consider what the causes could be, you can achieve your skin goals!
Let me know in the comments what blog topics you’d like me to explore next. Want more news from The Regimen Company? Subscribe to our newsletter using the form at the bottom of this page and follow along on social media @TheRegimenCo.