Oily skin can be so problematic: it clogs pores and ruins perfect makeup by causing our face to shine. Those of us who suffer from oily skin often wish we could just banish it away! Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to get rid of it. All we can do is to find ways of minimising this problem.
So then – what actually causes oily skin?
One of the biggest reasons as to why we have oily skin or not is due to genetics. Our genes play a huge role in determining the kind of skin we have and if many of our family members have oily skin, then it’s quite likely that we’ll have oily skin too.
Incorrect use of skincare
Often, in our quest to achieve smoother, radiant skin, we experiment with all types of skincare products and cosmetics. Some of these products contain a lot of oils as well as chemicals that are harsh on our skin. Certain products or skincare routines (eg. using a cleanser that is not suitable for your skin type) force our skin to produce more sebum, which leads to oily skin.
The onset of puberty and menopause often affect women’s hormones. Our hormone levels can also become greatly unbalanced during pregnancy or when our menstrual cycle begins. These changes often cause the sebaceous glands to produce excess oil in our skin.
Dermatologists often stress the importance of protecting our skin from the sun and there is a reason why. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays dries out our skin. Due to this, our body switches to defense mode and produces extra sebum to fight the sun damage.
Chronic physical and emotional stress can trigger our nervous system to activate and release hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones cause an imbalance in our bodies and results in our skin producing more oil.
All hope is not lost though. There are ways we can reduce the oil in our skin – here’s how:
Choose your skincare wisely
Use a cleanser that is gentle on your skin like a foaming face wash or a gel cleanser that can absorb excess oils. Also look for products that are “non-comedogenic”, “non-acnegenic” and “oil-free” and contain ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid and beta-hydroxy acid which are beneficial for your skin. Be careful not to overdo the cleansing or scrub your face too much as they will strip your skin of its natural oils and it will compensate by producing more oil.
Use a clay mask
Clay masks contain an ingredient called kaolin which absorbs excess oils and unclogs your pores. You can apply them on oily areas like your T-zone. However, such masks can be over-drying, so limit yourself to using them no more than three times a month.
Manage your stress levels
Feeling worried and anxious all the time is not good for your health and your skin. Practise relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga to calm your body and mind. In the process, it will help to cut ease oily skin.
Use blotting papers
For a quick way to get rid of excess sebum and shine on-the-go, use a blotting paper or oil-free powder. If you have no access to blotting papers, turn to alternatives such as coffee filters and toilet seat covers.
UV rays still penetrate through even on days when the sun isn’t out. Most sunscreen lotions tend to be thick and end up clogging your pores, so choose yours wisely. If possible, opt for a lighter sunscreen gel or powder with SPF to protect your skin.
Alter your diet
Dairy products and refined carbohydrates are thought to increase the amount of oil that your skin produces. It is best to cut down on such food or drinks.