Treating Oily Skin: Choosing The Right Ingredients
Get The Best Advice For Oily Skin
Oily skin can be hard to minimise using only topical skin products as it is typically caused by genetics (yes your mom and dad are to blame) and due to hormonal levels in our bodies. An excess of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the main culprit for oily skin. DHT is a breakdown product of testosterone and is the culprit responsible for triggering sebaceous glands to produce sebum. Higher than normal levels of this androgenic hormone or an increased sensitivity of the glands to normal levels of DHT result in a visible shine or oily feel to one’s skin.
Oily skin has a terribly negative effect on self-esteem as well as body image as a greasy looking skin or a bright shiny skin often outweigh other skin concerns. Oily skin is both uncomfortable and cosmetically unacceptable.
Sebum or oil production is important for the health of our skin and hair but an excessive amount leads to a number of skin changes:
- Excessive shine that gets worse as the day progresses
- Increased number of pores
- Increased size of pores
- Visible blackheads
- Predisposition to bacterial colonisation and acne lesions
If you are not sure if you have oily skin then use the following guidelines:
- Your face is shiny only an hour or two after cleansing
- Your makeup does not stay on the face through the day
- You have clearly visible blackheads or get constant acne flare ups
- You notice an increased number of new pores appearing
- The pores are visibly enlarged and clearly seen on the face
- When touching your face your fingers feel greasy or have a shine to them
Before deciding on a specific skin care regime to minimise oily skin it is important to eliminate anything that may be making your skin concern worse. There are a few things that oily skin sufferers may not be aware of:
- Avoid excessive cleansing and using harsh granular scrubs as this will aggravate and increase oil production
- Thick moisturisers also known as emollients should be avoided at all costs
- Also remember not to use bar soaps on your face which may be tempting at times when in the shower or having a bath
- Consider using only light weight specific gels that are designed for oily skin
- Good toners that hydrate may be all your skin needs in the form of hydration
Recommended Routine For Oily Skin:
Use a gentle, water-soluble cleanser twice daily and only twice daily even if it is tempting to wash more often.
My Cleanser Choices For Oily Skin:
Everyone with oily skin should see cleansing and exfoliation as the same thing. Gone are the days of using harsh granular scrubs or brushes 9or at least they should be) replaced by chemical ingredients that do the job more effectively and more safely with specific skin benefits.
Using a good exfoliator is a vital step in your skin care regime as using the correct exfoliating agents will provide a number of benefits:
- Removes dead skin cells
- Reduce build-up of dirt and bacteria in pores
- Removes oil and sebum effectively
The best exfoliating ingredient for oily skin is salicylic acid (BHA) as it has the ability to work in the pore itself (not just on the surface of the skin) delaying the blockage of pores and reducing the amount of sebum and oil produced. Salicylic acid has also been shown to produce anti-inflammatory effects (think Aspirin which contains salicylic acid) so this will also help with skin irritation and a reduction of oil production.
SkinMiles offers a number of choices:
An alcohol-free toner loaded with antioxidants and what is known as cell to cell communicating ingredients such as peptides and cytokines is an important step for oily skin. Toners that contain these ingredients help skin heal, minimize large pores by reducing inflammation, and remove the last traces of dead skin cells or makeup that can lead to clogged pores. My choices for oily skin are:
There are a number of sunscreens geared for oily and acne prone skin so no excuses for not using one. Sunscreen is a vital step in any skin concerns skin care regime. My recommendation is sun screens that contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as these ingredients tend to reflect harmful UV light preventing skin ageing and reducing inflammatory skin effects which will lead to better skin health and less oil production.
My recommendations include:
This may come as a complete surprise to most of you but my advice would be to consider not using a moisturiser in the morning but to solely rely on a good hydrating toner. However one should consider using a moisturiser at night to provide your skin with some P.M. Hydration.
At night, choose a lightweight liquid, gel, or serum that is non comedogenic and is specifically geared or made for oily skin.
See all our skin care ingredients specific for oily skin here.
I would also consider adding an anti-oxidant and my number one recommendation is Vitamin A or retinol as this is a good choice antioxidant for oily skin as it helps to reduce oiliness, pores (size and number), and stimulate the skin to produce more collagen and elastin. Other effects include pigment reduction and improving the texture and even diminishing fine lines and wrinkles. A true anti-ageing ingredient.
My Vitamin A ingredient of choice is retinol and it can be found in:
The following products contain excellent anti-oxidants:
SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic for day time use applied in the morning on a cleansed skin that contains Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Ferulic acid all potent antioxidants.
SkinCeuticals Resveratrol BE for night time use that contains Resveratrol, Vitamin B and Vitamin E.
Dermaceutic C25 Cream for day time use that contains 25% vitamin c complex, vitamins A, B5, and E, and polyphenols.
25% Vitamin C: reduces the signs of skin aging.
Vitamin A: improves the structure of the skin and combats the signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, uneven skin texture, and hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin B5: reduces water loss and keeps the skin smooth and elastic due to its moisturizing properties.
Vitamin E: renowned for its antioxidant properties, vitamin E also combats the signs of photoageing.
Polyphenols: naturally present in plants and fruit, polyphenols combat the action of free radicals and preserve the integrity of the skin’s collagen.
Glycolic acid is a great ingredient to reduce oiliness, minimise pore size and number and to help exfoliate the skin and stimulate new cell production including collagen and elastin. This ingredient can be found in oily skin specific products such as NeoStrata Ultra Smoothing Cream, NeoStrata Oil Control Gel, NeoStrata Oily Skin Solution
I hope this article has helped people with oily skin and please remember to send me any comments and questions with any skin concerns or feel free to take the Face2Face Skin Assessment (a free online skin consultation and skin assessment) for a personal skin care regime recommended by me.