6 Ways to Control Oily Skin

Those with an oily skin type tend to notice signs of excess oil production on their face, particularly from a greasy nose or oily cheeks. There are even people with a combo skin type who have patches of both oily and dry skin on their face.

It is not possible to get rid of oily skin entirely, but there are numerous approaches to managing and reducing oiliness of the skin.

While the underlying driver of oily skin can be attributed to various reasons and is dependent on the individual, what causes oily skin is overproduction of sebum from sebaceous glands.

In other words, overproduction of natural oils from glands that exist under your pores result in oily skin.

According to Healthline, production of these oils are important for creating a protective layer over the skin as well as keeping skin hydrated and healthy. However, too much oil can result in an overtly shiny and greasy look on the face. Here are several proven strategies to help create an effective budget skin care routine for oily skin:

  1. Proper & routine face washing to reduce oily skin

    Routinely washing your face can help reduce oily skin as oil builds up on your face over time. Keeping your skin clean and free from irritants is key to controlling your face’s oil production.

    Your environment has a large impact on oil production; dust, sweat, and other particles that exist in the air are prone to irritating the skin and your pores often react by overproducing oil in order to create a protective barrier for your skin.

    By washing away these irritants on a regular basis, you remove your face’s need to overprotect itself with oils. 

    However when washing, it is important to avoid scrubbing your face too hard. Too much friction from scrubbing itself can be a cause of skin irritation, damaging your skin and possibly causing further oil production. Even the best face scrub and exfoliating cleanser for oily skin should only be used once in a while rather than every day.

    Moreover, some people mistakenly wash their face 3 times a day to manage oily skin. The issue is that washing your face too frequently strips the face’s protective layer, making it vulnerable to environmental stress and damage.

    It is highly recommended to use a facial cleanser product when washing your face in order to properly unclog pores and remove debris. Moreover, we recommend the facial cleanser to be light and gentle so that the wash itself does not irritate the skin.

  2. Use a facial moisturizer to reduce oily skin

    The best day and night cream for oily skin is a well-designed moisturizer. Moisturizers are often wrongfully perceived to worsen oily skin. In reality, applying a facial moisturizer is critical in signaling your body to not overproduce oil.

    The function of most facial creams and moisturizers is to retain water for your skin. The retained water keeps your skin hydrated as well as forms a protective layer over your face. Keeping your face hydrated is critical because dry skin signals your glands to overproduce oil which can result in an oily body and face.

    However, not all moisturizers are the same and it is important to be critical of each moisturizer’s ingredients to know if it interacts well with oily skin. Avoid products that are oil-based and look for a non greasy moisturiser such as West 34th’s Anti-Aging Recovery Cream

    Products like 
    West 34th’s Anti-Aging Recovery Cream have critical features for oily skin such as being water based, containing oil-free ingredients, and being non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging). It also contains hyaluronic acid, a tried-and-true skincare ingredient that does an incredible job at retaining your skin’s moisture.

  3. Use blotting papers and pads to absorb excess oily skin

    Blotting pads and papers are materials you can pick up at most convenience stores that are designed to remove excess oil on facial skin. The papers are absorbent and oil-sensitive too which allow you to clearly see the oil you’re removing.

    However, it is important to moderate your use of blotting papers because overuse can remove critical skin oils needed to protect and moisturize your skin.

    Worse yet, too much removal of oil from your skin will prompt your body to produce even more oil to compensate for the loss, thereby worsening the situation.

    It is critical to always allow for some oil to stay on your skin given its protective and moisturizing properties. Moreover, without proper oil production, external organisms can enter and infect your pores which can result in blackheads, pimples, and skin irritation.

  4. Eat foods that aren’t prone to cause oily skin

    The quality of the foods you eat and the composition of your diet have critical impacts on your skin health, including your skin’s oil production.

    Key areas in your diet to scrutinize and reduce when trying to reduce oily skin include refined carbs which are associated with being high on the glycemic index. High-glycemic-index foods such as refined pasta, white bread, cereal, and donuts can cause hormonal imbalances and inflammation within the body and push your skin’s oil production further than needed.

    Dairy is also a culprit for causing oily skin due to the excessive hormones that exist within cows as they are raised. These hormones cause hormonal balances within your own body when consumed, leading to oily skin. Sugars and sweets can especially trigger oil production in skin due to its tendency to cause inflammation within the body.

    If your goal is to reduce oily skin through your diet, we recommend low-glycemic-index foods such as salads and foods with good fats like walnuts and chia seeds. Green tea also has antioxidant properties which, according to one study done in 2017, reduces oil production in skin.

    Other recommended foods to control oil skin include fresh fruits, beans, and whole grains. Foods that contain zinc also help with oily skin given zinc’s ability to help regulate the glands that produce skin oil. Foods high in zinc include shellfish and nuts.

  5. Manage your stress to manage your skin’s oil production

    Stress is a completely natural and necessary response that, when used properly, allow us to face challenges and threats effectively. However, our modern world produces continuous stressors such as work emails, notifications, and instant messages that prevent our bodies from properly turning off internal stress.

    Excessive stress has been well-documented to cause hormonal imbalances within our bodies that lead to inflammation and increased oil production on our skin (one study included here).

    Treating chronic and excessive stress involves a combination of mindfulness, healthy diet, and physical activity. Mindfulness can be addressed through yoga, meditation, and other mental exercises while regular workouts, good sleep, and proper hydration effectively manage down your body’s stress sensitivity.

    Limit or completely avoid nicotine and alcohol consumption. Having stress-reducing routines and rituals provide a consistent way to manage down stress.

  6. Avoid applying certain ingredients on your skin

    Not all skincare ingredients are friendly to oily skin so it is important to read through the ingredient labels when choosing skincare products for oily skin. Products that contain alcohol tend to irritate the skin which signals your glands to produce more oil. Moreover, ingredients such as cocoa butter, silicone, and coconut oil can be pore-clogging and worsen your skin condition as it traps your oils within your pores.

    On the flip side, products containing aloe vera are good for oily skin due to the anti-inflammation and hydrating properties.

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