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Dermatologist Tips for Oily Skin

Expert advice on how to treat this shine-prone skin type, plus recommendations from a natural skin care routine for oily skin

 Written by: 100% PURE®

1. Hands off!

Are you guilty of scratching, touching, or rubbing your face throughout the day? How about leaning your chin on your palm while you scroll through social media, rubbing your forehead when you’re tired, etc etc? Every time you touch your face, experts would tell you that you’re only making your oily skin worse – and even increasing your risk of a breakout. Experts also estimate that the average person touches their face… *drum roll please*... 2,000 - 3,000 times per day! In between touching your face, you’re grabbing door handles, touching shared surfaces, and collecting all kinds of OIL, dirt, and bacteria on your hands.

Before worrying about a skin care routine for oily skin, first things first: up your hand washing game! If you can’t get to the sink to wash your hands, a natural hand sanitizer followed by a moisturizing hand cream will help to keep germs at bay. This won’t keep you from touching your face – you’ll have to be more judicious on your own – but it will help to minimize the amount of germs on your hands at any given time.


2. Keep up with cleansing

Oily skin types tend to overproduce sebum, the sticky substance that we know as ‘oil’ or ‘grease’ when our skin is having an extra shiny day. Just like flies get stuck to fly paper, debris such as dirt, dead skin, and environmental pollutants will stick to your sebum throughout the day. Each of these types of debris is a risk for clogged pores, meaning your skin will be in real trouble if you’re not washing them away regularly.

Opt for a gentle cleanser with no oil content, lightly astringent properties, and antibacterials. The Charcoal Clay Cleanser is a fan favorite, starring alongside our Tea Tree & Willow Acne Clear Cleanser (ideal for oily + acne-prone skin). Our charcoal-infused cleanser effectively cuts through excess oil with antibacterial essential oils and brightening, astringent lemon. Bamboo charcoal, activated charcoal, and kaolin clay absorb excess oil while detoxifying, to neutralize pore-clogging free radicals and environmental pollutants.

Use a konjac sponge to gently cleanse (no scrubbing!) your skin morning and night – and of course, after sweating or outdoor activities. As Dermatologist Heidi Waldorf told Cosmopolitan, "Your skin should feel soft, not tight, after washing.” This means no scrubbing, no high-heat water, and not washing too often, or for too long.

PRO TIP: Essential oils, especially added at the end of a cleanser ingredient list, are normally of little concern for oily skin types. For example, both spearmint and lemongrass are added to our charcoal cleanser for their astringent (oil controlling) properties, NOT as moisturizers.

3. Choose oil-free makeup whenever possible

When shopping for makeup, oily skin types tend to have a hard time finding products that last through the day without slipping and sliding. To get an shine-free makeup look, it all starts at the bottom: with Mattifying Primer. While this product does contain lightweight olive squalane, which is rated at a 0-1 comedogenic rating, meaning it has an extremely low probability of clogging pores – good news for oily skin! This primer helps to mattify skin and hold makeup in place throughout the day, while also regulating excess oil.

Next, you’ll need to set your makeup with a powder that won’t clog pores or overdry your skin. The Bamboo Blur Powder is completely oil-free, designed to absorb oil, and is ultra lightweight. Dust this formula onto your t-zone or other problem areas to completely banish shine and add a filter-finish to bare skin or foundation. As always, keep a packet of oil-blotting paper handy wherever you go, to ensure your makeup look isn’t ruined by slippery oil slicks, smudging, or shifting pigment.


4. Invest in natural – never harsh – astringents

We’ve been there, oily skin friends: your skin is at an all-time high for grease and shine, and you can’t even get a layer of foundation to set. You’re SO tempted to reach for that drugstore bottle, labeled “astringent” – even if it means drying out every drop of moisture in your skin. You just want the oil GONE! We get it, really. While we do agree with astringents, even experts agree that alcohol-based formulas are simply too harsh, even for oily skin.

If you’re looking to cut through oil without the eventual risk of dryness and irritation, swap your drugstore formula for one with natural astringent ingredients. Natural astringents include citric acid, witch hazel, or salicylic acid – though any astringent, especially salicylic acid, should always be patch tested for sensitivity before adding into a skin care routine for oily skin. Astringents can also help to temporarily tighten pores, which can in turn better regulate oil production.

PRO TIP: Check out our Tea Tree & Willow Clarifying Astringent, complete with salicylic acid-related salicin from willow bark, antibacterial tea tree, and witch hazel.

5. Wear sunscreen to avoid larger pores (and more oil)

Did you know that the firmness of your skin can affect oil production? Firmer skin tends to have taut, smaller sized pores while less firm skin will have larger, more apparent pores – meaning higher risk for increased oil production. The American Academy of Dermatology raves about the benefits of wearing SPF for oily skin types, since photoaging and UV damage can significantly compromise skin firmness and pore size.

In short, sunscreen is absolutely crucial to your health and, as it turns out, is an amazing long-term solution for controlling shine, too! Try layering on a mattifying, oil-free sunscreen like our Yerba Mate Mist SPF 30 over bare skin or makeup for effective sun protection.

PRO TIP: Retinol products can also help to restore firmness, and can even help to purge deep-set debris that has widened or enlarged a pore. Using sunscreen during the day and retinol at night is a winning combination for oily skin types, and anyone looking to prevent signs of premature aging in their skin.

Need more tips for your oily skin? Check out our skin care routine for oily skin, the best foundation for oily skin, and the best moisturizer for oily skin on our blog!

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.

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