[Beauty 101] How to Combat Oily Skin


By Joyce Chua from THREAD SG

Oily skin is a common problem faced by lots of people even well past puberty. And it can make a dent in your self-esteem. But the good news for those struggling with a personal oil crisis? There is an ever growing repertoire of skincare products and easy daily solutions you can adopt to curb the shine and prevent breakouts.

The first step is to identify your problem. Oily skin is characterised by enlarged pores and shiny looking skin that is greasy to the touch, especially in the T-zone areas — forehead, nose and chin — where breakouts are common.

Transform an oily complexion into a radiant glow with these tips:

Pick the Right Cleanser


A lot of people think that washing your face or applying products to curb acne increases oil production, so they avoid using them. But the truth is, your oil glands will produce the same amount of oil regardless of how you treat it on the outside. Making your skin produce more oil would call for a change on an internal, biological level, such as a shift in hormones.

However, if you are washing with overly harsh products, you will strip away the essential oils that give your skin that healthy glow. So try not to use a cleanser more than twice a day, and stick to washes containing salicylic acid, which helps to absorb oil.


Hydrate Your Skin


Most people with oily skin avoid using moisturisers — another big no-no. Moisturisers can actually ameliorate oily skin, which can result from a lack of moisture, as the dryness causes your skin to produce more oil. Your skin can still be dehydrated even though you have an oily complexion. So omitting moisturiser is doing your skin a disfavour.

Look for a lightweight moisturizer containing wrinkle-reducing, moisturizing hyaluronic acid, as well as natural remedies like lemon-peel extract, which possesses antibacterial properties. Look also for non-comedogenic formulas that don’t clog pores.


Sweat It Out!

A good sweat session not only boosts blood circulation, it also promotes clearer pores as perspiring is a way for your body to detoxify. When you sweat, your pores open up and toxins in your body is flushed away via sweat, leaving your skin refreshed and unclogged. This reduces the risk of breakouts and acne, and removes excess oil and grime from your skin.

And as a bonus, exercising also promotes skin cell renewal, as well as the production of collagen so your skin looks firmer and more radiant. So invest in some sportswear and get moving!


Hands Off!

Sebum is the main contributor to acne-prone oily skin. And it’s tempting to pick at blackheads, or squeeze pimples. Bad idea — your fingers can carry bacteria that will worsen your skin breakout.

Instead, use a toner after cleansing. Go for one that contains antibacterial and sebum-absorbing properties, which remove excess oils and impurities. Look for ingredients such as glycolic or salicylic acid to help exfoliate your skin and clear your pores.


Eat the Right Fats


The idea that oily food causes oily skin is a complete myth. In fact, certain oils such as fish oils — which are high in omega-3 fatty acids — have proven to help reduce acne, because they contain anti-inflammatory properties.

However, sugary foods, dairy products, and processed carbohydrates such as white bread, muffins, and pasta have been found to result in worse acne breakouts. Aside from avoiding such trigger foods, eat smaller meals more frequently to keep your blood sugar level stable. This can help reduce oil production and clear clogged pores.


Don’t Overload With Products

Another mistake made by many people with oily skin: slathering on multiple products in an attempt to dry out their skin. This only causes it to become irritated, or worse, inflamed. Oily skin can also be sensitive, and laying on too many products with many ingredients can do more harm than good.

Think simple. Introduce products to your skin one at a time and allow some time between a week or two for your skin to adjust to the product. Begin with something containing salicylic-acid product and let your skin acclimatise to it before adding another ingredient such as glycolic acid or a retinoid.

[Related article: 5 Effortless In-Flight Beauty Tips]

Do you have oily skin? What are some ways you control the shine? Share your skincare tips in the Comments section below!