Does your skin get shiny mid-way through the day? Or maybe even half an hour after you’ve washed your face? You probably have oily skin. Other telltale signs that your skin is in the oily category include enlarged pores, blackheads, whiteheads, and, you guessed it, pimples. Not to worry. With a few basic steps, we can help ensure your complexion is healthy, balanced, and radiant.
What is oily skin?
Our skin needs a certain amount of sebum (that’s the official name for the oil your sebaceous glands produce) to keep it healthy and soft. In normal skin, oil flows freely and lubricates your skin’s surface, giving you a clear complexion and keeping your skin balanced. But when your body makes too much sebum (common during puberty or other periods of hormonal changes), you run the risk of oily skin and, as a secondary effect, acne.
What causes oily skin?
Oily skin is typically genetic, but because our skin faces so many elements, several external factors can worsen naturally oily skin.
The environment is one such factor — especially if you live in a hot or humid climate or an area with higher levels of air irritants or pollution. Ironically, excessive washing and scrubbing can actually increase oil production, since your glands will try to overcompensate for the dryness every time you strip your skin of its natural oils. Medicines that impact hormones, like birth control pills, and increased stress levels may also contribute to oily skin. For women, oil production can vary with their monthly cycle and then decrease during perimenopause and menopause. For men, the hormones that trigger more oil production (known as "androgens") are at much higher levels during puberty and teen years and tend to normalize in adulthood. Men will also experience decreased sebum production as they age.
Oily skin and acne-prone skin often go hand-in-hand. As a normal part of our skin’s regrowth process, we naturally shed excess, dead skin cells. If you have oily skin, those dead skin cells can stick together and stay trapped inside your pores. This buildup clogs pores and leads to comedones — what you probably know as blackheads and whiteheads. Once P. acnes bacteria makes its way into those clogged pores, your blackheads and whiteheads turn into red, inflamed pimples.
How do you know if you have oily skin? You’ll have larger pores and a shine on your complexion that appears by mid-day (if not sooner) despite washing your face in the morning.
Is oily skin normal?
Oily skin is common, and it can even be healthy — the more oil your skin produces the more protected your skin is, which can help prevent fine lines and wrinkles. You won’t be wrinkle free for life, but it is a positive side effect of an oily complexion.
Aside from helping with signs of aging, oily skin is normal as long as there aren’t any other underlying skin conditions, and you make sure you’re doing what you can to keep your skin balanced (more on that below).
How to treat oily skin
Unfortunately, no treatment can "turn off" oil production and get rid of oily skin, but you can help your skin look more balanced with the help of oil-absorbing products or blotter sheets. Other habits you can practice include refraining from over-washing your face (just once in the morning and once at night using warm, not hot, water!), using noncomedogenic (non-clogging) makeup and skincare, and reducing stress levels.
Oil and acne go hand in hand, which is why proactiv’s skincare systems are effective in banishing shine. One key ingredient in our products is salicylic acid, an exfoliant that encourages dead skin cells to loosen and shed, which helps clean out all that acne-causing debris inside pores. Without a buildup of dead skin cells, your pores may look smaller, and your skin can appear more radiant.
The good news is proactiv has decades of skincare innovation under their belt, so they’ve developed effective products for oily skin:
- Advanced Daily Oil Control: Formulated with salicylic acid for acne-prone skin, this oily skin moisturizer helps reduce surface shine and unclog pores. It’s a lightweight formula that absorbs quickly and helps skin stay soft, smooth, and hydrated without looking or feeling greasy. It’s also oil-free, non-comedogenic, paraben-free, and dermatologist-tested.
- Green Tea Oil Blotting Sheets: Do you want to know how to stop oily skin in seconds? Blotting papers are the makeup artist’s secret to combating shine. Ours are made of bamboo charcoal and designed to instantly absorb excess oil, lift away impurities, and help control shine. Each sheet is infused with green tea extract, a powerful antioxidant that helps fight surface free radicals and soothe skin.
- Re-Texturizing Toner: Formulated with salicylic acid and glycolic acid, these two exfoliating acids help clear pores and help prevent future breakouts by removing dead skin cells. It’s great to use AM and PM after cleansing to help keep pores clear and even the look of your skin’s tone and texture.
- T-Zone Oil Absorber: This lightweight moisturizer was designed with a shine reducing technology that keeps skin moisturized while absorbing excess oil and refining the appearance of pores. Ideal for oily and combination skin, this formula visibly reduces shiny skin and pore size while keeping skin hydrated for up to 24 hours.
All of these products and more are available when you subscribe to a proactiv acne system!