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How to Take Care of Oily Skin

The ultimate guide if your skin is always greasy.
November 03, 2023

Oily skin
is one of the main skin types that is both a gift and an occasional source of annoyance. With the excessive oil that this skin type experiences, it can be difficult to nail down a skin care routine that won’t leave your complexion looking overly greasy or shiny. If this is your skin type, or maybe you’re trying to figure out if you have oily skin, keep reading for an all-encompassing guide on oily skin. Here, discover an easy skin care regimen for oily skin along with answers to the questions you probably have about this skin type. 


What Is Oily Skin?

Oily skin is described as skin that is prone to excessive shine and grease which can contribute to clogged pores and acne. Oily skin is synonymous with acne and clogged pores because excess sebum can create these blemishes and skin concerns, confirms the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology


What Is Sebum?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, sebum is an oily substance that is produced from the sebaceous glands in your pores and hair follicles. Sebum is responsible for keeping your skin from drying out. With oily skin, sebaceous glands produce an excessive amount of oil that can lead to clogged pores if not properly cleansed, exfoliated and moisturized. 


The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology states high sebum production begins at birth and decreases until puberty. After this adolescent change, sebum is dramatically increased due to hormones from puberty and doesn’t decline again until age 60 to 70. With all the ups and downs of sebum production, it can be difficult to control excessive oil.


How to Control Oily Skin With a Skin Care Routine

The best way to combat oily skin is with a dedicated skin care routine full of products to target excessive sebum production that leads to greasy-looking skin. Below, find a detailed step-by-step guide to help deal with oily skin. 


Step 1. Cleanse Twice a Day

As with any skin care routine — regardless of skin type — cleansing twice a day is a good place to start. With the right facial cleanser, you will be able to wash away excess oil, dirt and grime from the surface of your skin. Be mindful of how frequently you’re washing your face as too much cleansing may dry out your skin, prompting it to create more oils, per the Cleveland Clinic. Stick to cleansing twice a day (once in the morning and once before bedtime) with products that clean your face thoroughly the first time, eliminating the need to double-cleanse in the same routine.


Try a creamy face wash like L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Radiant Smoothing Cream Cleanser, which will eliminate these types of impurities without stripping skin of the natural oils it needs. This cleanser is formulated to nourish skin and boost its radiance for a smoother, brighter and more refined complexion. Oily skin types will appreciate the added benefits of exfoliation that this cleanser brings to rid skin of dead skin cells that may layer on the skin and clog pores.


Slightly wet your face and hands before lathering a dime-sized amount of facial cleanser into your hands. This will help the creamy cleanser transform into a rich lather that feels soft and gentle on the skin. Gently massage the facial cleanser onto your skin, using circular motions and avoiding your eye area. Then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and gently pat dry with a towel.


Step 2. Target Skin Concerns With Serum

In addition to excessive sebum affecting oily skin, this skin type has other concerns that you should consider targeting with a concentrated face serum. Oily skin can make pores appear larger — per the AAD — and is prone to blemishes that can turn into dark spots. To target these concerns consider the following serums:


L’Oréal Paris Bright Reveal 12% [Niacinamide + Amino Sulfonic + Ferulic Acid] Dark Spot Serum

Use this serum to eliminate those pesky post-acne marks from pimples and other blemishes or age spots from too much fun in the sun. This lightweight serum is formulated with niacinamide to help reduce the appearance of dark spots while ferulic acid and amino sulfonic acid gently exfoliate skin surface cells. The result is brighter-looking, more luminous skin with faded dark spots. 


L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 12% Pure Vitamin C + E + Salicylic Acid Serum

Add this serum to your routine to help visibly correct key signs of early aging like uneven skin tone, fine lines and the appearance of enlarged pores. Perfect for oily skin types, this gentle serum increases skin’s radiance while reducing pore size and fine lines with a formulation of pure vitamin C, vitamin E and salicylic acid. 


Step 3. Don’t Skip Out on Moisturizer 

You might be thinking that it seems a bit counterintuitive to apply moisturizer to oily skin, but this is a step you shouldn’t skip. All skin types need a moisturizer to hydrate on the surface and interior of the skin. With oily skin, add a dose of hydration with a lightweight moisturizer like L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Micro Hyaluronic Acid + Ceramides Line-Plumping Water Cream that won’t feel too heavy on the skin and doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind. This quick-absorbing water-based face cream deeply nourishes with its light texture while infusing skin with hyaluronic acid and ceramides that add and lock in moisture.  


Smooth this cream on your skin while it’s slightly damp (you can use water or apply this moisture directly after your serum of choice), as the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), confirms this is the best way to combat intense dryness that even oily skin can occasionally experience. 


Step 4. Take Sun Protection Measures

Always finish your skin care routine with broad-spectrum sunscreen, since spending any amount of time in the sun without protection can lead to sun damage. You’ll want to follow this step year-round, per the Skin Cancer Foundation, since you can get sunburned and contribute to signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, even on cloudy days. If you have oily skin, look for a non-comedogenic formula like L’Oréal Paris Bright Reveal Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Daily UV Lotion that won’t clog your pores or leave behind a shiny complexion.


The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recommends applying sunscreen 30 minutes before you go outside and reapplying it at least every two hours — so throw your sunscreen in your bag before you head out for the day. Other sun protection measures you should take include limiting your amount of time in the sun (especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which are peak hours), seeking shade, and covering up exposed areas in long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.


How to Apply Makeup for Oily Skin

When it comes to having oily skin how you do your makeup matters, too. With specialized makeup products and techniques to help keep excess oil at bay, you can kiss midday shine goodbye with this oily skin-fighting routine for your face base.

1. Use an Oil-Absorbing Primer

Before you get to foundation or concealer, start by applying a thin layer of face primer to your skin to perfect your face base. If you have oily skin, primer should definitely be in your makeup bag for the longest-lasting makeup, and to keep your oily skin from eating away at your makeup. Try L’Oréal Paris Prime Lab Up to 24H Matte Setter which helps reduce excess shine and rebalance skin over time with the added salicylic acid which gives this makeup product skin care benefits. 


2. Keep Your Foundation Matte

When you have oily skin, look for a foundation that leaves behind a matte (aka non-shiny) finish, like L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder. This lightweight powder foundation offers full coverage like a liquid foundation with the softness of a powder, without caking into skin or clogging pores. Additionally, this formulation is waterproof, heatproof and sweatproof, so your oily skin won’t disturb your makeup base. With 20 shades to choose from, this powder feels light on the skin and lasts up to 24 hours without smearing off or fading away. 


3. Seal Your Look With Setting Spray

After adding your foundation, you’re free to continue the rest of your makeup with blush, highlighter and eye makeup (Try the trendy latte makeup or strawberry girl makeup if you need some inspiration). To keep your makeup looking freshly applied all day, seal your final look with a setting spray. Pick up L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray and Set Make-Up Oil-Free Setting Spray and spritz your face in an ‘X’ and ‘T’ motion for maximum coverage and protection. This setting spray keeps makeup looking flawless and doesn’t settle into the fine lines on skin, for a fresh look all day. 


4. Carry Blotting Papers in Your Purse 

Blotting papers are tiny lifesaving sheets of paper that absorb excess shine and create an oil-free complexion. If you find yourself getting greasy during the day, dab a blotting paper on your face to help sop up some of that excess shine.


Next : How to Make Makeup Last on Oily Skin, According to an Expert


Photo Design: Sarah Duvivier

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