Living with oily skin and managing the excess sebum production in the skin can be pretty exasperating. Oily skin doesn’t just make your skin’s surface greasy but also puts you at a higher risk of developing blackheads, acne breakouts, enlarged or clogged pores, and inflammation.¹ That being said, oily skin isn’t all about you being pestered with trying to control it and the skin issues it can lead to. Oily skin has many advantages as well.
If you have oily skin, you’re in the right place. This article will help you understand some benefits of having oily skin and effective ways of managing the production of excess oil in the skin.
What Causes Oily Skin?
Simply put, oily skin results from the overproduction of oil by the sebaceous glands in our skin. Excess secretion of oil from these glands leads to oil buildup in the pores, making our skin appear greasy and shiny. But what triggers the sebaceous glands into producing an overabundance of sebum? Certain external and internal elements are known to increase the production of oil in the skin. Some common factors that can stimulate a higher formation of sebum are genetics, stress, changes in hormonal activity, environmental conditions, and inappropriate diet.
Benefits of Oily Skin
Sebum produced by the sebaceous glands offers many skin benefits. If you are curious to know how excess oil on your skin can help your skin, keep on reading!
Protects the Skin - For starters, the skin’s oil protects the skin and acts as your first line of defense against the environment's dirt, grime, and microbes. In addition, sebum produced by the oil glands has vitamin E, which is a known antioxidant agent. Vitamin E fights oxidative damage caused by environmental pollutants, like free radicals and UV rays.
Combats Wrinkles and Fine Lines - An abundance of sebaceous glands in the skin is believed to be responsible for the thickness of the dermis. This means that oily skin tends to be thicker than other skin types. A thicker dermal layer makes the skin more resistant to detrimental external factors that lead to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines, particularly on the areas more prone to sagging, such as the forehead, under-eye area, and nasolabial folds.
Shields Against Sun Damage - While oily skin doesn’t make you immune to the sun’s radiation, and you will still need to apply your sunscreen product, it can tone down the harmful effects of UV rays on the skin. The Vitamin E in your skin’s oil is an antioxidant compound that has an effect as a sunscreen. It can absorb some UV rays and enhance the sun-protective ability of your regular sunscreen products, helping protect the skin from inflammation, redness, itching, and sunspots when exposed to the sun.
Prevents Loss of Moisture - The oil lying in your pores may seem annoying to you, but the reality is that it can help your skin preserve moisture and prevent water loss through the skin's epidermal layer. In addition, the oil allows your skin to be moisturized naturally, so you don’t need much moisturizing products.
Tips to Manage Oily Skin
It must be a relief for many to know that a balanced secretion of oil by the sebaceous glands can make the skin less prone to oxidative stress, UV damage, wrinkles, and dehydration. However, we all know that when our sebaceous glands are pumping out higher amounts of sebum, it can contribute to a myriad of skin issues, such as acne and pimples, blackheads and whiteheads, irritation, redness, and enlarged pores. To keep the production of sebum at its optimal level and prevent skin problems due to surplus sebum, here are some tips:
Cleanse Properly - The first step to help manage oily skin is cleansing your skin after waking up in the morning and before going to bed. Removing the dirt, sebum, grime, makeup, and other impurities from the surface of the skin prevents many skin problems from appearing in the first place. Next, choose a non-comedogenic, chemical-free, and oil-free cleanser for your oily complexion. Salicylic acid cleansers are widely used due to their power to eliminate oil and dead skin accumulated in the pores without aggravating the skin.
Don’t Skip a Toner - If you’re not using toner as part of your regular skincare routine, here’s why you need to reconsider. A gentle, fragrance-free, and alcohol-free toner containing soothing, nourishing, antioxidant, and hydrating ingredients can help revitalize your skin, minimize the appearance of pores, clean clogged pores, and remove residual impurities left behind after cleansing. It will also improve the absorption of other products. Glycolic acid, lactic acid, green tea, salicylic acid, and hyaluronic acid are some ingredients to hunt for.
Keep Your Skin Moisturized - While many of you may think of ditching this step thinking that your oily skin doesn’t need a moisturizing product, skipping a moisturizer can worsen your skin condition. Not using a moisturizer for your oily skin can signal your oil glands to secrete more sebum, making your skin oilier. So, keep your skin hydrated and moisturized using an oil-free, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free moisturizer. Opt for gel or water-based formulas to provide your skin with enough moisture without making it feel greasy and shiny.
Exfoliating Skin - Exfoliating the skin regularly (once or twice a week) is highly recommended to keep the skin healthy, fresh, and smooth. The buildup of dead, dull skin in the pores can cause clogged pores, leading to blackheads, whiteheads, acne breakouts, and inflammation. Hence, it’s essential to regularly exfoliate the skin to eliminate dead skin cells. Chemical exfoliators like salicylic acid are safer and gentler for oily and acne-prone skin than harsh physical exfoliators.
Apply Clay and Charcoal Masks - Facial masks with the right ingredients can effectively manage oily and acne-prone skin. Clay masks are beneficial in removing excess oil from the skin due to their oil-absorbing ability.
Since clay masks can be drying on the skin, it’s recommended to use clay masks with hydrating ingredients. Similarly, charcoal masks are also suitable for oily skin because they unclog pores and draw out surplus oil and other gunk from the pores, providing intense cleansing action.
Use Oil-free Sunscreen - We all know sun protection is quintessential, regardless of skin type. What makes the difference is finding the right formula that works well for your skin type. A lightweight, non-greasy formula is the best option for oily and acne-prone skin.
According to board-certified dermatologist Stefani Kappel, MD, look for an oil-free, mineral sunscreen, “These not only offer better protection against UVA and UVB rays, but they’re naturally less comedogenic (acne-causing) than chemical sunscreens.”²
No matter which sunscreen you choose, apply it daily to protect your skin from UV damage, which can lead to inflammation, premature signs of aging, and even cancer.
Use Blotting Papers - Blotting papers are an easy and quick fix for oily skin throughout the day. They can absorb excess sebum from the skin without drying out, giving you an instantly clean and shine-free complexion. Just press a blotting paper against the oily areas of your face, like the forehead, chin, cheeks, and nose.
Avoid Touching Your Face - It can be pretty challenging to fight the urge to touch your skin but know that this seemingly trivial act can lead to various skin issues. Touching your skin with unclean hands can transfer sebum, bacteria, dirt, and other pollutants to other areas of your face, making it susceptible to numerous skin issues. Make sure to clean your hands before cleansing, moisturizing, and following other skincare routine steps.
Eat a Balanced Diet - Last but not least. Healthy skin doesn’t just result from applying the right skincare products. A balanced diet is also essential in achieving and maintaining healthy skin. Certain foods can prove effective in regulating the production of oil in the skin. Incorporate more foods with vitamin C, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc into your daily diet to help control the production of sebum in the skin.
Use Ingredients That Help - Retinol, green tea, CBD, and niacinamide are a few skincare ingredients that help regulate sebum production. The oil-fighting capabilities of these ingredients can help reduce the appearance of oily skin. Adding a facial serum with active ingredients intended to regulate oil is a significant step you can take.
We love using RYSE+SHYNE Facial serum, a hydrating facial serum containing hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, vitamin C and CBD. This lightweight facial serum helps minimize the appearance of pores, improves skin’s texture, and regulates oil production. It can be applied morning and/or night to give you a lit-from-within glow.
While many of you may be frustrated about your oily skin, you might be unaware of the benefits of having oily skin. A higher volume of sebaceous glands makes the skin’s outer layer thicker.³ An abundance of sebum on the skin enables it to fight damage due to various environmental agents and prevents dehydration. As a result, your skin can resist wrinkles and fine lines for much longer.
Furthermore, a proper skincare regimen and suitable skincare products specifically formulated to meet the specific needs of oily skin can help you eliminate the frustration that comes with oily skin. Hear what Cassandra Bankson has to say about oily skin. We hope this article will help you manage excess oil on your skin and embrace your skin without having to worry about skin issues.