If you have oily skin, consider yourself blessed. The oil you bemoan now will beautify your complexion later.
Oily skin is more resistant to sun damage, harsh treatment and wrinkles than, say fair or dry skin.
But while oily skin can bounce back from insult after insult, punishing your skin with harsh cleansing products to scrub away oil can leave your complexion dull and flaky. And if you have mature skin, bear in mind that your oil glands produce less oil after menopause. So continuing an oily skin-care regimen out of habit rather than necessity may be hurting rather than helping your skin.
The bottom line? Your natural oil is a built-in lubricant, a beauty oasis. So don’t fight oil-control it.
You scour your face with a harsh soap, use astringent to dry up the oil and then slather on moisturizer to ease the tightness and flaking that the astringent has left behind. That’s the way to keep oily skin in line, right? Wrong: While drying soaps and alcohol-based astringents do cut oil, over time they can damage your skin. And despite what you may have heard, trying to scrub away oil is even worse. Trying to get rid of oil by scrubbing your skin with abrasive facial pads and grainy cleansers is the worst thing you can do-it can actually stimulate your oil glands to produce more oil.
To keep your skin at its loveliest, cleanse with soaps that have been proven to be mild. If you have oily skin, avoid superfatted soaps that contain emollients like cocoa butter, lanolin or olive oil. While they’re gentle, your complexion doesn’t need the extra oil they contain.
You might also try a soap-free liquid cleanser formulated specifically for oil skin. Liquid cleansers are the mildest of all. Look for a clear formula rather than a milky-white or opaque one-a sign of added moisturizers your skin doesn’t need.
Unless you break out, avoid drying antiseptic or antibacterial cleansers. And when you’ve found the perfect product, resist the urge to wash your face ten times a day: Like scrubbing, over cleansing can rile your oil glands into producing more oil. Wash as little as you can-just enough to feel clean and comfortable.
Astringents-commonly formulated with alcohol and little else-remove dirt and oil, temporarily shrink pores and can give your skin a pleasant feeling of tautness. But tightness doesn’t equal cleanliness: Use too much astringent on a daily basis and even the oiliest skin can flake, peel, sting or burn.
If your skin is so oily you feel you must use an astringent, limit it to twice a day. But don’t whip out the astringent every time you feel the oil pooling.
If you have oily skin, reverse astringent for wiping away oil between cleansing or during your workout. Tuck a few astringent pads, into your gym bag and use them during your workout to wipe away oil and perspiration-a mix that can provide a breakout.