Balance is the Name of the Game 

It is no secret that oily skin can be a HUGE pain, but as it turns out oily skin can actually be a blessing in disguise. Oil helps preserve our skin, and people with oily skin tend to have thicker skin and fewer wrinkles. The key is to strike a balance between having an excess of oil and maintaining your skin’s natural moisture. Read on for the dos and don’ts of taking care of oily skin! 



In this post you’ll see 

Oily Skin Basics 

Oily Skin Dos 

Oily Skin Don’ts 



Oily Skin Basics 

We all know what oily skin looks like, and if you have it like many of us do, you know that shining bright is not so ideal when we’re looking greasy instead of dewy. Extreme shininess especially in the T-Zone (forehead, nose, and chin) as well as the enlarged pores and tendency to breakout that comes with it, is no new thing yet many of us do not know how to properly care for oily skin and its effects. Oily skin is classified as skin that overproduces oil. Genetics, hormones, certain medications, certain products that dry out the skin, and even diet can cause and exacerbate the oily skin condition. However, the root cause of oily skin is the skin producing sebum. It can cause the skin to look greasy when there is too much, but sebum helps to protect and moisturize the skin.  

The sebaceous glands of the skin secrete the oily, waxy substance called sebum which is made of triglycerides, wax esters, squalene, and metabolites of fat-producing cells. Sebum is produced by those sebaceous glands when they disintegrate. The gland cells last about a week, from formation to discharge. The sebaceous glands produce lipids and triglycerides, which are broken down by bacterial enzymes in the sebaceous duct to form smaller compounds, free fatty acids. 

Fun Fact: Though oily skin is generally seen as a negative, there are actually some positives that can come along with it. An oily skin type tends to be less wrinkled and also ages at a slower speed due to the extra oil content in the skin.  



Oily Skin Dos 

DO Exfoliate Regularly: Exfoliating oily skin can be tricky business – do it too infrequently and you are stuck with a greasy visage, do it too frequently and you will dry your skin out so much that it will begin producing even more oil as compensation. The key to this Do is balance. 

DO Moisturize: Avoid the seesaw experience of stripping too much oil. Although you have oily skin, it is still important to apply moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. Moisturizers for oily skin tend to be on the fluid side – meaning they will take the form of liquids and gels as opposed to creams. 

DO Wash Every Day, Night, & After Exercise: Those with oily skin need to vigorously adhere to their facial cleansing schedule. Choose a facial cleanser that will combat oil and shine but not strip the skin of oils. 

DO Use SPF: Exposure to the sun can temporarily dry up excess oil, but BEWARE, hyper-keratinization will occur, and acne flare-ups follow, so make sure you use a sunscreen every day.  

DO Choose the Right Makeup: Make sure to purchase makeup that works with your skin. Look for cosmetics labeled “shine-free” and/or “mattifying”. Do beware of talc! 

DO Clean Your Makeup Brushes: Choose to use a brush or a sponge to apply makeup to keep in on the surface instead of grinding it in with your fingertips. If you do choose to use your fingertips, be sure to always cleanse your hands first! Make sure to toss the sponge before it accumulates germs and to wash your makeup brushes regularly. 

DO Look for Skin Care Products that are Labeled “Oil Free” and “Noncomedogenic.”: This means that products that have these labels — including cleansers, moisturizers, and makeup — will not leave residues that will lead to increased oil production as well as other problems. Be aware of waxes and petroleum in those products as well! 

DO Use a Gentle, Foaming Face Wash: Many people believe that they need to use a strong face wash for oily skin in order to dry out their skin. However, using a face wash that is too harsh can irritate your skin and trigger increased oil production. Instead, look for a mild, gentle face wash. 



Oily Skin Don’ts 

DON’T Skip the Moisturizer: We technically already mentioned this one is the Dos, but oily skin needs moisture too, so don’t skip this step! Keep up the daily moisturizing, just make sure to pick one formulated for your needs. 

DON’T Pick or Touch Your Face: Picking at pimples and red spots irritates the skin and spreads the bacteria across the skin surface, turning little issues into big problems. Pay attention to your hands during the day and try to not lean your chin or cheeks on your hands while working at a desk. If you find you are an absent minded leaner or face rubber, make sure to wash your hands frequently. 

DON’T Overmedicate: When faced with a breakout, it’s tempting to pile treatment after treatment onto the skin. This can be counter-productive, as it doesn’t allow your products to do their job. It can also lead to red, inflamed skin that is reacting to too many harsh products. Instead try to be pro-active by treating skin to a once or twice a week treatment. 

DON’T Sleep on a Dirty Pillowcase: Pillowcases absorb dirt, grease and grime and you spend eight hours a night resting your face on them! To keep your freshly washed faced clean, change your bed pillowcase frequently. Stock up on pillowcases during a sale and try to switch it out every other night. 

DON’T Use Non-Water-soluble Oil or Alcohol Based Cleansers: While alcohol-based cleansers are effective at removing oil, they can cause the skin to dry out, which causes the body to react by overproducing oil. 

DON’T Sleep in Your Makeup: Always remove all makeup before going to sleep. This is a super-duper cardinal rule no matter your skin type. 

DON’T Touch Your Face Throughout the Day: Although it’s tempting to touch your face, doing so can spread dirt, oil and bacteria from your hands to your face. Only touch your face when you’re cleansing, moisturizing, or applying sunscreen or makeup, and make sure your hands are clean first. 



Listen, oily skin is a blessing in disguise, oil keeps things from becoming dry and cracked. I don’t know about you but when it comes to my face, I don’t want dry cracked skin.  Oily skin can also become dry if we aren’t careful with overdoing it like with high PH products that strip and deplete our acid mantle (i.e. the skin barrier). The name of the game here is balance, let’s just keep the skin not too dry and not too greasy.   

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