Oily skin is a common skin type which can affect both women and men from puberty up to the age of sixty. The greasy texture is the result of excessive sebum production. The skin looks greasy and shiny with oversized pores as a result. Oily skin can sometimes cause blackheads or pimples. The oil glands are triggered mainly by the male sex hormone testosterone, which is present in both genders and estrogen has been shown to reduce sebum production and gland activation.
Remember, having oily skin is not a bad thing!
Oily skin = fewer wrinkles
According to research, higher oil content in the skin results in fewer wrinkles. Therefore, don’t be worried about your oily, glossy skin.
If you still want to minimize oil production in your skin there are some ingredients and methods to look out for, and some to avoid. A very common misconception for oily skin or pimples is that excessive cleansing would do the trick. In November 2018, an article was published by a team of dermatologists from the School of Medicine at New York University. They had analyzed fourteen studies focused on whether cleansing would improve the status of the skin for people suffering from acne. A total of 671 test subjects were included and the results showed that cleansing does not lead to significant improvements in acne-affected skin.
Avoid comedogenic ingredients: some waxes, butter, fatty alcohols, fatty esters, and oils can be comedogenic, which means they tend to worsen oily skin and cause acne. On the list of ingredients to avoid is lanolin and some fatty alcohols such as myristyl myristate, fatty acid esters, and some kinds of butters like cocoa butter. This does not mean that all waxes, butter, fatty esters and oils are comedogenic. Ingredients also function differently in each individual person; you must consider the formulation in its entirety to determine whether it is comedic or not.
Oils and humectants?
The oils used in skincare for oily skin should be light. Examples of lighter oils are squalane or shea oil. An oil that has been proven to be very beneficial for oily skin is linoleic acid (5–7). As for the humectants, the ones that are good for dry and normal skin are also good for oily skin, for example glycerin and more (see above).
Acids for oily skin?
Oily skin can feel more pleasant after applying acids, as acids appear to reduce pore size. However, don’t overuse them and start with milder acids such as PHA (gluconolactone or lactobionic acid). BHA has an advantage as purifier since it has a greater penetration to the sebaceous glands compared to AHA and PHA. Always be careful with high concentrations of acids since they can cause an imbalance of the lipids and humectants in the skin. Higher concentrations can also dry out the skin.
Zinc is an ingredient that may be good for oily skin. This is no novelty: zinc has been used to treat oily skin since the nineteen-thirties (1930). Skincare containing retinol and niacinamide has also been proven effective on oily skin.
Careful with make-up
Makeup and foundations can clog your pores which is especially negative for people with acne-prone skin. An interesting study in Poland 2017 showed that people who used comprehensive foundations experienced worsening of acne. It can become a vicious circle, the more you cover, the worse it gets.