Oily skin is characterised by enlarged pores, a dull but shiny complexion, and blackheads, pimples or other blemishes. The reason pores become enlarged is because the amount of oil being produced causes them to stretch beyond their initial capacity. Then acne and breakouts are caused because as the pore enlarges it’s easier for dead skin cells to become trapped, meaning oil is prevented from reaching the surface of skin.
What Causes Oily Skin?
Your genetics can result in the oil producing glands in your face being overactive resulting in the overproduction of sebum. However, this can be impacted by other environmental factors. Heat and humidity will mean that you sweat more which can make it even easier for your pores to become blocked leading to breakouts. Similarly, hormonal fluctuations such as during certain points of your menstrual cycle or during pregnancy can impact the amount of oil your skin produces. However, it’s important to remember that oily skin isn’t “bad” and oil is essential for our skin as it combats dryness and ensures the surface of your skin remains healthy and pliable. It’s simply a case of learning how to use your skincare routine to help manage the oil production.
What is Dehydrated, Oily Skin?
It’s a common misconception that oily skin can’t also be dehydrated but it’s actually pretty common. The way to identify dehydrated skin is if you notice dry or flaky skin on the surface of your face which then has oil sitting on top. This can be caused by not drinking enough water but it’s usually caused by using the wrong products during your skincare routine. If you have oily skin it’s easy to use products that overly strip and dry out your skin in an attempt to control your oil production. Instead of helping, this dehydrates your skin and makes it more prone to acne. Luckily dehydrated skin isn’t permanent and the easiest way to correct it is to review and remove or reduce the use of irritating products such as:
Toners with high concentrations of alcohol, eucalyptus, witch hazel or citruses.
Cleansing brushes with rough bristles
Products with high concentrations of fragrances, both natural and synthetic
It’s an easy mistake to make when seeing the appearance of flaky skin to think that your skin needs moisture and incorporate a rich moisturiser. However, your skin type is still oily and to help combat dehydration you need to use a lightweight moisturiser that will hydrate your skin without making your skin even oilier.
How to Look After Oily Skin?
If you have oily skin, avoid toners with strippng ingredients such as denatured alcohol as these will overly dry out your skin causing it to produce more oil to compensate. On the other hand, it’s also best practice to avoid products with creamy or thick formulas as these can clog your pores. When incorporating hydration, focus on water-like or gel textures to ensure your skin is moisturised but not greasy. Finally, remember that oily skin does still age at the same rate as other skin types. It can look less wrinkled as it is less dry but the cause of wrinkles isn’t impacted by skin type so make sure that you still incorporate anti-aging ingredients into your skincare routine when it becomes relevant.