All skin produces some amount of oil but when it comes to oily skin, it may be a bit overwhelming. Oily skin is extremely common and can be caused by many different factors making it tricky to tackle BUT not impossible. With the proper care, oily skin and healthy skin can go hand in hand.
What Causes Oily Skin?
Our skin makes natural oil called sebum. Sebum acts as an extra barrier to help protect our skin from bacteria that can cause infections, protect from the sun’s damaging UV rays, and even keep skin hydrated by locking in moisture. Sebum can also carry antioxidants like vitamin E to the skin’s surface and help heal damaged skin cells. While everyone produces a different amount of sebum, oily skin happens when there is an overproduction of sebum in the skin. This can be due to a number of things including:
Under-moisturizing (yup! It’s true!)
A very common misconception, moisturizing does NOT make your skin oily when using the correct moisturizer for your skin. When your body senses a lack of moisture in the skin, it creates more sebum in an attempt to increase moisture levels and keep skin hydrated. This can lead to an overload of sebum production and leave your skin with an extra layer of shine to it. Always remember to moisturize your skin daily with a light moisturizer like Koope Lightweight Moisturizer to help tone down that oil.
The overactive sebaceous glands (where sebum production happens) can be passed down from generation to generation so if your parents or grandparents have oily skin, chances are pretty high that you will too.
The hormones that are responsible for sebum production can fluctuate throughout different stages of life causing an increase or decrease in sebum production. Events like puberty, menstruation, pregnancy or menopause can cause your hormones to kick oil production into overdrive.
Sebum’s main purpose is to lock moisture into the skin so the warmer and more humid the weather, the more your skin may want to produce extra oil to retain that moisture. This is why some people may tend to be oilier during the summer months than the winter season.
Over-exfoliating can strip the natural oils from skin causing the sebaceous glands to increase sebum production to compensate. Increased oil production can also be caused by certain ingredients such as silicone and alcohol in skincare products.
Is Your Skin Oily?
Oily skin is characterized by having an overall shiny or greasy look to the skin. People with oily skin may also find that their pores are more visible and may have more breakouts due to the extra sebum in skin clogging pores.
6 Tips to Keep Oily Skin at Bay
Avoid Alcohol Based Products
Though you may see that oil immediately disappear, AVOID DRYING ALCOHOL IN YOUR PRODUCTS AT ALL COSTS!! Notice we said ‘drying’, because some alcohols (like cetearyl) are fatty alcohols and these are OK for skin. Drying alcohol in skincare can dry out the skin and strip it of natural oils and moisture. This would cause these sebaceous glands to rev up that sebum production and lead to even oilier skin. Some drying alcohols you might have seen are isopropyl, propanol or SD. Drying alcohol can also be very irritating to skin and may cause skin to become inflamed. Try gentle products like Koope Gel Cleanser that will effectively remove that excess oil without stripping your skin. Stay tuned for our blog post on alcohols in skincare for more on this topic!
Use Non-comedogenic Products
Comedogenic means that something is more likely to clog your pores and sense oily skin havers are already prone to pore clogging, it’s best to steer clear of any products that could increase that symptom. Try products with non-comedogenic ingredients like aloe vera and jojoba oil (which can be found in Koope products) to keep skin hydrated without intensifying any pore clogs.
Wear Sunscreen Daily
Wearing sunscreen everyday is a skincare must and this rule should still be followed when it comes to oily skin. Not only can skipping SPF be very damaging to the skin but it can also dry out the skin which can cause an increase in sebum production. Apply a non-comedogenic sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily to keep your skin healthy, happy, and hydrated.
Use a Light Moisturizer
Yes, oily skin needs moisturizer too! Lack of moisture in skin will ramp up oil production so remember to apply a lightweight moisturizer that will not weigh down skin like as the Koope Lightweight Moisturizer after washing your face to help keep oily skin under control.
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: if you choose to exfoliate, only do it once or twice a week MAX. While exfoliation can be great for unclogging pores, exfoliating more than twice a week can dry out your skin and increase oil production and may also cause irritation and inflammation.
Avoid Touching Your Face
Generally, it’s best to keep those hands off your face. Touching your face can spread acne-causing bacteria across your skin and lead to breakouts. You could also be spreading oils from one area of the face to another which could lead to clogged pores and more acne.
Remember, though oily skin can be tricky, it is nothing to fear! With the proper care, oily skin can still mean happy and healthy skin.