Oily skin may be a scourge for the men and women who have it. For one thing, it makes a person more susceptible to breakouts when the oils combine with bacteria on the skin to clog pores and hair follicles. Moreover, women tend to suffer more from the oily skin because they put on pore-clogging makeup and because of the hormonal fluctuations that come from taking birth control pills, pregnancy or menopause. It seems everyone subject to oily skin suffers particularly bad bouts of it during adolescence.
But all is not lost. There are several things a person with oily skin should not do to keep control of the situation. Here are eight of them:
1. Don’t Smoke
Dermatologists have long known that smoking, or even exposure to cigarette smoke, worsens oily skin. Smoking depresses the body’s levels of vitamin A, a vitamin which is essential to the health of the skin. One of the things that vitamin A does is keep the sebaceous glands in the skin from overproducing sebum, a mix of fats and oils. Vitamin A also helps skin cells slough off when they die. A build-up of dead skin cells mixed with an overproduction of oil often results in acne.
2. Stay Away From Heat and Humidity
Heat and humidity are also culprits when it comes to promoting oily skin. They cause people to sweat, and sweating exacerbates oily skin. On top of this, heat and humidity may cause heat rash. This happens when the sweat glands are closed off because they are trapped in tight clothing or dressings. Dermatologists recommend people counter the high heat and humidity with a night cleanser that has salicylic acid as an ingredient. It should be put on at night, before bedtime, because salicylic acid makes the skin more sensitive to the sun.
3. Avoid Harsh Soap
Most bar soaps are too harsh for people with oily skin, and they are especially bad if the skin is both oily and sensitive. A mild, fragrance-free cleanser is the best for people with oily skin. Another good idea is not to vigorously scrub the face when washing. This just irritates the skin and strips it of the oils it needs to stay supple.
4. Do Not Use Hot Water To Wash the Face
This seems counterintuitive but hot water is bad for oily skin. That’s because hot water dries the skin out, and the skin compensates by producing floods of oil. On the other hand, cold water does not cleanse well. The best temperature for water to wash the face with is comfortably warm
5. Don’t Overwash the Face
Washing the face more than three times a day also strips it of oils and irritates the skin. Wash two to three times a day with a mild cleanser that’s gently rubbed into the skin and then rinsed with warmish water. A good cleanser is a gel that has salicylic acid and foams when it’s applied.
6. Be Wary of Astringents
Even people with oily skin should stay away from astringents unless their skin is extremely oily. Even then, dermatologists recommend that the astringent only be used once a week. Astringents will dry the skin out to the point where it will overcompensate with more oil the way it does when assaulted with hot water and harsh soaps.
7. Do Not Pop Pimples
It is very tempting to want to pop an unsightly pimple, especially when it crops up at a really bad time, like just before a party or a night out. Squeezing a pimple only leads to scars and angry red marks.
8. Don’t Use Oil-Based Makeup
Women should avoid oil-based makeup and use make-up with a base made of powder, liquid or gel. Buy cosmetics that are hypo- or nonallergenic and don’t clog the pores. This type of make-up is labeled noncomedogenic.
These eight prescriptions should go a long way in keeping oily skin manageable for both men and women.