One month of rigorous shopping in the out and neglecting the skincare routine showed up.
On my big day, “the wedding day” - it wasn’t the highlighter that was shining bright but it was the excess oil that started oozing out on my face. Imagine even 4 hours of me getting layered with foundation, concealer, and contour by the best experts couldn’t save me from this oil flood. On top of it, the night lights made it worse. Developing oily skin means being prone to acne, breakouts, blackheads, enlarged pores, and whatnot.
I learned my lesson on the wrong day. I am sure you wouldn’t be up for that. Ceremonies were all done and an appointment with a dermatologist followed it. Below is what I learned about oily skin problems and the skincare routine for getting rid of the same.
What are the causes of oily skin?
My dermatologist who is also a close friend of my mother explained everything with utmost patience. She told me that oily skin happens due to increased sebum production by the hyperactivity of sebaceous glands. It makes skin look greasy and shiny.
Here are a few reasons responsible for oily skin which I did not know at first but as she continued I got a clear insight into what exactly causes oily skin.
“Like the ancestral property, the genes get passed on too. It runs in the family.” - She says. If one of your parents has oily skin, you’re likely to have overactive sebaceous glands too.
Using wrong skincare products
With oily skin types, excess sebum production already contributes to clogged pores which further give rise to acne, whiteheads, blackheads, and acne. She made sure that I avoid skin care products that contain pore-clogging ingredients.
Pro Tip - While buying products, look out for the term “non-comedogenic” which means it doesn’t clog skin pores.
Oiliness can also be climate-induced. If your skin is otherwise dry or normal and tends to become oily in the hot, humid summer months, you need to alter your skincare routine.
Faulty food habits or overconsumption of junk food
When it came to food and diet, I started laughing because I am Punjabi and you can feel me. I am unable to resist street food and even at home, I eat a lot of fried and oily food.
She said - “Diet is another important factor in determining your skin health. Food items that have a high glycemic index may trigger sebum production in the skin. Fast food items like burgers, sweetened soft drinks, and other processed foods like pizza have a high glycemic index.”
Pro Tip - Replacing high glycemic food items with low glycemic alternatives such as fruits and vegetables helps to keep a check on the working of sebaceous glands.
I now know that a well-curated skincare routine for managing oily skin is a must. Below is a 6-step skincare routine suggested by my dermatologist to help manage oily skin and combat common skincare concerns resulting from the same such as acne, enlarged pores, blackheads, etc.
6-Step skin care routine for oily skin
1. Cleanse with an oil-regulating face wash
She said - “Oil control face wash does not mean an intense cleanser. Opt for a cleanser that has mild cleansing action on your skin so as to balance moisture. Make sure that you choose ingredients that specifically work to regulate sebum production, cleanse pores deeply, and prevent dryness and breakouts.”
She suggested these ingredients- Zinc PCA, Citric Acid, and Cocamidopropyl Betaine work best on oily skin because they help maintain sebum production, unclog your pores, prevent acne and remove dead skin cells.
2. Exfoliate skin with the right chemical exfoliators
Exfoliating is a must for reducing dead skin build-up on pores. However, do not over-exfoliate as that can become counter-productive.
FYI I myself did some research too and I figured out that recently researched, enzyme-based exfoliators act gently on the topmost layer of skin to slough off dead skin cells and encourage the skin renewal process. This won’t over-dry your skin or strip off essential moisture while keeping the skin barrier intact.
3. Tone your face with an alcohol-free toner
Know that due to hyperactive sebaceous glands skin becomes prone to pore clogging. Oily skin attracts more dirt and grime. Use a toner to remove pore-clogging residues left after cleansing.
Opt for alcohol-free toner so as to give intense cleansing to the pores and avoid irritation. She explained why alcohol-free toners only because alcohol-free toner will help keep skin refreshed and hydrated without stripping off its essential oils.
Ingredients suggestion from the dermatologist for toner - Witch hazel, Allantoin, and Nasturtium officinale Extract works best to keep the skin barrier intact.
4. Use facial serums with active ingredients
I realized that excessive oil production led to enlarged pores and post-acne marks. Hence adding a serum to the skincare regimen is important. This is because serums are specifically formulated to target such individual skin concerns. They deliver the actives more quickly and effectively by deeply penetrating into the skin.
“To minimize the appearance of enlarged pores, opt for a pore refining serum backed up with ingredients like Niacinamide and Neurobiox. They help decongest pores and rebalance natural oils on the face.” - She insisted
5. Moisturize regularly with a hydrating moisturizer
I used to skip moisturiser because it felt like too much oil was already on my face. I know this wasn’t the right thing to do.
Know that oily skin needs moisturizer too. Moisturizers keep skin hydrated to the core and reveal refreshed and plump skin.
To combat that greasy look, opt for an oil-free mattifying moisturizer to give a smooth and matte finish to the skin.
6. Add safe sunscreen with broad spectrum coverage in your AM regimen
Research says that the UV rays of the sun can trigger sebum production. Unprotected sun exposure triggers active acne, breakouts, and hyperpigmentation.
Here I got more attentive while she was guiding me about sunscreen because generally, the sunscreens I used would cause irritation.
She asked me to opt for an oxybenzone-free sunscreen for oily skin with a broad spectrum because chemicals like oxybenzone penetrate into your skin and might cause allergic reactions. She further added that make sure that it is non-comedogenic and PABA-free.
She became my friend too. Amidst this informative session, we talked a little about my wedding ceremony too. How bad I am already feeling for lashing out at the makeup artists afterward. I am sorry already because I know what actually went wrong.
Here are a few essential tips if you are also dealing with oily skin.
4 Essential skin care tips to manage oily skin
1. Use only non-comedogenic skin care products and cosmetics
Non-comedogenic ingredients are a savior to oily skin. The use of such products helps to prevent the blockage of pores and allows the skin to breathe, thereby preventing the risk of pimples and breakouts.
2. Add fiber-rich foods to your diet
You are what you eat. This stands particularly true for skin health which depends to a large extent on your general health. Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins from your body. Eat fresh, green vegetables like spinach, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, carrots, capsicum, and fruits that add fiber to your diet.
Fiber intake cleanses the system and keeps your skin healthy. Avoid foods that are high in salt and sugar and foods that have a high Glycemic Index (GI). Include food rich in Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet (like almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and fish) as that may help reduce inflammation.
3. Exercise daily or practice Yoga
Exercising helps improve blood circulation and can deliver oxygen and nutrients to the skin effectively. Mental stress and lack of physical activity can aggravate the chances of acne and.
Working out also flushes out toxins from your skin in the form of sweat. Yoga and meditation relax your mind as well as body, keeping stress levels low. Make these a part of your regular routine. Your skin will thank you for it!
4. Maintain skin hygiene
A proper skincare regime is a must for maintaining skin hygiene. Oily skin attracts a lot of dirt and grime which tends to clog your pores. Make sure that you do not over-cleanse since it will rip off essential oils from your face.
- Avoid touching your face too much, or picking or scratching pimples.
- Use blotting paper to soak the excess oil from your face.
- Change your pillow covers frequently to avoid pore congestion due to bacteria accumulated on pillow covers.
Following my skincare routine religiously made me fascinated with my healthy skin more than my marriage and the new journey. The key to healthy skin is to choose products and ingredients wisely that is suitable to your skin type and have a consistent skincare routine for managing your oily skin. Use non-comedogenic skincare and makeup products so as to keep your pores breathable. Stay informed and make healthy choices when it comes to your skincare.