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Article: Keeping up with oily skin

Keeping up with oily skin

Keeping up with oily skin

While oily skin does tend to age better than dry, it does come with its own set of unique problems. Oily skin types are the result of an overproduction of sebum (oil) which is typically more intense in the T-zone and trailing off onto the cheeks.

Sebum, or what we call oil, is made of fatty esters, keratin, and different cellular materials. Sebum works to protect and moisturize your skin and hair keeping it healthy. Too much sebum, however, may lead to oily skin, which can lead to clogged pores and acne.

Caring for oily skin is a careful balance between removing the excess oil and stripping it.  Over-washing can strip the skin of its surface oil. When you cleanse your skin too often, the body triggers the pores to produce more oil, which can make you appear shinier and increase the likelihood of breakouts.

Skin doesn't become congested overnight; it takes anywhere between 30-90 days to create a clogged pore. Congested skin is bumpy because the natural oils have caused the bodies ability to slough off dead cells to slow down. Early signs of this slow down appear as dull skin, and this can happen to anyone from time to time. Common triggers are stress, airplane travel, shifting hormone levels, and even sudden changes in humidity to name a few.

Several key factors that must be cared for when treating oily skin include:

  • Cleansing- Although it is tempting to cleanse oily skin until it is 'squeaky clean.' It is the worst thing you can do. Cleanse twice daily with a mild foaming cleanser that doesn't make your skin feel tight right after washing. Remember, if it feels tight, your cleanser is not right.
  • Exfoliation- 2-3 times a week help your skin by using an enzyme or glycolic exfoliant to help dissolve the glue (sebum) that is holding onto dead cells. Scrubs can be tempting, but they tend to pull at larger pores and can easily promote redness and stimulate more oil production. If you can't remember to exfoliate, consider a moisturizer that contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that can speed cell turnover without adding an extra step.
  • Hydration- Dehydration causes a pile-up of dead cells right at the pore opening making it hard for oil and debris to come up and out of the pore. Keeping a proper oil-water balance on the skin is the key to keeping oil production in check and skin congestion free.
  • Protect- Always wear your sunscreen. Products that use Zinc Oxide as a broad spectrum SPF are great for oily skin because zinc oxide is also used to inhibit acne.

If you have any questions about your skin, or how to care for it, feel free to ask us.  We are happy to help.

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