The natural oil production underneath our skin is meant to make a protective layer on the skin surface. But when the production is excessive, you need to take care of that. This post could be a game-changer for you if your skincare routine has become a bit overwhelming lately. With a new product launch every week and reading about different active ingredients every alternate day, you might have already made your skincare routine complex. Trust me, you don’t need thousands of layers of skincare products every day. Using too many skincare products may do more harm than good and it could make it even worse for you if you are using products that you have no idea about. Here comes the serious need to have a minimalist skincare routine for oily skin.
People with oily skin know how irritating it is to wake up in the morning with oil on your t-zone or slipping and sliding of your makeup during an important event or party due to the stubborn oil glands. Things get worse when it paves the way for breakouts or blackheads. Before starting with this post, let us inspect the root cause of the skin concern i.e. oiliness.
Table of Contents
What causes Oily skin?
Many of us have not transparent idea about the reasons behind oily skin. Without knowing the reasons we cannot combat it. We must learn the very root of the problem to get a targeted skincare routine for this specific skin condition.
There could be so many factors that cause that extra sebum on your skin. From genetics to hormonal imbalance, the reasons are quite surprising. Here are a handful of the reasons that cause oily skin.
reason #1 Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalance plays a major role in creating extra sebum. If you are a woman you know your hormones go haywires around your periods which leads to your sebaceous glands producing more oil than usual. It is known that testosterone causes overactive sebaceous glands. A higher level of testosterone can cause the overproduction of sebum. If you get occasional oiliness, there is a chance the reason is hormonal.
REASON #2 GENETICS
There is a high chance of you having oily skin if you have it in your genes. It mostly happens if one of your parents or both of them have oily skin.
Reason #3 Stress
This is as real as it is. Stress, with many other physical and mental hassles, also could be a possible reason that your skin is producing more sebum than required. Studies show that stress makes our body produce excess Cortisol, a stress hormone. A rise in the secretion of Cortisol results in breakouts and an oilier skin surface.
The problem with stress is that it becomes unmanageable even before we realize it. So, taking some time out for yourself to relax and unwind is necessary not only for our minds but also for our physical well-being. We must make it a ritual to de-stress once in a while. Here is how you can create a DIY at-home spa day for yourself.
REASON #4 Humidity
The weather plays an important role in making your skin more or less oily. Living in a humid and tropical climate can result in oily skin.
Apart from the internal reasons, there are also some external reasons for your skin to be oily or oilier. For instance-
REASON #5 Flawed Skincare Routine
Oily skin can happen if you are following one or more wrong skincare habits. The most common habits that cause overproduction of sebum are over-cleansing, under-cleansing, using alcohol-based toners, skipping moisturizers, and using wrong skincare products.
It is advised that you wash your face twice a day- in the morning and in the evening. You are also allowed to cleanse your skin after exercising to avoid extra oil build-up in the pores. Your skin naturally produces oil that is necessary to keep the skin hydrated and protected from environmental damage. If you wash or scrub your face too harshly, you might overstimulate your oil glands or irritate them which results in excessive oil production. You must use a gentle face wash, preferably soap-free, and a mild scrub to cleanse your skin. Over-cleansing or under-cleansing must lead to over-production of sebum.
Another mistake that causes oily skin is the lack of moisture in our skin. Most people with oily skin tend to skip on their moisturizer after washing their face. They believe it would make their skin oilier. But, this is far from reality. Products that are designed for oily skin strips away the natural oils from our skin. If we skip hydrating our skin, our skin actually sends signals to the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. We must moisturize our face regardless of the type of skin. One could use oil-free, water-based, and non-comedogenic moisturizers if they feel their skin is oily.
Your oily skin can also be a result of using the wrong skincare products. Sometimes we are too busy to read through the ingredients lists while buying skincare or makeup products and end up picking products that are absolutely wrong for our skin type. An example would be products that are non-comedogenic, which means they are going to clog your pores. Clogged pores cause pimples or severe breakout which leads to heavier sebum production. So, every time you are purchasing skincare or makeup, make sure they are non-comedogenic.
We will discuss an effective yet minimalist skincare routine for oily skin towards the end of this post.
Reason #6 Imbalanced Diet
It is proven that intake of oily, fried food, or junk food makes the skin oilier. Intaking carbohydrates like white bread, sugar, and white rice in higher quantities may lead to high serum glucose levels and increased insulin levels. As a consequence, higher insulin levels elevate sebum production.
How to know you have oily skin?
The problem with many people is that they don’t understand which skin type they have. If one knows their skin type it is easier to build a skincare routine. The idea is to detect the problem first and then work on the solution. Here are a few signs that indicate you have oily skin.
- Your facial skin will appear to be shiny.
- You’ll experience greasy skin when you wake up in the morning and towards the end of the day.
- No matter how much setting powder you apply, your foundation will not stick in place, especially on the t-zone.
- You may have large pores on your chin, nose, and anywhere around your t-zone.
- You might get occasional pimples or acne.
What does oily skin require to stay healthy?
Like any other skin type, oily skin also needs a regular CTM routine to be followed every day, am and pm. While it is essential to maintain a daily skincare routine, it is absolutely unnecessary to layer your skin up with everything available in the market. Any skin type requires basic care that is indispensable. Here is a simple yet effective minimalist skincare routine for oily skin that I have created with my own experience.
Minimalist Skincare Routine for Oily Skin You Need to Follow Right Now + Affordable product guide
S T E P #1 C L E A N S I N G
In order to remove the extra sebum and grime accumulated on the surface of the skin and in the large pores, we must use an oil-free face wash that doesn’t clog the pores. As oily skin is often prone to acne, you must use a mild face wash (preferably, soap-free so it won’t strip off the natural oils). You can also consider using a product that has tea-tree oil as it works best for acne-prone skin.
Some of my favourites are-
S t e p # 2 T o n i n g
A toner is used right after the cleanser. Sometimes, a cleanser alone is not enough to remove all the gunk from your skin. A toner helps pull the remainders out. It also takes care of your skin’s pH balance. When you use a cleanser, it unclogs your pores i.e. it opens the pores, a toner helps them close so that the oil production is controlled. A toner also helps hydrate the skin to some extent and it kind of prepares the skin for the next steps like the serum, acids or treatments, and moisturizer.
You must always remember that alcohol-based toners are a complete no-no! Alcohol, in the longer run, will dry out your skin and make it sensitive. We will be discussing toners and active ingredients more elaborately in another post.
If you have oily skin, you must consider using a toner that has any of the following ingredients present in them-
- Green Tea
- Tea Tree Oil
- Witch Hazel
- Glycolic Acid
Here are my favourite toners for oily skin-
S T E P # 3 S E R U M S / A C I D S / a c t i v e s
This step is completely optional but will work great for oily, acne-prone skin if used on a regular basis. Serums are basically formulated to get absorbed into the skin more quickly and efficiently than moisturizers. People have a misconception about using serums on oily skin. Serums could be hydrating but not greasy if you pick up the right one. Being a lightweight formula, it doesn’t sit on top of your skin or clog your pores. There are different types of serum that are meant for different skin conditions like add hydration, glow, fight the signs of aging, etc. You just have to choose one that solves your skin issues.
For people with oily/acne-prone skin, serums with hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and salicylic acids are best. You can consider using apple cider vinegar too as they control sebum production and mildly exfoliates the skin.
It is best to use a serum/acid at night as it will be allowed to absorb deep into the skin well.
It is a great ingredient to include in a skincare routine for oily skin. Hyaluronic acid is a non-comedogenic substance that penetrates into the skin, without clogging the pores and hydrates the skin from within. Hyaluronic acid has the ability to retain moisture without leaving an oily residue on the surface of the skin making it a great choice for oily skin people.
Yet another great active ingredient for oily skin. This BHA helps remove any dark spot or pigmentation you have, be it blemishes or acne marks, and also prevents new acne and blackheads from appearing. If you are a beginner and want to start including acids into your skincare regime, you must give salicylic acid a shot as it is totally safe to use.
Another magic ingredient for oily skin is Niacinamide. It is a form of Vitamin B3 that helps regulate oil production, making it a great skincare choice for oily and combination skin types. Niacinamide also brightens up the complexion and improves the texture of the skin by minimizing your pores.
Here are my favourite serums for oily skin-
S T E P # 4 M o i s t u r i z e r
People often make the mistake of believing that oily skin doesn’t require moisturizer. This is a popular myth that I want to bust today. Every skin type needs to moisturize their skin. Oily skin people just need to make a wiser choice while picking up a moisturizer. The best types of moisturizers for oily skin are the ones that are water-based, free from any oil, and lightweight in texture. Water and gel-based moisturizers could be a great option to go with.
Moisturizers are made to replenish and nourish your skin. Oily skin needs that treatment too. Skipping on the moisturizer can result in irritation, clogged pores, breakouts, and even an over-production of sebum. Ingredients like green tea, Vitamin E, C, and B5, Hyaluronic acid are great for oily skin, and products with petroleum jelly, mineral oil, and paraffin are to be avoided.
My favourite moisturizers for oily skin are-
S T E P # 5 S U N S C R E E N
No daytime skincare is complete without a good sunscreen. You stepping out in the sun without sunscreen is like you jumping into the ocean without a life jacket. Not only it will make your skin tanned but the sun and the UV rays can cause potential damage to your skin without warning. A skin without sunscreens can cause blemishes, sunspots, and/or dark spots. You must put on a good sunscreen whenever your step out of your house during the daytime no matter if the day is runny or gloomy.
Choosing the right sunscreen
When it comes to sunscreens, we all have that bitter experience where the sunscreen was either too oily for the skin, or it was so heavy that it sat on top of the skin for hours, or it made the skin dull and dark after a few hours. So, here is my guide to choosing the perfect sunscreen for oily skin-
1. Choose a sunscreen that is oil-free, water-based, and lightweight.
2. Your sunscreen must be non-comedogenic.
3. A sunscreen with an SPF of at least 35, UVA & UVB protection, and PA+++ should be your choice to avoid damaging your skin
Here are some of the sunscreens I can swear by-
W E E K e n d P A M P E R R O U T I N E F O R O I L Y S K I N
Apart from the daily skincare routine, every skin type needs a weekend pamper routine. A weekly detox, nurture for the skin results in a long-term benefit. You can treat your skin every weekend without going too crazy with the products. I would suggest using a mask and facial oils for that extra TLC for your oily skin. Here’s a guide-
- Face Mask for oily skin- Finding a perfect face mask for oily skin could be a hassle. Mud masks/clay masks are perfect for oily skin because they help balance the oil production and keep the skin matte while hydrating it. I would suggest you go for homemade masks rather than splurging on the trending chemical masks. You can use either Multani mitti, lemon, or yogurt in your masks.
- Facial Oils- We have a general notion that facial oils are for dry skin and they make the skin appear oilier. That is so untrue. I have a personal experience of using facial oils on my face during summer and it was absolutely suitable for my combination of oily skin. Facial oils are great for oily skin too if you choose the right oils. Oils like Jojoba, Squalane, Marula, Argan, Rosehip are great for your skin. They have smaller molecular sizes so they are light in texture and absorbs quickly into the skin without making it greasy. These oils are also non-comedogenic so that adds up to the benefits.
So, that was it for this post. I hope this helps you create your perfect minimalist skincare routine that is easy to follow on a daily basis. Let me know what is your daily skincare routine. If you have any queries, leave them in the comments. Will see you with a new post. Until then, take care and be safe!