I’m an oily skin ‘owner’. I have an oil-well hidden somewhere inside my skin.
I often joke that countries can go to war over the amount of oil my skin produces.
The only solace I got is that my skin would look better when I get older. But the fact is that I wasn’t looking my best when I should have been. And then I learnt why. I had been going about it all wrong!!!
So I’ve listed down some of the things that most of us oily skin owners believe and why they are not exactly accurate.
Mistake 1: “I need to wash my skin at least 4 times a day to remove the oil.”
STOP WASHING IT SO MUCH! I know this goes against instinct, but over cleansing, especially with products that are drying is only going to make the situation worse. That’s because when you strip your skin of its natural oils, your skin produces even more oil to make up for the shortage. So you end up even greasier than before. So don’t wash your skin more than 2-3 times a day and that too, with a very mild cleanser.
Tip: Only wash with lukewarm water as hot water tends to dry your skin and once again your skin will react by producing more oil.
Stuff I ♥: The La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser is super gentle on my skin and does an amazing job of removing oil without drying my skin out. Read my review to learn all about it.
Mistake 2: “My skin is oily so I don’t need to moisturise.”
This couldn’t be more far from the truth. In fact, you actually need to moisturize more than others. Doesn’t make sense does it? All you really want to do is dry out your skin and get it looking matte. And moisturizing seems to be doing just the reverse. Well, not really.
Oily skin also needs moisture like all other skin types. By moisture, I don’t mean more oil. I mean more water. If you don’t quench your skin’s thirst with water, your oil glands over compensate and produce more oil. That’s why every time you try to dry it out, it seems to get oilier.
So the best way to keep your oil production in check is to keep up your skin’s hydration levels by always using an oil-free or gel moisturizer. Every day. Every time you wash your face.
Tip: When you start moisturizing, at first, your skin will appear more greasy. But after 2 weeks of moisturizing, your skin learns that it doesn’t need to produce as much oil and slowly but surely, it gets less greasy. So don’t give up at the very start. Hang in there for 2-3 weeks to notice the difference.
Stuff I ♥: Forest Essentials Light Hydrating Facial Gel Pure Rosewater is brilliant for my oil skin. It cools my skin down, absorbs instantly and then completely disappears! My face feels plump and hydrated but without any greasy leftovers.
Mistake 3: “Scrubbing my oily skin will activate the oil glands, making it even more shiny.”
Exfoliating oily skin is actually really helpful – as long as you’re gentle and don’t go overboard.
Oily skin tends to break out because the oil traps the dead skin cells and dirt, clogging your pores. When you scrub gently, you are getting rid of all the dull skin cells and are also prepping your skin for the oil-controlling products that will follow, making them so much more effective.
Tip: Scrub your skin every alternate day, preferably at night, so that your skin can rest and best absorb the treatment that follows.
Need another reason to scrub? People with oily skin have larger pores. That’s because dead skin cells and clogged matter makes the pore stretch, making it appear even bigger. When you scrub, you remove the gunk and so you are actually reducing the size of the pore. Time to get that scrub out!
Tip: Use your middle and rings fingers to scrub. These fingers don’t have too much strength and are therefore perfect for a gentle scrub that won’t harm the skin.
Stuff I ♥: Pahadi Local’s Khal is not your typical harsh scrub. In fact, it’s gentle enough to use daily.
Mistake 4: “I use a clay mask to dry out my skin”.
A clay or mud-based mask absorbs and draws out the oil from your skin, mopping up the grease. But if you don’t immediately follow it with a boost of moisture, your skin will over compensate and produce more oil, negating the entire process.
Your best bet is to follow a clay mask immediately with a hydrating gel moisturiser. By doing this, you are putting back the nutrients in your skin and actually making your skin less oily.
Tip: Steam your face before applying the clay mask to open up your pores and soften the debris, so that the mask is more effective in pulling it out.
Stuff I ♥: Forest Essential’s Mysore Sandalwood and Nagkesar is perfect for a deep clean. It’s great at sucking out the oil, while leaving your skin cool and incredibly clean.
Mistake 5: “I need an alcohol-based toner to thoroughly remove the oil from my skin.”
Alcohol is terrible for your skin. It strips your skin and dries it out completely. This only makes your skin produce more oil to counter the dryness, and once again, you’re left with an oily mess. It’s a vicious cycle.
The main purpose of a toner is to balance the skin’s PH after cleansing, soften your skin and prep it for the products that are to follow. So the best toners are super mild. When buying a toner, pick one that has calming ingredients like chamomile, rose water, cucumber, green tea and so on.
Stuff I ♥: Forest Essentials Pure Rosewater Facial Tonic Mist is my favourite toner of all time. It soothes my skin, tightens my pores, brightens my complexion and it smells soon good!
Mistake 6: “Getting a sun tan will help clear my oily skin.”
Ever spent a day in the sun and felt that your skin feels less oily? Well, getting a sun tan is a temporary solution and a terrible idea. The sun does more damage than good. It may have a slight drying effect, but your oil glands will soon work harder to counter this, once again resulting in more oil than before. Plus the UV damage will make you age. It really is a lose-lose situation.
Mistake 7: I don’t use a sunscreen as it makes my skin even more greasy.
Nothing damages the skin as much as the sun. From excessive oiliness to spots to uneven skin tone to wrinkles – the sun is your skin’s worst enemy. Still, sunscreen is the first thing we tend to skip. And that’s because it doesn’t feel good.
But the pros of using a sunscreen outweigh the cons. So whatever you do, use sunscreen. You just have to find one that suits your skin type – just the way you would a moisturizer. There are many ‘sheer’ and non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) formulas that protect without the grease. Just remember to put on enough – a coin-size for your entire face. Yes, that may seem like a lot, but any less and you aren’t protecting yourself. A pea-size amount is actually useless. So please slather up.
Tip: A moisturizer with SPF or a ‘day cream’ will not give you adequate protection. That’s because you will actually need a big blob of cream to give you the right amount of coverage. Always follow your moisturizer (even if it contains SPF) with a sunscreen.
Stuff I ♥: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock 50+ leaves my skin feeling clean and fresh, never oily and sticky.
So now that you’re all equipped with how to de-grease your skin, let your skin shine! Ahem, or maybe not 😉