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Oily skin is often characterised as being shiny with the sebum produced by the oil producing glands in the pores, and with enlarged, open pores which have been stretched by the accumulation of oil within them.
People with oily skin are more likely to suffer with blackheads and whiteheads as a result of having clogged pores.
What Makes Skin Oily?
There are many reasons why your skin might be oily. Hormonal changes, either in our teenage years, or for women, before periods can often trigger the skin to become more oily – as can living in a more humid climate.
However, the fact that many people with oily skin are surprised about is that they could actually be causing their own problem but using products that are too harsh, stripping the oils from the skin’s surface and causing the oil producing glands to go into ‘overdrive’, trying to correct the drying out of the skin!
Caring for oily skin is therefore a bit of a balancing act between effectively reducing the production of oil without over-stripping it from the skin and ensuring that pores are kept clean and clear so that they do not become clogged, causing blackheads, whiteheads and the large, open pores that occur as a result of stretching.
Use Only Gentle Cleansers
Gentle cleansers are the order of the day, never use harsh products on your skin. Foaming cleansers are especially helpful as they cut through the oil and by rubbing them into your skin, you will be gently exfoliating the dead skin cells that contribute to blocked pores.
If you are prone to acne, using a medicated cleanser including salicylic acid will help to reduce the acne causing bacteria and help to prevent new blemishes from forming.
Use of a toner after cleansing divides opinion between skin care experts. Some say you should always use a toner, others say that toners irritate skin, causing a slight swelling which has the effect of making pores appear reduced in size. However, personally, I prefer to use a gentle toner, (I use Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner) before moisturizing with Neutrogena oil-free moisturiser for combination skin but check out this link if you have sensitive skin.
Skin care experts are agreed that everybody needs to use a moisturizer. This is contrary to what many people who have oily skin believe – they feel they do not need to add moisture to their oily complexion – but this is not the case and moisturizing is a vital step which will help the skin to look smoother and healthier.
It is especially important to ensure that the neck and top of the chest is also treated with moisturizer. The eye area must also be moisturized but it is important to use a product specifically designed for this area as some facial treatment products are too heavy for the delicate skin in this area and can lead to the development of whiteheads or milia beneath the eyes which are difficult to eradicate.
Look for a good oil-free moisturizer, either a cream, lotion or a gel and ensure you choose a product that is labelled as non-comedogenic so that it will not block your pores. Some of the products specifically designed for oily skin have active ingredients to help reduce that oily shine. The most commonly used ones are witch hazel, talc and salicylic acid. Some moisturizers for oily skin are labelled “mattifying” or “mattifier” which means that they reduce the shine and many of these are effective for up to eight hours.Alison Graham on Google+