During our teen years, we kind of accept that oily skin is going to be part of the deal. Our hormones change and oily skin and acne are common side effects. But it’s super frustrating when your teen years are long gone, but you’ve still got oily skin!
What can you do about oily skin? What causes it? And how can you make it go away?
Let’s take a closer look at this pesky problem so your skin can have the right kind of glow.
What Is Oily Skin?
All of us have oil in our skin. It’s important to keep our skin supple and hydrated. But when our face takes on an unwanted shine, we’ve got a problem with oily skin.
Oily skin happens when the sebaceous glands under your pores produce too much sebum. Sebum is an oily substance and is part of the skin’s natural protection. Lots of people use blotting papers to remove the oil from the skin’s surface, but it can come back again fast.
Downsides of Oily Skin
We need some oil to keep our skin in good condition; too much produces a ton of adverse side effects.
You’ll be more prone to acne, spots, and pimples. Pores get clogged with excess sebum, which causes breakouts. Blackheads can also develop when sebum builds up at the base of hair follicles.
You can also develop enlarged pores, especially around the t-zone. You might also leave behind a layer of oil after using your phone for a while.
You may also find it’s not easy to keep your makeup in place. As the day goes by, your skin produces more oil and causes your makeup to slide. It can also cause your bangs to get greasy from contact with your forehead.
What Causes Oily Skin?
Oily skin issues often run in families. If your parents or siblings have it, you’re more likely to get it yourself.
Here’s the good and the bad news for teens. Although you’re much more likely to develop oily skin during your teens, you’re also likely to grow out of it as you age. Testosterone production in both men and women is what stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum.
And as we age, a little extra oil on the skin can actually be a good thing. Your skin may stay more hydrated and elastic and age better than people with drier skin.
You need to constantly evaluate your skin type as you age. The products that you used when you were younger may no longer be suitable.
Studies seem to indicate that there’s a link between foods that are high on the glycemic index and acne.
The link is not fully understood, but when we eat foods that are high in refined carbohydrates, our bodies release insulin. This means foods like sugar, white flour, and white rice. This spike in insulin may stimulate the sebaceous glands to release more sebum.
Insulin resistance can also cause an increase in sebum. When you have insulin resistance, your cells can’t respond well to the hormone insulin. Your body has to produce more insulin to help glucose get into your cells.
Following a low GI diet may help to reduce sebum production.
If you’re prone to oily skin, stress could make matters worse. It raises cortisol levels, which can also make the body produce more oil in the skin.
As the weather gets warmer, our sebaceous glands spring into action. If you live in a humid area, you may find that your skin gets more oily too.
We all want to be fresh and clean, but overwashing and using certain skin products could actually make oily skin worse. When we scrub too hard, we remove the natural oils from the skin. The body senses this change and goes into action, producing more oil to replace it.
Sometimes using the wrong skin products can cause the feeling of having dry oily skin.
We may think that cosmetics and other beauty products would cause dry skin, but the opposite can be true. Oil-based products can add to the problem and cause blocked pores. It’s a good idea to choose beauty products that are specifically designed for oily skin to keep the problem at bay as much as possible.
Some medications, like birth control tablets, change hormone levels in the body. This can make the skin dry out, stimulating the body to produce more oil.
How to Treat Oily Skin
Changing your diet and talking to your doctor about medication changes may help to reduce the symptoms. But treating oily skin is mostly about strategies that can help you deal with the excess oil your body produces.
Blotting papers are your friend. They physically remove excess oil from the skin. Gently press blotting papers against the skin and allow a few seconds for the oil to soak in.
Never rub your face with blotting papers as this will spread the oil around.
Wash Your Face Carefully
Washing your face is fine, but try not to scrub. You should do this every morning and evening.
Use the Right Skin Lotion
People with oily skin don’t need to totally avoid skin lotion and beauty products. But it’s important to choose them carefully. Always look for products that are specifically designed for people with oily skin.
Hands Off Your Face
This can be a tough one – resisting the urge to touch your face. But it can make the problem worse by introducing more dirt and bacteria, and spreading the oil around your face.
Living With Oily Skin
There are pros and cons to having oily skin. It does mean that your skin stays soft and supple and may age better than people with dry skin. But it also makes you more likely to have breakouts.
Try to find a skincare program that works for you. Always keep blotting papers handy and choose products that are designed for oily skin. Also, try to stick to a diet that is low on the glycemic index.
For more great hints and tips, head over to our Beauty section today!