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People with oily skin often think they don’t need moisturizers, or that moisturizers make their complexions greasier. Yet even oily skin requires softening and protection, especially if you use drying astringents or acne medications. Moisturizers protect against external elements, which can clog pores and cause breakouts. Talk to your dermatologist to tailor your skincare routine to your specific issues, which may also include acne or fine lines.
In the Daytime
Light, water-based formulas, rather than heavy creams, work best for oily complexions during the day. Look for phrases on the moisturizer’s label that indicate that product will work well on oily or acne-prone skin. “For oily skin” is an obvious indicator, of course, but other important terms to look for include “water-based,” “won’t clog pores” or “noncomedogenic.” The American Academy of Dermatology or AAD, advises that people with acne-prone skin should avoid products with cinnamon, coconut oil or cocoa butter.
Some lightweight, non-clogging moisturizers also offer sunscreen protection or tinting properties -- or both. Use a multipurpose product to keep your pores from being clogged by multiple makeup or sunscreen products. Purchase a separate oil-free sunscreen for later applications, because your morning routine won’t provide all-day sun protection, the AAD notes.
While You Were Sleeping
Older women with oily skin may find retinol serums to be the best nighttime product for their skin. These products treat fine lines while also balancing oil production. Ask your dermatologist whether a prescription formula may be best for your combination of skin issues.
The AAD recommends people with oily skin wash their face first and wait for at least five minutes before applying other products. Follow with an acne medication or astringent for oily skin. Apply moisturizer, then non-clogging makeup. Put on moisturizer with sunscreen before going outside in cold weather, especially if you will be exercising or otherwise facing the elements for prolonged periods. Weekly exfoliating products are fine, but not during acne breakouts.
Natural beauty author Dina Falconi’s recipe for an oily skin moisturizer involves a combination of non-clogging vegetable oils and therapeutic herbs and essential oils. She suggests infusing St. Johnswort and calendula herbs in olive oil for several weeks. Strain the botanicals and combine 2 ounces of this herbal olive oil with 3 ounces each of canola oil and coconut oil. Gently heat the mixture until the solid pieces melt, then allow it to cool. Gently heat 9 ounces of water. When both mixtures reach room temperature, combine them and add 35 drops each of ylang ylang and lavender essential oils, along with 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil. Pour the mixture into wide-mouthed containers. If your skin is also prone to acne, eliminate the coconut oil and increase the other oils.
- Earthly Bodies & Heavenly Hair; Dina Falconi
- Teen Vogue: Learn How To Properly Moisturize Oily Skin
- American Academy of Dermatology: AcneNet: How to Choose Makeup, Moisturizer, and Sunscreen
- American Academy of Dermatology: Saving Face 101: How to Customize Your Skin Care Routine With Your Skin Type
- Mike Watson Images/moodboard/Getty Images