One of the most confusing things I’ve had to deal with as I get older is the transition my skin makes. What is my skin type? What was my skin type yesterday? My face feels really dry today so do I now have dry skin? I woke up with morning and my entire face had an oily sheen so is my face oily? But my face is red, do I have sensitive skin. It’s confusing and there isn’t a lot on the internet that helps and honestly heading to your local department store to seek help from the makeup counter isn’t always the smartest thing to do either. Most only have the 30-min seminar style of job training. So we’re going to breakdown the skin types over the next few posts and see what constitutes the major skin types. Oily, dry, sensitive, combination, and normal
First off lets look at oily skin.
Oily skin is one of the most common skin types among young people. One of the hallmarks of oily skin is having large pores. But not everyone with large pores has oily skin. Pore size is also determined by genetics. Caucasian people have a tendency to have larger pores. As a simple definition: oily skin is the result of excess production of sebum (skin oil). Sebum is just the natural oil your body produces. It keeps our skin healthy, properly moisturized, a stronger barrier to diseases and pathogen, and cracking. Sebum has a very important role in our skins health. Skin is the largest organ of the body and responsible for us being able to survive in a terrestrial world.
During puberty the production of androgen is at its highest. This hormone is present in both men and women and is a steroid. Its higher in men than it is in women. It’s produced by the testes, ovaries, and the adrenal glands. Those who are insensitive to androgen can have very androgynous features and can be intersex. It’s also responsible for a person’s libido and oil production.
When trying to decide if you have an oily skin type follow these guidelines.
- When you wake up in the morning, does your entire face feel slick covered by an oily sheen?
If yes, you very likely have oily skin. If only your T zone is oily. You have what’s called combination skin. The T-zone is your horizontal across your forehead and vertically down the center of your face to include your nose, the creases around your nose, and chin.When you wake up in the morning, does your entire face feel slick covered by an oily sheen?
- By noon are you an oily mess again? Matte makeup is the only type of makeup you can wear all day but you still have to repowder by 10 or noon when wearing matte AND you don’t feel dry after you powder at noon.
Truly everyone has to retouch throughout the day. I’m not talking retouches. I’m talking legit oil production that can make makeup melt and move.
I had oily skin through my teenage years and my 20s. It wasn’t until my mid-20s I switched to more of a combination skin type. Now in my 30s I’m transitioning further to a dry skin type. This transition is something that’s very normal for my family.
If you have oily skin….
Beware of using harsher facial cleansers. It can exacerbate oily skin. Using a simply cleanser 2 to 3 times per day is all you need. Cleansers with activated charcoal or alcohol, it’s not needed. It can just be way too harsh. CareVe is a drug store brand that has an amazing foaming cleanser. If you have really oily skin, wash your face twice with a mild cleanser if you don’t feel the first got it all. I do this ALL the time. Best to rely on your cleanser than your toner since the toner isn’t going clean the pores.
Don’t use astrigents. These include 40% or more alcohol. They do produce a matte finish, which for oily skin seems like a goal, but it can damage the moisture barrier making your skin think its injured and oil production can increase as a result. If you have acne this is a definite NO-NO. I’ve covered the rational behind alcohol in skincare and my disdain for it previously here.
Don’t over exfoliate. This is true regardless of the skin type you have, you can destroy that moisture barrier and then you’re in big trouble. I tend to exfoliate when I feel the excess dead skin on my face, which ends up being 1 to 2 times per week. If I use my Clarisonic more religiously (2x a day), I rarely feel the build up. I’ve also covered exfoliation here.
Clay masks are awesome. I used clay masks a lot when I was in my 20s. At least twice a week definitely not over 3 though. I still use them in the summer. And they do make a difference for me. I really like Peter Thomas Roth’s Irish mud mask. It’s pricey and alternatively I also really like Ulta’s musk mask line, Sephora’s is also good. It’s a mud mask, they’re not too nuts. Don’t go in your backyard and smear dirt on your face. If you feel a clay mask is too strong for your skin use a mud mask. Mud Masks are less drying than a clay mask.
Aspirin masks are also amazing. Aspirin is also known as salicylic acid and it has the most amazing ability to clean out pores. The recipe for my recipe is located here.
Those are my types and advice for the oily skin people among us. Remember we are numerous, we are fierce, and this too shall pass.
Sound of below and let me know if you have any other tips and tricks for oily skin.