1. Don’t touch!
Are you guilty of scratching, touching or rubbing your face throughout the day? How about resting your chin on your palm while browsing social media, rubbing your forehead when you’re tired, etc etc? Every time you touch your face, experts will tell you, you’re only making your oily skin worse and even increasing your risk of a breakout. Experts also estimate that the average person touches their face… *drum roll please*… 2,000-3,000 times a day! Between touching your face, you reach for doorknobs, touch shared surfaces, and collect all kinds of oil, dirt, and bacteria on your hands.
Before you worry about a skincare routine for oily skin, start by getting started: get your hand washing game ready! If you can’t get to the sink to wash your hands, a natural hand sanitizer followed by moisturizing hand cream will help keep germs away. It won’t stop you from touching your face – you’ll have to be more sensible on your own – but it will help minimize the amount of germs on your hands at all times.
2. Keep cleaning
Oily skin tends to overproduce sebum, the sticky stuff we call “oil” or “grease” when our skin has a very shiny day. Just as flies stick to flying paper, debris such as dirt, dead skin, and environmental pollutants stick to your oil throughout the day. Each of these types of debris poses a risk of pore clogging, which means your skin will be in big trouble if you don’t wash it off regularly.
Opt for a mild, oil-free cleanser with mildly astringent and antibacterial properties. The Charcoal & Clay Cleanser is a fan favorite, along with our Clear Tea Tree & Willow Acne Cleanser (great for oily, acne-prone skin). Our charcoal-infused cleanser effectively removes excess oil with antibacterial essential oils and brightening, astringent lemon. Bamboo Charcoal, Activated Charcoal and Kaolin Clay absorb excess oil while detoxifying, to neutralize pore-clogging free radicals and environmental pollutants.
Use a konjac sponge to gently cleanse (without rubbing!) your skin morning and night – and of course, after sweating or doing outdoor activities. As Dermatologist Heidi Waldorf told Cosmopolitan, “Your skin should feel soft, not tight, after washing.” That means no scrubbing, no high-temperature water, and no washing too often or too long.
PRO TIP: Essential oils, especially added to the end of a cleansing ingredient list, are normally of little concern for oily skin. For example, Spearmint and Lemongrass are added to our Charcoal Cleanser for their astringent (oil control) properties, NOT as moisturizers.
3. Choose oil-free makeup whenever possible
When shopping for makeup, oily skin types tend to struggle to find products that last all day without slipping or sliding. To achieve shine-free makeup, it all starts at the bottom: with the mattifying primer. Although this product does contain light olive squalane, which is rated at a comedogenic index of 0-1, which means it has an extremely low chance of clogging pores – good news for oily skin! This primer helps mattify the skin and keep makeup in place throughout the day, while regulating excess sebum.
Next, you’ll need to set your makeup with a powder that won’t clog pores or dry out your skin. Bamboo Blur Powder is completely oil-free, designed to absorb oil and is ultra-lightweight. Dust this formula on your T-zone or other problem areas to completely eliminate shine and add a filtering finish to bare skin or foundation. As always, keep a pack of paper towel handy wherever you go, to make sure your makeup doesn’t get marred by slick oil slicks, smudges, or shifting pigments.
4. Invest in natural astringents – never harsh
We’ve been there, friends of oily skin: your skin is at an all-time high of oiliness and shine, and you can’t even get a layer of foundation to set. You’re SO tempted to reach for that drugstore bottle, labeled “astringent,” even if it means drying out every drop of moisture from your skin. You just want the oil to GET AWAY! We understand, really. While we’re okay with astringents, even experts agree that alcohol-based formulas are just too harsh, even for oily skin.
If you are looking to remove oil without the potential risk of dryness and irritation, replace your drugstore formula with one containing natural astringent ingredients. Natural astringents include citric acid, witch hazel or salicylic acid – although any astringent, especially salicylic acid, should always be tested for sensitivity before adding to a skincare routine for oily skin. Astringents can also help temporarily tighten pores, which in turn can better regulate oil production.
PRO TIP: Check out our Tea Tree & Willow Clarifying Astringent, which contains salicin bound to salicylic acid from willow bark, antibacterial tea tree and witch hazel.
But if you’re looking for something a little more hydrating, quench your complexion with our Flower Water Toner! Filled with undiluted botanical ingredients like Rose Hydrosol, Calendula Hydrosol and Witch Hazel, it helps boost collagen and elastin while providing instant comfort. Reveal an instantly smooth look that radiates health from within.
5. Wear sunscreen to avoid larger pores (and more oil)
Did you know that the firmness of your skin can affect sebum production? Firmer skin tends to have tighter, smaller pores, while less firm skin will have larger, more apparent pores, which means a higher risk of increased sebum production. When you have oily skin, there are a few different practices and ingredients you can incorporate, which you can learn about here. THE American Academy of Dermatology raves about the benefits of wearing an SPF for oily skin, as photoaging and UV damage can dramatically compromise skin firmness and pore size.
In short, sunscreen is absolutely crucial for your health, and ultimately an amazing long-term solution to shine control too! Try layering an oil-free mattifying sunscreen like our Yerba Mate Mist SPF 30 over bare skin or makeup for effective sun protection.
PRO TIP: Retinol products can also help restore firmness and can even help purge deep-seated debris that has widened or enlarged a pore. Using sunscreen during the day and retinol at night is a winning combination for oily skin types and anyone looking to prevent signs of premature aging in their skin.
Need more tips for your oily skin? Check out our skincare routine for oily skin, the best foundation for oily skin, and the best moisturizer for oily skin on our blog!